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Ways to Avoid Going Upside Down in an Auto Loan

Upside down car loan

“Upside down” is only fun for kids.

Adults know too well it’s all about owing more money on a large asset than it’s worth. More, they are responsible for that debt. Many homeowners were upside down in their home loans from 2008 to 2012.

Some don’t realize that a car buyer, particularly a new car buyer, can spend several months to two years upside down in their car loan. You may ask: what’s the big deal about owing more than the car’s worth if you’re going to keep the car for several years? Problems arise when the car gets stolen or crashed. More serious problems arise when buyers realize they bought too much car and can’t afford it anymore. Unexpected medical expenses, job changes, new babies and even floods and fires have a way of tightening budgets very quickly. Sell the car, and you end up paying the bank an additional $1,000 – $5,000 to fulfill loan requirements.

Car buyers who are smart with their finances take a long-term view. Just a few adjustments to the car-buying plan ensures you won’t go upside down on your car loan.

Buy Used and Make a Good Deal
It’s common knowledge that a brand new car loses 11% of its value the minute the car buyer drives it off the lot. After one year, this new car loses 20% of its value and by five years, many cars have lost half their value. These average numbers don’t reflect the wide variety of car depreciation rates. Depreciation rates are faster for unpopular cars, slow for the popular models. But who knows what will be popular in 5 years?

The bottom line is to let the original owner to pay the first few years’ depreciation costs (one of the highest costs of vehicle ownership). Buy a car that holds its value. Financial planning and organization website Bankrate.com lists the makes and models of autos that hold their value most tenaciously. For 2014, these are the Hyundai Accent, Mazda 3, Chevy Corvette, Toyota Avalon, Kia Soul and Chevy Camaro. Any of these tickle your fancy?

The other advantage of buying a used car with a low depreciation rate is that you’re less likely to have a hangover loan amount into a new loan when you buy a new car.

Put Down a 20% Down Payment
This move will take care of the annoying taxes and fees outright. Paying interest on these taxes bumps these abstract fees even higher. Since car buyers get nothing for these charges, it’s best to dismiss them ASAP. Also, putting down 20% jumps you ahead of depreciation so that you leave the lot with a vehicle worth as much as or more than your loan. Also, manufacturers’ cash-back rebates can go right to that 20% down.

Consider A Loan Term That Is No Longer Than How Long You Plan To Keep The Car.
Some people are in the habit of buying a new car every two years. Others have just as much pride driving a 20-year-old “beater.” While, typically, car loan terms extend to just 5 years, recently, six and even 10-year loans have come into the market. If it’s your nature to keep a car until it dies, a 10-year loan makes sense. If you’re family is changing either by adding or removing members (kids born; kids off to college), you may be trading up or down when those events occur.

Get the Best Interest Rate You Qualify For
Online, and other alternative banks can offer lower auto loan rates because they labor under a fraction of the marketing and operating costs that saddle the large, bricks and mortar banks. More, online banks typically don’t have shareholders demanding higher profits every year. While the difference in the loan rate may be one-half of one percent, these charges add up to thousands of dollars saved over five years.
ALWAYS Comparison Shop to Get the Lowest Price for the Model You Want
Aside from homes (and maybe shoes?), cars evoke more emotion than most other large purchases. Cars reflect our identities. They are accessories we live with from two to 20 years. If you’ve found the perfect pumpkin-spice-colored Kia Soul, rest assured there will be another one across town or in another month. Go into the car dealership with your emotions fully under control. This experience must be ruled by the mind, rather than the heart. Remembering that you’re not just saving another $2,000, but $2,000 plus six to nine percent yearly interest keeps you sober and PICKY.

First Financial Provides Auto Loans, Bad Credit, Good Credit and More!
First Financial has been in business long enough to recognize the subtleties in each borrower’s financial situation. We also know that more than 50% of Americans fall into the subprime category. Their credit ratings range from “fair” to “poor” to “bad.” Our lending partners accept auto loan applications and approve these borrowers every day. Apply for an auto loan here today! Follow us

Getting Auto Loans in 2020 Just Got Easier . . .

car dealership lot

Recently, credit tracking giant broadcast some great news for those needing fair, poor and bad credit auto loans. It reveals that during the second-quarter of 2020 U.S. banks:

  • Approved 44% more bad credit auto loans than they did in the same period in 2019
  • Approved 22.4% more good, fair and poor credit auto loans than in in 2019

Banks are now more willing to lend to those whose credit scores dropped below “prime” or excellent . . . 700 or higher at this writing.

Before you start feeling thankful to the banks, however, keep in mind that this move is in their best interest as over 50% of all American consumers today fall into the “subprime” categories . . . namely good, fair, poor, and bad. To stay in business, the banks need to be more open-minded and “open the purse strings” more frequently. More, with unemployment still at historic highs, loan and car sales have been increasing but not at the rate a more robust recovery would create. Auto dealers and loan officers need customers! They need YOU, even if you have poor or bad credit.

 Tips for Getting Fair, Poor or Bad Credit Auto Loans

  • put at least 20% down, more if you can
  • consider a used car, even a one-year-old car. (Cars depreciate at least 20% in the first year alone. After that, depreciation slows.)
  • search the financial institutions that offer auto loans online. Internet banks have far lower marketing and overhead costs, and pass the savings on to the consumer. Their automated processes also help them keep fair, poor or bad credit auto loans interest rates affordable.

