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Should I Refinance My Car Loan in Summer 2023?

06/12/2023 00:53
Summer is a great time to recharge and refresh with vacations, trips to the beach, and relaxing afternoons at home enjoying the beautiful weather. But it can also be a great time to check in with our finances and get a restart before the hustle and bustle of fall comes our way. If you have a car that is financed, you may be wondering if a car loan refinance will help you save some cash. Here’s how you can tell if you should refinance your car loan in summer 2023. What is car loan refinancing?Car loan refinancing is when you get a new car loan that will replace your existing loan. Refinancing a loan will help you to get a better interest rate, change your repayment period, and change who is or is not a cosigner on the loan.When you refinance your loan you will go through the same process as you did during your initial financing. You will research lenders, apply for a loan, and select the loan that has the best terms, conditions, and car loan interest rate. And that’s it! It’s incredibly simple, and there are companies out there like Auto Approve who can help you navigate the world of refinance and help you through the application process. When you select a loan that is right for you, your new lender will pay off your old loan directly and you will begin making payments to your new lender. And voila–your loan is refinanced and you can start saving money immediately. When should you refinance your car loan?There are a number of signs that the time is right to refinance your car loan. You should know the terms and conditions of your existing loan before you seek refinance, as this will help ensure that the new loan you get will be better.Your credit score has improved.The car loan APR that you are offered is very dependent on your credit score. In fact your credit score is the biggest factor that you have control over when it comes to securing a loan. The rate that you are offered will be based on what credit tier you are in. Your credit score will fall into one the following categories:800 to 850: Excellent740 to 799: Very good670 to 739: Good580 to 669: Fair300 to 579: Poor In general you will be offered a good car loan interest rate if your credit score is in the very good and excellent range. As your score decreases, the interest rate that you will be offered will increase. Your credit score is based on five key factors in your personal finance: your payment history, credit utilization, length of credit history, credit mix, and new credit accounts. There are many reasons why your credit may have increased since your initial financing:You paid off some debt.You have been making consistent on time payments.Your available credit increased.You had a negative event expire.And more.Any improvement to your credit score can help save you a lot of money in interest, especially if it bumps you into a different category. But in general if there has been an increase to your credit score it is a good idea to think about car loan refinancing.You want to change your repayment period.Another benefit of refinancing is that you can change your repayment period. There are two ways that this can help you: it can either save you money or it can buy you some breathing room in your monthly finances. If you shorten your repayment period you will be paying off your loan quicker and you will therefore spend less money overall on interest. This will make your monthly payments higher, but you will save money in the long run. On the other hand, if you are having trouble making your payments every month, lengthening your repayment period will allow you to greatly reduce your monthly payments. Since you will be paying the loan off over a longer period, the principal will stretch out and easily cut your payment by hundreds per month. You should note that you will be paying more interest over the life of the loan, but this may be worth it if it can make your monthly budget work for you. The market rates have decreased.The refinance rate that you will be offered will be based in part on the current market rates. If the current rates are lower than they were when you initially financed your car, you may be offered a lower car loan refinance rate.You are in a bad relationship with your current lender.Sometimes we end up in bad relationships. Maybe you don’t like the customer service and have had a few too many bad interactions. Maybe they have hit you with fees and penalties that you do not find fair. Maybe they have been unresponsive and unhelpful. Whatever the reason is, refinancing your car loan can help you get out of a bad spot with your current lender.You want to add or remove a cosigner. If you want to add or remove a cosigner from your current loan, refinancing your loan is going to be your best option. What do I need to refinance my car loan?In order to refinance your loan you will need to have the following documents: Proof of employment or income (a paycheck stub or tax return)Proof of car insurance.A valid driver’s license.Proof of residence. This is required if your driver’s license and credit report address don’t match. A utility bill is usually sufficient for this.  Your car’s registration.Your vehicle’s information: model, make, year and vehicle identification number (VIN)Your current lender’s information and loan information, including the payoff amount.A photo of your car’s odometer Some lenders may require more information or paperwork, but these are the standard documents that most lenders will want. Is summer 2023 a good time to refinance my car loan?So is now a good time for car loan refinance? It really depends on your situation. The current market rates are not particularly low right now, but that might not matter for you. The rates might still be lower than when you originally financed, and if your credit score increased then you might be eligible for a much better interest rate.  If you are looking for some breathing room, refinancing to a longer repayment period can really help you out of a tight spot. The best thing you can do is to look at your finances and determine if you could benefit from car loan refinance.  That’s how you can know if car loan refinancing is right for you in summer 2023. Contact Auto Approve to find out how much money you could be saving!GET A QUOTE IN 60 SECONDS
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What Is Considered the Safest Car in 2023?

06/10/2023 17:52
