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Recession watch: Holiday car shopping statistics and predictions Advertiser Disclosure Advertiser Disclosure We are an independent, advertising-supported comparison service. Our aim is to assist you make better financial decisions by offering you interactive tools and financial calculators that provide objective and original content, by enabling you to conduct your own research and compare information for free and help you make informed financial decisions. Bankrate has partnerships with issuers including, but not restricted to, American Express, Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citi and Discover. How We Make Money The deals that are displayed on this website are provided by companies that pay us. This compensation can affect the way and where products appear on the site, such as, for example, the order in which they may appear in the listing categories, except where prohibited by law for our mortgage or home equity, and also other home loan products. This compensation, however, does not influence the information we publish, or the reviews that you read on this site. We do not include the entire universe of businesses or financial offerings that could be open to you.

 

 

 

 

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3 min read . Published November 28th, 2022.

 

Authored by Rebecca Betterton Written by Auto Loans Reporter

 

 

Rebecca Betterton is the auto loans reporter for Bankrate. She specializes in assisting readers with the ins and outs of securely borrowing money to purchase a car.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The edit was done by Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor

 

 

Rhys has been editing and writing for Bankrate from late 2021. They are passionate about helping readers gain the confidence to manage their finances with clear, well-researched information that breaks down complicated subjects into digestible pieces.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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As the season of Christmas approaches the last thing you want to consider is the recession that is likely to occur over the next few years. However, ignorance isn't always bliss. The rising rate of inflation and the upcoming recession will impact all facets of the economy. This includes buying a car as new vehicles are expected to be available coming out in October, as per Kelley Blue Book. If you're in the same boat as those who are worried about this recession, being patient could be the best option to save money. Instead of gifting the car with a large bow this holiday season- to you or someone elsetake a look at where the prices are and what you can do to prepare for future . Statistics on recession preparedness Unfortunately, the holiday season is known for overspending -- many times resulting in consumers spending beyond their means. A recent study revealed that 27 percent of consumers admit to straining their budget in the name of Christmas gifts. If they stay in line with their spending habits this year there could be issues to come up. In the month of March 2022, even with inflation up 8.5 percent, people spent more than two years prior according to a McKinsey study. The majority of Americans think inflation will rise in the next year than it is at present. Car loan balances were at a high as of November 2022. The monthly average payment for new vehicles in the second quarter of 2022 was $667. The monthly average for used vehicles during the second quarter of 2022 was $515. The number of new vehicles sold dropped from a high of 16.9 million in 2005 to during the recession. The survey found that 41 percent Americans do not feel prepared for a recession if it occurred at 2023's end. 38.22 percent of Americans financed new vehicles in the second quarter of 2022.

 

 

 

Holiday shopping statistics A lot of holiday shoppers fall into the trap of looking for the perfect present. This could result in spending more than they budgeted for and even straining finances. However, some shoppers this year are taking a different approach as three out of five planning to save money according to . This is a good option considering that the consumer price index stood at 298.1 in the middle of November, an increase from 274.1 one year ago. Whatever your reasons for tightening your wallet this winter, it's the perfect time to be aware of the impact of spending too much on the entirety of your financial health. 40 percent of holiday shoppers believe that rising prices is likely to change how they spend their money this year. There are nearly 29 percent more used vehicle deals on average in January. 85 percent of consumers are likely to use money-saving strategies during the holiday season. Winter sees an increase in people buying luxury vehicles and sports cars. 27 percent of people who shop for gifts confess to feeling financially stressed during the holiday season. The majority of people will buy fewer items this season.

 

 

 

How do you prepare for a downturn in 2023? In 2008, drivers faced a similar fate, the predicted recession in 2023 will have many elements that the drivers of 13 years ago didn't have to take into consideration. Primarily, the ongoing supply chain issues which continue to increase vehicle prices. Due to stock limitations and the lack of inventory, you are unlikely to benefit from many of the discounts that '08 drivers were given. Fortunately, there are still several ways to be prepared when it comes to your personal finances and car purchases. Use these suggestions to help you save money during the recession. 1. Buy only the most affordable car you can afford. The most effective way to ensure that you don't fall into a precarious financial spot when buying a car is to purchase only what you are able to afford. Make sure you are aware of consider this amount while also factoring into the things that can build up over the course of ownership , like visits to the mechanic or fueling up at the pump. 2. Build up your emergency fund Experts recommend that you be able to cover 3 to 6 month's worth of expenditures. But pennies can build over time, which is why it is important to start saving as early as you can. Consider the idea of establishing your emergency fund in the form of a -- that you make interest in. 3. If you decide to buy an electric car, despite having a higher upfront cost, they can cost you less throughout the duration of your vehicle's ownership. Less trips to the pump can add up to thousands of dollars, so you should consider the option if an electric vehicle fits into your budget and your lifestyle. 4. Be wary of a long-term loan While it can be appealing, it comes with certain risks. If you sign up for an extension loan could mean that your monthly expenses are less, it does not mean that you'll pay less overall actually, the opposite is true. A longer-term loan will spread the amount you must pay over a longer time, meaning there's more time for interest to accumulate. 5. Apply for loan preapproval. While there aren't all lenders that offer the option to apply for a loan preapproval, it's one of the best ways to know your financial contribution to car ownership in advance. Loan preapproval simply means you are able to lock in the monthly costs you anticipate before signing the dotted line. This way, you will be sure that the vehicle you're thinking about buying will easily fit into your budget. 6. Refinance your vehicle if your loan exceeds limits on your finances, you might consider refinancing your current vehicle to lower your monthly cost. This is particularly true if your credit score has improved since receiving your loan or if you originally signed off with an agent.

 

 

 

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Authored by Auto Loans Reporter

 

 

Rebecca Betterton is the auto loans reporter for Bankrate. She specializes in assisting readers with the ins and outs of securely taking out loans to purchase a car.

 

 

 

 

The edit was done by Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor

 

 

Rhys has been writing and editing for Bankrate since late 2021. They are passionate about helping readers gain the confidence to take control of their finances through providing clear, well-researched information that breaks down otherwise complicated topics into bite-sized pieces.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Auto loans editor

 

 

 

 

 

Related articles Car Insurance 7 min read Dec 02 2022

 

 

Personal Finance 6 minutes read on Oct 25 2022

 

 

Personal Finance 6 minutes read Nov 25 in 2019,

 

 

Personal Finance 6 minutes read Nov 13 in 2019,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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How we make money Bankrate.com is an independent, advertising-supported publisher and comparison service. We are compensated for placement of sponsored products and, services, or when you click on specific links on our site. Therefore, this compensation may affect the way, location and in what order the products are listed within categories, with the exception of those the law prohibits it for our mortgage or home equity, and other home loan products. Other elements, such as our own website rules and whether the product is available in your region or within your personal credit score may also influence the manner in which products are featured on this site. While we strive to provide a wide range offers, Bankrate does not include information about every credit or financial product or service. Bankrate, LLC NMLS ID# 1427381 | BR Tech Services, Inc. NMLS ID #1743443 |

 

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A Credit Lock Vs. Credit Freeze What's the difference?

 

 

Advertiser disclosure You're our first priority. Everytime. We believe everyone should be able to make sound financial decisions without hesitation. Although our website does not feature every company or financial product available on the market, we're proud of the advice we provide as well as the advice we offer and the tools we develop are objective, independent simple, and completely free. So how do we earn money? Our partners compensate us. This may influence which products we review and write about (and the way they appear on our website) However, it doesn't affect our advice or suggestions that are based on many hours of study. Our partners do not pay us to guarantee favorable ratings of their goods or services. .

 

 

Credit Lock vs. Credit Freeze: What's the difference?

 

It's easier to open your credit than to "thaw" credits that are frozen. A freeze may afford more legal security.

 

By Amrita Jayakumar Writer The Washington Post Amrita Jayakumar was a former special-assignment reporter for NerdWallet. She also published a syndicated article on millennials and money, and focused on personal loans and consumer credit as well as debt. Prior to that, she was a reporter for The Washington Post. Her work has appeared in newspapers such as the Miami Herald and USAToday. Amrita holds a master's diploma of journalism at the University ofMissouri.

