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5 Things Every Good Budget Has

08/09/2022 22:00
Budgets sound boring and laborious–we get it. They can feel overwhelming to create, and you are probably wondering if you will even stick to it. So what’s the point? But budgets are incredibly important. They can create financial stability by helping you stay on track with both your income and your expenses. Having a strong, accurate budget can help you with your day to day spending while also helping you create a plan for your financial future. Whether your goal is to pay down debt, buy a house, or save for retirement, budgeting will help you succeed.Today we are talking about budgets: why they are important, how to make one, and five things every good budget has.Why are Budgets Important?It can help you reduce your spending.When you create a budget, you know exactly how much money you have coming into your bank account every month. That means that you also know how much money you can afford to spend every month. Keeping that number in mind can help you to curb your spending significantly.It can help you feel in control.When the bills roll in every month, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. This is especially true with variable expenses, which we will discuss later. But if you have a budget you will know what these expenses should be (approximately) and you will be able to adjust your expenses in other areas if need be. In general, budgeting can help you feel like you have a good grasp on your finances.It can help your credit score.Your credit score is the most important consideration in your financial life. If you are applying for a mortgage, a car loan, an apartment, or even a refinance, your credit score is the first thing that will be analyzed. A budget won’t outright help your credit score, but it will help you by keeping on track with your expenses. People with good budgets are more likely to:Pay back debtsMake on time paymentsAvoid overspending and accumulating debt in the first placeAll of these factors can help increase your credit score, which will help you get approved for loans and secure lower interest rates.5 Things Every Good Budget HasAccurate Fixed ExpensesFixed expenses are the costs you have every month that do not change. A good budget will have a very inclusive and accurate tally of fixed expenses. These might include the following:MortgageRentProperty taxes Condo feeHouse insuranceRenters InsuranceUtilities with a standard rate (cell phone, internet, trash collection)Car lease or car loan paymentCar insuranceSubscription servicesYou may have some or all of these fixed expenses, and you might have other additional fixed expenses. Look through all of your bills and bank statements to make sure you have included everything. Fixed expenses are always the same month after month, so they are easy to include in a budget.Average Variable ExpensesVariable expenses are costs that you pay every month that vary in the amount. Every good budget will have a list of these expenses with their monthly averages. Common variable expenses include:GroceriesUtilities based on consumption (electricity, water)Transportation costs (gas, parking, maintenance, bus fare, etc)Clothing ChildcareEating outEntertainmentIf you have children, this list can grow quickly with sports and activities. Try to include everything. The more inclusive your variable cost list is, the more accurate your budget will be. To get a good average of these, look back at your past year of expenses. Come up with a monthly total for each category, and then average them out. Good budgets rely on accurate totals for fixed and variable expenses. If these numbers aren’t inclusive or accurate, your budget won’t be accurate–and therefore it won’t be helpful to you.An Emergency FundAll good budgets include an emergency fund. Emergencies are unpredictable, so when one strikes it can spell big trouble for our finances. Having an emergency fund can help bail you out of a tight spot. If you do not have an emergency fund set up, an unexpected medical bill or mechanic bill will really throw your finances into disarray. How much you will need in an emergency fund varies from person to person, but the general rule of thumb is to have six months worth of expenses on hand. Financial GoalsOne of the ultimate goals for budgeting is to create a plan for future financial goals. These goals will vary from person to person and can be short term or long term. Some short term goals may be:Saving for a down payment for a car or a homeSaving for a vacationPaying down credit card debtLong term goals often have a bigger price tag attached to them and can take longer to achieve. Common long term goals include:Paying off student loan debtPaying off your mortgagePaying off your car loanCreating a retirement fundWhatever your goal is, be sure to include it in your budget. Having a goal will help you to stick to your budget and motivate you to stay focused.Regular ReviewsA budget is not something that you create and then say, “I’m done!” A budget will do you no good if you do not regularly review it and adjust it to fit your life. You should review it regularly, at least once every month or two. Look at how your income is matching up with your expenses. Here are a few things to consider:Am I spending more than I am saving?Which categories have increased and which have decreased?Are there any areas where I can cut back? Am I saving enough for my financial goals?Are there any new expenses in my life I should include?By regularly reviewing your budget you will be more likely to adjust it as needed and keep it as a functional part of your life. How to Create a BudgetCreating a budget is simple, but it is important that you be very organized and thoughtful throughout the process. The more organized you are, the more accurate your budget will be. Just follow our simple steps to get started.Be prepared. There are many apps and programs designed for budgeting (Mint and Goodbudget are two of our favorites). But really all you need is a good spreadsheet. Once you have your spreadsheet set up, dig out your credit card bills and bank statements for the last year or two. Determine your income. Calculate your actual take home pay (your pay minus any taxes and deductions). Add in any other income you may have–dividends, inheritance, rental payments, side hustle money–it will all add up. Categorize your expenses. As we mentioned before, your fixed and variable expenses are incredibly important to your budget. List them all out in your spreadsheet and go through your bills and bank statements to determine a value for every category. Make a budgeting plan. There are a lot of plans you can use when it comes to budgeting. A common plan is the 50/30/20 model, where 50% of your income is allocated for needs, 30% is allocated for wants, and 20% is allocated for savings. Another model is the 70/20/10 plan, where 70% of income goes towards monthly bills and everyday spending, 20% goes towards savings, and 10% goes towards debt repayment. Determine what your ultimate goal is and decide on a plan based on that.Budget your needs. How much do you need to live on? Determine which expenses are necessary and which are not and allocate money from your budget as necessary.Budget your wants. How much wiggle room do you want in your budget for the nonessentials? Going out to dinner and buying brand name items aren’t strictly necessary, but they may be things you want to include. Determine how much you can afford to spend on nonessentials. Budget your emergency fund and your savings. This is where your long term goals set in. How much extra money can you allocate to your savings? All extra income should end up here.Review and adjust. Try out your budget and see how it goes. If you need to find some extra money to include in your budget, see where you can make adjustments. Cutting out subscription services, clipping coupons, and refinancing your car loan are all easy adjustments that can add up to a lot of savings. That’s everything you need to know about budgeting, including five things every good budget has.If you don’t have a budget yet, here is your sign to create one. It will take a few hours to put together, but it can save you a lot of money and a lot of headaches down the road. And with the cost of everything these days, who couldn’t use some extra money? We know a thing or two about saving money–after all, we save people hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars every year by refinancing their car loans. So if you want to save money on your car loans, get in touch with Auto Approve today!GET A QUOTE IN 60 SECONDS
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Car Maintenance Tips to Extend the Life of Your Car

08/04/2022 22:00
When you buy a new car, you hope it will last forever. And while you know that forever is impossible, you certainly want to extend your car’s life as much as possible. The good news is that a solid car maintenance schedule will go a long way when trying to extend your car’s life. With proper care you can get a lot of extra years out of your car and increase its resale value in the future.Here are our top car maintenance tips to extend the life of your car as much as possible.Check Your FluidsFluids are vital to the wellbeing and longevity of your car, so you want to make sure they are maintained. Failure to check your fluids can result in:Reduced gas mileageReduced powerIncreased chance of breaking downFluids keep your car working properly, so ensuring that they are properly maintained can save you a lot of hassle down the road. Here are the top fluids to keep an eye on:Engine OilOil is the lifeblood of your car. It helps ensure that everything in your engine stays lubricated and protected. If your oil runs low (or runs out) it can completely destroy your engine. Making sure that your oil is topped off and changed when it needs to be will help ensure that your car will have a longer life.CoolantCoolant–also known as antifreeze–keeps your engine cool in the summer and warm in the winter. It also helps prevent corrosion. Coolant deteriorates as time goes on, so you need to make sure it is topped off and replaced as needed. Typically you should check it after 50,000 miles.Brake FluidBrake fluid is essential to properly working brakes. As brake pads wear, your brake fluid also goes down. Be sure your brake fluid is always in the proper range and be sure to get your brakes serviced regularly.Transmission FluidTransmission fluid keeps all parts of the transmission lubricated and working properly. Valves, clutches, and gears all need to be lubricated to function