First Financial Has Fair, Poor and Bad Auto Loans that Make You Mobile!

While of course those in the prime or “excellent” credit category get the lowest auto loan rates, paying 7% to 10% or more for an auto loan still keeps reliable, attractive cars affordable. Ask a parent or grandparent what they paid for an auto loan at various times. Interest rates peaked in 1981 at 16% and only dropped under 10% as recently as 1997. Our fast and simple online auto loan application and mobile auto loan application can get you driving within days. Want to keep an eye on lots of low cost online auto, mortgage, personal loans as well as the loan industry?

 

 

Click, Click, Apply: How to Find Online Car Financing

Click, Click, Apply: How to Find Online Car Financing

Buying a car doesn’t have to be hours of paperwork in a dealership – sometimes you can get online car financing, learn about it here.

Did you know that you can get online car financing with just a few clicks? Say goodbye to tedious paperwork and a slow approval process with the digital way of getting an auto loan, and drive off in your new set of wheels in no time.

Online financing has made it easy for people to apply for loans. The rates are very competitive, the process is fast, and one of the best thing about such loans is the ability to process bad credit car loans.

In as much as getting a car loan from the comfort of your house sound like a good idea, you need to be careful about who you borrow from. Take your time to find a lender with the best rates, quick approval process, and can accommodate your credit score.

Choosing an Online Auto Finance Company

Just like you took your time to choose the make and model of the car you want, you need to put the same effort when selecting an online auto finance company.

Even though it is possible to apply for an online auto loan with bad credit, you might have to pay a higher interest rate. Make sure you know what you are expected to pay monthly based on your current credit scores, your down payment, loan term, and the much you want to finance.

Here are four tips that you should have in mind:

1. Check for Options

Get quotes from different online lenders. Do not just settle for the first one you come across.

2. Pay Attention to the Fees

Lenders charge many fees that you need to know before settling on one. Be aware of such fees and do not forget to read the fine print so that you do not miss out on anything.

3. How Much Can You Afford?

Stay within your budget. Americans are highly in debt because of auto loans and you do not want to find yourself in this bracket. Therefore, consider all other costs of owning a car such as insurance, maintenance, etc. and factor them in.

Know how much down payment you are required to make and if you can afford it.

4. Your Credit Score

Some lenders do not give bad credit car loans. This means if you have a poor credit score, you need to look for a lender who can be able to accommodate it.

Benefits of Online Car Loans

Getting a car loan from an online lender is a very good option, especially if you have poor credit and need to have a car. There are several benefits of online auto loans:

1. Highly Competitive Interest Rates

Compared to a traditional lender like banks, online auto loans have very competitive rates. This makes it very affordable.

For example, with good credit, the APR on a 60-month car loan can be 2% points higher from a bank than online lenders. It’s a small difference but the interest can add up very fast.

2. Speed and Convenience

The application process for an auto loan is very fast. You can apply for the loan regardless of the time and your location. Some lenders only take 3 minutes to let you know if your application was successful or not.

You can also easily check your auto loan application status online. With this loan, you do not need to go to the dealership to know how much you can afford. You will get to know all that during the application process.

Comparing Online Car Loans

There are so many options to choose from in the market today. However, you want to get a lender who offers not only what you need but also what you can afford.

When comparing online loans, you need to keep in mind that you are going to have a very long relationship with your lender. Therefore, choose to work with a lender that is giving you the best and you are very content with their services.

Here is what you should compare:

Down Payment

Check if the lender can accept a trade-in as part of the down payment. The amount you give as down payment will affect the rates that you will be given and the loan term. Make sure you can afford it.

Application Process

How fast is it? What do they require? A good lender should have a very fast system that can give you an answer in no time.

Documents Needed

Are there any documents that you should send to the lender? Can they be verified online? Remember, online verification saves time, you need a lender who can handle the entire process online.

Total cost

This should be included as the APR. Compare two loans for the same amount given, the fees and interest rates affects the total cost.

Applying for an Online Auto Loan

Even though each lender is different. There are some basic steps that you will need to follow:

  • Find the lender that fits your need
  • Go to their site and select their application page
  • Fill out the application form making sure that you provide all the necessary details
  • Submit your application

Once done, you should be able to get a response within minutes after which. You can check on the loan terms, view the interest rates and any other fees.

You will then sign all the necessary documents and click submit. It is as easy as that. With that, you will be on your way to a dealership, with your financing as your back up and drive off with your new car.

Consider Online Car Financing and Get Your Dream Car Fast

Online car financing is a good option. If you have bad credit, all you need to do is to consider getting a less expensive car. This will make it easy for you to get financing, and manage to pay for the down payment as well as the monthly payments.

We offer online auto loan financing to those who want it irrespective of their credit scores. Check out our website, go to our auto loans page and start the process of applying for your car loan today. We are fast, easy and very professional.

Don’t hesitate to contact us for more information.

Personal Loan Vs Car Loan: Whats The Difference?

Personal Loan Vs Car Loan: Whats The Difference?

Personal Loan Vs Car Loan: Whats The Difference?

personal loan vs car loan

It’s important for an individual to distinguish between a personal loan and a car loan. We share how to tell the difference between a personal loan vs car loan.

Keyword(s): personal loan vs car loan

An average new car in America will set you back $32,000. This amount is too steep for many to pay for in cash.

