Considerations when Applying for Used Auto Finance

Having to make a choice between owning a new car and owning a used car, most people would be apt to say that they want the new car, of course. However, when it comes to actually having to spend the money, more and more often, people are taking a good hard look at late model used cars. Many late model used cars offer all of the same features and comforts of their brand new counterparts, often with low or very low mileage. Most auto dealerships that deal in used as well as new cars offer used car financing as well. Used car loan rates, while usually higher than new car rates, can be competitive as well. Note that many dealerships will not offer used auto finance on a car that is older than 5 years.

Types of Used Car Financing

Used car financing doesn’t always have to take place at the dealership. If you are a homeowner, you could consider taking out a second mortgage to pay for your car, which is (of course) secured by your home. If your credit history is good, in the current environment, you can get pretty decent interest rates on a second mortgage. Needless to say, when you go this route, you must remember that you are using your home as collateral and some might consider that to be risky, if they have an alternative used auto finance option open to them.

The most likely route to used auto finance for most people is used car loans. Used auto finance is basically split up into two categories; Used car loans for people with a good credit history, and subprime used auto finance. Borrowers with a good or better credit history can obtain very competitive used car loan rates. Borrowers with recent credit issues, with a fair or poor credit history, in general will have to pay a higher interest rate.

How to Control Used Car Loan Rates

That being said, the subprime borrower can take some actions to tip the scales to their favor.

-Before submitting an application for used car financing or any other used car loans, you should become familiar with your credit reporting bureau report. Note, you are entitled to one free credit reporting bureau report every year from the big three credit reporting bureaus (Equifax, Trans-Union, Experian). You can visit them at each of their websites for more information. Obtain a copy of your credit bureau report from all 3 because some companies will report to 1 or 2 bureaus, but not to all of them. Get familiar with what’s in your credit bureau report. If there are any erroneous errors or items that you disagree with, you should write a letter to the credit bureau(s) that is listing the item(s) and inform them of the problems and they should retract them for you. Keep all copies of your correspondence with the credit bureaus.

-Do anything else that you can think of to improve your credit record.

-If you are able to get a co-signer on your loan that has good credit, it’s just like you have good credit and the rates for used car loans can be much lower.

Finally, muster up as large of a down payment as possible. The higher the amount of your down payment, the lower interest rate you will be able to demand from the lender.

Ten Common Investment Errors: Stocks, Bonds, & Management

Investment mistakes happen for a multitude of reasons, including the fact that decisions are made under conditions of uncertainty that are irresponsibly downplayed by market gurus and institutional spokespersons. Losing money on an investment may not be the result of a mistake, and not all mistakes result in monetary losses. But errors occur when judgment is unduly influenced by emotions, when the basic principles of investing are misunderstood, and when misconceptions exist about how securities react to varying economic, political, and hysterical circumstances. Avoid these ten common errors to improve your performance:

1. Investment decisions should be made within a clearly defined Investment Plan. Investing is a goal-orientated activity that should include considerations of time, risk-tolerance, and future income think about where you are going before you start moving in what may be the wrong direction. A well thought out plan will not need frequent adjustments. A well-managed plan will not be susceptible to the addition of trendy, speculations.

2. The distinction between Asset Allocation and Diversification is often clouded. Asset Allocation is the planned division of the portfolio between Equity and Income securities. Diversification is a risk minimization strategy used to assure that the size of individual portfolio positions does not become excessive in terms of various measurements. Neither are “hedges” against anything or Market Timing devices. Neither can be done with Mutual Funds or within a single Mutual Fund. Both are handled most easily using Cost Basis analysis as defined in the Working Capital Model.

3. Investors become bored with their Plan too quickly, change direction too frequently, and make drastic rather than gradual adjustments. Although investing is always referred to as “long term”, it is rarely dealt with as such by investors who would be hard pressed to explain simple peak-to-peak analysis. Short-term Market Value movements are routinely compared with various un-portfolio related indices and averages to evaluate performance. There is no index that compares with your portfolio, and calendar divisions have no relationship whatever to market or interest rate cycles.

