Are you struggling with your finances and finding that your car payment is too high and you are struggling with cash? The editorial team from Short Term Loans Network is committed to helping borrowers navigate the challenges of personal finance, consumer based loans and debt reduction tips for 2015!
Is Your Car payment too high
George and Pauline (not their real names) emailed me with a question about getting out from under a high car payment. They are paying $721/month on one vehicle! They owe $20,000 on a vehicle worth about $11,000 and have three years of high payments left.
Ouch! Unfortunately, car payments the size of our parent’s mortgages are not uncommon these days as vehicles get more expensive, car loans get longer, and financing become easier.
What can George and Pauline do? But here is a quick summary of options for consumers when their car payment is too high:
• Refinance the vehicle: Go to BankRate.com or another car or auto lending website for a quote.
• Work things out with the lender: Talk to the current lender to try to arrange something that will lower your payments. The downside is you may be stuck with the car even longer and get in deeper with a longer loan. If you go this route, be polite but persistent.
• Turn in the keys. With a voluntary repo, you give back the car. They will sell it at auction, probably get a lot less than a private sale, and you will be assessed a deficiency for the difference.
• File for bankruptcy. Under the old law, you could work out an arrangement to pay off the car at its current value, rather than what you currently owe on it. Under the new law, though, you will likely have to pay off the entire debt if you have owned the car less than 2 years and 4 months.
• Sell the car and pay off the difference with an unsecured loan like a balance transfer from your credit card, loan from a relative etc. This may not always be the most attractive option, but sometimes it can save you from a repossession. Be careful, though, about just continuing to dig that hole deeper. (You can run a what-if scenario at CNN Money and then create a rapid repayment plan for paying back that debt.) Again, with limited borrowing options it will be tough here.
Of course, the best advice is to be very, very cautious when buying a new car. Buying the maximum you can afford can be risky!
Did you know that one in five Americans that are in debt fully expect to be in debt until they die? Only 13 percent of Americans today expect to ever be debt free and in the black. Another 8 percent of Americans do not expect to be debt free until the ripe old age of 71. Those are some sobering numbers. When you are deep in debt it can seem impossible to escape that debt and climb your way into the black again.
Yet it is a new year and with the new year comes new chances to achieve that financial freedom you crave. The good news is that yes you can get out of your debt, and yes it will take some work and some measure of will power but 2015 can be the year you start that journey to becoming debt free. Financial freedom is around the corner if you can follow some rather simple steps to seize the day or carpe diem.
The first step with any illness is triage and believe me debt is an illness, albeit a financial illness. The first step of your debt triage is to tally up your total amount of debts. An astounding number of debtors do not have a clear picture of how much debts and exactly what creditors they owe. Once you know exactly what creditors you owe you can start the next step of debt triage. You need to figure out which of these debts is the most pressing, which have the most repercussions not being paid off quickly, IE which ones have the highest interest.
Once you have the debts categorized by order of highest interest you now know which ones to concentrate fully on. This is not to say that you are to ignore the lesser debts, you must still pay those off and make payments but any extra money above and beyond what you can do for minimum payments should be directed at the highest interest debts first. All of this assumes you already have a budget and follow it, if you need help with making a budget look at this article on making a budget here.
The next step is to do some minor cut backs in a few areas of your spending. If you spend 100 on entertainment try dropping this to 80 dollars. Do this in 10 areas of your spending. I am not advocating cutting back drastically just cutting down the amount spent in 10 areas of your life and not by a great dollar amount but small amounts $10, $20 or $30 here and there. Small is the new big, think small to win big.
The next big step here is to get help with the work. I am talking about reducing your interest rates here. You can ask your lender to reduce your interest rates. Did you know that two thirds of people who asked for a lower interest rate got it? In most cases all you have to do is ask and state a compelling case. Lenders in most cases would rather reduce interest rates than risk a charge off. You can also take advantage of a 0% interest balance transfer credit card offer, cards like the Chase Slate offer a 0% interest rate for 15 months with no balance transfer fee which can give you 15 months interest free to pay off that credit card debt.