as intended. Low transmission fluid can cause trouble when shifting and result in a busted transmission–which can be very expensive to fix. Transmission fluid needs to be replaced, but in newer cars this is usually around 100,000 miles.Keep it Clean–Inside and OutGive your car a good wash every now and then to get any harmful or potentially corrosive substances off of the paint, such as salt and tar. Not only will your car look better immediately, but a good wash and polish can keep it looking better for longer. Also be sure to regularly vacuum out and clean the inside of your car–this can also prevent bad stains and rips. Keeping both the interior and exterior of your car clean will help your resale value in the future as well.Take Care of your Tires It is vitally important to make sure your tires have the proper tire pressure. Underinflation adds a lot of internal stress to the tires, making them weaker. If they are underinflated, not only will it make for a bumpier ride, but it makes you more susceptible to blowouts. And bonus: you get better gas mileage on properly inflated tires. You should check your tire pressure at least once a month.Also make sure your tires have enough tread on them. If your tires lack tread, they have a greater chance of a blowout and might not be able to stop properly in an emergency.Drive SafelyThe way you drive will ultimately affect your car’s life. After all, accidents and improper driving can cause the car to undergo significant stress and shorten the life of many components. Be sure to warm your car up a bit before taking it out on the road, accelerate gently, and avoid slamming on the brakes. All of these steps can help add life to your car.Use Good Quality GasUsing quality gas doesn’t mean using premium gas every chance you get. You still need to use the recommended fuel for your vehicle. This means merely to not use the cheapest gas around. AAA found in a 2016 study that off-brand gas tended to have 19 times more engine deposits than name brand gasoline. These carbon deposits end up giving you worse gas mileage, increase the emissions, and cause your car to perform worse. So while the gas might be cheaper up front, you will still end up paying for it in the long run.Fix Windshield Chips ASAPWhile a windshield chip might not seem like a big deal, a chip in the windshield can quickly become a crack if not fixed quickly. And once your windshield is cracked you will need a new one entirely. Replacing a windshield can cost between $200 and $400, so it’s definitely a cost that you want to avoid, if possible.Change the Air Filter RegularlyYour air filter has an important job: it traps debris and dirt that might get caught in your engine. By keeping your engine clean, the air filter:Increases fuel efficiencyReduces emissionsProlongs engine lifeBy keeping foreign materials out of the engine, it protects all of the cylinders and pistons that can be easily damaged. Your car in general will perform better when it has its air filter replaced. You should replace it every year, at least, and twice a year if you live in a heavily polluted or dusty area.In addition to changing your auto air filter, you should also replace your cabin air filter regularly. This filter cleans the air that enters our car from the heating and air conditioning, so it’s important for our health, as well as the health of our cars. If the cabin filter is located behind your glove compartment, it’s easy to check to see if you need a new one. But if it’s somewhere harder to reach, there are some telltale signs that it’s time to change. If you notice any of the following, it’s probably time to replace it.Reduced air flowIncreased noise as you turn the fan higherBad odorCabin filters are typically replaced once every year or two.Those are our top tips to extend the life of your car.Good maintenance practices can go a long way when it comes to protecting your car. It can help ensure that your car will last longer on the road and ensure a higher resale value when the time comes.Another good tip for car owners is to refinance your car loan. It can save you hundreds of dollars a year and couldn’t be simpler. Just head over to Auto Approve, fill out some information, and start saving money today.What are you waiting for? Contact us today!GET A QUOTE IN 60 SECONDS
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12 Ways to Save Money During the School Year

08/03/2022 22:00
It’s back to school time! And with that comes all of the expenses of school. Clothes, books, supplies–and of course, tuition. It’s more important now than ever to cut costs when possible and save as much money as possible.Today we are talking about how you can save money during the semester. From scoring large scholarships to counting pennies in your couch cushions, every little bit counts. So take a seat and pull out your lined paper, class is in session!Here are our twelve top ways to save money during the semester.How to Save Money on College ExpensesLet’s face it: college is expensive. But with a little creativity and hard work, you can cut your college expenses.# 1: Apply for as many scholarships as possibleScholarships are always a hot topic in high school. Your senior year is full of applications and essays to try to get the most funding possible. And for many people, scholarship applications stay in the high school hallways. But you can–and should–apply for scholarships when you are in college.Securing scholarships when you are already in college may in fact be easier than it was in high school. There are a few reasons for this:There’s not as much competition. There are always more first year students than any other group of college students. These numbers will reduce as time goes on, making less competition. You may be more focused. Now that you are already in college, you may have honed in more on what you would like to do with your life. This means you can approach scholarships that are more targeted to your career and interests.You can use your merits. Writing to your dean directly is an excellent way to secure more money if you have been excelling in your curriculum. Write a letter to the dean explaining your financial situation and how well your studies are going–you may be awarded additional grants. Doing this every year can add up big.While there aren’t as many scholarships for older students, there are definitely a lot out there. Look for scholarships in your local community as well as online. Credit unions, volunteer groups, and community centers are great places to get started.#2 Sell back your textbooksTextbooks may feel like a thing of the past, but they are oftentimes still required by professors. Before you buy any textbooks, try to talk to previous students of the class. Did they really need the textbook, or was it never used? Can you share a book with a classmate? If buying the textbook is essential, try to find a used copy. You can often save hundreds over the course of your college career by buying used. And whether you buy used or new, always try to sell back your textbooks at the end of the semester. You can sell them online, to a friend, or even to your college bookstore, although they will probably pay you the least amount of money.#3. Use your student discountThere are a ton of places that will offer student discounts, including tech stores, restaurants, concerts, and movie theaters. All you have to do is show your student ID and you are good to go. Taking full advantage of these perks can make your college experience fun while not breaking the bank.#4. Be intentional with your class selectionWhile college can be a fun time to explore and “find yourself”, let’s be honest–it’s really expensive. So while you might be tempted to take some exploratory and enjoyable courses, make sure you are not veering off the course you should be on. If you end up needing extra classes or even an extra semester, it will be very costly.How to Save Money on Living ExpensesThe cost of living is through the roof these days, so cutting costs on your living expenses is important.#5. Be frugal in your homeRemember when dad used to go around the house switching off all the light switches? Or changing the thermostat? It’s time to channel that energy into your current living arrangements. Turning off appliances that you aren’t using and cutting out subscription services that you don’t need are just a few ways you can cut your living expenses this semester. Living in a dorm? This may not apply to you as much, but getting into good habits with your electrical consumption will pay off when you do move out on your own.# 6. Refinance your car loanHaving a car can be a major expense, especially when you are in college. But depending on where your school is, it might be a necessary expense. If you got a new car and financed it, there’s a good chance you are paying a lot of money in interest. Refinancing your car loan may help you out a lot with your monthly payments as well as save you money in the long run. By securing a lower car loan APR, you could save hundreds of dollars a year.If your credit score isn’t fantastic, you can ask a friend or a loved one to cosign with you on your refinance. When you refinance, the lender will look at both of your credit scores and credit histories and take everything into account when determining what loan terms to offer.#7. Carpool With the price of gas and maintenance, driving around can be quite expensive. Try to carpool with other students when you can. Not only will it keep your gas costs lower, but it will reduce wear and tear on your car if you alternate with other drivers. Plus, it’s better for the environment. #8. Learn to cook–and couponEating out can add up VERY quickly. From coffee out with friends to bar food late at night, it’s easy to see how college budgets can stretch beyond their means. But learning to cook can help cut down on this expense, especially when you couple that with smart grocery shopping. Buying in bulk, clipping coupons, and using store rewards points can all help keep your dining expenses down. Plus, it’s a fun activity you can do with friends.How to Save Money You Already HaveLearning how to manage your money is one of the most important skills you can learn. You work hard for your money, so you need to be smart with it.#9. Get a free checking accountAs a student you are eligible for a lot of perks and discounts, and a major perk of being a student is a free checking account. There are a lot of options out there to choose from, so be sure to do your research. And while you are at it, stock up on all of the free checks you can get your hands on–you don’t want to pay for unnecessary things like that while on a strict budget.