10.5 Hints to Help You Get a Car Loan

1. Know your credit score.

Get a copy of your credit report. Review it for errors and make any corrections before you try and get a loan. If there are major errors in your credit report, consider delaying your application until the corrections are completed. This will make sure you keep the car dealers honest. If you desperately need transportation, try renting a car short term until your credit report is straightened out. You may actually save money on fuel, insurance and repairs by renting which you can add to your down payment.

2. Have an explanation for your credit issues.

Don’t be apologetic. Bad things happen to good people. Be specific about any problems or crisis that caused your problem. Let the bank know about any major upheaval in your life that may have led to your problems such as an illness or a natural disaster, like Katrina, or 9-11. Make sure that you can substantiate your claim.

3. Don’t lie about anything on the credit app.

Lenders will turn reject your loan if they find you lied to them.

4. Know your income.

Make sure you can prove what you make. Have your proof readily available.

5. Save your down payment.

More down means more car. Larger down payments can sometimes get a lender to view your application more favorably.

6. Know what the payoff on your trade-in is.

If you are trading in a car with a payoff, get a ten day payoff from the lender. If you have a warranty or additional policies bought with the vehicle, find out if you can cancel them. This will lower your payoff or entitle you to a refund after the vehicle is paid off.

7. Know what your car is worth.

Check out NADA or KBB first. Go to CarMax and see what they will buy it for. Use these figures to negotiate the best trade in value. Remember, If you get more than the payoff, that amount becomes down payment.

8. Buy what you need, not what you want.

Set realistic expectations. Don’t buy more payment than you can truly afford. Rebuild your credit first, than rebuild your image later.

9. Don’t be argumentative.

Nice people get better deals than people who give sales reps a hard time.

10. Try other sources to get a loan.

Check online. Lenders such as Capital One, HSBC, Roadloans, and CitiFinancial all have websites which let you apply direct to them for a loan. You may get better rates and terms from lenders online than from a dealer.

Check your credit union or insurance co. They may have a loan program or lender relationship. A good payment history with your insurance company may help you get a loan from their bank. Credit unions can sometimes do automatic payroll deductions, which guaranty you pay the loan, so they may be more receptive.

10.5 Don’t go from dealer to dealer.

Excessive inquiries can be a reason a lender declines your application.

BONUS HINT!

Don’t be misled by “Every application is accepted”

Just because a dealer says your application is accepted, that doesn’t meen that your loan is approved. Accepting your application means that the dealership will take your infomration to submit to a lender. It’s up to the lender to approve your loan application, not the dealership.

DOUBLE BONUS HINT!!

Adverse action notification under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires a creditor obligation to furnish certain information to a customer seeking financing
whenever a decision is made that is adverse to the customer. This means that a dealership must submit your application to a lender for adecision or THEY (the dealership) must furnish you with an Adverse Action Notice describing why THEY (the dealership) declined to approive your request for a loan, AS SUBMITTED. Unless the dealership has their own finance company, they are required by law to either submit your application to a lender or tell you what information the dealership has used in order to decline your request for credit. If a dealership dopes not submit your application, they may be in violation of these two federal laws!

Geoff Cohen is a seasoned auto professional, with over 30 years experience. He has done it all, from sales rep to F&I Manager, New Car Manager, Used Vehicle Manager, up to GSM and GM. He has also worked as an area sales manager for a major sub-prime lender as well as run his own BHPH and Auto Leasing/Brokerage company.. He is the National Accounts Manager for AutoLending Network and is a contributing author to Subprimeconsulting.com, a blog about Special Finance solutions for auto dealers as well as F&I Magazine and World of Special Finance Magazine

The Top 10 Dealership Scams Part 3

Car Dealers have numerous ways to scam a potential buyer. Let’s continue examining a few of them so you know what to look out for when making your next car purchase:

6. The Dealer Mark up Scam

This is an unnecessary fee that the dealer charges for no reason other than greed. This fee can be seen on the orange sticker marked on the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP).

The additional dealer markup is nothing more than requiring more money for no real reason. They can include all kinds of extra fees in the additional dealer markup.

When you see an extra dealer mark up fee, ask the dealer to get rid of it. If they refuse, it is pretty much up to you, but remember that if you do pay the extra dealer markup, you are overpaying for no real reason.

7. The Payoff Your Loan Scam

This is when the dealer offers to pay off the balance of your current car loan no matter how much money you still owe. It is a common sales strategy.
When the average buyer hears it, they think that by purchasing a new car with a new dealership, they will automatically owe no more money on their current car.

