Category Archives: Tips & Insights

10 Telltale Signs It’s Time to Buy a New Car

You vowed to drive ol’ Bessy until her bumpers rusted and her wheels fell off, but after your last visit to the mechanic…you’re not so sure any more. When is it no longer economical to pay for auto repairs? When is it really time to buy a new car? Watch for these 10 signs and you’ll know!

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Consider buying a new car when…

1. Your safety is at risk. This is the most obvious sign it’s time to buy a new car. Anything can happen on the road. If your car isn’t properly equipped to handle it, you and your family are at risk. The problem could be with your airbags, seat belts, brakes, engine, or other essential part of the car. Wherever the problem stems from, it’s time to buy a new car if you fear your car will break down and leave you stranded at a moment’s notice.

2. Repair costs are getting out of hand. It’s usually cheaper to keep fixing up an old car rather than buy a new one–until it isn’t. Think about the math for a second. In most cases, it doesn’t make sense to spend $3,000 to repair a car with a Kelley Blue Book value of $2,000.

Consider how long your next pricy repair will extend the life of your vehicle. If it’ll add years to its lifespan, it might be a good investment. If you’ve been paying for the same repair every few months, be honest with yourself about the reliability of your ride. How much is the car really worth compared to the price of the repair?

3. The parts are expensive or difficult to find. Unless you’re restoring a classic or antique car, your car parts shouldn’t be too difficult to track down. If you find yourself relying on friends, rental cars, or public transportation for weeks at a time while waiting for the right part to arrive, the repair may not be worth your time or money. Time to buy a new car.

4. Your car doesn’t pass emissions. Some older model cars do not have the “drive clean” technologies they need to pass state smog and emissions requirements. This equipment comes standard on newer model vehicles, improving the tailpipe emissions and preventing harmful damage to the environment. Depending on the age of your vehicle and your state laws, you could be required to spend money on expensive technology to A) bring your emissions up to code so you can B) get your license plate and tags renewed!

5. Breakdowns are becoming a way of life. Car troubles should not cause you to consistently be late for work or miss out on important events with friends and family. If it’s not due to minor troubles (like a flat tire or dead battery), consistent breakdowns are a sure sign it’s time to buy a new car.

6. It doesn’t match your lifestyle. You’ve got three kids, two dogs, a schedule full of activities…and a 4-door sedan. Cramped? We thought so. There are plenty of lifestyle changes that could cause you to re-evaluate your current car. Perhaps you take a job across town and need a car with better MPG; your kids move out and you no longer need a spacious minivan; you start a career as a real estate agent and need a nicer vehicle to escort clients; or you’re welcoming a new family member and need room for a baby car seat!

7. You spend big at the pump. Are you at the gas station more than twice a week? Does the cashier know you by name? Older cars are typically less fuel efficient than newer ones. New car technology comes out every year, with each new car model becoming a little more fuel efficient than the last. If you drive a car from the 1990’s, chances are you’re spending a lot more at the pump than your neighbor who drives a car from the 2000’s. Upgrading to a newer vehicle (even if it’s used) could help lower your overall operating costs and save at the pump.

8. Your friends and family refuse to ride with you. This one might sound superficial, but hear us out. Do your loved ones always offer to drive or say, “Hey, we’ll meet you there!” If no one wants to ride shotgun with you, it might because the springs in your car seats poke through, the doors sound rickety, and you have a habit of showing up late due to “car problems.” Free rides are great. Dangerous rides? Not so great.

9. Your car makes you sad. American drivers spend an average of more than 17,600 minutes behind the wheel each year, according to a survey from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. That’s equivalent to seven, 40-hour work weeks at the office. If you’re spending 17,600 minutes every year in a car you can’t stand, it’s time to buy a new car. Your mental health and happiness will thank you!

10. You want one and you can afford it. With today’s resources, there’s almost always a way to get what you want, when you want it. myAutoloan is one of those resources. Calculate how much you could borrow with the myAutoloan loan amount calculator and apply for an auto loan online.

Nothing lasts forever, including your car. If all signs are pointing you in the direction of a new car, check out today’s new car loan rates and apply for a car loan today. myAutoloan will connect you with multiple auto loan offers in just minutes!

How to Skyrocket Your Car’s Resale Value

Selling your car is no easy task, but you don’t want to rush into the first offer you get. Follow these four easy steps to increase your car’s resale value. Then use your hard-earned cash to make a bigger down payment on your next car! Ready to drive?

