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How Much Can You Save Through An Auto Refinance?

01/12/2022 23:00
If you are unhappy with your current auto loan, an auto refinance might be a great option for you.Whether you are looking to lower your monthly payments or lower your APR, you can save a lot of money in the short and long term by refinancing your car loan. Let’s look at how auto refinancing works and see just how much money you may be able to save. Looking To Refinance Your Auto Loan? Here's How It WorksFirst things first, what does it mean to refinance? Auto loan, mortgage, and student loan refinancing are all similar, in that you are paying off your existing loan with a new loan.Ideally, your new loan will give you better terms. Whether those better terms are a lower APR, a longer repayment period, or an added co-borrower depends on what your goals in refinancing are.When you refinance, you will apply to various lenders to find the best rates and terms available to you. You can simplify this by going Auto Approve who will do the shopping around and comparing on your behalf. What Are The Benefits of Refinancing Your Auto Loan?There are a few major changes that refinancing can provide for you. But how much money can these changes save you?Lower APROne of the main reasons people look into auto loan refinance is to get a lower APR. There are a number of reasons why people may now qualify for a lower APR now than when they originally financed their loan. These reasons could include:Improved Credit Score - You might have a much better credit score now. This could be the result of consistent, on time payments and the paying down of debt.Initial Bad APR - If you had bad timing with your original loan and got an initial less than desirable APR, a lower rate might be possible.Better Market Rates - If the national APRs are lower than when you originally financed your car, a lower rate may be possible.Whatever your reason is, securing a lower APR can save you a lot of money. Let’s say you initially financed $25,000 of your new car at an APR of 6% for a 5 year term. Your monthly payments would be $483.32. You would pay a total of $28,999.20 at the end of your 5 years.If you were able to reduce that APR to 3.4% over the same period, your monthly payments would be $453.67. Over the course of 5 years you would pay $27,220.20. The lower interest rate would save you nearly $2000. Lower Monthly PaymentsIf you are able to reduce your APR, you will be able to secure lower monthly payments. But that’s not the only way auto loan refinance can reduce your monthly payments. Lengthening your repayment period can also reduce your monthly payments.If you initially finance a car at 5% APR for $20,000 principal over a term of 3 years, your monthly payments will be $599.42. Over the course of 3 years you will pay $21,579.12.If you finance at the same 5% APR but spread that over 5 years, your monthly payments will be $377.42. Over the course of 5 years you will pay $22,645.20. You will end up spending more overall, but if your goal is to cut down on your monthly bills, lengthening your repayment period would cut your bills significantly. Adding a Co-BorrowerIf your credit hasn’t increased, or hasn’t increased enough to secure a lower APR, adding a co-borrower might be a good idea. You cannot add or remove people from an existing loan, but auto loan refinance allows you to add or remove a co-borrower. The lender will consider your combined credit scores, so if you have someone in your life who has very healthy financials, adding them to your refinance might be a good idea. This can qualify you for a lower APR, which can save you thousands of dollars in the long run.Removing a Co-BorrowerIf you are in a better financial situation than you were previously and no longer need a co-borrower, the only way to remove them from the loan is through auto loan refinance. You Want a New LenderIf you are unhappy with your current lender, auto loan refinance is a good way to terminate that relationship and start a new one. The most common complaints about financing companies often center around communication issues and a lack of transparency as to where your payments are actually going and being allocated. If this is something you are experiencing, you can get out of your current situation and refinance with a company that has higher customer satisfaction.How Much Can You Actually Save By Refinancing Your Vehicle?In short? You can save thousands! The relatively conservative examples we gave above showed how the people in the examples could save $1,779 by refinancing to a lower APR and $1,066 by refinancing to shorter payment terms. But to find out how much you in particular can save, you can use the Savings Calculator on our homepage to get a rough idea or use our quick and free quoting form to find out more specifically how we can save you a bundle of money.What Kind of Credit Do I Need To Apply for Auto Refinancing?You may be wondering “What credit score do I need to refinance my car?” While there is no magic number, it’s true that having a good credit score will help save you more money when you refinance. While it may be technically possible to refinance with poor credit, it is much more beneficial to do so when your credit score is higher (and, with Auto Approve, you're unlikely to have many, if any, options).A good credit score is important for many reasons. Credit scores indicate to lenders and auto refinance companies how likely a person is to pay back their debts. Having a good credit score will get you better interest rates on credit cards and loans, higher credit limits, better insurance rates, easier approvals for rentals, a better chance at credit approvals, and gives you more negotiating power when securing accounts.Securing a lower APR is the key to saving the most amount of money, as we see in our examples. The key to securing a lower APR is to have good credit and good timing–the market rates have a good amount of sway over the APR you will be offered. While it may be possible to refinance with a low credit score, doing so will probably not save you money in the long run. You will most likely not qualify for a lower APR, so the main benefit would be changing your repayment term. If you lengthen your repayment term, you can reduce your monthly payments even if the APR remains the same. If you are drowning financially and need some extra breathing room, this might be an option for you. But refinancing will always be most beneficial if your credit score has increased and you are creditworthy.And that is how refinancing your auto loan can save you a lot of money.If you are unhappy with your current financing, refinancing might be a great option for you. Auto Approve is dedicated to finding you the best refinance rates. And with an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, you know you’re in good hands.GET A QUOTE IN 60 SECONDS
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How Do I Know Which Lender is the Best for my Auto Loan Refinance?

