Hey everyone!

I have been pretty silent the last month and a half as I have just been busy busy with work… catering, so holidays are CRAZY for me. Anywho, its settling down now and I wanted to pop in to pose an interesting question to the group.
As an aside – I have been reading my email digest version of the board when I can and have kept you all in my thoughts and prayers. Jan, glad your husband is OK! And Kathy, aside from the fee, at least this kind of makes you hang on to the tax money. When you do get that refund, maybe you’ll have a larger snowball than you would have otherwise because you were forced not to spend it. Idk – just trying to find you a bright spot!
Now here is my quandry – I recently learned the small SUV “crossover” of my dreams can be had for approx the same value as my current car. It’s an odd phenomenon, I know, but the value of my car, which has 111k miles is about the same as a newer model, lower milage (between 50k and 80k seems average range for the monetary value) crossover of the same make. I checked out the mpg and its the same for both vehicles since my older model car is less fuel efficient! So it’s an even monetary swap, for a newer model. I still have a car loan, and was planning on paying it off fully this year anyhow. So… to keep it, or to swap out for the crossover?
And then I was trying to figure out the best way to handle the transaction.
I COULD use my tax refund to fully pay off the car loan first, then list it for sale sooner rather than later once I get the clear title. The drawback here is that my tax money I had planned to use as a snowball for credit debt which has a higher interest rate than the car loan. My worry though is that since I drive a lot for work, as my car mileage increases, I might lose this opportunity to upgrade my car without having to spend extra money. Also, since I hadn’t planned to pay off the car loan in full right away, it would probably be wise to get a loan from the credit union for the crossover, so that I would then be able to apply the cash sales money from the car to the credit card debt of higher interest. I would then pay off the car loan on the same schedule as I would have if I still had the original car. Not sure though if my interest rate will improve (Ill have to check – my current auto loan is at 10%).
I just don’t know if thats the best way to take advantage of the situation.
I do depend on reliable transportation for work, so this opportunity potential is attractive. But I also don’t want to derail my good money habits.