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Truck Maintenance: 3 Common Problems to Watch Out For

07/14/2022 22:00
There are a lot of good surprises in life. A stranger in front of you pays for your coffee; you get a free upgrade on your flight; your waiter doesn’t charge you for your last round of drinks. But there are also a lot of bad surprises that can pop up. Your favorite show gets canceled; your sink springs a leak; a skunk sprays your dog.But of all the bad surprises that can happen, having your truck break down unexpectedly may trump them all. The good news is that many of the most common truck problems can be prevented with routine maintenance. So today we are talking about three of the most common truck problems and how you can avoid a bad surprise.Here are three of the most common truck problems and how you can prevent them with proper truck maintenance.#1: Engine OverheatingThe engine is the heart of your truck. Truck engines are built to be durable, but they often cannot withstand extreme temperatures. Everything in your truck is designed to work within a certain temperature range. When that temperature is exceeded, parts like gaskets and hoses can melt and fall apart. All trucks have cooling systems which aim to prevent this, but if this system isn’t working properly it could spell disaster for your engine.What causes a truck to overheat?If your truck overheats, you want to pull over immediately and wait for a while until your engine cools down. Don’t pop the hood until it has had the chance to cool a bit–you could seriously hurt yourself. When it’s safe, you can take a look at the engine to figure out what’s gone wrong specifically. Here are a few common reasons.Not enough coolantCooling system leakBlocked hoses caused by mineral deposits or corrosionBroken water pumpNot enough oilProblems with the radiatorDefective hose or beltBlown head gasketAir trapped in the linesYou may be able to quickly determine what the problem is. Is there coolant spraying around everywhere? Is there a broken hose? If you cannot figure it out, it’s best to take it to a licensed mechanic to diagnose. Try to decide if the situation warrants a tow or not. If you decide to drive home, be smart about it. Turn the heat on, which will help get rid of some of the heat. It won’t cool your engine down fully but it may help. Be sure to open your windows as well to further cool things down.How can I prevent overheating?Proper maintenance can help you avoid overheating in the future. It’s important to check your fluid levels. Make sure your car always has oil and coolant and top off when necessary. Flushing your coolant regularly will also help ensure your cooling system runs properly.In addition to maintenance, try to avoid running your AC nonstop. This can put added stress on your engine. Keeping a bottle of antifreeze and a gallon of water in your truck is a good idea to help in a pinch if your truck does overheat.#2: Suspension IssuesModern pickup trucks are handling a lot more weight than they ever used to. And with that additional weight comes additional stress on the pickup's body and suspension system. A suspension system is all of the parts that support the pickup on the road. It works to maximize the amount of friction between the tires and the road, creating a smoother ride. A suspension system helps keep the ride comfortable from bumps and potholes while making sure the handling is also smooth as you navigate turns, acceleration, and braking.If a suspension system is not working correctly, it can lead to other issues.There is an increased chance of a rolloverYour truck will be difficult to control in an emergencyYou can cause damage to your vehicle (which can include bent drive shaft, bent control arms, sheared tie rods, transmission failure, or a dead differential)A suspension system has many parts to it. If your suspension isn’t working correctly it could be from any of the following issues.Shock absorbersShocks StrutsCoil springsBushingsBall jointStrut mount/ bearingsControl armsIf any of these parts are worn away, corroded, misaligned, or broken, your suspension can feel off and you are at a higher risk for further complications. It is recommended that you get your suspension parts replaced every 50,000 to 100,000 miles. If your truck is hitting that mileage number it’s a good idea to get your suspension system inspected and replace any parts before you have an issue.#3: Braking IssuesYour truck’s brakes are immeasurably important. Brakes are your number one line of defense when driving. Brake failure can occur for a number of reasons, but improper maintenance is at the top of the list.Issues with brakes can arise for a number of reasons, but the more stress you put on your brakes, the more frequently they will need to be serviced. The following can put extra stress on your brake system:Driving on hills with sharp turnsCity stop-and-goDriving in a mountainous or hilly areaUsing cheap brake pads and brake partsBrake maintenance is recommended every 20,000 to 60,000 miles depending on how aggressively you use your brakes. You may need brake service if you notice the following:You hear strange noisesYour truck starts pulling one wayYou feel a vibration or pulsing when you apply pressure on the brakesBrake maintenance can help ensure these problems don’t arise in the first place. Maintenance at the very least should include replacing your brake pads and changing your brake fluid. It is a good idea to have the brake system fully inspected to prevent additional problems. A certified mechanic can:Remove the caliper and fully clean and relubricate everythingReplace the rotor as neededReplace the caliper as neededKeeping your truck brakes well maintained can help prevent further issues and can even save your life. This is one area of truck maintenance where you definitely don’t want to drop the ball.Those are three of the most common problems that trucks can have and what you can do to keep your truck on the road.Maintenance is an important part of truck ownership, so creating and sticking to a maintenance schedule is very important. Maintaining your automotive budget is also an important task, and refinancing your truck loan is a great way to keep some extra money in your pocket. Refinancing to a lower APR can save you hundreds of dollars a year.Don’t wait–contact Auto Approve today to see how much money you can save!GET A QUOTE IN 60 SECONDS
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How Self-Made Millionaires Choose What Vehicle to Buy

07/13/2022 22:00
You’ve probably thought about the things you would buy if money was no object. The house you would live in, the clothes you would wear, and–most importantly–the car you would drive.I mean, wouldn’t you drive the hottest Italian sports car if you had the extra cash to do so?Well, it may come as a surprise to you that the majority of self-made millionaires aren’t driving around in Lamborghinis and Ferraris. In fact, they are more likely to drive cars that are similar to what we drive.Here’s how self-made millionaires decide what cars to buy.Are millionaires frugal?While we often equate millionaires with lavish lifestyles, that is not always–and not often–the case. Sarah Stanley Fallaw, the director of research for the Affluent Market Institute, spent years analyzing millionaires to see what commonalities they had. In her book "The Next Millionaire Next Door: Enduring Strategies for Building Wealth," she surveyed more than 600 millionaires in America and determined that frugality was one of their chief characteristics.Examples of this can be found everywhere. Mark Zuckerburg can be seen frequently shopping at Costco. Warren Buffet has lived in the same house he purchased in the 1950s. We find it ironic that people who never truly have to worry about money, are in fact, concerned with saving money.Sarah Stanley Fallow wrote in her book, "Spending above your means, spending instead of saving for retirement, spending in anticipation of becoming wealthy, makes you a slave to the paycheck, even with a stellar level of income.” This philosophy is what helped many millionaires earn their wealth in the first place.Furthermore, only 2 in 10 millionaires are actually retired. The rest are busy working to continue building wealth for themselves and for their families. What cars do millionaires drive?Rather than driving high end luxury cars, wealth researcher Thomas Stanley found in his research that millionaires were more likely to drive affordable cars. He ranked the most popular brand choices as follows:ToyotaHondaFordBMWChevroletLexusNissanSubaruDodgeMercedesMillionaires were more likely to buy a Ford (#3) than buy a Mercedes (#10). And some popular luxury cars, like Audi, did not even make the list. It is interesting to see what cars millionaires choose to drive. Here’s a list of some of the most well-known millionaires (and billionaires!) and their chosen rides.Jeff Besos drives a Honda AccordMark Zuckerburg drives an Acura TSXWarren Buffet drives a Cadillac XTSLarry Page, co-founder of Google, drives a Toyota PriusSteve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft, drives a Ford FusionSo why exactly do people with so much money choose to drive such sensible cars? Well, it turns out there’s a few reasons for this.Why do rich people drive average cars?They have a tendency to be frugalAs we mentioned above, Sarah Stanley Fallaw found in her research that millionaires tend to be frugal in their everyday purchases. This is part of the reason they have money–they don’t spend it irresponsibly.  