#10. Pay your bills on timePaying your bills on time and in full is important on a number of levels. First up, it gets you in a good habit for the rest of your life. Good financial habits will pay off for the rest of your life. It will also help you build your credit score. There are five main factors that go into your credit score:Payment History (35%)Amounts Owed (30%)Credit History Length (15%)Credit Mix (10%)New Accounts (10%)Payment history is the most important factor for your credit score, so making on-time, full, and consistent payments is imperative for maintaining a good credit score. Having a good credit score will help you out in so many ways, from securing lower interest rates to helping you get approved for a mortgage. And all of this starts with making on time payments.And finally, paying your bills on time will help you to avoid late payment charges. These fees can really add up, so be sure to prioritize paying bills before they are due.#11. Save your changeEvery penny counts, and all of your change can add up to a lot of money over the course of months and years. By saving your change and exchanging it, you can easily add extra money to your budget. Try to avoid coin counting machines that charge fees though–your bank most likely has a machine to exchange coins free of charge.#12. Take advantage of cash backWhile you don’t want to charge everything you purchase, it is usually worthwhile to pick a few purchases every month to charge (and pay back in full) to help build your credit. It will also help you accumulate cash back points. Shop around for a credit card with good terms and cash back on things that you purchase a lot, such as groceries.Those are our top tips for saving money during the semester.Going back to school can be expensive, but utilizing some of these tips can help cushion the blow. From saving the coins under your car seat to applying for grants, any amount of savings can help in these times. Owning a car is often necessary when away at school, but that doesn’t mean you have to overpay on your car loan. Refinancing is a great way to reduce the amount of interest you are paying and create some extra room in your budget every month. And with Auto Approve it couldn’t be easier! So don’t wait–contact Auto Approve today!GET A QUOTE IN 60 SECONDS
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How Can I Avoid Paying Interest on My Car Loan?

07/31/2022 22:00
Paying interest on a car loan can feel like throwing your money away. But unfortunately interest is unavoidable to a certain extent. Approximately 85% of all new car purchases are financed, and that adds up to a lot of money we are all paying every year to our lenders. If you are wondering “Can I avoid paying interest on my car loan?”, then we are here to answer your questions. While you can’t avoid interest altogether, there are ways to lower the amount of interest you have to pay.Here are our top tips to avoid paying interest on your car loan.How to reduce the amount of interest you are paying.Make full, consistent, and on time paymentsMaking full and on time payments will help ensure that you avoid paying extra interest on your car loan. If your payments are incomplete, it can result in a lot of extra fees and added interest payments. If your loan has an option for automatic payments, it might be a good idea to set that up so that you don’t inadvertently miss a payment.Round up your paymentsAnother great tip for paying off your loan a little early (and helping avoid some of that interest) is to round your payments up every month. Instead of paying $330 a month towards your loan, round up to $350. That extra $20 will go towards the principle and can help you pay down your balance at a faster rate. Make an extra payment every yearIf you can make an extra payment every year it will help you to pay off your loan faster and help you save on interest. Pick a time of year when you tend to have some extra cash, maybe from a tax refund or from a performance bonus, and apply that to an extra car loan payment. Refinance your car loanThe car loan APR you have is the most important factor in how much interest you will have to pay. If your car loan APR is a bit high, refinancing your car loan is a great way to correct that. Your car loan APR is based on a number of factors including your credit score, debt-to-income ratio, and your car. You will have a good chance of refinancing to a lower APR if your credit score has improved since initial financing, your debt-to-income ratio has lowered, or market rates have decreased. Refinancing to a lower car loan APR can save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars, and if you use a company that specializes in car loan refinance it is super easy. Make half payments every two weeksIf you make a half payment every two weeks as opposed to one payment every month, you will end up making 13 full payments a year as opposed to 12. This can help you pay off your loan even earlier and save you additional money on interest.How to get the best terms on your car loan in the first place.Make a larger down paymentMaking a larger down payment up front can help you take out a lower principle, therefore allowing you to pay less interest over the life of the loan. Let’s say you are interested in buying a $30,000 car. You put a $5,000 down payment on the car and decide to finance the other $25,000. When you take into account the sales tax (let’s say it's 6%), you will be financing a total of $26,800. At 5% over a 48 month loan, you will pay $2,825 in interest. Your monthly payment will be $617.Now let’s assume that you make an $8,000 down payment and all of the other terms are the same. Now you will only pay $2,509 in interest, and your monthly payment will be $548. Not only do you save over $300, but you are cutting your monthly payments by nearly $70. That can be a huge help over the course of your repayment.Opt for a shorter loan repayment periodWhen you are considering financing, be sure to think about the repayment period. A longer repayment period will typically mean that your monthly payments will be less, but it also means you will be paying interest over a longer period of time. If you choose a shorter repayment period you will not only pay interest over less time, but you will most likely be offered a lower car loan APR.A shorter loan repayment period will also mean that you are less likely to end up upside-down in your loan. This refers to when you owe more on your car than your car is worth. The longer your repayment period is, the more likely it is that you will end up in this situation. Make sure your credit score is in top shapeHaving a good credit score is the best way to ensure that you will get the best car loan APR possible. Your credit score is the top metric used when determining what car loan APR you will be offered, so it is definitely worth it to make sure it’s in good shape. To maximize your credit score, be sure to do the following:Make full, consistent, on-time payments to all of your accounts.Set up auto pay to ensure you don’t have late payments.Pay off as much debt as possible to reduce your credit utilization ratio.Ask for credit limit increases to reduce your credit utilization ratio.Avoid opening any new lines of credit before applying for financing.Cut down on spending as much as possible to reduce debt.Get a copy of your credit report and make sure all of the information is correct. Report any incorrect information to the bureau. Taking the time to check your credit score can make all of the difference when it comes to what car loan APR you are offered. Even if you have to wait a few months before you apply for financing, it will pay off in the long run.Get a cosigner if necessaryIf your credit score is not the best, it might be a good idea to get a cosigner on your loan. When you have a cosigner, the lender will consider both of your credit scores, credit histories, and debt to income ratios. This means that if your cosigner is in much better standing than you are, they can help you secure a lower car loan APR.How to look out for the fine print.Car loans are notorious for their fine print. From additional fees to prepayment penalties, there is a lot that you should be on the lookout for when you are considering financing. In addition to interest, there might be a lot of additional money you might owe.If you are unclear about any of the terms or fine print, be sure to ask the lender. You want to fully understand what you are responsible for when it comes to your car loan.The additional feesCar loans often have additional fees for which you might be responsible. You will of course have to pay the origination fee (which is essentially the fee of doing business) and the registration fee, but there might be additional hidden fees on top of those. These fees may include:Market Adjustment FeeShipping FeeDealer Prep FeeAdvertising FeeThese may vary greatly between lenders and dealers which is why you always want to read through for the fine print. There may be room to negotiate on these points as well.The interest rateMake sure that the interest rate is fixed, not variable. A variable rate can fluctuate a great deal and significantly impact the amount of money you will have to pay in interest. Fixed rates will ensure that you know exactly how much you will have to pay for the life of the loan.The prepayment penaltiesDoes the loan have prepayment penalties? If so, this could be a lot of money you are on the hook for if you choose to pay off your loan early. This could affect you if you were simply hoping to pay off your loan, or if you were looking to refinance your loan. Try to negotiate any prepayment penalties upfront–you don’t want to be penalized for paying off your loan early. And those are our top tips for avoiding interest on your car loan.While paying interest is inevitable when you finance, there are ways to reduce the amount of money you will end up paying. Negotiating good financing terms up front is the most important step you can take. As you begin repayment, make sure that you are making full, on time payments while making additional payments when possible. All of this will help ensure that you pay as little interest as possible.If you are overpaying on interest every month, consider car loan refinancing. Refinancing your loan to a lower interest rate can save you a lot of money on interest. And with the cost of everything these days, who couldn’t use some extra money?So don’t wait–contact Auto Approve today to get started!GET A QUOTE IN 60 SECONDS
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Can I Refinance My Car with the Same Lender?

