Category Archives: Credit & Auto Loans

Getting a Car Loan?

Here are a few ideas to help you save money!

When you are looking to purchase a car, the one of the first things to do is apply for and get pre-approved.  That means looking at financing before you step on the dealers’ lot.  The loan process can seem challenging but it’s really much easier than you think. Here are a few ideas to assist you to get pre-approved for a car loan.

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1. Check Your Credit

When shopping for a car loan, check your credit report. The better your credit, the cheaper it is to borrow money.  With a higher credit score, you may be entitled to lower loan interest rates and APR%, and you may also qualify for lower auto insurance as well.  There are now free credit reports available just by going to any of the credit bureau’s online site and requesting one.  It is just that easy!

Review your credit report to look for unusual activity.  There are a number of companies that provide your credit score for free in addition to the bureaus – many credit card companies now provide them so just be aware.  Dispute errors such as incorrect balances or late payments on your credit report.  If you have a lower credit score and would like to give it a bit of a boost before car shopping, pay off credit card balances or smaller loans.  Be sure to make on time payments for all you credit balances.

If you have a low credit score don’t worry about it.  A low score won’t prevent you from getting car loan financing.  But depending on your score, you may end up paying a bit higher interest rate but it’s certainly not a deal breaker.  You do what you need to do to get your credit back in line.  If you have a low credit score and want to shoot for lower interest rates, take some time to improve your credit score, and make sure you have on time payments before you apply for the car loan.  You might also read a guide on auto financing – it can really help you understand the process and things that are important in obtaining a car loan.

2. Establish a Budget

Having a budget and knowing how much car you can afford is essential.  You want to be sure your car payment fits in line with your other financial goals.  If you don’t already have a budget, start with your monthly income after taxes and subtract your usual monthly expenses.  It’s easy to jot the expenses down so that you can easily come up with a total.  For bills that don’t come every month, such a credit card fee, take the yearly charge and divide it by 12.  Then add the result to your monthly budget.  If you’re worried you spend too much each month, find simple ways to whittle your budget down.

You’ll also want to plan ahead for new car expenses, such as auto registration, auto insurance, and regular car maintenance, such as oil changes and basic repairs.  If you purchase a new car many dealerships now provide free maintenance for the first 2 years or 25,000 miles.  Be sure to check that out when you shop.  By knowing your budget and what to expect, you can easily see how much room you have for a car payment.

3. What Can You Afford

Once you understand where you are financially, you can decide on a reasonable monthly car payment.  A good rule of thumb is to not spend more than 10% of your take-home income on car loan financing.  In other words, if you make $50,000 after taxes a year, you shouldn’t spend more than $500 per month on a car.  But depending on your budget, you might be better off with a lower payment so consider extending the length of your loan term.  It might work out that 72 months is better for you than 60 months of payments.  It’s important to try and understand how the number changes if you can afford a higher down payment.

With a possible payment in mind, you can use an auto loan calculator to figure out the largest loan you can afford.  Simply enter in the monthly payment you’d like, the interest rate, and the loan period.  Again you must be aware that making a larger down payment can reduce your monthly payment.  You can also use an auto loan calculator to break down a total loan amount into monthly payments.

You’ll also want to think about how long you’d like to pay off your loan.  Using a car loan estimator might be beneficial to you.  Car loan terms are normally three, four, five, or six years long.  With a longer loan period, you’ll have lower monthly payments.  But beware—a lengthy car loan term can have a negative effect on your finances.  First, you’ll spend more on the total price of the vehicle by paying more interest.  Second, you may be upside down on the loan for a larger chunk of time, meaning you owe more than the car is actually worth.  Knowing this actually helps you in determining how much to borrow and what type of auto you can afford.

4. Get Pre-approved – Real Offers

Before you ever set foot on a car lot, you’ll want to be pre-approved for a car loan. This can be done by using an online lending platform that permits you to see real loan offers that you can choose from.  As you research potential loan options, compare the terms, lengths of time, and interest rates to find the best deal.  A great place to shop for a car loan is at myAutoloan.com where you have a choice.

