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What to Do After You Refinance Your Auto Loan

11/08/2022 23:00
After you refinance your car, you’re done, right? Well, sort of. While refinancing your car loan is super easy, you want to make sure all of your i’s are dotted and all of your t’s are crossed. So let’s talk about refinancing and what you need to do after your car loan is refinancedHere’s what to do after you refinance your auto loan (and why you should refinance your car in the first place).What steps should you take after refinancing your car loan?After your car loan is refinanced, be sure to take the following steps.Step One: Keep Paying Your Original LoanYou want to keep making payments on your original loan until you are sure that your new lender has paid off your old loan. If you overpay on your old loan, they will refund you the difference (just be sure to keep track of what payments you have made). It’s always better to overpay rather than underpay, so continue until it is clear that all of the paperwork is completed.Step Two: Make Your Final PaymentDepending on who you refinance with, you may need to make the final payment to your old lender. Your new lender might handle this directly, just be sure that the original loan gets paid off in full.Step Three: Start Paying Your New LoanThe next step is to start making payments on your new loan. Setting up for autopay can help ensure that you make on time payments. Step Four: Check Your Credit ScoreWhen all is said and done, it’s a good idea to check on your credit score. Refinancing your car loan will cause a dip in your credit score, but it should only last a few months. But keeping an eye on your score is always a good idea.Why do people refinance auto loans?There are a few reasons why people may choose to refinance their car loans. But the main reason people refinance is to save money. Refinancing can get you a lower car loan APRWhen you refinance your car loan, you get to start fresh with a new car loan. That means a new car loan APR. There are a few reasons why you may qualify for a lower car loan APR:Their credit score has improvedThe market rates have improvedTheir debt to income ratio has improvedIf any of these apply to you, there is a good chance you may be able to secure a lower car loan APR, which can save you hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars.Refinancing allows you to change your repayment planIf you are looking to change your repayment plan, refinancing your car loan is the perfect way to do so. Lengthening your repayment term will reduce your monthly payments significantly (although you will end up paying more over the life of the loan since you will be paying interest for a longer time). Shortening your repayment term will increase your monthly payments but it will save you a lot of money in the long term. Depending on your situation, shortening or lengthening your repayment period might be a good idea.Refinancing allows you to add or remove a cosigner There are a number of reasons why you may have a cosigner on your loan. Maybe you bought a shared car with a loved one, or maybe you just needed their good credit score to give you an edge. But you are not able to simply remove a cosigner from an existing loan if your circumstances change. You see, lenders take a lot of factors into account when determining the best car loan APR to offer. And if there are two people cosigning they will look at both of their credit scores and financial histories. If part of that changes, the likelihood of repayment changes (in the eyes of the lender, anyway). Therefore refinancing is the only option to change this situation.On the other hand you may wish to add a cosigner to your loan. If a loved one has a better credit score than you they may be able to help you secure a better car loan APR. Or if you want to help a loved one build credit, adding them as a cosigner is a great way to do that. But whatever the reason is, refinancing is the best way to add or remove a cosigner.When can you refinance a car loan?You can refinance a car loan at any time. And you can refinance more than one time. But there are times when it makes more sense than others. Here are our top tips for when to refinance your car loan.Wait six months to a yearExperts recommend waiting six months to a year before refinancing a car loan. This will give your credit score some time to rebound before you start looking for a new car loan. It will also give you time to make full, consistent, on time payments on your existing loan, which will also help ensure you get the best rates possible. Wait until you will be offered a better APRIf you know that your credit score has not improved or that market rates have not improved, you may not be able to refinance effectively. While you can still refinance to change your repayment period or to add/remove a cosigner, it’s best to take the time to ensure you will get the best rates and terms possible. So before you refinance, take the following steps:Request a copy of your credit report and review for errorsMake it a priority to make consistent, full, on time payments to all of your lendersEnroll in autopay to ensure you don’t miss paymentsRequest higher credit limits to improve your credit utilization ratioDon’t wait until the end of your loanRefinancing will save you less and less money as time goes on. The closer you are to the end of your loan term, the less benefits you will see from refinancing. Refinancing when there are at least two years left on your loan will help maximize your savings.Those are the steps to take after you refinance your loan.Refinancing has a lot of benefits, so it’s worth pursuing if you suspect you might be overpaying. When all is said and done you can save a lot of money, but it’s important to follow up to be sure that your original loan gets paid off and that your credit score stays in good shape.Refinancing your car loan is especially easy when you use a company that specializes in car loan refinance, like Auto Approve. Contact us today to get started!GET A QUOTE IN 60 SECONDS
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How Long Does an Accident Stay on Your Record?

11/07/2022 23:00
There are a lot of costs associated with driving. Not only do you have car payments, maintenance, gas, and parking, but you also have the added expense of insurance. Your insurance rate is based on many factors, but one big factor in this number is your driving history.Getting into an accident can drastically affect the insurance rate you will have to pay. And if you are struggling with all of your car costs, this can really throw your finances for a loop.Here’s how long an accident stays on your record and how you can ensure an accident doesn’t derail your financial wellbeing.How long does an accident stay on your record?If you get into a car accident, it will stay on your driving record forever. But that doesn’t mean that it will affect your insurance rate forever. While the DMV will keep this information on file, insurance companies are only allowed to see the past seven years when determining what insurance rates they will offer. In general, an accident will affect your insurance rate for three to five years.Accidents and tickets will cause your rates to increase because insurance companies will see you as an increased risk. The more accidents and tickets you have, the more likely you are to file a claim (and the more likely they are to have to pay for you). In fact, insurance companies raise premium rates an average of 42% following an at-fault accident. If the accident is severe enough or involves drunk driving, your insurance company might choose to deny your renewal altogether. What about accidents where you're not at fault? This depends a lot from state to state, and your rate might increase even if the accident was no fault of your own. Some states, like California, make it illegal for insurers to raise your rates after a no fault accident, but this is not always the case.Some insurance policies will have accident forgiveness. This coverage means that if you get in an at-fault accident, your insurance will not increase (the first time, anyway). There are different eligibility requirements for each insurer, and some may not even offer accident forgiveness. But if they do, it’s worth looking into. Be aware however that if your current policy has accident forgiveness and you switch insurers, your accident may affect the rates you are offered by new insurers. In other words, your accident forgiveness doesn’t transfer.How can I lower car insurance after an accident?A car accident can cause a sharp raise in your insurance rates. But there are certain measures you can take to help lower your car insurance. Car insurance discounts can be broken down into five categories: Driver Status DiscountsDriver Safety DiscountsPolicy DiscountsVehicle DiscountsUsage DiscountsDriver Status DiscountsMany insurers offer discounts to drivers based on their age or profession. Some of the most common driver based discounts are:Young driver discounts: Discounted rates for drivers between the ages of 16 and 25 (discount rate varies)Military discounts: Discounted rates for active and retired military members–and sometimes their family members (8-15% discount)Student discounts: Discounted rates for high school and college students (5-25% discount)Professional discounts: Discounted rates for certain professional groups, such as teachers or healthcare workers (2-10% discount)Organizational discounts: Discounted rates for members of certain organizations or alumni groups (2-10% discount)Senior discounts: Discounted rates for drivers over the age of 55 (5-10% discount)Driver Safety DiscountsGood driving habits and practices can save consumers a lot of money. Being accident free is one of the most effective driver safety discounts, but