For most people, taking a car or a personal loan is the most viable option but which should you go for between the two?

To answer that question, it’s important to understand what each of these options entail. In this article, we shall make an analysis of personal loan vs. car loan to help you make the right choice.

Personal Loans

A personal loan is an unsecured facility that provides the borrower with funds from the lending institution. The institution is most often a bank.

The funds are advanced in a lump sum, and the borrower can channel their loan funds towards any venture they see fit. These loans typically range from $1,000 to $ 50,000.

A personal loan can also be secured, meaning you attach an asset of value to your loan. On default or inability to repay your loan, the lending institution can seize the property to recoup their funds.

However, most borrowers opt for the unsecured loan.

Interest Rate

Because of the risk involved, unsecured loans attract higher interest rates than secured ones.

Their requirements are also more stringent, with the borrower’s ability to repay and previous credit history being scrutinized.

It does not end there, the amount you qualify for, and the interest rate at which a lender advances your loan are both dependent on your credit rating.

Even though there are things you can do to improve your credit rating, you will have to contend with high interest rates if your rating is less than stellar.

Loan Term

Personal loans have a repayment period attached. The longer the repayment period, the higher the interest you will pay by the time the loan comes to term.

The reverse is also true; you pay less interest with shorter loan terms. However, you should go for these only when you are absolutely confident that you can comfortably pay the higher amounts.

Car Loan

These loans are considered a secured loan.

The security, in this case, is the car you intend to buy. If you default on your payments, the dealer repossesses the vehicle to recoup his money.

The borrower makes fixed payments over the duration of the loan. As the borrower, you take physical ownership of the vehicle, but the financier owns the asset until you make your final payment.

Interest Rate

Because the car you buy is also collateral for your loan, a car loan is deemed to be low-risk financing.

It, therefore, attracts lower interest as compared to a personal unsecured loan.
The interest rate is also fixed from the onset, cushioning borrowers from increases experienced with personal loans.

Loan Term

Most car repayment terms are under 36, 48, or 60 months. Again, the monthly payments are higher for shorter repayment terms and lower with longer repayment terms.

Conversely, the interest paid is higher for more extended repayment periods than for shorter ones.

Unlike a personal loan where your credit history features prominently, your credit rating does not significantly affect your car loan application.

Similarly, an unfavorable credit rating does not significantly impact your borrowing amount nor interest rate.

This means you can still go for a pricey car with a poor credit rating.

Personal Loan vs. Car Loan: Pros and Cons at a Glance

As already discussed, these loans have their similarities and differences. They also have their advantages and disadvantages.

Personal Loan

The merits or personal loans are two-fold.

The first is that you can use your personal loan for a car, or channel it to other uses, partially or wholly. As such, a personal loan also offers more flexibility in repayments.

Personal loans do have a downside, however.

Due to their unsecured nature, personal loans employ stricter eligibility criteria and requirements. Upon qualification, you also pay higher interest rates.
Personal loans also lock out people with poor credit scores.

Car Loan

Car loan applicants enjoy lower interest rates, with faster approval processes. If you need a car and have a poor credit history, a car loan might be the only financing option available to you.

This notwithstanding, you need to put up a deposit to get a car loan. The amount will be dictated by the total cost of the car. This can be limiting.

In addition to this, you do not fully own the car until you have made your last payment.

Tips for Shopping for Financing for a Car

Whether you go for a personal or a car loan, there are tips to help you find a good financing option.

1. Determine How Much You Can Spend

Determine how much you can afford to spend. A rule of thumb is that you should be able to repay the loan within three years.

This cuts down the amount of interest and prevents you from paying more than the real value of the car.

2. Make Loan Comparisons

Contact your local banks and credit unions to see if you can be pre-approved for a loan, and what the interest rates are.

Compare bank rates with dealership rates, and do your research on any discounts that can be offered to you.

Find out if setting up automatic loan repayments or switching banks will lower your interest rate as well.

All this information will point you towards the most affordable option.

3. Have Your Financial Information Ready

The pre-approval process may include producing proof of income documents.

Be ready with this information, as well as any other financial information that can help your loan be approved and disbursed faster.

4. Start Shopping Around

When you reach advanced stages of loan approval, you can get to the fun part, which is shopping for and test driving different cars.

A personal loan offers more leverage in terms of bargaining power on your car of choice.

Do not shy away from negotiating with a dealer either. Shop around and find out the going rate for the car you want.

If you have an older car, it might seem easier to trade it in. While this is one way to go about it, selling your old car independently will give you a better return than trading it in.

Which Should You Go For?

The key take away on the personal loan vs. car loan question is to understand the differences and measure either type of loan against your circumstances to find the best fit.

First Financial is a leading financial solution provider to people with a poor credit score. Contact us today if you are in need of a personal or a car loan.

An In-Depth Guide on How to Take out a Loan for a Car

An In-Depth Guide on How to Take out a Loan for a Car

An In-Depth Guide on How to Take out a Loan for a Car

Money and business concept car

Taking out a loan can be beneficial in many ways. We share our in-depth guide on how to take out a loan for a car and the benefits it has.

Did you know that 107 million people have taken out an auto loan to help pay for their car or truck in America?

Purchasing a car can be a costly expenditure. Most people don’t have the cash on hand to pay off the debt of a car immediately, which is where auto loans and personal loans come in handy.