The loan with the best terms, interest rate, and loan amount will be the one you want to get.  Just know that pre-approved loans only last for a certain amount of time, usually around 30 days, so it’s best to get pre-approved when you’re nearly ready to shop for a car.  Note that most lenders will run a credit check – but know that multiple credit checks for an auto loan only count as one if within 14 days.  That’s right, keep your process within a two week time frame as you shop for the best car loan provider – that way all inquiries count as one.  Smart people shop for the best rates and credit bureaus know that.

Let me say that differently – when you apply to get pre-approved, up to four lenders evaluate your application and it’s possible to get four offers.  Now you get to decide who of these lenders is making you the best deal on APR% and terms.  They’ll present to you what interest rate you qualify for, and the maximum amount they will lend so you’ll know what you have to work with before you even walk into a dealership.  Selecting an offer from the myAutoloan.com lending platform means you do not have to go through the penalty box of car financing.  You are already approved and you know for how much you can go when dealing with the salesman at the dealership.  Depending on the car you buy, your cost of the car loan could be less than what you were pre-approved for.  You don’t have to use it all so it actually reduces your payment each month.

In most cases, if you are pre-approved, you shouldn’t have any problems getting a final loan.  It’s never a deal until it’s a done deal.

5. Go Shopping

Now you’re ready to look for a new ride.  Put in a little time for research, and find cars that are known to be reliable and fit into your budget.  

You’ll also want to consider size, color, gas mileage, and extra features.  Use resources like Consumer Reports to read reviews and get an idea of which cars may be best for you.

Once you have narrowed down the car you are interested in, investigate how much it’s worth so you aren’t accidentally duped.  myAutoloan.com can help you figure out the going rate for your ideal car.  Check out the free tools for rate and payment calculations.   After you’re armed with this information, compare prices at different dealerships in your area.  And don’t forget to check dealer incentives and rebates to get the best possible price.

By following these steps, you’ll be ready to make the best financial decision when getting a car loan.  Even if you aren’t ready to buy a car right now, it doesn’t hurt to be prepared. Good luck and happy shopping!

Can You Refinance Car with Bad Credit & Late Payments

Your credit score is a work in progress. It goes up, and then it goes down. Life always seems to get in the way of your next credit card, rent, or car payment. What if you could lower one of these bills, even a little bit? Would it help you catch up and stay ahead of the game? There might be a way you can refinance your auto loan despite bad credit and late payments. We’ll show you how.

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First, refresh your memory on what it means to refinance.

When you refinance, you essentially get a new loan to pay off the existing one. The new (refinanced) loan is a new contract between you and the lender.

Refinancing allows you to get a new loan with a different interest rate, term, and monthly payment. People refinance their auto loan for many reasons, but usually to get a more favorable interest rate and lower monthly payment.

Our goal is to help you refinance your auto loan, even with bad credit and late payments. If you can lower your monthly loan payments, you might find it easier to stay on top of them and save money in the long run.

Next, double check your credit score.

It may be higher than you think, or at least higher than when you first applied for a car loan. If so, you’re in for a pleasant surprise! This is also the time to look for discrepancies in your credit report. Make sure all of the information is correct, including accounts open/closed, judgements, and credit inquiries. Disputing any errors could give your credit the boost it needs to get beyond that “bad credit” label.

Get your credit scores and reports from all three credit bureaus within seconds.

Talk with your current lender.

If your credit score is higher than when you first applied for a car loan, call your current lender! This is a great time to ask them about refinancing, especially if you can prove that your credit has improved or your situation has changed for the better.

Like with most things in life, you never know unless you ask. And what do you have to lose? Lenders don’t like losing customers, since losing customers means they’ll also miss out on interest payments. They may work with you to modify your current loan or help you refinance, despite your credit or payment situation.