if you have been in an accident there are other available safety discounts. These discounts will vary from insurer to insurer but some of the most popular ones include:Defensive driving discount: Taking a defensive driving course from a registered driving school can help reduce insurance costs (10-15% discount). If you are in an accident, participating in a defensive driving class can help minimize the price increase on your insurance policy.Low mileage and low usage discount: If you do not drive a lot and do not put a lot of miles on your car, you may be eligible for additional insurance savings. Driving less than 7500 miles per year can save you up to 20% on your insurance.Policy DiscountsThere may be specific discounts built into your policy that can help save you even more money.Bundling discount: If you bundle your car insurance with other insurance you have, such as renter’s insurance or homeowner’s insurance, you may be offered a discount (5-25% discount).Early signer discount: If you renew your policy before it expires you may be eligible for a small savings discount (typically around 3%).Pay in full discount: If you pay your yearly premium up front rather than in installments you may be offered an additional discount (5-10% discount).Loyalty discount: If you have been a repeat customer for several years your insurer may reward you with additional savings.Autopay discount: If you enroll in autopay you may be eligible for an additional discount.Vehicle DiscountSome features on your vehicle may make you eligible for additional car insurance savings. Having any of the following features can save you anywhere from 3% to 30% on your insurance.Anti-theft devicesAnti-lock brakesDaytime running lightsAdditionally you may be offered a discount if your car is new.Usage DiscountsMany insurers these days are using tech to track your driving habits, and this can lead to big savings. Allstate Drivewise, Progressive Snapshot, and Travelers IntelliDrive are just three of these programs. These companies give you a device that plugs into your diagnostic system and tracks different usage metrics such as speed, braking, mileage, time of day, and time spent driving. These companies boast savings of up to 30% on your insurance, but research indicates that the average savings is between 6-8%.How can I keep my car payments low?If your insurance increases after an accident, there are a number of things you can try to reduce your insurance payments. But you can also try to reduce your vehicle costs in other ways which can help ease the burden of an insurance increase. And one big way to do that is to lower your monthly car payments. There are two main ways you can do this. You can try talking to your lender and seeing if you can work something out, or you can refinance your car loan.Talk to Your Lender If you are in a tight spot, you may have luck simply calling your lender and explaining your situation. While they will not be able to amend your existing loan, they may help you defer a payment (or a few months of payments). They also may be able to lower your payments temporarily. This may give you the breathing room you need. But it’s important to note that you will almost certainly have to pay for interest on this in the long run, so it may not be very beneficial.Refinance your Car LoanA more effective way to lower your car payments and save money in the long run is to refinance your car loan. Car loan refinance is when you get a new car loan that will replace your existing loan. By finding a loan with a lower car loan APR and a different repayment plan, you can reduce your monthly car payments drastically. You may be eligible for a lower car loan APR if any of the following apply to you:Your credit score has improved since your initial financingThe market rates have decreased since your initial financingYour debt to income ratio has improved since your initial financingEven if you are not eligible for a lower APR, adjusting your repayment plan may help you cut your monthly payments. And if you have been in an accident and your insurance rates have increased, this might be exactly what you need. Let’s say your car payments were originally supposed to be paid off in 24 months. Your loan was for $20,000 with an 8% APR and your monthly payments are around $900. If you were to refinance to a 36 month repayment plan, your monthly payments would reduce to about $625, even with the same car loan APR. That is a huge savings every month that can really help you out of a tight spot. You will end up spending a bit more over the life of the loan since you will be paying interest over a longer period of time, but it might be worth it to have that extra breathing room.Having an accident can affect your insurance, but researching and participating in other insurance discounts can help minimize the damage.An accident can certainly create a kink in your finances, but refinancing your car loan is one way that you can free up some money. Contact Auto Approve today to see just how much money you could be saving every month!GET A QUOTE IN 60 SECONDS
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Is Buying Out a Car Lease a Good Idea?

11/03/2022 23:00
It’s no secret that buying a car right now is a little tricky. New car prices are sky high due to increased demand, limited supply, and inflation. So if you have a leased car, the thought has probably crossed your mind to just buy it. But is it really a good idea to buy out your car lease?Let’s talk about car lease buyouts and why they are a great option for many people.What is the best thing to do at the end of a car lease?Car leases are essentially long term rentals on your new car. Instead of shouldering the responsibility of buying a new car, you can simply lease a car for a few years (typically 24 to 36 months). Leasing a new car is very popular for a number of reasons.You will have lower monthly payments as opposed to financingYou will not have to deal with selling your car when you want a new oneYou can get a new car every few years Your warranty will cover most repairs (and even some maintenance)You can maximize tax deductions as a business ownerBut it is very common for people to become attached to their leased car. They might feel torn at the end of their lease period as to what to do. When your car lease ends, you have a few different options. Trade your car in for a new leaseWhen you trade your car in, you are essentially starting over. You can pick a new car and new trim level, and you will negotiate your lease payments and terms.Return your carIf you no longer need a car, or you have another plan for buying a car, you may want to simply return your car. You will pay whatever fees are outlined in your agreement, and then you are done.Buy your carBuying your car at the end of the lease can make a lot of sense, and for many people it is the best option. These are just some of the benefits of a car lease buyout:You have an asset at the end of your payment periodYou can finally customize your carYou can save yourself the hassle of finding a new carYou can save moneyYou can sell your car privately and make a profitIt may surprise some that a lease buyout can save you money, but it’s true. When you return your leased car you are responsible for a host of fees, including:The Disposition Fee: This pays for your car to be cleaned and repaired in preparation for resale. Typical disposition fees run about $350.The Wear and Tear Fees: Slight wear is expected and factored into your monthly payments, but you will be responsible to pay for anything deemed excessive. The Mileage Fees: Car leases have limits to the amount of miles that you can put on the car per year, usually 10,000 or 12,000 miles per year. If you exceed that mileage you will be required to pay a fee per mile. These mileage fees vary, but they typically range between $.15-$.30 per mile. This can add up to a lot of money if you drive a lot. Even at a fee of $.20 per mile, a 4,000 mile mileage fee can run you $800.Let’s say all of these fees add up to $1200. That’s $1200 that you will simply be saying goodbye to if you return your car. But if you choose to buy your lease, you will not be required to pay those fees. If you are significantly over on your allotted mileage and/or have significant wear and tear, a car lease buyout might make good sense.How is lease buyout calculated?So how much do you pay exactly when you are buying out your car lease? The total buyout of your lease will consist of the following:The residual value of your car, as listed in your contractAny remaining payments (you can buy your leased car at any point in your lease)Any applicable feesSales taxResidual ValueThe residual value of your car is an estimate of how much your car will be worth when your lease is over. This is typically represented as a percentage of the car’s MSRP (usually between 45-60%). The residual value of your car will be listed in your contract, and is typically non-negotiable. Different dealers use different percentages, so it’s important to shop around when you are originally looking to lease. It’s very important to consider the residual value when you are deciding whether or not to purchase your lease. It’s worthwhile to compare the residual value to its value in the open market. Be sure to look at websites such as Kelley Blue Book and Edmunds to see how the residual value lines up. If your car’s residual value is much higher than what the car is actually worth, it’s probably not a good idea to buy it. On the other hand, if the residual value is much lower than the market value, it’s a good idea to purchase it. With the current vehicle shortage, many lease holders are able to turn a pretty substantial profit by purchasing their lease car and turning around to sell it privately.Remaining PaymentsIf you are buying your car at the end of your lease