Car safety is at the top of many people’s list when they decide to buy a new car, especially if you are looking for a family vehicle. Car accidents are unfortunately a part of our lives, with about 0.7% of accidents resulting in fatalities. In 2021 alone there were 42,939 deaths caused by car accidents. Because of this, we need to be careful when selecting a car so that we can minimize the chances of serious harm in the case of a car accident. So how exactly do they determine which cars are safest? And which cars are at the top of list when it comes to safety?Here are the safest cars in 2023 (and why they earned that title).What determines the safety of a car?There are two major organizations in the United States that rank the safety of cars: the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). These organizations gather data and analyze vehicles to make the highways safer for all of us. Part of this analysis involves testing cars in crash scenarios to determine which cars are the safest and which are the least safe.While these organizations both test the safety of cars and use crash scenarios they have different ranking systems and operate independently of each other. This means that you should take both ratings into consideration when looking to buy a new car. The NHTSA uses a 5-Star Safety Ratings Program while the IHS uses a Top Safety Pick and Top Safety Pick+ as a ratings system.What are NHTSA safety ratings?The NHTSA uses a  5-star rating system to measure the safety of a vehicle. Five stars are awarded to the safest cars while one star is awarded to the least safe cars. Their ratings are strongly based on four crash test scenarios that they run. A Frontal Crash Test Scenario. This measures how safe a car is in a head to head collision. They assume that an average-sized male is in the driver seat and a small-sized female is in the passenger seat, both wearing seatbelts. The crash is between two vehicles with the same weight. After the crash they analyze the injuries to the head, neck, chest, and leg. Frontal crash ratings are only compared between vehicles from the same weight class, plus or minus 250 lbs.Side Barrier Crash Test Scenario. This measures how safe a car is if it gets hit from the side, as if there were a four-way intersection where a car did not stop and hit a car on the driver side. They assume that an average-sized male is in the driver seat and a small-sized female is in the back seat on the driver side, both wearing seatbelts. The test measures a 3,015 lb moving barrier that crashes at 38.5 mph into a vehicle that is not moving. After the crash they analyze the injuries to the head, abdomen, chest, and pelvis. Side crash ratings can be compared across all weight classes.Side Pole Crash Test Scenario: This measures how safe a car is if it were to slide off of the road and hit a telephone pole on the driver’s side. They assume there is a small sized female in the driver’s seat with a seat belt fastened. The test measures how a car responds when it hits a pole with a 25 cm diameter at 20 mph. Side pole crash tests can be compared across all weight classes and vehicle types. Rollover Resistance Test Scenario: This measures how a car responds if there is a sharp curve that you try to navigate but end up rolling the car off of the road. This measures the “static-stability factor” of an SUV, which is essentially how top heavy an SUV is.All of these tests are a critical component of a car’s safety rating, although other components are taken into account.  What Are the IIHS Safety Ratings?The IIHS runs different tests than the NHTSA that tend to measure the safety features of cars more than the construction of the car. Because of this they can be seen as complementary to the NHTSA tests (which is why you should consider both rankings). The IIHS uses the following test scenarios to determine a car's safety.Small Overlap Front Crash Scenario, Driver Side: This measures how safe a car is if it were to hit a barrier on the front left of the car. It assumes the car is traveling at 40 mph and measures the impact to a driver’s head, neck, chest, hip, thigh, lower leg, and foot.Small Overlap Front Crash Scenario, Passenger Side:  This measures how safe a car is if it were to hit a barrier on the front right of the car. It assumes the car is traveling at 40 mph and measures the impact to the head, neck, chest, hip, thigh, lower leg, and foot of both the driver and the passenger. Moderate Overlap Front Crash Scenario: This measures how safe a car is if there is a frontal crash between two cars. It assumes a car is traveling at 40 mph and there is an average sized adult in the driver’s seat and a child seated behind the driver. They evaluate the impact to both the drivers and the child.Side Crash Scenario: This side crash test is currently replacing an older test and measures how safe a car is when there is side impact. A 4,200 pound vehicle crashes into the driver’s side of a car at 37 mph and the impact to the driver and a driver side rear passenger are measured. They evaluate the head, neck, torso, and pelvis. The IIHS runs other test scenarios that involve a car's ability to avoid hitting a pedestrian. They also look at other components, such as headlights, LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) systems, and seat belt reminders. The IIHS gives each car a score for each test. These scores are broken down as Good, Acceptable, Marginal, and Poor. Scores are kept individual and a car is not awarded an overall safety score. What other safety features should you look for?There is a lot of safety technology out on the market today. And in general many of these technologies will work to keep you safer. A lot of it will come down to your budget and what you can afford. The NHTSA recommends looking for the following technology: Forward collision warning Lane-departure warningAutomatic emergency brakingRearview camera systemWhich cars are the safest in 2023?According to the IIHS, the following cars are the safest in 2023 and were named as the Top Safety+ Award winners. In order to be named Top Safety+ Award winner the vehicles needed to have Good ratings (the top raing) in all of the crash tests, have Acceptable or Good ratings for headlights, have an Advanced or Superior rating for both daytime and nighttime vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention.Small Car: Acura IntegraMidsized Cars: Subaru Outback, Toyota Camry Large Luxury Car: Genesis G90Small SUVs: Honda CR-V, Honda HR-V, Lexus UX, Subaru Solterra Midsized SUVs: Hyundai Palisade, Kia Telluride, Nissan Pathfinder, Subaru Ascent, Toyota Highlander, Volkswagen ID.4Midsized Luxury SUVs: Acura MDX, Acura RDX, Infiniti QX60, Lexus NX and NX Plug-in Hybrid, Lexus RX, Tesla Model Y, Volvo XC90 and XC90 RechargeMinivans: Honda Odyssey, Toyota SiennaLarge Pickups: Rivian R1T, Toyota Tundra crew cab and extended cabAccording to the NHTSA, the following cars were awarded 5 star safety ratings. Audi Q7 Audi Q8 BMW X1 Chevrolet Colorado Chevrolet Malibu Ford Explorer Gas Genesis GV70 Honda Accord Sedan Honda CR-V Honda HR-V Honda Pilot Hyundai Santa Cruz Jeep Grand Cherokee Jeep Grand Cherokee PHEV Jeep Wagoneer Jeep Wrangler Unlimited PHEV Kia Niro Kia Sportage Kia Telluride Lexus GX 460 Lexus RX 350 Mazda CX-30 Mazda CX-50 Mazda3 Mini Countryman Mitsubishi Outlander Nissan Ariya  Nissan Armada Rivian R1S Subaru Solterra Toyota Prius Volkswagen Tiguan There is some overlap between the winners, such as Honda CR-V, Honda HR-V, and Lexus RX. But you can search for each vehicles ranking directly on the IIHS and NHTSA website. There is a lot of information out there when it comes to car safety, but these agencies are designed to help cut through the noise and give you honest feedback about the safety of a car. It’s a great idea to take all of these factors and ratings into consideration when you start your search to buy a new car.Those are the safest cars in 2023. Safety should always be a top priority when searching for a car, but your other needs and your budget will undoubtedly play a large part in your decision as well. Taking this information into account and balancing your needs and wants will help you to decide which car is practical, affordable, and safe for you and your family. If you already found your car but need to find a new car loan, Auto Approve can help! Contact us today to find out how refinancing your car loan can save you a lot of money.GET A QUOTE IN 60 SECONDS
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At What Age Can I Open a Bank Account for My Child?

