Maintenance Doesn’t Have to Break the Bank

Vehicle maintenance should be a planned expense for any car owner, but many people overspend at the mechanic shop. Being smart and proactive about your car’s maintenance could mean serious savings, both in overall cost and in preventing larger, more expensive, mechanical issues down the road.

The easiest way to save money on repairs is to actually do the preventative maintenance. Many people avoid things like oil changes, replacing filters, and tire rotation, but ignoring these simple and regular tasks could lead to much more costly and dangerous results.

Of course, doing these things yourself is the most cost-effective method, but for the less-handy, these repairs are relatively inexpensive. Further, because they are a planned and necessary task associated with owning a vehicle, setting money aside each month in anticipation of these upcoming costs is a great way to avoid feeling overwhelmed.

When working with a mechanic on other issues, there are three key ways to ensure you get the best deal and only spend on what you need. First, avoid accepting the first repair shop quote; shop around, get a few estimates – it could save you hundreds.

Second, don’t tell the mechanic what parts to replace. Often, parts simply need repair and not replacing, or the customer is incorrect about the cause of the issue. Some mechanics may replace the suggested part because they were asked to, but because it’s necessary – costing you extra cash.

Third, to avoid shady repair practices, ask for parts back when mechanics mention replacing it. Dishonest repair shops may scam drivers by charging for work that was not done or for repairs that were unnecessary.

Saving money in small ways can make a big impact. Being smart and proactive with repairs can potentially save you hundreds!

Recent Grads Credit Misconception

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College graduates face a plethora of obstacles in their post-education transition, and likely aren’t thinking about building credit as a big priority. That is, until good credit becomes a big necessity for grown-up milestones like buying a house, a car, and even getting an apartment.

Aside from a credit card or two, most recent graduates don’t have much of a credit history – a valuable component to building a good credit score.  Many believe that the car their parents co-signed to help them purchase during their college years will help to establish their credit worth; however, it will have minimal impact compared to establishing a payment history on the vehicle as the sole individual listed on the loan.

When faced with this common situation, one remedy for building credit is to refinance. Auto refinancing is a free and easy solution to list the recent graduate as sole borrower and start building that credit history.  A few often unknown or overlooked facts for recent grads interested in refinancing:

  1. Refinancing does not generate any additional fees nor are there any out-of-pocket expenses.
  2. Many lenders look favorably on individuals who have graduated from reputable institutions when determining approval criteria and lending rates.
  3. You can create an acceptable work history in as little as 6 months in post graduate employment.
  4. Refinancing often allows the borrow to skip one, two or even three payments in some cases.

If you or someone you know is a recent college graduate interested in building your credit score, refinancing your vehicle can be a free, easy way to start today.

Did you deal with a deceptive dealership?

Though financing is a very common practice for car buyers, the Federal Trade Commission indicates that auto financing through a dealership could mean that consumers become subject to deceptive and complicated practices.

According to The Associated Press, new car buyers can sometimes get so caught up with their new purchase that they overlook the importance of negotiating the interest rate, add-on services, and other costs that can significantly increase the loan amount, therefore making people pay much more overall for their vehicle.

A series of FTC-sponsored round table discussions revealed that auto financing through the dealership can include a “complicated, opaque process and potentially involve unfair or deceptive practices.” The end result can feature the consumer accepting terms and services he or she doesn’t want or need.

You can protect yourself from these potential bad practices by being aware and thorough when discussing auto loans with a dealership – read documents, ask questions, and find the small print.

When you’re ready to refinance, we’ll be here to help.

Why High Payments Don’t Have to Bog You Down

 

Many Americans currently paying off a car loan may realize that their payments are mostly going toward the interest rather than the actual cost of the car. Though many lenders and dealerships will offer car loans, some consumers are more concerned with having a new car than with the terms of their loan. Unfortunately, this is a common problem, but there is a real solution.

One solution is to get an auto loan refinanced in order to get a lower interest rate. This way, consumers  put money toward paying off the cost of their vehicle rather than paying toward interest. It is typically better to refinance sooner than later, as the interest on any loan accrues each day – therefore, getting a new loan early on can potentially save quite a bit of money.

Of course, there is one way to prevent paying too much in interest altogether: pay attention to loan terms. If there is both a high interest rate and a long term, this is a tell-tale sign that your loan amount will significantly exceed the value of your vehicle (LTV ratio).

Most Americans Can’t Afford Auto Repairs

Jill Cornfield, a retirement analyst for Bankrate, notes that “if you are human, have a pet, kids, a house or a place to live, something is going to happen that will cost you money.”

However, our changing economy, demographics, and spending patterns has left many Americans strapped for cash, and more have had to sacrifice proper car maintenance because they just don’t have the funds to pay for it.

AAA recently conducted a study that led to an alarming statistic – 60 percent of Americans don’t have enough savings to cover a $500-$1,000 unexpected expense, such as a brake malfunction or a new radiator.

Instead of worrying about such problems, those in need should consider auto loan refinancing as a way to lower their monthly payment. This would give them extra funds to put towards emergency situations such necessary repairs.

Additionally, purchasing a vehicle service contract, though a potentially higher upfront cost, could save money in the long run because they cover the expensive parts and repairs. This will reduce the potential for a vehicular issue to unwind a person financially.