In the incredibly popular Rich Dad, Poor Dad, Robert Kiyosaki writes, “Poor people purchase obligations (debt), while wealthy people purchase assets (intrinsic value and/or income producing).” That holds true with cars in particular. A car is an obligation, and many millionaires view them as such. Cars are not investments, even though they are technically assets. Millionaires tend to feel that they are an unnecessary cost, an easy line item to skip over. Their tendency to be frugal and live within–even below–their income level means that they will not risk losing the wealth that they worked so hard to amass in the first place.They understand depreciationDepreciation is the reason cars are not really considered valuable assets. Sure, in the short term you can sell your car and get some money back, but cars depreciate incredibly quickly. Cars lose about 10% of their value the moment they leave the lot. In their first year they lose about 20% of their value, and an additional 10-15% every year after that. By the end of five years, your car will lose about 60% of its original value. Cars depreciate for a number of reasons, including:AgeMileageMake and ModelOwnership HistoryCondition of CarMillionaires understand how detrimental depreciation can be, so they opt for investments that appreciate in value, like real estate. They don’t want to draw attention to themselvesMany wealthy people fear that if they draw attention to themselves and their wealth, they may attract some unwanted attention. They fear that they might become the target of fraud, theft, or frivolous lawsuits. By driving an average car, they won’t stick out as someone that has a lot of money.So what cars do they drive and what can we learn from their choices?Believe it or not there is a pattern to the type of cars that the wealthy choose to buy–millionaires tend to choose cars that are practical. Maybe they are looking for cars with good gas mileage, maybe they are looking for a truck with good towing capacity. They are going to select something that is practical for their lifestyle, not a car that is merely fast or attractive. Self made millionaires know that image isn’t everything, and buying a fancy car won’t do much for you in the long run.Even if you have the money in your bank account, it might not be worthwhile for you to shell out cash for an expensive car. Cars are necessary for a lot of reasons. After all, a significant number of us cannot rely on public transportation to get around. But cars are items that require a lot of upkeep, some of which can be very expensive.So why should you opt for the economic car over the fun, sporty one?We can avoid depreciationDepreciation will happen regardless of what car we buy. Buy after 5 years, a 60% depreciation on a $25,000 car is much less than a 60% depreciation on a $120,000 car. Take a chapter out of a millionaire’s book and skip the unnecessary depreciation loss. Additionally, we can work to lessen the effects of depreciation by taking good car of the cars we do have. Reduce your mileageKeep up on maintenanceKeep your exterior clean and ding freeKeep good recordsDon’t smoke in your carDon’t eat in your carBy taking good care of our cars we can reduce the effects of depreciation and increase the resale value.We can budgetBeing smart with our money doesn’t mean we can never have fun. It just means that we have to budget for it. Although it may seem counter-intuitive, millionaires don’t go around making impulsive purchases. Instead, they keep their budgets in mind and make practical purchases. If you don’t have a monthly budget, think about starting one. By consistently tracking your income and your expenses, you can be sure that you have money when you need it (remember to set up your emergency fund if you don’t already have one!)Budgeting for the car that you want is important for your finances. Try to use the 20/4/10 rule when purchasing a car. Put down 20% as a down payment on a four year loan and make sure that you pay no more than 10% of your monthly income on travel expenses.We can refinanceSaving money is all about cutting costs when you can. And a big area you can probably cut costs is on your car payment. If you are overpaying on your car loan (and you probably are), the extra money that you are paying is going towards interest. And that is going right into the pockets of the big banks. Refinancing can lower your car loan APR and save you a lot of money in the long run. Refinancing to a shorter repayment payment can also help you save money in the long run. By shortening the amount of time you are paying back the loan, you are decreasing the amount of interest you will have to pay. You will ultimately pay more per month, but over the life of the loan you will save hundreds of dollars.And that’s how self made millionaires decide what vehicles to buy–and what we can learn from them.Self made millionaires tend to be measured and thoughtful when deciding what type of new car to buy. An economical and practical car far outweighs a fancy luxury car in their eyes.No matter what our income is, we can learn from that philosophy. Being smart and living within our means will ensure that we can keep the money we have worked so hard to earn.While you may have your eyes on the new, shiny, expensive car that just came out, it is probably not responsible to give into your urge. Instead, opt for an economical and reliable car that will put you into debt.If you are looking for a way to save some extra money every month, consider refinancing your car loan with Auto Approve. A vehicle refinance at a great rate can save you tons of extra money and the process is super simple. So don’t wait, get your free quote today!GET A QUOTE IN 60 SECONDS
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3 Good Reasons to Refinance Your SUV

07/12/2022 22:00
If you are financing your SUV, you have probably considered refinancing your SUV loan. But maybe the timing wasn’t right, or you just didn’t think it was worth the hassle. Well today we are talking about why right now is a great time to refinance.Here are our top three reasons to refinance your SUV.Reason #1. Refinancing can save you money– a lot of money.Saving money is the ultimate goal of refinancing. By finding a lower car loan APR, you can drastically reduce the interest that you will have to pay over the life of the loan. Car loans are front loaded amortized loans. This means that in the beginning of your repayment you are primarily paying back the interest, and as time goes on you gradually pay more towards the principal and less towards the interest. So the earlier you refinance your SUV loan, the sooner you can start saving money.There are two main reasons that you may be able to find a lower car loan APR: a change in market rates or an improvement in your credit score.Market RatesThe interest rate that you are offered will depend in part on the prevailing market rates. If the market rates are lower now than they were when you originally financed you SUV, you will most likely be able to secure a lower car loan APR. While rates are on the rise, they are still very low, making now the perfect time to consider refinancing your SUV loan.Credit ScoreIf your credit score has increased since your initial financing, you will most likely be able to secure a lower car loan APR if you refinance. Your credit score is the most important factor lenders look at when deciding what interest rate is appropriate. Your credit score is dependent on a few factors:Payment history (35%)Amounts owed (30%)Length of credit history (15%)Credit mix (10%)New credit (10%)Your payment history and amounts owed make up the largest portion of your credit score. Making full, consistent, on-time payments and reducing the amount of overall debt you owe will make the biggest difference on your credit score. If you have been paying down your debts and consistently paying your bills, there is a good chance that your credit score has increased and you can secure a lower car loan APR.Reason #2. Refinancing can help you with your monthly budget.By refinancing your SUV, you can loosen up your monthly budget significantly. Your monthly car payment can be reduced by either lowering your car loan APR or lengthening your repayment period (or both).Reducing your car loan APR will automatically reduce the amount of your monthly car payment. Let’s say you buy a $25,000 car with a $5,000 down payment. You finance the remaining $20,000 with a 7% loan over 48 months. Your monthly payments will be around $480. But let’s say you now refinance your loan to a 3.5% APR. Now your monthly payments are down to around $445. That