Making the Purchase

MAKING THE PURCHASE

When you’re getting ready to buy, there are a couple more points to consider…

1.       Do you like the sales person?

When deciding whether to buy your car, consider whether you like your sales person.  Purchasing a car is the perfect time to whip out your first impression skills.  If you don’t like the impression they give you, move on to another sales person or dealer.

2.       Avoid sales pressure!

Make sure the car is right for you!  If you’re torn between a certain make and model, feel free to go to the other dealership to look at the other car.  Don’t be pressured into buying a car on your first visit.  Remember, you want to do business with a sales person who wants to cater to your requests and has your best interest!

3.       Do the price, payment, and terms fit your budget?

Purchasing a vehicle is a big commitment.   Be sure to select a car and payment that fits your budget.  We would never want our customers to ruin their credit score by going into debt after purchasing their car.

4.       Decide if you will trade in your current car

After researching what your car is worth, have an idea of how much you would like to get for it. Knowing what the fair price would be for your trade is important.  Some dealerships inflate the trade value to mislead you and make you think you are getting a better deal for your trade.  But in actuality, they are adding that extra amount that they are “giving” to you to the purchase price of your new vehicle.

Also remember that the value of your trade-in should never change according to the vehicle you want to buy.

5.       What is the MSRP (“market value”) of the vehicle?

Be sure that the price of the vehicle you are buying is at a fair price.  Get the bottom-line price without haggling back and forth!

6.       How much money should you put down?

The amount of money you put down will affect your payments.  Ask your sales rep for clarification on the payments.

7.       You don’t have to buy a vehicle at your first visit to the dealer. 

Know your exit strategy so that you don’t make any quick decisions that you feel pressured to make.  SHOP WHERE YOU ARE TREATED THE BEST AND GET THE MOST INFORMATION.

 

 

6 Keys to Improving your Credit Score

6 KEYS TO IMPROVING YOUR CREDIT SCORE

1.      Never miss a payment (can save you up to 160pts!)

This is the easiest way to kill your credit.  If remembering to pay your bill is your problem, ask your credit card company about signing up for their automatic bill pay program.  If you cannot financially pay your bill, talk to the credit card company about setting up a payment program.  Also be sure to stop purchasing things with your credit card, and set up a strict budget to outline your spending and to plan your credit card payments.

2.      Instead of getting a new credit card, extend your credit limit on cards you already have

If you are someone who is likely to be tempted to go on a shopping spree if you were given a new credit card, then entirely avoid getting a new credit card!  Instead, extend your credit limit on the cards you already have.  And remember: now that you have more credit available after extending your credit limit, this does not mean you can, or should, buy on that additional credit!  Instead, reserve that amount for any emergencies that may come up (e.g., a home or car repair, a doctor bill).

3.      Never use more than 20% of your Available Credit

Not only does keeping your spending down help you avoid paying interest in the long run, but keeping spending down also shows that you have extra credit available.  This could help you get approved for a loan faster down the road and also qualify you for a lower interest rate in the future!

4.      Get credit cards that have cash back rewards to contribute to your balance

Cards that have a cash back rewards program are very helpful. As long as you responsibly purchase only necessary items with your credit card, you are essentially being rewarded for shopping!  Your cash back rewards can be put towards your balance, which helps you pay off your bills.  But again, be very careful!! A cash back rewards bonus can make it very easy to start spending just to increase your cash back rewards.  So be cautious

5.      Finance a vehicle (or any big ticket item)

Making payments on a large priced item shows that you are able to manage and pay off debt.  Financing your purchase for as long as possible will also help, as it shows that you can pay off a long term debt.  This way will make you pay more in interest, but you will have lower monthly payments and increase your credit score.

6.      Take out a small personal loan and repay it over a year on time

This is a great way to boost your credit score.  It shows banks and loan companies that you are able to pay off a loan, too, which can help you get approved for a loan with a lower interest rate down the road.

Unestablished Credit

UNESTABLISHED CREDIT

Question: I am 22 years old and have recently landed my first job out of college, I want to purchase a new car and know I will need financing. During my first few trips to various dealerships I have been told that I have a very low credit score. I have no idea why my credit score is low because I have never taken out a loan before and always pay my bills on time. How can I improve my credit score?

ANSWER: Many people face this same situation in which they are told they have low credit upon investing in their first large purchase such as a vehicle or house. One of the reasons you are having a hard time is not because you don’t pay your bills on time, it is actually because you just don’t have enough credit history established; we call this unestablished credit. The most important thing to understand is that good credit does not just magically happen, it must be built. Unestablished credit is very common amongst recent grads and there are in fact specific programs that are available to students within 6 months of graduating and help students receive good deals and good rates even without a cosigner. Many new car manufacturers have these programs and they are often called “new grad incentives”. Having unestablished credit is much better than redeeming oneself from bad credit, so you are in good shape. The fastest way to build credit is to open a credit card and use it! The more frequently purchases are charged AND paid off on time, the better. A second good way to build credit is to raise the limit on existing credit cards, this alone makes us appear more credible to lenders. The idea of “holding credit” is basically being credible or trustworthy with money. If the credit card company trusts you with a larger sum of their money, so will the auto lender. So talk to the bank and see if any of your credit cards can be raised to a higher spending limit, just doing that should improve your credit score automatically. When you do take out a loan be smart about it. If this is your first loan, it is important to make sure you are able to make the payments now and in the future. One mistake many people make is not considering their changing lifestyles and unexpected expenses when deciding exactly what they can afford. Remember if you can pay this first loan off successfully you will be well on your way to establishing excellent credit.