07/28/2022 22:00
Refinancing can sound like a hassle. You know there will be a lot of paperwork involved and you know you are going to spend a lot of time comparing offers. So you are probably wondering “Can I refinance my car with the same lender?” After all, that will make refinancing your car loan much easier and much simpler, won’t it?While that may sound like the easy route to take, today we are going to talk about why you probably shouldn’t refinance your car loan with the same lender. Refinancing your loan will be more impactful if you shop around and compare to ensure that you are getting the best terms possible.Here’s why you shouldn’t refinance your car loan with the same lender without comparing and shopping around.How many times can you refinance your car with the same bank?Yes, you can refinance your car with the same lender. And you can refinance your car as many times as you would like. That being said, there are some guidelines as to when you should refinance your car.You should wait at least 6 monthsYou can refinance your car loan at any time, so long as the paperwork on your financing is complete (this can take up to 90 days). But experts generally suggest waiting six months before refinancing. This is because it can take between six months and one year for your credit score to bounce back from your financing. Refinancing is most impactful when your credit score has increased, so you want to wait until your score has rebounded from the hard credit inquiries.You should have at least two years remaining on your current loanCar loans are front loaded amortized loans. This means that in the beginning of the loan repayment you are primarily paying back the interest, and as time goes on you pay more and more towards the principal. So the closer you are to the end of your repayment period, the less you are paying in interest, therefore the less money you could potentially save. Having at least two years remaining on your loan will help ensure that you will benefit from refinancing your vehicle.You should make sure you aren’t on the hook for huge prepayment feesCheck your existing loan contract carefully to see if there are any extreme prepayment penalties. These fees may still apply even if you are refinancing with the same lender. If you are unsure, call customer service and have them review your contract with you. Should you refinance with the same lender?If the timing is right, you are probably wondering if you should refinance your car loan with the same lender. And while you technically can, there are a few reasons that should dissuade you.There’s a lot of competition for ratesIn the past, car loan refinancing was done through traditional banks. You were limited by what banks were in your area, and there really weren’t other options for you. But nowadays, there are thousands upon thousands of lenders to choose. From traditional banks to online lenders to credit unions, your options are seemingly endless.All of these options mean one thing: more competition. And more competition means that you can get better car loan rates. By simply refinancing your loan with the same lender, you are ignoring all of the competition out there and narrowing your options.Different lenders will prioritize different aspects of your finances, so you might have better luck with certain lenders depending on your situation. While the APR you are offered will be based in part on your credit score, your debt-to-income ratio, what type of car you are driving, and your credit utilization ratio, the way in which these are considered may vary. While one lender may put the greatest importance on your credit score, another lender may feel that your income is the most important factor. One lender may require that your car be less than 7 years old, while another lender may extend that to 10 years. So depending on your finances and your car, you might have way better luck with one lender as opposed to a different one.There’s room to negotiate feesIf there’s more competition, it gives you a better chance to look around and save in fees. Origination fees can vary significantly between lenders, and having the ability to shop around and compare can save you a lot of money. It can also give you the chance to negotiate with lenders. Some fees you will be able to negotiate, while others you will not. Typically you will be able to negotiate the following:Origination fees (this is essentially the cost of the loan paperwork)Advertising feesShipping feesDealer prep feesMarket adjustment feesOther fees such as the registration fee are non negotiable. But telling new lenders that you are shopping around (and even considering your existing lender) should give you some room to negotiate.How do you refinance a car?Refinancing a car is incredibly easy, especially when you use a company that specializes in refinance, like Auto Approve. Do Your ResearchThe first step to car loan refinance is research. You will ultimately want to apply to three to five lenders for your refinance, so you want to make educated choices. Talk to friends and loved ones to see if they have good recommendations. Read online reviews to see which lenders might be a good fit and who has good customer service. Gather all of this information and then make an informed decision on where to apply. Also make sure that your car is eligible for refinance. Some lenders have requirements about the age and mileage of the cars they refinance. Check–and Double Check–Your CreditYour credit score is one of the most important factors in the car loan APR that you will be offered, so you want to be sure it is in great shape before you even apply. In the months leading up to your refinance be sure to make full, consistent, and on time payments. Try to pay down as much debt as you can and set up autopay on accounts that allow it. Request a copy of your credit report (you can do this three times per year for free) and be sure your report is accurate. If there are any issues or errors, report them immediately to the credit bureau. If your score isn’t better than it was during your initial financing,you might want to put off refinancing until your score has improved.Review Your Current TermsMake sure you are able to leave your current contract without any issues. As we mentioned before, there might be some prepayment penalties that will outweigh any savings.Get Your Documents TogetherGather all documents you will need for your applications. You will most likely need the following to get started:A Photo ID (such as a passport or driver’s license)Your vehicle’s information (may include the bill of sale, VIN number, make, model, and year of your car)Proof of income and financial history (may include pay stubs, banking information, and your credit report)  Proof of residence (such as a mortgage statement, lease agreement, or utility bill. Note that PO boxes are not acceptable as proof of residence)Proof of insuranceScanning all of these documents into one location will make applying easier. Apply and CompareOnce you have your lenders picked out and have all of your documents ready, you are ready to apply. But this is when using a company like Auto Approve really pays off. They can handle all of the applications and paperwork for you (as well as helping you pick which lenders might be best in the first place). And when the offers come in they can help you compare the rates and terms. The most important thing to compare is the car loan APR, but you also want to think about prepayment penalties, fees, and how their customer service is. Sign and SaveAfter comparing all of your offers and selecting the best one for you, all that’s left to do is sign on the dotted line. If  you use Auto Approve for your car loan refinance, we will even handle the DMV paperwork for you. The new lender should handle paying off your previous loan, but be sure there are no additional steps you are required to take.And that’s it! You can see the benefits of refinancing right away.While you can refinance your car loan with the same lender, you should definitely shop around and compare offers from other lenders.Refinancing your car loan may sound complicated and time consuming, but refinancing with Auto Approve makes the process simple and quick. With just a little preparation and research you could save a lot of money every month. And who couldn’t use a little extra cash in their pockets? So what are you waiting for? Contact Auto Approve and start saving today!GET A QUOTE IN 60 SECONDS
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Top 8 Automotive Technologies in 2022

07/26/2022 22:00
In the 150 years since the car was first invented, a lot has changed. Technology has completely changed our lives and completely changed how we interact with the world. As time moves on, technology is developing at an increasingly faster pace and becoming more and more innovative.Every year brings new developments and trends, so let’s take a look at some of the most interesting automotive technologies of this year.Today we are looking at the top 8 most interesting automotive technologies in 2022.Is the auto industry growing?The global pandemic disrupted many industries world wide, and the automotive industry was no exception. Car sales plummeted by over 14% in 2020 and while increasing, they have yet to hit the pre-pandemic levels. There are a lot of reasons for this dip. There was a disrupted supply chain, massive layoffs, manufacturing shutoffs, and less interest or ability to buy a new car.But despite this, the auto industry is growing and shifting. New technology is bringing big changes to the way we drive and interact with the world. Studies suggest that the automotive industry will grow by 205 million units by the end of 2028.  These new cars promise to be more innovative than anything before. What are the most interesting automotive technologies of 2022?Automotive innovation is changing by the minute and it seems like there is always something new on the horizon. Here are our top 8 automotive technologies:#1. Automatic Emergency Braking SystemsMany new cars have an automatic emergency braking system built into them now. These systems sense when a collision is imminent and can react faster than a driver can hit the brakes. AEB systems can also brake harder than a person who is stepping on a brake pedal. These systems not only add another layer of protection for the driver, but they bring us another step closer to fully autonomous, self-driving cars.