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Great Tips and Advice for Managing Your Money

Have you noticed the increase of car loan offers with terms longer than 5 years.  Don’t know about others, but I find the idea of being indebted for a car loan for over 5 years scary.  Just think of the interest you will be pay.  Red flags pop up all over my mind.  Did some digging and I found the Experian Blog below dated June 29, 2019.  Talks about pros and cons of getting a car loan with terms longer than the traditional 5 years.  Some excellent points to keep in mind.  So, I figure we share it.  If you rather read the blog yourself follow this link: https://www.experian.com/blogs/ask-experian/are-84-month-auto-loans-a-good-idea/.

As new car prices rise, lenders are offering longer and longer terms for auto loans. While five-year (60-month) loans were once considered lengthy, in the first quarter of 2019, nearly two-thirds of new car loans had longer terms, according to Experian data.

Now, 84-month auto loans are becoming more common. Getting a seven-year auto loan can reduce your monthly payment, but is it a wise move financially? That depends on several factors. Here's what you need to think about before you head to the dealership.

When an 84-Month Car Loan Might Make Sense  cash for car loan

Stretching out your repayment schedule over seven years can lower your monthly car payments significantly compared with, say, a three-year or even five-year loan. This can allow you to buy a car that might not otherwise fit your budget (more on that below).

There are a couple scenarios where an 84-month auto loan might make sense:

  • If you invest the money you'll save: If taking out a seven-year auto loan saves you $396 a month on your payments compared with a three-year loan (as in the example below), you could put that $396 into an investment whose rate of return outweighs the amount of interest you're paying on the loan. But will you really do that—for seven years? And if you have an extra $396 a month to invest, is keeping your car payment low really a concern?
  • If you plan to pay down other high interest debt: If you have $10,000 worth of high interest credit card debt, taking out a seven-year car loan would give you more money to put toward your credit card bill each month. However, you'll have even more money to pay down your credit card debt if you don't buy the car at all or buy a much less costly one (that you could ideally pay for in cash). If you're already having trouble with credit, taking out a new loan probably isn't a wise move.

Reasons an 84-Month Auto Loan Might Not Be the Best Idea

The main reason to avoid an 84-month car loan: You'll pay more interest. Because these loans tend to be targeted at people with less-than-stellar credit, they often carry higher interest rates than three- or five-year loans to begin with. But even if you get a low interest rate, the longer your car loan, the more interest you'll pay over its life.

Suppose you buy a $25,000 car with no down payment at 5.09% interest. Here's how three different loan scenarios pan out:

  • 36-month (three-year) loan: Payments are $750/month; you pay $27,010 total ($2,010 in interest) over the life of the loan.
  • 60-month (five-year) loan: Payments are $473/month; you pay $28,369 total ($3,369 in interest) over the life of the loan.
  • 84-month (seven-year) loan: Payments are $354/month; you pay $29,770 total ($4,770 in interest) over the life of the loan.

If the thought of paying thousands of dollars in additional interest doesn't persuade you to steer clear of 84-month car loans, consider these other reasons to avoid them: TOO MUCH DEBT

  • Car depreciation: A new car loses as much as 20% of its value in the first year. Over the seven years of the loan, your car's value will continue depreciating, possibly to the point where you owe more money than the car is worth. That's called being "upside down" or having negative equity in your car.

Negative equity becomes a real problem if you want to sell your car or trade it in for a newer model. The buyer or dealer will only pay you what the car is worth—so you actually lose money on the deal. If you get into an accident and your car is totaled, the insurer will only reimburse you for the car's value, but you'll still be on the hook for the remainder of the loan.

  • Outlasting the warranty: Most new car warranties are good for three to five years. If you have a seven-year auto loan, however, you'll be making car payments for several years after the warranty has run out. Sure, you can pay for an extended warranty—but wasn't the whole point of an 84-month auto loan to keep your costs down? The older your car gets, the more likely it is to need costly maintenance or repairs. Paying for a new transmission while you're still paying for the car itself can be a real kick in the bank account.
  • Overextending yourself: An 84-month car loan lets you buy more car than you can really afford—and let's face it: That's not a good thing. If you're eyeing a luxury car, know that they often cost more to operate, maintain and repair, which can cancel out any savings from the lower monthly payment. And if you lose your job, have to take a pay cut or face a major financial setback, you're still stuck with that (seemingly endless) car loan.

