Category Archives: Tips & Insights

7 Steps to Buy Your First Motorcycle

You’re new to motorcycles. You’ve only driven a bike a few times, but when you did, it was exhilarating. You can’t wait to own a motorcycle of your own and now, you’re finally ready. But is buying a motorcycle the same as buying a car? Where do you start? We may have “auto” in our name, but we know motorcycles, too. Follow these seven steps to successfully (and safely) buy your first motorcycle.

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How to Buy a Motorcycle

1. Learn how to ride.

It doesn’t make much sense to buy a car if you don’t know how to drive. The same can be said for buying a motorcycle. Plus, some states require official motorcycle training in order for you to get a bike license.

It doesn’t matter whether you have a driver’s license or not, or how long you’ve driven a car. Driving a motorcycle requires different skills than driving a car. Motorcycling is equal parts fun and dangerous. Completing a motorcycle training course will help you gain the skills you need to maximize the fun part and minimize the dangerous part.

A course will also give you the opportunity to try out different bike styles and connect with people in the industry who can give you pointers on how to buy a motorcycle in your area and where to find the best deal.

Start with the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. It’s an internationally recognized rider training program and can connect you with courses near you.

2. Decide between a dealer or private seller, new or used.

So, you learned how to ride and you passed a motorcycle training course. Congratulations! Are you comfortable buying a motorcycle from a private seller, or would you rather buy through an official dealer?

Where you’re comfortable buying a bike will also play into whether you’re going to buy a new or used motorcycle. Dealers are likely to have both types of bikes in-stock. Go with a private seller and you’ll be buying used. Consider these pros and cons.

Buying a New Motorcycle vs. a Used Motorcycle
New Motorcycle Used Motorcycle
Price More expensive Less expensive
Condition Perfect, plus has the latest features; probably comes with a warranty May need some service and could be missing latest technology; no warranty
Experience A reliable dealer has reviews, a website, and you can verify their business history and the bike history You can’t be sure who you’re buying the bike from or where the bike has been if you purchase from a private seller, and you may be uncomfortable meeting a stranger

3. Finance the motorcycle.

Once you know whether you plan on buying a new or used motorcycle from a dealer, or a used motorcycle from a private seller, you’ll want to secure financing. This part is pretty similar to buying a car! Getting pre-approved for financing beforehand has many advantages. As NerdWallet notes:

  • You’ll be made aware of credit problems ahead of time (and potentially fix them).
  • You can play with the loan terms and pick the terms that fit your needs.
  • You can show the salesperson that you’re an informed and serious buyer.
  • Pre-approval strengthens your negotiating power.
  • Pre-approval could encourage a dealer to counter with a lower interest rate.

But don’t rev your engine for the first motorcycle loan option that comes your way. Compare all of the financing options available to you using a service like myAutoloan. Fill out one application and we’ll present you with up to four motorcycle financing options so you can select your best rate.

4. Get motorcycle insurance quotes.

Just like you need auto insurance to stay legal when driving a car, you also need motorcycle insurance when you drive a motorcycle. Get insurance quotes beforehand to see how rates vary by insurance company and motorcycle type. Your financing company will probably require that you buy a certain amount of insurance, too.

Motorcycle insurance costs can vary greatly depending on the type of bike and its accessories. You might be looking at two bikes that have the same sticker price, but one costs hundreds of dollars more to insure each year. An insurance quote can help you avoid surprises and help you make a good buying decision. Start with a quote from one of our insurance partners.

5. Browse bikes, but don’t expect a test drive.

Go online or to the dealer of your choice to start browsing bikes. Unlike buying a car, motorcycle test drives are not standard. There are far too many safety and insurance concerns.

If you’re an experienced rider with the driver’s license endorsement and training to back it up, you can probably schedule/request a test drive at a larger dealership like Harley-Davidson or Kawasaki. But you might encounter some roadblocks as a new rider. Your best bet is to research demo days in your area and sign up for ride time. You can also attend motorcycle rallies, shows, and races, as most major manufacturers will send demo fleets to these events.

6. Buy the right safety gear.

There’s tons of steel, glass, and plastic surrounding you when you drive a car. If you collide with something, an airbag will go off to cushion the impact. A motorcycle has none of these safety features. There’s nothing but your skin between the road and your organs. Protect your body with the right safety gear.

Best Beginner Motorcycles recommends that all new riders start with at least a motorcycle helmet, leather motorcycle gloves, a motorcycle jacket, motorcycle boots, and motorcycle pants. The Motorcycle Legal Foundation recommends the same, but also additional safety gear like body armor, knee guards, and hearing protection. Check out both websites for thorough recommendations when buying motorcycle gear.