01/06/2022 23:00
Looking for a lender? We can help.You've come to a point where you know the what and why of refinancing your vehicle. You know that refinancing your auto loan can lower your interest rate, reduce your monthly payments, and reduce the amount of money you are paying overall. And you know that the low interest rates on offer today make it an excellent time to refinance your auto loan. But how do you know which lender is the best option for refinancing? Well, have no fear, because we’re here to help! In this blog, we will review how to get started with the refinance process and go over what you should be looking at when you are comparing lenders. Here’s how to pick the best lender for your auto loan refinance.When you decide to refinance your auto loan, it’s important to look around and compare your options with different lenders. The higher your credit score is, the more options you will have when it comes to refinancing. But no matter what your credentials are, you should never settle or agree to terms that are not beneficial for you. Here are the top things to consider when choosing a refinancing lender.Getting Started with Your Vehicle RefinanceYou won’t have a really good idea of what terms you are comparing until you actually get the ball rolling for your refinancing. You should gather quotes from a wide variety of lenders, then aim to apply for refinancing with three to five different lenders. This will give you a number of options, as well as give you some negotiating power. Start by looking around at a dozen or so lenders and whittle your list down from there. Look at credit unions, traditional banks, and online lenders. Keep your eyes open for deals, and then try to get your list down to three to five lenders.When you are ready to start applying, make sure you fill out all of your applications quickly. When you apply for a new account it will trigger a hard inquiry on your credit report which temporarily lowers your credit score. Apply to all of your lenders in the same 14 day period so that they will all be counted as one hard inquiry (credit bureaus allow this window for this exact reason).Or, if this all sounds intimidating, you can simply use Auto Approve, and we'll do all the legwork for you! With Auto Approve, you can get a free quote in minutes, and one of our trusted Auto Approve advisors will help talk you through your options to make sure you get the refinancing that's right for you. Using a service like ours is more efficient and gives you a guide to the process who knows vehicle refinancing through and through. This will save you a lot of time and frustration (trust us, we know!).At Auto Approve, we handle the work of shopping around for you. No need to go from bank to bank asking the same questions and filling out the same forms–we handle all of that for you. All you need to do is fill out our quote form, and we will help you go through your options, then apply to your top lender (or lenders) on your behalf. Plus, our established relationship with lenders means that you will get the best APRs available.Once your refinance offers start rolling in, here are some things to compare. Interest RatesOne of the most important factors in refinancing is the interest rate. After all, the point of refinancing is to save you money. The interest rate that you are offered will be based on a number of factors, including but not limited to:Your credit scoreYour payment historyYour incomeYour debt-utilization ratioPrevailing interest ratesThe interest rates you are offered can vary greatly based on the lender, so you should be sure to check interest rates when comparing options.If you have made 6-12 months worth of steady loan payments, your credit score has likely increased since you first financed your vehicle and therefore the interest rate you are offered may be much better.Your Cash Flow and the Payment TermsYou might be offered a few different rates that are tied to different payment periods. A lower APR might be tied to a shorter payment period of 24 months, while a higher APR may be tied to a longer payment period of 48 months. The shorter payment period will mean that your monthly payments are on the more expensive side, while a longer payment period will mean that your monthly payments are on the less expensive side. What is more desirable given your current situation? This can make for a significant swing in your monthly budget, so be sure to think this decision through thoroughly.Prepayment PenaltiesRead the fine print in each refinancing offer. Are there prepayment penalties associated with paying off your loan early? If you are thinking that refinancing again might be an option in the future (there is no limit to the number of times you can refinance a loan), this may persuade you one way or another. These prepayment penalties can vary widely from lender to lender and be quite expensive at times.Customer Satisfaction RatingsWhat are their current clients saying? Are these good and reputable lenders, or are their customers dissatisfied with their services? Check out websites like TrustPilot, Better Business Bureau, and Lending Tree and see what some common complaints are. According to Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, these are the top complaints with lenders:Communication issues in regards to forbearance (when you pause your payments temporarily)Repayment options for 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 principalComplaints with lenders often center around communication issues and a lack of transparency as to where your payments are actually going and being allocated. These complaints should be taken seriously, as hidden fees can add up to some serious dough. Learn from the experiences of others and steer clear of problematic lenders.(All that said, when you use Auto Approve for your refinance, you get access to some of the best and most trusted lenders in the biz!)Hidden FeesLook over the terms of your loan contract very closely. What other fees may be associated with your refinancing? See if any of the following fees are charged by the lenders:Application feesProcessing fee Administrative feesA lender may charge one or all of these fees, and the terms might be used interchangeably. They are often considered the cost of doing business, but it’s always worth it to compare these fees to get the best final price. If you're feeling brave and are a desirable potential loan recipient, you can even push to see if potential lenders will waive any of these fees to win your business. But don't tell them we told you that.Those are our top tips for deciding which lender is the best for your car refinancing.We know how overwhelming the prospect of refinancing can feel. But don’t let paperwork or pushy salesmen intimidate you. At Auto Approve, we make the refinancing process as simple and seamless as possible (we even handle the DMV paperwork for you!).So skip the struggle and don’t go through this process alone. Get started with Auto Approve today so we can be your partners and advocates in refinancing. With an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and a 96% would-recommend rating on Lending Tree, you know you will be in good hands. GET A QUOTE IN 60 SECONDS
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Why Should I Refinance with Auto Approve?

01/05/2022 23:00
We could all use a little extra cash in our pockets, right? But how exactly can we make that happen, especially when the cost of everything these days seems to just be going up and up? Enter refinancing! Refinancing your car loan might just be the answer to your financial quandary. That's why, in this article, we'll be looking at what refinancing is, why you should consider refinancing, and why you should refinance your loan with Auto Approve in particular.Let’s look at why you should refinance your vehicle with Auto Approve.What is refinancing?Before we get into why you should refinance with Auto Approve, we should probably take a look at refinancing itself.What exactly is refinancing? Refinancing is when you pay off an existing loan with a new loan that ideally has better terms, such as a better interest rate or better payment schedule. You are essentially replacing your existing auto loan with a new loan that will better fit your budget. Why should I refinance my loan?There are lots of reasons that people choose to refinance. Some people want to take advantage of low interest rates, while others want to add a co-borrower or lower their monthly payment. Let’s take a look at some of the top reasons you may want to refinance your auto loan.Your credit score has improvedIf your credit score has increased since you initially took out your vehicle loan, you may qualify for a much lower interest rate (which can translate to saving you a bunch of money). When you apply for a loan, lenders look at a lot of your personal information, including your job, income, and address. But nothing that they look at is more important than your credit score. Your credit score indicates how likely a person is to repay their loan. We must remember: lenders are in the business of making money. The last thing they want to do is lend money to someone who is not going to pay them back, or not pay them back on time. A good credit score tells them that you are a good candidate who pays their bills and pays them on time. Credit scores are determined by five major factors: Payment History. Do you pay your bills on time? Accounts Owed. Also called your credit utilization ratio. How much money do you owe vs. how much credit do you have available to you?Length of Credit History. How long have you had your accounts? Credit Mix. Do you have a good mix of retail accounts such as credit cards, loans, and mortgages?New Credit. Are you opening a bunch of new accounts?The most important factors are your payment history and your accounts owed. If you have become better at making on time payments or have been able to pay down a considerable amount of your debt, your credit score may have increased dramatically since the last time you financed your vehicle.Check your credit score and your credit report to see if your score has increased. If it has, you may be eligible for a much better interest rate when you refinance your car loan.The interest rates are lowWhen interest rates are low across the board, it’s a good time to think about refinancing. If your interest rate was a bit steep when you first got your car, today’s low interest rates may save you a ton of money. Even if your credit score has remained the same, the prevailing interest rates might still be lower than your original rate. Right now interest rates are low, making it a great time to consider refinancing.You need help with monthly paymentsMaybe your cash flow is a bit tight these days. Your job cut back on your hours, or you had some unexpected expenses pop up. No matter what the reason is, we’ve all had times when we could use a little more breathing room in our budget. Refinancing can help in a few ways. First off, if you can get a lower interest rate, you will pay less in interest every month and ultimately have lower monthly loan payments. Additionally you can adjust your payment periods to change the amount you pay per month. If your original payment period was 36 months, refinancing to a 48 month pay period will stretch out your payments over a longer period of time, therefore reducing the monthly amount. You may ultimately spend a bit more overall since you will be paying interest over a longer time period, but this might be worth it depending on your current cash flow situation.You want to add or remove a co-borrowerIf you want to change the ownership of the loan, you must refinance in order to do so. Lenders will not simply add or remove a person from a loan without starting over. This is because every loan decision is made by looking specifically at each borrower’s situation, and changing any of the dynamics will ultimately change the likelihood of repayment (in their eyes, anyway).Because of this, you must refinance if you want to add your son to your truck loan (he’s always had his eye on it) or you want to remove your ex from your SUV (he can find his own ride, no?).Why should I use Auto Approve to