Archive for March, 2015

boost your credit

One of the most important things you can do to reach your financial goals is to know your credit score and how to improve it. Based on your FICO score, lenders will either give you a low interest rate (good FICO score) or a high interest rate (bad FICO score).
Here are 11 tips to boost your credit before buying a car:

1. Check It Out
Go through your credit report for accuracy. They will not make a change unless you request it, even if they get wrong info. Mistakes happen more often than you think. You can get a free report once a year from any of the credit agencies.

2. Take Action
You can file a free dispute with the credit agency if you find an error on your credit report. By law, creditors have 30 days to respond to your dispute. If they cannot prove the claim, the matter will probably be resolved in your favor.

3. Don’t Be Late
Paying your bills on time accounts for about two thirds of your credit score. Pay at least the minimum and whatever you do, don’t miss a payment.

4. Avoid The Big Mistakes
Defaults on a mortgage and student loans, bankruptcies and some unpaid tax liens have the biggest impact on your credit score. These mishaps can stay on your credit report for 10 years or more.

5. Manage Credit Cards
Try to keep your credit cards to below 30% of the credit limit; under 10% will boost your credit score. Lenders look unfavorably on high usage of your credit card spending limits.

6. Get More Than One Card
Having more than two credit cards on your report is good only if you manage them properly and you can manage to pay them off in full each month. If you have credit cards you no longer use, don’t cancel them, just shred the card. Your utilization rate will not be affected.

7. Don’t Get Sucked In
Many chain stores lure you in with big discounts off you first purchase. Your credit score is dinged every time you apply for a new credit card.

8. Ask, and You Shall Receive
If your credit card is in good standing for at least 6 straight months, you can ask for an increase in your credit limit. WARNING: Only use this to improve your utilization ratio, NOT as an excuse to spend more.

9. Do the Math
Credit scores over 750 are considered very good and you will get the best deals from lenders. If it is in the 600s, you will be paying the higher interest rates. The difference can be thousands of dollars over the long run.

10. Establish Credit History
If you are young, developing a credit history could be tricky. You can begin by becoming an authorized user on a parent or good friend’s credit card. Another option is to get a secured card with your bank and once you have proven your credit worthiness, you can apply for a regular credit card.

11. Plan
Every basis point of interest you pay costs money, so begin this plan at least 6 months before making a big purchase like a home or car. Pay down on your cards as much as possible during that time and avoid getting into any new debt.

Visit Chapman Las Vegas to see how they can help you finance your next car purchase.

finance_or_lease

Want to buy a car at Chapman Las Vegas but don’t want to shell out the full amount? It doesn’t matter because there is a solution –– credit! The use of credit has become a common way to buy a new vehicle or other major purchases. Unfortunately, we do not always add up the information and means available to make full use of credit. There are some subtleties that can provide flexibility in auto repayments. The financing method that you choose must consider your budget and how you intend to use the vehicle. Frequency of use and the date you plan to renew the car leads to different financing methods.

Traditional Financing

Most folks like to keep cars they buy for several years. In fact, 5 years is within the average profile for traditional credit. This is the standard financing norm for banks, credit institutions, financial subsidiaries of car manufacturers, and other independent financial companies. It allows you to own without straining your cash flow over time. You must take into account that expenses such as vehicle acquisition cost, repayment period, monthly payment, and total cost of credit, are secured upon signature of the loan agreement. As one who fixed the repayment term (between 1-5 years, or 7 years in specific cases), you can plan your budget best. Although lenders can fund the entire credit amount to the vehicle, it is best to make a personal contribution (about 20%). The benefits of this approach include the possibility of obtaining an attractive interest rate and a reduction in the amount of the loan to the final cost of the vehicle. On the other hand, if during the repayment period you are the victim of destruction or theft, your insurer will refund the amount. Your insurer will also be expected to settle your credit (for 100% financing, you may instead end up with a remaining principal payments). Finally, the application fee is charged between 1 and 1.5% depending on the loan amount.

Leasing (or Lease-to-Own Option)

If you plan on changing your vehicle regularly (every 2 years) and you do not care about the resale factor, you can opt for monthly payments associated with the use of the vehicle. This is what makes the rent to buy option a valuable recourse. This credit is used to determine the cash value or return of the vehicle at time of contract application. De facto, at the end of the financing period, you return the vehicle without having to worry about its future value. Depending on the terms of your initial application, you may be entitled to recover the deposit you paid at the beginning of the contract. Contract extensions may be factored in with lease of another vehicle. If you decide to keep the vehicle, you have the option of entering into another one. It’s important to understand the “waiver” clause of the last payment installment. In fact, the last monthly payment should equal the difference between the price of the car and what you’ve already paid throughout the lease period.

tech_safe_driving

The rate of technological change to keep consumers safer behind the wheel has accelerated incredibly over the past 20 years. We’ve advanced much beyond the standard air bags and increased brakes, and seatbelt safety to serious real-time preventative measures. Whenever it comes to driving safety, there’s one major league distraction that tops most.

You guessed it: texting while driving. Who would have ever thought that texting would become an even greater challenge than “talking while driving”?

