Tips for Securing a Car Loan

Owning a car is something that many people dream of. However, many simply do not have the money needed to buy one. There is a way for this dream to become a reality. Getting a car loan has allowed millions of people the ability to buy a car and slowly pay for it in monthly installments. There is obviously interest that will also need to be paid.

You might be seriously thinking about buying a car at some point in the near future. If this is the case, you need to explore all of your options where car loans are concerned. You would be wise to educate yourself. This will help to ensure that you get the best car loan at the lowest possible interest rate. Here are some tips that will be very useful when it comes to buying a car with a loan.

Get a copy of your credit report.

You need to take a look at your credit report before you start applying for car loans. You are legally entitled to one free credit report each year from the major credit bureaus.

It is important to keep tabs on what your credit report says. This is because mistakes could be listed on your credit report that could have a negative impact on your credit score. This is something that is more common than most people believe it to be. You need to report any mistakes you find immediately to the credit bureau that issued the report. Make sure they remove the erroneous information and provide you with an updated report and credit score.

You need to be sure that you have the highest credit score possible so that you give yourself the best chance of your car loan being approved.

Talk to people you know and find out where they received their car loans.

Your next step should be to consult with all of your friends and family members. Talking to these people might give you some good ideas about where you should apply for auto loans. Find out how much interest all of these people are paying on their loans.  What made them choose that particular lender?

You should get the opinions of as many people as possible. You can learn from the mistakes of these people. Acquiring knowledge from these people will make your own quest to secure a car loan go much more smoothly.

Make the term of your loan as short as possible.

There are many people who like the idea of stretching out the term of their car loan. This gives them a very long time to pay off the loan. Their monthly payments are also smaller by doing this. However, the major drawback to doing this is the fact that you will end up paying considerably more interest over the course of the loan. This is why you need to shorten the term of your loan as much as you can while still being able to afford the monthly payments.

This will save you quite a bit of money in the long run.

Go to different lenders and compare the interest rates they offer you.

It is very important for you to understand that you will not get the same interest rate from every lender. In fact, you will be amazed to discover how different their interest rates can be.

You have absolutely nothing to lose by taking some time and contacting as many lenders as you can possibly find in your area. This will give you the best chance of finding a suitable rate that you can afford. It is especially important for people with low credit scores to do this. Lenders will typically give a higher interest rate to people with a low credit score.

Find out what interest rates online lenders will offer you.

Some people who are not Internet savvy may only go to their local credit unions and banks when they are searching for the ideal car loan. However, there are a wide variety of online lenders that you can also try. You can simply fill out their application. They will tell you the interest rate they will give to you in the event you decide to take out a loan from them. You can then use this interest rate to negotiate a better rate with your local credit unions and banks.

You need to use every advantage available to you when you are trying to get the lowest possible interest rate. You need to always look out for your own best interests.

Try to make at least a 20 percent down payment.

Your goal when taking out a loan should always be to pay as little interest as possible. Therefore, you should save up enough money before you apply for a car loan so you will be able to pay at least 20 percent of it right away. Pay more than this amount if you can afford it. You don’t want to get into a situation where the interest makes your loan cost more money than the value of the car.

Copyright 2017 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.

10 Things You Learn After Having Kids

There’s no manual on having kids.  That’s one of the first things I remember being told after we first became parents.  That was over eight years ago, but the words still ring true.  I’m sure I’m not the only parent that often feels like a manual would sure come in handy.  Though one doesn’t exist, there are some truths that I’ve learned.  Here are things you learn after having kids that I bet ring true for many out there.

You’ll Parent Like You Were Parented

Nobody is an exact replica of their parents.  But, on many occasions I’ve seen my parents come through in what I do.  My wife has pointed out the same thing.  While we all end up with our own unique styles, our parents have influence on this.

You’ll Learn While Teaching

One of our primary jobs as parents is to teach our children.  We need to make sure they’re prepared to face the world.  I’ve learned that as we do this with our kids, I learn from them.  Until you’re a parent, you often don’t question how thoughts and emotions develop.  Watching this develop is a true learning process.