little extra might make all the difference in your monthly budget. Over the course of four years, that’s a savings of over $1,000.Lengthening your repayment period will also change your monthly payments significantly. Let’s look at that same $20,000 loan at 7% over 48 months. Changing your repayment period to 60 months will change your monthly payments from around $480 to around $400. That is a huge monthly savings (although keep in mind that you will be paying more interest over the life of the loan due to the extended repayment).If a little extra breathing room would help you with your monthly budget, refinancing your SUV is a great way to save some extra money.Reason #3. Refinancing can get you out of a bad deal.It’s all too common for people to get roped into bad financing deals. A lot of the time it’s due to a smooth talking salesman and a moment of weakness. If you were a little underprepared when you went to look at a new SUV, you may have been blindsided and agreed to something that was less than ideal. There are a few reasons that you may view your loan as unfavorable:The APR is too highCar dealerships have notoriously high APRs. This is because they merely act as middlemen in your loan transaction with the lender. They simply markup the rates and fees that the lender offers. You should always avoid financing through dealerships–it’s much better to get a loan through Auto Approve. Unlike dealerships, Auto Approve never marks up their prices–ever. They compare different lenders and offers and pass the savings right on to you. The lender has bad customer serviceBad customer service can be a serious issue when it comes to financing. Not only is it downright frustrating to not be able to communicate when you need it, but it can cost you money. According to Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, these are the major complaints with lenders:Communication issues about forbearance (a temporary pause in payments)Repayment options regarding forbearanceDelays from lender with regard to loan modificationOvercollection of funds for taxes and insuranceConfusion with account noticesPutting overpayments into an unallocated fund rather than applying them to the loan’s principalThese issues with lenders can add up and cost you money in the long run. So if you are in a bad relationship, you want to get out of it immediately. Refinancing your loan is a great way to do that.The repayment period is too longWhile a longer repayment period will reduce your monthly loan payments, it will cost you more in the long run. If you are able to refinance your loan for a shorter period, you can save a lot of money.You had to use a cosignerIf your credit was not great, you may have needed a cosigner to get approved for your current loan. The only way to remove a cosigner is to refinance your loan. So if you are looking to take sole ownership of your loan, refinancing is the way to go.And those are the top three reasons you would refinance your SUV.There are a lot of great reasons to refinance your SUV. From saving money to saving yourself from frustration, refinance can make your financial life much easier. If refinance sounds like a good option for you, contact Auto Approve today. Our experts can answer any questions and help you start saving money now. Don’t wait to start saving – get your free quote!GET A QUOTE IN 60 SECONDS
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The Real Cost of Buying a Car: How Much Cash You Need to Buy

07/07/2022 22:00
We see the commercials all the time–shiny, new cars driving in the desert or on the mountaintops, with the words “starting at $30,000” plastered across the bottom of the screen. But just how accurate is the starting price that is listed? What is the real cost of buying a car?Let’s talk about the real cost of buying–and owning–a new car.What is the real cost of buying a car?It’s easy to think that the sticker price on the car is what you will pay when you decide to buy a new car. But it’s not quite that simple. In addition to the price of the car, you will have to pay additional fees, add-ons, and sales tax.Additional FeesWhen you buy a new car, there are a number of fees that you may be required to pay on top of the price of the car. First up is the documentation fee. This is the fee the dealership charges for their paperwork and processing. Some states have limits to how high this fee can be, while others leave it up to the dealership. Documentation fees can run anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars.The vehicle registration fee is another added cost when buying a car. This covers the cost of registration, title assignment, and license plates. While this fee is charged by the state (and the amount will vary from state to state), dealerships can process everything in-house to save you a trip to the DMV. The vehicle registration fee will vary from state to state and be based on a number of factors, including the weight of the vehicle, the price of the vehicle, the age of the vehicle, and the horsepower of the vehicle.Depending on the dealership, they may have additional fees that you are required to pay. Advertising fees, shipping fees, and dealer prep fees may also be found lurking in your contract. You can try to negotiate these the best you can, but they can add on a significant chunk to the cost of buying a car.Add-OnsThere are a number of add-ons that you may select that will cause your sticker price rise. From entertainment systems to security features, there are a lot of ways the cost of your car can increase drastically. Common add-on features include:Window tintingKey protectionPaint and fabric protectionAll season floor matsBlind side protectionWheel locksRear seat entertainment systemLeather seatsThese additional features can add hundreds, even thousands, to your car’s total cost. If you have your heart set on any of these features, do some research beforehand to see how much you will be shelling out (and make sure it’s worth it to you).Sales TaxIt’s easy to forget about the sales tax when it comes to purchasing a large item. But sales tax on a $30,000 car is a significant additional cost. If you were to buy a $30,000 car in Pennsylvania where the sales tax is 6%, it would be an extra $1800.What is the real cost of owning a car?Once you have the keys in your hand and your foot on the pedal, that’s it, right? Unfortunately, no. The costs of car ownership continue throughout your car’s life.Maintenance and Repair CostsNo matter how great your new car is, it will require routine maintenance and a few repairs here and there. If your car is under a warranty, some of these costs may be covered for the first few years (typically 36,000 miles or three years, whichever comes first). But beyond that you should expect to pay for the following routine maintenance:Oil changesTire rotation/replacementAlignmentsAir filter changesChange radiator coolantChange brake fluid and power steering fluidWiper blade replacementBrake pad replacementAnd much moreAll of these maintenance costs can add up pretty quickly and may or may not be covered by your warranty. And there are always unexpected repair costs that will pop up here and there. Be sure to have an emergency fund so that you aren’t left in a tight spot.Insurance and InspectionThroughout the life of your car you will be required to get it inspected routinely and keep it insured. The cost of inspection varies greatly from state to state and may be of no cost to you. The cost of insurance depends on a few factors:State RequirementsAgeCar Make and ModelHigh-Risk ViolationsYearly MileageCredit HistoryDriving RecordZip CodeMarital StatusGenderIt will also depend on how much coverage you want to have. If your car is financed or leased, there may be insurance requirements for you to follow.Financing CostsIn addition to the actual cost of the car, you will also have to consider the cost of financing (unless you are buying with cash). The two main additional costs are the cost of interest and the origination fees.The interest you pay on your car loan can add up to a lot of money over time. If you purchased a car for $35,000 with no down payment and a 6% APR over 36 months, you would pay an extra $3,332 in interest over the life of the loan. This is why car loan refinance is so important. Whether you got a bad deal in the first place, or your credit score has improved since your initial financing, car loan refinance can save you a lot of money.In addition to the cost of interest, you will have to pay origination fees when you finance your car. Origination fees are basically the commission on a loan (they can also be referred to as acquisition fees). Origination fees are usually calculated as a percentage of the original loan, between 1% and 2% of the principal amount. On a $35,000 car with a 2% origination fee, it would be an extra $700 tacked onto your financing. How can I reduce the total cost of a car?You should aim to spend less than 15-20% of your take home pay on car costs (this includes all of your gas and maintenance too). Keeping to this rule will help you avoid overspending