period, this doesn’t apply to you. But if you decide to buy your car before your lease period is up, you will still be responsible for any remaining payments.FeesYour contract will list out what additional fees you are responsible for, but you will most likely have to pay a purchase option charge. This is an additional fee of a few hundred dollars that will be added to the total you must pay. If you are financing your lease buyout, you can roll this amount into your financing agreement.TaxesYou will also be responsible for sales tax on the final purchase price of your lease. The amount will vary by state.How do you negotiate at the end of a lease buyout?If you have decided that a lease buyout is right for you, then you may be wondering how to negotiate a car lease buyout. Unfortunately you probably won’t be able to negotiate the buyout cost, as the residual value will be listed in your contract. But you can negotiate on your car lease buyout loan.When looking for financing, you want to shop around as much as you can. The dealer will almost certainly offer you some financing options, but dealers rarely have the best terms and rates. Securing your own financing beforehand will assure that you get the best terms and rates possible. Be sure to look at a mix of traditional banks, online lenders, and credit unions when searching for the best car lease buyout loan. Narrow your search down to four or five lenders that might be a good fit for you. Be sure to apply for all of those loans at roughly the same time. Credit bureaus allow for a fourteen day window where all hard inquiries will count as one hit on your credit score. You don’t want to space out your applications and have your credit score lowered unnecessarily.When your lease buyout loan offers start coming in, be sure to compare the following terms.Car loan APRRepayment periodCustomer service ratingsAdditional feesUsing a company that specializes in car loan buyouts can handle the comparison shopping for you. Auto Approve has relationships with lenders across the country and can help you apply for different loans and select the buyout loan that is right for you. Once you decide which loan is right for you, it’s just a matter of signing on the dotted line. You will need to pay a visit to the DMV (although Auto Approve will handle this for you if you finance your car through them). You will also have to update your insurance information. When you drive a leased car, you typically have a pretty strict insurance requirement. But once you own your car you can reduce this drastically. And that can save you a lot of money.Buying out a lease can be a great idea, especially in today’s car market.Whether you love your car and aren’t ready to say goodbye, or you know that you can sell your car for much more than you will pay, a car lease buyout can be a great option. And when you use a company that specializes in car lease buyouts, it couldn’t be simpler.Car loan rates are expected to increase in the next few months, so now is the perfect time to buy out your lease (remember, you don’t have to wait until your lease is over to buy it!) So contact Auto Approve today to get the ball rolling. With a 96% would-recommend rating on LendingTree and an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, you know you are in good hands.GET A QUOTE IN 60 SECONDS
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Do I Need Insurance When Renting a Car?

11/03/2022 23:00
With the holidays fast approaching, many of us are planning our family trips. There are flights to be booked, hotels to be vetted, and rental cars to be reserved. But with so many extra costs around the holidays, you may be wondering if you need to pay extra for insurance when you are renting a car. What’s the deal with renting a car, and do I need to pay for insurance?What is rental car insurance?Rental car insurance is insurance that is offered by the rental company to cover any incidents that may occur while you are renting the car. This coverage may include some or all of the following:Liability ProtectionLiability protection covers you for damages or injuries that are caused by you while you are driving the rental car.Loss/ Collision Damage WaiverA loss damage waiver releases you from responsibility if damage occurs to the rental car (this damage includes thefts and vandalism)Personal Accident InsurancePersonal accident insurance protects you against injuries to you and your passengers that occur while driving the rental car.Personal Effects CoveragePersonal effects coverage protects your personal items from theft that occurs from the rental car.There are a number of different protections that may be offered to you, and some may be worth it to you. But some of these protections may already be covered by your auto insurance or homeowners insurance. Check to see if your personal auto insurance policy includes liability, comprehensive, collision, and personal injury protection, and if that coverage extends to rentals. Check your homeowner's or renter’s insurance to see if personal effects are covered in rental vehicles (they often are).Additionally, your credit card may offer further protection. Credit cards sometimes cover damage or theft expenses that are left over after your insurance pays out. There may be rules and restrictions on this though. It is a waste of money to pay for these protections if you are already covered, so check your policy thoroughly, and call to ask if you are uncertain. Do I need insurance when renting a car?If you do not have auto insurance, you will be required to get rental car insurance. The rental company wants to ensure you have insurance of some kind. If you are already protected through your car insurance and/or homeowner’s insurance, it might not be required–or even necessary–to get rental car insurance. But there are some instances when it might be worthwhile to get additional protection.You want to avoid claims.The more claims you have on your auto insurance, the higher your monthly payments will be. This is especially true if the accident is your fault. If you are worried that an additional claim will cause an increase in your rate that you can’t really afford, it might be worth it to simply pay for the renter’s insurance. You have a high deductible.If your auto insurance has a high deductible, it can still cost you a lot of money if you were to get into an accident. It might be cheaper to pay for renter’s insurance rather than risk an expensive accident.You don't carry comprehensive coverage or collision coverage.Supplementing with loss/ collision damage waiver can help protect you if you only carry liability. Similarly if you have a very low liability coverage limit (such as the state minimum), additional coverage can provide further protection. You are outside of the United States.If you travel out of the United States your auto insurance most likely will not apply, so you will need to get separate rental car insurance.How much is it to rent a car for a week?On average it costs about $20 a day to rent a car in the United States. But this depends a lot on the following:Location where you are rentingMake and model of car you are rentingWhen you bookWhere you pick your rental car upWhere you drop your rental car offHow long you book the car forHow old the driver isAll of these factors will affect the price per day that you will pay when you rent a car. But in addition to that, there are other costs to consider when renting a car. Here are some additional fees (and how you may be able to avoid them.)Damage ChargesIf there are any damages to the rental car when you drop it, you will absolutely be required to pay for them. These damages might be as small as a stain on the upholstery or a dent on the car’s exterior. These are not typically covered by insurance and will instead be charged to you when you check out. To minimize these fees, be sure to do a thorough check of the car before you drive off in it. Point out any marks or dings to the rental company employee and make sure they are marked down. You don’t want to be charged for something that wasn’t your fault.Administrative FeesAs with everything, the rental company will charge you a handling fee. There is little you can do to dispute this, but be aware of what the fees are before you sign any paperwork. Fuel ChargesThe rental agreement will clearly state what your responsibility is when it comes to returning the rental car fueled up. Sometimes they will ask that the car be returned with a full tank, while other times they will ask that it be returned at whatever level the fuel was when you left. Either way, failure to abide by these rules may result in some steep fuel charges. Not only will they charge you a steep rate (rental companies usually charge 133% to 142% of the state gas average) but they will also charge a fee for their trouble.That’s what you need to know about renting a car and rental car insurance.Renting a car can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to break the bank. Be smart and shop around with different rental companies and try to be flexible when it comes to the make and model of your car. Reading through the fine print and ensuring that you aren’t double paying for rental car insurance is also helpful when it comes to saving money.Saving money has never been more important. If you are currently making payments on a financed car, then we have good news! Refinancing your car loan can save you A LOT of money (and it couldn’t be easier!) Contact Auto Approve today to get a free quote and start saving your hard earned money–after all, the holidays are expensive and we need all the help we can get!GET A QUOTE IN 60 SECONDS
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A Step by Step Guide to Managing Your Bills

11/02/2022 23:00
