Archive for the ‘Budgets & Money Management’ Category

Bank Fee Ninjas — the Assassins of the ATM

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013

“The fiendish Fee Ninjas, lurking in the fine print, hiding in the terms and conditions, striking your wallet with lethal precision. These faceless money-killers are stealthy and silent, and you never see them…
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Budgeting for a New Car Loan

Monday, August 13th, 2012

Everyone would like to keep their cars forever, but they eventually come to the end of their useable lifespan. Owners of cars that are more than 10 years old may want to take a look around to finance a new car now, while prices are still relatively low, as they are now starting to rise. In addition, car incentives are starting to disappear and with a strengthening economy, the deals may be pulled back even further as new car demand outmatches supply.  For most people a new car means getting financing, but that’s not always the case. Here are a few ways to save some money on financing so that you can get more for your money.

Where Should You Get a Loan?

It may seem strange, but a car dealership is probably the worst place to get financing for a new car. Not only are they experts at negotiating you away from a better deal, but they also act as middlemen – getting paid for that service as well. The true lenders are often banks and . These places can offer you a far better deal as they are not interested in selling you a car, simply financing it for the best terms.

How Much Should You Spend?

The second most expensive item to own and maintain, after your house, is your car. The cost to finance a new car is just part of the cost, though. When you’re creating a budget to understand how much you have to spend, don’t forget to factor in extra for insurance, gas, and emergency repairs.  Instead of spending all your money on the most car you can buy, get one beneath your budget and you will have extra for the other costs of ownership. Consider buying a certified pre-owned car if you don’t care whether you have that new car smell or not, and want to let someone else take the depreciation for driving it off the sales lot.

How is My Credit Score Involved?

Like any loan, a lender will to determine the interest rate to offer you for the new car loan. If your credit is shaky, the interest rate goes up. If you haven’t checked your credit report and score out ahead of time, you may end up with a nasty surprise. By contacting the credit bureaus for your free credit report, you can dispute errors on the report long before a creditor uses it to charge you a hyped up interest rate or deny you a loan all together.

Is Cash Really King?

Of course, if you just need a used car that can take you from point A to point B, then you may end up spending less than $5,000 to finance your ride. The truth is that such small amounts aren’t seen as viable loans by many lenders and so they increase the interest rates to make more money on them. This does absolutely nothing for you, other than to force you to pay more. Thus, for any small amount you want to spend, try to finance it with cash instead and save yourself money from the very start.

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