 

 

 

 

 

 

(image: https://i.pinimg.com/originals/db/33/74/db3374c0be22cb39e558249694ce277f.jpg)Updated September 26 2022

 

 

 

Editor: Kathy Hinson Lead Assigning Editor Personal finances, credit scoring managing money and debt Kathy Hinson leads the Core Personal Finance team at NerdWallet. Prior to joining NerdWallet, she worked for 18 years working at The Oregonian in Portland in capacities such as chief of the copy desk and team editor and designer. Prior experience includes copy editing and news for various Southern California newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times. She earned a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communications from the University of Iowa.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A credit freeze and credit locks are two methods to guard your credit reports against being used by scammers to start new accounts.

 

You may see the terms "credit freeze" and "credit lock" used interchangeably, and they do provide similar security. Three credit report bureaus -three bureaus namely Equifax, Experian and TransUnion --sometimes promote their credit lock offerings, which can carry an annual fee, in addition to the credit freeze option, which are completely free. A key difference is that it's simpler to open a credit lock as opposed to "thaw" a credit freeze. But a freeze may afford legal protections that a lock does not.

 

Are you in need of a credit review?

 

Register for an account today to get your free credit report and score available every day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you are at the credit bureaus, you limit access to the credit report , so most lenders can't see your credit report until you remove it. Since a creditor is unlikely to open a new bank account with your name, without checking your credit, that protects you from fraudulent accounts. You must use a password-protected account or a PIN.

 

Similar to in the event that you block your credit, you block most lenders access. But , you can open your credit report immediately at any time, on your mobile or computer whenever you want to allow access.

 

Compare credit freeze and credit lock

 

When to use the credit freeze

 

A credit freeze helps protect your credit report. It's a smart option in the event that you've been the victim of identity theft, or believe your information has been compromised, such as in . NerdWallet recommends freezing your account for the majority of users as a precautionary measure.

 

Federal law obliges credit bureaus to provide free credit freezes and unfreezes. There is also a cost-free option.

 

You can defrost your credit report by providing direct authorization to each agency by using a password-protected account, or PIN.

 

Freezing your credit report at all three bureaus is crucial for securing your personal information. Here's how to freeze your credit report, your report and your credit report.

 

You are still able to access your credit records and score even in the event of the credit freeze . If you don't already have a method to frequently keep track of your report and score you should consider signing up with NerdWallet for a summary, updated weekly.

 

When to use a credit lock

 

It is possible to use a credit lock to prevent or secure your personal information, or in the event that your information has been compromised. Its ease of use lets you give lenders access to your report and immediately secure it once more -- if you're shopping for a home or car for instance.

 

Unlike a freeze, locks are not subject to federal law. Service agreements for each bureau make it clear that the companies don't guarantee error-free operation or uninterrupted service.

 

As with a credit freeze the credit lock is most effective if you are a member of all three bureaus.

 

You can sign up for a credit lock at the websites of each bureau, and connect to the app that is specifically designed to unlock or lock your credit report. Each one offers a slightly different version of the credit lock, so check exactly what you're signing up to.

 

is called Lock & Alert. The company claims it will be forever free. The conditions of service don't contain an arbitration clause or class action lawsuit waiver This means that you can't waive the right to join or sue a lawsuit.

 

Experian provides its credit lock with other products. The most affordable option, IdentityWorks Plus at $9.99 per month, offers the credit lock, identity theft insurance, as well as alerts whenever information changes in your credit report across the three bureaus. Its terms of service comprise an arbitration agreement and waiver of class action.

 

TransUnion's free product, managed under TransUnion's TrueIdentity brand, includes the option of locking and unlocking as well as other features, however, the service agreement includes an arbitration clause and a class action waiver. Users must also consent to receiving targeted marketing materials.

 

 

 

 

About the writer: Amrita Jayakumar is a former writer for NerdWallet. She was previously employed by The Washington Post and the Miami Herald.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Budget, save, even Earn Money With Today's Prepaid Debit Cards

 

 

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Budget, Save, Even Earn Cash With Today's Prepaid Credit Cards

 

by Spencer Tierney Senior Writer | Certificates of Deposit ethics, ethical banking, bank deposits Spencer Tierney is a consumer banking writer for NerdWallet. He has written about the personal financial sector since, with a focus on certificates of deposit, as well as other banking issues. The work he has written for him was covered on The Washington Post, USA Today, The Associated Press and the Los Angeles Times, among others. The location of his work is Berkeley, California.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Updated Sep 19, 2017

 

 

 

Editor: Amy Hubbard Amy is a former banking editor and copy editor for NerdWallet. She was previously editor and writer for the Los Angeles Times, the L.A. Daily News and the Hollywood Reporter, among other publications.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The majority or all of the products featured here come from our partners who compensate us. This affects the products we feature and the location and manner in which the product appears on a page. But, it doesn't influence our evaluations. Our views are our own. Here's a list and .

 

 

 

 

In 1999, businessman Steve Streit created the first retailer-sold prepaid debit card, eventually referred to as Green Dot to provide a way for teens to purchase online items.

 

The way we use prepaid cards has changed in the past, and now they don't just help consumers spend more money to assist them in doing the opposite: budgeting and saving money. With features for budgeting that are customized or creative incentives that help make money more efficient Prepaid debit cards make it possible to manage your money smartly, without the bank.

 

>> If you're ready to evaluate cards, check out the list below of .

 

Here's how prepaid debit cards can aid you:

 

Get your budget under control

 

Prepaid debit cards bear a card network logo such as Visa or Mastercard are accepted at retailers nearly everywhere and can be filled with money frequently. Most don't require a credit check. However, they're not suitable intended for everyone. They mainly benefit those who want a fresh way to budget or need a replacement for the checking account they have.

 

One of the major advantages of card types is the absence of overdraft services and their associated fees traditionally found on checking accounts. The balance of a card is a natural spending limit -- a card is typically declined without a fee, if there's not enough money to make a purchase or payment.

 

Additionally, more prepaid debit cards come with tools to set budgets or goals than ever previously. About 54% of the prepaid market that was tested had these tools 2016 compared to 30% in 2014, according to . The samples comprised the cards of 18 in 2014 as well as 22 in 2016. Each sample was a representation of 90 percent or more of market for prepaid debit cards.

 

As bank accounts, many credit cards that are prepaid give you access online and via mobile to your accounts with options like mobile transfer of money and check deposit. However, the more extensive budgeting tools available on some cards let you:

 

Customize your spending limits. You can make budgets using spending categories, like clothes and entertainment.

 

Visualize the history of your purchases. Some cards display pie charts, or other graphic images that categorize your spending.

 

Set up text and email alerts to be notified if you spend over a certain amount.

 

Use sub-accounts to manage different household costs. The ability to designate one of your cards' sub-accounts to a specific kind of expenditure, such as food, makes it easier to put a cap on that spending.

 

 

Bluebird by American Express and Akimbo are two cards that offer four to five sub-accounts, which are connected to a master account however, they have their own balances and physical cards.

 

These can work like a modern-day envelope system. You can use one card for shopping at the grocery store and another for dining out another for travel and so on.

 

If you have children Sub-accounts may grant them spending privileges with a set amount of money per card you set.

 

Make the most of your savings (and maybe win cash)

 

Budgeting is a good method of managing money however, you may need an incentive to stick with it.

 

"Budgeting for the sake of budgeting doesn't really work," says Thea Garon director at the Center for Financial Services Innovation. With debit cards that are prepaid Garon says it's more effective "when the budgeting process is linked to the saving experience as well as the goals of your dreams."

 

The Walmart MoneyCard that is offered from Green Dot Bank, has options for budgeting, including account alerts, however it is distinguished by its savings program linked to prizes. Last August, Wal-Mart and Green Dot added a monthly sweepstakes for the card's "vault." This vault functions as savings accounts in that you can't spend on that balance, without moving it to the card's spending balance.

 

Saving money in the vault gives you chances to win each month a prize 1 dollar saved is one entry in a sweepstakes and you can win as many as 500 entry. Each month, the winners are 4,99 that get $25 and one winner who receives the prize of $1,000.

 

"Especially in a low-interest environment and the possibility of winning just a bit of cash is exciting," says Mark Matthews, senior director of Walmart Services.

 

But the real winning isn't in the sweepstakes- it's the incentive to save more money, and it's working. The average balance of savings accounts increased by 35% from $413 to $572 from the end of August until December. According to Walmart the number of people who had participated at the time of June. use of the Savings Vault on the MoneyCard has skyrocketed 233% over the previous year.

 

"The objective here is to establish a useful mechanism and incentive for building up an amount of money over time for emergency situations," he adds. Matthews pointed out that all savings were manually added since there's an automatic transfer of savings available on the MoneyCard.