When you talk to your lender, ask if they’re going to run a hard credit check. Then be prepared to apply for refinancing elsewhere. Hard credit checks can lower your credit score by a few points, but you can avoid multiple “dings” by applying for auto refinancing within a short timeframe. The major reporting agencies roll multiple auto inquiries into one inquiry on a continuous 14-45 day cycle.

Or, turn to a company that understands you.

We believe that refinancing isn’t a luxury that’s reserved for people with perfect credit scores; however, this belief isn’t shared by everyone in the industry. It may not even be a belief that’s shared by your local bank.

You’ll save yourself time and frustration if you turn to a lender that works with everyone who wants financing and offers you options from the very beginning.

myAutoloan has a proven history of working with people who have bad credit. Just check out our customer reviews!

Direct Online Automobile Loan

Direct Car Loans: The Process

Taking out a car loan for the first time can feel overwhelming.  You might also feel some uneasiness if you are using the web to search for an auto loan.  It is different but it is also much simpler and less stressful than going to a dealership for financing to get a new car.  We will try to provide you with some more information about the process so that you see that this online process is easier and takes far less time than you might think.

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Evaluate Your Finances

With a direct from lender process for obtaining automobile financing, you can find opportunities available across the full financial credit spectrum. Still though, it is good to know what to expect.  Take a look at your credit score to get an idea of where you fall. Also, you should start considering how much of a loan you will need.  By searching online for cars in which you’re interested and figuring out how much money you can pay down on the vehicles will help you to determine how you want to proceed.  Keep in mind that while the process is designed to help you get an automobile loan, higher credit scores and a higher down payment can assist you in obtaining a higher priced vehicle.

Know that Opportunities Exist 

As you’re taking a look at your financial situation, you might start to feel as though you won’t qualify.  Remember that myAutoloan.com offers potential lenders for people in all different financial situations.  Even if you have a low credit scores, you can apply with us for a loan.  The point is it does not matter what your score is, we will have a lender that can help.   Be it excellent credit or damaged credit, we have an answer for you.  Knowing that opportunities exist for you to obtain an automobile loan, we sincerely hope that you will be encouraged to fill out the application and see how great a feeling it is to have a choice of lenders.

Review the Possibilities

You might think that you’ll get only one offer presented to you – that’s what happens at a dealership.  Fortunately, myAutoloan.com works to provide you with up to four direct loan offers from national lenders and specialty lenders willing to finance your car purchase.  Once the offers are presented to you online an within minutes, take the time to review the components – (rates, months, and APR%).  Thoroughly reading through each offer lets you know more about how to utilize the choices that are being presented.   Also, make a note of any questions that you have.  All of our lenders call to verify the application is from you and it gives them the chance to answer any questions that you might have.  Speaking with a direct loan representative to fully understand the loan offer is a smart decision.

Get Your Loan

A major benefit of an online lending platform like myAutoloan.com to finance your automobile loan is that you do not need to go through the dealership. You can actually go car shopping with your financing already in hand.  You just finalize the loan amount at the time of closing.  In a long term, you can save your valuable time by doing so.  Also, you can save money by using the online direct loan process.   When you get a car loan from the dealership, remember that the dealership has to make money too. You are likely to encounter fees that you wouldn’t if you were to take out a loan directly from one of our direct lenders.  Being directly connected with the lender in charge of the automobile loan gives you empowerment!  It’s very good thing to have when you are shopping for a new or used car.

Pay Your Loan

Once you have accepted an offer of financing from a direct lender, you will know the terms of the agreement and make the payment date any day of the month.  Opting for a direct auto loan is actually a great way to build up your credit score.  You might be working on bringing you score up or just building your score to improve your credit worthiness.  By paying back a loan, with on time payments, means that you’re adding to your credibility as a borrower. In addition to getting a new vehicle that you love, you also have the opportunity to improve your credit rating – It’s a great win for you!

Give us a try!  That’s also a smart move if you like choice!  Good luck and good hunting.