How to Get Low Monthly Car Payments

It is possible to buy a car without spending your whole paycheck each month. Here are some ways to lower your monthly car payments that make more financial sense than an 84-month auto loan.

  • Improve your credit score. If your credit score isn't high enough to qualify for a lower interest rate on your loan, why not wait to buy a car and work to increase your credit scorein the meantime? Devote yourself to paying down debt and making all of your payments on time. In as little as three to six months, you could have a higher credit score and qualify for a better loan.
  • Save for a larger down payment. A bigger down payment can help you qualify for better terms on an auto loan. The down payment will also reduce the total amount of money you need to finance, helping to ensure that you don't end up owing more than the car is worth.
  • Lease the car. Dealers often advertise appealing lease offers that can help you get the car you want with lower monthly payments than buying. But keep in mind that since you won't own the car at the end of the lease, you'll have nothing to show for the money you spent. You could also face additional costs if you go over the mileage limit. If your credit is poor, leasing a car could be difficult
  • Buy a less expensive model or a used car. If the only way you can afford your dream car is with an 84-month loan, it could turn into a financial nightmare. Set your sights on a less expensive vehicle or look for a late-model used car instead.

When to Refinance Your Car Loan

Have you already taken out an 84-month auto loan? If interest rates have dropped or if your credit score has risen since you got the loan, you may be able to refinance and get better interest rates. Get your free FICO® Score* from Experian to see where you stand. Then contact banks, credit unions and online lenders to see what interest rates they're offering for auto refinance loans.

Even if you had bad credit when you bought your car, paying your bills on time, monitoring your credit and paying down debt can all help boost your score relatively quickly. Get the details on how to improve your credit score and how to refinance a car loan. (Don't wait too long to refinance; in general, lenders prefer to refinance loans for cars under 5 years old.) 

The Bottom Line

If you're looking longingly at pricey new cars, an 84-month car loan may seem like the answer to your prayers. However, the tradeoff of lower monthly payments is rarely worth the risk of owing more than your car is worth, being tied to endless car payments or spending more than you can really afford. Instead of getting locked into a seven-year car loan, look for a smarter way to keep your monthly payments down. 

Do you have bad credit?  Have you ever opened a credit card or taken out a single loan with the intent of improving your credit score?  That seems to be an advise that is heard constantly.  Yet by itself, it may not do as much “magic” as you hopped.  It is possible to have a good credit history and yet a not so good credit score.  Many of our customer have bad credit and take out Personal Loans with us to help improve it.  For that reason, I found an article from a May 16, 2019, Experian’s Blog that addresses this seemly contradiction and gives some pointers that my help.  Below is the article.  You may also read it at https://www.experian.com/blogs/ask-experian/can-i-have-a-good-credit-report-but-a-bad-credit-score/.

"My credit report is great, but my scores aren't. What's going on?"

While this sounds like a riddle, it's a reality for many people. The reason for the disconnect: Your credit report might not be as attractive as you think it is. Since credit scores are created from the information that appears in your file, those numbers will be low if the data isn't quite right. Here's how and why your credit report may seem good to you, but could translate into a bad (or even nonexistent) credit score.

What Makes Up a Good Credit Report?

A good credit report is one that contains evidence that you've borrowed and repaid money responsibly with several lenders. Specifically, that you: credit repair with calculator

  • Use a variety of credit cards and loans, and have done so for a few years 
  • Always pay your bills on time
  • Have repaid loans in full
  • Consistently carry over little, if any, credit card debt

Just as important, there a few line items that are absent from a good credit report. These include:

  • Defaults
  • Charge-offs
  • Collection accounts
  • Liens
  • Judgments
  • Bankruptcies

And while you do have to apply for credit products to get them, you don't want your credit reports to indicate a flurry of applications in a short span of time, since it could be interpreted as a sign that you're desperate for money.