 

Prepaid cards have exploded in popularity, however ...

 

As a banking alternative, and with more recent added features, prepaid cards have grown in popularity since Streit's inspiration in 1999. The number of payments using prepaid debit cards rose by almost 34% from 2009 to 2012 and 5.6 percent from 2012 to 2015, as per the Federal Reserve Payments Study in the year 2016. While growth has slowed in recent months however, these cards have an important place in millions of Americans' wallets.

 

They are also secure to use, and they are becoming safer. NerdWallet recently conducted an analysis of 44 cards from across the market, including major issuers and upstarts, and found all the cards are insured. Prepaid cards will take effect in April of 2018.

 

But that doesn't mean you should always use prepaid debit cards as the best choice. Here are some reasons they might not be right for you:

 

The cards do not build credit. If you're looking to build your credit, check out a .

 

It's not the cheapest way to budget. A lot of cards charge monthly fees -- the average from a NerdWallet analysis was $4.67. Take a look at some of them here.

 

Certain bank accounts offer better incentive to invest in savings. Certain savings accounts online offer interest rates north of one percent per year. There are also new banks like Chime which reward you by saving. The debit card transactions are round to the nearest dollar, and the cents go to a savings account. At the end of each week, you receive a 10% bonus on all the rounded-up cents, up to $500 per year.

 

 

Compare rates of interest.

 

 

 

 

About the author: Spencer Tierney is a writer, and NerdWallet's expert on certificates of deposit. He has had his work highlighted in USA Today and the Los Angeles Times.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What is a difficult Inquiry?

 

 

Advertiser disclosure You're our first priority. Every time. We believe everyone should be able to make financial decisions without hesitation. Although our site doesn't feature every company or financial product available in the marketplace, we're proud that the advice we provide and the information we offer as well as the tools we design are objective, independent simple, and cost-free. So how do we make money? Our partners pay us. This may influence which products we write about (and where those products appear on our website), but it does not affect our recommendations or advice, which are grounded in thousands of hours of research. Our partners cannot promise us favorable review of their services or products. .

 

 

(image: https://www.instantapprovedloans.com/images/same-day-payday-loans.jpg)What Is a Hard Inquiry?

 

A hard credit inquiry can take a few points off your score, but soft inquiries don't alter it.

 

Through our Nerdwallet contributors are experts in their field and have a range of backgrounds in journalism, finance and consulting. The By Our Nerdwallet team adheres to highest standards of editorial to ensure that our readers have the knowledge necessary to make financial decisions confidently. Find out more about the services we offer.

 

 

Updated on 13 February 2023.

 

 

 

Written by Kathy Hinson Lead Assigning Editor Personal finance, credit scoring, financial management and debt Kathy Hinson leads the Core Personal Finance team at NerdWallet. Prior to joining NerdWallet, she worked for 18 years at The Oregonian in Portland in roles including copy desk chief and team editor and designer. Her previous experience includes news and copy editing for many Southern California newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times. She graduated with a bachelor's in mass communication and journalism in Iowa's University of Iowa.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The majority or all of the products featured here are from our partners who pay us. This influences which products we write about and where and how the product is featured on a page. However, this does not influence our opinions. Our opinions are our own. Here's a list and .

 

 

 

 

A hard inquiry is a request to verify your credit score, generally to make a decision about your loan or credit card application. This could shave the smallest amount of credits off your credit report, but it's temporary.

 

When you check your credit yourself, it's considered a soft credit inquiry, also known as a soft credit check, and it doesn't alter your score.

 

The Fair Credit Reporting Act places limitations on the time and place your credit report may be inspected.

 

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What is a difficult inquiry?

 

The term "hard inquiry," also referred to an 'hard pull' or a credit check, is a process that requires your permission. It is triggered when you make an application for credit like a mortgage, credit card auto loan, student loan and personal loan. This doesn't occur if you are only seeking pre-qualification to determine whether to apply.

 

The inquiry is added to your credit report, which means anyone who checks your credit report can view it. An inquiry that is hard will stay visible on your report some time, however it ceases to affect your credit score in less than one year.

 

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If you are applying for a credit card which requires a hard inquiry about your credit report you could get an inundation of marketing communications from lenders. This is because credit bureaus sell marketing lists that are triggered by hard inquiries. But you can opt out indefinitely or for five years. Visit , a service offered by the credit agencies Equifax, Experian, TransUnion and Innovis, or call 888-567-8688. The bureaus claim that your request will be effective within five days. Note that you may still receive offers for marketing from lenders who use different sources. The decision to opt out of receiving marketing offers does not impact your credit score nor your ability to get credits or for insurance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How does an inquiry that is not a formal one affect your credit score?

 

A single hard inquiry can cut as much as 5 points off of the FICO score. With the most widely used FICO model, all inquiries within a 45-day time frame are regarded as one inquiry when you are " ," such as for student, mortgage and auto loans. The older FICO models as well as VantageScore which is FICO's rival, are also able to group rates for shopping, but into 14 days. A VantageScore spokesperson said that a hard inquiry could cut up to 10 points off a VantageScore.

 

The majority of lenders or card issuers will get a credit history from just 3 credit bureaus -- Equifax, Experian or TransUnion. This means that the report will show up on only the credit report you have. However, this is not the case with a mortgage, when the three bureaus of credit are typically checked.

 

It is advisable to limit inquiries that are hard to make. Before you apply for credit, you should ensure as much as you can that you're likely to get approved so you don't lose score points and not get the approval you desire. Do not apply for credit on the spur of the moment. Be sure to consider whether a discount or bonus you are hoping to get is worth the potential ding to your credit score. If you're in the market one or two points, it may not matter much. However, if you have borderline credit quality consider reconsidering.

 

What is a soft inquiry?

 

Soft inquiries, also referred to as soft pulls or soft credit checks, can happen without you knowing about them. If you've received a credit card proposal via mail, it's likely that the credit card company performed a soft credit assessment to see if you would be eligible. This is also true for other types of loan offers, or when a mortgage broker or lender performs a pre-qualification or preapproval.

 

Employers can also conduct an inquiry into your background, including a look at a modified credit report. Although they require your permission to examine your credit report, it's not considered as a difficult inquiry since it's not a way of deciding whether to extend your credit.

 

Most importantly, is an unstructured question, meaning it won't impact your score. You can get your upon request from websites for personal finance like NerdWallet. You can also obtain your reports from the three main credit bureaus. The reports are free and, until the end of 2023, you are entitled to one from each bureau every week.

 

When you review your credit reports you'll find soft inquiries , but they don't appear in the reports that creditors look at.

 

>> LEARN: How you can work in Canada

 

Hard credit inquiry or soft inquiry?

 

Some inquiries can be either difficult or soft. If you lease a car or apply for a rental apartment or sign up for cable TV or internet service and open an account at an institution of finance, or someone just needs to verify that you are who they say you are, you could encounter an inquiry that is hard or soft inquiry. The only way to know beforehand is to inquire with the prospective landlord or service provider.

 

Finally, if you believe an inquiry that is hard to verify is in your credit report, but should not be it is just as you could find other incorrect information. It's definitely worth pursuing because it could suggest fraud or .

