How to Win the Financial Battle Vs Your Automobile

Think in the Long Term (for Models)

Buy the car you want – but only after it is at least two years old, and three would be better. By doing this, you automatically save hundreds of thousands of dollars over your lifetime.

When I was 23, I wanted to buy a nice four-door sedan, and I was drawn to the Cadillac STS. The new model had a base price of more $50,000, and with any kind of little extras the sticker was almost $55,000. I was doing very well at a young age, but I wasn’t doing that well to blow 50 grand on a new car.

I was thumbing through my local paper (yes, this was before the Internet changed everything) and saw an ad for a 2½ year old Cadillac STS for $19,500. The car had less than 40,000 miles on it and came with an extended warranty to 90,000 miles. It was gorgeous, shiny and just serviced.

It was an attractive price since the first owner was eating the depreciation.

According to the average car will lose 11 percent of its value the second you roll it off the lot and an additional 15 percent to 20 percent the first year you own it. The second-year depreciation (loss) is another 15 percent, for a loss of at least 45 percent over the first two years.

Depreciation is usually calculated off of the base price, not the extras. This could be the sport package that raises the price $10,000 but only gives you $2,000 back after the first year or two. So it’s quite possible to find beautiful cars with manufacturer warranties still in place and pay 35 percent to 50 percent less than the first owner did when purchased new.

I drove that car for four years, had very few out-of-pocket repairs, and sold it for $3,500.

So what kind of deal could you get today? When I was young, one of the dream cars was a Ferrari Testarossa, and its price was around $200,000. You can buy one now for around $50,000, and most don’t have that many miles on them because they’re babied by the owners.

Think in the Short Term (for Loans)

If you finance your auto purchase, you can save a lot of money by keeping the term to no more than 36 months. This builds equity in the car faster and saves on interest.

This might be difficult because the monthly payment is higher than if you finance over six years, and it’s higher than a monthly lease. If you finance $25,000 at 5 percent interest for three years, your monthly payment will be $749.27, and your total payout will be $26,974. If you extend that loan out to six years, your monthly payment drops to $402.62, but your total payout rises to $28,989. That’s $2,015 more out of your pocket to own the car.

Assuming you buy the car with a small down payment, by financing it for six years, your loan pay-down is going at a much slower pace than the depreciation on the vehicle, creating an “underwater” situation on the car almost from the get-go. During the three-year program, you’re paying down the car faster than it’s depreciating, giving you options if you have to sell the vehicle.

If you truly can’t afford that three-year payment, take out a five-year option and send a little extra every month toward the principal to pay it off sooner.

Leasing a newer model looks attractive because the monthly payment is less, but you might not want to do that. I’ll explain why next post, when I offer several other ways to save loads of money when purchasing an automobile.

Believe it or not you might be better off buying your own car rather than funding your 401k or IRA!

Understanding How Credit Repair Really Works is Crucial to Your Financial Battle

What is Credit?

Credit means that you are using someone else’s money to pay for things. It also means that you are making a promise to repay the money to the person or company that loaned you the money.

Whenever a person applies for a loan, mortgage, a credit card or for any other purpose for which he needs to borrow funds from a lending agency, the agency will check the financial credit-worthiness of the person and based upon its assessment of the financial risk involved in the deal, the agency will decide upon the terms and conditions of granting credit. A positive assessment necessitates a sound financial background and a credit history with no bad remarks.

What is Credit Repair?

‘Credit repair’ is a process in which consumers with unfavorable credit histories attempt to re-establish their credit-worthiness. The process usually involves procuring a credit report from the rating agencies and then taking appropriate steps to address any apparent issues such as errors, omissions, misinformation, misreporting or misinterpretation. A consumer can then formally dispute those errors or issues which unjustly distort their financial healthiness and credit-worthiness. Various laws and regulations designed to ensure legal and fair undertaking of the credit repair process can then be utilized to formally and legally start the credit repair process.

Consumers are entitled to a copy of their credit report legally, if they have been denied a credit card or loan and if the information provided on the report is inaccurate, an investigation relating to true facts is necessary for a credit repair.

Why Repair Credit?

A consumer’s credit record significantly influences his future purchasing power and his eligibility of availing any credit facilities in the future. A good rating, or score, can insure a low interest rate and loans for longer term for various purposes like credit card balances, car or home loans. A poor rating makes a consumer vulnerable to finance companies charging exorbitant interest rates and imposing various unnecessary repayment and loan terms. Considering the stakes and the consequences involved, it is absolutely imperative for consumers to understand the importance of repairing their bad or low credit ratings.

The Safe and Legitimate Way to Repair Credit

Credit repair can only be achieved through financial discipline and hard work. Any easy way out of a poor credit history is undoubtedly tempting, but it may lead to further financial difficulties in the future.

If a poor credit history is due to circumstances beyond a consumer’s control, and they are able to somewhat make amends to their credit records after that time, then a creditor can be requested to upgrade credit rating because of a sense of customer loyalty.

Most creditors don’t trust the customers defaulting on their debts, so it may be very difficult to obtain new credit. But once a person is able to demonstrate continuing income stability and prompt payment patterns, his situation can improve in a period of two to three years. This way, even in the case of bankruptcy, a consumer is likely to be offered charge and credit cards within a year or two if maintaining a steady income.

What is most important is evaluating the financial situation. If one finds that they are unable to make at least the minimum payment on outstanding accounts, a contact should be made with the creditors. Many creditors will appreciate the willingness to pay and are most likely to help set up plans for repayment. Avoid making promises which cannot be kept as a small payment is preferable to a large payment that never arrives. Sometimes a small contact can be enough to reduce payments and forestall more severe measures.

The next step is consulting a credit counseling agency. These organizations are staffed with trained individuals experienced in the credit field. A distinction needs to be made between these and the commercial “credit repair” companies who claim that, for a fee, they will undertake credit repair.

No one can legally remove accurate and timely negative information from a credit report. But the law does allow one to request a reinvestigation of information in their file that may be inaccurate or incomplete. There is no charge for this. Everything a credit repair clinic will do can be done by a consumer themselves at little or no cost.

The most important factor in credit repair is recognizing the legitimate and viable options available, recognizing what the scams are, and differentiating between the two. A poor credit history can make it difficult to obtain additional lines of credit making consumers fall prey to many unethical programs that target consumers with less- than-perfect credit. There are no quick fixes in credit repair. Common sense tells you that a third party doesn’t know your credit history better than you. Through contacting credit bureaus, making your own corrections, consolidating your debts and budgeting, you can improve your own score. You don’t need to pay someone to fix it for you. It’s better to apply that money towards discharging your debt.

Summary

Understanding the basics of credit repair and knowing what exactly is needed in order to rebuild your credit history goes a long way to getting it resolved. However, you must be disciplined, find the right credit repair solution for you and not be tempted to fall back into debt.