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4 Simple Steps to Increase Your Car’s Value

1. Invest in easy repairs

Minor fixes can seriously increase the resale value of your car. Why? Because used car shoppers are looking for two things: a great deal and a reliable ride. A problem as small as a broken tail light could cause them to worry that there’s something much bigger going on, like an electrical issue. Don’t give them a reason to walk away. Give them peace of mind right out of the gate by taking care of minor fixes, like:

  • Illuminated dashboard lights
  • Cracked windshield
  • Broken windshield wipers
  • Low windshield wiper fluid
  • Low coolant
  • Broken interior/exterior light bulbs
  • Squeaky brakes
  • Overdue oil change
  • Small dents, dings and scratches
  • Flat or leaking tire
  • Noticeably weak car battery

“The value of a ‘mid-range’ car can be increased by $2,000 or more when selling it privately by just sprucing it up and making minor, easy repairs,” says Lauren Fix, an auto care expert for the Car Care Council.

Whatever you do, keep the receipts and records for any service performed. Being able to brag about new brake pads, tires, or windshield wipers can help you close the deal faster, and for more money.

2. Take care of open recalls

More than 47 million vehicles that people are driving, buying, or selling in the U.S. have at least one unfixed safety recall, reports CarFax. Your car could be one of them and you don’t even know it!

Taking care of open vehicle recalls is free and can set you apart from other people selling used cars, especially used car dealers. That’s because there are no federal laws banning dealers from selling used cars with safety recalls that have not been addressed.

Enter your VIN on to see if there are any open safety recalls for your vehicle. Recall repairs are free and covered by the car’s manufacturer at no charge, regardless of whether or not you bought the vehicle new. While it’s certainly not required to fix an open recall in order to sell a used car, it shows a potential buyer that you care and it may increase your car’s resale value more than you know.

3. Clean it inside and out

First impressions matter, especially when you’re trying to sell a used car. Don’t scare off a potential buyer with strange smells, fast food bags, or stained upholstery. A little cleaning can go a long way in increasing your car’s resale value! By how much?

“You could probably negotiate an extra $300 to $500 if it’s properly cleaned,” says Alec Gutierrez of Kelly Blue Book.

At a minimum, you’ll want to:

  • Wax on, wax off: Refresh a faded paint job with a good wax and polish.
  • Shine headlight covers: Many used cars have dingy plastic headlight covers. Make your headlight covers bright and shiny with a special headlight cleaning product.
  • Shine the wheels: Clean the dirt, dust, and grime out of your wheel rims. Apply a tire shine spray to the tire sidewalls to make your wheels look luxurious and new!
  • Wash the floor mats: If you can, shampoo the floor mats to get rid of any stains or smells. If you’re questioning their condition, you may be better off replacing them. A new 4-piece set on Amazon costs around $50.
  • Clean the interior: Vacuum every nook and cranny, clean the glass, and clean the fabric/leather. Pay special attention to the area around the driver’s seat, as this is where your potential buyer will get a feel for your ride!

4. Prep your paperwork

A long track record of regular services can seal the deal with a potential buyer and increase the overall value of your car.

If you don’t have one already, put together a folder of your car’s maintenance records. Can’t find them? Call your mechanic or the various auto repair shops you’ve visited. There’s a good chance they have your service records on file.

“Besides providing evidence, an orderly folder packed with repair and maintenance records shows you really cared about your car and that’s what a potential owner wants to know,” says CNN.

You can also print out a free vehicle history report on CarFax. Potential buyers will probably do the same, so why not save them a step? This report contains information about the vehicle’s registration, odometer readings, total loss accident history, recall information, vehicle usage, and whether there’s ever been any frame/structural damage.

Sell your used car!

Keep in mind that there’s only so much you can increase your car’s value. Some factors are out of your control, like the used car market in your city, the vehicle’s mileage, the time of year, etc. Run your make, model, and zip code through TrueCar to get an idea of how much similar cars are selling for in your area. Then get your ride ready to sell and start preparing to buy your new car! After all that hard work, you certainly deserve it. Apply through myAutoloan and compare up to four auto loans in minutes.


Saving Money With An Online Vehicle Loan

As we all know, the digital age has changed so many things for the better. You shop and compare prices for everything else online, so why not auto loans? If you’ve found it difficult to get a vehicle loan in your local market, try searching online where you can find several lenders willing to offer you a vehicle loan at an extremely affordable price. Online financing is now an accepted and safe practice that has changed the car-buying experience. You do not have to leave home to apply for auto loan financing via the web, however, you do need to look for a reputable lender or a site that provides multiple quotes before you apply for financing.