Discover our guide on how to take out a loan for a car and familiarize yourself with the process of buying a car.

What Are the Different Types of Loans Available?

If you have never dealt with loans and credit scores, it can be a very difficult thing to navigate and understand.

There are many different types of loans available. Some of which are great for buying a car, and some that aren’t as good for this type of purchase.

For example, the best types of loans are auto loans, bank loans for a car, or alternatively, you can use a personal loan to buy a car.

Personal loans for car purchases sometimes have costly interest rates, so some people prefer not to use personal loans when they are purchasing their car.

Research has found that car loans are typically cheaper because they are secured by an asset (i.e. the car, which the lender can repossess to cover the costs if you can’t pay your loan).

Federal Reserve found that in May 2018, a 24-month personal loan from a commercial bank had an interest rate of 10.31%, whilst a 48-month new car loan from a commercial bank had an interest rate of 5.05%.

How to Take out a Loan for a Car

Unlike buying a car outright with cash in hand, like you might have done for your very first car, taking out a loan for a car needs to be thought through.

These are the key things you need to do when you want to take out a loan for a car.

Calculate Your Budget

The very first thing you need to do when you want to take out a loan for buying a car is to work out your budget. Calculate how much you can comfortably pay off each month.

According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, a record of 7 million Americans are at least three months behind on their car loan payments. It is critical that you work out how much money you have coming in each month, and how much you can pay off.

The best way to work out what you will actually be paying for your car is by calculating how much you will be paying each month and for how many months. This calculation needs to include interest rates, too.

Check Your Credit Score

Whether you want a personal loan for a car or an auto loan for a car, you need to check your credit score and history.

Poor credit history might mean that you pay higher interest rates than if you have a good credit history. If this is the case, you might want to hold off getting a loan and focus on improving your credit score.

If you have a good credit score, you might be able to negotiate a better deal with your loan lender.

Find out how you can secure an auto loan without having previous credit experience or a credit score.

Research Your Options

Once you have an idea of how much you have to spend and what your credit score is, you can research your options. There are a number of loan lenders available, however, not all of them will be right for you.

You can get car loans from banks or credit unions, dealerships, or online lenders. Compare the different types of deals and payment plans each of them offer and work out which one is best for you.

Car loans typically come with 3-, 4-, 5-, or 6-year terms. The longer the payment plan, the more interest you’ll end up paying, so make sure you work out which plan is the most cost effective for you.

Get Pre-Approved for a Loan

Once the lender has given you a quote for the loan, you will be pre-approved, which doesn’t mean that it’s guaranteed. Once you have been pre-approved, you the lender will then check your credit.

Once you are pre-approved for a loan, the lender will give you a letter that you can take when you go car shopping. This letter can help you see if you can get a better deal from the car dealership.

Even though you have been pre-approved, it doesn’t mean that you need to sign up for the loan. It is still your choice whether you pursue this loan or you can choose another one.

You also can adjust the terms of your loan, for example, if you find a cheaper car and don’t need an as bigger loan, you can apply for a smaller loan instead.

Find Your Car

The final step is the most enjoyable one. Once you know how much you can afford each month, and you know what kind of loans you can get, you can go car shopping.

Make sure you do your research and find a car that is the right price and has the right features that you need.

Car Loans

Applying for a car loan doesn’t have to be complicated or confusing. Just follow our guide on how to take out a loan for a car and you’ll soon be driving away with a new vehicle.

Apply for one of our auto loans now and see how we can help you.

Alternatively, if you need help with your loan process, get in touch with our team and discuss your loan requirements.

How to Obtain No Credit Car Loans

How to Obtain No Credit Car Loans

Though good credit is valuable, is there a such thing as no credit car loans? Yes! Find out how to easily obtain an auto loan without credit experience.

How to Obtain No Credit Car Loans

Did you know that approximately 45 million Americans have no credit score at all?

If you’re part of this group, you might think that it’s impossible for you to get approved for a car loan. That’s not exactly true, though.

There are lots of loans out there designed for people with low credit scores, as well as those with no credit score.

Read on to learn more about no credit car loans and how you can increase your chances of getting approved for one.

No Credit Car Loan Minimum Qualifications

If you have a bad credit score or no credit score, you can still qualify for a car loan. You just have to make sure you meet some other basic qualifications, including the following:

  • Have a gross monthly income of at least $1,500
  • Provide proof that you are a legal U.S. or Canadian resident
  • Provide proof that you are at least 18 years of age or older

If you have filed for bankruptcy in the past, you may also need to complete some additional paperwork to show that you authorized to purchase a car.

Many car dealerships also work with specific lenders to provide financing to people who might not otherwise qualify for an auto loan.

When you begin looking to purchase a car, consider asking the lender which dealerships they work with or recommend purchasing a car from.

Increase Your Chances of Approval

If you meet these minimum qualifications, there’s a good chance your auto loan application will be approved.

There are some other steps you can take to increase your chances even more, though, including the following:

Check Your Credit History

You may think you have no credit history, but it’s a good idea to double check before you apply for an auto loan. You might find out that you do, actually have a credit score.

Checking your credit report also allows you to notice and correct any errors that might affect your credit in the future.

Set a Budget

Figure out how much money you are able to spend on a car before you apply for a loan, too.

