Monday, April 15, 2013

How Not To Get Scammed On Your Car Lease

Bad Credit automobile leasing has been praised as a more attractive option to purchasing a car, offering in the process the flexibility to drive a new car for less. The reality, however, is that leasing is an option that is fraught with many pitfalls for the average customer. Leasing regulation does not require as much disclosure as buying a vehicle. This has given rise to many leasing scams that trick the customer into believing they are into a good deal when, in effect, all they are getting is a rough deal on the dealer's terms.

Take a peek at a few of the common scams and how you can avoid being ripped off by them:

1. Unnaturally low interest rates:

Some bad credit auto dealers will offer up a lower interest rate when actually it is a good deal higher because they are quoting the money factor as the interest rate or possibly estimating the loan without amortizing some fees into the loan lease. For instance, the money factor is generally expressed as a 4 decimal figure, something like 0.004. Many of the less reputable bad credit vehicle lenders cite this as a 4% rate of interest when, it really should be multiplied by 24 to reach a closer approximation of the interest rate on your loan. Therefore, the interest rate is very much higher at 9.6% and not the rate of 4%.

Make a point of understanding all the numbers and what method the lender used to arrive at their interest rate. Look out for any additional fees, such as amortization costs, not added into the calculation. If you're not satisfied, do not sign any lease aggreements without a better understanding.

2. You may end your lease early for a low fee

This is the biggest scam of all and the one that I fell for the first time I ever took out a lease. The lender told me I could definitely end my vehicle lease early and it would only cost me an 'early termination fee' of $400. Guess what... that was only the small administrative penalty for early termination, NOT the actual 'early termination fee'. This can run into the thousands of dollars.

Do not confuse the early termination administrative penalty with the termination fee. Read the small print carefully and know exactly how much you will get charged should you terminate your lease before its scheduled end.

3. Why pay for an extended warranty

Another game that the car dealers like to play is offering you an extended warranty - to protect your investment. The only investment that will be protected here is the dealer's profit. 99% of the time on auto leases, the extended warranty is included in your monthly lease payments. So obviously you don't need to pay for it again. If they do convince you to go for the extended warranty, which by the way, you SHOULDN'T, you need to look carefully at the contract you're signing as you may be buying a 3 year warranty for a 2 year lease. Not too smart - on your part.

There are some more things that the dealer can add onto your lease, or even sneak in on you. Just be careful that you examine all the documents thoroughly before you sign on the dotted line. I hope you have gotten some new knowledge from this article on auto lease scams.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Car Loans After Bankruptcy Made Easier

Car loans after bankruptcy can be a little more difficult than your previous loan you may have applied for before your financial downfall. This does not mean that it is impossible to get a loan. Now there is good news for those looking for a new car after bankruptcy. Getting car loans after bankruptcy is more likely today for those who find themselves in these circumstances.

There are a few things that you can do to help you get the approval you need for a car loan. Let’s explore a few steps you can take to make car loans after bankruptcy easier.

Begin by double-checking your credit history reports. Pull your credit reports from Equifax, Transunion and Experian and go through them with a fine tooth comb to be sure that all debts that were to be removed in the bankruptcy are no longer on the reports. Sometimes, the bureaus can miss taking off a debt that has actually been discharged through your bankruptcy and this can lower your credit score more than it should.

You may want to draft up a letter to send to each of the three credit bureaus explaining the reasons for filing bankruptcy. If you had a setback due to a divorce, extreme medical bills or a temporary loss of job, this letter could give you a better chance at getting lower interest rates. Potential lenders will be able to read the explanation and may take this into consideration when deciding to grant you a car loan after bankruptcy. In addition, feel free to explain the steps you have taken to begin to rebuild your FICO score.

After reviewing your credit reports the next step would be to take a good hard look at your current finances. Evaluate the monthly payment you can realistically handle for a car loan along with all your other financial obligations. Don’t forget to allow for insurance and maintenance. Do your best to choose a car that will help you stay on track and make your monthly payments on time. Paying your car payment on or before the due date is the quickest way to rebuild your credit history.

Once you have successfully paid the car loan for a year, chances are good that you will have the opportunity to refinance with a lower interest rate. Make a note to yourself to recheck your credit score after the first year and begin to look for refinancing at that point. This could save you money over the balance of the car loan after bankruptcy.

And, finally research a car dealership or auto broker that has expertise in finding car loans after bankruptcy. Some dealerships and brokers have special finance departments. Because of the volume of special loans they secure, these experts can typically find you lower interest rates. And, this will make your monthly payments lower. With the lower monthly payments you will have a better chance to regain your financial borrowing power and improve your overall credit history.