and overextending your budget. If you are looking to cut your car costs, there are a few steps that you can take to do so. Resist the add onsAdding a fancy sound system or all weather mats onto your new car may seem like a good idea at the time, but it can quickly add up. Resisting the pricey add ons will save you money on the total cost (plus if you are financing, it will save you on the interest of those costs).Refinance your car loanRefinancing your car loan can save you a lot of money in interest over the life of your car. Car loan refinance can save you money in a few ways.If you refinance your car loan to a lower car loan APR, you will save money on interest in total. While that $35,000 car would cost you over $3300 at a 6% APR over 36 months, that same loan would cost you 2,200 over 36 months if it had a 4% car loan APR. Refinancing your car to a shorter repayment period will also save you money in the long run. Reducing your repayment period from 48 months to 36 months will save you 12 months of interest, which can add up to a lot of savings. In addition, lenders usually offer lower rates to people who have shorter repayment periods. If your credit score has improved since your initial financing or if market rates have decreased, it’s probably a good idea to look into car loan refinance.Change insurance companiesLowering your car insurance payments is another way you can greatly reduce your monthly car costs. Different insurance companies base their premiums off of different factors, so it’s important to look around and compare all of the companies and rates. Lowering your insurance rates can add up to a lot in savings.Maintain your carThe more diligent you are about routine maintenance, the less likely you are to have a costly repair down the road. Keeping to a maintenance routine will help your car stay healthy for longer and keep the repair bills at a minimum.And that’s everything you need to know about the cost of buying–and owning–a car.Buying a car is expensive, and so is owning a car. But knowing what you are getting into can help you prepare mentally and financially for the expense. Remember that you can always try to negotiate some of the upfront costs and rates. If you already have a car that is financed, refinancing your car loan can help save you a lot of money in the long run. Contact Auto Approve today to talk to one of our experts and get the ball rolling. The sooner you refinance, the sooner you can start saving. So don’t wait–get your free quote today!GET A QUOTE IN 60 SECONDS
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What is Debt-to-Income Ratio and Why Does it Matter?

07/06/2022 22:00
If you have ever applied for a loan, you have likely come across the term debt-to-income ratio. It is a very important factor in your personal finances and one of the key things that a lender will look at when determining whether or not to approve your loan.Let’s talk about debt-to-income ratio and why it’s so important.Why is debt-to-income ratio so important?Your debt-to-income ratio is calculated by adding up all of your monthly debt payments and dividing them by your monthly gross income. The higher the ratio is (which means the more money you owe) the riskier the loan is perceived to be. The more debt you have, the more likely you are to be unable to make your monthly payments.There are two components of your debt-to-income ratio that lenders will consider, your front end ratio and your back end ratio.Your front end ratio, also called the housing ratio, looks at your income compared to your housing expenses. These expenses include your monthly mortgage payment, property taxes, homeowners insurance and any homeowners association fees you may be required to pay.Your back end ratio looks at your income compared to all of your monthly expenses, including your mortgage and other housing expenses. It also includes your student loans, credit cards, car loans, and any other expenses you may have.Your DTI ultimately shows lenders how you handle your debt and how capable you are to pay back your debts. The higher your DTI is, the less likely a lender will approve you for a loan.How is my debt-to-income ratio calculated?To calculate your debt-to-income ratio, you first need to add up all of your monthly expenses. Some examples include:Mortgage paymentsInsurance paymentsCredit card minimumsCar paymentsStudent loan paymentsPersonal loan paymentsOnce you have your total expenses calculated, divide that number by your monthly gross income–your income before taxes and other deductions. That number is your DTI.Let’s say your monthly expenses are as follows:Mortgage payment: $3000Credit card minimums: $150Car payments: $400Student loan payments: $600Personal loan payments: $300Your total monthly debt adds up to be $4,450. If your monthly income is $13,000, then your DTI is 34%.Note that it includes your minimum credit card payments, but not your credit card balance or any other variable expenses, like groceries. In other words, this ratio gives lenders a good idea of what your basic monthly expenses are, but it's not necessarily a good indication of what you can afford. Qualifying for a $40,000 car loan does not mean that you can necessarily afford the payments.What is considered a good debt-to-income ratio?While these ratios will vary from lender to lender, there is a general consensus on what constitutes a good DTI. You should aim to have a front end debt-to-income ratio that is below 28%–this means that all of your housing expenses take up less than 28% of your monthly income. You should aim to have a back end debt-to-income ratio of less than 36%–this means that all of your expenses, including housing, take up less than 36% of your monthly income.All lenders have different requirements, and your DTI is certainly not the only factor they are looking at. If you have an excellent credit score but a slightly higher DTI, a lender might not view you as a risky candidate. If you have a higher DTI, you might not qualify for as low of an APR. Some conventional loans, like Fannie Mae, accept loan applicants with ratios as high as 50%. It really does depend on a lot of factors, but the lower your DTI ratio is, the more likely you will get a favorable loan.How can I reduce my debt-to-income ratio?If your debt-to-income ratio is higher than you would like, there are a few things you can do to lower your ratio.Create a BudgetTake the time to map out a realistic and easy to track budget. Take a detailed inventory of all of your expenses, from the boxed meal prep kit you got talked into to the electricity bill that keeps ticking higher and higher. Only when you look at all of your expenses listed out will you see how much you are truly spending. Compare your expenses to your income to see how it is measuring up. Are your expenses outpacing your income, or are you able to save a bit each month? If you have extra money every month, you should prioritize starting an emergency fund (if you don’t already have that). After that, look to allocate extra money to your debts. Look for ways to cut down on your spending–any money you save can be used to paying down your debts.Creating a budget can be difficult, so it’s important to attach goals to your budget to help keep yourself motivated. It can also be helpful to tell a friend or loved one about your budget so that you will have someone else to hold you accountable.Strategize Paying Off Your DebtThere are a lot of different ways that you can go about paying off your debt. Here are a few different strategies you can use to pay down your debt:The Snowball Method. Pay down your smallest credit balance first while only making minimum payments on the others. Once you pay off the smallest one, go to the next smallest and pay that one down while making only minimum payments on the others. Repeat until you have paid off all of your debt.The Avalanche Method. Focus on the accounts with the highest interest rates first. If you have three loans with respective interest rates of 18%, 13%, and 8%, prioritize paying down the first loan while making minimums on the others. When that one is paid off, move on to the second loan, and so on, until all of your debt is gone..Debt Consolidation. Another option is to use a debt consolidation service to move all of your debt to one account, and make payments on that. This will depend on what types of loans you have and what interest rates you can secure.There are some other simpler methods for paying off debt as well. These include:Paying an additional amount above the minimum on every balance every month.Making an extra payment every few months.Get a balance transfer credit card.Refinance Your LoansOne great way to help reduce your DTI is to refinance your loans. Refinancing your car loan or mortgage can help you in a few ways. When you refinance, you will be able to change your repayment period on the loan. For instance, instead of a 48 month car loan you can refinance to a 36 month car loan. This means you will be paying your debt off at a faster rate, reducing your DTI at a faster rate. Shortening your repayment