A lot of us feel anxiety every month when the bills start coming in. Maybe you’ve had a recent change in your life that has made your budget tighter than normal, or maybe you are just more conscious of your bank account lately. Either way, we are here to help you manage your monthly bills and get on track with a savings plan.Here’s your step by step guide to managing your bills and getting your savings started (or restarted!)What are normal monthly bills?If you are just starting your budget, you may be wondering what bills you should include in your spreadsheet. And the short answer is: everything you spend money on. There are a lot of expenses that we tend to overlook in everyday life. Here are the most common monthly bills that you should consider in your budget:Housing (rent or mortgage payment)Car payments and/or car insuranceGas, parking, and other transportation expensesHealth insuranceGroceriesUtilities (heat, gas, water, electric, cable, and internet)Cell phoneChildcareSchool costs (tuition, books, supplies)Pet food, care, and insuranceMemberships and subscriptionsHomeowners insuranceLife insuranceStudent loansCredit card debtEmergency fundRetirementWhile an emergency fund (and maybe even retirement) aren’t bills that you receive every month, you should treat them as such. By including them in your budget as bills, you will encourage yourself to add to the savings.What is the smartest way to pay bills?There are two main ways that you can pay your bills: all at once or as they come in. Some people prefer to pay them as they come in to ensure that they do not miss a payment and ensure that all payments are on time. Others prefer to pay them all at once so they can keep track of all expenses at once. Either way is fine as long as you remember to pay them all, and remember to pay them all on time.How can I manage my monthly bills?If you are struggling to make your monthly payments, having a system in place can help you gain some control over your situation. Step 1: Set Your Goals (Both Short Term and Long Term)First things first: what are your financial goals? Are you trying to make ends meet every month, pay off credit card debt, or trying to save for retirement? Some goals will take longer than others to accomplish, so it’s good to break them down into short term and long term.Short term financial goals may include:Paying off credit card debtSaving for a down payment for a new carBoosting your credit score into the next bracketBuilding an emergency fund that could cover 3-6 months worth of expensesLong term financial goals may include:Saving a certain amount for retirementSaving for a down payment for a housePaying off a mortgageDefining your goal can help you create a plan, and a solid plan can help you succeed in your financial future.Step 2: Make a BudgetMaking a budget is the best way to get a handle on your monthly bills. Budgeting has a lot of benefits:It helps ensure you don’t spend money you don’t haveIt helps you see where you may be spending too much moneyIt will help you stay organizedIt will help you to see your financial goals and the pathway to themMany people put off creating a budget because they view it as a waste of time. After all, it does take some work up front to get one started. But in reality, a little work up front can save you a lot of time and frustration later on. By knowing exactly what money is coming into your household every month and what is going out, you can more clearly see what changes you need to make in your spending.When you are trying to manage your bills, you want to take a detailed look at your budget to see where you are spending the most. Is your grocery bill unnecessarily high? Are you spending too much on electricity every month? Are your streaming services adding up? Determining where your money is going is half the battle sometimes.Step 3: Slash your Budget Once you have identified where you are spending a lot of your money you can start making adjustments and looking for places to slash your budget. There are a number of places you can start making small adjustments.Slash your Grocery BillWhen you look at your overall budget, you may be surprised at how much your grocery bill is. But the good news is there are a number of easy and effective ways to cut this number.Switch to generic brands on whatever you can.Try to be more mindful of food waste.Start clipping coupons.Sign up for your store’s reward programGo online to look for manufacturer’s coupons.Slash your Entertainment BillIf you are spending a little too much on entertainment every month, look at how your spending breaks down. If you are spending a lot out at restaurants and bars, consider staying in and cooking or hosting a wine night at your home. If you are spending a lot on streaming services, see which ones you can cancel and which ones you can split with friends and family. Slash your Car PaymentMost people are overpaying on their monthly car payment. But if you are able to refinance your car loan, you can save a lot every month. Refinancing can help you in a few ways. If your credit score has increased since initial financing or the market rates have decreased, you may qualify for a lower car loan APR. This can add up to a lot of money back in your pocket every month. But refinancing can also help you change your repayment period, which can reduce your monthly payment as well.If you have a $20,000 car loan at 8% interest that you have to pay back over 36 months, your monthly car payment is $626.73. But if you stretch that payment out over 60 months, your monthly payment is cut to $405.53, even if you are not offered a lower APR. You will end up paying more in interest over the life of the loan, but that breathing room can make all of the difference in your monthly budget.Step 4: Prioritize PaymentsIf you know you don’t have enough money to pay all of your bills, determine which ones are the most important to pay in full. In general, you should prioritize the payments with the highest interest rates and harshest missed payment fees. If some of your bills can be deferred, see what the details are for this. This can be a good option to get some space and get your head above water. Some loans, such as student loans and mortgages, will still charge interest during deferment, which can end up costing you a lot more in the long run, so weigh out your options.Step 5: NegotiateIt never hurts to call and try to negotiate rates and fees. Look at your bills and see where you might be able to negotiate. You may have luck with the following:Your cell phone Credit card interestYour cable or satellite billCar insuranceNewspaper subscriptionsGym membershipsBy looking online for competitors rates you can get some leverage beforehand. They can help guide you on ways to cut your bills. Your cell phone company may allow you to reduce your data plan (which can save you a lot), while your car insurance company may allow you to increase your deductible, lowering your monthly payments in return. Step 6: Consolidate debtIf you have a significant amount of debt, it might be worthwhile to consolidate it. Not only will it be easier to keep track of, but it may help get you some breathing room. You can contact a debt consolidation company, or you can do it yourself by opening a credit card that offers 0% on balance transfers. By transferring all of your debt to this card you will have time to pay off the balance before you will have to pay interest (these promotions typically last for 12-24 months). That’s one to two years of money going towards your principal rather than towards interest, as it would be if you did not consolidate. But be sure to pay off your balance by the time the promotion is over or you will pay a lot in retroactive interest. That’s how you can better manage your monthly bills.Monthly bills can be overwhelming, so taking the time to get organized and manage your payments is important. Be sure to analyze your budget to see where you could be cutting costs and saving money. And if you have a monthly car payment, chances are you could be saving a lot by refinancing your car loan. Contact Auto Approve today to find out just how much money you could be saving. GET A QUOTE IN 60 SECONDS
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The Rules for Refinancing Your Car

10/27/2022 22:00
It’s hard to ignore how expensive everything is right now. We are all feeling the effects of inflation and it’s never been more important to save money where we can. If you are making monthly car payments, there’s a good chance that you are overpaying. But there’s an easy fix for that: refinance. By refinancing your car loan you can save a lot of money every month, and that can really make a difference in your everyday budgeting. But how do you know where to start? What are the rules for refinancing your car?Let’s talk about the rules for refinancing your car and how you can start saving money today.When is a good time to refinance your car loan?Car loan refinancing is when you pay off your existing car loan with a new car loan that has better terms. And when those terms include a lower car loan APR and/or a different repayment period, that can mean saving a lot of money. The time might be right to refinance if any of the following apply to you.Your credit score has improved since you initially financedWhen lenders are determining which APR to offer you, one of the biggest factors is your credit score. Your credit score tells lenders how likely you are to repay your debts. It is based on your past payment history, your outstanding debt, the length of your credit history, your credit mix, and how much new credit you have.Here are just a few reasons why your score may have increased since your initial financing:You made consistent, on time, full paymentsYou paid down some debtYou had a negative event expire (such as a bankruptcy)You had hard credit inquiries expireYou corrected mistakes in your credit