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Chase Personal Loan

Chase offers a lot of services, but Personal Loans aren’t one of them. You can find auto loans and mortgages with Chase but if you want the Flexibility of a Personal Loan you may have to look elsewhere for your loan.

Does Chase offer personal loans? The simple answer is NO, Chase does not currently offer personal loans.

Many banks don’t actually offer personal loans. Like most banks Chase also doesn’t offer personal loans. Instead Chase mainly offers saving and checking account services. The closest services to a personal loan they offer are credit cards, auto loans, and mortgages, but they don’t technically offer personal loans. But don’t worry because there are other personal loan options out there that we’ll touch on later in this article.

Chase Credit Cards: A Quick Look

Pros Cons
some of their cards offer cash back and bonus points some of their cards only let you earn back on certain things like dining and travel
some of their cards let you earn back 1.5% to 6 times on purchases some of their cards have fees up to $95
some cards have no annual fees

Chase Auto Loans: A Quick Look

Pros Cons
you can refinance the loan you need to be a Chase customer with a checking account for refinancing options
loan terms are 12 to 84 months you might want to pay back the loan in less than a year
loan amounts are $4,000 to $600,000 you might need an even smaller loan
great for buying a new car or refinancing existing car loan not great for other personal reasons

Basically, Chase is a great place to go if you’re looking for auto loans in order to buy a new car, or if you’re looking for different credit cards that offer an array of benefits. But if you are looking for a more flexible loan that you can use for a larger variety of personal reasons then you’ll need to look at other loan providers.

Who are Chase Loans and Credit Cards Perfect For?

The Chase auto loan is great if you need to purchase a new car or refinance your car payments. Likewise, Chase credit cards are great if you travel a lot and want to accumulate benefits for all the money you spend on traveling expenses. If you need a large auto loan or credit cards great for travelers, and you meet the below requirements, then Chase may be perfect for you.

  • If you have a high credit score
  • If you need a large auto loan
  • If you have a lot of travel expenses for tickets, hotels, and dining
  • If you already have a Chase account

Who Should NOT Get a Chase Loan or Credit Card?

If you don’t meet the above requirements, or you’re just looking for a quicker, smaller loan that you can use for something besides a car, then you may want to keep shopping for your perfect loan. If any of the listed items below represent you, then you should consider a different personal loan provider.

  • If you need a smaller loan
  • If you want to pay back the loan in less than a year
  • If you don’t already have a Chase account
  • If you need your loan quickly, or that same day
  • If you have a low credit score
  • If you can’t afford a hard credit pull application on your credit score
  • If you have personal reason beyond cars for needing a loan

An Alternative to a Chase Personal Loan

Check City offers a different kind of personal loan. So if the features and requirements present in Chase’s loan and credit services don’t work for you, a Check City personal loan might be your answer.

Reasons to Get a Check City Personal Loan:

personal loan for you

  • Check City is a direct lender
  • Check City is also a state licensed lender
  • The application process is quick and simple
  • You don’t need a high credit score to apply
  • There are no origination fees
  • You can get your loan TODAY
How to Apply for a Check City Personal Loan

Check City personal loans are incredibly easy to use. Just visit the Check City Personal Loan Page and you can quickly apply for your loan online, at a nearby Check City store, or even over the phone!

All you need to apply for the loan is:

  • A government ID
  • Proof of bank account
  • Proof of direct deposit
  • Proof of income
  • A valid phone number

Apply for a Check City Loan Online by clicking HERE.

Find a conveniently located Check City Store by clicking HERE.

Or call Check City’s Loans By Phone number: 800-404-0254

Check City personal loans have a fast and easy process, and if you go into a Check City store to apply, you can actually walk out with your personal loan funds that very same day! Check City personal loans are great for loan customers that need a quick, easy to use, smaller personal loan that they can pay back in a matter of months instead of years. They’re also a great loan option for customers with lower credit scores since Check City doesn’t pull a traditional credit report when processing your application.

LOAN COMPARISON CHART

Check City Personal Loans Discover Personal Loans Wells Fargo Personal Loans

Chase Auto Loans
Amount $300 to $3,000 $2,500 to $35,000 $3,000 to $100,000 $4,000 to $600,000
Rates lower APR than our payday loans 6.99% to 24.99% APR 5.49% to 22.99% APR depends
Fees no origination fees no origination fees, no closing costs no origination fees, no prepayment penalties depends
Terms 6 months 36 to 84 months (3 to 7 years) 12 to 84 months (1 to 7 years) 12 to 84 months
Min. Credit Score Check City doesn’t pull a traditional credit check, and if you have a low credit score you can still apply for a Check City personal loan 660 600 high credit score

 

When you think of loans you often think about the requirements you need to meet in order for you application to get approved. But you have loan requirements too! Everyone is looking for something different in a personal loan, like the ability to refinance the loan later, or the ability to get the loan right away. You can find all these key qualities with a Check City Personal Loan!

Whatever your own personal loan requirements might be, you should always study up on what features each loan provides before making a choice.

 
READ MORE
Learn more about the usefulness of loans, “The Usefulness of Loans from Large to Small.”

Budget like a boss by reading, “Budgeting in 4 Easy Steps.”

How to Become an Uber Driver

uber driver

Should you become an Uber or Lyft driver and are you missing out? Passenger fares have never been lower, but the jury is still out on whether the ride-sharing gig is worthwhile for its drivers. We’re going to cover not only how to get in on the ride-share driving business, but how much you can expect to earn as well.
 

 
Ride-sharing services are one of the fastest growing companies of our time. Ride-sharing apps appeal to potential drivers because they can come from all walks of life, they can be self-employed, and they get to be in control of their own hours. For passengers the appeal of ride-sharing services is the convenience of hailing and paying for their ride all on their phone.