period often comes with lower car loan APRs as well. Your monthly payments will be a bit higher, but if you can afford that adjustment it will greatly help your DTI and credit score in the long run.If your credit score has improved since you initially financed your car or your home, or if the market rates have decreased since you initially financed, you may qualify for a significantly lower APR. This can save you a lot of money, money that you can use to pay off other debts.Avoid Taking on New DebtThis may be obvious, but try your best to avoid getting into more debt. Limit your purchases, resist opening new lines of credit, and avoid any major purchases. Look to Increase Your IncomeIf you feel like you are in the weeds when it comes to your debt, look to increase your income. Perhaps you can pick up a side job or increase the hours where you currently work. Whatever your situation is, finding a way for your income to outpace your expenses is key.That’s everything you need to know about your debt-to-income-ratio and why it’s so important.Applying for a new loan can be stressful, so it’s important to be as prepared as possible. One way to prepare for your application is to calculate your DTI to see how you stack up. If your DTI is above 36%, you may have a more difficult time finding a lender. If you are able to delay the process, devote your time and energy to reducing your DTI ratio. This will most likely cause your credit score to increase as well. This will make you a much more desirable loan candidate as you move forward.Refinancing your car loan is a great way to help lower your DTI and increase your credit score. If car refinance sounds like a good option for you, Auto Approve may be able to help you. They have relationships with lenders across the country, which helps them secure the most competitive rates on the market. Simply contact us to see how much money you could be saving!GET A QUOTE IN 60 SECONDS
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What You Should Actually Expect to Pay When You Buy a Car

07/04/2022 22:00
Buying a car can feel like a minefield when it comes to unexpected fees. Even if you have been able to successfully negotiate a good deal on the actual price of the car, that’s not even close to the car’s true price. So today we are going to talk about what a car actually costs and how you can prepare for the extra costs that you might not have been thinking about.Here’s what you should actually expect to pay when you buy a car.What are the common fees that you will have to pay when buying a car?No matter what state you live in or how much you spend on your new car, you will inevitably be required to pay certain fees. The vehicle registration, documentation fee, and sales tax are three additional costs you should expect to pay when buying a new car.Vehicle Registration FeeThis is the fee that the state charges to register a new vehicle. This covers registration, title assignment, and the cost of license plates. While this is a government fee, the dealer can provide this onsite so that you do not need to go to your local DMV. How the registration fee is calculated depends on the state you live in. Some registration fees are a simple flat rate, but sometimes they vary. States may base their fees on the following:The weight of the vehicleThe price of the vehicleThe age of the vehicleThe horsepower of the vehicleAdditionally some states charge extra if your car is electric. This is mainly to offset the fact that you will not be paying the gas tax.Documentation FeeThe documentation fee covers all of the paperwork that the dealership must do to complete your sale. This fee will vary greatly from dealership to dealership. Some states have limits to how much a dealership can charge for a “doc fee”–for example Minnesota has a $100 doc fee limit–but most states do not, so this cost can be very high. There is no doc fee limit in Florida, so the median doc fee is nearly $900. While you cannot negotiate a doc fee, you can keep it in mind when negotiating the price of the car. Be sure to negotiate more aggressively to offset additional costs. And keep in mind that sales tax is charged on the doc fee as well.Sales TaxWhile this is not a fee per se, it might be an unexpected cost for some. You will have to pay sales tax on the total price of the car plus the documentation fee. This will vary from state to state, but can add a lot onto the total cost of the car. If you buy a car for $35,000 in a state with 8% sales tax, that’s an extra $2800. In some states you may get a tax break if you are trading in your old car. If you trade in your car for $15,000 and your new car is $20,000, you would only have to pay tax on the difference of $20,000. This will depend on where you live.What other costs will you have to pay when buying a car?In addition to the fees above, there may be a few other fees that pop up in your car buying journey.Market AdjustmentSome dealers might mark up prices on their inventory because of supply and demand. Since we are in the middle of a vehicle shortage, dealers might put an addendum sticker on the price of each car. They are essentially saying that a particular car is in high demand, so they are raising the price to increase profits. You are not required to pay this fee and can try to negotiate, but the dealer also doesn’t have to sell you the vehicle for the sticker price. Advertising FeeSome dealers will charge what they call an advertising fee. They claim this covers the cost to advertise the sale of that particular car. Try to negotiate this fee down–there is a lot of room for negotiation with these types of discretionary fees.Other Dealer FeesYour dealer may charge other fees in addition to the standard fees. Fees for shipping or dealer prep can be found in many contracts. Always ask the salesperson if you are unsure what certain fees are for, and try to negotiate them down if you can.Addons and UpgradesIf you are buying a new car, you will have a lot of options for upgrading. From a nicer trim level to added safety features, there are a lot of added features that can run up your car bill:Anti theft devicesWindow tintingKey protectionPaint and fabric protectionAll season floor matsChrome plated wheelsBlind side protectionCargo traysSplash guardsWheel locksRear seat entertainment systemNitrogen filled tiresLeather seatsInterior ambient lightingAnd much moreThere are seemingly endless options when it comes to what you can add on to your car. But some of these can come with a serious pricetag. A rear seat entertainment system can easily run you an extra $2000, while window tinting can add an extra $400 to your car’s bill.It’s a good idea to consider which ones you want and which ones you can live without. Also think about what add-ons you can do yourself. A dealership will charge you $300 for fabric protection, but you can scotchgard your own fabric for less than $10.How can you save money when buying a car?With all of the added costs of buying a car, it’s important to try to save money where you can. Here are some of our top tips for saving money when buying your car.Know How Much You Can Afford Before You Start LookingGo through your budget and determine exactly how much you can afford to spend on a new car. A good rule of thumb is to keep your car’s sticker price below 20% of your annual pre-tax income. So if your household annual income is $150,000, try to keep your new car’s sticker price under $30,000. Be Flexible With What You WantWith today’s vehicle shortage, it might be hard to get the exact car that you want. Patience and flexibility are key here. If you have your heart set on one type of car, you will need to be patient and know that it might take months of searching, and you still might not wind up with what you wanted. If you can be flexible on the make and model, you will have a much more successful search.Scour The Internet For DealsOne of the best things about today’s technology is that you can find deals all across the country. The car of your dreams might be on the other side of the country, but it can still be yours. Sometimes a deal will be so good that even with shipping costs, you make out ahead of the game. Here are just a few sites where you can find the best deals:AutotraderCars.comCarvanaEnterpriseCarsDirectTrueCarVroomCars.comBe sure to check your local dealers and local papers as well. You never know where you will find the best deals.Negotiate As Much As You CanIt’s hard to negotiate a lot when there is a vehicle shortage. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. After all, a customer who is ready to pull the trigger is better than a hypothetical customer down the road. Try to negotiate on the cost of the car, the doc fees, advertising fees, marketing fees, and any other additional fees they might list in the contract. And if they are unwilling to negotiate, you can decide if the total cost is worth it. You can always walk away if you decide the answer is no.And that’s what you should expect to pay when you buy a car.Buying a car can be very expensive. From the unavoidable costs (like sales tax) to the optional costs (like tinted windows), the price can easily keep ticking up. But it’s important to remember that you are the customer, and as the customer you ultimately have the choice to buy or walk away. If you choose to buy a car, make sure you can afford to do so and that your budget will allow it.If you already bought your car but are still looking to save some money, consider refinancing your auto loan with Auto Approve. Refinancing can save you a lot of money in the long run–we’re talking hundreds if not thousands of dollars. If your credit score has increased or the market rates have decreased since your original financing, chances are you will qualify for a lower car loan APR.Get your free quote from Auto Approve today to find out just how much you can be saving!GET A QUOTE IN 60 SECONDS