#2. Solid State BatteriesElectric cars are definitely the future of the car industry, but their major drawback is the lithium ion batteries that they require. Not only are these batteries expensive but they use rare earth materials to produce them. But the development of solid state batteries will help make electric cars more compact, lighter, and more efficient. #3. Advanced Driver Assistance SystemsAdvanced Driver Assistance Systems (ASADs) are systems that can aid in the detection of imminent accidents and collisions. These systems are instrumental in the development of autonomous cars and there is more and more work being done on this technology every day. Some of the top ADA systems include:Adaptive cruise controlLane departure warningsReverse brake assistForward collision avoidanceLane keep assistBlind spot detectionCross traffic alertsAll of these systems add layers of safety and can give extra reassurance to drivers on the road.#4. Energy Storing Body PanelsBattery packs on electric cars take up a lot of space on the undercarriage. That’s why engineers are working to store energy in the body panels of the cars. These body panels could also replace traditional batteries in regular gas and diesel vehicles as well. #5. Self Driving TechnologySelf driving technology is becoming more and more advanced. With Tesla leading the way, cars are becoming more and more autonomous, and in 2022 we are seeing huge leaps in this technology. Fully self-driving cars are expected to be developed by the end of the decade.#6. Perception SensorsCars are becoming more and more advanced with their use of sensors. These sensors include cameras, Radar, ultrasonic sensors, and LiDAR to learn what is on the road. These technologies are becoming more advanced, and researchers in Cambridge are working on using AI to sense the world around.#7. Wireless CapabilitiesThe more technology improves, the more that our cars will need to be updated to continue working properly. 5G technology and improvements with wireless technology will help ensure that our smart cars can keep up with the changing tech landscape.#8. Augmented Reality TechnologyAugmented reality is an interactive experience where the real world environment is changed through technology. For automotive technology, this means that AR programs could be used to assist with parking or map out terrains. What are some future trends in automotive technology?There are so many interesting and exciting advances that are possible in the automotive industry. Based on the trends of today and the technology that is currently being developed, we can already see the future that is being developed.The future of cars is autonomous. As engineers continue developing Advanced Driver Assistance Systems, the technology for fully self-driving cars is becoming more and more tangible. In fact, it seems likely that by 2030 not only will self driving cars exist, but experts predict they will take up 15% of the new car market.The future of cars is electric. As we see with today’s trends, there is a huge focus on the development of batteries and energy storage solutions. In addition to the use of solid state batteries, the use of hydrogen fuel cells is becoming more and more realistic. Engineers are dedicated to a future with zero emissions that uses renewable energy.The future of cars is connected. Connectivity is a major hallmark of the automotive future. Cars will be more linked together and communicative in the future, with the ability to network with other cars, traffic lights, and traffic signs.That is a glimpse into the future of the automotive industry, and those are some of the top automotive technologies of 2022.The future of cars will be exciting to watch, as it will completely change the way we get around and the way we interact with the world. One thing that won’t change is the amount you are paying for your car loan. That is, unless you get it refinanced. Refinancing your car loan can save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars and give you a lot of extra breathing room in your finances every month. The best news is that refinancing your car loan is actually super easy when you use a company that specializes in refinance, like Auto Approve. They have relationships with lenders across the country to make sure you get the best rates and terms possible. Thier knowledgeable team of refinance experts will work with you to make sure the process is as easy as possible. And with nearly 4000 5 star reviews on TrustPilot, you know you are in good hands.So don’t wait any longer to start saving money–call Auto Approve and get started today!GET A QUOTE IN 60 SECONDS
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Why Are Rent Prices Going Up?

07/25/2022 22:00
Rent prices are the talk of the town lately, and with good reason. After all, they have been steadily outpacing wage increases for the better part of four decades. But recently they have been increasing at an even more alarming rate. Rent prices have never been higher, and they just keep going up. But why now, and what can we do to help our finances keep up?Today we are talking about why rents are increasing and what steps you can take to create more room in your monthly budget.Why is rent increasing?Rents have steadily been increasing and outpacing wages for decades. In fact, the average rent has increased 149% since 1985 while income grew by just 35%. That means rent has been increasing at a rate that is nearly five times faster than income. The rule of thumb when it came to budgeting used to be simple: pay 30% or less of your income on housing costs. But this rule is nearly impossible for people who make under $30,000 a year to follow. After all, that would mean finding an apartment with rent and utilities for under $750 a month (compare that to the national average for a one bedroom apartment which is $1169). Even with roommates that is a difficult undertaking with the soaring costs of rents. From March 2021 to March 2022 the average rent rose 17%, while wages only increased by 6%. This disparity has a compounding effect, creating more and more of an issue for renters every year. It is only becoming harder and harder for people to pay their bills every month.  Let’s look at a few of the reasons rent has been soaring lately.The pandemic created more competition in the rental markets.The pandemic had everyone stuck in their homes–and therefore stuck with their housemates. This caused many people to want their own space. Young adults wanted to move out of their parents’ homes, people with roommates wanted an apartment of their own, and many couples broke up and needed their own space.According to US census data, the amount of US households grew by 1.48 million last year. That is a huge increase in the amount of homes and rentals needed in the United States. All of these extra households created more competition in the rental market, leading to higher rent prices across the country.We have been underdeveloping housing for over a decade.A decade of lax development has finally started to show its face. After the 2008 crash, many homebuilding companies slowed their development plans. This resulted in nearly fifteen years of housing development being outpaced by the growing population. Housing units that were built were aimed at the wealthy–luxury condos and high rises were being built in lieu of affordable housing options. This was only exacerbated by the pandemic, where a shortage of workers and materials caused a further drop in new construction. While the demand for housing has been rising, the supply has been unable to keep up.An increase in mortgage rates made buying more expensive.Mortgage payments have increased an average of 6% since the pandemic, which equates to hundreds of extra dollars a month. On top of that, the housing market is becoming increasingly more expensive. The median sale price of an American home recently hit a record high of $346,900 according to the National Association of Realtors. The price of single family homes increased 18% in 2021 alone. This means that many Americans are simply being priced out of buying a home, and renting is their only option. Would-be homeowners are adding to an already crowded rental pool, causing more demand and higher rent prices.Rent freezes have expired.Many cities and states put rent freezes in effect early on in the pandemic. Now that those freezes have expired, many landlords are adding in two years worth of rent increases at once–essentially trying to make up for what they feel they lost. But this is a huge hit to renters who are having their rents raised by hundreds and hundreds of dollars. New renters with deep pockets.New renters entering the market with a lot of disposable income are also driving up the rental markets. The pandemic brought on a wave of new work from home opportunities, allowing people with very well paying jobs to work from anywhere. Instead of being confined to the big cities, white collar workers with high paying jobs could suddenly relocate anywhere, affording larger and more luxury apartments outside of New York or San Francisco. This brought more competition to smaller cities and towns. This wealthier demographic is changing the rental game in a lot of ways, adding more fuel to the fire.How long will rent increases last?With so many factors affecting the rental market, it is hard to predict exactly how long rent prices will keep climbing. It will depend a lot on if supply and demand can level themselves out. If new construction can create more affordable units, that will help a great deal. Similarly, if potential homebuyers can actually buy homes instead of being outpriced, that will help the rental market as well. Unfortunately that seems unlikely as economists predict that home prices will continue to rise into 2023. Either way, many economists predict that the