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Allison Martin's work started over 10 years ago as a digital content strategist, and she's since been published in numerous prestigious financial media outlets such as The Wall Street Journal, MSN Money, MoneyTalksNews , Investopedia, Experian and Credit.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The edit was done by Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor

 

 

Rhys has been editing and writing for Bankrate since the end of 2021. They are committed to helping readers to manage their finances by providing concise, well-studied and well-researched content that break down complex subjects into digestible chunks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The demand for second-hand cars is high due to a . Although the shortage is decreasing and could come to an end in the coming year, many auto manufacturers continue to produce fewer vehicles than they usually produce. This means that dealers have less inventory. It's good news, however in the event that you happen to sell a car that is used since you're likely to be able to find many potential buyers. But before you post an advertisement on the internet, there are some steps you should follow to get top dollar for your car. 8 steps to selling your car used an asset as important as a car, you want to secure the most competitive price. Invest in cleaning your vehicle prior to putting it up for sale. Take time to determine the best price for selling and understand how to bargain efficiently. 1. Choose which way to sell your car There are three ways to sell your car: Trade it in: only works if you're looking to buy a car from the dealership . It's convenient, as you don't need to promote the vehicle to potential buyers. However, you will not receive as much from your vehicle like you'd with a private sale. Privat sales: you'll typically get more for your ride in the event that you decide to sell it on your own. But, you'll need to research to find the right buyer and agree on a specific sale price. Dealership: Many dealerships will offer you a no-cost unconditional cash offer for your vehicle. It's simple and quick and you'll be given an agreed-upon time frame to decide whether or not to accept it. Websites for buying cars: such as Shift and AutoNation will make an offer on your car within minutes. You'll need to provide certain details regarding the car's make, model, color and mileage. Additionally, you'll need to upload pictures. These companies will pay you cash fast for your car, however they often charge service fees which can eat into your earnings. 2. Gather the necessary documents You aren't able to sell your vehicle to a dealer or private party unless you've got these documents on hand The original paperwork from the sale of the vehicle. The title to the vehicle. Any service records available. If you're missing any of these documents ensure you have them on hand to be able to sell your car. In the event that you do not, you may face complications when trying to close the deal. It's also recommended to have documentation from the emissions test available if you live in a state where emissions tests are required. If warranties still remain on the vehicle, having this paperwork available is essential. You may even fetch more money for a car that is insured by the warranty. 3. Prepare your car for sale When you've made a decision on how you want you'll sell your car and gathered the necessary paperwork, it's time to prepare it for the market. It is ideal to clean up the interior and exterior of your vehicle to shine in the eyes of potential buyers. Get your car professionally detailed or spend time cleaning and shampooing your carpets, cleaning the mirrors, washing the exterior, applying wax as needed and making your tires shine. Also, take your vehicle to the shop for an oil change. If your tires or brakes are getting close to the expiration date It's the right time to get them replaced. The mechanic should replace any burnt-out light bulbs and windshield wipers that do not perform as they should. Also, plan to repair cracked windshields, scratches or scratch marks. Bankrate tip

 

The process of cleaning your car and making important cosmetic repairs is similar to staging your house for sale. The appearance of your car is crucial and can result in more money. Most people do not want to buy cars that are splattered with scratches or dents, or with a dirty interior.

 

 

 

4. Set the right sales price If you plan to sell your vehicle to a private buyer , . An amount that is too high may cause buyers to be turned off, and selling for too low could result in you receiving lower than you're worth. You must do your research to ensure that the price of the car is right and leave a bit of wiggle room for negotiations. You can use several tools to calculate . Use the " " feature in Kelley Blue Book or refer to Edmunds to find out what the value of your car. Also, you can utilize Autotrader or look up classified ads to look for similar ads in your local area. 5. Spread the word to everyone in your network that you are selling your vehicle. Ask to share the news. You can also make a post on social media sites or advertise on websites that have an auction for used carslike Autotrader, Kelley Blue Book or Cars.com or in the local newspaper. When you create your ad, include photos that capture multiple angles of the car's exterior, interior, and what it looks like underneath the car's hood. The ad should also mention the year, make and model of the car, its current condition along with the asking price and acceptable payment methods. Additionally, you should include any things that help it stick out, such as the extended warranty, the fuel-efficiency rating or heated seats, and the reasons you'd like to sell the car. 6. Be prepared to negotiate. prepare for negotiations, whether selling privately or to a dealership you can take your car to several dealers and get offers. Utilize this information along with what you've learned by looking up the value of your car on websites such as Kelley Blue Book or Edmunds to help you negotiate with prospective buyers. You'll want to come to your table with cheapest price with a clear mind, and then be ready to make a counter offer. Begin by letting the potential buyer offer an amount. If the figure works for you, it's your responsibility to decide whether to seek out more or move ahead with the purchase. But if the number isn't sufficient, try to offer a slightly higher amount that is greater than the minimum you are willing to accept. Be prepared to walk away in the event that you are unable to come to a fair agreement with the other party. 7. Be smart and safe regarding the sale. Security is of paramount importance when it comes to arranging an auction for your vehicle with a private party. The seller may prefer to pay cash. S suggest they use the contactless payment processor like PayPal instead. Cashier's checks are an alternative. The check will be cleared since the money is immediately pulled out of the purchaser's bank account when the check is made. If the buyer is interested to drive the car before agreeing to purchase the car, make contact with your insurer to ensure that you will be protected in case that you are involved in an accident. Make sure you choose a safe region and agree on the route prior to it beginning. You may also want to take a companion with you for extra safety. 8. Get the deal signed off at last, you discovered the ideal buyer and are now eager to finalize the sale. However, before you can conclude the deal, you need to visit the DMV in your area (Department of Motor Vehicles) together with the buyer to transfer the title of the vehicle to the new owner. Remember that this procedure is different in every state. Certain states may need evidence of an inspection that has been passed or you should contact the tax assessor's office in the county you reside in. The rules applicable to your state at . Next steps , whether you're trying to earn more cash or trade your vehicle for a brand new one, these suggestions will allow you to get the best dollars for your car. However, a private party sale is probably the best method to make the most of your profits. Make sure you get a few valuations before listing your ride to ensure that it's priced correctly and sells in record time.

 

 

 

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Allison Martin's work began over 10 years ago as a digital content strategist, and she's since been featured in a variety of top financial outlets including The Wall Street Journal, MSN Money, MoneyTalksNews , Investopedia, Experian and Credit.com.

 

 

 

 

Editor: Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor

 

 

Rhys has been writing and editing for Bankrate from late 2021. They are committed to helping readers gain the confidence to control their finances by providing clear, well-researched information that breaks down complicated topics into manageable bites.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A graduate's guide to buying a car Advertiser Disclosure Advertiser Disclosure We are an independent, advertising-supported comparison service. Our mission is to help you make better financial choices by offering you interactive tools and financial calculators, publishing original and objective content. This allows you to conduct research and compare information for free to help you make financial decisions with confidence. Bankrate has partnerships with issuers such as, but not restricted to, American Express, Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citi and Discover. How We Make money The products that appear on this website are provided by companies that compensate us. This compensation could affect how and where products are displayed on this site, including the order in which they may appear in the listing categories in the event that they are not permitted by law. This applies to our mortgage, home equity, and other home lending products. But this compensation does have no impact on the information we publish, or the reviews you see on this site. We do not consider the entire universe of businesses or financial deals that could be accessible to you. Kali9/Getty Images

 

4 min read . Published September 16, 2022

 

Written by Allison Martin Written by Allison Martin's work started over 10 years ago as a digital content strategist. She's been published in several leading financial media outlets, such as The Wall Street Journal, MSN Money, MoneyTalksNews , Investopedia, Experian and Credit.com. Editor: Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor Rhys has been editing and writing for Bankrate from late 2021. They are committed to helping readers to take control of their finances with concise, well-researched and well-written information that breaks down otherwise complicated topics into bite-sized pieces. The Bankrate promises

 

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Founded in 1976, Bankrate has a proven track history of helping people make smart financial choices.

 

We've maintained our reputation for more than 40 years by simplifying the process of financial decision-making

 

process and giving people confidence about the actions they should do next. Bankrate has a very strict ,

 

so you can trust that we're putting your interests first. Our content is authored by and edited by ,

 

They ensure that what we write is objective, accurate and reliable. Our loans reporter and editor focus on the areas that consumers are concerned about the most -- the different kinds of lending options and the most competitive rates, the most reliable lenders, how to repay debt, and more . This means you're able to be confident about making a decision about your investment. Integrity of the editing

 

Bankrate adheres to a strict code of conduct and rigorous policy, so you can rest assured that we put your interests first. Our award-winning editors and reporters produce honest and reliable content to help you make the right financial decisions. Our main principles are that we value your trust. Our aim is to provide our readers with accurate and unbiased information. We have editorial standards in place to ensure this happens. Our reporters and editors rigorously fact-check editorial content to ensure that the information you're reading is accurate. We have a strict separation with our advertising partners and the editorial team. The editorial team of Editorial Independence Bankrate does not receive direct compensation through our sponsors. Editorial Independence Bankrate's editorial staff writes in the name of YOU - the reader. Our aim is to provide you the most accurate advice to help you make wise financial choices for yourself. We follow strict guidelines to ensure that our editorial content is not influenced by advertisers. Our editorial team is not paid direct compensation from advertisers, and our content is thoroughly verified to guarantee its accuracy. So when you read an article or reviewing you can be sure that you're getting credible and dependable information. How we earn money

 