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Used vs. New Cars: Which to Buy

06/30/2022 22:00
The price of new and used cars have both skyrocketed in the past year and a half. And while there are nuanced reasons for this in both markets, it all boils down to an issue with good old supply and demand.With the price of new and used cars so high these days, it might be difficult to decide which is best for you. Today we are talking about new and used cars and how you can decide what is right for you.Why are cars so expensive right now?Car prices have been on the rise in the past year and half due to a high demand and a limited supply. When the pandemic essentially shut down the economy, car sales dropped drastically (we’re talking 30% in just one year). And when the demand decreased, car dealers responded by reducing their inventory. This reduction in inventory caused carmakers to reduce the amount of cars they were making, and the amount of materials and parts they were using dropped. Notably, they cut back on ordering semiconductors, and the manufacturer's cut back on making the semiconductors (due to lack of demand and a lack of workers). Fast forward a few months to when the economy started to reopen. All of a sudden interest rates dropped and people were ready to start making big purchases again. That’s when the demand for cars increased again. Only now the supply wasn’t there for them to buy.Since then it has been a scramble to try to keep up with demand. This supply and demand issue coupled with rising inflation is making car prices soar. And it seems like this will be the case for the foreseeable future.Whenever the demand for new cars is high, it usually means that the demand for used cars is high as well. This is simply because when people get outpriced of something new, buying used is the next best option.What are the advantages of buying a new car?You Can Get the Car You WantWhen you get a new car, you can order exactly what you want and have it made to order. The make, model, color, trim level, accessories–you name it. You often have to wait longer, but it may be worth it to you. Newest Technology and Safety FeaturesWhen you get a new car, you can get the latest technology in terms of entertainment and safety. Since navigation systems and entertainment systems become out of date relatively quickly, a car that is only a few years old may already be out of date with its technology. And with the safety requirements on new cars becoming more and more stringent, a newer car is much more likely to be safe.Higher Fuel EfficiencyAs technology advances, car makers are able to constantly push the bar when it comes to higher fuel efficiency. With the price of gas these days, that can mean a lot of savings.Ability to Finance (and Refinance)When you get a new car, you can get financing (and any great financing deals that accompany it). This might be necessary for you depending on your financial situation. And if you are unable to get a great car loan APR right now, you can always refinance your car loan in the future. Having a high credit score and good debt-to-income ratio can help you secure a lower car loan APR.Warranty CoverageWhen you buy a new car you get the manufacturer’s warranty that comes with it, something that is most likely not available for a used car (if the used car is new enough and the warranty is transferable, consider yourself lucky!). This can save you a lot of money should anything go wrong during the first few years you own the car.It’s Not UsedThis seems self explanatory, but it’s a great reason to buy new. When you buy a new car, you can be certain that there is no hidden damage. With a used car you can never be totally sure that your car hasn’t been in an accident. There is a lot of comfort unknowing that you have been the only owner of your car.What are the advantages of buying a used car?Lower Cost to BuyEven with the rising prices of used cars, buying used is still cheaper than buying a new car. This means you can afford to get a nicer car that is slightly used, as opposed to getting a base model that is brand new.Lower Cost to InsureIn general, used cars cost less to insure than new cars. Even if the upfront cost isn’t as low as you would like, you can save a lot of money over the coming years.Less DepreciationWhile cars depreciate no matter what, used cars depreciate at a slower rate. This is because cars depreciate the most in their first year, then gradually level off their depreciation rate. A new car loses value the second it drives off the lot, and loses about 20% in its first year alone. Avoiding the first few years of the highest depreciation value can ensure that your asset retains its value.You Still Might Be Able to FinanceIf you have a good credit and a good debt-to-income ratio, you may be able to find a low cost used car loan. Going to a certified pre-owned dealership will help you with this. You might need to put down a larger down payment, but your monthly payments will still be manageable and much less expensive than if you were to buy new.Deciding on New vs. UsedLook at all of the advantages and disadvantages of buying used vs. buying new. Think about what the most important factors are to you. If you are looking to save the most amount of money and are comfortable with doing minor repairs and maintenance yourself, buying a used car might be a great option for you. If you want something that is a bit more reliable and customizable, and you have a little extra money to spare, buying a new car might be the best option. And that’s what you should know when deciding between a used car and a new car.Deciding between a new car and a used car can be a hard decision. But if you have a good credit score, financing might be an option for you either way.Looking to save some money on your monthly car payment? Consider refinancing your car loan with Auto Approve. We have relationships with lenders nationwide, so we can get you the best rates and deals. Don’t wait to start saving money, get a free quote today!GET A QUOTE IN 60 SECONDS
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9 Benefits of Refinancing Your Car Loan

06/30/2022 22:00
With the ups and downs of today's economy, we are all looking for some ways to save money. So you have probably heard a lot of people talking about refinancing. And it makes sense–there are a lot of benefits to refinancing your loans, especially your car loan.Here are 9 benefits of refinancing your car loan.What does it mean to refinance your car loan?Refinancing a loan is when you pay off an existing loan with a new loan that (ideally) has a better APR and better terms. By paying off your old loan with a new one, you can save a lot of money in interest. But there are other benefits too. What are the benefits of refinancing your car loan?Benefit #1: You can get lower monthly paymentsThe main reason people choose to refinance their car loans is to save money. This can be especially important for any of the following reasons:You are feeling the effects of inflationYou have lost your jobYou have had your hours cut at your jobYour other expenses have increased, such as rent or utilitiesYou are trying to save up for something, such as a renovation or vacationWhatever the reason is, some extra money every month can make a big difference for most people. Your monthly payments can decrease for two reasons: you get a lower interest rate or you lengthen your repayment period. Either way, refinancing your car loan can cut your monthly payments drastically.Benefit #2: You can add a cosignerIf your credit isn’t the best, adding a cosigner to your loan can help you to secure a lower car loan APR. But you cannot just add a cosigner to your loan. Instead you must refinance your loan so that your credit scores and histories can be considered together. If you have a loved one with great credit (while yours is not the best), refinancing your car with their name on the loan can help you secure a lower car loan APR.Benefit #3: You can remove a cosignerWhen you take out a car loan, the lender will look at the credit score and income of whoever is applying, whether you are applying on your own or with someone else. The rate and terms that are offered depend on the credit of all parties involved. Because of this, you cannot remove