06/05/2023 14:23
Every parent wants to give their kid a good start in life. We want our kids to grow up to be healthy, smart, and financially sound. One step towards achieving that is helping our children to open their first bank account. So what’s a good age to open a bank account for your child? Here’s when, why and how you can open a bank account for your child.Why should I open a bank account for my child?Opening a bank account for your child has many benefits. First and foremost, it provides a place for your child to safely keep their money. Whether it’s chore money or money from holiday gifts, it’s good for kids to have a safe place to keep their money. A savings account will allow their money to safely earn interest as well. But a savings account will also teach your child about money management, which is perhaps the most important reason. Learning about how banks work, how interest rates work, and how interest accumulates are all important lessons that will help your child immensely in the future.What bank is best to open an account for a child?Most banks will allow you to open a bank account for your child. There are two account options you will have when selecting a bank account for your child, a custodial account and a savings account that is designed for children.A custodial account is an account that is owned and controlled by the parent, but when the child turns 18 they will be able to take it over. Custodial accounts give most of the control to the parents and any adult can contribute to the account.Savings accounts designed for kids are actually joint accounts that children can operate alongside their parents. These accounts are designed to teach kids about money management and will oftentimes come with educational materials and apps to help kids learn about money. When your child becomes 18, what happens to the account will vary depending on the bank.Both types of accounts are beneficial, so it will be up to you to decide which is better for you. Savings accounts that are designed for kids will often give your children more opportunities to learn, so this may be a preferable option for you. When deciding which bank to open a savings account with, here are a few things to consider.EligibilityYou will need to make sure that your child is eligible to open a savings account. Different banks have different age requirements for their kids programs, and some may require that an adult has an account there. Here are some sample eligibility requirements from various banks:Alliant Credit Union: Eligible for kids up to 12 years old; families must be members of Alliant.Bank of America: No age requirement; must be a jointly owned account.Capital One: Eligible for kids up to 18 years old; account must be owned jointly with a parent or legal guardian if under the age of 12.Wells Fargo: No age requirement; can be set up as custodial or joint ownership account. FeesBe sure to consider what fees may apply to your child’s savings account. Are there overdraft fees, maintenance fees, or a minimum balance that you need to maintain? Asking all of these questions can help you avoid a problem in the future. Interest ratesThe interest rates on regular savings accounts are not much these days, but if you are interested in teaching your kids about how savings grow it’s an important consideration. Looking around to compare rates can also teach your kids the importance of shopping around. LocationUnless you live in a big city you might be limited to the physical bank locations you can visit with your child. While you can certainly open a savings account online, it may be more fun and more impactful to visit a branch with your child and get the whole banking experience. Account controlsThe control that you have over your child’s account will vary a lot from bank to bank. Take the time to research how each bank will allow you to monitor your child’s money.  Education toolsMany banks offer additional education tools to help teach your kids about financial literacy. Bank of America and Wells Fargo both have sections on their website devoted to teaching kids about money management, while Alliant Credit Union has a kid friendly app that aims to teach kids about banking. What’s the best age to open a bank account for my child? There is no perfect age to open a bank account for your child, as it depends on your circumstances. Opening a bank account for your child when they are too young to participate in the banking process merely means that you will manage the account entirely and can slowly introduce them to their account as they get older and comprehend more. But you may also choose to wait until your child is older so that they can help to open the account and play a more active role in their money management. There is no right or wrong answer, but be sure to do your research so you can determine where and when your child is eligible to open a bank account.What do I need to open a bank account for my child? Opening a bank account for your child is similar to opening a bank account for yourself. As the legal guardian you will need to provide most of the documentation. Your child can use their social security card or birth certificate as their primary identification. The specific documentation requirements will vary from bank to bank and from account type to account type, so be sure to contact your bank to determine exactly what you will need.What else can I do to teach my child about finances? Kids are constantly absorbing what is around them, even when you may not realize it. This means that your behavior towards money and spending habits will be the biggest influence on their financial well-being in the future. Having open and honest conversations about money, budgeting, and working will all help your child to have a better understanding about money matters. Show them how to budget.Teaching your kids about incoming and outgoing money is imperative. You can show them your budget and explain how to track income and expenses, accounting for all of the various things in life that cost money. From mortgage and rent payments to utilities to car payments, everything adds up and comes directly out of your income. Helping them to set up their own budget may further help them understand this concept.Show them the value of hard work.It seems simple, but kids need to understand that money is the result of work. Whether that work is a job that they go to, chores that they perform, or investments that they have made, work is the way that they can increase their income and have more money to spend on the fun stuff. Show them how to cut their expenses.As a child they don’t really have expenses, but showing them how you work to cut costs will help them grasp this concept. Coupon clipping and buying generic brands can cut your grocery bills, using cash back and rebates can help save money on large purchases, and refinancing larger loans to lower interest rates can cut your monthly payments.  Show them the power of compound interest.Savings accounts can show kids the power of compound interest, which shows them how their money can work for them. As they earn interest that is added to their savings, they will earn interest on that money as well and their money will grow independently. You can further explain this to them with other examples. Show them how to budget for their goals.What does your child really want more than anything? Is it a toy or game, or is it a larger expense such as a car? Whatever it is, teaching them to use their goals as motivators for saving will help them learn the value of work and the satisfaction of meeting a goal. Starting small with saving chore money to buy a toy will grow to saving money to go to college, and all of this will help them to become a financially responsible adult.That’s when, why, and how you can open a bank account for your child.Teaching kids about finances is an important part of parenting, and opening a bank account is a great way to start this education. Kids absorb everything, which means that your behavior and budgeting will have an incredible impact on them. Take a fresh look at your bank account, budget, and savings practices to ensure that you are the best role model for your kid. If you are overpaying on your car payment every month, contact Auto Approve to find out more about car loan refinancing!GET A QUOTE IN 60 SECONDS
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5 Things to Look for in a Family Car

06/04/2023 12:17
When you have your first kid a lot of things change–including what you need to look for in a new car. The sporty coupe of your younger days is no longer a practical option, so you may find yourself scouring Kelley Blue Book reviews to find the next set of wheels for your family. So what are the must-haves when it comes to getting a family car?Here are 5 things you should look for in a family car.#1: A High Safety Rating (and Added Safety Features)Safety is the most important thing when it comes to picking out a family car. There are a number of things that contribute to how safe a car is. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) evaluate new cars every year to determine how well they protect the occupants during a crash. The IIHS uses Top Safety Pick and Top Safety Pick+ as a ratings system and the NHTSA uses a 5-Star Safety Ratings Program. But they both measure similar aspects of safety, performing the following tests to determine how safe a vehicle is:A Frontal Crash Test ScenarioSide Barrier Crash Test ScenarioSide Pole Crash Test ScenarioRollover Resistance Test Scenario All of these tests are performed to determine the safety of a car and these will inform the rating that each institution awards them.  