Ride-hailing companies have really grown into a giant business—Uber alone exists in 63 different countries and is operating in over 700 cities. They’ve also recently broadened their platform to include not just car services but bikes, scooters, food delivery, and even freight. In the future they also hope to add air taxis and driverless cars to their many services.
Needless to say, the ride-sharing app business is growing and here to stay.

You’re probably wondering now how you can get in on this flexible form of self-employment and never answer to a boss again! But before you download the app, quit your job, and hop in your car, hear us out, because becoming a driver for a ride-share business may not pay as well as you’d think.

How to Become an Uber Driver

First, to become an Uber driver you must meet the following requirements:

  • Meet the minimum age to drive in your city
  • Have at least one year of licensed driving experience in the US (3 years if you are under 23 years old)
  • Have a valid US driver’s license
  • Meet vehicle requirements (an eligible 4-door vehicle)

Second, if you meet these requirements then you share the following documents:

  • A valid US driver’s license
  • Proof of residency in your city, state, or province
  • Proof of vehicle insurance if you plan to drive your own car
  • A driver profile photo
  • Must be a forward-facing, centered photo including the driver’s full face and top of shoulders, with no sunglasses
  • Must be a photo only of the driver with no other subject in the frame, well-lit, and in focus; it cannot be a driver’s license photo or other printed photograph

Third, you complete an online screening that reviews your driving record and criminal history. And that’s it! After your application is accepted you can download the uber app and start taking rides.

How to Become an Uber Eats Driver

Uber Eats is a delivery partner that has teamed up with many restaurants that don’t typically have their own delivery services. As an Uber Eats driver you deliver food orders made via the Uber Eats app. Becoming an Uber Eats driver is similar to signing up to become a driver. Once you sign up to be an Uber driver, upload the required documents, and complete the online screening you simply do the following to start receiving delivery requests:

  1. Go to your account
  2. Select vehicle options
  3. Accept delivery terms

However, when delivering for Uber eats you can also use a scooter or bike instead of a car. In order to drive either of these options for your deliveries you have to meet the following requirements.

How to Become a Lyft Driver

Uber’s rival Lyft is a newer ride-hailing company out on the roads right now. To become a Lyft driver you can visit the Lyft website to fill out their application and start their process. You’ll basically have to do the following:

  1. Fill out the application
  2. Vehicle Inspection
  3. Background check
  4. Meet the requirements of your city
How to Become a Driver without a Car

At this point you may be wondering, but how do I become an uber driver without a car? How do I become a lyft driver without a car? If you don’t have your own car to drive with, Uber has partners that can rent a car to drive with. Lyft has something similar with Lyft Express Drive. With this you can use a rental car and return it at any time, with things like insurance and standard maintenance included in the rental price.

How Much Money Do Drivers Actually Make?

How much you can really make as an Uber driver is riddled with caveats. Yes, you can earn good money from driving during surge hours and getting tips from your passengers, but then other things, like all the costs that go into having and running a vehicle, will dent your earnings. Because ride-share drivers are technically self-employed they have to take on all the costs necessary to run their business, and this is where ride-share drivers experience major disappointments in their earnings with apps like Uber.

How Much Uber Drivers Make

There are many people out there that would love a lucrative way to be self-employed, and there are many aspects of businesses like Uber and Lyft that draw in new drivers every year. There are estimated to be about 833,000 Uber driver participants in just one year. Uber has also said that their drivers can earn $75,000 to $90,000 a year, while the typical taxi driver only makes about $30,000 a year.

If these numbers were true to what most drivers are actually making then why would almost half of all drivers only stay in the business for less than a year before dropping out of the game? It is because most Uber drivers don’t end up seeing earnings this high.

In reality Uber drivers make an average of $15.68 per hour, which means Uber drivers make about $7.84 per ride, and about $109.76 per week if they work all 7 days. Surveys done by Earnest have also found that Uber drivers make $364 per month on average, which would mean that Uber drivers make an average of $4,368 per year. Uber does give drivers the ability to earn extra with surge pricing. This is when passengers fees go up during higher density hours.

How Much Lyft Drivers Make

Lyft drivers make pretty similar numbers but the difference might be just enough to make you switch apps. Lyft drivers make an average of $17.50 per hour. This means that on average they make about $8.75 per ride, and about $122.50 per week if they work every day. Earnest also found that Lyft drivers tend to make an average of $377 per month, which would mean that Lyft drivers make an average of $4,524 per year.
 
earning stats
 

Average Earnings by City

Not all cities are created equal when it comes to the demand for ride-hailing services. How much work you can get and how much you’ll get paid on average will depending on what city you work in. But remember, many of the best cities to work in for ride-share drivers are also more expensive cities to live in, and a higher cost of living will affect your earnings as well.

The 10 BEST cities for ride-share drivers are . . .
  1. Honolulu, Hawaii at $25.55 an hour
  2. Seattle, Washington
  3. Long Island, New York
  4. Pittsburg, Pennsylvania
  5. Westchester County, New York
  6. San Jose, California
  7. New York City
  8. Minneapolis, Montana
  9. San Francisco, California
  10. Cincinnati, Ohio at $19.18 an hour
The 10 WORST cities for ride-share drivers are . . .
  1. Buffalo, New York at $9.74 an hour
  2. San Antonio, Texas
  3. Tulsa, Oklahoma
  4. Oklahoma, Oklahoma
  5. Indianapolis, Indiana
  6. Tampa/St Petersburg, Florida
  7. Springfield, Missouri
  8. Houston, Texas
  9. Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina
  10. Akron, Ohio at $4.94 an hour

As you can see, drivers in some of the bottom tier cities aren’t even making minimum wage.