refinance?So now we know why refinancing your loan might be a good move for you, but why should you trust Auto Approve?We take refinancing personally, and our customers love us for itWe know how big of a decision refinancing can be, and that’s why we have a dedicated team to help you. When you get in touch, we give you a real person to talk to – no robots or automated messages when we are dealing with a decision this big. Just read through our reviews to hear how much our customers love working with our dedicated team of professionals. “Mitch was great and helped me out through the whole process. Glad I was able to refinance my vehicle with Auto Approve” -Nicholas E“I spoke with Casey, who was very helpful and patient through the whole process. Auto Approve saved me $100 a month on my car payment and a full percentage point on financing. Thanks for all your help, Casey!” -Kathy“Payments went down $169 dollars a month along with interest almost cut in half. I couldn't be happier. Peter my rep was AWESOME and was with me through the whole process. Kudos to auto-approve.” -Jonathon SWe work with you personally to ensure you are getting the best rates possible. Whether you are dealing with Shawn, Casey, Jake, Robert, or any of our other financing experts, rest assured you are in good hands.We are honored to have a 4.7 out of 5 star review on TrustPilot, an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, and a 96% would-recommend rating on Lending Tree. We have a fast turn-aroundRead our reviews and you will see read the same thing over and over again: “I can’t believe how fast it was!” That’s because we value your business and know that your time is important. When you contact us, we get to work immediately contacting lenders and comparing rates for you. When you decide on a refinancing loan that looks good to you, we get the papers together so all you have to do is sign online. We even handle the pesky DMV paperwork. So if you want to skip the headache and the lingering paperwork, contacting Auto Approve is sure to be a good move.We shop around for deals so you don’t have toHave you ever shopped around online for deals? Of course you have, so you know how time consuming it can be to compare this to that to that over there. It can be so tedious and we know there’s plenty of other things you would rather be doing. So save yourself the time and frustration and let us shop around so you don’t have to.We have relationships with lenders so that we can get you quotes fast. We then compile everything for you to look at so making a decision is as easy as possible. We never mark up pricesWe guarantee no markups and no hidden fees, which is more than we can say for our competitors. Some companies will actually mark up the rates and pocket the difference, but that’s not how we do business. We pride ourselves on being open and honest with our customers, so what you see is what you get. We pass the savings right on to you. And that’s why you should refinance your auto loan with Auto Approve.Whether you’re looking to reduce your monthly payments or add your kid onto your loan to help them build credit, now is a great time to refinance. And with Auto Approve, you are in good hands. From our stellar customer service to our unbeatable prices, we are here to help drivers like you save money.If you’re thinking about refinancing, contact us today to get started! Getting a quote is free and takes less than five minutes – so what are you waiting for?GET A QUOTE IN 60 SECONDS
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5 Top Personal Finance Tips to Start the New Year Off Right

01/04/2022 23:00
Do your resolutions include putting work into improving your finances? If you're resolving to give your financial situation a boost in 2022, you've come to the right placeThe beginning of a new year means we are all gearing up for new possibilities, starting new habits, and creating new resolutions to make 2022 the best year yet. But for better or for worse, our finances don’t automatically reset when the clock strikes midnight. That’s why we’ve gathered up our top five personal finance tips so that you can start off your new year on the right foot. Here are our top five person finance tips for the new year.Tip Number 1: Create a budgetIf you’ve never had a budget (or never had one that you have stuck to), start 2022 off with a monthly budget. Creating a realistic budget that you can stick to is the best way to pay off debt or start saving. The best part is that budgeting is actually super easy! Step 1: Determine Your Fixed ExpensesFixed expenses are your expenses that do not change from month to month. They occur every month with a predictable payment that is due. This can include your rent or mortgage, car payment, cable bill, trash collection, subscription services, internet, phone, child care, and student loans. Start a spreadsheet and enter everything under “Outgoing”.Step 2: Determine Your Variable ExpensesVariable expenses are your expenses that do change from month to month for a variety of reasons. These expenses might include your groceries, electric bill, parking fees, dining out, entertainment, and home repairs. Look at your past credit card bills or receipts to figure out (approximately) how much you pay each month for each of these categories. Enter these expenses under “Outgoing” as well.Step 3: Determine Your IncomeThis should be fairly easy. Log your take home income (post tax always; any refunds that you get should be treated like a bonus or found money; never count on money to come back into your hands once it leaves your paycheck). Add in any extra income you may have. This could include a side business, dividends, or rent that you collect. Enter these in your spreadsheet as “Incoming”.Step 4: Compare the incoming and the outgoingAdd them up and compare. Are you bringing in more than you are spending? Fantastic! In that case, look to see where you can invest this extra money. Maybe you can use it to pay off your credit card or start building your emergency fund. Whatever your goal is, make sure to include this as a line item in your expense budget. By doing this, you no longer have “an extra $200 laying around” – instead you have “$200 that is going right into savings”. On the flipside, maybe you are spending more money than you are bringing in. If this is the case, look for places to cut your expenses. Are there subscription services you can cancel? Can you eat out twice a month instead of four times a month? Can you switch from brand name cereal to generic? Look for any and all places where you can sacrifice to make some changes. Little cuts here and there can add up to big savings in the long run.Creating a budget is our number one tip for starting the new year off right. The most important thing is to be honest about your expenses and to keep track of your incoming and outgoing faithfully. Tip Number 2: Aim to SaveSaving more money is oftentimes a top resolution for people. Whether it’s to build a safety net, add to their retirement, or save up for a down payment, saving more money is a great goal for the new year. Creating a budget and adding in a savings line is a great first step. Look into opening a new savings account. Do some research about the different accounts out there and what fits your needs the best. Perhaps a simple savings account at your local bank will suffice, or maybe a money market account will give you a little more bang for your buck. If you want to tuck your money away where you won’t be tempted to touch it, a CD (certificate of deposit) account might be the best option. No matter what account you select, making a commitment to save more will pay off in the long run if you stick with it.Tip Number 3: Commit to Increasing your Credit ScoreHaving a good credit score is vital for a number of reasons. Some of these top reasons include:Lower interest rates on credit cards and loansBetter chance for credit card and loan approvalHigher credit limitsBetter insurance ratesEasier approval for rentalsMore negotiating power for loans and accountsHaving a good credit score quite simply makes you a more desirable candidate. Prioritizing a better score will open up more opportunities and can save you a good deal of money in the long run. To increase your credit score, focus on making full, on-time payments. This is one of the top ways to affect your score in a positive way. Avoid opening new lines of credit and try to pay down as much of your debt as you can (remember that budget we were talking about? Include this as part of your budget to ensure you pay down extra every month). Your credit history – do you make on time consistent payments? – and your credit utilization score – how much debt are you in compared to credit you have available to you? – are the two most important factors in your credit score. Focus on improving these and you can easily increase your credit score within the year.There are five ranges of credit scores:Exceptional: 800 to 850Very good: 740 to 799Good: 670 to 739Fair: 580 to 669Poor: 300 to 579Depending on what your current score is, try to move to the next bracket in 2022. Aiming for a score of 700 or above will open you to a lot more financial opportunities.Tip Number 4: Sign Up for a Credit Monitoring or Identity Theft Protection ProductKeeping an eye on your credit is hugely important in the world of finance. If someone gets a hold of your identity it can be an absolute nightmare to sort out. Signing up for credit monitoring or an identity theft protection plan is a great way to ensure you are never put into this position.While most products out there have a monthly cost associated with them, there are a number of free monitoring products. Services such as Credit Karma and Capital One’s CreditWise offer free monitoring and will alert you to any unusual activity with your social security number. These services cannot protect you from identity theft, but the earlier you catch a potential problem, the easier it is to report and nip in the bud.If you are still hesitant to sign up for monitoring, commit to checking your credit report frequently. Here are the top things in your credit report to keep an eye on: New account openings, including credit cards and loansName or address changes in your credit fileUpdated public records, including court dates and bankruptciesUnpaid accounts sent to collectionsHard credit inquiriesIf anything is incorrect or misreported, be sure to report these errors to the credit agencies immediately. Again, the sooner you report a problem the less of a hassle it will be in the long term. You can check your credit report up to three times per year for free, so be sure to check every few months.Tip Number 5: Refinance your Car LoanRefinancing your car loan can help with almost any financial situation. If your expenses are a bit too high every month, refinancing to a lower interest rate and/or lengthening your credit payments can reduce your loan payment drastically. If you're looking to save in the long run, a lower interest rate and/or shorter payment period can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars.Refinancing can also help improve your credit score over time by making your payments more manageable, therefore making you more likely to pay them in full and on time. Interest rates are low as we enter the new year, and it’s always important to strike while the iron is hot. Nobody knows what the future will bring, so taking advantage of low interest rates while they are low is a great idea. At Auto Approve we are committed to saving you money and getting you the best deal possible. If refinancing sounds like it might be a great 2022 resolution for you, get a quote today to get started!And those are our top financial tips for ringing in the new year.Make 2022 the year where you take control of your finances. Creating a clear plan and forming good habits is the best way to make any resolution come to fruition. And if you have an auto loan, refinancing is a great first step to saving money. Be sure to get a quote from Auto Approve today and kick your new year off with a ton of savings!GET A QUOTE IN 60 SECONDS
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How Many Times Can I Refinance My Car?

