Search Icon
header-learningCenter

MEDIA CENTER

The Money Minute - September 2013  

In this Issue

Car Buying 

Car Buying Considerations 

The new cars are coming. Starting in October, many dealerships will be trying to clear out their lots to make room for the 2014 models. They may offer manufacturers rebates, low-interest loans, price cuts and other incentives to get customers in the door. For many consumers, this makes it the perfect time to buy. But, there are many considerations to be made before you rush out and purchase the perfect car.

 

Read the entire article

CardsSpouse.jpg

Credit Cards Can be a Friend or Foe to
College Students

While parent’s mail boxes are filling with credit card bills from summer vacations and back-to-school shopping, their college-aged child is likely receiving offers for credit cards of their own. Stepping into the world of credit without adequate personal finance training is asking for trouble, as responsibly managing credit is critical to building a solid financial future. Apprisen recommends that young adults consider the following tips for successfully navigating credit.

  

Read the entire article

 

Car Buying Considerations Flyer Image

Webinar: September 24th and 25th 

Car Buying Considerations

The car buying process can be a challenging one, but with a little prep work beforehand, you will find the perfect vehicle that fits your budget and needs. Let Apprisen walk you through the process. In this webinar you will learn:

  • The advantages and disadvantages of leasing vs. buying
  • Considerations when buying a car
  • How to maintain your vehicle
Tue., Sept. 24 12:00pm Eastern, 11:00am Central,
9:00am Pacific. 
3:00pm Eastern, 2:00pm Central,
12:00pm Pacific.  
Wed., Sept. 25 1:00pm Eastern, 12:00pm Central,
10:00am Pacific. 

 

To learn more or register click here

 

 Credit-Reports-and-Scores_Page_01.jpg

Previous Webinars

Apprisen recently added a previous webinars section to apprisen.com. Here you can watch past webinars at your own convenience. Feel free to visit Apprisen’s Listen and Learn page to watch the latest recording.

 

www.apprisen.com/listenlearn 

 

 poll.jpg

Consumer Preferences When Seeking Financial Help 

The August poll hosted on the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) website, which Apprisen is a member, revealed that when consumers are in financial distress, they prefer reaching out to a qualified professional for help as opposed to other options.

 

Read the entire article

 

 

Car Buying Considerations    

The new cars are coming. Starting in October, many dealerships will be trying to clear out their lots to make room for the 2014 models. They may offer manufacturers rebates, low-interest loans, price cuts and other incentives to get customers in the door. For many consumers, this makes it the perfect time to buy. But, there are many considerations to be made before you rush out and purchase the perfect car. Sure, getting a great deal is important, but it isn’t a deal if you end up losing money because you made the wrong decision. Figuring out what kind of car you need, the associated costs of maintaining the vehicle and financing options will help speed along the car buying process.

You might look great in that trendy little sports car, but it might get a little tight when you take your whole family on a road trip. Examine your lifestyle and needs, then make a list of the “must have” and “would like to have” features you would want on your new car. Some things to think about are: gas mileage, storage space, all-wheel drive or front wheel drive, interior space, engine size and if it will fit in your garage, drive way or parking space.

Loss of Value – Many vehicles can lose up to 35% of their resale value within the first year. Used cars continue to gradually lose value as time passes and mileage is added. But some cars lose value more quickly than others. If you intend on reselling the vehicle after a few years, make sure it is one that keeps its value relatively well. You don’t want to be “upside down” – owing more money on your auto loan than what the car is worth.

Taxes and Insurance – Even if you found the perfect car at the perfect price, you still might not be able to afford the taxes and insurance associated with that vehicle. Be sure to call around to a few insurance companies and get quotes on the premiums you will be paying.  Also, contact your state’s motor vehicle department to find out an estimate taxes you will be required to pay.       

Cost for Repairs – Often times buying a used car can be a better deal than buying a new car. However, a used car may develop maintenance issues in a shorter period of time. It is important to check a vehicle history reporting service, such as CarFax, to find out the history of that car before you buy it. Another consideration, for both new and used vehicles, is the cost of servicing the car and replacement parts. 

Leasing – Many consumers choose to lease their vehicles for various reasons -they like to drive a new car every two to three years or use it for business and take it as a tax write-off. However, there are some considerations to keep in mind before choosing this option. There are limits to how many miles you can drive the car during the year. If you exceed that limit you’ll often pay a large per-mile penalty when you turn the car in. There are also penalties if you turn the car in early or if there are damages outside of normal wear and tear.

Trade ins – Before you consider trading in your car at the dealership, know what it is worth.  To get a general idea you can go to Edmunds.com or AutoTrader.com to establish a reasonable price. But it is always a good idea to negotiate a deal on the new car first and treat the trade in as a separate transaction. If they are not offering you an acceptable price, you can always go to another dealer or sell the car yourself.