Average Earnings by Vehicle Class

If you were wondering how much drivers tend to make according to their vehicle class we found that information too. Overall they found that most drivers make the following according to what class of vehicle they’re driving:

  • UberX = $13.70 an hour
  • UberXL = $14.84 an hour
  • UberSELECT = $14.85 an hour
  • UberBLACK = $24.87 an hour

It would then seem like the higher class your vehicle is the better you’ll get paid, but you have to remember that you are the one paying for the more luxurious car. Passengers also pay more to ride in the higher-end vehicle types, which will affect how much demand there is each day for the vehicle class you offer.

The Cons of Being an Uber or Lyft Driver

There are actually many reasons these promising numbers don’t become a reality for most Uber drivers. First of all, there is the nature of how Uber drivers are employed (or technically not employed) which affects their pay and benefits (or the lack thereof). Then there are the many other costs that fall on the driver to pay and manage on their own. Finally there is the matter of location that dictates how much work is even available in a driver’s area.

Independent Contractors

Drivers are considered independent contractors, which means that they technically are self-employed. Sounds great right? Who doesn’t want to be their own boss? But there are a number of disadvantages to being self-employed.

Since drivers are independent contractors they have to take care of their own benefits, like insurance, and they are also in charge of all the costs of maintaining their vehicle. Below are some other cons to being an independent contractor for Uber:

  • Because you aren’t a W-2 employee, Uber is not required by any laws to pay its drivers minimum wage.
  • Because you aren’t a W-2 employee, you have to cover your own Social Security and Medicare taxes. Officially employed W-2 workers will typically only pay part of these taxes with each paycheck, while their employer pays the rest.
  • You are considered self-employed, but you still work for a business that will control and regulate aspects of your “self-employment” and control the percentage you get paid.
Demands on Your Own Pocket

Because you are only getting a percentage of your earnings, while the ride-sharing company takes the rest, this makes the personal costs of running your driving business all the more impactful on your wallet.

Instead of all the proceeds of your business going to you and your business, the ride-share app companies take a cut, and they get to decide how big a cut they get. Below are just a few examples of all the costs you have to pay out of your own pocket to run your driving business:
 
insurance
Insurance
Not only do you have to pay for your own health insurance—since ride-share companies won’t consider you an employee and provide any benefits—but you also have to pay for your own car insurance.
 
car payments
Car payments
Ride-share companies won’t provide you with a vehicle the way that other taxi companies do for their employees. Providing yourself with a vehicle to drive and work in is also all on you.
 
vehicle maintenance
Vehicle maintenance
Any maintenance, repairs, and general upkeep that your vehicle will need in order for you to drive is completely your own responsibility. And since you are driving your vehicle for your work it is going to need much more regular maintenance.
 
gas
Gas
You are not reimbursed for what you spend on gas. Business insider found that drivers can spend up to $150 on gas just in a week, and the more you work, the more you’ll be spending on gas each week.
 
tolls
Tolls
If you drive through any tolls your passenger will likely pay an added amount on their fare, but you will be responsible for taking care of the toll fee upfront.



Overall

A recent study was done by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in May 2018 and they found that ride-share drivers may not be any better off than taxi drivers. They found that self-employed drivers only made up 35% of the driving business, and at an average $14 an hour they’re not even making a taxi driver’s salary of $30,000 a year. Because of this it seems ride-share driving truly does belong in the gig economy as more of a part-time job for extra cash, than a full-time occupation.

If working for yourself means a lot to you and the projected numbers we’ve outlined don’t look that bad, then maybe ride-share driving is still the gig for you. You can also always take advantage of Check City Title Loans to help your car stay in business. But it may also be a side gig that needs some revamping by those in charge in order to be made truly worth-while for the drivers once again.



READ MORE
Read more about the new Uber CEO and how he’s been implementing changes in the company.

Learn more about Uber and how it compares in the gig economy today, “Uber and the labor market: Uber drivers’ compensation, wages, and the scale of Uber and the gig economy.”

Read yet another interesting study about how Uber is changing the ride-share economy, “The Competitive Effects of the Sharing Economy: How is Uber Changing Taxis?

This article is a part of our “How Much Do Professions Pay?” series. Check out some other articles in this series to learn more about other professions and what they pay:

How Much Do Teachers Make?

How Much Do YouTubers Make?

How Much Do Nurses Make?


Tips for Buying a Reliable Used Car

A person’s car is one of the most beneficial and helpful assets that an individual can own. Millions of Americans drive their vehicles several miles a day and use their cars to help transport kids to school, themselves to work, groceries home, and other needful and helpful tasks of everyday life.
But, as most already know, the family or personal car with all of its benefits can still cost a person loads of money in breakdown repairs, standard maintenance costs, and the ever present burden of the cost of fuel. And all of those expenses come after the giant expense of purchasing the car in the first place.

Facing The Initial Cost

It should not come as a surprise that this initial purchasing cost will likely make up the bulk of the expenses related to car ownership, as a new car can cost tens of thousands of dollars. It should likewise not come as a surprise that buying a used car instead of a new car will typically cost far less than if a person decided to buy a new car off the local lot.

Buying Used Can Be Tricky

But buying a used car can be a tricky situation for most people as they rarely know if they are buying a lemon that will break down on them in a matter of months and end up costing them even more money than if they had purchased a new vehicle. It is for this reason that a person must know how to buy a used car the right way so that they can be assured that they are buying a used car that will last.

Check The Title History

One of the first ways to be assured that the used car one is looking to buy will not go out on them in the near future is to request or order a title history on the vehicle. A title history will show all of the work that has been done to the vehicle as well as record any accidents that the specific car has been involved in.