You Often Feel Like A Huge Failure

image from Morguefile courtesy of DodgertonSkillhause

Things are going to go wrong.  Your kids will have bad days.  You’ll have bad days.  Or moments.  Sometimes things will fall apart, with or without reason.  You’re going to blame yourself.  You’re going to take it personally.  When someone tells you not to do these things, you’ll do them anyways.

The good news is that you’ll get through it.

Your Relationship With Your Significant Other Will Change

Before you’re a parent, it’s just the two of you. That all changes the second your baby is born.  Not only does it change right then, your relationship will continue to evolve.  I’m guessing that process might slow down, but will forever evolve.

You’ll Feel Physical Pain For Them

When you first hold your baby, you’ll promise them that you’ll never let anything hurt them.  But the world will hurt them. They’ll have physical pain and emotional pain.  As a parent, you’ll suffer with them. Your heart will physically hurt when their heart is breaking.  It sucks, but it shows you’re looking out for them in ways that only parents can.

Time Really Does Move Faster

Everybody always says that time seems to move faster when you’re a parent.  Guess what?  It’s completely true.  From my  estimation, time as a parent moves twice as fast as what the child experiences.  Don’t think it’s cliche when someone tells you to cherish moments.

The Best Way To Teach Is By Example

Going back to an earlier point, we need to teach our kids.  The thing about it is that they’ll learn many life lessons from your actions.  You can’t tell a child not to yell but then fight with your spouse regularly.  It won’t work if you admonish a child for a messy room if the house is in shambles.  Kids learn by watching.  They watch their parents.

Kids Need You To Listen

As a parent, you want to impart the wisdom that you have onto your kids.  This is a noble intention, and it sometimes works.  But, every so often, you just need to shut up and listen.  Sometimes kids come to you not looking for an answer.  Be that person when they need you to be.

Kids Know When You Aren’t Listening

In this day in age, it’s easy to get distracted.  Phones.  TVs.  Tablets.  They all take you away from what’s in front of you.  Kids will learn quicker than you think that if you’re paying attention to those things, you’re not giving them your full attention.  Nobody likes to be patronized.  Not even kids.

Sometimes It’s Important To Play

Kids love to play.  At a young age, play time is their job.  They learn how things work.  They figure out relationships.  Social cues are learned.  And, every so often, they need you to play with them.  Every once in a while when my kids are playing, I’ll ask “Can I play?”  So far, they haven’t told me know.  And, so far I’ve always been happy I asked.

Readers, what lessons have you learned from having kids?  How do the ones above strike you?  

Copyright 2017 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.

Pretend You Can Do It

First grade teachers are awesome.  I think they have more wisdom than most other people.  I was reminded of this with our recent parent-teacher conference.  When we met with our first grade teacher, we talked about how much they learn this year.  It can get overwhelming.  Kids can get scared to try something that they’ve not yet mastered.  She remarked that in this situation she’ll simply tell them: “Pretend you can do it.”

It’s brilliant.  And you know what, it doesn’t apply to just first graders?

Can’t you imagine a whole slew of areas where this can apply?

Budgeting

How many people don’t budget?  A lot.  One of the top reasons given is that people don’t know how.

OK.  So pretend you can budget.

How would you do that?

Maybe write down what you spend.  Also write down what you earn.  Sounds like we’re doing good so far.  Then set a couple of limits and see if you can stick to them.

Voila, you pretended you can budget and guess what you did?  You just created a budget.

Saving

Trying to save money is so hard, right?  I don’t know where to start, many will say.

OK.  So, pretend you can save money.  Let’s take this one like a kid might try.

Take a five dollar bill, put it in an envelope, and set it aside.

You just pretended you can save, and guess what?  You just saved money.

Now that you’ve done that, taking that to the bank is easy.  Setting a few more dollars is just as simple.

You just pretended your way into becoming a saver.

Cut Expenses

There’s so many expenses in life, how do you know where to start?  Many people don’t, so they do nothing.  But if we’re just pretending, we can pick one.