You have money questions. Bankrate has answers. Our experts have helped you understand your finances for more than four years. We strive to continuously provide consumers with the expert advice and tools needed to make it through life's financial journey. Bankrate follows a strict , so you can trust that our information is trustworthy and reliable. Our award-winning editors and journalists provide honest and trustworthy content that will help you make the best financial decisions. The content we create by our editorial team is factual, accurate and is not influenced through our sponsors. We're open regarding how we're capable of bringing high-quality information, competitive rates and useful tools to you , by describing how we make money. Bankrate.com is an independent, advertising-supported publisher and comparison service. We receive compensation for the placement of sponsored products and services or through you clicking specific links on our website. Therefore, this compensation may affect the way, location and in what order the products are listed within categories, except where prohibited by law in the case of our home equity, mortgage, and other products for home loans. Other factors, like our own website rules and whether a product is available in your area or at your personal credit score could also affect how and when products appear on this site. We strive to provide an array of offers, Bankrate does not include the details of every financial or credit product or service. You're walking through the halls soon to receive your diploma and now it's time to journey into the real world. The purchase of a car could be part of the plan if you are going to reside in an area that public transportation isn't your best way to get around. However, before heading to the dealership to select the ideal vehicle, conduct your own research and obtain preapproved an so you can shop with confidence. Choose the car that's right for your needs post-graduation. thought of purchasing your own car is exciting. But, it is important to avoid being distracted, or you could choose a vehicle that is in line with your preferences yet isn't practical. What's your commute from and to work? If it'll be lengthy you might want limit your searches to vehicles with good performance in terms of fuel efficiency and especially considering how gas prices are trending. It's currently around $3.70 each gallon of regular fuel, according to AAA that's just a bit lower than the previous month's average of $3.96. However, this is more than the average cost per gallon , which was $3.18 only one year ago. Use the online tool to check the annual average fuel cost for any vehicles you are thinking about. It is possible to narrow down by year, make and model, and then view recommendations for the most fuel-efficient cars. Dimensions and other features Will a compact car suffice, or do you need something more substantial, like a crossover or pickup truck? What are the best features? are certain ones "must-have" on your list? If you've recently secured an opportunity with a decent salary that you will start soon after graduating, you may have the most recent technologies and features. Still, you could prefer a smaller ride without all the features until you start working and get more established in your job. Safety features How secure is the vehicle you're looking at? Request a copy of the vehicle's . It also contains maintenance records. It discloses if the car has been involved in any accident. It is a good reference. You can search for safety ratings and search for recalls by entering the vehicle's make and model or VIN. Decide between new and used There's plenty to enjoy about a new car. It's clean, in great form and smells delicious. However, there are some that aren't as solid as the others. Plus, you could buy an extended warranty for around $1500, and get assurance that you're protected in the scenario of a major mechanical failure. Consider the following when deciding between a brand new or used ride: New cars are covered by a manufacturer's guarantee. This coverage can save you a significant amount of cash if your vehicle is damaged and requires major repairs in the first few years of ownership. New cars typically have modern technology. You may also find a slightly used car with your desired features. There are some used cars that have low mileage. So, you shouldn't have any mechanical problems for a long time, maintenance costs will likely be lower , and you'll receive a better deal. Certain used cars are . They receive the manufacturer's seal of acceptance after being upgraded to a certain level mechanically and are covered by an limited warranty from the factory. Take a look at the entire cost of car ownership Beyond the monthly payment, fuel costs and auto insurance premiums, you should also factor into repair and maintenance costs. In 2021, the median expense for maintenance, repairs and tires was 9.55 cents per mile as reported by . Still, these costs vary according to the vehicle you own however, you can use the to determine the amount you can expect to pay over the course of. The annual registration renewal costs that typically range from under $20 to just over $200 per year, are also a factor to keep in mind. Certain states charge an annual fee that is fixed and others rely on the age of your car, its fuel efficiency or weight in calculating the registration fee. Find out about cars and finance before going to a dealership Most dealerships offer in-house financing however, it's better to get it begin shopping before purchasing the car. It is important to have a concrete idea of what you're able to spend and the quotes you get from your bank or credit union will assist you in deciding on an amount that is feasible for you. There's also more leverage when . The deal won't depend on the ability of you to obtain financing through the dealership, and you'll be able to behave as the cash buyer. Understand the benefits of buying as opposed to. leasing There's plenty of discussion about what is the best option. Here are some advantages of both choices to think about lease payments on more recent cars are typically less expensive. If you're keen on a certain car which is expensive and you're not sure if you'll be able to afford the monthly payment by leasing. You'll get a manufacturer's warranty when you lease a brand new car. It typically covers you until 36,000 miles, or three years, meaning you don't need to worry about spending an enormous amount on repairs should an issue with your vehicle arises. There are no mileage limits for buying a vehicle. If you opt to lease, you'll be limited to anywhere between 10,000 and 15,000 miles per calendar year, or risk racking up exorbitant mileage fees. These can range between 10 cents to $25 cents for each mile, or more, subject to the specifics in the agreement. The car will be yours once the loan is paid in full. Lease agreements operate a bit differently, though. You'll have to return the vehicle to the dealer after the lease is over unless you opt to . Next steps Ultimately, buying a car during college is among the largest purchases you'll make. To make sure that you are getting the best deal make sure you do the necessary research to locate the right vehicle that fits your lifestyle and budget. It's also important to obtain pre-approval to finance your purchase prior to visiting any dealership and evaluate the advantages of buying and leasing to determine which option is best. Learn more

 

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Allison Martin's writing began more than 10 years ago when she was a digital content strategist, and since then she's been published in a variety of top financial publications such as The Wall Street Journal, MSN Money, MoneyTalksNews , Investopedia, Experian and Credit.com. Edited by Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor Rhys has been editing and writing for Bankrate since late 2021. They are passionate about helping readers gain confidence to take control of their finances by providing concise, well-studied and well-informed information that breaks down otherwise complex subjects into bite-sized pieces.

 

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How I Ditched Debt: Making the Most of a Gig Economy

 

Written by Amrita Jayakumar Writer The Washington Post Amrita Jayakumar was a former special-assignment reporter for NerdWallet. She also wrote a syndicated column about millennials and money, and wrote about personal loans as well as consumer credit and debt. Prior to that, she was a reporter at The Washington Post. Her work has appeared in The Miami Herald and USAToday. Amrita holds a master's degree in journalistic studies from the University ofMissouri.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Published Feb 5, 2019 9:11 AM PST

 

 

 

Edited by Kathy Hinson Lead Assigning Editor Personal financial, credit scoring, financial management and debt Kathy Hinson leads the Core Personal Finance team at NerdWallet. Previously, she spent 18 years working at The Oregonian in Portland in positions such as copy desk chief and team director of design and editing. Her previous experience included news and copy editing for various Southern California newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times. She received a bachelor's degree in mass communications and journalism in the University of Iowa.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many or all of the products featured here come from our partners who compensate us. This affects the products we review and where and how the product is featured on the page. However, this doesn't influence our evaluations. Our views are our own. Here is a list of and .

 

 

 

 

The series speaks to individuals who have beaten debt by combining commitment, budgeting , and smart financial choices. The responses have been edited to improve length and clarity.

 

Kara Perez has never had a full-time job. The 30-year-old entrepreneurial entrepreneur from Austin, Texas, juggled various part-time jobs throughout her 20s such as catering to Nannying, to instructing girls' lacrosse at high school.

 

Perez completed her studies in 2011, graduating with an English degree, and over 25,000 dollars in loan debt. Three years into "adulting" and no job opportunity to be found, she realized she couldn't afford to carry on with the burden forever. "I realized: No one is going to save me. I have to save myself from this existence I'm living," she shares.

 

Perez decided to make the most of her gig economy life and kicked things into high gear by juggling five jobs and working seven days a week. She put every extra dollar she made toward credit card debt.

 

Now debt-free, Perez runs her own business known as which is a financial education and event company that teaches women how to manage their finances. Perez shared her successes and lows on NerdWallet, and her story may encourage you to .

 

What was your debt and salary when you first started?

 

I completed my studies in 2011 and had a just over $25,000 spread across five distinct loans. When I was really committed to repaying debt] during 2014, I had about $18,000 remaining and had earned $18,423.

 

How did you get in credit?

 

I went to my first-choice college, Wesleyan University. I come from a single-income household, and the need to take the loans was always part of my plan.

 

What triggered your decision to get out of the debt?