7. Buy a motorcycle!

You learned how to ride, found the bike you want, and secured motorcycle financing. You’re ready to grab your safety gear and buy your first motorcycle. So, do it! Enjoy the open road and listen to Laurence Fishburne when he says, “On a motorcycle, you can’t really think about more than where you are. There’s a freedom that comes with that – from stress, worry, sweating the small stuff.”

When to get an Auto Refinance Loan

You have no doubt heard of auto loan refinancing before. Or simply an auto refinance loan. The term “refinance” actually refers to a financial situation wherein a borrower finds financing to pay off an existing car loan.  Refinance loans are most often used in home buying.  In fact, refinancing is one of the most popular methods of getting less expensive financing for a home loan.  The reason is that rates change and when you can refinance and save money, it’s a smart thing to do.  This applies to auto refinancing as well.

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With auto refinance, many borrowers have gotten a long at the dealership.  Time passes and rates change and the possibility of saving thousands of dollars may exist.  Auto refinance is basically paying off one loan with a new loan.  The goal of auto refinance is to allow the borrower to save by reducing the monthly loan obligations.  And as such, it is one of the best kept secrets in the financing industry that is so easy to obtain a free look and comparison of your current loan amount.   For years now, people have refinancing their homes and saving thousands of dollars.  

However, the practice of refinancing car loans has not been publicized or communicated as much.  Why?  Perhaps the reason is that auto loans generally behave differently from home loans and people are naturally skeptical about new methods of financing.  Regardless, auto refinance is still a good choice, provided that you do a bit of checking out options.  One option is to use a site that actually give you a choice between different loan offers.  A site that shows you in a secure and confidential manner what other lenders would be willing to refinance your existing car loan for.  A site like myAutoloan.com.

Auto Refinance Loan

If you obtained your auto loan from the dealership, chances are that you can save money by looking at a refinance loan.  Interest rates fluctuate all that time and knowing that the dealer may have marked the APR a bit means that you might save by reducing the APR terms of the loan.  Auto Lending Rates and Mortgage rates tend to move with interest rates.  Therefore, as interest rates change so do the refinancing rates change.  Changing finance rates typically mean all financing rates change as well and thus there is the opportunity to save with a reduced monthly payment.  To check out how monthly rates can change use a rate calculator to get an idea of monthly payments with a new rate. 

Only few people really understand the time value of money.  Keep in mind that the longer you pay for a loan, the bigger amount of money you actually spend for it.  Thus, by the end of the loan period, you could have paid more money on interest than on the principal.  This is why auto refinance is important as it is one of the few methods that could help you minimize loan costs and maximize your savings.

Who can benefit from Auto Refinance?

Almost anyone with a loan to his name can benefit from auto refinance.  Even car buyers with bad credit can obtain auto refinance as a way for them to lower the overall costs of a car loan. 

Let’s say, for instance, you make an auto loan for $16,500 on a new Honda Accord.  You don’t have very good credit because of a few rough roads in your journey.  It happens – something bad things happen to good people.  You decide to move forward and buy the car and you agree to make payments with an interest rate of 21% APR.  Now you make on time payments for 4 to 6 months and your credit score improves and you look into getting an auto refinance loan.    

If for example, you move forward and apply at myAutoloan.com and get up to 4 offers from credible lenders.  Because your payments have been on time your ability and qualifications are attractive to the lenders, the offers vary in rate and payments.  However, this time, you decide to accept a loan rate of 6% APR.  Your current monthly payment is $446 which gives you total interest charges of $10,283 at the end of your loan period. Your auto refinance loan offers you a monthly payment of $319 with total interest charges of $2,639. Thus, by refinancing, you can save up to $7,600.

Whether you have bad or perfect credit the possibility of you saving money with a refinance auto loan is real.  Check out your costs and look into a no obligation auto refinance loan today.  Good luck and good hunting!

How to Find Bad Credit Motorcycle Loans

If your credit score falls between 350 and 650, you might have “bad” credit. But that shouldn’t stop you from getting the transportation you want and need. Learn how to find a bad credit motorcycle loan, with myAutoloan.

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1. Double check your credit.

You might think you have “bad” credit when you really don’t! Or, your credit history could contain inaccurate information that’s bringing down your score. Double check your credit score to make sure you know what you’re dealing with. Try one of our partners, FreeScore360.com or FreeScoreConnect, to get your free credit score from all three bureaus.

