​How to Find the Best Used Auto Loans

3741098198_b1a371d442_zSo, you’re in the market to a buy your next vehicle. You’ve done the math on your monthly budget, maybe you have a little money to put down, and you’ve decided to purchase a used car. That’s a great choice, and you stand to save a lot of money over buying a brand new one.

Buying the car is easy, either pick a dealer or a private seller and you’re good to go, but finding the rates when financing your car is a horse of another color. You may have tried a Google search for “current auto loan rates used” only to weed through all kinds of articles and ads that were only slightly helpful, if at all. What you need is some solid, honest advice to help you in your venture, right?

Take at look at these tips on finding the best auto loan possible from some experts in sifting through lenders.

Where to Look

All of the best lenders these days are offering loans on new and used cars alike, and not just when you purchase the vehicle from a dealership. If that isn’t the case, then erase them from your memory. Reputable lenders will have outstanding reviews and good marks on both state and federal sites as well as the Better Business Bureau.

Companies like Capital One and Bank of America both offer amazing rates on used cars up to 10 years old with less than 125,000 miles, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Another option to look into is U.S. Bank, as they do not raise interest rates for used cars under 6 years old with up to 100,000 miles, and have no restrictions on buying from a private seller. Just a few minutes of shopping around online will give you a wide variety of companies to start with.

Use Your Credit

Often times, interest rates for used cars are automatically higher because more people with bad credit choose to purchase them. Why would you settle for those rates when you have good credit, though? Using Credit Karma, you can view your score for free and use it as the ultimate bargaining chip for better interest rates.

If you do find that your score is less than perfect, paying off any outstanding loans or credits, even monthly, can give you the boost you need to open up new opportunities for lower rates. Companies like Capital One and Auto Express are famous for working with those who have bad credit, or have already declared bankruptcy. The do not restrict buyers based on the same criteria as most banks and companies would.

It is also a great idea to finance through a credit union, as they gladly help their members build up to a good credit score with reasonable loans. Always make sure to check a lender’s track record via state or federal sites, as well as the Better Business Bureau.

Ask For the Deals

Just like bargain shopping, you have to seek out the deals that aren’t always announced. Some lenders will offer deals on lower interest rates for simply opting into automatic payments, while others may apply a discount for a specific type of car. Don’t be afraid to ask the lender what deals they can offer you, as the competitive nature of their business will surely make a good offer or two pop up.

Securing a Good Loan
Finding a quality loan for a used vehicle isn’t as much of a hassle as some claim it to be. Following this advice, you can take charge and secure the rates that you deserve!

5 Common Money Mistakes Young People Make And How to Avoid Them

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We all make mistakes when it comes to money but it’s the young people who have more difficulties due to inexperience. It could be that they just graduated, moving out on their own, or just getting their career started that makes it difficult to keep track of personal finances.

If you want to be financially secure, it is important to be on top of your finances as early as possible. Young adults nowadays make money mistakes that results in debt and financial instability in the future just because of lack of knowledge. So here’s several money mistakes and what you need to know to be smarter when it comes to your money management skills:

Spending based on emotions.

A lot of young individuals spend too much money just because it makes them feel temporarily good. Have a bad day? Go retail shopping to feel better. Something good happened? You deserve to treat yourself. This type of mindset should be avoided at all cost as mixing money and your feelings is never a good combination. Avoid shopping and think things thoroughly – the temporary fix will soon be gone but if you save up, you’ll be happier and more secure in the long run.

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What Are the Benefits of a Costco Visa Credit Card?

the benefits of a costco visa credit card

The benefits of a Costco Visa credit card may be too good to pass up.

This month, I decided to test the waters and sign up for a Costco membership. It is not often that I necessarily need groceries in bulk, being that I live in a household of two; however, having the ability to purchase other household items in bulk (like toiletries and cleaning supplies) along with other miscellaneous items, attracts me.

Among the advantages of their store discounts is the Costco Visa credit card, which was briefly discussed with me upon my signing up. In the moment, I did not have time to learn more, but I was provided with just enough information to want to dig. Actually, it was when the representative at Costco mentioned to me that she was able to rent a car for her recent trip at just $12 a day that my interest had been piqued. So, this week, I began to look into the benefits of a Costco Visa credit card.

About the Costco Visa Card

Costco always offered its own exclusive credit card to members, but previously it was with American Express. In June, the warehouse chain and AmEx broke up after sixteen years together, though, causing a bit of an initial upset among members. One would imagine with any big switch issues would arise, and this was certainly the case for Costco and its newly co-branded card with Cita. In fact, it took a little over two months for some customers’ problems to be resolved. This did, unfortunately, result in cancellations as well.

Despite this, Costco continues to push forward, providing even better benefits for members than they had with AmEx.

Benefits of a Costco Visa Credit Card

I discovered that their partnership with AmEx gave cardholding members a 3% cash back on gas purchases of up to $4,000 annually, 2% percent on restaurants and travel, and 1% cash back on other purchases as well as roadside assistance. However, the benefits of a Costco Visa credit card include:

  • Costco cash rewards everywhere Visa is accepted
  • No annual fee with a Costco membership
  • A 2% cash back on all purchases both in-store and through Costco.com
  • A 0% intro APR on purchases for the first seven months; then, the APR bumps up to 15.74%
  • An improved cash back percentage of 4% on gas purchases of up to $7,000 annually, and 3% on restaurant and travel purchases
  • Still 1% cash back rewards on all other purchases

Another perk is that you could even use this as a business credit card, still earning the same rewards. With every, perk, though, comes terms and conditions. Not to mention, it does also double as your Costco membership ID. And, I am all about versatile products.

Details to Keep in Mind

In order to know what fees I would be up against, I found Citi’s disclosures. In addition to the 15.74% APR after seven months, which actually varies based on the prime rate, there is a 22.49% APR rate for cash advances with either a $10 or 5% fee for the transaction, depending on which is higher. And, if there are any late payments, I would not only be subject to a $37 fee but also a 29.99% penalty APR, depending on creditworthiness. (Luckily, my credit is great.)

I would also want to be careful to make sure that my Costco Visa card was not charged with my annual membership fees since I do not feel I would want that.

 Worth Considering

If I keep my Costco membership, it may be worth considering their Visa card. The benefits of a Costco credit card are enticing. Although, I have found that other options may actually lead to more cash back on purchases like gas and travel, thanks to Consumer Reports Credit Card Comparison Tool.  While Costco’s credit card claims to have more cash back rewards than any other card, I will have to take some time to consider where cash back rewards may work best for me along with comparing the APR rates and fees.

Do you have a Costco credit card? What do you think of its benefits? 

Photo credit: frankieleon