When your credit report only lists plenty of appealing activity, you appear to be a low-risk credit customer—and your credit scores will reflect that. That's because past and present behavior is a predictor of future behavior.

What Is a Good Credit Score?

Credit reports are valuable because they show a detailed overview of what you've been doing with loans, credit cards and other debts. But for a quick mathematical snapshot, credit scores come into play. Credit scoring companies take the financial information from your credit report, enter it into their scoring model, and spit out a three-digit number that indicates to lenders what kind of risk you pose as a borrower.

There are a number of different models, but the most common are the FICO® and VantageScore® models. Both range from 300 to 850, with higher numbers being preferable. For example, in the FICO® scoring range, scores between 740 and 850 are tops. Learn more about credit scoring ranges.

Although the scoring models assess credit report information differently, the same general rules apply: As long as you have an established pattern of on-time payments with a mix of credit products, a low credit utilization ratio (the amount you owe compared with the amount you can borrow) and no visible credit problems, your scores should be on the high side.

How Do I Know if My Credit Report Is Hurting My Scores?

There are a few types of credit reports that might look good to you on first glance, but actually often translate into poor scores.

  • The good . . . and the bad. The first type of report lists some perfectly managed accounts—but also some negative activity, like late payments, collection accounts and credit card balances that are close to the credit limit. These negative line items can overshadow the positive ones, sinking your scores.
  • Inaccurate reports. Undiscovered mistakes or fraudulent activity may also be in your credit file, hurting your scores. Pull your credit reportson a regular basis to check that all the information is correct. This way you won't be blindsided by scores that are at the bottom of the scale when they should be at the top.

If you find fraudulent activity in your report, dispute it with the credit bureaus and consider putting a security freeze on your file if the activity is recent or prevalent. Once the negative information is removed from your report, your scores should see a bump.

  • Not enough credit activity. The other type of surprising bad credit report is the one without enough information in it, also known as a "thin" credit file. While you may think your credit is stellar because you only have one credit card and manage it responsibly, having just one account in your credit file is actually a negative to lenders considering you for credit.

The reason why is data is food for credit scores. And if you only have one account in your file, you likely don't have a credit score at all, since the scoring models typically require at least five accounts to calculate a score. A lender won't know how terrific of a credit risk you might be because your reports and scores aren't proving it.

Your credit scores will also be low if the only credit accounts you have are very new. Building an impressive credit history takes time and a wealth of information.

Credit Scores Change Over Time

Another misperception about reports and scores is that they're static. If you've used an array of credit products and managed them all without a hitch, your scores may be high. That doesn't mean they'll stay that way—and they definitely won't if you stop borrowing and repaying.

Eventually a credit card issuer will close an inactive account, which will impact your credit utilization ratio. Remember, credit scores need sustenance, so you need to feed them with responsible credit activity. You may also not realize that a couple late payments will hurt your score, but they will. In fact, making credit payments on time is the biggest factor in calculating your credit scores.

If you have as many credit cards as you want and don't need any loans, you can still positively impact your credit. Add your cell phone and utility bills to your credit report with Experian BoostTM†. Then your credit report will show the type of data that is important to lenders: timely payments. They will be factored into your Experian credit scores, which could cause them to rise.

Clearly, you can have a bad credit score with what you presume is a good credit report, so ensure they match up. Just use a mixture of credit products often and responsibly, dispute errors, and deal with high or delinquent debts. In time your scores will be where they ought to be—and you can be certain about how lenders see your creditworthiness.

One selling point that we constantly advertise is being able to provide Bad Credit Personal Loans in case that some unexpected expense drains your bank account.  Typically, one may think of an unexpected expense as a really high utility bill or a car breaking down.  However, there are many other reasons for saving some money on set aside that is not to be touched by regular monthly expenses.  Below are some other reasons to have some funds saved for a rainy day.  I took these points from a blog from MoneyNuggets.  If you want to read their blog yourself follow this link https://www.feedspot.com/infiniterss.php?q=site:https%3A%2F%2Fwww.moneynuggets.co.uk%2Ffeed%2F%3Fx%3D1.