Check Service Records

Closely related but not kept on the title history are the car’s service records. Service records will show how often the car had regular maintenance done, like oil changes and other needful service, and will allow a potential buyer to see if the vehicle has been properly cared for, as a car that has been properly cared for over the years is far more likely to continue running well than those cars whose owners have been negligent in the vehicle’s maintenance.

Along with saving money on their car expenses by choosing to purchase a used car over a brand new vehicle, a person can make effective use of their vehicles by taking out a title loan if the need for a micro loan ever arises, as the title loan can be borrowed against the value of the car.
Saving on car cost by purchasing a used car instead of a new car is often the right choice to make for those who are trying to save money on their overall car costs.

Common Habits that Ruin a Car’s Value

Every driver develops their own set of driving habits. Some of those driving habits are good, others are downright dangerous and other driving habits can actually lower the value of your car. Spoiler alert: dangerous driving habits will ruin the value of your car.

Good driving habits include double checking both ways before proceeding, glancing into the blind spot before switching lanes, and buckling your seat belt. Some driving habits are neither good nor bad, like wearing driving gloves. Dangerous driving habits are things like texting while driving or operating the GPS system while the car is in motion.

Each individual cultivates their own driving style and car maintenance habits. While some driving habits are fine, there are a few common habits that a majority of people fall into that can actually have a negative effect on the value of that person’s car.

Watch Your Driving Style

defensive driving

Driving habits that lower a vehicle’s value are more common than people would like to admit. Some of these value-ruining habits are actually so ingrained that it may take some personal effort to stop these bad habits. But working to get rid of these habits is worthwhile because the better care you take care of your car now, the higher value you’ll get when you go to sell it or get an auto title loan. Your style of driving is one of the first aspects of your driving you’ll want to reevaluate.

Are you an insecure driver?

You might be insecure behind the wheel if you’re new to driving, new to driving stick, driving an unfamiliar car, or were recently in a car accident. Insecure drivers are not defensive drivers, and tend to have a driving style of avoidance. Being insecure behind the wheel can actually make you more likely to get into an accident with your car, so take your car to a secluded lot and practice basic driving maneuvers to get comfortable behind the wheel again.

Are you an aggressive driver?

You might be an aggressive driver if you find yourself getting angry or stressed out whenever you’re behind the wheel. You also might be a more aggressive driver if you find yourself not stopping completely at stop signs, riding the bumpers of other cars, beeping at other vehicles around you too much, or running yellow and even red lights. Aggressive drivers are also more likely to get into accidents. The key to fixing an aggressive driving style is to work out the stress levels in your everyday life, and learn to have more patience on the road.

Be a Defensive Driver

Some people like to describe defensive driving as “driving as if everyone else on the road were drunk.” If you don’t have expectations for the drivers around you, then you’ll be more patient with other drivers, and you won’t make harmful assumptions about their actions. The American Society of Safety Professionals has lots of guidance on how to develop a healthy defensive driving style.

Keep it Clean

car wash

One of the most common bad habits concerning car care is not keeping your car clean. It can be very east to procrastinate cleaning your car, especially during the winter months. The time, effort, and expense of car washes can also keep car owners from regularly cleaning their car’s exterior as well. But keeping the inside and outside of your car clean is important in retaining the value of your vehicle. If you don’t, then your car will deteriorate faster. Before you know it your car will need more than just a new paint job to look new again. Not cleaning the inside of your car will also make you have to replace the upholstery before you can sell.

Schedule a semi regular car wash trip, and pencil in some time once a week to clean out your car, vacuum the seats and flooring, and wipe things down. It’s also a good idea to plan some time every so often to shampoo your car’s interior as well to really keep it fresh.

Easy on the Throttle

Another common mistake that car owners often make is thinking that their new car is as invincible as it is powerful. Driving a new car with aggression, top speeds, and a lead foot are some of the best ways to damage a vehicle from the inside and therefore lower the total value of the car.

Other habits that lower a car’s value are less obvious. Some additional ways to ruin a car’s value include customizing the vehicle, getting work done on the side by a free-lance repair man, failing to keep accurate records, and messing with the body of the vehicle (aka adding body kits). More than likely the car you’ve bought isn’t the car you’ll have forever. Eventually this car will run it’s course for you, and you’ll want to sell or trade it in for a fresher car. Remember to maintain your car’s resale value as you care for it and drive it.

 

If you or anyone you know is guilty of taking part in one of the above habits then you should be aware—the value of your car is ever decreasing. Ensure the value of your car by not falling victim to these common and value-reducing habits when you drive and care for your car so that you can keep you car as a high value asset.

With a higher value car, you can easily resell your vehicle for more than the listed price or gain a greater title loan from Check City. Title loans from Check City are quick, easy, and safe loans that are borrowed against the value of your car, so keeping the above harmful habits away from your driving style could not only mean an increased value of your vehicle, but an increased value in the amount you can borrow against the title of the vehicle as well.

Top 5 Cars that Thieves Love

car thief

What is it that you love about a car? What are its characteristics that make you want to own it? It might be the speed, towing strength, leg room, color, or manual transmission.

Or perhaps you prefer the safety features. Maybe you want something that’s great in the snow during the winter months, but great on gas mileage. The different qualities of a vehicle that you’re looking for varies widely based on your personal preferences. Indeed, it is this wide range of vehicle preferences that allows this many makes and models to exist in the first place.

A car thief is wearing a different set of glasses though. They look at the “car market” from a different perspective. Where the car owners could look at any one of hundreds of choices, the car thief is really only looking at about five. What this means for you is that if you own any of the vehicles we’ll be covering in this post you’ll need to take extra precautions to protect your property.