reportSimply paying your bills consistently can have a positive effect on your credit, so even if nothing drastic has happened since you financed, your score still might have increased. It's a good idea to request a copy of your credit report to see how healthy your score is and ensure that there aren’t any mistakes.The market rates have decreased since you initially financedAnother major factor in the car loan APR you are offered is the prevailing market rates. You do not have control over this, so timing is everything. If the market rates were high when you initially financed, you may be eligible for a lower APR. Conversely, if the prevailing rates have increased since you initially financed, you might not find a lower APR.Your debt to income ratio has improved since you initially financedYour debt to income ratio is a huge factor in your car loan APR. This tells lenders if you are overextended in your monthly budget, which can help them decide how likely you are to repay. If your income has increased since you originally financed or you have paid down some of your debt, you may qualify for a lower APR.You need some breathing roomEven if you do not qualify for a lower car loan APR, refinancing your loan can allow you to change your repayment schedule. And by lengthening your repayment schedule you can give yourself some much needed breathing room in your monthly budget. If you stretch your repayment from 36 months to 60 months, that allows you to pay off your loan over an additional two years. That can easily lower your car payments by hundreds of dollars every month. You will end up paying more money over the life of the loan, but it will be worth it if you find yourself falling behind on your bills (and hurting your credit in the process).What do you need to refinance a car?If now seems like a good time to refinance, you actually don’t need a lot to get started. Here’s what you need:Your current loan information.You want to look at your current loan to see what the terms are. What is the APR, the repayment period, and what fees are associated with your loan. One of the biggest things you want to look for is whether or not there are prepayment fees. If there are significant fees, it might not be worthwhile to refinance.A little time to research.You want to do your research when you refinance. What lenders have good reputations? Where are you most likely to get a good deal? Using a company that specializes in car refinance can save you a lot of time in this area, as they have relationships with lenders across the country and are guaranteed to find you the best deal possible.Your personal information. When you refinance, you will need some paperwork for your applications. This will  most likely include:A Photo ID Your vehicle’s information Proof of income and financial historyProof of residence Proof of insuranceHaving all of this information compiled and ready to go will make applying for refinance quick and easy. What are the requirements to refinance my car?You should wait at least six months before refinancing. While this is not a hard and fast rule, experts generally recommend waiting a minimum of six months to a year before refinancing. This gives your credit score some time to bounce back after opening a new account and gives you some time to make payments on your loan and boost your score that way. But technically speaking, you only need to wait as long as it takes to get the paperwork filed to refinance. You should not wait until the end of your loan term.The earlier in your loan term that you refinance, the more beneficial it will be for you. So don’t wait until the very end of your loan to apply.Your car needs to qualify.Every lender will have different requirements for this, but your car cannot be too old or have too many miles on it. Typically if your car is over 10 years old or has over 100,000 miles on it you will have a harder time securing a refinance.You need to have enough money left on your loan.If you only have a small amount of money left on your loan, chances are you will have a hard time securing a refinance. Lenders will simply not think it is worthwhile to take on the hassle of refinance with such little payoff.Those are the simple rules for refinancing your car loan.Refinancing your car loan is easy, especially when you use a company that specializes in it. Get in touch with Auto Approve today to see how much money refinancing can save you!GET A QUOTE IN 60 SECONDS
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10 Winter Car Maintenance Tips

10/26/2022 22:00
When the temperature drops and the weather gets icy, it becomes even more important to make sure our cars are serviced and safe for the winter. Now is the perfect time to check that your car is in top shape before the holidays creep in to take up all of your spare time. Here are 10 car maintenance tips to keep your car running smoothly all winter.Maintain your car battery.When it’s freezing cold and icy outside, the last place you want to be is stranded with a dead battery. That’s why it’s incredibly important to take good care of your battery. When it’s cold outside, batteries tend to have a harder time getting started because they have less cranking power. At 0° F a car battery has only half of the cranking power that it does at 80° F. To check your battery, remove the plastic caps that are on the top and check the fluid level. You can add distilled water if the fluid level is low. If you have a maintenance free battery, you can check the status on the top of the battery. You may prefer to have the battery tested professionally. They can charge it for you, but if it’s old and not maintaining a charge like it used to, we recommend getting a new battery before the winter starts. You should ideally have a battery that is 600 CCA or above for the best winter performance.Check all of your lights.With winter comes darker days and earlier nights, so it’s critical to make sure all of your lights are in working order. If a bulb is out, be sure to replace it. If your headlights are foggy or have a yellow haze, look into getting a restoration kit. They are easy to use and can make a big difference on visibility.Check all of your fluids.Before the winter starts you should check all of your fluids and either replace them or top them off. OilOil is the lifeblood of your engine, so it’s important to make sure you replace your oil when recommended. Motor oil lubricates the engine so that all parts run smoothly and keep them from overheating. Oil actually thickens as the temperatures get colder, and this can put a lot of strain on your engine. Your owner’s manual will tell you what type of oil you should be using, but ideally it should be a multi viscosity oil that is signified with a “W” (such as 5W-20, 5W-30, and 10W-30). These oils can be used year round, even with cold temperatures. Be sure to replace your filter whenever you replace the oil too; this will result in optimal flow.CoolantTo ensure that your engine runs properly, you need to have the proper amount of coolant. Antifreeze protects your engine from corrosion, helps heat transfer, and prevents rust from building up. Your car should have a 50/50 mix of antifreeze and water, which will keep your coolant from freezing until temperatures drop under zero. As it gets colder, you may want to increase the ratio to  60/40 or 70/30, but you should never have more than 70% antifreeze. Washer FluidAdditionally, you should make sure your windshield wiper fluid is topped off. With the snow, sleet, ice, and salt that comes with winter, you will end up using your windshield wipers frequently. You can also add some washer fluid antifreeze to ensure it’s suitable for winter.Replace your windshield wipers.Just as you want to be sure that your wiper fluid is topped off, you want to be sure that your windshield wipers are in good working order. If they aren’t doing a bang up job, consider replacing them before the winter starts. You can periodically clean them up by wiping the rubber blades with glass cleaner and a paper towel, but they should still be replaced every so often. In fact, studies have found that they start losing their effectiveness in as little as six months.Maintain tire pressure.Cold weather affects your tire pressure greatly. In fact, for every ten degree drop in temperature your PSI drops by one pound. So it’s important to keep an eye on this as we head into winter. Underinflated tires can cause uneven wear on your tires and cause premature wear. Additionally, it can make your car less predictable to drive, which can be dangerous for you (especially with slippery winter conditions). Be sure to check the tire pressure frequently as temperatures drop, and again as the temperatures rise again in the spring.Invest in winter tires.Depending on where you live and how much winter precipitation you have to deal with, you may want to invest in winter tires. Experts recommend getting winter tires if the temperature regularly drops below 45. That’s because winter tires can stay flexible even in cold temperatures, which can help maintain better traction when stopping and turning on cold pavement. No matter how good of an All Wheel Drive system you have, nothing beats having an optimum contact patch, which is where the rubber meets the road. Additionally, winter tires have “lugs”, which are deep channels carved into the outside of the tire to push water and slush out of the way.Test your defroster and heater.When the temperatures drop, nothing beats having a working heater and defroster. Not only do they keep you comfortable, but they reduce the amount of moisture in the vehicle making it easier for you to see. Before the temperatures drop too much, start up your heater to make sure the air is hot coming out. If it’s not, be sure to bring it in to get looked at before the temperatures become too