That couldn’t be further from the truth.

What really happens is that the dealership does help you get out of your current contract; however, they normally are forgetting to tell you how high your fees are going to be for breaking the lease agreement with your old dealership.

You will now be responsible to pay fees that are in the thousands to make up for it.

You also will not be able to refinance for a new car until those fees are paid. Of course the dealership can add the cost on to your contract with them at a substantially higher rate.

The dealership only agrees to this deal because they want to get more money off of your current car. They aren’t really doing anything for you at all.
The dealership will also give you far less then the car is worth on the trade off. Basically this scam works because they will up your monthly fees, and then sell your trade in for a more money than its worth.

The dealership then extends your monthly payments so that they can make it appear that you are paying a small amount monthly when you don’t even realize that you have committed to an extra year of payments.

To avoid this scam, you have to bite the bullet and ride out your current lease till the end. If you are really determined to get a new car, then you should try selling your current car on your own.

Just sell it so that the buyer just takes over the lease payments.

8. The Used Car Sold “As Is” Scam

This is when a dealership will sell you a car that has been in a car wreck, but they will tell you that the car has been completely refurbished.

When you see the car it has a sticker on it that says “as is” on it and no warranty is included with your purchase.

This is the dealer’s way of telling you that you can’t bring the car back, you are assuming all risks for the car, and that it is not under warranty.

To avoid this scam, don’t buy a car without a warranty or one that says “as is” on it. By doing this, you might as well buy a car from a stranger on the street with the same deal.

9. The Bounced Check Scam

This is when you walk into a dealership with a bank draft and the dealership charges that they can’t accept your draft because your bank bounces checks often so they now refuse checks from that bank.

Of course, this leaves the table open for them to get the extra money they want by offering to sell you a car at a higher interest rate.

You can avoid this scam first by getting your drafts from Capital One Auto Finance.

Then let the finance manager know that you are aware of the scam that they are pulling and that Capital One Auto Finance is in the business of giving loans so the checks don’t bounce.

10. The Forced Credit Application

If you are hoping to pay for a car outright or in cash with a bank draft or check that is what you should do. Some dealerships will not let you.

You will hear one of these lines so that they can try and get you into paying monthly terms for more money.

“State laws require that you must fill out a credit application before I can sell you this car.”

“Everyone that buys a car from us fills out a credit application first.”

“It’s the company’s policy”.

If you hear any of these lies, then know what’s going on. When you are paying cash why would you think that you need to fill out a credit application?

It doesn’t make sense. No state will force you to apply for credit when paying cash.

Would you have to fill out a credit report if you want to buy a sofa or groceries while paying cash? See how silly this is. To avoid this scam, just laugh in their faces.

What Stands Behind Capital One Credit Cards and Savings Products?

In the times since the global financial crisis, it has increasingly become a concern as to what the backing of the financial institution that issues your credit card or holds your saving account is. There are a number of laws which regulate the financial system and try to ensure that customers can rely on banks to honour their obligations which can be a particular concern in relation to savings products. Title 12 of the United States Code in part 325 specifies a number of ‘capital adequacy requirements’ in relation to all banks. The aim of these requirements is to force banks to adequately provision of a crisis and ensure that they will remain solvent even if there is a large crisis. Banks must report periodically on their arrangements to show regulators that they are meeting the capital adequacy requirements.

Capital One at the moment is, when measured by asset pool, the 8th largest bank in the United States with balance sheet assets of approximately USD$286bn in 2012. Amongst other distinctions, the company is also one of the largest customers of the United States postal service. Its head office is in Fairfax County Virginia and the current chairman, CEO and President of the company is Richard Fairbank. It is one of the fastest growing banks in American history having been founded in 1988 by the current CEO. Like many banks in the American financial system, Capital One was the recipient of a bail out during the sub prime mortgage crisis of 2007 when it received $3.56bn from the United States Government in exchange for 3,555,199 shares in the company. By the end of 2009, the company had managed to buy the government out of the business.

As well as being involved in credit cards, Capital One has an Auto Finance Division which is a substantial part of the company. An entity known as Capital One 360 is also now in existence having formerly been known as ING Direct on the idea that a bank could perform retail services entirely on the basis of an online model. This division of the company has no branches and only maintains a physical presence in the form of call centres and online processing maintenance facilities. The online bank model seems to achieved some success given that the lower overheads from rent and staff result in lower costs to consumers and therefore a better outcome.