Think, specifically, about what you can afford to spend each month on the car and insurance. Don’t forget about maintenance and gas, too.

Doing these calculations and putting together a budget first will help you figure out how much money you should ask for when you fill out your loan application.

Consider a Higher Down Payment

You’ll have an easier time getting approved for a car loan — even if you don’t have a credit score — if you’re able to put down a larger down payment.

This makes you a more credible lending candidate. It will also help to lower your monthly car payments, so it’s a good strategy for every car buyer to use.

Consider a Co-Signer

You can also increase your chances of getting approved if you find someone who can co-sign your loan.

A co-signer is someone with a high credit score who agrees to take over your loan payments if you default.

Having someone co-sign your loan can help to bring down the monthly payments and give you better terms and interest rates.

A co-signer is a great option to consider.

Just keep in mind that it’s a big responsibility, and it can be difficult to find someone who’s willing to co-sign your loan. You may have to ask a few different people before you get a “yes”.

Gather Appropriate Documents

Make sure you have all the necessary documentation ready to go when you apply for your auto loan, too.

The following are some documents that will help you make a good case for yourself and prove that you can pay back the loan:

  • A copy of your bank statement to verify your monthly income
  • Documentation of recurring bills like your cell phone or utility bills — this helps to show that you pay your other bills on time each month
  • Pay stubs or other documents that provide proof of employment

If you can provide these documents when you’re applying for a loan, you’ll have a much better chance of getting approved.

Work with an Online Lender

You can also increase your chances of having your auto loan application approved if you work with an online lender.

Online lenders are often more flexible than traditional lenders and are willing to work with a wider range of customers.

Keep in mind that online lenders also tend to have better loan terms and rates, so it’s worth working with them even if you do have a good credit score.

Tips for Building Your Credit Score

If you want to build up your credit score before you apply for a car loan, there are a few different steps you can take, including the following:

  • Make all of your loan payments on time
  • Pay your utility bills and other bills on time, too
  • Open a credit card account and pay your balance in full each month (it’s a common mistake to assume that you should carry a balance over from month to month)
  • Don’t apply for too many credit cards or loans at once (this has a negative effect on your credit score)

Once you have your auto loan application approved, you can also use that loan to build your credit score.

If you make the monthly payments on time, you’ll start building credit and will have an easier time getting approved for loans in the future. You might also be able to refinance your loan later to get better terms.

Apply for No Credit Car Loans Today

If you don’t have a credit score but need a car, you still have options (that don’t involve taking public transportation for the rest of your life).

There are lots of no credit car loans that you can apply for.

If you meet the minimum qualifications listed above and keep these other tips in mind, you’ll have a much easier time having your application approved.

Are you ready to apply for an auto loan? If so, we can help at First Financial.

Contact us today to learn more about our auto loan requirements or to fill out an application.

7 Life-Saving Tips That’ll Raise Your Credit Score Quickly

Do you want to raise your credit score quickly? If you follow these tips, you'll see improvement in your score in no time.

7 Life-Saving Tips That’ll Raise Your Credit Score Quickly

16% of Americans have a credit score of below 579. This is the lowest level of the FICO score and is categorized as “very poor”.

A poor credit score can have a serious impact on your personal life and can affect your business negatively as well.

While no one can guarantee that you will hit an exceptional score, there are steps you can take to improve your credit score.

Here are seven tips to raise your credit score quickly.

1. Check Your Report for Errors and Omissions

The very first step to take is to get a copy of your credit card report. This is the only way to know where you stand before you figure out the specific actions to take to make things better.

This is, however, not all you will be doing with your report. Go through it carefully, checking for any error and omissions.

Look for things like a repaid debt that’s been listed as a default or a loan you repaid on time that is not listed.

If you identify any of these issues, move to have them corrected. This action in itself can add a few points to your rating.

2. Negotiate on Outstanding Balances

You will be surprised at how helpful your creditors can be. Unfortunately, if you never ask, you will never find out.

If you are having trouble making payments, make contact with your credit card issuer and communicate this with them.

Most providers have temporary hardship programs you can take advantage of. The benefit of this is that you can have your repayment amounts reduced until you get back on your feet.

Smaller, more manageable installments mean you can pay a lot more comfortably. This is better than skipping payments and having a creditor send a negative report that sheds a few points off your score.

3. Get Added as an Authorized User

This is a great way of giving your credit score an immediate boost. This works particularly well if you are just starting out and have little information on your credit rating.

You do this by getting someone with a high credit card limit and an even greater repayment history. Their card issuer sends them a card with your name on it.

Legally, you are not obligated to make payments on any debt accrued on the card. But its usage reflects positively on your credit score.

The key is finding someone with above board transactions. In a sense, you inherit the person’s positive credit history.

However, not all credit card companies report authorized users. Before you get on it, do your research and find out if it will be reported.

4. Ask Creditors to Delete Late Payments

It’s not uncommon to fall behind on payments from time to time. However, these small mistakes lower your credit score.

If you are in good standing with your creditors, it does not hurt to request them to delete some of the reported late payments. Financial institutions regularly communicate with Credit Referencing Bureaus, and all it would take is a quick phone call on your behalf.

If the request goes through, then you will have fewer negative reports, which will add some points to your credit rating. Nevertheless, try and restrict your late payments to 30 days. Creditors will not report late dues failing in this time frame.