If you’re only a few points away from hitting 700, you might want to wait and improve your score so you can secure better loan terms. You can’t always wait when it comes to having transportation, though. You can still get motorcycle loan with bad credit—it just might take some extra work.

2. Save up for a larger down payment.

The more money you can pay up front, the less money you’ll need to borrow and the more likely it is that you’ll be approved for financing. Lenders will view you as less risky and you might be able to secure a lower interest rate for your loan. A bigger down payment can help lower your monthly payment and total amount paid, too.

3. Find a co-signer.

Getting a co-signer is one of the best ways to help secure a car loan with little to no credit, and the same can be said for a motorcycle loan. A co-signer reduces risk for the lender. If you aren’t able to make your loan payments for any reason, the cosigner is expected to do so. Co-signers are additional assurance that the loan will be repaid. A co-signer can be a friend, spouse, parent, or other family member. Keep in mind that there are some situations where you don’t want someone to cosign a loan with you.

4. Persuade with proof.

Maybe your credit score took a hit when you were laid off and had unexpected medical expenses. You recovered and found a new job, but your credit score hasn’t bounced back yet. Explain your situation to the lender. If you’ve had loans in the past that you’ve paid off, bring that paperwork to the table. Provide proof of current employment, regular bill payments, and anything else that could show a lender you’re equipped to make on-time payments on a motorcycle loan.

Here are some ideas for documents that might help your case:

  • Tax returns
  • Bank statements
  • Pay stub, W-2, or other proof of income
  • Recommendation letter from landlord

5. Apply for a loan with the right lender.

How do you know if it’s “the right” lender? Not all lenders will work with people who have bad credit, which is one reason it’s important to check your credit before applying. There’s no use in applying for a motorcycle loan with a company that only provides financing to people with 700+ credit scores, or with one that only offers car loans. Applying in the right places will save you time, frustration, and a whole bunch of hard credit checks on your credit report.
myAutoloan is one of those “right” places. That’s why BadCredit.org ranks us number one on their list of Best Bad-Credit Motorcycle Loans for 2019. Here’s what they had to say:

Since it’s a lending network, you can receive multiple loan offers from a single application, making it easy to compare rates without having to apply with multiple lenders on your own.

See? Bad credit motorcycle financing is possible, especially with myAutoloan. We work to help everyone find the financing they need, including people with bad credit.

Car Loan & Car Buying Tips

Get the best price and best car loan on your next car

The auto finance world is changing and finding a competitive loan is getting a bit tricky.  If you’re like many people, you may find the car buying and car loan process confusing and intimidating.  Sometimes the dealer rep is a bit aggressive, and they may use car buying and car loan terms you’re not familiar with.  It just gets difficult to see what is the best for you so we put together a list of car buying tips that will help you make a smart choice when you start shopping.

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Understand Your Car Loan Options

We have all been to dealerships that often treat the financing of an auto loan as an afterthought.  They would much rather sell you a car first and then discuss the terms later.  Happens all the time.  

However, that approach puts you at a disadvantage and it often results in buyers agreeing to finance terms that aren’t right for them.  So here are some tips for getting the right car loan for you.

1. Determine Your Budget & Car Loan Payment Limits 

Before you apply for a car loan, it’s essential to know exactly how much you can afford to borrow, and what your monthly payments will be.  To make it easy to determine your budget, myAutoloan.com offers two convenient tools: A Car Loan Payment Calculator and a Car Loan Rate Calculator. By using these car loan calculators, you can easily determine what kind of car you can afford and have a good idea of the loan payments with your trade in.

2. Understand the Components of Your Car Loan

The key components of any car loan are:

  • Vehicle Price
  • Down Payment
  • Interest Rate
  • Length of Car Loan (Term)
  • Monthly Payment Amount
  • Fees: Taxes (government fees)

Frankly, understanding these components and knowing that only the Government Fees are not negotiable is important.  Everything is negotiable as it relates to the vehicle and add-ons.  For an overview of how to get a good deal, check out this finance guide – knowledge is power so check it out as you prepare to finance your car.  

Whether you get a car loan through myAutoloan.com or through a dealership, always review and understand each point on this list.  Don’t become so preoccupied with your interest rate or monthly car loan payment that you agree to a higher vehicle price or additional products such as service contracts or other “back-end” products that you may not want or need.