High safety ratings will give you peace of mind that the car you are selecting will perform well if there is an accident. But there are some additional things you should look for in addition to a high safety rating to ensure your car is safe enough for the whole family.The Size In general, bigger cars are safer because there is more to protect you. A minivan will provide much more physical protection for you than a small coupe will. Many safety tests compare cars of similar sizes so that you are comparing apples to apples, but larger vehicles are in general a safer option. According to the IIHS:Minivans have the lowest collision fatality rate with a driver death rate of 25 per million.Pick-up trucks have a collision fatality rate of 52 driver deaths per million. Cars have a driver death rate of 56 per million.Four door mini cars have an average driver death rate of 82 deaths per million.The Body BuildNew cars today are built to be safer than older cars. They are designed to brace for accidents and crumble in ways that will protect the occupants inside. A newer car that is designed for family use will be safer than an older model.Airbag SafetyAirbags are incredibly important when it comes to vehicle safety. In fact, studies have shown that front airbags reduce driver fatalities by 29%. Recent additions of side airbags to newer cars have saved even more lives, with the IIHS reporting that these additional airbags have reduced driver death by 37% in cars and a whopping 52% in SUVs. Considering the amount and placement of airbags in your new family car could literally save your life.Tire Pressure Monitoring SystemsWhile this may seem like an unnecessary feature to older generations accustomed to checking tire pressure manually, these monitoring systems are a huge safety feature.These became the law in 2007 and the NHTSA estimates that it saves about 80 lives and prevents over 10,000 accidents every year. While this isn’t a concern in newer cars, be sure that any used car you are considering has this feature.Additional Safety Features There are a number of additional safety features that manufacturers have been rolling out in recent years. Some of them are not especially proven, but some are definitely worth any added costs. The NHTSA recommends the following when looking for a new car:Forward Collision WarningLane Departure WarningAutomatic Emergency BrakingRearview Video System#2: Enough SeatingSafety is the top concern when looking for a family car, but seating is also a huge consideration that can’t be ignored. Of course you will need enough seats for your immediate family, but you should also think about the future. Do you need additional room for car seats and booster seats? Do you anticipate friends tagging along on trips? Is there a possibility of sports carpooling on the horizon? Will you need a space or a seat for the family pet? When you figure out how many seats you will need, you can then think about the specific type of vehicle–car, SUV, minivan, or truck–that will work best for you.#3: Storage for EverythingA family car needs to be practical for your everyday life. This means grocery trips, sports gear, luggage–the list goes on and on. So it’s important that your family car has excellent storage. A large trunk and seats that fold flat will all help you to store as much as possible in your car when the time comes.#4: Backseat ExtrasLittle extras can make your car trips a lot easier. Cupholders give your kids a place to keep their drink that is easy to access, USB ports allow them to charge their phones and devices independently, and back seat pockets give them a place to get organized. Some luxury cars even have tray tables and adjustable seats, but you don’t need to go too crazy. A few backseat comforts can make your trip more enjoyable for you and your kids.#5: Keyless Entry and Power DoorsThis may seem like a small thing, especially if you do not yet have kids. But the second you bring your first child home you will realize that you do not have enough arms for everything. Early on you will be lugging the car seat and diaper bag, and then you will move on to toys and backpacks and sports equipment. And all of this can be miserable if you have to fumble for your keys every time you go to load up. But keyless entry will make your life a lot easier. It is more and more standard on new cars nowadays, but keep your eye out for it just in case. Power doors can similarly make your life easier. Closing your backseat doors with the push of a button will make all the difference some days.Those are five things you should look for when buying a family car.Buying a family car is a big deal. You spend a lot of time in the car, especially when you have kids that you are constantly driving. So it’s important to pick a car that you like and enjoy AND that is safe for the whole family. Already have your dream family car? Consider refinancing your car loan with Auto Approve!GET A QUOTE IN 60 SECONDS
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Can't Make Your Car Payment? Your Guide On What To Do

05/27/2023 19:27
 The economy is in a rough spot right now, which means many of us are behind on payments. Mortgage, rent, insurance, groceries, electric bills–it seems like we can never get a break or catch up. Car loan debt is at an all time high right now due to high car prices and high car loan interest rates. In fact 2 in every 13 Americans is paying over $1000 on their monthly car payment. It’s not hard to imagine these numbers getting the best of us and resulting in a missed car payment. But what exactly happens when we actually can’t afford to make our monthly car payment?Here’s what you should do if you can’t make your car payment.What happens if you miss a car payment? The exact consequences of missing a car payment will vary depending on your contract and your lender. But missing a car payment will definitely affect your credit score, which will have lasting implications for your financial future. A bad credit score can mean the following:You will have a harder time getting approved for loans and will have fewer options.You will have higher interest rates.You will have higher insurance premiums.You may have to pay a deposit for utilities.You may have a tougher time renting an apartment. A hit to your credit score can take years to recover from and could affect several areas of your life. It is unlikely that your car will be repossessed if you miss one car payment, but some companies will repossess your car if you miss two payments. Most companies will repossess your car by the third missed payment.  If your car is repossessed you may think that is the end of it, but the lender may actually come after you with legal action to incur any fees that you haven't paid. So not only will you be out of a car (and without the down payment and payments that you have already made), but you may owe the lender even more money, and your credit score will be seriously compromised. A repossession will show up on your credit report as well, which will be a major red flag for future lenders. All of this is to say: you do not want to miss a car loan payment if you can help it. The repercussions are long lasting and will take a long time to recover from. If you are struggling to make one payment, chances are you will struggle again. It’s better to be proactive and address your financial situation before you miss a payment and certainly before you miss several payments.How many days late can you be on a car payment? This varies from loan to loan but most lenders will give you a 10 or 15 day grace period if you miss a payment. As long as you pay your bill within a few days of the due date there will not be consequences. Some lenders will give a greater grace period on your first payment with a 60-day no payment option. This means that you will have 60 days after signing to make your first payment. This can be very helpful if you made a large down payment and could use a month to catch up. Your contract will list if you are responsible for any late fees. The amount will vary from lender to lender but will typically be between 2-5% of your monthly payment. Can you defer a car payment? How many times can you defer a car payment?This is another thing that will vary from lender to lender. Some lenders will allow you to defer once, while others may allow you to defer payments three or four times. The timespan of these deferrals may be per year or per the life of the car loan. Read your contract carefully to determine what the implications are.Can I make a partial payment on a car loan?You may think that if you make a partial payment it will help to mitigate the damage. While making a partial payment will apply towards your loan and reduce the amount you owe, if you do not make the payment in full it will still be marked as late. This means that it will still negatively impact your credit score and may put you in jeopardy of losing your car depending on how your car loan contract is worded.Should you defer a car payment? Deferring a car payment is a good option if you are starting to struggle financially but feel that a small break can help you catch up. There are several advantages to deferring a car payment:You can avoid late fees.You can avoid the risk of repossession.You can use the extra time to decide what to do to fix your financial situation. But deferring a car payment comes with some disadvantages as well. After all you will still be responsible for making the payment and for the interest accrued during that time. If money is truly tight, deferring the payment may just mean deferring the problem.What options do you have if you can't make your car payment? Talk to your lender.A great first step to take is to contact your lender directly. They may suggest deferment or they may be able to enroll you in a program to help you make your payments. If you have a good history of on time payments they may be more willing to work with you. Remember, your lender doesn’t want to repossess your car–that’s a lot of work on their end to recoup your payment. They ultimately want you to pay them, so they may be more willing to help you out than you may anticipate. When you talk to your lender you can also ask them if it's possible to change your payment date. If you get paid at the beginning of the month and your loan is due at the end of the month it may be harder for you to make your payments on time. But if your lender allows you to change your payment date it may set you up for more success. Refinance your loan.If your lender is not willing to work with you or you do not have a good relationship with them, you may want to refinance your car loan with a new lender. There are a lot of benefits to refinancing your car. You can not only secure a better car loan APR, but you can change your repayment terms which can give you a lot of extra breathing room every month. Lengthening your repayment period means that you will pay off your loan