 

It was a bit depressing watching everyone around me continue to live their lives, and feeling like I drowned. I was in tears and panicking. I was applying to jobs but I hadn't gotten accepted. I was just three years out of school and working part-time as a caterer. I also worked 10 hours a day as an office receptionist in the gym.

 

My friends were on the road, getting actual jobs, or even promotions, and I was stuck.

 

[When I was learning about finances] I had to take out a students loan to cover six months due to the fact that I couldn't pay for the loan.

 

What steps did you take?

 

I made two changes I cut down everything remotely feasible in my financial budget. Then started looking for work. I was a driver for an athletic team at the high school. I was a freelance writer for 12 dollars an hour on blogs that were small and freelance social media management.

 

I also became extremely frugal. I would bring the leftovers of my catering job and eat them instead buying groceries for a few weeks.

 

(Perez had multiple roommates at the time]. My roommates were my most cherished friends, but they all came from very wealthy backgrounds with no debt. Everyone was very accommodating and my friends would always come home for dinner instead of making me eat out.

 

I'm still frugal -- I live with my boyfriend and roommate and do not eat out often.

 

>> MORE:

 

That must have been a hard juggling act.

 

I worked five different part-time jobs, and often worked seven days a week. I was really burnt out towards the end however, I was extremely proud of myself.

 

Let me know about the debt avalanche method for paying your loans.

 

There was one Federal loan with a rate of 6.8%; that was my highest interest rate. [ focuses on the debt with the highest rate of interest.] I made any additional payments towards that debt and I made the minimum payment on all other debts.

 

Do you have a change in your income through the time?

 

Catering and the social media tasks I worked on was hourlywork, and I asked for more hours. I also worked to negotiate raises in my catering and non-profit jobs, so that was helpful. I went from $12 an hour as a caterer to $15.50 in the course of a year. In 2015 (the year she paid off the debtI earned $32,249.63.

 

Do you have any suggestions for what you would have changed?

 

Looking back, the biggest thing I wish I had done was start investing into my retirement accounts in tandem with getting rid of the debt. I didn't start investing until later, which was time my money could be growing during the bull market.

 

What are your goals now?

 

I'm a business owner and work all the time. I'm also a super-saver; I'm trying to accumulate enough money to make work as an alternative. Last year I saved 70% of my net income by using a an .

 

How do you get rid of your personal debt

 

Create a budget you can allocate money towards debt, but also save for emergencies and tuck aside some for fun. To accomplish this, we like the , where your expenses are divided among needs, wants as well as savings and repayment of debt.

 

The method of debt avalanche used by Perez used is a more effective way to pay off debt because you can save on interest, but to get quick wins, you can also attempt to pay off your smallest debt amount first.

 

As Perez says, it is something that is able and should be done alongside the process of paying off debt.

 

 

Photo taken by Shane Henderson.

 

 

 

 

About the author: Amrita Jayakumar is a former writer at NerdWallet. She has previously worked for The Washington Post and the Miami Herald.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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How Debt Consolidation Can Go Wrong

 

 

Advertiser disclosure You're our first priority. Everytime. We believe that everyone should be able make financial decisions with confidence. Although our site does not include every company or financial product available on the market, we're proud that the guidance we offer and the information we offer and the tools we develop are impartial, independent simple, and completely free. So how do we earn money? Our partners compensate us. This may influence which products we review and write about (and the places they are featured on the site) however it doesn't affect our recommendations or advice, which are grounded in many hours of study. Our partners cannot pay us to guarantee favorable review of their services or products. .

 

 

The Debt Consolidation Process Can Go Wrong

 

Written by Liz Weston, CFP(r) Senior Writer | Personal Finance economics, credit scores, Liz Weston, CFP(r) is a personal financial columnist co-host of the "Smart money" podcast, award-winning journalist and creator of 5 novels on financial matters, among them the bestseller "Your credit score." Liz has been featured on a variety of national television and radio programs, including the "Today" talk show "NBC Nightly News," the "Dr. Phil" show and "All Things Considered." Her columns are published in the media by The Associated Press and appear in hundreds of media outlets every week. Prior to NerdWallet, she was a writer columns for MSN, Reuters, AARP The Magazine and the Los Angeles Times. She lives located in Los Angeles with a husband as well as a daughter, and a golden retriever that is co-dependent.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Updated July 20th, 2017 at 2:07 PM PDT.

 

 

 

Written by Des Toups Lead Assigning Editor | Student loans, repaying college debt, and paying tuition for colleges Des Toups is a former director of assigning editors who worked on both the auto loans and auto loans teams. He has years of experience in personal finance journalism, exploring everything from auto insurance to bankruptcy, couponing and side hustles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The majority or all of the products we feature are from our partners who compensate us. This impacts the types of products we write about and where and how the product is featured on a page. However, this does not affect our assessments. Our views are our own. Here's a list and .

 

 

 

 

Daniel Montville knew a debt consolidation loan wouldn't solve his financial problems however, the hospice worker believed it could give him some breathing space. He'd already declared bankruptcy once in 2005 and was determined not to make the same mistake again.

 

Montville was able to take out the loan in 2015, but within a year, he was been in debt on the loan as well as his payday loans he got to assist his daughter, who was a single mom with four children. The payday lenders all but eliminated his bank account each time a paycheck landed and left him with only a small amount of money to pay for the essentials. His daughter was fired from her job, and the $5,000 tax refund she had promised to him in exchange for repayment was instead devoted to supporting her kids.

 

"That's the moment I woke up and realized that this was a no-win situation," says Montville, 49, of Parma, Ohio. Montville is currently paying back his creditors under a 5-year Chapter 13 bankruptcy repayment plan.

 

can feel like the answer to a borrower's need however it does not always solve the issue of overspending that led to the debt in the first place. Within a short time, borrowers often find themselves being buried in debt.

 

"It's simple to fix it," says Danielle Garcia an expert in credit counseling at American Financial Solutions in Bremerton, Washington. "They don't address the root cause of the issue."

 

From the skillet

 

The five-year $17,000 loan Montville obtained at his credit union, for example, paid off 10 high-rate credit card debts, cut the rate of interest on the debt from double digits to around 8% and offered a fixed monthly payment of $375, less than the amount he was currently paying in total on the cards.

 

What the loan didn't do but change Montville's habits of spending. The repayment of credit card debt only gave him room to make charges.

 

Some of the debt came from unexpected expenses such as repair work to your car. But Montville estimates that 60% of it of the debt was a result of "foolish expenses."

 

"I wanted to own a television. I was in need of clothes. I'd like to go to a cinema," Montville says. When he purchased a brand new laptop, he noticed only the small monthly payment of $35 but not the 25% interest rate he was being charged. When his daughter was in financial difficulties, he resorted to payday loans because his cards were at their maximum.

 

Now that he is unable to longer make loans -- his credit card accounts are shut and he'll require the permission of the bankruptcy court in order to buy a new car-- Montville finally is thinking about what he really wants to purchase versus what he'd like to buy. He contemplates whether he could go without a purchase, or delay it. If he truly wants something, he saves for it.

 

"My feeling now is, cash only," Montville says. "Once I make a payment in cash, nobody will be able to steal it."

 

Consolidation is a method but not an answer

 

Montville's attorney, Blake Brewer, says many of his clients don't have any idea how their expenses stack up against their earnings. They think that their forthcoming tax rebate or stretch of overtime will allow them to get ahead, but don't realize they're consistently spending more than they earn.

 

"These people are shocked when I sit down with them and take out a calculator," Brewer says.

 

A few of his clients have consolidated their debts using a 401(k) loan or a home equity line of credit. They pride themselves on saving money by lowering their interest rates, however they're not aware of the fact that they're spending assets -- home equity and retirement accounts -- that generally would be safe against creditors when they file bankruptcy the court.

 

The people who seek debt consolidation might end up with a debt settlement agreements that promise to convince lenders to pay less than what they're owed. The process of settling debts typically results in a major hit to credit scores, however success isn't guaranteed and some businesses simply go under with the hundreds of dollars they cost.

 

-- through a credit union or a reputable online lender It doesn't have to be a disaster when the borrowers:

 

Stop using credit cards

 

Commit to an annual budget

 

Save for emergencies so they don't have to take out loans to pay for unexpected expenses

 

 

The most important thing is that their debt must have the ability to be repaid within the three- to five-year duration of the standard debt consolidation loan. If it will take more than five years to pay off the debt on their own, the borrowers must consult with a .

 

"By the time most people seek help they're already too far," says Garcia, the credit counselor.