One of the notable characteristic of Capital One is that it appears to have retained an ability to ride out the periodic financial storms which emerge in the world of consumer credit. It has grown consistently throughout good and bad times in consumer finance and continues to grow based on the analysis of its most recent financial data. This history of growth and the ability to ride out financial storms appears to bode well for the credit and savings products of Capital One.

New Auto Purchase – Lease VS Buy

Essentially, Leasing is just an alternative way to finance a new vehicle. We know that when purchasing a new vehicle the down payment, sales tax and license fees are required to be paid up front. However when leasing a new vehicle you are required to pay only the first monthly payment, a security deposit (usually same as monthly payment), and the license fees. The sales tax (which is based on the capitalized value of the vehicle) is actually amortized over the term of the lease in most states. In other words, the taxes are included in the monthly payments.

Capitalized Cost

Essentially the capitalized cost of a new vehicle is the actual price you have agreed to pay for the vehicle.

Gross Capitalized Cost

The gross capitalized cost of a new vehicle includes the selling price of the vehicle (which is the capitalized cost plus acquisition fees, extended warranty, accident & health insurance, dealer title fee, payoff on your trade-in, credit life insurance, gap insurance and any other fees the dealer decides to charge you). Buyer beware; that most people really don’t ever know what their capitalized cost is because it is buried within the gross capitalized cost and the dealer doesn’t actually reveal this number unless he has to. Most car deals made at auto dealerships are negotiated on the basis of payment rather than price. This applies to both leasing and purchasing. Don’t get caught in this trap! Make the dealer reveal the selling price for every payment offer he makes you!

Adjusted Capitalized Cost
The adjusted capitalized cost of a new vehicle is the gross capitalized cost minus (-) your down payment, net trade-in amount, rebates, license fees and taxes along with any other deductions given.

Depreciation/Residual

When purchasing a new vehicle your payments are based on the full value or selling price, plus extended warranty, tax & license, minus (-) rebate, down payment and net trade-in value. However, when you lease a vehicle your payments are based only on the “depreciation or your use” of the vehicle during the entire term of the lease. The depreciation is actually only a portion of the capitalized cost of the vehicle and is determined by the term of the lease, number of miles driven and condition of the vehicle at the end of the lease. The payments on a lease are based on the deprecation money factor (which is a form of interest rate) and the amortized taxes. Therefore, you can actually drive a more expensive vehicle with a lower payment if you lease. Please note that the depreciation is actually estimated and set at the inception of the lease.

The residual is the portion or balance of the adjusted capitalized cost after the deprecation has been deducted. The residual is just put aside in limbo until the end of the lease. The higher the residual – the lower your monthly payment. At the end of the lease you have two options. You can either turn the vehicle back into the bank or leasing company, or you can buy the vehicle outright for the residual balance. You can even refinance the residual. But keep in mind if you turn in the vehicle with more mileage than allowed on your contract, you will be charged any where from .12ΒΆ to .25ΒΆ for each extra mile. In an auto lease you are limited to a specific number of miles in your lease contact. The average would be from 12,000 to 15,000 miles per year. You may drive any number of miles in any given year but you cannot exceed the number of allotted miles or you will be penalized. If you purchase the vehicle the charge for the extra mileage will normally be waved. Most banks and finance companies will allow you to add an extra 15,000 to 20,000 miles to your lease contract depending on the term of the lease. However, the cost of the extra miles will be added to your gross capitalization cost and your monthly payment will be increased accordingly.

Ownership

When you have entered into a lease contract you cannot terminate the lease or turn-in your vehicle prior to the ending date of the contract. If you do this the bank will report this as a voluntary repossession on your credit record. On an auto lease the vehicle is actually registered and titled to the bank or leasing company. Therefore you do not own the vehicle, the bank does. You get to use the vehicle and are legally responsible for the upkeep and maintenance. Please note, if you don’t maintain the vehicle during the lease you will be penalized for all excessive wear-and-tear when you turn it in. Also, if you really needed to get out of your lease you can buy out of the lease if you can get the financing or you can get someone to take over your lease. Of course, they will have to qualify.

Vehicle Warranties

The average new car warranty is 36 months or 36000 miles, which ever comes first. It is not recommended that you enter into a 4, 5 or 6 year lease contract because they are not economical. Even with a four-year lease it is common for the residual to be higher than the actual value of the vehicle at the end of the lease which makes it very hard to refinance. If you are like a lot of people you can lease a new vehicle every 2 to 3 years and never have to buy an extended warranty. The only time it would be beneficial to buy an extended warranty is if you knew you were going to buy the vehicle outright at the end of the lease.