over a longer period of time. You will end up paying more money in the long run because you will pay interest for longer, but this will mean much lower payments every month. If you are in danger of missing payments, this might be your best option. Companies that specialize in auto refinancing can help you secure a refinance loan that will work for you and help you navigate the refinancing process. Get rid of your car.If you are struggling, ask yourself “do I really need a car?” Let’s face it: cars are expensive. Not only do you have car payments, but you have to pay for insurance, gas, maintenance, parking, tolls, registration, and more. If you live in an area that has public transportation or you have someone in your life who can help you get around, it might make more sense to get rid of your car altogether. This will alleviate a lot of stress in your life. Selling your car will also give you a little cash injection depending on how far along you are in your loan. Trade in your car.If you still need a car to get around, selling your car is probably not a great option. But you can trade your car in at the dealership to get a car that has more affordable payments. If you have the time and inclination you can sell your car privately and use the income to secure a less expensive car. You will get more money if you sell your car privately, typically making 15%-25% more than if you were to trade it in. That’s what you can do if you are having trouble making your car payment. The best way to ensure that you can always make your car payments is to select a car that you know you can afford. Determining a budget ahead of time and getting preapproved for a car loan will help you to stay within a healthy range of car prices. Try to avoid the unnecessary add ons and be sure to make a healthy down payment to further secure an affordable monthly payment. If your monthly payment is too much, contact Auto Approve today to see how much money we can save you!GET A QUOTE IN 60 SECONDS
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12 Ways to Teach Kids About Money

05/26/2023 13:55
One of the most important jobs parents have is to set their kids up for success in the future. And a huge part of that is teaching kids how to have a healthy relationship with money. While money isn’t the most important thing in life, we all know that life is much easier when you don’t have to worry as much about it. Teaching kids about the importance of making money, saving money, and spending money responsibly is a huge undertaking, but one that every parent must take seriously.  Here’s 12 ways you can teach your kids about money to set them up for success.#1. Set a good example for your kids.The biggest thing that you can do for your kids is to lead by example. If your children see that you have a good relationship with money they are more likely to have a similar relationship. Do you spend money rather carelessly, or do you think and budget before making large purchases? Do you have a savings account that you invest in? Do you have an emergency fund? Here are the top things that you can do to set an example:Have an emergency fund set up for the unexpected. Reiterate the importance and usefulness of having an emergency fund.Have a savings account or investment fund set up. Talk about the importance of setting money aside that is separate from your spending account. Look for sales. When you look for deals and sales, your kids will pick up on this behavior and mimic you.  Kids look up to those around them, even when you think they are not paying attention. The more that you emulate good behavior with your finances, the better off your child will be. #2. Give them jobs, not an allowance.An allowance is when you give your children money every week or month that is not tied to any actual task or job. Instead of this, try to give your children tasks that are tied to certain amounts they can earn. Make your bed every day of the week? That’s worth $5. Dust around the house? That’s worth $4. You can pick whatever chores and values work for you, but stick to your plan. If they do not do the work then they do not get the money. This will teach children that money is the direct result of work, and not simply a result of wanting it or asking for it.#3. Use a clear jar to save.Kids are very visual learners. For many kids seeing something on repeat is the best way for them to internalize something. If your children can actually see their savings build up it will emphasize the fact that working will increase their wealth. It will also serve as a motivator and make them want to save even more.#4. Open a savings account with them.Savings accounts are easy to open and easy to manage with the help and supervision of an adult. A savings account is a good first step towards money management and is a great way for you to teach your child about saving money and earning interest.#5. Discuss financial goals.Financial goals are important even when children are young. Goals give a purpose to the monotony of saving. Saving money is not nearly as much fun as spending money when we want, naturally. But teaching them to associate savings with working towards a goal will help them build a healthy relationship with money and work. As they get older you can define the difference between short term goals and long term goals. Short term goals may be saving for a certain toy or video game that they really want. Long term goals may be eventually buying a car or saving x amount of money for college. #6. Teach them to make vs. buy.When you make something you truly understand the value of something. The saying “time equals money” really rings true when it’s your own time that you are spending to create something. Sure, buying things is a whole lot easier than making something. But if you know that it takes 6 hours to knit a scarf, you will appreciate that scarf a whole lot more. And you will appreciate the value of the scarf if you do buy it elsewhere because you will know how long it took to make. Furthermore, teaching your kids how to make things is just good common sense. Knowing how to make your own food, greeting cards, gifts, etc will also introduce your kids to a world of hobbies and interests that they may never have been exposed to otherwise. #7. Warn them about credit cards.When you are a kid credit cards can seem magical. A plastic card that you can swipe and magically get anything you want? Yes please! But as we all know that is definitely NOT the case. Credit card debt can get out of control quickly and have a debilitating effect on your and your family. Explaining the dangers of credit card debt and encouraging them to pay with cash that they can see and feel will help them to avoid this danger. Again, kids are visual learners so it will be more valuable for them to see and feel the money that they are spending. The money that they worked hard to obtain. The relationship between work and money needs to be established early on with children.#8.Help them start a business.Helping your kid to open their own business is a great way to help them earn money and learn a lot of new skills. The “business” can be pretty small scale–think lemonade stand or car wash–but the lessons will still be applicable. You can teach them about advertising, budgeting for supplies, and profit margins all while having fun with them over the summer.#9. Give them a budget.Budgeting is one of the most important money skills a person should have in their arsenal. It is important to teach your kids the difference between income and expenses and how they can track everything. Making up a sample budget or showing them your monthly budget will give them a sense of how to do it and why it is so important.  #10.Teach them to invest.The younger you teach your kids about investing, the better. The magic of investing smartly is that your money will actually work for you. Explaining stocks and bonds to your kids may seem difficult, but if you introduce it in a fun way it can be very engaging for them. Allow them to pick a company and invest a small amount of money that is “theirs”. They will feel ownership and follow the investment. The more they follow it, the more they will absorb and understand how investing works and why it’s important.#11. Encourage charitable giving.It’s always good to encourage charity when talking about finances. It’s easy to get caught up in the dollars and cents of everything, but if you are able to give to those in need it’s important to do so. Whether it’s donating to an organization that you admire or giving to a local food bank, there are countless ways that you can contribute. Teach your kids that if they do not have the resources to donate money or items, donating your time can be just as, if not more, valuable. Having a healthy relationship with finances means that you understand the important role money plays in life, but you know that it is not the only thing that matters. Giving money and time is great not only for those in need, but it’s good for the giver as well. #12. Teach your kids to be content.This can be a tricky one, especially as your kids get older. It’s hard to ignore what other people have in the age of social media. Kids see others who have the best and the newest, so they will naturally want to have the best and the newest. But teaching your kids to appreciate the things in their own life will not only make them better with money, but will make them happier people overall. As with a lot of things, this attitude will start with you. Try to live your own life finding contentment in the things that you own.Those are 12 ways you can teach your kids about money. Money plays an important role in life so it’s vital that we teach our kids to have a good relationship with their finances. Money isn’t the only thing that matters, but having a balanced life of spending and earning will help to set them up for success in the future. A balanced budget is one of the most important money management tools you can teach, so it’s important to lead by example. If you are looking to free up some more money in your budget, think about refinancing your car loan. Contact Auto Approve today to see how much you could be saving!GET A QUOTE IN 60 SECONDS
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Will Keeping Service Records Increase Your Car Value?