12/29/2021 23:00
If you have already refinanced your car, you may be wondering if you can refinance again. What if your timing wasn’t great the first time around? What if your credit score has improved a lot and you’re certain you can get a better rate this time around? Don’t fret – we’re here to answer all of your refinancing questions.(Thinking about refinancing for the first time? Take a look at these 3 great reasons to refinance.)Let’s look at how many times you can refinance your car and what you should think about when refinancing.Can I refinance my car more than once?Yes! There is no limit to the amount of times that you refinance your car. That being said, there are a few questions you should ask yourself.Do I qualify for refinancing?When did I last refinance?How will refinancing affect my credit?How do I know the time is right to refinance?In this article, we will look at all these questions and help you decide if refinancing is the right move for you.Do I qualify for refinancing?First things first, are you eligible to refinance again? Most lenders have general requirements for refinancing a loan. Here are a few things that lenders look at:How old your car isHow many miles your car hasHow much money is left on your loanMost lenders require that your car is less than ten years old and has less than 100,000 miles on it. Refinancing tends to get more difficult as the car ages and depreciates more. If you are wondering if you are eligible, use our online quote form to find out today!When did I last refinance my car?Experts recommend that you have 6-12 on-time payments with your current lender before you refinance. So if you last refinanced three months ago, it’s probably best to wait a few months. Why? Lenders want to see that you will make full and consistent payments on your loan. Proving this with your most recent loan is the best way to show them that you are a good candidate for a new car loan.How will refinancing multiple times affect my credit?Refinancing will affect your credit score, so be sure to think about this before you pull the trigger. Refinancing affects two parts of your credit score: credit history length and new credit. Since refinancing is paying off one loan with another new loan, refinancing creates a new credit account. At first, refinancing can negatively affect your credit history length, since it counts as a new credit account, but over time, that affect fades – and, in fact, the refinance can improve your credit score in the long run. When you actually go to refinance, your lender will check your credit, which will likely pop up as a hard inquiry on your credit report (remember, however, that hard inquiries only last a year on your credit score, so that will only be a temporary ding).If you refinance with Auto Approve, we'll help you find the best rate for you – and don't worry, getting started doesn't require a credit check. (Click here to find out why Auto Approve is the best way to refinance!)How do I know if the time is right to refinance?You know that you qualify for refinancing and you know that you have waited long enough to refinance. So what else should you think about before refinancing again?How much time is left on my loan?Before refinancing, think about how much time is left on your current loan. If you still have a good amount of time left on your loan and you don’t have a good interest rate, refinancing can save you a lot of money. The sooner you switch to a lower APR, the sooner you will start saving. If you don’t have a lot of time left in your loan (say less than a year), the fees of refinancing might outweigh the saved interest. Make sure you do the math and figure out what your potential savings could be with refinancing. Auto Approve can help show you how much money you can save, just head over to our quote page to get started!Are there prepayment penalties on my current loan?If your loan has prepayment penalties, this may deter you from refinancing. It’s important to read the fine print and determine what the fees are. In some cases, the savings from refinancing might still outweigh any prepayment penalties. If you are unsure of what your prepayment penalties are, call your current lender and have them walk you through it. Be thorough to avoid any surprise fees.Is my credit score good?If your credit score has improved since the last time you refinanced, it’s definitely a good time to think about refinancing again. Improving your credit score by even a little bit can score you a much better APR from lenders, which means you can save hundreds, even thousands, every year. Your credit score improves as you make consistent payments, as you pay down debts, and as your accounts age. Check your FICO credit score to see where you stand (you can do this for free three times per year).Are interest rates good?Make sure to consider interest rates in general. When interest rates are low (like right now) you want to strike while the iron is hot. The future is always uncertain, so when you see low APRs, you want to take advantage while you can.Do I need a little breathing room in my finances?If things are a little tight every month, refinancing might be the answer to your prayers. Securing a lower APR and changing your payment schedule (say lengthening it from 24 months to 36 months) can reduce your monthly bill drastically. Refinancing is a fantastic way to free up room in your monthly budget.On the flipside, if you have some extra breathing room in your monthly budget, refinancing can help you save money in two ways. First, you can lower your APR so you are saving money on interest. You can also shorten your repayment period so that you are paying that interest over less time. This can save you a whole lot of money in the long run (and the short run!).There is no limit on how many times you can refinance, so you should refinance as often as it makes sense for you.Refinancing is a great option for many reasons. The biggest reason is simple: it can save you a lot of money. At Auto Approve, we offer the lowest rates with no markup, and with an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, you know we will work hard to save you money. So, if you're ready to start your refinancing journey, get a quote from Auto Approve today.GET A QUOTE IN 60 SECONDS
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How Much Money Should You Save For Emergencies?