3 Key Advantages of Direct Car Finance

Are you looking for affordable car finance options?  Do you want to avoid dealer loans that have a high markup or added extra fees?  Learn 3 key advantages of direct to consumer auto loan financing and how it can save money in the long run.

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Do You Need a Car Loan?

Are you struggling to keep money in your pockets? Besides your food, clothing and rent, you might also have a myriad of other expenses to deal with.  All it takes is one natural disaster or accident to put you behind the eight ball.

Unfortunately, bad things happen to good people. And, you might have gotten more than your share of bad luck.  But, let’s say you need an automobile loan.  Most families have multiple cars to provide them with transportation for work and play.  What are your best options for vehicle financing?

Fortunately, if you want to finance a car, there is a site that makes the process very easy for you.  The site is myAutoloan.com.

Why Working With a Direct Lender is Smart

Most dealers have a captive audience.  Some people want to go the dealer for everything since that has been the process in the past. Dealerships figure that since you are looking at their cars, you will simply get financing from them too.  But why should you?  Dealerships charge higher prices because they cater to those who have no alternative.  Fortunately, direct to consumer car loan financing through a lending platform that has many lenders is a viable alternative.

1. Compare Car Financing Options

We are a direct to consumer lending platform that provides you with the opportunity to compare auto finance offers from up to four different lenders.  This way, you can select the best lender that best fits your needs.  Avoid the dealer for financing since you will not be able to compare rates and terms.

Gain real empowerment with a higher level of control over your new or used auto finance needs.  With more choices, you win.  You become an empowered consumer.  You have freedom of choice with our auto finance direct to consumer lending platform.

2. Up to 4 Loan Offers

Not all car loans are created equal.  With only one option from the dealer for a new or used car financing loan, you might feel stuck.  You need a car loan but you don’t want to agree to unfavorable terms or conditions.  Auto finance is an important commitment.  It will tie up a portion of your future earnings.  That is why you must find the best car loan that fits your budget.

With our direct loan lending platform, you could get up to 4 loan offers.  That should provide you with plenty of room to maneuver.  Choice is a wonderful thing – You can see what is available and select which is best for you.

We empower you with the means to get the transportation, you need.  How many people have perfect credit today?  There are so many groups trying to siphon off your funds; we understand that good people might have bad credit.  Our loans cover the full credit spectrum.

3. More Affordable Loans

Economics 101 teaches that those with a monopoly can charge higher prices.  The dealer has the advantage when you find the car you want to finance.  Why should he offer you cheap car financing when you are in a hurry to make the purchase and move on?

Many dealerships believe you won’t go anywhere else.  You might go to the dealer lot and figure you can get car maintenance and car financing in the same place.  But, that might be too costly, especially on the finance side of things.  When you have 4 different car loan offers, you get to choose!  What could be better than that?  You choose which lender is going to meet your needs best.  

Unlike the dealer, getting up to 4 direct financing offers allow you to select who you want to work with.   Since the lenders are competing for you business they know that they must be more efficient and provide competitive financing options. They must offer an affordable loan to seal the deal.  At myAutoloan.com, with our direct auto finance options, you are likely to find a more affordable loan and one that works best for you. If you want a cost-effective process, we offer it.  We are in 48 states and empower the consumer.

Cut out the middle man markup. Direct car financing on our lending platform provides you with car financing at an affordable price.  Don’t be afraid to try it yourself.  It’s easy and fast with no obligation.  Why not save some cash when you can choose the car loan that is best for you?  Try it. Get the best deal with our direct auto financing for new, used and even auto refinance loans.

When NOT to Cosign an Auto Loan

To cosign, or not to cosign. That is the question. While cosigning an auto loan for a friend or family member can help them get a car they might not be able to afford on their own, you could be taking on undue risk. As the cosigner, you’re agreeing to pay the amount due and perform all the agreements stated on the contract if the borrower fails to meet contractual obligations. You’re on the hook for the loan payments if the other person stops making them for any reason. Even if they die.