 

Liz Weston is a certified financial planner and columnist at NerdWallet the personal finance website. She is also the author of "Your Credit Score." Email: Twitter: @lizweston.

 

This article was written by NerdWallet and first printed in The Associated Press.

 

 

 

 

About the author: Liz Weston is a columnist for NerdWallet. She is certified as a financial planner and author of five money books which include "Your credit score."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Credit One credit cards: Confusing for consumers

 

 

Advertiser disclosure You're our first priority. Each time. We believe that everyone should be able to make sound financial decisions with confidence. And while our site does not include every company or financial product that is available in the marketplace, we're proud that the guidance we offer, the information we provide and the tools we create are independent, objective simple, and completely free. So how do we make money? Our partners pay us. This could influence the types of products we write about (and the places they are featured on our site) However, it doesn't affect our advice or suggestions that are based on many hours of study. Our partners cannot pay us to guarantee favorable ratings of their goods or services. .

 

 

Credit One Credit Cards: Confusing for Consumers

 

Are you suffering from bad credit and confused by Credit One credit cards? This isn't you.

 

Written by Ellen Cannon Ellen was an ex-credit card writer at NerdWallet. She was a writer for personal finance for more than two decades at Bloomberg as well as Bankrate.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Updated November 20 2020

 

 

 

Editor: Paul Soucy Lead Assigning Editor Credit cards, credit scoring, personal financial matters Paul Soucy has led the Credit Cards content team at NerdWallet since 2015. He worked as an editor at USA Today, The Des Moines Register and the Meredith/Better Homes and Gardens family of magazines for more than 20 years. He also established a profitable freelance writing and editing business with a focus on personal and business finances. He was editor of the USA Today Weekly International Edition for six years, and was awarded the top distinction of the year from ACES: The Society for Editing. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism, as well as a Master of Business Administration. His home is in Des Moines, Iowa, with his fiancée, his two sons, and a dog named Sam.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A majority of the products we feature are from our partners, who pay us. This impacts the types of products we feature and the location and manner in which the product is displayed on the page. However, it does not affect our opinions. Our opinions are entirely our own. Here is a list of and .

 

 

 

 

This page is not up to the date

 

Credit One has significantly overhauled its credit card offerings as well as its policies since the article was published. We're currently working on an update.

 

The best word for describing the cards offered through Credit One is confusing .

 

When you begin the process of applying, you don't know which type of card you're eventually going to get which includes crucial details such as rates, fees and rewards, or even if you get a .

 

When you send in an order on time, you don't know whether it will be credited to your account soon enough to avoid paying a late fee. The card issuer typically takes one week to process transactions, while many cardholders encounter problems paying online, as indicated by the report Credit One made to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and state regulators.

 

The credit card posted on the website of the issueran important source of information regarding any card -is a general statement designed "for informational purposes only" for Credit One. It isn't possible to read the exact terms of your credit card until you qualify for the card you want.

 

The issuer's name and logo are similar to those of better-known issues Capital One, which has made some people believe they were applying for a credit card issued by the latter.

 

 

Credit One markets credit cards for people with less-than-great credit. In its defense, the issuer says that in order to provide credit cards to as many of these subprime customers as they can, it has to do things in a different way than what you will find on cards for higher-credit consumers. It's fair enough however, the confusion is real so be warned and be careful when applying for.

 

Credit One offers three types of credit cards:

 

Credit One Bank(r) Cash Back Rewards Credit Card

 

Credit One Bank(r) Platinum Visa(r) for Building Credit

 

 

Applications: It's all about prequal

 

 

Some credit card issuers will allow users to . Prequalification is when you submit certain information and then the issuer conducts an instant check to determine whether you're likely to get accepted for a credit card. Prequalification does not affect your credit scores. Only a real credit application will trigger the "hard inquiry" which can reduce your score by a few points. But prequalifying also does not ensure that you'll be granted credit. It's like a "soft affirmative."

 

Prequalification is an option with the majority of issuers, but it's a crucial component of an Credit One application process. You must prequalify in order to learn the exact costs, rates, and reward structure of the card you'll be applying for. Once you see those terms, you decide whether to apply or not and then undergo the hard inquiry. The application review is more extensive than an "prequal" review, which means you may still be denied or accepted for a different terms that you did not see after prequalification.

 

>> MORE:

 

What is the reason they behave in this manner?

 

Credit One says this prequalification process protects subprime consumers, who are least able losing points from their credit scores.

 

In this case, let's say that an issuer provides three cards with annual fees that range from $99 to $45 and zero. A person with bad credit might qualify for the $99 card, but not the other two- but they would probably opt for the card with a zero fee first, followed by the $45 card, and then the $99 card as the last resort. Their credit score would suffer the impact of three applications instead of one.

 

Credit One however it could offer a single card with several possible combinations of rewards as well as fees and rates. The application process is one-time and the issuer then accepts the terms you want to use based the creditworthiness of your applicant. So there is a benefit, but there's also an additional hurdle to leap through. You don't know the terms you're receiving (or likely to get) until you've begun the application process, at which point you may be less likely to fail.

 

Rewards: Wait to see

 

 

Terms and Conditions stipulate that, based upon your creditworthiness you may be eligible for one of 6 cash-back reward programs. Here are the possibilities:

 

Credit One Bank(r) Cash Back Rewards Credit Card and Credit One Bank(r) Platinum Visa(r) for Building Credit

 

Cashback of 1% on food, gas and mobile phone service. internet service and cable and satellite TV.

 

1% cash back on groceries, gas and dining out, mobile phone service, internet service, cable and satellite TV service.

 

1% cash back on all eligible purchases.

 

Cashback of 5% for the first $5,000 a year for combined food, gas and mobile phone service. internet service, satellite and cable TV services as well as 1% cash back rewards on any other purchase.

 

 

NASCAR(r) Credit Card issued by the Credit One Bank(r)

 

1% cash back on car and gas purchases, and double cash back on NASCAR.com purchases.

 

Cashback of 1% on all purchases. Double money back when you make NASCAR.com purchases.

 

 

The truth is it's impossible to know what you'll earn in cash back until you get your card.

 

Rewards are automatically converted into an account credit every month, which means this part is pretty straightforward.

 

Rates of interest: They're okay

 

 

The interest rates cited in the "for informational purposes only" disclosure ranged from 19.74 percent to 25.74 percent as of August 2018. If you're a person with bad or limited credit, the interest rates you pay for any card or loan will be on the high side. The rates offered by Credit One are in line with those on typical credit cards that are designed for bad credit.

 

Annual fees: Make your guess

 

 

Like other features of Credit One cards, the annual cost you pay remains a mystery until the issuer qualifies you for a credit card. Your annual fee the beginning of the year would be "between $0 to $75." For the second year and beyond, the range increases to $0 and $99. In the following year after the beginning, your annual cost may be paid by monthly instalments. It could also be billed in one lump sum.

 

Certain Credit One credit card agreements -that are "real" the terms and conditions which will ultimately be applicable to cardholders are contained in . As of August 2019, the agreement outlined 21 various combinations of APRs, annual fees, and other card features. Again, the one that applies to you will be revealed only after you have been approved for a card.

 

Nerdy Tip

 

For certain Credit One cardholders, the annual fee is billed in monthly installments rather than all at once. That means they are required to pay the bill every month, even if they're not making use of the card. That, in turn, increases the chances of missing payments or making late payments due to the issues that many cardholders have with getting their payments promptly credited, discussed below.

 

 

 

Here are a few other fees you might pay (we use the word "might" because the "for informational only" conditions could differ from the terms on the credit card you're ultimately approved for):

 

Authorized user: $19 per year The authorized user must be 15 years old

 

Foreign transaction fee: 3% (minimum $1)

 

Cash advance: 5 (or 8%) of every money advance, which is higher or $10 or 3% of each cash advance, whichever is higher.

 

Late payment fee: up to $37

 

Returned payment fee: up to $35

 

Credit limit increase fee from $0 to $49

 

Fee for duplicate monthly statements: $10

 

Receipts for sales receipts: $6

 

Replacement card: $25

 

Fee for balance transfer: $5 or 8 percent of the balance transferred whichever is greater (if the card allows transfers at all)

 

 

Grace period: Who is sure?

 

 

For most credit cards, if you pay your account in full each month, you immediately receive an -- that's, you won't be charged any interest on purchases until the pay-day. Complete your monthly payments in full and then you'll never pay interest.

