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Do you know your credit score? What it means? How it affects your chances of getting a loan, how much you can borrow, and ultimately getting on the road?
AutoTrader.com say know your credit score as its the first piece of information a lender asks for: “It’s the best tool to determine your credit status and the interest rate for which you qualify”. In 2014 around 14 million subprime borrowers acquired new and used-car loans, out of approximately 25 million new and used car buyers in the nonprime (601-660), subprime (501-600) and deep-subprime (<500) (Data from Experian Automotive).
So what is the best way to prepare for your purchase in advance?
1. The first would be to cleaning up your credit report where possible. It is possible that it could contain errors or out-of-date information. Any of the three major credit-reporting agencies (Experian, TransUnion and Equifax) could have made a mistake.
2. Next, work out how much can you afford? It is easy to get carried away when faced with looking at lovely shiny metal. But remember all the costs involved in running your car, and your life. As a rule of thumb you should not be paying out more than 10% of your income in car loan payments. Then you should also budget for fuel, tyres, servicing, insurance. The costs soon mount up.
3. You could need up to 10% deposit, so make sure you have that amount saved. And ideally that should be at least $,1000. So if you are getting a loan for $8,000 you will still need a $1,000 down payment.
4. Before applying make sure you have all the paperwork you need to prove things like income, residency and a record of on-time payments. If you can show a good credit history the more likely you will be seen as an acceptable risk by a lender.
5. Secure your loan before visiting the dealership. You should already have your maximum purchase price secured and this means you can not be pushed in to a higher purchase price. You can apply online here at 247AutoFinance.com and we give you access to dealerships across all states and cities.
6. Now the fun begins. What kind of car do you want? A new one or an old one?
Remember to check its service history, that the mileage and the log-book tally, the tyres have plenty of tread. Look for any leaks under the car. Is the wear on the drivers seat in line with the mileage of the car? Check the oil levels – if they are too low then maybe the car hasn’t been looked after very well. Make sure the car is cold when it is started up as the dealer may have warmed it up already. Listen for any unusual squeaks, rattles or bumps when driving.
The lately has been great for the kids, but for those of us that need to drive it has been terrible. Freezing cold and deep snow. I’ve seen people driving down the road peering through a tiny hole dug into the snow on their windscreen. That is not a safe way to drive.
So, with all the snow we have been having we thought we should offer some driving tips (courtesy of our RAC friends from over the pond).
Before you set out:
- Check tyre tread. Poor tyres do not grip when driving on snow and ice.
- If you live in an area where snow is common consider changing to winter tyres with deeper tread made from a compound with lower operating temperatures.
- Use a screen-wash that protects down to at least -35 to prevent the water from freezing.
- Allow more time in the morning to clear windows and mirrors of ice before setting off.
- Use lukewarm water or de-icer to defrost the outside of your vehicle. You should never use hot or boiling water
- Make sure wiper control is switched off before turning the ignition otherwise this could blow the wiper control fuse if they are frozen to the screen
- Remove snow from the roof of your car. Otherwise breaking sharply could cause snow to fall onto the windscreen and hamper your vision.
- And remember, you have to get home after your journey. Keep a snow shovel and a broom in the trunk to help you clear the snow when you set off for home at the end of the day.
- Consider using snow socks or snow chains.
The following tips should always be followed when driving in the snow:
- Accelerate gently, use low revs and change up to a higher gear as quickly as possible.
- You may need to move off in second gear as this will help reduce wheel slip
- Leave as much as 10 times the normal recommended gap between you and the car in front
- If you skid, steer gently into it. Do not take your hands off the steering wheel or stamp your foot on the brakes.
- If the road has not been gritted, beware driving in the wheel-tracks of other vehicles – compressed snow can be more icy than fresh snow
- Controls such as the brakes, as well as the steering, accelerator and even gear changing should be operated smoothly and slowly.
- Sunglasses can reduce glare from low winter sun on the snow.
- Keep your speed down and allow more time to stop and steer.
Please drive carefully and courteously. Be patient. It is more likely people will have broken down and roads could be choked or impassable. And when you get home, build a snow man or have a snow ball fight.