I'm a grown up person. My credit score in the US is 740. I pay my bills on time (usually by the end of the month - which is why I LOVE my American Express card) and I'm responsible.
In Kuwait, I need a cosigner to finance a car. Why? Because I'm a foreigner. (I WISH the US would impose this rule on foreigners also so we would all be on an equal playing ground.) The co-signer must be Kuwaiti and he/she must have a current job. My friends who are x-ministers/undersecretaries (whose retirement payments are more than most people's normal salaries) can not co-sign because they don't have "jobs". (Bu Nawaf is my oldest friend. I've known him since I was 17 and he offered, but wasn't "allowed" to co-sign. Thank you, God, for blessing me with people like him in my life. I never forget to be grateful.)
So, I have to go begging my Kuwaiti friends to be a co-signer. It is so humiliating and degrading. I don't like to ask anyone for anything. Just thinking about it now is making my palms sweat. I don't want to put my friends in a position where they might have to say no, based on their own financial status (they may have loans or be co-signers for other people or whatever). I don't want it to be a relationship changer.
THIS is exactly why I have been renting cars for the past 5 years. I pay KD 230 a month so I don't have to degrade myself. Now I found a car I love and I might not be able to get it.
Mashallah, I make a good salary. I pay my bills in Kuwait. I don't have any loans. I insisted that my Kuwaiti credit card is secured (it is already paid for with a hold). The car I want, I can pay off in 4.5 months salary, yet that isn't good enough for me to get a loan.
WTF Kuwait? You want to play in a grown-up economy and this is how you conduct business?
If anyone knows of another way, please let me know.
28 January Update
Dudes! I AM an adult! Wow. If I knew min zamaan that I didn't need someone to kafeel me, then I would have bought a car way sooner.
Apparently, it depends on your salary. I'm not quite a VIP at KFH yet, but an IP. Who knew? No need for a co-signer.
Sidebar: I would like to thank Jaber, Bu Nawaf, Adel, and Ali for offering to co-sign before I even opened my mouth (I would rather shoot myself than to have to ask for something. I hate it. I've been working since I was 14 years old - no joke - and I take care of me). You know your friends when you need them. I love my friends and I thank GOD always for bringing them into my life.
And reader-dudes, thanks for your advice on Al-Soor. They are really helpful too and the payments were less than KFH. However, when you finance through Al-Soor, they put the car in THEIR name until you pay it off; unlike KFH which lets you have it in your name and therefore you can sell it immediately for cash if you want to. KFH has "Profit" as an Islamic bank (based on an interest rate). They can't take interest because that's haram, so they call it "profit" (based on an interest rate). Funny that, eh? Anyhooser, even if you pay off the car early, you still need to pay the profit margin. Al-Soor also charges an early pay-off fee (penalizing you for paying off the loan early); and I heard it was around 3%.
Al-Soor NEVER answers their phones. It took me an hour to even locate their number (2296-0300). You have to go there: They're located on the 5th floor of Jassem Tower on Soor Street. From what I have heard from co-workers, you can get all kinds of loans from them.
I've decided to go with KFH. They have been EXTREMELY good to me during the 16 years I have been banking with them. I've never had a glitch (MASHALLAH) and the customer service has been outstanding. They have been nothing but kind.
I didn't go to Commercial Facilities. I bought a crap Discovery from them years ago and I didn't like the service there. I can't tell you about their current offerings/service.
In a few days, Inshallah.......
UPDATE: I am closing this post for comments. I am getting spammed by too many loan companies and that's not what this is about.