What make? Which model? Will you go for a bright color like red, or one that hides the dust? 4-door, 8-cylinder, 5-speed? Contemplating a new (or new to you) car comes with many choices. But before you get your heart set on a specific car, it’s smart to get the financing lined up so you don’t speed ahead to a monthly payment you can’t afford.
Despite the economic recovery, 56% of American consumers have subprime credit scores, according to a 2015 study by the Corporation for Enterprise Development — meaning they need to improve their credit in order to obtain loans and avoid high interest rates. For those who want to boost their scores in anticipation of a home or car purchase, or to bounce back after a bankruptcy, some lenders offer a specialty product called a credit-builder loan.
About one in five credit unions offer these products, according to the Credit Union National Association. They are specifically designed to provide consumers with poor or no credit histories a way to build or improve credit. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau identified 45 million Americans as having either no scores or credit records so scanty as to be unscorable by the three major U.S. credit reporting companies, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.
Unlike diamonds, mortgages are not forever. The ultimate goal is to pay them off and own your home free of encumbrances. But there are many good reasons to trade in your original mortgage for a new one along the way.
CAR SHARING, AUTO REFINANCING AND INSURANCE
Driving is a necessity for many, but it can also be expensive, with an average annual cost of almost $8,700. Here are three easy ways to reduce your car expenses.
You've been playing taxi driver for your high schooler for a few years, and now that she's gotten her driver's license, she's borrowing your car, leaving you stranded. Maybe it's time to consider getting her a car of her own, but what impact will that have on your car insurance?
If you're paying too much in interest on your car or truck loan, refinancing could be a great way to save some serious dough. Interest rates for vehicle loans may have dropped since you financed your auto. Or maybe you've improved your credit score, which could qualify you for a lower rate. Either way, it could be worth hundreds of dollars in savings to get a new auto loan to replace your current one.
No matter how enthusiastic you are, trying to formally teach finance to kids is a tall order that is likely to make their eyes glaze over. Hold their attention by keeping money lessons relevant, age-appropriate and a bit playful.
Preschoolers can grasp that money is exchanged for stuff. Teach them the names of coins, and as their counting ability develops, explain their values. Playing “store” lets them gain skills as they “buy,” “sell” and even “price” household items.
Topics: Excel 24
Young adults starting out on their own often bump into a cold fact of financial life: Having no credit history can limit your options just as much as having bad credit does. Lenders, rental offices and insurance companies use your financial track record to judge how likely you are to pay debts and bills — and if you're a blank slate, you're generally considered a risk.