Lost You Job Or Your Hours Get Cut 

Personal Loan for emergenciesNo job means no being able to pay your bills.  A reduction in hours is not as drastic a change.  But, with less pay will you be able to keep up with your standard of living?

You Get Promoted

This may seem like great news. But, what if you need to move for your new position.  Do you have the funds to pay for the move?

Income Tax Bill

We love paying taxes.  Just joking.  Don’t send us hate mail, please. 

You Need A New Car

Being able to make a deposit on a new vehicle will reduce the amount that needs to financed and thus lower your monthly car bill.

A Veterinarian’s Bill

If you have a pet, then you know how pricey this Veterinarian bills can get.  If you love your pet, best save some funds.

Your A/C or Furnace Breaks Down

If you are lucky they can be repaired by a technician.  Otherwise, you’ll have to replace it.

Pregnancy

Depending on the size of your company there may or may not be coverage under FMLA.  If not, plan for the pregnant spouse to have to take some time off without having the regular income coming in.

Orthodontic Braces

These are very pricey and for some reason every dentist seem to recommend it for just about every child now a days.  Makes a me little suspicious.  But, best plan for that expense.

Mom/Dad Fall Ill Or Need To Attend A Funeral

If your elderly parent falls ill, you may need to take a trip.  Having funds to cover the plane flight would help a lot.  

Rent Goes Up

Once your lease is up, will you be able to afford a higher rent until you find a cheaper place?

Smart Phone Needs Replacing

Unless you are happy with getting into another 2 year contract with the phone company, wouldn’t it be great to be able to replace a lost/broken smartphone by just accessing money in your savings account?

Escaping An Abusive Relationship

It is sad, but it happens.  If you happen to be in an abusive relationship, savings some funds on the side will make it more plausible to escape it.

save money buttonHope this points have stirred some to start savings some funds for a rainy day.  If possible, do use a bank account that brings in interest so that you reap the benefit of that also.

Click on this link if interested in read more blogs related to finance and credit repair https://blog.feedspot.com/credit_repair_blogs/

No too long ago we were “blessed” with the experience of being phone spoofed, twice.  Somehow scammers were able to hijack out one of our offices phones and call unsuspecting consumers who never heard of America’s Loan Company.  These scammers would act as if they represented our company in attempt phone spoofto get money from people.  We contacted the authorities, but, there is not much they can do.  Once someone falls for one of these scams the money will most likely never be recovered.  It seems that the best defense against these scammers is to understand their methods.

If you have fallen for one of those scams, you are not alone.  According to an Equifax blog dated March 20, 2019, ( you can read it by following this link https://blog.equifax.com/identity/ftc-2018s-top-frauds-scams/) in 2018 the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)’s most reported scams were Imposter Scams, Debt Collection Scams, & Identity Theft with an increase of 38% from the previous year.  The FTC takes complaints relating to “Fraud, Identity Theft, or other unfair or deceptive business practices”.  If you would like to file a complaint follow this link to the FTC site https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/#crnt&panel1-8

So how are some of these scams performed?  What's their M.O.?How To Detect Fraud

Imposter Scams

Ever gotten a phone from a “Pam from Card Holder Services”?  They go by different names not just “Pam”.  If you do, just hang up.  “Pam” falsely claims to represent some credit card company.  That’s how Imposter Scams work.  It seems, another “classic” is someone claiming to be from the Social Security Administration stating that the Social Security number has been suspended.  The ultimate end is to get your Social Security number and/or some cash to “reactivate” the number.  To protect yourself if you get such phone calls, hang up.  If it helps you be at ease, call the company or agency directly.  Just don’t call the phone that the scammer gives you.