unbearable. Have your brakes checked.While the winter doesn’t inherently affect your brakes, it’s just good practice to ensure they are working properly before the weather gets too bad. It’s recommended that you get your brakes serviced once a year, so doing it before the winter is a good routine to get into.Pack a winter emergency kit.This isn’t exactly a car maintenance tip but, it’s a good tip for preparedness. It’s always a good idea to have an emergency kit in your car. You never know when you might be stuck or stranded for a period of time. Your emergency kit should have the following:A few bottles of waterA thermal blanketAn extra set of warm clothesNon perishable foods (such as granola bars)First-aid kitCar tool kit that includes a screwdriver and a knifeFlashlight and extra batteriesJumper cablesAn extra phone charger and extra batteryShovelIce scraperExtra antifreezeDe-icerFlaresBe prepared for an emergency.Again, this isn’t exactly a car maintenance tip, but you want to be prepared mentally and financially for an emergency. That’s why it’s so important to build an emergency fund ahead of time. By building an emergency fund into your budget, you can help yourself prepare for a problem in the future, such as a winter accident.Starting an emergency fund doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are a few easy steps to help you get started.Make your budget.If you don’t already have a monthly budget worked out, then get one started! Simply track your income and expenses and see how the two line up. Determine your emergency fund goal.The amount of money you want to set aside for your emergency fund will vary from person to person. Here is a rough guideline of what experts recommend:3-4 months of expenses if you are in a relatively stable financial position and don’t have a lot of people financially dependent on you6 months worth of expenses if you have a lot of dependents, are a sole provider, and/or live in an expensive areaOne year worth of expenses if you are older, have underlying health conditions, and/or are nearing retirementSet up direct deposit.Setting up a direct deposit to your emergency fund will help you grow it without much effort. Simply start up a free account where you can house your emergency fund, and portion out some money to direct there. You can do a split direct deposit that will allow you to put a certain percentage in one account and the remainder in another, that way you can build your savings while still keeping your checking account at a healthy balance.Those are our top tips for winter car maintenance.Being prepared for the winter can save you a lot of hassle, money, and time. So be sure to check your engine, top off your fluids, and prepare for the unexpected. As you make your winter preparedness checklist, be sure to add “refinance car loan” to the top of the list. By refinancing your car loan you can save a lot of money on your monthly car payments–money that you can use for your emergency fund, holiday shopping, or anything else you have coming down the pike. And refinancing your car loan is easy when you use Auto Approve. Get in touch today to find out how much money you could be saving!GET A QUOTE IN 60 SECONDS
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How to Save Money for the Holidays

10/25/2022 22:00
The weather is getting colder and the stores are getting ready to play Jingle Bells on repeat. That means one thing: the holidays are on their way, whether we are ready or not. And while the holiday season is full of fun and joy, it is also full of bills and penny pinching for many of us. Before the holidays blindside us totally, we are here to talk about how you can prepare yourself for the onslaught of expenses.Here are our top tips for saving money this holiday season.Tips for BudgetingCreate a holiday budget ahead of time.Creating a budget ahead of time is one of the best things you can do to avoid splurging on the holidays. Make a list of who you need to buy gifts for, what events and parties you plan on going to, and any other miscellaneous expenses that may pop up. Your holiday budget should fit into your monthly budget, and starting early can help you get ahead on savings. Your monthly budget should track your income, your fixed expenses, and your variable expenses. The difference in your income and expenses is what you have to save, whether you are looking to build your savings and investments, or looking to save for the holidays. Create a realistic budget for what you think you should spend for the holidays. It’s important to have fun and enjoy the holidays, but not at the expense of your financial wellbeing.Work on cutting your monthly budget.You can free up a lot of extra money by taking a fine tooth comb to your monthly expenses. There are a lot of places where you might be able to slash costs, such as switching to generic groceries, coupon clipping, and signing up for a loyalty card at your local grocery store. Cutting subscription services that you can live without is another way to save on your monthly budget (or at least split your membership with a friend to save on half).Free up some money with refinancing.One of the easiest ways to save money on your monthly budget is to refinance your car loan. Chances are you are overpaying every month, and refinancing your loan is a great way to reduce your payments. Refinancing your car loan can help you in a few ways. If you qualify for a lower car loan APR, you can save hundreds if not thousands of dollars over the life of your monthly bill. You may qualify for a lower APR if:Your credit score has increased since you first financed your carThe market rates have decreased since you first financed your carYour debt to income ratio has improved since you first finance your carRefinancing also allows you to change your repayment plan, by either extending it or shortening it. If things are a little tight every month, extending your repayment plan can free up a lot of money in your budget. You will end up paying more in the long run, but it might be worth it if you need the breathing room. On the other hand, if you shorten your repayment plan you will pay more every month, but can save a lot of money in interest over the life of your loan. Refinancing can also help you add or remove a cosigner and get out of a bad relationship with a lender. But whatever your reason is, Auto Approve can help you refinance your car loan quickly and easily.Pay cash.Using cash is a great way to ensure that you stay on budget. If you only have $500 to spend in cash on gifts, then you can not go over that amount and you will eliminate the temptation to overspend. Of course you cannot shop online with cash, but you can buy a prepaid card that will allow you to load it up and shop online while still staying within your budget. Pay with credit, but be careful.While paying cash forces you to stay within a budget, credit can help you earn money while spending money. If you have a good cash rewards credit card and can stay within a budget, then you can actually make some money this holiday season. But be sure to pay off your balance in full every month, or else the money that you do save will just get paid back to the bank in interest. It is all too easy to keep swiping your card, so if you do use credit, use it with caution.Tips for Gift GivingShop early.Shopping early gives you the chance to look around for deals, find alternative gifts, and think through your spending. If you are rushing around to find the perfect gift at the eleventh hour, you might be coerced into spending too much money. Shopping early will give you a better chance to find competitive pricing and shop the sales.Set limits on spending with friends and family.Have a thoughtful discussion with your friends and family about what your gift giving budget will be. Chances are your friends and family will be happy to cut their shopping expenses as well. Whether you decide on a $20 limit, a $50 limit, or decide to do a Secret Santa, setting some boundaries can help ensure that everyone stays on budget and that no one feels awkward about giving or getting less.Take up a new DIY hobby.DIY gifts are a great way to save money during the holiday season, and have a little fun while doing so! Here are some of our favorite DIY gift ideas:Homemade candlesBaked goods, such as cookies, breads, and muffinsKnit scarves or blanketsHomemade pet treatsHomemade lip balm, bath salts, or body scrubsJarred spice blendsThe options are endless, but thoughtful homemade gifts can make beautiful, fun, useful, and inexpensive gifts this holiday season. Plus, if you are able to make some in bulk, such as a large batch of cookies or a large spice blend, you can get multiple gifts done at once. Steer clear of Black Friday.Black Friday has long been thought of as the best shopping day of the year with the best deals. But this is not really true anymore. In fact Black Friday of 2021 reportedly had the least valuable deals on record. Try to steer clear of the lines and the gimmicks and shop early instead. You will most likely be able to find better deals elsewhere.Resist the urge to buy for yourself.It is so hard to see all of the deals and fun gifts and not get something for yourself, but it’s all too easy to let your spending get out of control. Instead, try to treat yourself in other free ways, such as a relaxing bath night or an hour of uninterrupted TV time. Take advantage of free shipping day.Shipping can add a lot onto your total when you are shopping online, so be sure to pay attention to free shipping offers. Try to load up your orders as much as possible to qualify for free shipping. December 14 is Free Shipping Day, when hundreds of online retailers offer free shipping with no minimum purchases, so be sure to take advantage of that. Tips for Enjoying the SeasonBe creative with decor.Holiday