05/25/2023 18:17
Cars are expensive assets, so it only makes sense that we should keep documents that pertain to its history and its value. Service records are an important part of your car’s history, so it’s important to keep these records organized. So what exactly are service records and will they increase your car’s resale value?Here’s what you need to know about car service records and how they can affect your car’s resale value.What are service records?Car service records are similar to a person’s medical records. They give a history of your car’s “health” per se. Service records typically document the following:Information on previous owners. This may include the zip code of where the owners lived, which may give you an idea of how the car was used. If your car was in a city, you know that the miles are city miles. If the car was in the country, you will know that the miles are not stop-and-go. Car maintenance records. If the car was taken in for routine maintenance, such as oil changes and tire rotations, there should be a paper trail. If the owner performed their own maintenance, this may not be documented. This will also give the dates of when these services were performed.Car repair records. Similarly, this will make note of what repairs were performed on your car. Dates on these records are also important. Keeping these records will give any future owners some confidence in the car that they are driving. If they can see proof that the car’s oil was changed according to the manufacturer's instructions, they will feel confident that the car they are buying was maintained correctly. If you bought the car new you have the opportunity to keep great records from the start. You can keep all of the records organized either physically or digitally. If you have maintenance performed at the dealership, they will most likely keep records. But it’s a very good idea to keep them yourself so that you always have access to them.What are the benefits of keeping service records?It can help with warranty claims.If your car is under warranty, service records will help with any claims that you may make. Warranties generally require that routine maintenance is performed for any repairs to be covered. If you are unable to prove that your car has been regularly maintained, you may be out of luck when it comes to having your repairs covered by your warranty. It can help with insurance claims.If you get into an accident, proving that your car has been regularly maintained can help you negotiate a higher diminished value. Diminished value is the difference between the car’s value before the accident and the value after. Cars with detailed records and histories tend to have higher resale values (more on the later), so this can help boost an insurance claim to be more accurate and more beneficial to you.It can remind you that it’s time to get your car serviced.Service records can also help you to remember when you need to take your car in for maintenance. If you have all of the records organized you can see that the time has come for an oil change or tune up. It can help a mechanic to pinpoint a problem.If you have records of the repair history, it may help a mechanic to determine what the problem is. If there are a number of different possible culprits, mechanics can look at the records to see what has already been replaced or repaired. It could also help a mechanic determine if a culprit is actually a mistake that a previous mechanic may have made. The more information you have to give a mechanic, the better chance you have of finding the underlying issue.Does keeping service records increase resale value?But of all of the benefits of keeping organized service records, an increased resale value is probably top of the list.Buying a used car can be nerve-racking. There are so many unknowns as compared to buying a new car. Service records provide more peace of mind for a buyer. Instead of taking someone’s word for it that maintenance was regularly performed and that the car was well taken care of, you have physical proof of that. Service records do not prove or guarantee that a car will be problem free, but they can show a potential buyer that you are the type of person who takes care of their car and is diligent about keeping records. That can mean a lot to a potential buyer, and that can translate to an increased resale value.Resale value is dependent on a number of factors. Brand reliability, model popularity, color, and trim level all contribute to the resale value. But the most important factors that you can control post-purchase are the mileage, vehicle history, and the condition of the car. By keeping your service records you can assure the future buyer that the car is in great condition and doesn’t have a shady past without documented maintenance and repairs.How should you store service records?You can store your records either physically or digitally, whichever is more natural or easier for you. Ideally you can keep a physical folder as well as a digital folder so that you have back ups of the information. Many people choose to keep their information in the glove box, but this can be a problem if your car is involved in an accident and is taken away. If the records are stored digitally you will always have access to them no matter where your car is.Are there privacy concerns when keeping service records? If you are concerned about your privacy, which is a valid concern, there are steps you can take to protect yourself. After all, you don’t necessarily want to show strangers your exact address and contact information.  Go through each document to ensure that your name, full address, phone number, and email address are covered completely. Using a marker or pen may not sufficiently cover your information, so instead get an identity theft protection roller stamp that will ensure your information is fully covered. It is very important to look through all of your documents thoroughly to ensure that you haven’t missed any important information that needs to be covered. That’s everything you need to know about service records and why they are so important.  If you are looking to sell your car, organizing your service records will help tremendously. If you are looking to buy a used car, asking for service records can give you peace of mind.  Already have a car? Consider refinancing your loan with Auto Approve! Get in touch to find out just how much you could be saving!GET A QUOTE IN 60 SECONDS
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How to Exchange Money During a Private Car Sale

05/23/2023 20:54
Selling–or buying–a car from a stranger may be nerve wracking for both the seller and the buyer. When you don’t know someone there is a lot of risk involved on both ends. So what is the best and safest way to exchange funds during a private car sale?Here’s how you can exchange money during a private sale.How can I exchange money during a private car sale? There are six main ways that you can exchange money during a private sale. Some are faster than others, but others are safer (even if they take much longer). CashCash is king, as they say. On one hand cash is a very safe way to exchange money. The seller is guaranteed to get the full amount and there is no need to get another entity involved. But carrying around a fistful of cash can pose an inherent risk.  Top Tip: If you want to exchange funds using cash, bring a friend or loved one along for added protection and consider meeting at a public spot such as a park. Digital PlatformNowadays more and more people prefer using digital payment platforms such as Venmo, PayPal, or ApplePay. These platforms have great benefits, as they are quick and secure. Because of this there is little risk of fraud. But the downside is that there are often transfer fees and there can be limits to how much you transfer. Top Tip: If you want to exchange funds using a digital payment platform, determine what fees you will be responsible for and whether or not there is a transfer limit.Certified CheckA certified check is a personal check that is verified by a bank to ensure that sufficient funds are in the account. When a check is certified those funds are frozen and allocated to that specific check. This guarantees that the check will cover the price of the car. Some banks treat these checks as cash more or less, so the funds may be immediately available once you cash the check. But other banks have a delay in this process which means that the money may not be available immediately. Fraud is still possible even with a certified check, as the certification itself may be forged. Top Tip: If you want to exchange funds using a certified check, meet at the buyer’s bank to make the exchange. If the buyer wants to use a personal check, insist that they certify it first. These measures will reduce the risk of fraud.Cashier’s CheckA cashier’s check is similar to a certified check but the funds will come directly from the bank. A buyer will essentially buy a cashier’s check from a bank. There isn’t the risk of inadequate funds, but as with any type of check there is the potential for fraud. An unscrupulous buyer could simply forge the check.  Top Tip: If you want to exchange funds using a cashier’s check, meet at the buyer’s bank to make the exchange (just like with the certified check). This will reduce the risk of fraud. Bank TransferAnother option for exchanging money is to do a bank transfer of the funds. You will not need to worry about checks or certification, the funds will simply move from one account to the other. This is much safer than using a check, but the downside is that it can take up to 24 hours to make the transfer. Top Tip: If you want to exchange funds using a bank transfer, double and triple check that all of the banking information is correct on both ends. EscrowA less used option for transferring money in a private car sale is to put the funds in escrow. When we think of escrow we typically think of buying a home, but the same idea can be applied to buying a car. An escrow service is a third party who holds the funds until the vehicle transfer is complete. This protects both parties as it ensures that the transaction is complete before releasing money and releasing the title. There is a paper trail which makes it even more secure for both parties. But the downside is that this can take some time to complete and comes with an added fee, typically around 2%. Top Tip: If you want to exchange funds using an escrow service, do your research to find a reputable company that charges a fair fee. Make sure that the other party signs off on the company as well.How can I safely buy a car from a private seller?Buying a car from a private seller can be daunting. After all, you are the one with the money, and they are the one with the car you don’t really know that much about. But there are steps you can take to help protect yourself when you are buying. Do your research. You should not only do your research on the make and model in general, but also on the VIN number. Ask if the seller will pay for a CARFAX report to be sure that the car hasn’t had any major damage and that there aren’t any recalls out on the car.Ask for maintenance records. If the seller has any maintenance records that they can share that will help you be sure that the car has been properly maintained. Have the car inspected by a mechanic. If you want to be extra sure that the car is in great shape, have it inspected by a mechanic before you complete the sale.How can I safely sell a car to a private buyer?There are risks when looking to sell your car as well. You don’t want to end up with no car and no money, which can happen if you get duped by a scammer. But again, there are steps you can take to help protect yourself.Avoid checks if possible. Checks have a high likelihood of being fraudulent, so you are better off with one of the other payment methods we outlined above.Walk away if something feels wrong. After all of that work to advertise and sell your car you are probably anxious to have it all be over. But if something feels wrong, it most likely is. Don’t be afraid to walk away if you get a bad feeling about the buyer–or the circumstances. That’s how you can safely exchange money during a private car sale.Selling and buying a car privately are inherently riskier than selling or buying a car from a dealer. But being smart and doing your research can help protect you, whether you are the seller or the buyer. If you are overpaying every month on your car payments, Auto Approve can help! Contact us today to find out how much you can save! GET A QUOTE IN 60 SECONDS
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What Does Certified Pre-Owned Mean?