12/29/2021 23:00
Emergencies are unpredictable, by nature, and none of us want to get caught off guard by a huge, unexpected expense.We have all heard how important it is to have a rainy day fund, but how much should you save, and how do you start saving?Here we will look at how much money you should save for emergencies and give you some tips on how you can build this into your budget.What is an emergency fund?An emergency fund is a separate bank account or savings account that will help offset any unexpected situations that pop up. Such emergencies might include buying a new car if your car suddenly stops working, fixing a leaking roof, or paying for unexpected medical expenses. An emergency fund might also be kept in case a person loses their job. What constitutes an emergency will vary greatly from person to person, so an emergency fund will be used differently by different people.But the goal of an emergency fund is always the same: it can help bail you out of a tight financial spot. How much should you budget for emergencies?Just as what constitutes an emergency will differ from person to person, so too will how much you should save. Emergency funds are often discussed as “how many months of expenses'' you should save. While the general rule of thumb is to save six months’ worth of expenses, this depends a good deal on your lifestyle and financial situation. Let’s look at some different scenarios:When you should save three to four months’ worth of expenses:If you are in a relatively stable position in your life and don’t have a lot of people financially dependent on you, saving three to four months’ worth of expenses will provide a good emergency fund. Consider saving this much if the following applies to you:You’re relatively young and healthy.You have a stable job, and if you lose your job you could easily find a new one.You do not have dependents (children or pets).You have a partner who is financially stable.You have little debt.If this sounds like you, aim to save for three to four months of expenses.When you should save six months’ worth of expenses:If you have a lot of expenses every month, or have dependents, you are better off saving closer to six months worth of expenses. Consider saving this much if the following applies to you:You have a lot of expenses (this could include a high mortgage, multiple loan payments, or high vehicle payment).You have dependents.Your job is not very stable, or if you lose your job you would have a difficult time finding another.You are the sole provider.You live in an area with a high cost of living.All of these factors mean that if you have an emergency expense, it might be a very costly one. Experts suggest saving closer to six months’ worth of expenses to give yourself a bigger cushion.When you should save one year’s worth of expenses:If you are older and still have a good amount of expenses, it is better to be safe than sorry and save a bit extra. Consider saving this much if the following applies to you:You are older or have underlying health conditions.You are nearing retirement.You have a highly specialized job.You are the sole provider to multiple dependents.Emergency expenses in this case might be pretty costly, so having a year’s worth of expenses will help offset any unforeseen costs and keep you from needing to worry about what could be coming around the bend.How do you determine your expenses?It is important to have a good grasp on what your living expenses are every month. You should always have a general idea of how much money comes into your household and leaves your household every month. Creating a budget is a great way to do this. If you need help starting your budget, check out our Beginner’s Guide to Budgeting. To calculate your expenses, start by figuring out the following:Your mortgage or rentYour utilities (electricity, gas, water, etc)Your car paymentsYour insurance paymentsYour loan paymentsYour groceriesYour medical bills and prescriptions Any other monthly expenses (subscriptions, vet bills, etc)When you add all of this up , you will have a pretty good idea of how much money goes out of your pocket every month. Depending on your goal, multiply this number by 3, 6, or 12 to determine your ideal emergency fund amount.How do I save for emergencies?You know how much you need to save, but how do you make that into a reality? Follow these steps to start saving for your emergency fund today.1.Set your savings goal. Calculate your expenses as described above and determine your savings goal. Having a specific goal in mind will help you stay on track.2.Create a budget. Determine all of your expenses for the month as well as all of your income, and look for some places where you can trim some fat. Are there subscriptions that you don’t use? Can you cut back on eating out or takeout? Comb through your budget for opportunities to save.Pro Tip: A great way to save money every month is to refinance your car. By refinancing to a lower rate, you can save hundreds of dollars that you can then invest in your emergency fund. And if you use Auto Approve, the process couldn’t be simpler. It's easy to get a quote today (no credit check required!) and see just how much money we can save you!3.Create an emergency fund within your budget. Start contributing to your emergency fund as if it is a bill you have to pay. Determine how much you can afford per month to set aside, whether it is $10 or $500. As long as you are routinely contributing to your fund it will eventually grow. If you come into extra money throughout the month (think tax returns, a bonus, extra tips, money from a side hustle, etc.) think about investing at least part of it in your emergency fund.4.Put it somewhere safe. It is important to keep your money in a secure place where it can ideally grow and earn interest of its own. Where should you keep your emergency fund?When we talk about emergency funds, we might think of cartoon characters keeping their money in a jar above the refrigerator marked “rainy day fund”. But in reality, we are talking about thousands upon thousands of dollars. So where is the safest and smartest place to keep this money? According to financial experts, here are the top four spots to keep your emergency funds:A high yield bank accountKeeping your emergency money in a high interest saving account is one of the easiest and safest ways to keep your money. It is easy to access when you need it in an emergency, and you may be eligible for a sign-on bonus when you open a new account.A money market accountMoney market accounts are similar to savings accounts, but banks are allowed to invest this money differently so they often offer higher interest rates. You can still easily access your money, but there are often some restrictions (for instance you cannot withdraw money more than six times per month). Additionally, these funds are not insured by the FDIC so you could lose money out of these accounts.A certificate of depositA certificate of deposit offers a guaranteed return at a fixed rate (for example they might offer 1.25% APY for 24 months). These guaranteed rates are usually higher than a savings account or money market account, but your money is tied up for the period of time to which you agree. This means that you may earn more money with this option, but you might not have access to the money when you need it most.A Roth IRAWhile a retirement fund might not immediately come to mind when you think of emergency savings, investing your emergency money in a Roth IRA might be a good move for you. If you invest your funds conservatively, you can make more money than with a traditional savings account. There is a higher risk here however of losing some of your money, so it is riskier than a traditional bank account.And that’s everything you should know about starting an emergency fund.While it is impossible to prepare yourself for everything life throws at you, you can certainly try to prepare. Preparing for the unexpected with an emergency fund is a great idea that everyone should consider.If you are trying to cut down on your monthly expenses to create an emergency fund, or just looking to save some money, consider refinancing your vehicle with Auto Approve. Our team will shop around to find you the best rates, making refinancing your car as easy as possible. And with a 96% would-recommend rating on Lending Tree, you know we have the testimonials to back it up. So what are you waiting for?GET A QUOTE IN 60 SECONDS
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How Fast and Why Do Vehicles Depreciate?