decor can add up fast, especially with new styles coming in and out of fashion. But DIYing your own decor or visiting a thrift store can help you decorate your home inexpensively. Pinecones and leaves from outside your front door can make perfectly festive and free decorations as well!Find free holiday events.There are loads of free (or at least very inexpensive) holiday activities that you can do to celebrate without breaking the bank. Our favorites include:Make a gingerbread houseVisit a Christmas Tree FarmGo to a local holiday festival or paradeHost a holiday game nightGo to a tree lighting ceremonyDrive to see the Christmas lights in a nearby neighborhoodGo to a local production of a holiday play or musicalGo Christmas caroling with friendsVolunteerThere are endless possibilities for celebrating the holidays affordably. And by saving money on activities, you can stress less and enjoy your holidays even more.Those are our top tips for saving money this holiday season.The holidays are inherently stressful, but tight budgets can make the season even more chaotic. That’s why it’s important to have a plan, have a budget, and stick to it. Cutting monthly costs where possible is a great way to get a little extra spending money, and refinancing your car loan is an easy and effective place to start.Refinancing your car loan with Auto Approve is easy and can save you money immediately. But don’t just take our work for it–with an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and a 96% would-recommend rating from LendingTree, you know you are in good hands. So don’t wait to start saving–get in touch with Auto Approve today!GET A QUOTE IN 60 SECONDS
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What is a Good Credit Score for Buying a Car?

10/20/2022 22:00
Cars are more expensive now than ever, with the average price of a new car nearing $50,000. So if you are like most people, you will probably need a loan if you are buying a new car. And while there are a lot of factors that affect whether or not you will be approved for a loan–and what APR you will be offered–nothing is more important than your credit score.Here’s what credit score you should have when financing a car (and how you can raise your score if it’s not there yet).What is a credit score?Credit scores are used by lenders to determine how likely a person is to repay a loan. The number is calculated based on a number of financial metrics and ranges between 300–850. The higher the score, the more likely a person is deemed to pay back their loan.Credit scores take the following aspects of your finances into account:Payment history. This makes up 35% of your credit score. Do you make full, consistent, and on time payments?Amounts owed. This makes up 30% of your credit score. How much money do you owe compared to how much credit you have available to you?Length of credit history. This makes up 15% of your credit score. How long have you had your accounts open and in good standing?Credit mix. This makes up 10% of your credit score. Can you manage payments across a healthy mix of accounts?New credit. This makes up 10% of your credit score. Are there new accounts that the score is not taking into account?The two most influential factors to your credit score are your payment history and the amount of debt you are in. If you do not have a history of making full, on time payments, or if you owe a lot of money compared to the amount of credit you have available to you, you will not have a great credit score.While lenders of all types will look at your credit score to determine how likely you are to pay back a loan, car dealers have another score that they look at as well: your FICO Auto Score.Your FICO Auto Score ranges from 250 to 900 and gives more weight to your automotive payment history. Past car loan payments, repossessions, and auto-loan bankruptcies are all taken into account much more. While some lenders use this, not all do, so be sure to ask what score the lender looks at more.What is a good credit score for buying a car?Credit scores are divided up into five categories:Exceptional (Super prime): 781 to 850Very Good (Prime): 661 to 780Good (Non prime): 601 to 660Fair (Subprime): 501 to 600Poor (Deep subprime): 300 to 500The higher your credit score is, the more likely you are to be approved for a car loan. Additionally, the higher your score is, the lower the car loan APR you are offered will be. So what score do you need? According to Experian data released in August 2022, we know the following:The average credit score for a used car loan or lease was 675The average score for a new car loan or lease was 73865% of borrowers had credit scores of 661 or higher (prime and super prime borrowers)14% of borrowers had credit scores between 501 and 600 (subprime borrowers)2% of borrowers had credit scores below 500 (deep subprime borrowers)So while it’s not impossible to get financing with a less than great credit score, it is much easier to secure financing with a healthy credit score. On top of that, the Experian data shows that the better your credit score is, the lower the car loan APR you will be offered will be. Superprime (781-850) average APR offered: 2.96%.Prime (661-780) average APR offered: 4.03%.Nonprime (601-660) average APR offered: 6.57%.Subprime (501-600) average APR offered: 9.75%.Deep subprime (300-500) average APR offered: 12.84%.If your credit score is above 661, you will most likely be offered a drastically better APR than if your score is below that mark. But what does this mean in terms of actual money? Let’s say you are taking out a loan for $20,000 and you have a credit score of 785. You are offered a car loan APR of 2.98% that you will pay over a period of four years. You will pay a total of $1,240.47 in interest over the life of the loan.Now let’s say you are taking out that same $20,000 loan but your credit score is 620. You are offered a car loan APR of 7% that you will pay over a period of four years. In this case, you will pay a total of $2,988.39 in interest over the life of the loan. That’s a difference of nearly $1,800, with the only difference being the APR that you are offered.Having a good credit score can save you a lot of money and put you in a much better financial situation. In addition to saving you money on your car loan, a good credit score can help you in other ways:You are more likely to be offered lower interest rates on credit cards and loansLenders will be more likely to approve youLandlords will approve you for rentals more easily You will be approved for higher credit limitsYou will get better insurance ratesYou will have better negotiating power for loans and accountsHow can I improve my credit score?If your credit score is less than perfect, there are a number of steps you can take to improve it. And with how much money you can save, it’s well worth the effort to improve it.Check your credit report.A good place to start is with your credit report. Request a copy of your report to see what is causing your score to drop. You can also look for any errors or mistakes that may be unfairly affecting your score. When you get your report, look for the following:Compare payment histories (amounts and dates)Look for accounts that you have not authorized or don’t recognizeLook for incorrect credit limits and balancesMake sure all of your personal data is correctInquiries that you have not authorizedCatching any errors or mistakes can help improve your score a great deal. Be sure to report anything irregular to the credit agency–they usually take about 30 days to respond. Even if you don’t notice any irregularities, checking your credit score can help you see what areas of your finances you need to work on. Commit to on time payments.Making full, on time payments is one of the best things you can do to help your credit score. Set reminders on your phone or try enrolling in autopay if you have an issue remembering to pay your bills.Request higher credit limits.One of the easiest ways you can boost your credit score is to request higher credit limits. Your credit utilization ratio looks at how much debt you have versus how much credit you have available to you and is an important factor of your score. By increasing the amount of credit you have at your disposal, you can shift this ratio and improve your score instantaneously.Pay down debts.Another way to improve your credit utilization ratio is to pay down your debts. Your credit utilization ratio looks at your overall debt to available credit ratio, but it also looks at the debt to available credit for each account. By focusing on paying down accounts that have a high credit utilization ratio, you can greatly help your score.Avoid opening new accounts.Credit inquiries on your report will trigger your score to decrease. While they do not impact your score in a huge way, every little bit counts when you are looking to take out a new loan and get a low APR. Even a temporary drop of 5 points can result in a higher APR. So try to avoid opening any new accounts or triggering any inquiries.Having a credit score of 661 or above will help you secure a better car loan APR, and the higher your score is, the better off you will be.If you already have a car loan, you may be wondering if this still applies to you. If your score has improved since your initial financing, did you just miss the boat on saving money?The answer is no! Your improved credit score can help you refinance your current car loan and secure a lower car loan APR. By refinancing, not only can you get a better car loan APR, but you can change your repayment plan, add or remove a cosigner, and help reduce your monthly payments. So don’t wait to save money–get in touch with Auto Approve today to get a free quote!GET A QUOTE IN 60 SECONDS
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What Car Brand is Most Reliable?