rental market will revert to its typical 3.5% growth after 2022. How can you save extra money every month to pay rent?While we cannot control rent hikes or cost of living increases, we can control our budget. Cutting our expenses here and there is one way we can help to offset the increasing rent prices and help make ends meet.Focus on your credit scoreIncreasing your credit score is always a good idea, especially when financial times are difficult. Having a good credit score is important for a lot of reasons. A good credit score can help you:Get you approved for a mortgageGet higher credit card limitsGet approved for a car loanBut in addition to opening you up to more lines of credit, a good credit score can actually save you money.It can get you lower car insurance paymentsIt can help you get a better car loan rateIt can help you get a better mortgage rateIt can help you get better credit card ratesAll of this can add up to hundreds if not thousands of dollars of savings every year. There are some simple steps you can take to increase your credit score. Making full, consistent, and on time payments is one of the best ways you can help your credit score. Focusing on paying down any debts and increasing your lines of credit can also help give your credit score a boost.Refinance your car loanRefinancing your car loan can give you a little (or a lot) of extra breathing room in your budget every month. It can cut your monthly loan payments in a few ways.Refinancing to a lower car loan APR will automatically reduce your monthly payments. But refinancing and selecting a longer repayment period will allow you to repay your loan over an extended period of time. That can reduce your monthly payments drastically. Let’s say you have $20,000 left in your car loan. Even if your interest rate remained the same at five percent, refinancing from 36 months to 60 months will reduce your monthly payments by over $170. And that can really help make up the gap with rent increases.Stick to a budgetA budget is your best tool for keeping pace with rent increases. It is so important to keep track of your incoming and outgoing money, as it will tell you exactly what your financial state is. Making a budget doesn’t have to be complicated. Simply track your income, track your expenses (take an average of any expenses that vary) and see how they line up from month to month. If there are any categories that seem too high, like subscription services or grocery bills, see where you can make some cuts. Try canceling any services you don’t use a lot, start buying generic brands, and sign up for any rewards programs that can give you extra savings.That’s why rent prices are increasing and what you can do to create some extra room in your budget.It’s hard to say when the rent increases will slow down, so it’s important to be smart with your money today so you don’t have trouble in the future. Creating a solid budget, working to increase your credit score, and refinancing your car loan are all great steps you can take to help handle the rental increases.If you have a car loan, there’s a good chance you are overpaying every month. To find out how much money you could be saving, get in touch with Auto Approve today. Our refinance experts can help guide you through the process and start saving you money immediately.Don’t wait–get in touch today!GET A QUOTE IN 60 SECONDS
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Is Refinancing a Car Worth It?

07/21/2022 22:00
There’s so much to do every day, most of us want to avoid adding another thing to our to do list. Between work, home, and our families, there’s already a never ending list of things we should be doing. But when it comes to refinancing your car loan, there are a lot of benefits that may make it worthy of your to do list.Here’s why refinancing a car loan is worth it. When should you refinance your car loan?Refinancing a car loan can save you a lot of money. But there are times when refinancing a car loan will make more sense than others. Here’s when you should think about car loan refinancing.When market rates have decreasedCar loan refinancing saves you money by reducing your car loan APR, which reduces the overall amount you will have to pay back. It will also decrease your monthly payments. If the market rates have increased a lot since your initial financing, you might have a difficult time qualifying for a lower car loan APR. But if the market rates have decreased since your initial financing–and there’s a good chance they have–then you will most likely qualify for a lower car loan APR.When your credit score has increasedIf your credit score has increased since your initial financing, you will most likely get a much lower car loan APR. And that can translate to a lot of money in savings.Your credit score is based on a number of factors. While some factors affect your score more than others, an increase in any area can cause an increase in your credit. The five areas that affect your credit score are: Payment History (35%) This looks at your history of making full and on time payments. Amounts Owed (30%) This looks at the amount of money you owe compared to how much credit you have available to you.Credit History Length (15%) The age of your credit accounts. A longer credit history is more favorable to lenders.Credit Mix (10%) Having a diverse assortment of accounts is beneficial to a high credit score. A healthy mix might include a mortgage, auto loan, student loan, and credit cards.New Credit. (10%) The number of new accounts you have opened plus the amount of hard inquiries you have had on your credit account for 10% of your credit score. If you have paid off some debt since your initial financing, or have been more consistent with your payments since then, it could have a huge effect on your credit score. Your credit score is the biggest factor that you have control over when it comes to what car loan APR you will be offered.When you need extra breathing room in your monthly budgetIf you qualify for a lower car loan APR, your monthly payments will automatically decrease. But refinancing can allow you to decrease your monthly payments even if you are unable to qualify for a lower car loan APR. By lengthening your repayment period, you can stretch out the amount you have to pay back over a longer period of time. This will reduce your monthly payments drastically. Instead of dividing your payments up across 36 months, you can divide them up over 48 months. This can give you a lot of breathing room in your budget every month.When you need to add or remove a cosignerIf you want to add or remove a cosigner, refinancing is the only way to do so. Let’s say you originally financed a car with a loved one because your credit wasn’t the best, but now you have increased your score through a lot of hard work and do not need any additional help. Refinancing can help you take ownership of your loan and let your loved one off the hook.Conversely, if your credit score has slipped a bit but you really want to get a lower car loan APR, adding on a cosigner can help you do so. Lenders will look at your scores and credit history together, allowing you to get a lower car loan APR than you would be able to get otherwise.Does refinancing a car hurt credit?If you have worked hard to get your credit score higher, you may be anxious to refinance out of fear that it will lower your score. The good news is that there is only a small upfront dip on your score, and in the long run refinancing can actually help you increase your credit score.Refinancing will affect two categories of our credit score, your credit history length and your new credit. A new account will negatively affect your credit history length, and the hard inquiries and new account will also affect the new credit category. Keep in mind that this will only affect your score for a year, as hard inquiries are erased after one year. Submitting all of your applications for car loan refinance at one time will help minimize any damage to your credit score. Credit agencies know that consumers need to shop around and submit more than one application, so they allow a fourteen day window where all credit inquiries will consolidate and count as one singular hard credit inquiry. This is another reason that using a company that specializes in car loan refinance, like Auto Approve, can prove advantageous. They can apply to multiple lenders in a short time frame so that everything will be considered as one inquiry. If you are trying to refinance on your own, you may inadvertently space out your applications too far and hurt your credit score.But refinancing your car loan can help your credit score in the long run. It can help by:Reducing your monthly payments. If your car payments are lower, you will have an easier time making sure you don’t miss any payments you can’t afford.Helping you pay off debt. More money in your pocket means more money you can use to pay off other debts. Lowering your credit utilization ratio can have a very positive effect on your credit score.Car loan refinancing might cause your credit score to dip slightly in the beginning, but it can be worth it in the long run and can help ease a tight financial situation.How do you refinance a car loan?If car loan refinancing seems like a good idea, there’s good news–refinancing a car loan is super easy. Using a company that specializes in car loan refinance, like Auto Approve, can make the process quick and pain free. ResearchBefore you do anything, you want to be as prepared as possible. The biggest thing you want to be prepared with is your credit score. Request a copy of your credit report (you can do this once a year with each of the three major credit bureaus, so essentially three times a year). Make sure that your score is in good standing and that there aren’t any errors or inconsistencies on your report. You also want to be prepared with your existing loan. Look at your current loan contract and make sure you are aware of any penalties for which you may be responsible. Call your lender directly if you have any questions. If you are unsure about any of the fine print, it’s always a good idea to double check with your lender. Apply Applying for a car loan refinance is similar to your original financing application. You will need the following to get started:A Photo ID, such as a passport or driver’s license.Your vehicle’s information, which may include the bill of sale, VIN number, make, model, and year of your car.Proof of income and financial history, which may include pay stubs, banking information, and your credit report.  