It’s well worth it to protect your property because not only can having your car stolen be devastating, there are also a lot of hassles that go along with it that most people don’t think about. For example, there are the insurance claims, there’s the loss of personal possessions within the vehicle, and getting the loan paid off if you have a traditional loan or an auto title loan on your vehicle.

In order to get a better idea of why thieves might want your car let’s take a second to get inside their heads and cover the top stolen cars and why thieves love them.

#1: Honda Accord

First up is the Honda Accord. Far and away, the Accord was the most stolen car in 2012. In fact, the National Insurance Crime Bureau did their most recent study on most stolen vehicles in 2014 and found that Honda Accords ranked first on the list, with 51,290 Honda Accords stolen in 2014 alone.

#2: Honda Civic

The second most popular stolen car is Honda again. This time, it’s the Civic, bringing in an estimate of 43,936 stolen Honda Civics in the year 2014.

So what’s up with Honda? The next closest car on the charts rates in at about half the number of the Civic alone. So while the lists goes on, Honda vehicles are still more than twice as popular to thieves than any other car on this list. Why are they the most stolen cars in America?

There are ultimately two reasons for this. The first reason is because they are old and easy to break into. The majority of the models stolen in 2012 ranged from 1990 to 2000. They were 12 plus years old and there’s hardly any security on those older models. Thieves don’t want to get caught so they look for the easiest, not the most expensive, targets.

The second reason is that thieves break the cars into pieces and sell the individual parts. Hondas are some of the most commonly owned cars in America. Since these vehicles are still puttering around in abundance (the Japanese really know how to make them last forever), there are plenty of customers out there that just need a door, or a radiator to make the car run for another 50,000 miles. Since Honda doesn’t make certain older parts anymore or the prices for parts are far too expensive to be worth it, customers look for cheaper used parts. Thieves provide those used opportunities, unbeknownst to the buyer.

That said, Honda has definitely learned from their mistakes (having been at the top of this list for a couple years now). If you look at the most commonly stolen newer vehicles, Honda doesn’t come close to the top.

#3: Full Size Ford Pickups

The third favorite car among thieves was the Ford pickup (full size). It weighed in at 28,680 stolen cars. Turns out it was a 90’s truck that thieves were targeting so often. Why were these stolen? Parts and convenience. Again, the thief is never going to make it hard on himself for fear that he might get caught. He’s also going to always target more common vehicles so the parts will sell quickly and easily.

#4 & #5: Full Size Chevrolet Pickup & Toyota Camry

Fourth is the Chevy pickup (full size) coming in at 23,196 reported missing cars, and fifth is the Toyota Camry at 14,605. The vast majority of these statistics have to do with older car models. They present such each targets that it makes sense they would be the most popular cars to steal.

How to Protect Your Car from Thieves

Fortunately, if you have one of these top 5 cars, there are steps you can take to deter thieves.

Park in a Garage

car security

Don’t leave your car on the street if you can help it. If you can’t avoid parking on the street, then park it in a well-lit and populated area, especially at night. Thieves prefer the cover of darkness to accomplish their deeds, but if you park in a well-lit or busy area then you’ll deter thief activity.

But if you do have a garage, work on cleaning it out so you can use it for its intended purpose.

Keep Your Car Empty Inside

Leave the inside of the car bare boned. Don’t leave anything within sight as that can be the main source of temptation for thieves. This is a great tip too because keeping the inside of your car empty can give you an incentive to keep your car clean as well. If you do need to leave anything in your car put it under the seat, in the trunk, or in the glove compartment so that a thief scoping for items inside cars won’t see anything in yours.

Don’t Keep Your Car Title Inside Your Car

Never leave your title to the car in the vehicle itself. It’s almost a no-brainer to do this because if someone steals your car, and your car title is inside, then not only do they have your car but they now have it’s title too. A thief can then forge your signature and sign it over to themselves. Instead keep important documents like this in a safe lock box inside your house.

Lock Car Doors

Lock the car always. Even if your car is in your own garage, you should still lock the car doors before leaving it. Even if you are in your own familiar neighborhood, lock your car. Even if you are only going into the store for a second, lock your car. You never want to make a thief’s job easier by leaving your car unlocked and extra vulnerable.

Watch Your Keys

Keep a careful eye on your car keys. Losing your keys, or leaving them out where anyone can pick them up is a great way to lose your car forever. And you never want to lose your car all because you were careless. One way to help you never lose your keys is to use Tile essentials: devices that you can attach to your keychain so that you can track them using GPS if you ever misplace your keys. Another trick to help keep track of your keys is to use a lanyard of keychain that will make your keys bigger and thus harder to lose.

Use a Wheel Lock

Since a lot of stolen cars tend to be older, it can be useful to update your car’s security system yourself. You can also take advantage of old safety measures. Ever use a wheel lock before? It’s a device that literally locks your steering wheel. It can be a great tool to use as an extra precautionary measure when your car is older and therefore easier to steal. Thieves aren’t always ready to tackle things like wheel locks in a day of alarms and auto locks.

 

In 2012, the FBI estimates that about 724,000 cars were stolen. Assuming that each vehicle retained an amount of about $5,000 each, that equates to 3.6 billion in hard earned cash (some of which was still owed to the bank) that car owners lost when their cars got stolen. That’s quite the haul. Don’t become a victim of that statistic this year and keep these car safety tips in mind.

7 Tips to Purchasing an Affordable Car

Fall is a great time to buy a car, the body styles for the next year have been announced and if there is a change in sheet metal that usually means HUGE discounts for people looking to buy. In addition to the fall being a great time to buy, it’s also a time that families are left looking for new cars, whether it’s kids going off to school and taking a car with them, or high school students wanting to drive the family car to school the fall is definitely a time of year that leads people to their local car lots. In this post we’ll cover 7 tips that you can follow to save money as you head out car shopping.