If your issue is forgetfulness, rather than availability of funds, you can have your banker or employer make direct payments if this facility is available. If not, there are numerous software tools you can use to remind you when your payments are due.

5. Old Debts Can Raise Your Credit Score Quickly

You might be eager to forget about your car loan or student loan debts once you make the final payment.

However, as long as you completed your payments promptly, those records may help your scoring. The same is true for credit card debt.

All you need to do is keep these debts on your record. If they were entirely left out, then provide all the information to the credit Reference Bureau so they can use it to calculate your credit score.

Bad payment histories are deleted with time. However, bankruptcies stay on your report for 10 years and late payments for seven years. You don’t have much leeway with these.

6. Watch Your Credit Utilization Rate

Credit utilization is the amount of credit card balance you have compared to your credit limit.

This is the second largest factor affecting your credit score. The first is your credit repayment history.

The more credit you use on your credit card, the further down your credit rating drops. This trend indicates you are spending a significant portion of your income to repay debt, which makes you likelier to default on payments.

The best credit utilization is 0, which means your credit card limit is untouched. This defeats the purpose of applying for a credit card in the first place.

As a rule of thumb, keep your credit utilization ratio at 30%. This means using less than 30% of the credit limit availed to you. Anything above this can cause your rating to drop.

Under the FICO system, people with the highest scores have a utilization rate of 7%. The lower your utilization, the better.

7. Jump on Score Boosting programs

The average age and number of accounts you have held are an important consideration in evaluating how you handle debt.

This tends to disadvantage people with a limited credit history.

UltraFico and Experian Boost allow people with limited credit histories to puff it up using other information.

Experian requires access to your online banking data and allows Credit Referencing Bureaus to add utility payments to your history.

In the same way, UltraFico allows you to give permissions for savings and checking accounts to be used alongside your report when calculating your credit score.

Consistency Is Key

All in all, while it is possible to raise your credit score quickly, expect a few bumps along the way and allow yourself some time.

At First Financial, we understand that while you work on your credit rating you might still need help from time to time. No matter your credit score, we have a financing solution for you. Contact us today for more information.

Take the Pain out of Monitoring Your Finance

Go from bad credit to good credit without beating yourself up

Can there be any joy in monitoring your finances? Your bank balance is disappointing more often than not. Trimming expenses doesn’t bring any joy. Reminders of irresponsibility can be a gut punch.

Still, a different mindset can help you make the changes to put you on the path to good credit.   

Begin by forgiving yourself for financial mistakes

The shame and blame we heap upon ourselves for not being where we want to be financially can make our situations worse. It leads us to avoid confronting credit spending, recurring debits from bank accounts, balances on personal loans or car loans, and important conversations with family members.

Shame springs from an idea that the individual has departed from social norms. Start dismissing your shame when you understand that one in three others you’ll meet today also have credit under 601. That’s right—one-third of Americans today have bad credit.

The individual experiencing bad credit has lots of company. And is this all their fault?  With aggressive companies relentlessly bombarding us with messages that we deserve their products and that we must keep up with our peers, it’s no wonder we overextend ourselves.

If you can grab your financial issues “by the horns” so to speak, you have made the first

 step on the path to success. Some psychologists tell us that, “a willingness to endure discomfort and capitalize on challenge is a trademark among successful, fulfilled individuals.” While it will require a little effort, put a budget in place, inform those who may impact it, stick to it. You’ll quickly find positive feelings about yourself and your financial situation multiplying. As Benjamin Franklin told the framers of our constitution, “Once begun, half done.” Those quill pens got to writing, despite their enormous task. 

Gamify Your Savings

Rather than tracking every $3 coffee, focus more on a positive indicator: your savings level. As that rises, set a reward after reaching certain amounts. The reward could be you get to buy a new piece of clothing or 10 shares of SnapChat stock. Set these levels up ahead of time and stick to these commitments. These rewards can offset the sense of loss from avoiding day-to-day overspending.

Take the pressure off when you avoid social media

First and foremost, understand that social media is simply carefully selected snippets of your friends’ and family members lives. What they choose to share is designed to elicit envy. Those of us here at First Financial are constantly surprised at friends’ life-is-so-great posts and how these compare to what we know are their real struggles.

What’s more, when you focus on others, you remove your attention from your own issues. If you have bad credit, all your attention needs paid to your spending and savings plans.

Let the social world turn without you when you use a religious tradition, mindfulness, meditation or good old smart reading to understand how pointless it is to compare yourself to friends, relatives.

Deepen Your Relationships when You Lay It All Out for Loved Ones

Serious conversations with loved ones can be intimidating, particularly when they’re about money. Strategize how to take the sting out of belt-tightening before you tackle it with those you love. In other words, have alternate plans to take the place of lavish habits so that your new financial regimen doesn’t translate as 100 percent loss.  

First, explain how it’s important now to join forces for common goals and how these efforts will unite you. Emphasize that working together for financial fitness by cooking meals together, going to resale and thrift shops and competing for better money saving strategies will get you talking and sharing more. Also, make sure you include your family members’ long- and short-term goals in your planning. Study after study reveals that children and spouses prefer experiences and time spent together over material goods anyway. Shared experiences just connect us better and for longer than shared material consumption. Use that research if you have to!