12/27/2021 23:00
There’s nothing like the feeling of driving a new car off the lot for the first time. That new car smell, that feeling of getting everything perfectly adjusted for the first time. There is nothing quite like it.So it comes as a surprise when, months and years later, you realize that your car isn’t new anymore. The smell has faded, that new feeling has worn away. Suddenly you realize your car has depreciated and lost some of its value. But just how much value has your car lost since that first day? And why?Let’s look at why vehicles lose their value and how quickly this depreciation happens.What is depreciation?What exactly is depreciation? Car depreciation is the difference between how much your car was originally worth and how much it is worth currently. Depreciation occurs with everything we own. Unless we are talking about antiques, nothing gains value as it gets older. The value of your car will reduce the more you drive and the more wear and tear your car accumulates.How quickly do cars depreciate?When looking at the rate of depreciation, we can divide it into three categories: after it leaves the lot, after one year, and after five years.After it leaves the lotThe second you drive off from the dealership your car goes down in value. It officially has an owner and is no longer new. It is estimated that a car loses about 10% of its value the moment it leaves the lot. Within a few feet, your new $25,000 car is worth $22,500. This is part of why the Loan-to-Value ratio on cars can be so high.After one yearThe biggest decrease in value occurs in the first year of ownership. Experts estimate that new cars lose 20% of their value in the first year. Your $25,000 car is now worth only $20,000.After five yearsAfter the first year, cars tend to lose about 15% of their value every year. By the end of the car’s first five years, it will lose about 60% of its original value.Why do cars depreciate?There are many reasons why cars depreciate, but it all comes down to wear and tear. The more you drive a car, the less reliable it is and the more likely you are to run into problems. Here are the top reasons for deprecation:MileageThe more you drive your car, the more it depreciates. High mileage shortens the amount of usable time left on the car, thus decreasing its value more.AgeThe older a car is, the less it’s worth. Even if it still drives perfectly, the fact that it is an older model will reduce the value.Make and ModelIf you are driving a more popular model, your car will depreciate slower. Value is based on how much someone is willing to pay. The more people want your car, the more they will pay for it. If you have a less desirable car, expect your car to depreciate at a faster rate.Ownership HistoryWhen it comes to depreciation, the less owners a car has the higher the value will be. How well the owners maintained the car and where the car resided will matter a great deal as well. If the car was kept in a busy city, it may indicate stop and go wear and tear. It is also more likely to have small dings and dents from constantly being in close proximity to other vehicles.ConditionWhat is the overall condition of your car? Has it been in a lot of accidents? Were there regular oil changes and alignments? The better the car was maintained, the longer its usable life will be, thus the higher the value will be.The Price of GasDepending on the price of gas, your vehicle may depreciate at different rates. Vehicles that are more fuel efficient depreciate less when gas prices are high. Cars that consume more gas depreciate less when gas prices are low. ColorVehicles with neutral colored paints tend to depreciate less than other vehicles. This is because neutral paints remain consistently popular, while other colors will go in and out of style.How can depreciation affect your loan?If you took out a loan to purchase your new car, you must be especially wary of depreciation. If depreciation occurs very suddenly, you risk becoming upside down in your loan, meaning that you owe more on your loan than the car is worth. Do your research before you buy your car to ensure that the model you are purchasing does not depreciate abnormally fast, and follow the tips below to reduce the amount of depreciation. How do you stop car depreciation?While depreciation is inevitable, it is possible to slow down your car’s depreciation. Here are some helpful tips:Reduce your mileageCutting back on driving is a great way to curb depreciation. If you can put less than 10,000 miles on your odometer per year, it will help you out a lot in the long run.Keep up on maintenanceKeeping good maintenance habits will also help reduce depreciation. Regular oil changes, alignments, tire rotations, and air filter changes are just some of the routine maintenance you should keep up on. Keep your exterior clean and ding freeWash and wax your car regularly to protect the paint and keep the exterior looking as new as possible. If your car has small dings and dents, try to get them out if possible. Keep good recordsKeeping up on maintenance records is good practice in general, and can help increase the value of your car. It’s always helpful to be able to prove that your car has had regular oil changes and other maintenance performed.Don’t smoke in your carSmoking in your car will lead to faster deprecation too. It’s almost impossible to get the tobacco smell out of interiors, so avoiding smoking altogether will help keep your interior clean and smell-free. Don’t eat in your carReducing the amount of food you have in your car can also help depreciation. This will reduce the likelihood of spills and smells in the interior and help you maintain value.That’s everything you need to know about depreciation and how you can protect yourself from it.Depreciation is unavoidable. Every car will lose its value over time, but good driving and good maintenance habits can help curb the effects. Be especially cautious of depreciation if you have an auto loan. If your auto loan is a little too high, it might be time to consider refinancing. Auto Approve is here to help you refinance to a lower APR, which can save you money and reduce your monthly payments.GET A QUOTE IN 60 SECONDS
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How Do Extended Warranties Work With New Cars?

12/23/2021 23:00
When you buy a new car, it usually comes with a factory warranty that protects your car for the first few years. But when the factory warranty expires, you are left to foot the bill on any repairs that your vehicle might need. This is why dealers will try to talk you into purchasing an extended warranty on your vehicle. But how exactly does an extended warranty work, and is it worth it?Let’s look at how extended warranties work and what you should consider if you are thinking about purchasing one.What is a factory warranty on a vehicle?A factory warranty is basic coverage that is offered by the manufacturer that will repair certain issues at no cost. What the warranty covers specifically will vary greatly depending on the manufacturer. Warranties have gotten much better in the past decade or so, and standard warranties usually cover powertrain issues and many bumper-to-bumper repairs. The powertrain warranty covers your engine and transmission if there are any defects that cause your engine to operate improperly. The bumper-to-bumper warranty covers most everything else on your vehicle, including air conditioning, on board computers, and navigation systems.The length of the standard warranty depends greatly on which manufacturer you buy from. The standard timeframe is 3 years or 36,000 miles, whichever comes first. Certain luxury brands however have longer warranties. General Motors offers five year/100,000 mile powertrain warranties, while Hyundai offers ten year/100,000 mile powertrain warranties.It is important to read your warranties very carefully to know exactly what is covered and what is not. Under federal law, manufacturers are required to cover emissions repairs up to eight years/80,000 miles. This covers catalytic converters as well as other emissions system parts. You should absolutely read the fine print of your factory warranty in your consideration of whether or not you need additional protection.What is an extended warranty on a vehicle?How exactly is an extended warranty different from a standard factory warranty? There are two types of extended warranties, those offered by manufacturers (also called OEMs, original equipment manufacturers), and those offered by third party vendors. OEM warranties will extend your coverage and work the same way that your standard factory warranty works. Depending on the manufacturer, they will either cover similar issues as your original warranty, or they might cover significantly less. Third party warranties are similar to OEM warranties, but with a few key differences. One of the major differences is how your repair bills get paid. For a factory repair, you will need to go to either a dealership or a dealer certified mechanic, and they will handle billing. For a third party warranty, you may need to pay for the repairs out of pocket, then get reimbursed later. A good extended auto warranty will pay the mechanic directly. The upside of third party warranties is that you do not need to use certified parts, which are usually much more expensive than the generic parts.How much do extended car warranties cost?The cost of an extended warranty varies widely based on coverage options you select as well as the make and model of your vehicle. A factory extended warranty can easily cost between $1000 and $3000 up front, and if that coverage is rolled into your auto loan, you will pay interest on that cost.What are the advantages of an extended auto warranty?So, is an extended warranty worth it? Here are the pros and cons of purchasing an extended warranty.Pro: You can drive your car for longer worry free.If you are planning on driving your car for longer than the factory warranty covers, it might be worth it to consider. Expensive repairs can hit unexpectedly, and an extended warranty will alleviate this. An extended warranty is like insurance. You don’t always need it, but when you do need it, it is extremely helpful.Pro: It can help you keep up-to-date with technology.In-car technology is amazing nowadays. But with all of the advanced features out there, it is very easy for technology to