First, always buy used. A brand new car depreciates by hundreds of dollars for just driving it off the lot. By the end of the first year, you’ve often lost a couple thousand dollars on the vehicle. By the end of the second, you’ve lost even more.

The first couple years of paying off your car (assuming you got an auto loan to help purchase it) are spent simply paying extra for something that likely isn’t worth as much as you owe on it. It’s called being upside down in a vehicle. That’s just not worth the hassle. Not to mention the fact that if you end up needing to get an auto title loan sometime in the future when your vehicle is paid off, that’s a lot less equity you’ll have available to use.

Purchase your cars used instead. Getting a vehicle that’s 2-3 years old will depreciate less quickly and only have about 30,000 miles on it. You could easily own the car for the next ten years, allowing you to completely pay off the loan (which was significantly cheaper) and enjoy the vehicle without debt for a while.

The quality of the car is generally still very good, even if it is used. There’s no question that it’s a more affordable purchase.

Second,
determine how much you can afford to spend before you begin shopping. Take a look at your budget. How much can you afford to comfortably spend monthly? How much do you have saved up right now for a down payment/taxes/registration? Write these numbers down and commit to yourself that you won’t go over them. It’s easy to get enthralled with the look and feel of an out-of-budget vehicle and justify the loan. Those that do that though suffer for the coming years and often regret the decision when they can’t afford things they want.

Third, shop around for a loan and insurance. Don’t feel like you have to stick with a certain insurance company or bank. If you can get cheaper prices elsewhere without reasonable restrictions go to them. Fully investigate the company for quality and reliability before signing. You can often lower your total financial responsibility at the end of the day by shopping around.

Fourth, don’t settle for long-term, low monthly payments if you can afford it. The longer it takes to pay off the loan (at softer monthly payments), the more you’ll end up paying in interest. The short-term loans will require a bigger chunk of your paycheck every month, but they’ll get you out of debt faster, and you’ll spend less in interest than you would have otherwise.

Fifth, talk to insurance companies about what aspects of a car will raise or lower their prices. Insurance companies charge more to insure cars that are stolen a lot, are newer, are more expensive, etc. Each company has its own price range for these kinds of things. Ask them what kinds of cars are the cheapest to insure. Find out those characteristics and begin searching your local listings/car lots for cars that meet those descriptions. This will save you money in the future.

Sixth, always check the Kelley Blue Book rating on a car before you purchase it. Ole Kelley can give you fair estimates on a vehicle no matter its condition. Learn the values for the vehicles you’re looking at and bring that price up in your negotiations. If the seller isn’t willing to meet Kelley Blue Book’s price, seriously consider walking away from the deal. There are so many cars on the market that you could get just as good of a car for a fairer price.
Seventh, look for rebates and incentives. Car lots abound across the United States. If they didn’t offer incentives to get you to come to their lot, they wouldn’t sell nearly anything. It’s a buyer’s market so look for good deals.

If the dealership has what you’re looking for but no incentives, continue shopping around. If you still can’t find what you’re looking for, consider something else or waiting for an incentive to show up. Most companies run specials 2-4 times a year. Often you just have to wait for the right time to purchase. According to press.autotrader.com, some of the best times to shop could be at the end of the quarter/month (when salesmen are trying to reach goals), end of the day (when they want to go home), or days with bad weather (when no one else is shopping).

Do your homework when it comes to buying a car. You can save yourself a lot of money by following each of these steps. Don’t overpay for any part of your vehicle. Save yourself money by shopping smart.

3 Tips to Wean Adult Children into Independence

With the new school year starting young adults are moving out on their own all across America. If done incorrectly the process of teaching your young adult how to be self-sufficient can be difficult. In this post we’ll cover three of the best ways to wean your young adult or adult children into independence.
Many adult children are still extremely reliant upon their parents for financial needs. Even into their mid-twenties, mom and dad are still paying for absolutely everything. And although this can be helpful to get through college, it isn’t always the healthiest approach.

Many students don’t take their education seriously when they’re not paying for it themselves, and others find it difficult to adjust to independent life after they graduate.

If you’re one of these parents but want to help your kids become independent, the following are three great ways to help wean them off of your bank account.

First, the joke, “he probably lives in his mother’s basement” is truer than a joke these days. Considering how cheap it is to live at home, many adult children default to a parent’s basement rather than pay for an apartment. It’s easy to do because mom loves to have her kids around, and it saves them a lot of money. The crazy thing is that it’s not just single children who are doing this either.

Many children move in with their spouses. It’s true that they first years of marriage can be difficult, especially where finances are concerned. These children will sometimes nest in for years to come. They have children and stay at home. Their children head off to elementary school, from their grandparent’s home. These families should be sheltering their kids under their own roofs, especially when they have a job that could be paying for their lives.

If you’re housing a single guy, a girl’s not going to want to find out that he’s still living with his mom. He has a much better chance at a social life outside of the home than he does where he’s at. He may even get married.

If this has happened to you, and you’re ready to have your kids get a move on with their lives, be up front with them. Reaffirm your love, but make it clear that they should be working on finding a place for themselves. It is your house. These are your rules, and you can still lovingly talk to them about how much better it is for them to seek their own life style.

After they move out, a great way to show love for them is to invite them over for dinners once a week. Show them that your home can still be a safe haven from the worries of the world with a free meal and familiar company, and that can give them encouragement during their time of adjustment.

Second, if they still rely on you to pay for their lifestyle, adjust that. You don’t have to drop every financial responsibility in the book on them all at once. That kind of adjustment would be extremely hard. It can be extremely good for them, but they might resent you for it and you might even hate the idea.