Your new financial fitness system may benefit from gratitude journals. Everyone should jot down at least one thing they’re grateful for every day. Sharing is optional, but when these grateful moments that include others are shared, it strengthens bonds. These journals, particularly effective when an individual is feeling particularly short-changed, have proven to increase happiness significantly.

What Your Peers Are Spending & Borrowing for Cars in 2019

Get some perspective on your auto goals by analyzing the budget others are advocating for transportation. Today, many pundits consider the car to be a consumer’s biggest high-tech device. With voice-enabled navigation, communication and entertainment options standard, really, we have to agree. Then, too, technological advances like near-automated steering and emergency stop assistance (should driver lose consciousness) are making cars safer. With all of these dream features, higher price tags follow.

To ensure drivers get into these space-age vehicles, the car and car loan industries are adapting with better deals and longer loan terms. If you haven’t bought a car for a while, knowing industry averages will help guide your decisions.

Experian’s analysis of 4.7 million auto loans reveals that the average American car payment is $523 per month. Buyers of new cars, trucks and SUVs borrow an average of $31,453 to get their new rides onto their driveways. The average length of a car loan is five years and nine months, not too far away from the typical five-year term, but revealing that people are taking out longer term loans as mentioned above.

Today, many new and used car buyers are getting their loans online before heading to the dealership. After all, with the loan issues taken care of, buyers can better negotiate car price. They also have the confidence to walk off the dealer lot when they are qualified for financing. Car shop on your terms when you secure your auto loan through A+ rated First Financial.

What personal loan amount can I get?

Happy merchant avoiding EMV chargebacksIn general, personal loan amounts range from $2,000 to $50,000.  Borrowers with credit scores over 680, low debt utilization and robust income win amounts toward $50,000. Those not hitting those marks tend to get less. What are the criteria for determining personal loan amount?

It’s certainly not what you need, no matter how much you need it. Your wedding expenses bill of $30,000 or your remodel estimate of $50,000 doesn’t win you that amount automatically. The amount you can borrow with a personal loan depends on your credit score, your debt-to-income ratio and the purpose for the debt. Lenders evaluate how much you’re most likely to pay off, not what you need. Of course, those with higher credit scores will get better rates, but even those with fair, poor and bad credit can qualify for personal loans should their DTI and borrowing purpose warrant it.

Since 2012, lenders have been assertive about asking the purpose of the loan. Unlike with a quick cash advance, lenders are more generous when the purpose may strengthen the borrower’s financial health. A remodel or debt consolidation put a twinkle in lenders’ eyes.  Lenders actually consider some purposes frivolous these days. They’ve been known to turn down vacations, hot tubs, and other non-essentials, particularly if DTI is high. In the end, however, most consider the purpose of the personal loan an “influencing” factor rather than a primary one.

The debt-to-income ratio measures the amount going to debt service every month compared to the income coming in. A good debt-to-income ratio is 35 percent or below. At just eight points higher—43 percent—most lenders will not approve a borrower for a loan. Debt includes personal loans, student loans, car loans, mortgages and credit card bills. Your cable bill, rent, and car insurance do not figure into this debt calculation. Calculate your debt to income ratio and know your credit score so you can understand whether your loan amount offers are the best you can get.

A+ Rated First Financial Specializes in Low-Credit-Score Personal Loans

You may be surprised to learn that different lenders like to specialize in niche loans and borrowers. Some go for very short-term loans with high amounts. Others want to write only loans for borrowers with excellent credit. They create loan “products” that work well for the needs of that audience and don’t want to spend the time and money finding clients in other niches.

Rated A+ by the Better Business Bureau, First Financial has developed a specialty in serving those with fair, poor and bad credit scores—also known as “subprime” borrowers. We get you the money you need, all in the comfort of your home. You will know whether you qualify in five minutes or less with NO IMPACT to your credit. Apply today!

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Know the 4 Most Common Auto Loan Mistakes Before you Go to the Dealer

cash and car for auto loan
Be aware of auto loan pitfalls and save! 

 

Want to hear something scary? “The big mistakes are made in the financing office,” explains Phil Reed, senior consumer advice editor at Edmunds.com, the auto research website. “Making the right decisions can save thousands over the life of the loan.”

A car is a big purchase with a lot of moving parts. Dealers makes their profits between the gaps in buyer’s knowledge and they may try to confuse by unleashing lots of terms like “negative equity” and “origination fees.” Use these recommendations from experts to save thousands over the life of your car loan.

Don’t let the dealer define your credit score or credit “worthiness.”

Walk into the showroom with your credit report snugly in your back pocket. Otherwise, you run the risk that the salesperson leaves your negotiation only to come back with bad news about your credit. And of course that score isn’t high enough to get you the best rates. Who knows if he or she was checking your scores or playing a quick game of hacky sack? Dealers know that most consumers do not check their credit before being lured in by deals. Don’t make yourself vulnerable to this unethical treatment.

We discuss how to find your credit score easily in our previous blog post on rebuilding your credit (LINK). Just go to Annualcreditreport.com, fill out a few fields and your report arrives in you inbox instantly. Trust these results from the only free site authorized by the U.S. government’s Federal Trade Commission. Typically, anyone with a credit score of 720 or higher gets the lowest interest rates as they’ve demonstrated the most responsible money management. Still high 600s to low 700s is considered a “good” score. Those with lower scores can still get loans, but they will pay more in interest and fees.