4. Investors tend to fall in love with securities that rise in price and forget to take profits, particularly when the company was once their employer. It’s alarming how often accounting and other professionals refuse to fix these single-issue portfolios. Aside from the love issue, this becomes an unwilling-to-pay-the-taxes problem that often brings the unrealized gain to the Schedule D as a realized loss. Diversification rules, like Mother Nature, must not be messed with.

5. Investors often overdose on information, causing a constant state of “analysis paralysis”. Such investors are likely to be confused and tend to become hindsightful and indecisive. Neither portends well for the portfolio. Compounding this issue is the inability to distinguish between research and sales materials… quite often the same document. A somewhat narrow focus on information that supports a logical and well-documented investment strategy will be more productive in the long run. But do avoid future predictors.

6. Investors are constantly in search of a short cut or gimmick that will provide instant success with minimum effort. Consequently, they initiate a feeding frenzy for every new, product and service that the Institutions produce. Their portfolios become a hodgepodge of Mutual Funds, iShares, Index Funds, Partnerships, Penny Stocks, Hedge Funds, Funds of Funds, Commodities, Options, etc. This obsession with Product underlines how Wall Street has made it impossible for financial professionals to survive without them. Remember: Consumers buy products; Investors select securities.

7. Investors just don’t understand the nature of Interest Rate Sensitive Securities and can’t deal appropriately with changes in Market Value in either direction. Operationally, the income portion of a portfolio must be looked at separately from the growth portion. A simple assessment of bottom line Market Value for structural and/or directional decision-making is one of the most far-reaching errors that investors make. Fixed Income must not connote Fixed Value and most investors rarely experience the full benefit of this portion of their portfolio.

8. Many investors either ignore or discount the cyclical nature of the investment markets and wind up buying the most popular securities/sectors/funds at their highest ever prices. Illogically, they interpret a current trend in such areas as a new dynamic and tend to overdo their involvement. At the same time, they quickly abandon whatever their previous hot spot happened to be, not realizing that they are creating a Buy High, Sell Low cycle all their own.

9. Many investment errors will involve some form of unrealistic time horizon, or Apples to Oranges form of performance comparison. Somehow, somewhere, the get rich slowly path to investment success has become overgrown and abandoned. Successful portfolio development is rarely a straight up arrow and comparisons with dissimilar products, commodities, or strategies simply produce detours that speed progress away from original portfolio goals.

10. The “cheaper is better” mentality weakens decision making capabilities, leads investors to dangerous assumptions and short cuts that only appear to be effective. Do discount brokers seek “best execution”? Can new issue preferred stocks be purchased without cost? Is a no load fund a freebie? Is a WRAP Account individually managed? When cheap is an investor’s primary concern, what he gets will generally be worth the price.

Compounding the problems that investors have managing their investment portfolios is the sideshowesque sensationalism that the media brings to the process. Investing has become a competitive event for service providers and investors alike. This development alone will lead many of you to the self-destructive decision making errors that are described above. Investing is a personal project where individual/family goals and objectives must dictate portfolio structure, management strategy, and performance evaluation techniques. Is it difficult to manage a portfolio in an environment that encourages instant gratification, supports all forms of “uncaveated” speculation, and that rewards short term and shortsighted reports, reactions, and achievements?

Yup, it sure is.

Improve Your Credit Rating Yourself – Tips How To Do

Improve Your Credit Rating Yourself – Tips How To Do It

A credit score is a rating system creditors use to help determine whether to give you credit, and how much to charge you for it. If you have ever applied for a credit card, loan, or insurance, then there is a file about you known as your credit report which will include your quality score rating.

