Dave Ramsey: Don’t give a flighty explanation

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Dave Ramsey

Dear Dave,

I’ve been in my current job for five years. I’ve also had a second job for three of those years, but now I’d like to make a change. Do you have any advice on how to convince a potential employer that I’m a good hire, even though I had a couple of jobs in the past that I quit after a month or two?


Dear Bill,

Quitting a job after a month or so isn’t normally some kind of sin that automatically disqualifies you from being hired. It might be with some corporate goober who’s looking at things through some silly, one-size-fits-all hiring paradigm, but that alone wouldn’t be the kiss of death around my office.

Now, would we look at something like that and want to know what happened and what your explanation was? Absolutely! But if it made sense, there wouldn’t be a problem. However, if it made you sound flighty or disgruntled with things in general, we’d probably pass.

My guess is that the fields you’re interested in are like most — there’s a lot of importance put on who you know. And I don’t mean this in a negative way. Work and try to develop good relationships with people in your field and those associated with it. If that’s in place, they can honestly give out positive references.

Knowing someone within the field or at the company, or being connected to someone with a positive reputation, can help you avoid the résumé slush pile. It can help cut through the mess and achieve clarity!

— Dave

Big debt on an old car

Dear Dave,

My wife cosigned a loan on a 2007 car for her sister. Now, it’s being repossessed, and $23,000 is still owed on it at 20 percent. What can we do in this situation?


Dear Pablo,

Tell the bank or dealer where the car is, and tell them to come pick it up. There’s no way to get out of the rest, my friend. You and your wife are going to be liable for whatever the car doesn’t bring in afterward. Let’s say it sells for $4,000. That would be subtracted from what is owed, and it will still be up to you guys to pay the rest. You could always try to negotiate to settle it for pennies on the dollar. Based on what you’ve told me, that’s a best-case scenario.

The other thing I would do is demand a full audit on the account from day-one to present, because a 20 percent interest rate doesn’t explain why a car didn’t pay off – especially a $23,000 car. If this was a $5,000 car from a tote-the-note car lot, and they were ripping her off charging only interest – and that’s all anyone was paying, and she gave up and punted – that’s fine. You’re just looking for a little understanding of the situation. But $23,000 cars don’t generally have 20 percent interest. That’s a pretty freaky deal, and I’d want to know where the money went.

From a bank’s perspective, I don’t see how anyone would think something like this would work out. The car was going down in value the entire time, so it just doesn’t make sense to me. Of course, if you have the cash lying around and it wouldn’t damage your finances, you could just take care of things and call it Stupid Tax.

Cosigning on a loan, especially with family, is never a good idea.

— Dave

Dave Ramsey is America’s trusted voice on money and business. He has authored five New York Times best-selling books. “The Dave Ramsey Show” is heard by more than 8.5 million listeners each week on more than 550 radio stations. Dave’s latest project, EveryDollar, provides a free online budget tool. Follow Dave on Twitter at @DaveRamsey and on the web at