3. Shop around for a Car Loan Before Going to a Dealership

Car financing options are available to consumers – having a choice is a powerful thing.  At myAutoloan.com, you can get up to four loan offers from which you can choose the best one for you.  You are not limited to loans offered only through auto dealers.   Having your financing approved before you go to the dealer gives you more leverage when you start negotiating on the price of an auto you are interested in.  Being a “cash buyer” is a great way to keep your costs low on financing and negotiate a great price for the auto you want.

Today, there are many car loan sites offering a range of new and used car finance solutions.  Online car loan companies like myAutoloan.com offer some of the most competitive APR’s in the market, because their loans are not “marked-up” like dealership car financing.

4. Negotiate Your Price & Get Your Car

Okay—you’ve secured your car loan, done your research, and found a car that fits both your budget and your practical needs. It’s time to get yourself to a dealer, find the car you want and begin negotiating a sale price. Many auto dealerships have internet departments that will provide a price quote via e-mail.  Start by contacting a local dealer and request a price quote or, go directly to a local dealer’s website.

You’ll find it’s possible to save hundreds if not thousands of dollars from the MSRP before ever stepping foot into a dealership showroom.  Next, go to the dealership, take a test ride, with your financing already taken care of you can then drive home in your next new or used car!  

By using these resources mentioned above, you can and will find competitive financing and save on the car that you decide upon.  Good luck and happy shopping.

4 Ways to Feel More Confident Buying a Car

Buying a new lawnmower. Buying groceries. Even buying new curtains. There are some things in life you’re confident about purchasing. But buying a new car?

Most consumers are not confident when it comes to understanding the purchasing process, finds a recently released study from Capital One. And few folks feel like they’re getting a good deal when buying a car.

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Capital One’s survey of 1,000 U.S. adults found:

  • Only 20% of consumers feel sure of themselves when buying a car.
  • Even fewer respondents (16%) feel like they’re “a boss” when it comes to negotiating.
  • And just 6% of consumers think car buying is a transparent process.

When it comes to getting the best price, most people feel like they just can’t hit the mark. Capital One reported that:

  • 62% of consumers feel they didn’t get the best price on their last car.
  • Yet, 47% of consumers noted “finding a deal” as the most important part of the car buying process.

So, what can you do to feel just as confident about buying a car as buying groceries? myAutoloan has the info you need (and a free eBook about the auto buying and financing process).

Know what kind of vehicle you want to buy.

Knowledge is power. Start with a plan! Before you head to the dealership, research the make, model, and style of vehicle you want to buy. The information available to you online is nearly limitless.

Think about the features that are most important to you in a car, like safety, storage, tech compatibility, and gas mileage.

Make a list with three columns: your “must-haves,” “nice-to-haves,” and “can-live-without” features. This foundation can help you feel surer of yourself when you walk into a dealership. You won’t be swayed by flashy marketing or dealer inventory!

Bring insurance and vehicle information with you when shopping.

Bring your research to the dealership with you, just like you would go to the grocery store with a list, coupons, and maybe the week’s meal plan.

Your research includes your feature list, some potential makes and models to test drive, and yes—car insurance estimates!

“Even the savviest car shoppers often forget to estimate car insurance costs before buying,” notes USA Today.

But the type of car you drive is one of the most important factors in determining the cost of your car insurance. Even if you estimate potential fuel and maintenance costs, you need to evaluate the price of car insurance to know the long-term cost of owning a car. The same driver could end up paying hundreds of dollars more depending on the vehicle.

Read up on basic negotiating techniques.

Only 16% of respondents in Capital One’s survey reported feeling like “a boss” when it comes to negotiating, yet 82% believe negotiating price is still necessary.

Here, we have two things to say: 1) Negotiating is a necessary evil, and 2) The internet is your friend! Check out NerdWallet’s car negotiating secrets for people who hate haggling or Forbes’ punch list of good tactics to use to lower the price of a car.

Recurring themes include:

  • Knowing your numbers and the real price of a car.
  • Timing your purchase based on the day of the month and the weather.
  • Securing auto financing ahead of time.

Get pre-qualified for financing before going to the dealership.

Securing auto financing beforehand is one of the best ways to make the car buying process smoother. It also takes control away from the dealership and puts it in your hands. But buyer beware! The dealer will likely claim that they can beat your other financing deal. They’ll do this by lowering your monthly payments but increasing your term, the sales price, or the interest rate (APR). Focus solely on your monthly payment amount and you could overlook an increase elsewhere, then end up paying more for the car or auto loan. Know your numbers, and you won’t fall prey to this trick.

You can feel more confident about buying a car, and you can do so today. Prequalify for auto financing now!