Wean them off instead. Set up a plan. Tell them that in three months from today, you no longer intend to pay for an expense: tuition, books, car, food, title loan payments or cell phone bills for example. In six months you will no longer pay something else. In a year, you won’t pay for something else, etc., etc. until they are finally financially independent.

You can help them find ways to support themselves though. If they’re not working, they will need to learn to find a job. If they have a job that isn’t making enough, encourage them to find a better one. If they are going to school and aren’t sure how they’re going to pay for tuition, encourage them to get a scholarship or grant. Student loans are always another option. You can guide them on a path to financial independence, helping them to grow up and helping you to gain financial independence as well.

Three, sit down to discuss their long-term goals. Have a good chat with your son(s) or daughter(s) about what their future goals are for independence. Ask them questions. When do they see themselves becoming independent? How long do they intend to live with you? What do they want out of life? See what goals for independence they’re trying to achieve and offer your help to get them there. Sometimes just talking about the issue can help them meet future goals much sooner than you expected. They might just need a bit of support from an interested parent.

Take these three ideas to heart and give them a shot. Your kids will have the best chance of success in this world when they’re introduced to financial independence, not sheltered indefinitely. Although you don’t need to kick them out and cut them off, you can go a long way to help your adult children seek complete financial independence starting today.

Saving Money on Transportation

Whether you identify as rich or poor, or anywhere in between, you are probably always looking for ways you can save money. Even if you do have a lot of money, it is wise to be frugal because you don’t know when your money could suddenly run out.

Some of the best ways you can save money is through your transportation. Many people do not realize how much money they can save by keeping their car in top condition.

While it may seem like you must pay a lot to keep your car in good condition, you will be grateful that you did because you will not have to spend as much money on gas. The reason why you will not have to spend as much money on gas if you keep your car in good condition is because your car is running more efficiently.

When your car runs more efficiently, it uses gas more efficiently as well. This is why it is a great idea to keep your car in great condition. Try to have your car tuned up and checked on as often as the manufacturer of your vehicle recommends. In addition to saving you money in the long run, it will help you maintain more equity in your vehicle which will help you if you ever end up needing to get an auto title loan.

Certain cars need more maintenance than others. For example, if you have an older car, you’re going to need to keep a close eye on it to make sure that it stays in good condition.
Older cars have been around for longer so they have a higher chance of breaking down or having something go wrong with them. You should not feel like you have to go and buy a brand new car just because your car is a little bit older.

Keep Those Tires Inflated

However, you should realize that usually older cars require a bit more maintenance than newer cars; this is just the way it is. Another great way to save money is to keep your tires inflated to their correct inflation.

If you do not know how to check your tire pressure, you can ask someone you know to teach you. You can also ask your local auto mechanic how to do it; they would most likely be happy to teach you.

Tire pressure is not hard to check; all you have to do is learn how to check it. Once you learn how to check it yourself, you will save money because you will not have to ask someone else to check it for you.

Save On Gas

Another great way to save money is to shop around when you are filling up your car with gas. If you go to gasbuddy.com, you can find the gas stations in your area that offer the cheapest price for gas.

Oftentimes, grocery stores like Smith’s or Costco will offer special deals on gas if you buy your groceries from their store. These deals can really add up and can save you a lot on the gas you buy for your car.

You Don’t Need All That Octane

It is also recommended that you use the lowest recommended octane for your car. Many people think that buying the highest octane available will be the best for their car, but the fact of the matter is that the amount of octane you need is related to the compression of your cars engine so unless it’s a higher performance engine (turbo charged, supercharged, or luxury), you most likely don’t need higher octane fuel.

However, studies show that buying the lowest-octane gas for your car will be just fine for your car. Unless you are swimming in money, buying the lowest-octane gasoline will be great for your car.

If you notice your car is acting up, you may want to take it to an auto mechanic and see what the problem is. If they tell you that the problem is related to the level of octane of gas that you’re putting in your gas, then you should probably consider putting a higher octane gas in your car.

If this doesn’t happen, though, you should be good with the lowest-octane gas recommended for your vehicle. There are also several other things you can do in order to decrease the amount of gas you have to buy.

Ease on the Gas, Ease on the Brake

You should avoid starting and stopping quickly while you are driving. Starting and stopping quickly while driving only uses up more gas.

You may make the people around you a little bit angry because you are driving more slowly, but that does not matter. While you’re driving, you make sure to do what’s best for you and your car.

Another great way to save money is to carpool. If you can carpool to school or to work, you can save tons of money on gas.

You will save tons of money on gas because you will not be buying as much gas. Try to find a friend at work or school and carpool; your bank account will thank you.

5 Things You Probably Spend Too Much On

The world is full of purchasing opportunities and everywhere you turn, there’s an ad telling you to purchase something else. The sad truth is that many people are spending far too much for some of the “traditional” expenses.

These are the top 5.

Number 5: Cars. Purchasing a car off the lot kills your investment. You overpay for a car that is going to lose half its value in the first five months. Purchase used cars that are a couple years old. You’ll usually get them at about 25 – 30,000 miles and get a much cheaper price for them. Don’t overpay on your car. By overpaying on your car now, you will have that much less equity later on down the road incase you ever need to utilize the equity in your vehicle via an auto title loan.

Number 4: Phones. How often is the public sucked into a new phone? Is it fair to say every 6 months or so? Apple releases new phones/software packages every August. Samsung releases new Galaxies every year too, not to mention every other phone competing on the market. Some people buy into this addiction and purchase a new phone within a year. It’s an expensive and unnecessary habit. Purchasing one smart phone and using it for two years will get you much of the same enjoyment of calling people and internet access as the one switching them out every six months. Why spend money on something you already have?