10/18/2022 22:00
When you are looking to buy a new car, you want to know it will last a long time and that it will be reliable for you. Whether you plan on keeping your car and using it for years (even decades) to come, or you just want something that has good resale value, you want to buy a car that will stand the test of time.But what makes a car reliable, and what brands are at the top of the list? Today we are diving into the world of new cars and discussing what brands are the most reliable in 2022–and why.Here are the most reliable brands of 2022.What makes a good reliable car?First things first–what makes a car reliable? A reliable car is obviously one that won’t break down. Most modern cars are designed to last, so reliability isn’t as much of an issue as it used to be. But some brands still outperform others, so it’s worth looking into what makes a car reliable. A reliable car should hold up well on the road and need little more than routine maintenance (oil changes, brakes, tires, tune ups, etc). It should also have good fuel efficiency and safety features that will make it practical as well as reliable. But more than that, reliability is about not needing to run to the mechanic every time there might be an issue. High tech entertainment systems and navigation systems have a tendency to stop working, making them a big issue for reliability.What makes a car unreliable?Cars are pretty complex systems, so it’s no surprise that there’s a lot that can go wrong with them. As cars get older, these problems can become serious. While most cars today are reliable, there are a few reasons why manufacturers may still fall short of the mark, such as using cheaper or poor quality materials and rolling out features that still have issues. Having an unreliable car means that you will need to get things fixed more often and that your car might not have as high of a resale value. The following factors may make a car unreliable.Transmission issuesProblems with the engineBad fuel economySuspension issuesFour Wheel Drive issuesBrake issuesInfotainment problemsWhat car brand is the most reliable?Everyone has their own opinions as to what brands are the most reliable and which ones aren't. But by looking at reliability reports from well-regarded companies such as Consumer Reports and JD Power and Associates you can get a more objective idea of what brands are most reliable.So how do companies rank reliability? Consumer Reports looks at data from over 300,000 vehicles to create their rankings, looking at the last three years of each model’s performance (unless there was a redesign in which they only consider what's in the same generation). Consumer Reports uses this data to assign a reliability score out of 100 for each vehicle, and this data is considered an index of quality in the industry.When it comes to brands, Consumer Reports ranked the following as the top five most reliable brands for 2022 (out of 28 total brands):Lexus MazdaToyota InfinitiBuickUsing the same metrics, Consumer Reports ranked the following as the five least reliable brands of 2022:LincolnTesla JeepGenesisVolkswagenWithin these brands however there is a lot of variability. So beyond looking at what brands are reliable, you need to consider what specific models are ranked as reliable. According to Consumer Reports, the ten least reliable cars of 2022 are:2022 Subaru Ascent2022 Chrysler Pacifica2022 Tesla Model Y2022 Volkswagen Tiguan2022 Volvo XC902022 Chevrolet Corvette2022 Chevrolet Silverado 15002022 Ford Mustang2022 Ford Explorer2022 Mercedes Benz GLEAs you can see, a number of these cars are expensive and on the higher end of the market, such as Mercedes Benz GLE and the Tesla Model Y. On a scale of 1 to 100, with 100 being the most reliable, the Mercedes scored a mere 5. Luxury brands want you to think that luxury equals reliability, but time and time again we see that is not necessarily true. In fact, a number of Consumer Reports top picks for reliability are not luxury cars, and are in fact pretty affordable. Here are the Consumer Reports top ten most reliable cars for 2022:2022 Lexus GX2022 Kia Niro EV2022 Toyota Prius Prime2022 Toyota Prius2022 Cadillac XT52022 Mazda MX-5 Miata2022 Honda Insight2022 Toyota Highlander2022 Subaru Crosstrek2022 Mazda CX-9Kia, Toyota, Mazda, Honda, and Subaru make up 8 out of the ten brands on the top ten list, and none of them are luxury brands. Consumer Reports has found that the brands that are more conservative with their approach to new tech are more consistently ranked as reliable. They wait until tech is proven to work and that major kinks are worked out before they roll out features in their cars. Because of this, they are often criticized for being a bit boring. This is the opposite of how some of the other, less reliable brands operate. Brands like Tesla have a reputation for rolling out the latest and greatest technology that is innovative and fun, but it may not always work properly, earning it  a spot on the least reliable list.Those are the most reliable car brands of 2022.Buying a new car is a big undertaking, especially now when the prices are so high. So it's important to buy a car that is reliable and will last a long time. Reliability of course isn’t everything. You need to think about style, how you plan to use it, features, and countless other details. But reliability should always be a major factor in your decision making.No matter what brand or model you drive, chances are you could be saving money on your monthly car payments. By refinancing your existing car loan, you could save hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars over the life of your car loan. If any of the following apply to you, there’s a good chance you could qualify for a lower car loan APR:Your credit score increased since your initial financingThe market rates decreased since your initial financingYour debt to income ratio improved since your initial financingGet in touch with one of our car loan refinance experts today to find out if you could benefit from refinancing. It only takes a few minutes, so what do you have to lose? Get your free quote today! GET A QUOTE IN 60 SECONDS
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