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      December 15, 2017

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Related Articles

Are Auto Loans Through A Car Dealer A Good Idea?

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How Much Car Can You Afford?

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How Much Car Can You Afford?

It finally happened. Your old car – the one you had decided you would keep until it literally fell apart – has finally bit the dust. Or maybe you’ve decided the time is right to upgrade to an SUV to help get you through those rough winters.

No matter what your reasons, if you’ve found yourself in the market for a new or used vehicle, then one of the first steps in the process is to decide how much vehicle you can afford.

There are financial rules about how to know if you can afford many things. Rent on a place to live should be no more than one week’s paycheck. A monthly mortgage payment should be no more than 20 percent of your salary after taxes.

A similar rule applies to knowing just how much you can afford when it comes to purchasing a new or used vehicle. Financial experts have suggested that no more than 20 percent of your monthly income after taxes be spent on an auto payment. That includes factoring in the purchase price, any down payment you are able to make, and the interest rate and term of the loan.

Estimating your monthly payments, based on the purchase price, down payment and financing options, also is important. If interest rates are low, it allows for buyers to get more for their money. However, if you have less than stellar credit, it will affect the kind of interest rate you receive on any loan. If you are subject to a higher interest rate, it would be wise to seek out a less-expensive vehicle to offset the larger interest amount you’ll be paying.

One of the best ways to lower your monthly payment and get a lower interest rate is to put a significant chunk of money down on the vehicle you wish to purchase. If it is in your budget, try to put down at least 10 percent of the vehicle’s purchase price in the form of a down payment. The higher the down payment is, the lower the monthly payment will be, which can increase your ability to pay off the loan sooner.

Another very important factor to consider is the maintenance costs for the vehicle you will be purchasing. Most brand new vehicles come equipped with three year or 36,000 mile warranties at a minimum. A few car dealers will offer warranties on the power train that can extend to 60,000 miles or more. These warranties only cover the cost of repair work, and not the annual maintenance that is a part of owning a vehicle. Annual maintenance items include oil changes, tire rotations, replacing tires and flushing/filling various fluids in your vehicle. The average vehicle owner spends 1.5 percent of their annual income on vehicle maintenance each year. Be sure to factor that in when determining if a particular model is affordable for you.

Last but not least are the costs to fuel and insure your vehicle. With gas prices currently at $4 or more a gallon in the U.S., many consumers are purchasing smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles. According to information collected by AAA, the average cost of fueling a small sedan annually is $6,735. SUVs and large sedans were the least fuel efficient, costing between $8,000 and $11,000 annually to fuel.

Vehicle insurance also is an important factor in the affordability of any vehicle. Newer models always cost more to insure than used vehicles. Insurance rates also will depend on the number of miles you anticipate driving annually, and whether you drive in a high-risk area for automobile accidents.

Once you have factored in all of these items, you will have a decent idea of just how much car you can afford.

How the Fed Rate Increase Affects Your Mortgage, Car Loan and Credit Card Bill

The Federal Reserve's decision to raise its benchmark interest rate on Wednesday, the fifth increase since the financial crisis, will probably reach beyond Wall Street and into most American homes. Anyone with a credit card will see a small but instant ...

Published:  Wed, 13 Dec 2017 20:06:00 GMT



Breakthrough claimed in remote, electronic signature on auto finance contract

Dealership technology provider RouteOne, in a venture with Toyota Financial Services, says it has successfully processed the industry's first remotely captured, electronic customer signature on a finance contract arranged through a dealership. The contract ...

Published:  Thu, 14 Dec 2017 16:01:00 GMT



BAY online auto lending doubles

Krungsri Auto, the auto lending arm of Bank of Ayudhya (BAY), saw its digital loan growth double to 1.2 billion baht this year, indicating that the online channel is gaining ground. Millennial car buyers were the primary applicants for such lending ...

Published:  Thu, 14 Dec 2017 16:20:00 GMT



Don't fall for this car dealership scam

A recent post from Edmunds.com highlighted a scam that some car dealers have used called "yo-yo financing." What happens is that the salesman will approve your credit and let you sign the papers for the car. A few days later, they'll call you back ...

Published:  Thu, 14 Dec 2017 15:54:00 GMT



How a Fed rate hike could impact your auto loan

The short answer is "yes." However, it's not a perfect correlation. In other words, don't expect auto loan rates to increase by the exact amount the Fed raises the federal funds rate target range. There are certain consumer interest rates that are directly ...

Published:  Wed, 13 Dec 2017 10:46:00 GMT



Save time, hassle, and money with our guide to painless car buying and leasing

Federal law guarantees you one free credit report each year. Next, you need to shop around for the best loan rates. The car company might offer the best deal. Your dealership's Finance and Insurance department might be able to get you the best rate.

Published:  Wed, 13 Dec 2017 06:00:00 GMT



Smartphone app AutoGravity lets consumers get preapproved for auto loans

Valerie Cusco said her husband warned her not to fall for a scam. She really, really wanted a new car. And her birthday was coming. And she didn't want to wait. And she was excited. So she surrendered all her personal information and, well, it turned out OK.

Published:  Mon, 11 Dec 2017 20:00:00 GMT



How to throttle down on car costs and save thousands

As with insurance, shopping around can save you a lot of money. And make sure to look at options outside of the car dealer's financing. Sometimes the manufacturer might offer the lowest rate, but other times the better option might be a bank or credit union.

Published:  Tue, 12 Dec 2017 04:59:00 GMT



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