become obsolete or stop working properly. One Apple upgrade on your phone and suddenly your GoogleMaps doesn't connect properly. A new Android hits the market and suddenly the bluetooth doesn't sync quite right. Having an extended warranty will often cover software upgrades at no cost so that you can use the technology for longer.Pro: You can customize it to your needs.Extended warranties, especially third party vendor warranties, can be customized to fit what you would like covered. This can be helpful to reduce your monthly payments but still get coverage for common issues with your car. It is helpful to use sites like JD Power and Associates and Kelley Blue Book to see what some common repairs are on your particular vehicle, and try to get a warranty to cover those issues.Pro: You might get some added benefits.If you purchase an extended warranty through a third party vendor, you might get some additional perks such as roadside assistance, rental car benefits, and complimentary towing. This depends largely on who your provider is, but these extra perks might tip the scale for you if you are on the fence about getting an extended warranty.What are the disadvantages of an extended warranty?Con: Paying for a repair might cost less overall.It is impossible to say whether or not an extended warranty will cost less than simply getting the repairs. On average, extended warranties cost about $750 a year. If you get a three year extended warranty and nothing ever goes wrong with your car, you are out $2250 with nothing to show for it. When deciding on an extended warranty, you should consider how much you end up at the repair shop. If you are there often and there seems to always be something going wrong with your car, it might be worth it. Also consider your vehicle in general: do you have a car that’s known to be unreliable, and you’ve just been lucky up until now? These are all important things to consider. Again, look up common issues and possible repairs your car may need and consider how long you intend to drive your current vehicle. One pricey repair, again, could tip the balance – and the nice thing about an extended auto warranty is that you can plan for the cost of the warranty, so you don't have to worry about big surprises. Again, it's like insurance – if you just pay for it all year, it can feel like a waste, but if you end up needing it, you may be grateful you got it.Con: They don’t cover everything.Even if you customize your extended warranty to fit your needs, there are many things that are not covered by warranties. Many wear and tear items, including brakes, brake pads, and headlights aren’t covered by all warranties. It's important to find out what each warranty provider you're considering covers and compare and contrast plans.Con: They require proof of maintenanceMany warranties require proof of regular maintenance as well. If you regularly miss oil changes and tire rotations, there's a chance they will not cover certain repairs. If they believe it is something that regular maintenance could have prevented, they might give you a hard time about covering it. Additionally, if it is a factory extended warranty, you will need to go to a dealership or dealer certified mechanic to do any repairs.  This can be a strain if you live far from a dealer.Con: There may be either overlap in your protection or a gap in your protection.If the extended warranty’s coverage overlaps with your regular factory warranty, you will end up paying for a useless warranty for the overlap period, as the coverage is redundant. That's why not everyone opts for an extended auto warranty with a new car. However, if there's something in particular your regular warranty doesn't cover that you'd like covered, it may be worth shopping around for extended protection. Some extended warranty companies are more flexible than others.All that said, if you wait for your factory warranty to expire before purchasing an extended warranty, you will probably have to wait for coverage to kick in. Extended warranties do not cover pre-existing conditions, so they often have a waiting period. Typically you must wait 30 days or 1,000 miles before the warranty takes effect. So it's a double edged sword – you may want to try to start the extended warranty coverage as close to the time your manufacturer warranty ends.Con: You might have to pay a deductible.Certain extended warranty plans will charge you a deductible for each repair. Depending how your contract is worded, it is possible that you will have to pay a deductible for each time your vehicle is brought into the shop. This means that you could end up paying multiple deductibles for one repair. So read contracts closely and ask any agent you're working with about the details of the coverage you're being offered.Can you buy an extended warranty later?Yes, you can buy an extended warranty after you buy your new car. But if you purchase the extended warranty when you initially buy your new car, you can build the extended warranty into your loan payment. If you are not planning on financing it, you should definitely think about it and do some shopping around before agreeing to a dealership extended warranty.Should I get an extended warranty?There is no right answer for this question. If you are nervous about not having coverage and can afford the payments, it’s certainly worth looking into. Just make sure you do research on your particular vehicle to make an informed decision.That’s how extended warranties work on new cars.We hope this will help you make an informed decision about purchasing an extended warranty for your new car. And if you have a new car that you love but loan payments that you hate, Auto Apptove can help! We'll work with you to find your best option to refinance your auto loan to a lower APR and put more of your hard earned cash back in your pocket.GET A QUOTE IN 60 SECONDS
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How To Save Money At the Gas Pump

12/23/2021 23:00
Going to the gas station to fill your car up can be a harrowing experience. How can it really be that much to fill up your tank?! But believe it or not there are some tips and tricks to help you save at the pump. We’ve compiled the best advice out there on how to save big when you fill up. After all, with the price of gas lately, it’s definitely about the destination and not about the journey. Here are our top tips to save you money the next time you are at the gas station.Use a Gas AppDid you know there are apps specifically designed to save you money at the gas station? Apps such as GasBuddy and Gas Guru track gas prices and can tell you which stations in your town or along your commute have the best prices.In general, gas is cheaper off the beaten path. You will pay more at stations that are right off of the interstate or smack dab in the middle of your city. Also, if you live along a state line gas might be cheaper in another state. Using these gas apps can help you determine where you will get the best deal. Join a Gas Rewards ProgramThere are a ton of loyalty programs out there for everything under the sun, including gas. The best rewards programs out there are tied to one specific brand. Here are some of the most popular programs:BPme program: This can be used at both BP and Amoco stations. When you register, you get 5 cents off every gallon for the first month. After that you can get the same discount by spending at least $100 per month on gas.Exxon Mobil Rewards+: The Exxon Mobil Rewards+ program gives you 3 points per gallon on fuel and 2 points per $1.00 you spend at their convenience store. For every 100 points you earn, you get $1.00 off of your gas purchase.Circle K Easy Rewards: For every gallon of fuel you buy at a Circle K you earn 10 points. For every dollar you spend in a Circle K store, you earn 20 points. Once you earn 2,000 points, you will save $2.00 at the pump. Most gas brands offer rewards programs these days, so if you find yourself frequenting one brand, look to become a member of their program.Get a Credit Card with Gas RewardsMany credit cards out there have cash back incentives, and certain cards are best for fueling up. Here are some of the top gas reward credit cards:Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card: This card gives you 3% cash back in a category of your choice, such as gas (up to $2500). The gas does not need to be from a particular brand either. In addition you get 2% back on groceries and 1% back on everything else.Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express: This card gives 3% cash back at gas stations, as well as other travel related expenses such as taxis, bus tickets, and subways. If you drive a lot, it makes sense to get a gas rewards credit card. Be sure to do your research though–many credit cards out there only offer the higher rewards for the first year or so, and then the reward points decrease drastically.Fill Up Earlier in the WeekFilling your tank up earlier in the week may be a surprising way you can save money at the pump. According to GasBuddy, gas prices tend to be lower on Mondays and Tuesdays. If you can plan your fill-ups ahead of time, you will avoid being forced to go to the closest gas station  (which is most likely not the cheapest gas station).Take Care of Your CarGood car maintenance can actually help you use less gas. Here are some basic maintenance and upkeep tips that may help your fuel efficiently and save you some money in the long run.Check your tire pressure. Underinflated tires can reduce your fuel efficiency a good deal. Experts recommend that you check your tire pressure once a month and make sure it is within the specified range in your owner’s manual. Keeping your tires at the correct pressure can improve your gas mileage by as much as 3.3%. Correct tire pressure will also lengthen the life of your tires.Make sure you are using the right oil. Check your owner’s manual to ensure that you are using the correct type of oil. Using the wrong oil not only adversely affects your gas mileage, but it can cause your engine to wear faster. Get routine oil changes. As oil breaks down, it forces the engine to work harder, which increases the amount of gasoline that is used. The longer you go in between oil changes, the more gas you will waste. In the past, it was recommended to get an oil change every six months or 3,000 miles, but with advances in synthetic