a cosigner without refinancing. The lender will insist that the rate should be adjusted based on who is added to the loan. Removing a cosigner can be necessary if you have just broken up with a partner, or if you are finally ready to be on your own financially from a parent or family member. Whatever the reason, the only way to get another person off of your loan agreement is to refinance your car loan.Benefit #4: You can get a lower interest rateThis is the big one–the main reason people choose to refinance their car loan. This is how you can really save money in the long run. By refinancing your car loan to a lower APR, you can save hundreds if not thousands of dollars. There are three main reasons why you might qualify for a lower car loan APR.The market rates have decreased. The rate you are offered will be based in part on what the current loan rates are. If they have decreased since your original financing, there is a good chance you may find a lower car loan APR.Your credit score has increased. The biggest factor in the car loan APR that you are offered is your credit score. It is also the part that you have the most control over. Focusing on increasing your credit score before you apply for a car loan refinance can pay off a great deal. Making sure you pay all of your bills on time and in full each month, asking for higher credit limits, and paying down debt strategically can all help increase your credit score and secure you a lower car loan APR.Your debt-to-income ratio has improved. Lenders look specifically at how much money you bring in compared to how much debt you are in. If either your debt has decreased or your income has increased, this can improve your ratio and secure you a lower car loan APR.While you do not have control over the market rates, you do have control over your credit score and your debt-to-income ratio. Make sure your finances are in good shape before you apply for refinancing to make sure you get the most savings possible.Benefit #5: You can shorten your repayment periodIf you have some extra room in your monthly budget and would like to save money on the overall repayment, refinancing can allow you to shorten your repayment period. Refinancing to a shorter repayment period will most likely earn you a lower interest rate as well. Not only will you be saving because you have a lower interest rate, but you will be cutting months (if not years) off of your repayment. And that means months and years where you are not paying interest.Benefit #6: You can lengthen your repayment periodOn the other hand, if you really need the extra breathing room every month you can lengthen your repayment period. By lengthening your repayment period, you are stretching out the time you have to pay the principal back, and therefore reducing the amount that you owe every month. Although you will end up paying more money over the life of the loan (you will be paying interest for a longer period of time), you will give yourself some wiggle room in your monthly budget for wherever you may need it.Benefit #7: It may improve your credit score in the long runIf you can make your monthly payments more manageable, you can greatly improve your credit score. Not only will you be more likely to make full, on time payments for your car loan, but you will free up money to pay down other debts. Committing to making on time payments and paying down debt are two of the best ways to improve your credit score.Benefit #8: You can get out of a bad relationship with your lenderSometimes relationships, even ones with your auto loan lender, just aren’t meant to be. Maybe you don’t like their customer service. Maybe they have fine print with which you don’t feel comfortable. Whatever the reason is, refinancing your car loan can allow you to break off your relationship with your current lender and start fresh with a new one.Benefit #9: It can help you build your emergency fundIt is so important these days to have an emergency fund, a just-in-case stash of money. Experts suggest having enough money tucked away to pay for six months worth of expenses, although the vast majority of people do not have even $1000 saved for a rainy day. But if you refinance your car loan, you will free up some of your monthly budget to hide away in case of an emergency.When should you not refinance your car loan?While there are a lot of great reasons to refinance your car loan, there are times when it will not make sense to pursue refinancing. Your credit score has decreasedIf your credit score has decreased since your initial financing, you will most likely not find a lower car loan APR. If the market rates have dropped significantly, you might have more luck. But in general it is better to focus on improving your credit score before refinancing your car loan.Your vehicle has a lot of miles on itLenders have certain requirements for the vehicles they finance. This is because your car acts as collateral should you not pay your loan back. If you default on your loan, the bank wants to be sure that they can sell your car and make back the money they put out. So if your car has a lot of miles on it or has depreciated significantly, you might not qualify for a car loan refinance.Your loan is underwaterIf you owe more on your car than your car is worth, your loan is considered to be “underwater”. Lenders will not see a value in refinancing your car and you will most likely not be able to refinance.Those are the 9 major benefits of refinancing your car loan.Refinancing your car loan has so many benefits and the message is clear: now is the time to refinance. Rates are still low (but they are set to rise in the near future) and it’s never been more important to pinch pennies where you can. Car refinance doesn’t have to be complicated–and with Auto Approve, it isn’t. Get in touch with us today to find out just how much you could be saving every month. With 3500 5 star reviews on TrustPilot, you can be sure you are in good hands.GET A QUOTE IN 60 SECONDS
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How Can I Save Money for the Summer?

06/30/2022 22:00
We are already well into the summer season, but there’s still plenty of time to enjoy all that this time of year has to offer. Whether you want to take your family to the beach for a week, or you’d settle for some day trips here and there, some extra money could do us all some good right now.Here are our top 7 tips for saving money for summer.Create a Monthly BudgetWe will say it until we are blue in the face: creating a monthly budget is the best way to get a hold on your finances. Not only will it help you track what your expenses are, but it will help you see what areas you can cut down. Here’s a quick guide to building your budget:Determine your income. Look at all of your income for the month. Include your paycheck (minus any taxes and 401k contributions), plus any side hustle money you may have. Rental properties, dividends–whatever may give you some extra income, include it in your income.Categorize your expenses. There are two types of expenses that everyone has: variable and invariable. Your invariable expenses are costs that stay the same every month, like your rent, insurance, and internet bill. Your variable expenses are costs that change every month, like your groceries, electric bill, and entertainment expenses. Calculate your expenses. Once you categorize them, try to calculate averages the best you can. Use receipts from the past 6-12 months to ballpark your variable expenses.Make a plan. Now that you know your incoming and your outgoing, you know whether or not you are making enough money to cover your expenses. If you are not, look for things to cut out of your expenses (such as subscriptions, take-out, and brand name products). You want to come up with a plan for your income, such as the 50/30/20 model. In this model, 50% of your income is allocated for needs, 30% is allocated for wants, and 20% is put into savings. There are many variations on this, so do your research and see what works for you.Enter summer expenses as a line item. Try to ballpark how much you think you will need for your summer plans. Do you need $800 for a day at the amusement park with your family? Do you need $3000 for that summer rental you;ve been eyeing up? Whatever your plans for summer are, try to build them into your budget.Set Limits in AdvanceSetting limits on your vacation goes hand in hand with creating a budget. Determine how much you can reasonably spend on your summer plans. It can be helpful to allocate “bonus money” such as a tax refund or credit card cash back rewards towards your vacation.Check Out Free ActivitiesThere are loads of free activities all over the country. Try to be creative with your summer activities and take advantage of these activities when you can. Here are a few free and fun activities you can try out:Go on a hikeVisit the libraryVisit a local museumGo to a county fairGo to the parkAttend a free workout classGo to the beachGo to a paradeIn addition, there are a lot of cheap options as well. They aren’t free, but they won’t break the bank:Go