I was fortunate to be able to buy my '11 with cash, so no payments. Been out of work for a year, now, and would have had to sell the car a long time ago if I had payments.
Anyway, for a good inexpensive car, look into taking a trip out west after you sell yours. Fox Mustangs, for instance, can be had for $2000 and up around here (SF Bay Area). Rust is a non-issue out here, except for rare instances, so you can get very solid cars. Heck, you can find beater '60s Mustangs for under $10k pretty easily.
Hope things improve for you soon!