lubricants it is now suggested between 5,000 and 7,000 miles. Check with the manufacturer or a trusted mechanic to find out what is best for your car.Replace your air filters. Clogged air filters can significantly decrease gas mileage. In general they should be changed once a year, or every 15,000-30,000 miles, but check your owner’s manual to see what the manufacturer recommends. Check your spark plugs. You should get your car tuned up a few times a year. During this routine checkup, they can check and replace any bad spark plugs. A bad spark plug can reduce fuel economy by as much as 30%.Make sure your gas cap is securely fastened. If your gas cap doesn’t fit snugly or is not screwed in properly, you could be losing gas to evaporation. Make sure there is a good fit and that it is resecured properly every time you fill up at the tank.Lighten your load. The lighter your car is, the higher your fuel efficiency will be. Getting rid of unnecessary weight including roof racks and bike racks can help you save some cents at the pump.Change Up Your Driving HabitsIf you are serious about improving your fuel economy, there are some simple changes you can make to your driving habits that can save you money.Plan your routes strategically. Instead of going out multiple times during the day or week to run errands, try to hit all of your errands that are in the same location at once. Look at GoogleMaps or Waze to determine the most cost-efficient way to get to your destinations. A little planning will go a long way.Reduce your Heater and Air Conditioning Use. Depending on where you live, this might be a hard one. Reducing the use of the heater and air conditioner can significantly increase your fuel efficiency. It is up for debate if the fuel being used for air conditioning at a high speed is offset by the amount the car slows down with the windows open. But if you are driving around town, windows are definitely the more fuel efficient option. Slow Down. It’s hard to let off the gas pedal at times, but reducing your speed can help your gas mileage significantly. Once your car goes over 50 miles per hour, the drag on your car starts to take a toll. It is estimated that you can lose up to $.25 per gallon for every 5 miles per hour you drive over 50 miles per hour. This can add up quickly at the pump if you are zipping around town at 70 or 80 miles per hour. Cruise Control When Possible. If you are driving on the highway or for a long stretch, switch to cruise control. Maintaining a steady speed is much better for gas mileage than constantly changing speeds.Accelerate Gradually. Pedal to the metal wastes gas, unfortunately. The more you ease into an acceleration, the better your gas mileage will be. Skip the Premium, If You CanIf your car manual doesn’t specifically say that it requires premium, you are not only wasting your money but potentially hurting your car.  Premium gas has a higher octane rating, which means that it resists pre ignition more than regular gas. Only high performance engines require higher octane gas. Opting for regular gas instead will save you a good deal in the long run.Those are the best ways to save money at the gas pump.We hope these tips will help you save your hard earned money. After all, that cash is always better in your pocket than in someone else’s pocket. If saving money is your ultimate goal, consider refinancing your car with Auto Approve.Our finance gurus are here to help you find the best APR possible and reduce your monthly auto loan payments. Get a quote or call today to find out just how much money we can save you!GET A QUOTE IN 60 SECONDS
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Maximizing Your Employee Benefits

12/21/2021 23:00
When you accept a new job, you tend to focus on the big picture. Your new salary, your number of vacation days, and the hours of your work week are some of the biggest things you will think about with your new position.But nowadays, there are so many additional perks that employees are offered, and oftentimes they aren’t even aware of what they are missing. Whether you just started a new job or you’ve had a steady job for years, there may be benefits available to you that you are not using to your advantage.Here we will look at some employee benefits that you may be missing out on.In order to determine exactly what benefits are available to you, it is important to look carefully through all employee paperwork you receive. If you have any questions, your human resources department should be able to answer any and all questions about your using your employee benefits. Below are some of the most common employee benefits.Employer Contribution Matching ProgramsMany companies will match your contributions for retirement plans, such as 401(k)s. This will vary greatly from company to company, but the two most common matching programs are partial matching and dollar for dollar matching. Partial Matching: Your employer will match part of the money that you put in. This depends greatly on your particular plan, but it is common for employers to match 50% of your contributions. This is usually capped at 6% of your salary (they will contribute up to 3% of your salary).Dollar for dollar matching: Your employer will match your contributions in full up to a certain amount. If you are dollar for dollar up to 3%, your employer will match only up to 3% of your salary.With either of these matching programs, if you are not contributing to your retirement plan, you are missing out on free money. It can be hard to budget for this type of savings, but if it is possible you should definitely take advantage. Health Savings AccountsThere are three main types of Health Savings Accounts that may be available to you: HSAs, FSAs, and HRAs.HSAs: In recent years employers have found it more cost effective to switch to higher deductible health insurance plans, which means that employees have to pay more out of pocket for their health care. This is where HSAs come in and can be very beneficial. These accounts are owned by the employee, and contributions can come from the employer and the employee. Money is placed tax-free in an account and can be used for qualified medical expenses. These are only available if you have a high deductible plan. Many companies will contribute money per year to offset the higher deductibles.FSAs: FSA’s are used in conjunction with health insurance plans. The accounts are owned by the employer and deductions are taken from paychecks as tax-free contributions. Employees can be reimbursed out of this account for qualified medical expenses. HRAs: These accounts are set up by the employer to offset medical expenses. Employers are the only contributors to these types of accounts, so you cannot add your own contributions. This money can be rolled over from year to year, so if you don’t use the total amount one year you can use it the following year. Employers may offer one or all of these account options, so do your research and decide what will work best for you and your family.Legal PlansCertain employers will offer legal group plans that can provide discounted rates for legal services. Participating firms will assist employees with many types of legal issues, from preparing a will to disputing insurance claims. Legal fees can add up quickly, so discounted legal help is a great benefit.Life InsuranceLife insurance is something that most young people do not think about acquiring, but if your employer offers it, you should definitely consider enrolling. The sooner you get life insurance, the more beneficial it will be to you in the long run. The earlier your contributions begin, the more you can accumulate in the account. If you get life insurance through your company, it may be free. Many companies guarantee one year’s salary in insurance if the employee enrolls. You can contribute additionally to this amount, and it is usually pre-tax. Life insurance is especially worth considering if you have a family or are the main provider in your household.Disability InsuranceLook into the disability insurance policy that your employer offers. Disability insurance can help you recover up to 70% of your missed salary in the case that something happens to you and you are out of work for a period of time. If you are able to pay your premiums with pre tax income, then it is definitely worth considering. If you are injured and unable to work without disability insurance, you will have to rely on your savings account, and it could be very harmful to your financial health.Dependent Care OptionsYour employer may offer dependent care FSAs. This means that you can set aside pre-tax money for reimbursement for child care or disable adult care. These accounts typically don't roll over funds from year to year, so it is important to determine how much money you will use for childcare per year and to not overshoot your estimate. This can save you money if you rely on daycare or have a nanny.Additional Employee BenefitsYour employer may offer many more types of benefits to employees. Some additional benefits may include:Free gym membershipTuition reimbursement or supportFree parkingProfessional development programsRead carefully through your employee handbook or guide to determine if there are any other benefits that you could be utilizing.Rollover BenefitsCheck to see which of your benefits can roll over from one job to another. If benefits do not rollover, such as FSAs, then time isn’t a factor as much. But if some benefits do rollover from job to job, like life insurance, the earlier you take advantage of the programs the more beneficial they are.  Don’t miss out on the employee benefits that may be available to you.Most employers offer some, if not all, of the benefits described above. Too many employees do not take advantage of these benefits and they miss out on saving loads of money. Maximize your employee benefits by researching what your company offers and discussing your options with your family.And if you are going through your finances to determine how your employee benefits can best be utilized, make sure to take a look at your car loan. Is your APR a bit high? Are your monthly payments too steep? Auto Approve can help you to find competitive offers to save you money on your car loan.Get a quote today to see how much money Auto Approve can save you.GET A QUOTE IN 60 SECONDS
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