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What information do I need to apply for an auto loan online?

When you apply for an online vehicle financing loan, you will be required to provide limited details about the type of car you wish to purchase, as well as details of your personal financial situation. You do not have to have perfect credit to apply. Some sites only deal with poor credit individuals while others provide multiple offers for individuals across the full credit spectrum (poor to great credit). is one such company that has multiple lenders. They also provide multiple direct loan offers for you to compare. When shopping for financing online, look for tools and calculators on rates and monthly payments as well. Now that is the best of all financing options!

But my credit isn’t the best…

What if you have had some credit issues in the past? Not to worry because you will still be able to get multiple offers when you use a multi-lender website. As we all know, APRs vary from low rates for excellent credit, to higher rates for those who have had difficulties in the past. The best thing to do is to get multiple offers so that you can compare and select the rate and terms that work best for you.

Even with a less than perfect credit score, you should find a lender who specializes in vehicle loans for individuals who have had some bad luck in the past. There might also be a financing guide for you to review that can give you some ideas for obtaining the best car price and best loan offer after reviewing the information. If you work with a multi-lender platform website, you can get up to four quotes for you to review and select from. Based on your credit history, these specialized lenders will work with you to offer you the best rates they can.

What is the online auto loan application process like?

The process is pretty simple: Fill out the application with a few details, request a loan amount that you need for the purchase of your new or used car, and submit. You can get offers right away in some cases or in an hour at most. The good thing is that you can get more than one offer that allows you to compare and select. Choice is a pretty powerful thing – at, you get to select.

I’m ready to take control and make my choice!

If you take time to compare and use the various tools that are on the site, you can get a good handle on how to be in control when you go to the dealer. What’s also nice is that you can consider an auto refinance loan after about 6 months of on-time payments. This could help reduce your rate and payment. If you are able to make on-time car payments to the lender, it is very possible for you to save on the overall cost of your loan.

So, do what thousands of others are doing these days. Shop for online vehicle financing and see for yourself how quick and safe this process is and save some money on top of it all. Good luck and good loan hunting.

The Right Way to Handle an Upside Down Car Loan

Your car loan is “upside-down” when you owe more on your vehicle than it’s worth. This is also called being “underwater” or having negative equity. It’s an unfortunate situation to be in, but you’re not alone. Around 60% of people looking to trade-in their car face the same problem, says U.S. News & World Report.

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But, is trading in your car the right way to get out of an upside down car loan? The only way? We don’t think so. Check out our top tips for dealing with an upside down car loan and decide for yourself.

Am I upside down on my car loan?

First off, how do you know if you’re one of the many people with an upside down car loan and if so, by how much? Here’s how to tell:

  • Look up the trade-in value of your car. Kelley Blue Book is a great resource for this. Enter in your car’s make, model, mileage, and condition to see it’s trade-in value. For this example, let’s say your car’s trade-in value in $10,000.
  • Check the balance of your current car loan. Review your last loan statement or contact your lender. How much is the remaining balance of your car loan? If you have a $13,000 car loan remaining and the trade-in value of your car is $10,000, you’re upside down by $3,000.

How do you handle an upside down car loan?

You have a handful of options available to you, all with their own upsides and downsides. The right solution will depend on your situation and whether or not you want to keep driving your current vehicle.

Option 1: Keep your car until you have equity.

“Keep the car until you’re at a point where you have equity in the vehicle — where the loan balance has declined below the current market value of the vehicle,” recommends Greg McBride, chief financial analyst for Bankrate. “If you keep the car until the loan is paid off, there’s no risk you’re going to be upside down, because you don’t owe anything on the car.”

  • Upside: You could have equity to work with when you’re ready to buy a new car.
  • Downside: You can’t buy a new car right now. If your car has excessive wear and tear, your equity could be limited in the end.

Option 2: Sell your car to a private party.

If you don’t want to keep the car until your loan is paid down or paid off, you can try to sell it to a private party. Selling to a private party can often get you more money than if you traded it in at the dealership. Here’s the catch: you still have to come up with the funds to pay for the negative equity on your loan if you can’t convince the buyer to pay more than the car is worth. Very few buyers, if any, will be willing to do that.