Gap Insurance

Gap Insurance is basically insurance coverage on the difference between the actual value of your vehicle and the balance you owe on the lease including the residual. This kind of protection is needed in case your vehicle is involved in an accident and is declared a total loss. Gap Insurance is important especially for people who lease vehicles. The lease on a vehicle is actually designed for the balance owed to be upside-down in relation to the actual value of the vehicle until approximately the end date of the lease term. At this time the residual should fall in line or be equal to the vehicle’s actual value. Gap Insurance is good for purchase financing as well. The gap is not as large as in leasing, but you still stand the chance of having to put out a great deal of money.

Final Advice

Remember, there are two main factors you must consider when you are thinking about leasing an automobile. The first is how long you intend to keep the vehicle and the second
is how many miles you travel annually. If you intend to keep the vehicle a maximum of three years and you only average 15,000 miles a year, then you should definitely consider leasing. If you want to keep the new vehicle for more than three years, you should consider purchasing.

When you lease a vehicle, you very rarely have to put any money down, so lease a new vehicle every two to three years and you won’t owe any money on the old vehicle, plus you’ll never have to buy an extended warranty. Also, you will have spent a ton of money less for each vehicle than if you had purchased them. If you want to keep a vehicle longer just buy it at the end of the lease.

Remember, don’t let the dealer try to sell you on the basis of payments. Negotiate on the price only and when you have agreed on the price then tell them you have a trade-in. When you have agreed to your trade-in value then tell them you want to lease the new vehicle. Now you know what to do from here. Also, dealerships have a tendency to quote lease payments without the monthly tax. This makes a big difference in the monthly payments. If you don’t control this you will be sadly surprised when you go into the finance manager to sign the paperwork. One more thing – when you are signing the lease contract, be sure to verify that the trade-in value you have agreed upon is actually deducted from the capitalized cost. Otherwise the dealer could wind up purchasing your trade for pennies and you would never know.

Finance – A Diversified Portfolio to Stabilize Your Investment Income

Investing in the stock market is a risk, but one that can be managed if it is handled the right way. One of the biggest downfalls of many beginner investors is the fact that they do not spread their money out enough and when one sector of the market gets hit, they end up losing their entire portfolio. A diversified portfolio will protect you against that from ever happening.

Having a diversified portfolio is like having an emergency brake on your investment account. Just when you think that the investment world is speeding out of control, your diversification is there to slam on the breaks and ensure that you are protected against a sure disaster. For every market that goes down, there is one that goes up and if you correctly diversify, your other stocks can recover from the ones that are hurting you.

One of the keys to a diversified portfolio is to have your money spread out over several sectors. The market can shift without warning and while you may have one sector that is in decline, you will have others that will continue to grow and offset those losses. As you are putting together your portfolio, a nice mix of cyclical and countercyclical investments is strongly recommended.

The cyclical stocks are going to be where you will see the greatest fluctuation in income and where you will probably have the most movement in your account. These are the types of investments that pay off during flourishing times. For instance, when the “cash for clunkers” promotion was going on, the auto industry received a quick boost. Ford stock went through the roof compared to its price just a few short weeks prior and this paid off for its investors.

Now just because the market or economy is on a downward trend does not mean that cyclical stocks are bad to have in your portfolio during down times. It is actually quite the contrary. There are still business that flourish when other industries and the market as a whole are spiraling downward. A good example in recent times would be the shipping industry and steel industry as they ramp up for the upcoming push in construction and shipping of goods to suppliers.

However, you still want to mix in countercyclical stocks for stabilization. These are stocks that are going to show moderate gains regardless of what the overall market is doing. Investing in food companies along with energy and health care companies will go a long way to even everything out in good times and more importantly, in bad.

Volatility in a stock is also something to be concerned with. While most of your countercyclical stocks will be higher priced investments, you can take a larger risk with small cap stocks that have a huge payoff on them when you are right. These stocks will usually be associated with smaller companies that show dramatic swings. When the swing is in your favor, you can see upwards of a 500% profit on your investment in a single day.

Having a diversified portfolio is what every investor strives for and what keeps them in the market when other people are still watching from the sideline. Having a good mix allows you to take the slow and steady profits from the big name companies and also allows you to explore some riskier investments with the possibility of a huge payoff. You can spread your money around and hopefully allow yourself to build an investment portfolio that will truly make those retirement years golden.