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As the cosigner, you’re essentially the loan company’s Plan B.

Sometimes, the risks of cosigning for someone don’t outweigh the rewards, even if the person is your [insert relationship here!]. Here’s when you should think twice about cosigning an auto loan.

Think twice about cosigning a loan when…

You’re planning on making a major purchase soon.

Considering renovating your home, buying an investment property, or purchasing anything that might require credit? Then be careful. Being a cosigner could ding your credit in two ways.

First, if the other person fails to make their auto loan payments on time, your credit could be damaged right along with theirs.

But let’s say they never miss an auto loan payment. There’s another risk to consider, too.

Cosigning an auto loan will increase your debt-to-income ratio, which is the percentage of your debt payments in relation to your income. Any auto loan you cosign for will show on your credit report, even if the financed car isn’t yours and you never get to drive it. New lenders will review your debt-to-income ratio when you apply for financing, and they might not be too excited when they learn you could be on the hook for someone else’s auto loan.

“Because you’re liable for [the loan’s] balance in the event of a default, being a cosigner can decrease your ability to get new credit,” says Money Crashers.

It doesn’t matter if the other person makes their payments on time. “Cosigning a loan can also lower your credit score because the amounts you owe makes up 30% of your FICO score,” adds Money Crashers.

According to Smart Assets, a debt-to-income ratio of 36% is generally accepted as good. The closer you get to 36%, the more your credit score could drop and the more hesitant a potential lender might be. Keep your debt-to-income ratio low for less stress and more credit opportunities.

Your relationship with the borrower is rocky.

You may feel tempted to cosign for a loved one to show them you care, to help them out of a tough time, or because you feel guilty for things that happened in the past. These feelings are completely normal and understandable.

Keep in mind, however, that cosigning a loan could make your relationship worse, not better. When you turn a personal relationship into a financial relationship, you put a lot of undue stress on the personal relationship.

“You’re putting your relationship in real jeopardy,” Megan McArdle, business and economics editor for The Atlantic, told NPR.

McArdle explains, “If you become this person’s primary creditor, which is what’s going to happen if they default, that really damages the relationship. And even if you don’t, you know, as Dave Ramsey, the financial guru, likes to say, Thanksgiving dinner tastes different when your father-in-law is asking – is looking at you across the table and wondering why you couldn’t pay off your car loan and yet you have a TV or whatever. Keeping those kinds of decisions outside the family, outside of relationships is usually better for everyone in the long run.”

There are libraries of information about the psychology of money, and especially around money and family. Don’t put your most important relationships at risk by cosigning a loan.

Remember that cosigning a loan means:

  • You’ll be responsible for the loan.
  • Your credit could take a hit.
  • You’ll have difficulty financing your own purchases.

Are these risks you’re ready to take?

You can help in another way.

Having a friend or family member cosign is one way many drivers are able to get car loans with little to no credit, but it’s not the only way. You can help a loved one get behind the wheel of a new or used car by:

  • Helping them build better credit. Can you help them set a budget, stick to it, and improve their own credit situation? It might not take as long as you think. Teach your loved one how to build their own credit and you’ll be doing them a favor for years to come.
  • Gifting them money for a bigger down payment. Making a bigger down payment means they’ll need to borrow less, and this could make a car loan easier to get with poor or no credit.
  • Comparing auto financing options. Their first option might not be the best financing option, especially if they’re trying to get a car loan with minimal credit. Different lenders offer different loan terms and interest rates. Encourage them to shop around. Another lender may not require a cosigner!

If you have a friend or family member asking you to cosign a loan with them, there’s a chance they simply haven’t done their research. Have they compared all available loan options? Have they researched how to qualify for an auto loan? We can help. Encourage your loved one to try myAutoloan, where we present applicants with up to four auto loan offers at once. We even work with applicants who have bad credit… which could help keep you out of a bad cosigning situation.