Number 3: College. Some think that college is worth any price. But is it really worth tens of thousands of dollars extra in debt if you can get the same education at a cheaper school? Much of the quality of your education comes down to your dedication. A BYU law student has the potential to get a very similar education and have just as successful of a career as a Harvard graduate. They just have to put in the work to make it happen, like the students at Harvard.

Carefully research your options before choosing a school. You’ll likely find a cheaper option out there for you that can give you similar opportunities.

Number 2: Clothes. Clothes are extremely overpriced. Shop at any of the chain stores in the mall and you’ll be paying the company approximately 500% of the cost it should. Clothing stores make a fortune off of consumers that need the newest brand clothing. Since fashion is an extremely popular subject, people are willing to pay for their fashion, even if the quality is no better than a shirt you would buy from Walmart.

Look for cheaper alternatives for clothing. Look to Kohl’s, and other more customer-minded stores that care more about providing deals, than making an unfathomable profit. Although they still can make a profit off of you, they aren’t going to overprice their clothing as much, meaning you spend less for new clothing.

If you need cheaper than that though, you can always look to the used stores. Some shops exist—such as Plato’s closet—that will buy lightly used clothing from people, clean it, and then turn it around for your perusal at extremely discounted prices. Like rich car fanatics, some people have the money to buy clothes, wear them for a year, and then dispose of them. And they end up in places like Plato’s for your consumption at a much cheaper price.

With so many options abound, don’t go to the mall. Don’t shop at the mainstream, popular stores. You’ll walk out with a much bigger bill for half of the product available elsewhere.

Number 1: Credit Cards. A continual open line of credit feels like having an increase of a couple thousand dollars in your salary. Instead of being limited by what you make every month, suddenly someone else wants to give you money too. And since that money doesn’t have to be paid off for another month, it’s easy to fall into the habit of imagining yourself being responsible with your money, next month. That mentality combined with neglecting the current balance can drive you into more debt than you would want to be in at the end of every month. Even spending $100 extra every month will amount to $12,000 of accidental purchases over a decade. Imagine what you could have been doing with that $12,000 instead of purchasing meaningless extras.
People spend far too much on credit cards because they’re not keeping track of what they can afford. Keep a close eye on your finances (daily) and don’t let balances slip your notice.

So beware when approaching a car dealer, phone salesman, college admissions, clothing retailers, and your bank account. If you watch each expense carefully, you can keep yourself from many of these traps.

Keeping Your Car on a Regular Maintenance Schedule

When you take care of a car, it will always take care of you in return. You can keep a car running for decades when you give it all of the proper maintenance and care it needs to keep going. To new vehicle owners, it can be hard to know what to do when. Can you trust what the mechanic recommends? What can you do to know what needs to be serviced when? The following are a few things you should do regularly to keep your car in tip-top shape for the years to come.

Change the Oil

Change the oil. There seems to be quite a bit of skepticism on whether or not this should be done once every 3 months or not. Some experts will tell you that your car can last much longer than the recommended 3 months or 3,000 miles. They say that oil companies and maintenance shops use that as just an excuse to get your money into their wallets sooner.

It’s hard to tell which is true. The thing you can count on is that it can’t hurt to change your oil that often. The longer your oil stays in the engine, the better the chance it has to spread dirt and grime everywhere. Replacing your oil every 3 months or so will keep it cleaner than waiting would. Cleaner oil means a better engine for the coming years.

Check Your Brakes and Brake Fluid

Check your brakes every six months. Make sure your brake pads aren’t getting too thin, otherwise you risk grinding metal on metal, damaging your car. Also, metal doesn’t stop metal, meaning you won’t be able to stop.

The symptoms of brakes going bad include a longer braking time to stop and high-pitched squealing. As they get really bad, you can feel the car shake as it attempts to stop. This last sign means you need to get to a mechanic as soon as possible.

Conduct a brake fluid check every 6 months as well to make sure it is full and good. You can often check this out in the brake fluid reservoir without ever having to open the cap. Markings on the side help you know if it’s full or not.

Check Your Spark Plug Wires

Every 6 months, check out the quality of your spark plug wires. They should last you for a long time, but check to be sure. Check the insulation (or rubber) for any breaks or cracks. Breaks or cracks can cause a cylinder to not fire at all. As long as that is fully in-tact, you should have no problems.
Check all other fluids about every 3 months. Top them off to make sure that every liquid that needs to be getting to your car is getting there.

Keep the Battery Charged

Finally, clean your battery when corrosion appears. Corrosion kills the life of your battery and can keep it from starting at times. Get a brush and an official battery corrosion kit and follow the directions. You want to keep these connections as clean as possible.

Some of the more long-term recommendations require the suggestions of your dealer. Your dealer has made a timeline on when they think certain belt or hardware checks need to be made. The suspension should be checked after a certain amount of miles. So too should a number of important parts. Listen to your factory/dealer recommendations for advice on these more long-term items.

Your vehicle is a valuable asset that can be used to help you and your family for years to come. If you didn’t know already, it can also be used to help you get the cash you need quickly with a title loan.

A title loan is loan given based on the value of a vehicle that you own outright. The car title is given as collateral for a loan you take out to handle certain financial obligations that come your way.

The company you take a title loan out with will determine the terms of your agreement: i.e. interest rate monthly payments, and life of the loan. Some are to be paid off within just a few short weeks. Others will be paid off in up to a year.

Unexpected expenses come up all the time: a carburetor needs to be replaced, a medical bill needs to be paid, or you children need a significant amount of financial help for back to school supplies. Providing that each of these has to be paid in a limited amount of time, fulfilling these financial obligations can be a bit difficult at times.

Title loans are excellent ways to get the money to take care of your immediate needs, and then return the debt as money begins coming in again. Consider a title loan the next time you are in a financial bind.

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