Archive for January, 2014

to-do (1)To get the best rate on auto loans, you need to have good credit. If you currently have less than stellar credit, the task of improving it can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be! Follow our monthly plan and come 2015, you’ll be ready to roll in a new vehicle from Chapman Las Vegas.

January To Do: Check your credit report
You can only make a plan for getting better if you know where your credit stands now. You can pull your credit score for free once a year, but in order to see your credit score (also known as the FICO score), you’ll have to pay about $20 per credit bureau. There are three credit bureaus lenders use to get your credit information. A great resource is myFICO.com. Avoid “free credit report” sites as they typically don’t share the scores your lenders will use.

If your FICO score is 760 or higher, you’re doing great! Below that and you might want to work toward improving.

February To Do: Fix credit score errors
Once you’ve pulled your credit reports, you will want to double check them for errors including fraudulently opened lines of credit and payments incorrectly marked as late. Fixing this with your lenders is the first step to better credit.

March To Do: Get up to date
More than a third of your credit score is based on your credit history (were your payments in full? Were they on time?). Paying back any missed payments will give you the opportunity to reach out to the credit card company and ask if your account can be adjusted to show no late payments.

 April To Do: Talk to the lenders
If you’re having trouble making minimum payments, call your credit card company. They may have a temporary hardship program that will allow you to pay reduced monthly payments.

May To Do: “Would you like to save 20% by opening a store card today?” NO!
Credit scores are based on your ratio of available credit to debt. By that logic, you may think opening more lines of credit (like the ones that are offered at nearly every retail check-out counter) would boost your credit score, but that’s not the case. Racking up numerous lines of credit can be a red flag when it comes to your FICO score.

June To Do: How low can you go?
Once your cards are up to date on payments, keep the balance low. Avoid spending money you don’t have by keeping credit cards at home or implementing a 24-hour wait on unnecessary purchases.

 July To Do: Collections stay for seven years after paid
If you had a debt that was sent to a collections agency, know that it will stay on your credit report for up to seven years after it is paid. Best to just work with the company and pay it off as soon as you are able – even if it means paying minimums on your other debts.

August To Do: Get help
If you’ve spoken with the credit card companies and still are having trouble paying minimums on all your lines of credit, you’re going to need consumer credit counseling. All credit card billing statements include the number to credit counseling agencies who are able to help you.

September To Do: Cash is the name of the game
You’ve been making payments on time, have caught up on missed payments and are working to keep credit card balances low. To really help you avoid the credit card cycle, plan your budget around how much cash you can spend. Paying with paper dollars tends to make us spend less.

 October To Do: Keep it open
We told you not to accept every new store credit card offer that comes you way, but don’t close too many account, either! Closing cards with balances will negatively affect your credit score.

 November To Do: Remind me…
To keep your payments on time, set reminders. Use your phone’s calendar application, emails or good old-fashion sticky notes to keep you paying on time.

December To Do: Mix up your loans
Now that you’ve spent the past year cleaning up your credit, it’s time to take a big step. Your hard work will help you get a great rate on an auto loan, which is an installment line of credit (credit cards are known as revolving lines of credit and your credit score takes both into account). Once you secure an auto loan for a new or used vehicle, your credit score will actually continue to improve as you make on-time payments.

 

 

bank (1)

Is a new car on your list for 2014? Save yourself some headaches by being prepared. Here are a few tips to help you on your way to buying a new car at Chapman Las Vegas this year.

Set a budget
It’s easy to dream big when it comes to your next car, but setting a realistic budget is the first step toward driving off the lot. Consider what you can afford in monthly payments, less any trade-in value you have in your current vehicle and additional down payment.

Pick a few favorites
Before you ever hit the lot, it can be helpful to search inventory online (be sure to check out our website for great overviews of our current new cars for sale in Las Vegas). Know what features are must-haves for you and what perks would be nice. Searching online first allows you to get a better idea of what cars have the features you are looking for and want to test drive at our dealership.

Build your credit score
If you’ve never bought anything on credit, you’ll want to first build your credit score. A credit score shows lenders how responsible you are when it comes to repaying your loans. A good way to build credit is to open a store credit card. Keep your spending under 50% of the cards limit and pay off the balance in full each month. After about six months, this practice will build your credit rating to a good level for securing an auto loan.

Get pre-approved
Research available lenders and their rates. Your local bank or credit union likely offers auto loans. This doesn’t require you to borrow from them, but does make the process easier.

Have cash in hand
To get the best rate on an auto loan, you’ll want to have at least a 20% down payment. This allows you to qualify for a secured loan. Lenders like to see you “put your money where your mouth is” and when you have a larger down payment, they see it as a sign that you are less likely to default on your loan. Your current vehicle can also aid in growing your down payment if you choose to trade it in.