05/22/2023 20:53
We typically think we have two options when buying a car: buying new or buying used. But there is actually a third option that is somewhere in the middle. Buying a certified pre-owned car is a great way to get a car that is reliable and affordable. So what exactly does certified pre-owned mean, and what are the advantages?Here’s everything you need to know about buying a certified pre-owned car.What does certified pre-owned mean?A certified pre-owned car is a used car that has been thoroughly vetted and repaired by a car dealership. Every manufacturer has different requirements for the cars that they buy back through their CPO program. In general they will have requirements for the following:MileageAgeCondition Dealerships have these types of requirements to ensure that their CPO cars are dependable. They will recondition the cars and make any repairs so that the cars are at a new car level in both appearance and performance. Here are some CPO program requirements from major brands:Hyundai: Less than 5 years old, less than 60,000 miles, 150-point quality assurance inspection, and a clean CarFax History ReportDodge/ Chrysler /Jeep/ RAM: Less than 5 years old, less than 60,000 miles, 125-point quality assurance inspection, and a clean CarFax History ReportFord: Less than 6 years old, less than 80,000 miles, 172-point quality assurance inspection, and a clean CarFax History ReportToyota: Less than 6 years old, less than 85,000 miles, 160-point quality assurance inspection, and a clean CarFax History ReportSubaru: Less than 5 years old, less than 80,000 miles, 152-point quality assurance inspection, and a clean CarFax History ReportWhat are the advantages of buying a certified pre owned car?You can get a newer vehicle.CPO programs always have age and condition restrictions on their cars. Because of this, you can be assured that a CPO car will be newer than most used cars (usually less than 6 years old).They usually come with a warranty.Since CPO cars are newer they will often still be under their original warranty. Additionally, CPO programs will often include another warranty, such as limited bumper to bumper warranties for the first 12 months or 12,000 miles. These warranties do vary greatly from dealer to dealer and manufacturer to manufacturer so you need to read the fine print to be sure of what is covered. While some CPO warranties extend factory coverage, others will cover different things and kick in only when the factory warranty ends. Some programs will require a deductible for repairs, while others may cover repairs entirely.There are often added benefits. There are often added benefits when you purchase a CPO car, such as roadside assistance, free XM radio trial, and free oil changes for a set period of time. Many also include rental coverage should your car need servicing. Here are some benefits that specific manufacturers offer:Hyundai: Special financing rates, 10 year/ unlimited mile roadside assistance, no out of pocket cost for covered repairs, 90 day trial of SIRIUSXM Radio, Hyundai Protection Plan Wrap Service Contracts, no cost cap for towing under roadside assistance.Subaru: Special financing rates, 7 year/ 100,000 mile powertrain coverage, 24/7 roadside assistance, $500 owner loyalty coupon, 3 month trial of SIRIUSXM Radio, one year trial subscription to STARLINK.Ford: Special financing rates, 14 Day/1,000-Mile Money Back Guarantee, 12 Month/ 12,000 Mile Comprehensive Limited Warranty, 7 Year/ 100,000-Mile Powertrain Limited Warranty, roadside assistance.You can finance if you have the need.When you buy a used car from a private party, you will need to have cash in hand. You may be able to secure a personal loan, but they typically will have higher rates than an auto loan and have different requirements. But when you buy a certified pre-owned car you can secure financing. CPOs typically have lower APRs than merely buying a used car from a dealer that is not in the CPO program. Are certified pre-owned car prices negotiable? Just like when you buy a new car, you should definitely try to negotiate the price of your CPO. Some dealers have instituted “no haggle” policies, but there is usually wiggle room.You should always focus on the out the door price when you are negotiating to buy a car. Dealers will try to get you to focus on your monthly payment or the financing terms instead of looking at the price tag, but this is meant to distract you from the total amount that you are spending.Is a certified pre-owned car worth it?You will need to weigh the advantages and disadvantages when looking to buy a CPO car. There are a lot of benefits to CPO cars, such as a warranty, added benefits, and financing opportunities. Perhaps the biggest advantage is that you can get a really great car that is vetted and repaired and it will be much more affordable than buying a brand new car. For example, a two year old CPO car tends to cost about 25% less than a new car of a similar model. That’s a huge savings that will allow you to get a great car without breaking the bank. But, there are some disadvantages that you have to consider. CPO cars are more expensive than if you choose to simply buy a used car. This is because a CPO program will cover a total reconditioning and certification, which will run several thousand dollars more than a similar car that is not certified. Additionally you will have less options overall when selecting a car that is right for you. Because of the requirements that the CPO cars must meet, it’s likely that the exact car–make, model, color, trim level, etc–will be available. This might be a dealbreaker for you or it might not, but it is a disadvantage to consider.How can I prepare to buy a certified pre-owned car?Buying a CPO car is similar to buying a new car. Here are the steps you should take when looking to buy a CPO car. Do your research.If you have your heart set on a brand, do some research to find out about their CPO program. What are the requirements? What cars are available? You should have a good idea of what you are looking for in your future car, but having some flexibility will give you a great chance for success. You should also look into the financing options of different CPO programs. Many programs offer great rates on their CPO cars, which is another great benefit. Hyundai offers 0.9% APRs for 36 months on select cars, while Ford offers 0.99% APR financing for their “Gold Certified Vehicles.” Stopping in at a dealership and asking for more information may help you get an idea of what you want and what you can afford. You should also make a note of which benefits are offered. Some will offer free trials, some will not charge for certain maintenance services, and all of these things can help tip the scale towards one brand or another. Get pre-approved.Getting pre-approved for financing will not only give you a good idea of what type of car you can afford, but it will give you more leverage when negotiating. Many CPO programs may be able to beat your pre-approved APR, but it’s still good to have.  Find the car you want.Being flexible will help you to secure a certified pre-owned car. Finding the general car you want and being less picky about small details will benefit you greatly. Negotiate what you can.Finding out the price of other similar cars can help you to leverage a better out the door price. While dealers may point out that other comparable cars aren’t CPOs (and therefore don't come with the benefits of a CPO car) this knowledge can still help you to get a better deal. Some dealers may offer a low interest rate OR a low out the door price, in which case you will need to do the math and figure out what works out best. Sign and drive.When you iron out the details, you can finally enjoy your new car. If the interest rate isn’t exactly what you were hoping for, you can always contact Auto Approve to see if refinancing will secure you a lower rate.That’s everything you need to know about certified pre-owned cars.A certified pre-owned can help you get a great car for less than you would pay for a new car. If you are on a tighter budget and can’t quite afford the higher price tag, buying a non-certified used car and having it inspected by a mechanic may offer you some extra reassurance. If you are overpaying on your car loan every month, contact Auto Approve! Our experts can help get you the best refinance rate possible and help you through the process. Contact us today to see how we can help! GET A QUOTE IN 60 SECONDS