Well, how many times have you glanced over to the car in the next lane with somebody “texting while driving”? Regardless of age, folks behind the wheel are drawn to their cell phones like magnets. For a moment, they lose all control of their faculties as they text away. Of course this may happen when the driver is busy putting on makeup, sipping coffee or other source of distraction. In this supersonic digital age when family members or friends don’t receive an immediate response, it only serves to accelerate the rate of texting.

Purchasing a vehicle with anti-texting and a calling device is a smart move to keep up with the relentless pace of this digital age. At Chapman Las Vegas, we believe these features can be valuable tools for secure driving. In this article, we are going to shed some light on new technology designed to keep you safer on the road.

Hands free calling is the ideal inspired weapon to take on the huge monsters of road distraction. As we instill more smart technology in vehicles, we mustn’t forget the important awareness and focus of those operating the vehicles. Until Google shows up with its own driverless car version or Mr. Musk shows up with a driverless spaceship, we have to contend with the total awareness of drivers.

As we alluded to earlier, the war is really against anti-texting; it’s the new frontier. We already had Bluetooth and OnStar help build a solid foundation with capabilities of hands free calling. Despite moves by several states to make talking and texting while driving illegal, the problem still accelerates. Anti-text apps like live2txt, DriveOff and DriveScribe all restrict incoming calls and texts during driving. Some provide an additional value-added service of notifying family members or friends that you are on the road.

Some additional technology designed to keep you safer on the road include the Adaptive cruise control – welcome the next generation that will take your cruise control to the next level. Adaptive cruise control systems automatically sense and calculate speed of other cars, adjusting speed accordingly. Adaptive headlights provide enhanced vision power beneficial especially on curved roads with poor visibility. Electronic stability control components allow systems to detect a potential skid and take immediate mitigating measures, applying brakes to different wheels. Forward Collision Warning systems utilize radar, laser or camera sensors to detect potential collisions. Upon detection, the driver is automatically alerted to take evasive action. Some of these systems can also brake automatically, bracing for a crash by pre-charging the brakes and tightening seatbelts. These measures, as well as plenty of others in the works will help wage the battle for more safety on the road.

transmission problems

There are many things you will need to do to keep your car maintained correctly and prevent major issues that can be expensive to repair. This is especially true if you own a used car or are planning to purchase one. One issue that can occur with a used vehicle is transmission failure. It can also be the most costly. That is why it is wise to take preventative measures to avoid this costly problem.

Before you end up with a car burdened with transmission problems, there are ways to prevent this situation. First, it is not advisable to purchase a car that has a history of transmission problems or has signs of a failing transmission. This is why you should always test-drive a vehicle before you purchase it. When you learn all the signs that a transmission is failing, it can be the ultimate money saver. Also be on alert whenever you purchase a car from an owner rather than from a reputable dealership, like Chapman Las Vegas. After all, that used car owner may just be selling you their problems. If you’re not confident that you can spot problem signs, then another great option is to take it to an experienced mechanic.

Here are the most common transmission problems and the best ways to prevent them.

1. Slipping Gears
You would expect this problem to only occur in vehicles with manual transmissions, but the problem is quite common in automatic transmissions as well. Good thing slipping gears are an easy issue to identify. When the engine is functioning properly by raising the RPM’s but your car fails to accelerate, it means your transmission is failing.

The best way to prevent this is to always check the transmission fluid levels, as the lack of lubricants can cause the gears to become worn out. This will lead to you having to replace the gears as soon as possible to avoid further damage. You may also need to replace the transmission bands as well. As long as preventative action is taken at the first sign of slipping gears, you will have a higher chance of avoiding further damage.

 
2. Burning Smell
Burning transmission has a very distinct smell and is instantly recognized. It occurs when the transmission is overheating. The causes of a burning smell include: low, poor quality or dirty transmission fluid. This prevents the fluid to circulate properly and lubricate the transmission and its gears. The result is a putrid burning smell that assaults our nostrils.

Prevention for a burning smell is very simple. Check the level and cleanliness of your fluids often; at least twice a year, especially during the winter season. Failure to do so will lead to more serious problems.

 
3. Shaking or Unresponsive Gear Shifts
Shifting from gear to gear should be a worry free process when it comes to automatic vehicles. If you notice your vehicle shakes or jerks when shifting gears, or has trouble shifting to reverse or park, then it is likely that your transmission is on the verge of failure.

The causes of gear shifting problems can vary but the most common are dirty, worn out or defective gears. Further inspection from an experienced mechanic should be the best action.

 
4. Leaking Fluids
Since transmissions don’t consume fluids, they won’t evaporate like water. Each time you check the levels of the transmission fluid the levels should always be consistent. If fluids continue to get low quickly, then it’s apparent you have a leak.

The best prevention is to routinely check the levels of your transmission. If you notice a leak, the best action is to add a transmission sealer fluid to it and keep an eye on the levels. If the problem consists, then you will need to take it to a mechanic. You don’t want to let the fluid get too low. This can cause other problems in the near future.

 
When it comes to transmission problems, prevention is key. Especially when it comes to something you depend on to get you from one place to another on a daily basis. It is wise to create a weekly or even a monthly maintenance upkeep schedule. It would also be useful to arm yourself with the knowledge of problem signs. This way you can prevent transmission failure as soon as the problem surfaces before it causes any further damage.