Proof of residence, such as a mortgage statement, lease agreement, or utility bill. Note that PO boxes are not acceptable as proof of residence.Proof of insurance. Gather all of your information and scan it so it is easy to attach to your online applications. If you use Auto Approve to refinance your car loan, they can handle all of the applications so you don’t have to.CompareOnce your applications are submitted, it won’t take long for the offers to come rolling in. Compare all of your offers (Auto Approve can help you do this) and decide which lender is right for you. Sign and Start Saving MoneyThat's it! Once you have picked the best car refinancing option, sign on the dotted line and start saving money immediately. And if you use AutoApprove for refinancing, we will even handle the DMV paperwork so you don’t have to.And that is why refinancing your car loan is worth it.Refinancing a car loan may sound complicated, but it is actually really easy and can pay off tremendously in the long run. And if you use Auto Approve, refinancing is a breeze. So why wait?GET A QUOTE IN 60 SECONDS
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Calculate How Much A Car Loan Refinance Could Save You

07/20/2022 22:00
Car refinance can save you a lot of money in the long run, but exactly how much can you save? With the cost of everything going up and up these days, every penny counts. And we know that hypothetical savings don’t mean that much: our customers want to know just how much money they can save with vehicle refinance. That’s why we have a free, easy to use loan refinance calculator on the Auto Approve homepage to help you start to figure out how much you could be saving when you refinance. All you need to do is plug in your loan information, and our calculator will take care of the rest!Here’s how to use our car loan refinance calculator, and how you can decide if you should refinance your car loan.How to Use Our Car Loan Refinance CalculatorTo determine exactly how much money you can save with car refinance, you can use our car loan refinance calculator available on our home page at autoapprove.com. Using our car loan refinance calculator is super simple. You will just need some basic information:Your remaining loan amountTime left on the loanYour current APRYour new APRBy simply plugging in this information, you can see exactly how much money you might be able to save with a car refinance. For example, let’s say you have a loan with a balance of $35,000. You still have four years, or 48 months, left to pay it off. Your current APR is 10%, but you have been approved for a new rate of 2.25%. By simply plugging all of this in our loan calculator, you will find that a refinance will save you $5,977.74. Here’s what it looks like:Simple as that! While the calculator doesn't factor in your credit score and can't guarantee you'll get the refinance you're looking for, it's certainly a good start! And if you want to get a more complete and accurate picture of what you might be able to save, you can always get a free quote – it's fast, easy, and there's no credit check or obligation to get a quote.How Does Car Loan Refinance Work?So what exactly is auto refinancing and how can it save you so much money? Auto refinancing is when you pay off your existing car loan with a new loan, a loan that ideally has a lower APR and better terms overall. When you lower your APR, you can save a lot of money in interest every month. And if you refinance to a reduced repayment period, you can save money by reducing the amount of time that you will be paying interest.You can refinance your car with a number of lenders. From credit unions to traditional banks to online lenders, there is an unending list of places to apply. But using a company that specializes in car refinance can make your life much easier.At Auto Approve, car refinance is what we do. We have relationships with lenders across the country so we can secure you the best APR and best terms for your refinance. All you need to do is fill out some basic information and we will handle the rest! We even handle the paperwork so you don’t have to. Our refinance experts can help guide you through the process and ensure that you are getting the best deal possible (and therefore saving the most money!)What are the Benefits of Car Loan Refinance?If you’re wondering “should I refinance my car loan?”, you should consider the benefits of refinancing. If any of the following apply to you, it might be worth considering a car loan refinance.You Can Save MoneyThe main reason people refinance their car loans is to save money. And with how expensive everything is right now, saving money is the name of the game. By refinancing your car loan to a lower rate, you can drastically reduce the amount that you are paying in interest. You can also save money in the long run by refinancing your car loan and decreasing the repayment period. For example if you reduce your repayment period from 48 months to 36 months, you will cut out an entire year of paying interest. And that can add up to big savings. You Can Reduce Your Monthly PaymentsIf you reduce your interest rate, you will automatically reduce your monthly payments. But you can also reduce your monthly payments by lengthening your repayment period. If you change your repayment period from 36 to 48 months, you will stretch out your repayment by twelve months and therefore reduce your monthly payments. You will end up paying more money in interest in the long run, but depending on your financial situation, lower monthly payments might be more beneficial than long term savings.You Can Add or Remove a CosignerIf you originally had a cosigner on your car loan but no longer wish to have them on the account, you will need to refinance your car loan to remove them. On the other hand, if you would like to add on a cosigner, you will also need to refinance your loan. Since loan terms and APRs are highly dependent on the applicant’s credit score and financial history, removing or adding a person will affect the probability of a loan being paid back in full and on time (in the eyes of the bank at least). Refinancing your loan is the best way to adjust who is listed on your loan.When Is a Good Time to Refinance?The best time to refinance depends in part on your personal finances and in part on the market at large. If any of the following apply to you, it might be time to consider refinancing your car loan.When Your Credit Score Has IncreasedThe APR that you are offered will depend a lot on your credit score. Your credit score is an indication to lenders of how likely you are to pay back your loan in full and on time. The higher the credit score, the more likely lenders will consider you to pay back your loan. Credit scores are broken down into the following brackets:800 to 850: Excellent credit740 to 799: Very good credit670 to 739: Good credit580 to 669: Fair credit300 to 579: Poor creditThe best APRs are reserved for those with excellent and very good credit scores. Taking the time to improve your credit score can pay off in the long run (If you’re looking to improve your credit score, check out our blog post on 8 simple tips to help your credit score).When You Need Some Extra Money Every MonthIf you find yourself struggling to pay your bills every month, refinancing your car may help ease your monthly burden a bit. By securing a lower car loan APR, you will save money every month. But even if you do not qualify for a lower car loan APR, refinancing can still help lower your monthly payments.The car loan that you currently have cannot be easily adjusted. You cannot decide to change the repayment period to adjust your payment amounts. But when you refinance your car loan, you can change the repayment period. So instead of paying off your car in 36 months, you can decide to pay your car off in 48 months. This means that you can repay the same amount over a longer period of time, therefore reducing the amount you are paying every month.While you will end up paying more money in the long run because you are paying interest for a longer period of time, it may still be worth it to consider. Refinancing to a longer repayment period can provide a lot of relief to an overworked budget.When the Market Rates are LowThe car loan APR that you are offered will depend in part on your credit score and financial history. But the market rates are another major factor in the car loan APR you will be offered. Today’s rates are still much lower than they were in previous years, making it the perfect time to consider vehicle refinance.When Is It Not a Good Time to Refinance?There are times when it will not make sense to refinance your car loan. If any of the following apply to you, it might be a good idea to hold off on refinancing.Your credit score has decreasedIf your score has decreased since your original loan, you may not qualify for a better car loan APR. Credit scores can decrease for a number of reasons, such as:Late or missed payments.High credit balances.One of your credit limits decreased.A lot of new credit inquiries.Your credit utilization score has dropped.You need a high credit score for another reasonRefinancing will cause your credit score to take a slight dip in the short term. If you need your credit to be in good standing for another reason, say a mortgage application, it is best to wait to apply for refinancing. The fees outweigh the savingsMany car loan contracts have prepayment penalties. Read your contract closely to see if you will incur any penalties, and call your lender directly if you are still unsure. Be sure to do the math and determine if any penalties outweigh any potential refinancing savings.You owe more on your car than it is worthWhen you owe more on your car than it is worth, it is referred to as being “upside down” or “underwater” in your loan. If this is the case, you may not qualify for refinancing.And that’s how to use our loan refinance calculator to decide if vehicle refinance is right for you!If you’ve been thinking about refinancing your car loan, use our loan calculator to see exactly how much money you could be saving – or get your free, no commitment, hassle-free quote to get started right now. GET A QUOTE IN 60 SECONDS