Financing – It is a good idea to have your financing in place before you step onto a car lot. That way you know how much car you can afford to buy and what your monthly payment is going to be. Dealerships often times are focused on getting you the monthly payment you want and it is easy to lose track of the actual cost of the vehicle. You always want to negotiate the price of the car, never the car payment and having your financing upfront will allow you to keep that focus.

The car buying process can be a challenging one. But, with a little prep work beforehand, you will find the perfect vehicle that fits your budget and your needs. 


Return to the top

 

Credit Cards Can be a Friend or Foe to College Students

While parent’s mail boxes are filling with credit card bills from summer vacations and back-to-school shopping, their college-aged child is likely receiving offers for credit cards of their own. 

Due to the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 (CARD Act), young adults under the age of 21 applying for credit now must demonstrate the ability to pay or have a co-signer in order to be approved.  Thus, the 21-year-old college student has replaced the entering freshman as the likely target for credit card marketing.

The National Foundation of Credit Counseling’s 2013 Financial Literacy Survey found that 33 percent of respondents indicated they learned the most about personal finance at home. Although at first glance this can appear as positive, problems often arise if the parents have poor financial habits which the children observe and subsequently carry into their own financial lives.

Further, the survey revealed that only five percent attributed their personal finance knowledge to what they learned at school. This number is not surprising, as many states do not include a personal finance course as a requirement for graduation from high school. 

Stepping into the world of credit without adequate personal finance training is asking for trouble, as responsibly managing credit is critical to building a solid financial future. Apprisen recommends that young adults consider the following tips for successfully navigating credit:

  • Start slowly. Don’t apply for more credit than is needed. A little plastic can go a long way, particularly in the wallet of someone new to credit.
  • Don’t act like a kid in the credit candy store. It can be tempting to splurge on music downloads and late-night pizzas, but small purchases can add up quickly.  
  • Never, ever charge more than can be paid in full when the bill arrives. This is the cornerstone to successfully managing credit. Use this financial trick: Record each charge in the check register and deduct the amount from the balance just as though a check had been cashed. This method guarantees that the funds will be available when it’s time to pay the bill.
  • Choose the right card. New homework assignment: Research what’s behind the credit card offers. Fully understand the terms, interest rate, fees and credit limit, as these features will impact the final decision. Some student cards also offer rewards such as miles or points that can be redeemed, but read the fine print before signing on the dotted line.
  • Think long term. Negative marks on a credit file can follow a person for years. Evaluate charging decisions in light of tomorrow, not today.
  • Protect the card. Identity theft is rampant on campuses, and a credit card lying on a desk is as good as gold to a thief. Since studies show that identity theft is often committed by someone the victim knows, don’t be naively trusting. 
  • Don’t allow others to use the card, as regardless of who runs up the debt, payment remains the cardholder’s responsibility. 
  • If things get out of control, remember that businesses still accept cash, and a debit card can be used for payment in most locations. Don’t hesitate to put the credit card away if things get out of hand. 

The college student potentially has 50 years or more of credit life ahead of them, making it critical that sound financial habits are established at a young age. Credit can be a friend or a foe. That outcome is determined by whose hand is holding the plastic.

 

Return to the top

 

Consumer Preferences When Seeking Financial Help

The August poll hosted on the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) website, which Apprisen is a member, revealed that when consumers are in financial distress, they prefer reaching out to a qualified professional for help as opposed to other options.

Most poll respondents, 45 percent, indicated they would contact a certified financial professional, while fewer would utilize online education, a financial self-help tool, or attend a financial workshop. 

Regardless of which option someone selects, the important thing is to take that first step, because financial distresses rarely resolve themselves. Consumers should choose the course of action that is right for them, as the path to finding the appropriate solution can be as varied as the financial concern itself.

Examples of options offered by Apprisen include:

  • One-on-one financial reviews either in-person, by phone or online with a Certified Financial Counselor. Whether the financial concerns involve creating a workable budget, understanding credit, or getting out of debt, they will be able to provide you with an action plan customized to your needs.
  • Apprisen offers online education resources in the Learning Center, which is located on our website, through monthly webinars, and our monthly newsletter, The Money Minute. Topics include the basics of banking, building wealth, buying a home, identity theft protection tips, holiday planning, and much, much more
  • Group workshops are offered at social service organizations, on-site for employees of local companies or a host of other locations in our communities.

People who seek solid financial answers and solutions to their financial concerns would be well-served by reaching out to Apprisen. To begin your journey to get back on track with your finances dial (800) 355-2227, or go online to www.apprisen.com

The actual August poll question and answer results are below:

Q:  If I were having financial trouble, for help resolving it I would most likely
A. Reach out to a certified financial professional = 44%
B. Attend a group workshop related to my concern = 3%
C. Take advantage of online resources related to my concern = 35%
D. Utilize a financial self-assessment tool to help pinpoint the problem = 17%

 

Return to the top

 

 

Apprisen BBB Business Review United Way