Debt Collection Complaints

This one topped as number once in the FTC complaints from 2015 to 2017.  In these types of scams someone tries to fool you into paying for a debt that has been paid, canceled, or is not a debt at all.  One way to spot this scam is if the “collector” insist that the “debt” be paid by a method that can’t be traced, like Dont Fall For A Scamputting money into gift cards or reloadable cards or wire transfer.  Also, if you don’t recognize the company for which the “debt” is being collected, contact the company directly and ask for proof that you owe a debt.  In addition, if you get “collector” threatening jail time for non-payment, that’s a clear sign that you are dealing with a scammer.

Identity Theft

According to the FTC’s Top Frauds of 2018 (see the report here https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2019/02/top-frauds-2018) “Tax-related identity theft was down last year (by 38%), but credit card fraud on new accounts was up 24%.”  This type of fraud occurs where some opens a credit account under your name.  Imagine the negative effect that it would have on your credit score.

I’m sure that there are other types of scams.  But hopefully being aware of these top contenders above will help some to stay clear.  If you are trying to repair your credit, you may find other Credit Repair Blogs at https://blog.feedspot.com/credit_repair_blogs/

Spring is around the corner and as people being so use up their early tax returns we expect to see an increase in the requests for Personal Loans.  Some of these loan applicants will unfortunately end up included in some kind of bankruptcy regardless of how much we try to identify the higher than average risk before loan approval.  Between bankruptcy attorneys advertising to have borrowers seek this way out of debt and consumers getting into more and more debt, it is very tempting for borrowers to use and sometimes abuse bankruptcy as a way to alleviate the pressures of debt.  However, is bankruptcy a great option if you are concerned about your financial future?  Ever wondered what are some of its negative effects?  To answer some of these questions, below is a blog from The Phoenix Group, https://thephenixgroup.com.  

Stated by credit repair companies in Dallas, bankruptcy had a negative stigma associated with it and most people resorted to declaring bankruptcy as an absolute last resort. However, today the stigma of bankruptcy has mostly gone away, and now it’s viewed as an acceptable and quick way to deal with debt.monopoly man bankruptcy

Even with the stigma removed, however, you should strive to avoid bankruptcy at all costs because of the damage it still does to your credit and your financial and professional future.

Here are the adverse effects declaring bankruptcy has in store for you.

Credit Damage To say that bankruptcy nukes your credit is an understatement. Experts say bankruptcy can be a black mark on your credit that lasts for 7 to 10 years, which means getting any kind of unsecured loan is near impossible.

Not only does this black mark stay on your credit for an extended period of time, but if you do need a loan, the only option you’re likely to have are loan sharks who are going to charge you off the charts interest rates. Also, with a bankruptcy on your credit, you will even have a difficult time getting a secured credit repair with calculatorcredit card.

Lost Job Opportunities So, if having your credit destroyed for up to 10 years isn’t bad enough, consider the fact that many potential employers look at an applicant’s credit history before deciding to hire. According to selflender.com,

“Unfortunately, while federal laws prevent discrimination in the workplace regarding race and gender, no such laws exist to prevent being denied a job due to poor credit history.”

And according to some experts, even if you have a stellar track record with previous employers and a high education, potential employers are likely to overlook these because of your bankruptcy, which paints you as a person who can’t be trusted or as someone who is irresponsible.

Strains Personal Relationships If you’re married or living with your partner and sharing expenses, your bankruptcy is going to affect your household finances negatively. This is likely to put a strain on your relationship if your significant other is pulling more of the financial weight than you’re able. And, as mentioned, it can take years for you to rehabilitate your credit to be considered in good standing and to where lenders will take the risk, and many people can’t or don’t want to wait that amount of time.

You Still Owe Money Bankruptcy doesn’t discharge all of your debts, and if you owe child support, alimony, or tax debts, you’re still on the hook to pay woman worried past due billthose. So you will still get mail from debt collectors like Ad Astra Recovery Services and GC Services to name a few. Also, student loan debt and income tax debt will have to be paid back unless you can make a case to the court as to why you shouldn’t have to pay them.

For many people, bankruptcy is the only option when they’re under a mountain of debt, however, for too many, it’s seen as an easy way out, but it’s one that comes with heavy and lengthy consequences.

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