It is important to check your credit report for accuracy from time to time. This file has information about you and your credit experiences, bill paying history, the number and type of accounts you have, late payments, collection actions, outstanding debt, bankruptcies, and the age of your accounts, collected from your credit application and your credit report. Using a statistical formula, creditors compare this information to the performance of consumers with similar profiles. A credit scoring system awards points for each factor. A total number of points, know as a credit score, helps predict how creditworthy you are, that is, how likely it is that you will repay a loan and make the payments on time. Generally, consumers with good credit risks have higher credit scores. The quality of your credit rating can impact your ability to get credit, insurance and employment. Having good credit means it will be easier for you to get loans at lower interest rates. Lower interest rates usually means lower monthly payments which saves you money.

Do you have bad or poor credit? Do you want to improve your creditworthiness and credit rating? Then you are on the right track and there are proven steps you can take on your own to make this happen.

Now for the bad news. Only time and effort, along with a personal debt repayment plan will improve your credit report and rating.

The good news is that you can do all of the things necessary to improve your credit rating by yourself at little or no cost.

Step 1. Develop a personal budget.

Take control of your financial situation by doing a realistic assessment of how much money you take in and how much money you spend each month. List your income from all sources. Then, list your “fixed” expenses, those that are the same each month, like mortgage payments or rent, car payments, and insurance premiums. Next, list the expenses that may change or vary from month to month like food, entertainment, recreation, and clothing. Writing down all of your expenses, even those that may seem insignificant, is a helpful way to get a grip on and keep track of your spending patterns, identify necessary expenses, and prioritize your expenditures. The main goal is to make sure you can make ends meet on the basic living necessities like housing, food, health care, insurance, and education.

Step 2. Balance your checkbook.

Yes it seems common sense to do this but you would be amazed at how many people either don’t know how to do it, or just hate balancing their checkbook. If there is something on your bank account statement that is confusing or you just can not quite get right, then go see your banking representative for help. Either way, it is absolutely critical to control your checkbook or it will continue to control you.

Step 3. Create a plan to save money and pay down your debts.

You might say … hey, I can not pay all of my bills now, how am I going to save any money? That is why getting your personal budget under control is so critical. Cutting your monthly expenditures for items that are not absolutely needed will be necessary in order to get your budget under control. It sounds simplistic, but your goal is to have more money coming in each month, than the amount of money you spend each month. Until you find a way to make this basic truth happen, you will not be able to pay off your debts and become more credit worthy in the eyes of lenders.

Not quite sure how to accurately gather and itemize all of your monthly expenditures and compare them to your monthly income? You can find lots of helpful resources available online, at your local library, or at bookstores that address money management techniques, personal finance and budgeting.

Step 4. Pay your bills on time.

Goes without saying but it is necessary in order to show lenders that you are improving and are capable of making on time payments each month. If you’re having trouble making ends meet then contact your creditors immediately. Tell them why it’s difficult for you, and try to work out a modified repayment plan that reduces your payments to a more affordable level. Don’t wait until your accounts have been turned over to a debt collector. At that point, your creditors have given up on you.

These are some of the painful but necessary steps you must take in order to improve your creditworthiness and rating in the eyes of current and future lenders. So, embrace these steps and make it work for your needs.

Home Loans With Bad Credit

A home is the one purchase that everyone usually hopes to make by midlife. The problem is of all the things you can buy in life it is also one of the largest commitments you can make. Many people who do embark upon purchasing their own home realize quickly however that credit can be a major factor. But can bad credit stop you from purchasing a home? The answer is no.

There are a number of lenders out there who will step up to the plate when it comes to loaning you the money to buy a home. Searching for those lenders can be difficult since they are not usually out there on the open market but with a little bit of patience and time they can be found. The internet has made this a lot easier then it use to be and there are a lot more companies who take the time to do these types of loans so just be patient.

The first step to obtaining one of these loans, called high risk loans, is to find the right company for you. There are many companies on the internet that will screen your information first and then call you if they can find a lender who is willing. One good internet company for finding high risk home loans is The Lending Tree. The Lending Tree takes your information and then farms it out to banks and loan companies to see who will be the right fit for your home loan. They will then contact you back by phone or e-mail and set you up with the right loan service. Many of the companies who offer this type of service work in this way.

So if your credit is bad, dont fear you can still qualify to buy that home of your dreams.