Look at your cable bill.  Find a premium service.  Give them a call and cancel it.  That sounds like a pretty easy game of pretend, right?

Guess what, you just pretended your way into cutting expenses.

Why This Works

This strategy works for kids because it takes the pressure away.  Think about it, when you’re actually doing something you have to worry about many things:

  • Finishing
  • Being good at it
  • Worrying what others will think

But when you’re pretending, you really don’t have to worry about those things.  If you don’t ‘finish’ your budget on the first try, no big deal.  You’re just pretending.  If you don’t get to that $500 savings goal right away, who cares?  You’re just pretending.  If you’re trying to cut $300 in spending per month, but you’re only 10% there, it’s not a problem. There’s nobody to judge.  Because you’re just pretending!

Pretending Does Not Equal Lying

Now, let’s get one thing perfectly clear. While pretending you can do something is a good strategy in many situations, lying is not.

I just finished the latest book by John Grisham.  It’s called The Rooster Bar.  In it, a bunch of law students quit

school and start pretending to be lawyers.  That’s not the kind of pretending you want to do.  Basically if it, breaks the law, skip it.

Even if it doesn’t break the law, lying can and will probably catch up with you.  For example, don’t lie on your resume.  If you claim to have a skill, you probably won’t be able to pretend your way into having it.  Joey from Friends learned that lesson when he claimed to be an expert dancer.

Bottom line, while pretending can lead you to becoming an expert, it can also get you into trouble.  Know the difference.

I love watching our kids learn.  It’s awesome when they have a teacher that really does it well.  And, look, the teacher can even teach us parents.  Just like our first grade teacher taught me.

Readers, have you ever pretended your way into something that you didn’t know how to do?  

Copyright 2017 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.

Cleaning A Glass Coffee Pot: Testing Three Methods

My coffee maker is probably seven or eight years old.  We use it primarily on weekends.  Even though we wash it out, over time it still gets yucky.  I happened to look the other day and saw that it was noticeably stained.  There were some definite areas of buildup.  Also, it just looked a little off.  Really, the entire pot looked kind of sad.  So, off it was to Google to look up ideas on cleaning a glass coffee pot.

I found three primary ideas as I browsed through the results.  I decided to give them a shot.  I basically started with the easiest, and decided to keep going until it was clean.

Vinegar

We use vinegar a lot.  It’s great for cleaning.  We’ve even recently switched to using it in the washing machine in place of fabric softener.

So it was no surprise that it showed up on the list.  It seemed a pretty easy solution: Mix half water and half vinegar and let it sit.

I tried it out.  I mixed things up and let it sit for about an hour.  And the results were OK.  It got rid of some of the

image from Morguefile courtesy of quicksandala

buildup.  I wiped it off and the rag came out stained.  But, there was still quite a bit left.

So on to the next test.

Salt and Ice

The next trick I saw was to fill the pot with crushed ice and add some salt along the way.  Then swirl it around and it would supposedly clean it up.

This sounded intriguing, and fun!  So I gave it a shot.

Again, it helped, but long story short, there was still quite a bit of buildup.

On to the last test.

Baking Soda

This is another common cleaning tool, so I was again, not surprised.  The method here it so sprinkle some baking soda on the stained areas and get it moist, then rub it off.

Since my coffee pot was still wet from the last attempt, I was one step ahead of the game.  I poured some in the bottom, and shook the pot around until the entire inside was covered in a thin film of powder.  It looked really cool!

I waited a bit and tried to wipe it off.  Voila!  This worked.  The coffee pot looked brand new.

My Potentially Flawed Testing Method

Now I know that I’m going to try the baking soda method first.  However, my caveat is that I’m not sure how scientific my testing was.  Is it possible that the baking soda worked because the first two tries loosened things up?  Maybe.  So, if I tried it again and it wasn’t spotless after the baking soda, then I’ll know.

I can’t wait to try it. I have a coffee pot at work that will be my next test subject.

Readers, how do you clean out your coffee pot after it builds up stains?  

Copyright 2017 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.