Another way to check your credit is to get pre-approved from an outside lender like your bank or by applying for an online auto loan.  If you can manage to shave just 1 percent from your car loan, you’ll pay hundreds less over the next five or six years.  

Don’t make the wrong choice between a loan interest rate and a cash rebate.

Sure, the cash rebate feels enticing. And it might be the right choice if you use it to pay off other, higher interest loans like cash advances or credit cards. Basically, you need to decide if you want a lump sum up front or lower monthly payments over the next five or six years. Of course, not every car buyer is offered low-interest car financing, only those with the best credit scores. Again, know your score before you go to the dealership.

Don’t roll negative equity forward.

Some like to get new cars every two years. Often, they walk into the dealership with their auto loan “upside down.” That means they still owe more on the car than it’s worth. While those loving shiny new cars can get their next ride even if their loan is upside down, they’re putting themselves on a downward financial spiral.

Dealers don’t care what financial shape the car buyer puts themselves in. They will just add the negative equity–what you owe–into the purchase price of the new car. Chances are, this frequent buyer will just roll even more negative equity into the next new car, too.

Rather than enter this vicious cycle, consider buying a used car. A car loses much of its value in the first two years off the lot. And today, most cars are built to last 250,000 miles. Consider keeping the car longer and buying used to get the most for your car budget.

Don’t finance costly add-ons.

Just as movie theaters make most of their money on the popcorn, 37% of auto dealer’s profits come through aftermarket add-ons. These add-ons include  extended warranties, fabric protection and paint sealant and they are always less expensive from vendors other than the dealer. These costs feel like a no brainer when amortized over the life of the loan. The salesperson is quick to tell you that they add just a few dollars to every payment. Still, even $20 more over 60 payments is an additional $1200–real money.  

Don’t hesitate to question all fees.

With the deal wrapping up, a buyer’s guard is down. Salespeople know this well. The deal takes so long for a reason. It’s at the end that a salesperson may bring up unusual fees that may have official sounding names. Review all of the legitimate fees here and don’t hesitate to push the salesperson to drop anything that sounds suspicious.

A+ Rated First Financial Approves Auto Loans Up to $45,000

Better Business Bureau A+ rated First Financial has helped arrange over 1,000,000 auto loans, some with approved amounts of up to $45,000. We have loans for borrowers with all credit scores, even fair poor and bad credit. Take three minutes to apply here for a new or used car loan and get your answer fast!

 

Know these 2019 Auto Loan Trends Before You Buy a Car

aston martin with a good auto loan

There are some pretty sweet 2019 automobiles hitting the markets right now.

Acura redesigned their luxury compact RDX. Subaru is doing it’s Outback one better with its the 3-row Ascent SUV. Pickup trucks have been re-tooled as well. The compact Ford Ranger gets a sporty new design, and Chevy has modernized its powerful Silverado.

And then there are the high-tech features!

Internet connectivity, which sounded space-age just a few years ago now comes standard on many models. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto puts a range of entertainment and navigation options at drivers’ fingertips.

But before you let these new models and technological advances bewitch you, understand the trends in 2019 auto loans so you can get a deal.

Trend:  Slowing car sales

Why?:  Millennials and urban dwellers are avoiding buying cars because they find Uber and public transportation sufficient. Millennials also put less focus on material possessions reflect status. They are not enthusiastic buyers of cars OR homes.

For You:Car manufacturers and dealers will offer more incentives. Car prices will stay steady from 2018 to 2019.

Trend:  Lower loan origination fees

Why?:  Cloud processing, automated application review, and digitized documents mean dedicated, in-house loan analysts now have to get jobs at Subway. It also means lower labor costs for lenders.

For You: In the competitive auto loan market, lenders have to compete on price. Therefore, the buyer has more power to negotiate the 1% to 2% loan origination fee.

Trend:  Eight-year car loans

Why?:  Cars are lasting longer. Toyotas and Hyundais tend to get the most praise for working well after 200,000 miles.  According to autobytel.com, however, American models like the Chevy Impala and Buick LaCrosse hold up well into the 200,000 mile range as well. “Every new car today is built to last a quarter of a million miles,” explains Mike Calkins, AAA technical services manager. Taxi drivers brag that their Priuses make it to 600,000 miles!

For You: Car buyers who like to keep their cars for a long time can get more car for their budget with an 8-year car loan. While they’ll be in for more interest payments, using that money in other better-performing investments offsets auto loan interest costs.

Trend:  Rising interest rates

Why?:  With the economy thriving, the federal reserve has raised the federal funds rate eight times since the end of the Great Recession. It’s now at 2.25%. Most economist predict “The Fed” will bump rates up three more times in 2019 and then at least once more in 2020. With a federal funds rate at 3.25%, you bet the average auto loan cost will rise.

For You:   The tricky thing is, as happens with homes, when auto loan interest rates rise, car manufacturers tend to compensate with lower prices. They know about how much their consumers can spend each month on a car payment. Still, when you go into the dealership, don’t be surprised that the 1% interest rates have disappeared.

A+ Rated First Financial Cuts Auto Loan Costs to the Bone

Are you in the market for a new or pre-owned car? Better Business Bureau, A+ rated First Financial has auto loans for all credit types, even bad credit! Since 1996, we’ve helped arrange over 1,000,000 auto loans, some with approved amounts of up to $45,000. Take three minutes to apply here for a new or used car loan at the lowest rates!

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