Why I chose a car loan over a bank loan – at a bank!

While it’s easy to begin looking for a new car at the dealership, wandering the showroom floor, lured by the promise of “no finance charges” or “zero percent down payment”, many shoppers could save money just by beginning their hunt for a new vehicle at the bank. The secret is to get approval for financing of the car loan before ever setting foot on the car lot.

Bank Car Loans

While most auto dealerships offer their own financing, they view these loans as a way to make extra money from the consumer. Car dealerships make a profit by charging finance rates that may be higher than traditional loans. Banks who offer personal loan services and a wide range of services and financing are well worth considering before a consumer gets locked into a rate within the dealership. Visiting with your local lender prior to a visit to the car lot can save you big money by avoiding in-house “specials” that may revolve around higher interest rates than a bank car loan might provide.

Decisions and Deals

According to Forbes magazine, banks compete for customers by offering favorable terms, while dealerships see a higher return by capitalizing on the customer’s need or desire to take the car home that same day, and may even exploit a borrower’s poor credit score if they can convince the buyer that they could take the car home with them immediately. Banks offer a refreshing resource when it comes to finding financing for your next car, with a low-pressure atmosphere and no sales pitches to deal with.

Know Your Options

Personal finance experts often advise their clients to consider the full life of loan before they decide, whereas car dealers may press consumers to choose a low-interest loan or a claim a rebate, which may make for a more expensive loan in the end. A smart way to approach the search for a car loan might be to scan the internet to understand the range of interest rates offered by different lenders, including local banks to credit unions.

By understanding the options regarding car loans and financing before shopping for the actual vehicle, consumers will be well equipped to make the best choice in financing their purchase.

Who would you vote for if the election was today?

I’ve been thinking about this recently. Would you go for Oprah, Kanye or Trump for a second term?

In all seriousness.

While issues like killer storms caused by natural events and the presidential election take top billing in the news, consider the financial possibilities of monetary repayments which do not often make the headlines.

Every year, cities, counties, electric associations and power co-ops publish lists, naming area residents who are due to receive a refund on over-payments. Locally, there’s a list published in the newsletter sent by the rural power association who provides power for the area — naming those who will receive a credit to their bill for over payment. With power outages happening on the Eastern Seaboard, residents may have an opportunity to receive credit for the days in which they were without power.

Last month my husband and I were pretty excited to receive not one, but two!, checks in the mail from our local power company. One was for $26 and change, the other was just over $24. We used them as a treat, to go out for dinner.

Options abound for those who may have overpaid — it just takes some internet digging from time to time, or finding an organization who handles the refund process, to see if you may be eligible.

Have you ever been owed a refund? Have you ever found out that you were due a lump-sum, due to over payment on a loan or other financial agreement? Share your thoughts here – leave a comment below!