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4 Simple Money Management Tips That'll Change The Way You Spend

07/19/2022 22:00
It’s hard to save money when the price of everything is skyrocketing around us. From the price of food to the price of gas to the price of rent, things keep getting more expensive while we all make the same amount of money.And because of this, it has never been more important to save money where you can. So today we have four simple tips that you can use to help you start saving money and improve your credit score.Here are four simple tips that will transform the way you spend and save.#1. Make a BudgetBudgets are without a doubt the best way to gain control of your finances. It is all too easy to overestimate the amount of money you are bringing in every month and to underestimate the amount of money you are spending every month. Having an accurate budget can help you keep a finger on the pulse of your finances to ensure that you are never spending more than you are making. Creating a budget is simple. It requires some time upfront to determine your income and your expenses, but once you have the initial budget figured out the hard part is over. After that you simply need to be alert about staying within your budget. Here’s how to get started:Determine your income.Depending on your situation, this may be as easy as looking at take home pay (after taxes and deductions are taken out). But if you have a few different streams of income, this might be a bit more complicated. Do you have a side income? Rental properties? An inheritance? All of this counts as monthly income.Determine your fixed expenses.Fixed expenses are expenses where the amount due does not vary from month to month. Make a list of all of these types of expenses. Common fixed expenses include:Rent or MortgageCar PaymentCable BillInsurance PremiumTrash CollectionInternetPhone BillProperty TaxesChildcare ExpensesStudent Loan PaymentsStreaming Services (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Etc)Enter all of these expenses into a spreadsheet so that you can easily track them and change them as needed.Determine your variable expenses.Variable expenses are expenses where the amount due changes from month to month. When trying to include these types of expenses in your budget, you want to calculate a realistic average. Looking at past bills and receipts from the past six months to a year will help you determine an average for each expense. GroceriesElectric BillParking FeesDining OutEntertainment and AttractionsHome Maintenance and RepairsGoing through credit card statements is a great way to determine some of these costs. Getting a realistic average of these expenses is very important, as these are the categories where you might find it easiest to cut back on spending.Plan your budget.There are a lot of different models for budgeting, so you will need to determine what works best for you. And this can depend a lot on what your goals are for budgeting. Are you saving for a new car? Trying to pay off your mortgage? Want to loosen more money up to invest? These different goals may result in different approaches to your budget.A commonly recommended budget is the 50/30/20 model for personal budgets. For this budget, 50% of your income is allocated for needs, 30% is allocated for wants, and 20% is put into savings. Another commonly used model is the 70/20/10 model for personal budgets, where 70% of your income goes to monthly bills and everyday spending, 20% goes to savings, and 10% goes to debt repayment. Make sure that whatever plan you choose is accurate and easy to track. An inaccurate budget will not do you much good.Adjust your budget accordingly.See how your goals line up with your current budget. Are you making more than you are spending, or are you spending more than you are making? What places can you cut back on? Are there any expenses you can eliminate altogether? Can you unsubscribe from a streaming service? Can you cut back on dining out? Adjust your budget as needed to line up with your plan.Budgeting isn’t the most fun thing in the world, but managing your day-to-day spending can really help your financial wellbeing in the future.#2. Refinance Your Car LoanIf you have a car loan, there’s a good chance that you are overpaying. But that can be easily fixed by refinancing your car loan.Refinancing your car loan can help you in a few ways. If your credit score has increased or the market rates have decreased since your initial financing, you may be eligible for a lower car loan APR. This can reduce your monthly payments as well as the total amount you will pay. It can save you hundreds, even thousands of dollars over the course of the loan.Refinancing your car loan will also allow you to change the repayment period. When you lengthen the repayment period, you are paying off the loan over a longer time so your monthly payments will be much less. If you are looking to free up some money every month to help with your budget, refinancing your car loan is a great way to do so. Using a company that specializes in auto refinance can ensure that the process is quick and easy so you can start saving money today.#3. Keep Your Credit Utilization Ratio In MindYour credit score is really important to your financial well being. And one of the most important components of your credit score is your credit utilization ratio. This is the ratio of how much money you owe compared to how much money you have available to you. This ratio should be less than 30%.Let’s say you have three lines of credit open to you. You owe $1,000 on a card with a $5,000 limit, $500 on a card with a $1,000 limit, and $2,000 on a card with an $8,000 limit. Your total credit utilization ratio is the total of all your debt ($1,000 + $500 + $2,000) divided by all of the credit you have available to you ($5,000 + $1,000 + $8,000). Your overall ratio is $3,500 divided by $14,000, which is 25%.But it is not only your overall ratio that matters. Your credit score takes into account your individual credit utilization ratios as well. While your overall ratio is 25%, your credit utilization ratio on your first account is 20%, on your second account is 50%, and on your third account is 25%. Keeping your credit utilization ratio in mind is a good practice to get into. When paying off your debt, focus on paying off your high interest credit lines in order of credit utilization ratios. Paying off credits that have the highest ratios can help increase your credit score at a faster rate.But even with day to day shopping, you should keep your credit utilization score in mind. If your overall ratio is high, try curbing your spending while you pay down some debt. If you know that one account in particular has a high ratio, avoid making purchases on that like of credit. Let your credit utilization ratios guide your daily spending.#4. Use Cash Sometimes, Use Credit SometimesThere is a time to pay with cash, and there is a time to use credit. Deciding when to do what can help you maximize your savings.Financial experts recommend using a credit card as a financial tool. You should use it when you can pay it back in full so that you can avoid the high interest rates and take advantage of the rewards.Here’s when you should pay with credit:When you have good cash back rewards in the category of your purchase. If you get 5% cash back on grocery store purchases, take advantage of that.You want the added security of not carrying around cash.Here’s when you should pay with cash:When your credit utilization ratio is high and you need to reduce your debt, not increase it.When you have a strict budget for something, such as vacation. Using cash will make it impossible to overspend.When you haven’t been able to pay off your credit lines in full. If your new purchase will linger in your debts, you will end up paying interest and paying much more in the long run.When there are added fees for paying with a credit card.Being smart about when to use cash and when to use credit can help you avoid unnecessary fees and help you better manage your money.Those are our four simple money management tips that will help you save more and spend less.Try using a few of these tips and see what works for you. Refinancing your car is a great way to save money every month and it is super easy if you use Auto Approve. You can get a free quote in minutes and our refinance experts can help answer any questions you may have. So don’t wait, start saving money today!GET A QUOTE IN 60 SECONDS
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*APR and Fees Disclosure: Auto Approve works to find you the best Annual Percentage Rate (APR), which is based on factors like your credit history, vehicle and desired payment terms. Fees to complete your loan refinance vary by state and lender; they generally include admin fees, doc fees, DMV and title. Advertised 6.24% APR based on: 2019 model year or newer vehicle, 730 minimum FICO credit score, and loan term up to 72 months. All loans subject to credit and lender approval.
Auto Approve has an A+ rating with the BBB and is located at 2860 Vicksburg Lane North Plymouth, MN 55447. Auto Approve works to find its customers the best terms and APR, which are based on factors like credit history, vehicle, and desired payment terms. Loan amounts, costs, and fees vary by state and lender; they generally include admin fees, doc fees, DMV, and title fees, depending on the lender and period of repayment. There is no fee to obtain a quote and all refinancing-related costs are included in the amount financed so there are no out-of-pocket costs! For more information, please go to AutoApprove.com.