to the moviesGo to a minor league baseball gameGo to the zooGo to the aquariumKeep an eye out on Facebook or in your local paper to see what events are going on in the community. Chances are you can find a cheap and fun activity for every summer weekend.Refinance Your CarIf you are trying to free up some money for your summer, refinancing your car loan is a great way to do so. By refinancing your car loan, you can get a lower car loan APR and save hundreds if not thousands of dollars every year. You can also choose to extend your repayment period, thus drastically lowering your monthly payments. This can be a great way to save for your summer activities without dipping into any savings. And the best news is, refinancing your car loan is super easy if you use Auto Approve. We have relationships with lenders across the country, so we can get you the most competitive rates available. All you have to do is fill out some basic information, and our qualified experts will help you compare offers from across the country. They will even help you with all of the paperwork! So if you are overpaying every month on your car loan (and you probably are), consider an auto loan refinance and use some of those savings to fund your best summer yet.Use Cash and Not CreditUsing cash will help you limit how much money you spend. If you tell yourself that you have $200 to spend throughout the day, you will be much more conscious about what you are purchasing. It is all too easy to keep swiping your card, and those expenses will add up quickly. Using cash will force you to think through your expenses and edit your purchases. If You Must Use Credit, Be Smart About ItThat said, if you have to use credit or really don’t like the idea of carrying cash on you, be smart about your credit choices. Be sure to use a credit card that has a good cash back program so that you can make money on your purchases.Get Creative with ChildcareLet’s face it: childcare is expensive. And in the summer, it can be really hard to coordinate childcare while you are working. If you are lucky enough to have family nearby, ask them to pitch in a day or two a week while you are working. If that’s not an option, see if you can go in on a shared sitter with some friends, so you can all shoulder the burden together. If there is an affordable summer camp, that can be a great option as well. If your kids are a bit older, look into a virtual summer camp which can provide activities while keeping costs low. This can save a bit more money for your family time together.And those are our top tips for saving money for summer.Summer should be a time to have fun and unwind, not stress about money. We hope these tips can help you enjoy your summer to the fullest. Just remember to budget accordingly and set limits on spending – and if you can, refinance your car loan with Auto Approve to save a lot more money!GET A QUOTE IN 60 SECONDS
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The Pros and Cons of Cosigning a Vehicle Loan

06/23/2022 22:00
If you are having trouble getting a vehicle loan, getting a cosigner on your loan may be a great option for you. Or if your friend or family member is having trouble securing a loan, they might ask you to become a cosigner on their loan. While cosigning a loan might be a good move, it's a decision that should not be taken lightly. There are advantages and disadvantages for both the person seeking a cosigner AND the person asked to cosign.Here’s everything you need to know about cosigning a vehicle loan.What is cosigning?Cosigning for a loan is when you take on the responsibility of someone else’s debt. This means that you become 100% responsible if the original borrower cannot make payments anymore.Maybe your friend has pretty bad credit. They look around for a loan to buy their new car, but they are either unable to find a loan or unable to find a loan with a reasonable auto loan APR. One way for them to increase their likelihood of getting approved and getting a decent auto loan APR is to secure a cosigner. When a cosigner is used for a loan, the lender will look at the two applicants’ information together to determine the terms and the car loan APR. So if the applicant has bad credit (or no credit), the cosigner will shoulder some of the financial burden. The lender is more apt to give a better car loan APR, because the chances are higher that the loan will be paid back.There are advantages and disadvantages to securing a cosigner, so discussing this thoroughly beforehand is incredibly important.What are the pros and cons of cosigning?The Pro of Asking for a Cosigner: You Can Secure a Good Car LoanIf you have no credit or bad credit, a cosigner might be the only way you are able to get a car loan for yourself. The lender will not only consider your income and credit score, but will consider the income and credit score of your cosigner. The Pro of Becoming a Cosigner: You Can Really Help Your Loved OneIf a friend or loved one asks you to cosign, chances are they are having a tough time financially. Cosigning a car loan for them is a great way to help them out of a tight spot. By helping them secure a good car loan, you are helping them get a good car loan APR. And this will make their car loan payments more manageable. All of this can help them to build credit and pay their bills on time. If you trust your loved one and want to help them out, this is a great way to do so.And bonus: if the borrower pays all of their bills on time and in full, it can boost your credit score as well as theirs.Cons of Asking for a Cosigner: You are asking them to be financially responsible for youIf you ask a loved one to cosign, you should be positive that you will be able to make payments on your loan. Defaulting on your car loan will make your cosigner responsible for the entirety of your loan, so they will be stuck with a huge bill. If you are late with your payments or miss payments, you will hurt their credit score. In other words, your actions will have consequences for your cosigner. This can, and has, ruined many relationships. Be aware of this and proceed with caution.Cons of Becoming a Cosigner: It puts you at risks and decreases your borrowing powerAs we said above, when you cosign a loan you are taking on all of the responsibility of the original borrower. Late payments, missed payments, and defaults can all affect your credit score negatively. Should the borrower default, you may be open to liens, wage garnishment, and lawsuits.Cosigning will also affect your borrowing power. This debt will be added into your debt-to-income ratio, which may affect the loans you are offered if you need to secure a loan for another reason.Can you refinance a car with a cosigner? If you already have a car loan but don’t have a great car loan APR, you may be wondering how to refinance a car with a cosigner. Or, you may be wondering how to refinance auto loan to remove cosigner. Either way, Auto Approve has you covered.It isn’t possible to simply add or remove a cosigner to an existing loan. This is because each car loan has terms and a car loan APR that depends on the finances of the applicant (or applicant). In the eyes of the lender, adding or removing someone from the equation will affect the likelihood that the loan will be paid back in full.Refinancing your existing car loan with Auto Approve is super simple. Just follow the steps below to refinance your loan and either add or remove a cosigner.If it seems like car refinancing might be a good idea for you, let’s go over how to start the process of refinancing. It is pretty hassle free, especially when you enlist Auto Approve to help you compare rates.Do Your Research. Go online and research different lenders to decide where you would like to apply. Look at customer satisfaction ratings and read reviews to get an idea of what each lender is like. If you use a company that specializes in car loan refinance, like Auto Approve, you can save yourself a lot of time and energy on this part.Prepare yourself. Make sure your credit report is accurate and report any discrepancies to the bureau. You want your score to be as high as possible when you apply. Also be sure to check your existing loan to determine if there are any prepayment penalties for which you will be responsible.Decide and apply. Select three to five lenders and apply for car loan refinance. You will need to submit some documents with your application, such as a photo ID, proof of income, proof of residence, vehicle information, and proof of insurance. Your co borrower will need to provide this information as well.Compare offers. Look at all of the offers and consider the car loan APR, the repayment period, the customer satisfaction, and the fees and penalties. See what make the most sense for you (Auto Approve can help with this as well)Sign and save. And that’s it! Refinancing really is that quick and easy. And that’s what you need to know about cosigning a vehicle loan.Thinking about refinancing your car? Get your free quote from Auto Approve today to get started!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.