  • Upside: You say “sayonara” to your car and car loan.
  • Downside: There’s no saying “sayonara” to your negative equity. You still have to come up with the cash to cover it. The amount will depend on how much you can make selling your car to a private party.

Option 3: Trade in your car and roll-over the current debt.

Let’s say you can’t wait another second to buy a new set of wheels. You can trade in your current car, drive off the lot in a new one, and roll your existing debt into a new car loan.

  • Upside: You get to drive a new car! Everyone loves that new car smell, right?!
  • Downside: Your old debt doesn’t disappear. It’s rolled into the purchase of the new car, leaving you even more upside down.

Option 4: Refinance your current car loan.

Review your current interest rate and loan term. If your car loan carries a high interest rate, it’ll take you longer to pay down the balance. That leaves you upside down, longer. If you can refinance the loan at a lower interest rate, you may be able to pay it off sooner and save more money in the long run. You could also look into refinancing with a shorter-term loan. Your monthly payments will be higher, but you’ll have your head above water sooner.

  • Upside: Refinancing your car loan can make paying it off more manageable and save you money in the long run.
  • Downside: Your monthly payments could increase depending on your circumstances and refinancing terms.

Apply to refinance through myAutoloan

You don’t have to keep gasping for air if you’re underwater on your car loan. There are a variety of roads you can take to alleviate the financial stress sooner, and myAutoloan can help with the right refinancing solution for you. You may be able to refinance your car loan for a shorter term or get a better interest rate so you can pay off your car loan faster. Explore your refinance options on myAutoloan to see how you can get out from under an upside down car loan today!

4 Key Ideas for Getting an Auto Loan

Shopping for a new car is mostly a pain – it is from my perspective anyway and over time, there are things that can be shared to make this process a lot easier. To start with, getting pre-approved is one of the best things you can do.  The “Why” is very obvious if you have ever spent 3 hours in the “Penalty Box” at a car dealership!  It’s all meant to wear you down and keep you invested in the “buying” process.  The loan process can seem like a daunting and difficult process but it is not.  I’ll share a few things that can make this easy.  Here are a few tips for getting a car loan the easy way.

  1. Know How Much You Want to Spend

If you already know what you have to spend, great! So many car buyers really don’t know until they get on the dealers’ lot. If you don’t have a budget set, list your monthly income after taxes and subtract all your monthly expenses. If you are trying to save, don’t forget to put that on the list as to how much you want to put back. Consider that if you end up with being able to afford $600 per month, that is could take away from your monthly savings. If you have annual expenses that come in once a year, just divide the total expense by 12 and add to your monthly worksheet. One more thing to consider – You will have some “new car costs” from your purchase so don’t forget to add insurance, registration, car maintenance and possible repairs to your list. Keep working with the numbers until they come in at a range that will make your car easy to afford.

2.  What Can you Afford

If you have done your due diligence, you are now close to understanding and deciding on a reasonable monthly car payment that will fit your budget. Now, with a payment amount in mind it is smart to utilize a car payment calculator to get an idea of a total dollar amount you can establish for your car purchase.  You can use auto loan calculators to get an idea of interest rates, monthly payments and total costs that you are able to afford.  You can choose if you want a 36, 48 or 60 month loan and it calculates all the above for your convenience.  Knowing this puts you in a much better position to work with the dealership and can help keep you out of the lengthy negotiations with the finance manager.

3. Get Pre-Approved

You can now take control of the auto financing process by getting preapproved for your auto loan before you ever step on the dealers’ lot. Getting multiple loan quotes is an outstanding way to be in charge of your loan process.  Go online and see who offers multiple loan quotes and apply.  This is the best way to get the best interest rates, best terms and be in control of the loan amount that you can afford.  Since most loan offers online are only good for up to 30 days, make sure you are ready to get out and find the auto you want.  Know that some offers have stipulations attached to them but if you use a lending platform, you can get real auto loan offers in real time and they are all good at franchised dealers.  The better your credit, the better the offers as the lenders will try to be a competitive as possible to earn your business.

4. Start Shopping

Now the fun part begins – shopping for your new wheels. Make sure you do your homework and do some research to find the autos that will fit your needs the best. Consider things like miles you drive, MPG, color and size of car that you want and any extra features that you are looking for. If you do your research up front, you are going to be in a great position to come out on top when you finalize all the details. By using these steps, you’ll be in a position to not only find the best auto financing, but the best value auto. Be prepared. Be smart. Success!