 

With the Credit One cards, however, you can't tell upfront what grace period. In the "for informational only" terms there's a section devoted to "paying an interest." It starts with "If your Account is subject to an Grace Period ..." That's an enormous "if." It continues to state that when your account is not subject to a grace period, you will be charged interest on each purchase from the time it is posted onto your credit card. Like most important information regarding Credit One cards, you will not know if you have any grace periods until you apply. Of 31 card agreements spelled out by Credit One as of August 2018, about half had a grace period.

 

Making payments: Confusion reigns

 

 

A NerdWallet investigation released in October 2018 found numerous complaints regarding Credit One that, because of an unintended loophole in the law of the United States was not apparent to consumers. The issue of payment is frequently mentioned in those complaints, as well as in posts posted in other forums.

 

Consumers describe sending in a payment before the due date but then having Credit One fail to process the payment until it was "late." In other instances, customers could not pay on credit card on the Credit One website and were forced pay via mail or phone, resulting in additional charges.

 

Credit One declined to comment on the findings of the investigation, however, its policies regarding processing payments seem to confirm the claims. The majority of credit card companies will make a payment available to a cardholder's account instantly. Credit One says it will keep your money for several days -- unless you chip in the equivalent of $10 to get it processed within a day.

 

When will your payment be credited?

 

Like any credit card, the balance on credit cards is based on the balance of your Credit One card is made from your purchases as well as cash advances (if they are available), interest as well as any fees added. The minimum amount you pay on Credit One cards is 5% of the amount. For most credit cards the minimum payment is 1% to 33% on the amount.

 

After one billing cycle, Credit One cardholders may contact Customer Service and choose their due date, as in the six days before or after the initial date. Cardholders may choose a different due date once every six months.

 

It appears that Credit One cardholders have to be extra cautious the way they pay their monthly payments. The "FAQs" section of the website says there are two options to pay your bill: "Standard Payment" and "Express Payment." From there, it gets difficult:

 

If you choose Standard Payment, according to the FAQ "your funds will become available within 5 (5) business days, and you will only be able to pay using your Bank Account." Five business days can be a challenge. Say your due date falls on the 15th day of the month and for a particular month, that 15th day falls on a Saturday. To avoid a late charge you'll need to make your payment on the 7th day of the month (a Friday) to be sure your payment will be processed in the "about five (5) business days" period. If you didn't pay 8 days earlier, in other words you might become "late."

 

If you opt for Express Payment When you make an Express Payment, your "funds will become available sooner (usually within the next business day)." However, the cost for Express Payment will be $9.95.

 

 

Even the terminology Credit One uses is peculiar. We've never come across a credit card agreement with wording about when "funds will become available." This kind of language typically applies to bank account deposits, so we don't know what it refers to in this instance. But we assume it indicates that the money will be posted to your account.

 

When does your available credit refresh?

 

But wait, there's more! Every one of the 21 card agreements contained in"the "real Terms and Conditions" document contain this paragraph:

 

In the event that an amount of payment is less than the principal amount outstanding on your Card Account, new credit will be available (subject to your credit limit) however, only 12 calendar days following our receipt of the payment.

 

This could mean that regardless of when you make your payment whether on time in the past, late, Standard or Express, or Standard -- you won't be able to access your total available credit line until two weeks following the payment. Say your credit line is $500, and you're maxed out. You've paid off your balance, but you're not able to use your card for 12 more days.

 

To get clarification to clarify the issue, we attempted to call to the "Application information" number provided by Credit One however, we could not make it past the first branch of the phone tree. It's because, to inquire regarding applying for a Credit One card, you need to input the 16-digit number of the Credit One card.

 

Consumer complaints

 

The Credit One cards are issued by Credit One Bank of Las Vegas which is a subsidiary of Sherman Financial Group, a private firm based within Charleston, South Carolina.

 

In addition to the complaints to government agencies uncovered by NerdWallet Payment problems are commonplace in complaints about Credit One credit cards on the website. Many reviewers say they tried to pay the bill online however, the Credit One website was not functioning. If they did make the payment, but it was not crediting the account in a timely fashion and resulted in a late charge. There are more than 1,000 complaints regarding the company as well as its service to customers on Consumer Affairs.

 

Complaints about Credit One on also touch the customer service, billing and payment issues. Of the 129 reviews on Yelp as of the month of February, 110 of them gave Credit One one of five stars.

 

The Better Business Bureau has not awarded Credit One a rating. From 112 reviews posted in February 2017 , on the website of the southern Nevada BBB Three reviews were classified as positive (although there was one review that review was distinctly negative) Three were classified as neutral and the rest as negative. Of 783 complaints logged on the site, 574 were identified as issues with billing or collection including payment problems.

 

Credit protection: Expensive

 

 

Another benefit that is touted by Credit One is its "Credit Protection Program." This is an optional program that waives the minimum payment due for six months in the event that the cardholder "involuntarily" goes out of work or becomes disabled. The cost of this service is 96 cents for each 100 of the balance to be paid. The cost is paid monthly following the time you have enrolled. If, for instance, you have a balance of $500 in one month and you're enrolled in the program, it costs you $4.80 in that month. If your balance for the following month is $400 then you'll be charged $3.84 the following month, and so on.

 

Once you enroll in the program, you'll have to go through an initial 30-day period of waiting before you can activate the coverage. After activation, your account is closed and you are unable to use the card. Additionally, the minimum payment is not charged, but interest will continue to accrue.

 

Also, Credit One has the option to terminate your enrollment in the event that your account is more than 60 days overdue or if your balance is 20% or more over your maximum credit amount, Credit One "no longer has control of the account," you've been guilty of fraud or are in any or more of Credit One Bank's debt management programs.

 

Other characteristics: Good

 

 

Since they are cards, cardholders are covered by Visa insurance for travel accidents and collision damage waiver for car rentals insurance. Additionally, the cards come with Visa zero fraud liability as well as the conditions and terms inform cardholders to notify any unauthorized charges within a few hours. The law in the United States sets the maximum liability for cardholders at $50 in the event of unauthorized charges however, Visa zero fraud liability is a guarantee that Visa zero-risk liability ensures that you are not responsible for charges that are fraudulent.

 

The cards provide free credit scores, however you can get your credit score for free almost everywhere nowadays -- . Some credit card issuers offer you a score for free even when you're not a cardholder.

 

You can select from an array of designs (23 for the rewards card, 20 for the rebuilding credit card) to "personalize" your credit card, however, you will have to pay a fee for this option. The fee isn't disclosed on the Terms and Conditions that are available on the site.

 

Alternatives to better alternatives: Many

 

 

Considering the opaque terms and other disadvantages associated with Credit One cards, you might wonder why so many people sign up for the cards. One answer might be that people think that they're applying to a credit card issued by Capital One. That logo, which is swooshy, from Credit One actually predates CapitalOne's, but there's still confusion in the marketplace. Customers who have complained on the Consumer Affairs website mentioned this issue frequently.

 

Credit One cards are marketed to those with poor credit scores, however, better alternatives are available to those with or . Major issuers provide secured credit cards with better terms, lower fees and guaranteed grace periods. Secured cards require an initial security deposit of at least $200-$300. The process of putting that money together may be a problem in some cases, but bear in mind that you get the money back when you shut down the account or switch to a regular unsecured card. The charges that are charged to you by Credit One are not refunded.

 

For instance, the pays cash back of 2% up to $1,000 in spending on restaurants and gas every quarter. It also gives 1% cash back on all other purchases. Additionally, after having maintained your credit card in a responsible manner for seven months, Discover might review the card with an eye toward making it an unsecure card. Additionally the annual fee, it's zero dollars .

 

You may also be eligible for a genuine Capital One card, the . It is possible to get a 200 credit line with a deposit of $49, $99 or 200, and you can make the deposit in installments prior to opening your account. You may be able to access a larger credit line, without having to put more money down if you make payments on the timeframe of six months. And there's no annual fee.

 

If your credit is good or average and you have a good credit score, you may be eligible for the . This card is unsecured and offers unlimited 1.5 percent cash back on purchases, with a affordable annual cost.

 

If credit is not available the consumer may make poor choices, such as applying for credit with a Credit One credit card without researching their options. Look around, and you'll discover better options -- with terms and conditions that are clear and clearly stated.

 

 

 

About the author: Ellen Cannon is a former NerdWallet writer covering credit cards. She has been a writer also editor with Bloomberg as well as Time Inc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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