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How to Check for Recalls When Buying a Used Car

05/21/2023 04:23
When you buy a used car, there are endless amounts of questions and unknowns. Were there regular oil changes? Was the car ever in an accident? Did the last owner drive carelessly? And while some of these questions will never have certain answers, there is one thing that you can check relatively easily: if there has ever been a recall. Here’s how you can check for a recall when buying a used car.What is a car recall?In a nutshell, a recall is issued by a car manufacturer when there is a defect on one of their cars. Recalls can be divided into two categories: safety recalls and non-safety recalls. Safety recalls are mandated by the government to ensure that consumers are protected when there is a known problem with a car. Manufacturers usually issue these recalls voluntarily, but the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration can also issue them if they feel that there is a safety risk. Safety recalls can include anything that can potentially cause injury to a passenger. Some safety recalls may include:Airbag issuesBrake pad stickingProblems with steeringWiring defectsDysfunctional wipersAnything else that can cause a safety problem Non-safety recalls are issued voluntarily by manufacturers to address cosmetic or function defects in the manufacturing process. These defects however do not pose any safety threat to the passengers inside. These recalls may include:Stereo issuesBroken air conditionerRustPoor paint job If a recall is for safety reasons it is very important to get the issue fixed for the safety of you, your passengers, and others on the road. If a recall is non-safety related, it is not imperative for you to address the issue, but it’s still a good idea.How do car manufacturers decide to issue a car recall? A manufacturer will typically issue a recall after they notice a pattern of complaints and issues. If consumer complaints start rolling in and warranty claims increase, they will investigate to determine the exact issue. They will then determine how the problem can be fixed in the future and how they can conduct a recall that will address the issue.  If the issue is safety-related and the manufacturer does not issue a recall for some reason, the NHTSA will step in and issue one.Is it safe to drive a car with an open recall?Recalls are issued for all different reasons, so your car may be perfectly safe to drive even if there is a recall. If a recall is particularly dangerous, your recall will be issued with a “Do Not Drive” warning. But in general it is safe to assume that a car is relatively safe to drive if there is no explicit warning. What happens when you bring your car in for a recall?Dealerships are required to perform the necessary repairs in order to fix a recall. The manufacturer is responsible for paying the associated costs for the repair, so you should not have to pay for any car recall. There are a number of different ways that recalls can be addressed. It depends largely on what the specific issue is and how it can be resolved.  Most of the time you will be able to schedule a recall repair at the dealership. Many recall repairs can be done by dropping your car off for a few hours and picking it up later that day. If there is a large recall that affects a lot of people you may end up waiting for an appointment, but it can and will eventually be fixed at the dealership. Parts may take additional time to make it to the dealership, so this may further delay your repair.  In some instances if the recall is very intensive and requires a complicated fix, you may have to have your car shipped back to the factory for repairs. This can be hugely inconvenient, but if a recall is this involved it is safe to assume that it’s important enough to have fixed. Are car recalls common?Car recalls are relatively common, although some are more serious than others. And some brands have more recalls than others. In 2022 there were over 300 recalls issued for cars in the United States. According to a study published by Automotive News, the following makers had the most recalls in 2022.Ford Motors. Total of 67 recalls affecting 8,636,265 vehicles.Volkswagen Group of America. 46 recalls affecting 1,078,443 vehicles.Daimler Trucks North America (medium-and heavy-duty commercial truck maker). 42 recalls affecting 273,286 vehicles.Chrysler. 38 recalls affecting 3,041,431 vehicles.Forest River (recreational and commercial vehicle maker). 35 recalls affecting 203,694 vehicles. Rounding out the top ten list are Mercedes-Benz USA (34 recalls), General Motors (32 recalls, Kia America (24 recalls), Navistar (22 recalls), Hyundai Motor America (22 recalls). It is important to note however that many of these recalls were not safety related. When new technology is introduced there is usually an uptick in recalls as they work out the bugs. But it’s important to keep an eye out for recalls regardless.How can you check if there is an open recall on the car you want?When you buy a new car at a dealership it is standard for the dealership to alert you to any recalls. They will usually call you or send you a letter that will outline what steps you should take to get the issue resolved. But when you buy a new car, this is not the case.When buying a used car you need to be a little more savvy and do the research yourself. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration keeps an up to date list of all recalls that have ever been issued for just this reason. You can search safercar.gov by the make, model, and year on the NHTSA website to determine if (and what recalls) have been issued for the car you are interested in. This will help you determine what makes, models, and years should be avoided due to severe safety issues.If you have a specific car that you are interested in you can look up the car’s VIN on the NHTSA website to see what recalls have been issued AND if the recalls have been addressed. You can see quickly and easily whether or not the car is still in need of a fix.What should I do if there is an open recall? If there is an open recall on the car that you are interested in, it’s not an automatic dealbreaker. After all, if the recall fix was performed then the car is good to go. But if the problem was not fixed you still have some options. You are buying a used car from a dealership.If you are buying a used car from a dealer you may be able to request that the recall is addressed (at no cost to you) before you accept the car. If a dealer is able to do this quickly and easily this may work out in your favor. But if the dealer is unwilling to do this you will need to decide if you want to purchase the car and have it fixed at your own expense. If it is not a safety issue, you may not care if the recall is addressed. You are buying a used car from a private seller. If you are looking to purchase a car from a private seller, you can similarly ask that they have the recall issue addressed before you buy the car. This is less likely to be an option for most private sellers, but you can always ask. Again, if the recall is not a safety issue you may choose to forego having it fixed. But be cautious: if a car has open recalls it may indicate that the owner did not take the best care of the car. You should have it inspected by a mechanic to determine if the car is in good shape overall before purchasing it. When you are buying a used car it’s important to check if there was a recall on your car and whether or not it has been fixed. Recalls can vary greatly in their importance so it will ultimately be up to you to decide how you want to handle any recalls that are issued for cars you are interested in. But either way you need to do your research so that you can make an informed decision about the car you want. Many cars that have recalls issued are good, safe, and reliable cars–but it’s up to you to do this legwork.  If you are looking to refinance your existing car loan, Auto Approve can help! Our experts can help match you to the loan that is right for you and guide you through the refinancing process. It’s fast, easy, and can save you a lot of money. So what are you waiting for? Contact Auto Approve today to get started!GET A QUOTE IN 60 SECONDS
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