Tips and Advice when Shopping for a New Family Vehicle this Winter

  • Write down your needs

Deciding what car to buy all depends on what your family needs. For example, if you live in the mountains, you will probably want something with all wheel drive or four wheel drive and probably higher ground clearance, in order to fit the family and everybody’s stuff you’ll likely end up with an SUV or Subaru wagon. For families with pets, you need a durable interior. If you have babies, there will be safety factors to consider. Sit down together as a couple and talk about exactly what you need in a new car.


  • Come up with a reasonable budget

Look at your finances carefully and come up with a reasonable budget. If you have the cash to buy it, you can probably get a cheaper price in the long run. For most people who can’t pay cash for a car, there are plenty of financing options to help just about anybody. You can ask at the dealership or do a quick internet search for private financing companies. You will need a sizeable down payment regardless, so plan for that.


  • Decide if you want new or used

Now that you know what you need and how much you’re willing to spend, start researching what is available. Obviously you can get used cars cheaper, but then you run the risk of it already being faulty. Try to get the dealership to throw in a warranty package if you buy used. When you buy new, it should already include a warranty of sometype.


When you finally go to look at models, dress like you are serious. Where something nice from New York and Company, and plan for the weather. The more professional you look and present yourself, the more professional the sales team should treat you. Be polite but direct with them, and they will usually be very helpful.


  • Be ready to negotiate

Unlike a lot of things we buy, the price on cars is negotiable. If you find the right car but it’s a little over your budget, the sales team will work with you. The key to negotiating a good deal is to have patience and respect. If you refuse to move on your end at all, they will be less likely to move on theirs. Negotiations go both ways, so be prepared to give a little in order to get what

you want in return.


  • Try to be flexible

Sometimes our expectations are higher than reality. Don’t let luxury features stop you from getting the right car. If anything, be happy that you can save a little money. If you are willing to give up some of the finer features, the sales people will be able to help you more. If you can’t be flexible, order the exact car you want directly from the factory.


  • Cover all bases

The initial price of the car is only a portion of the cost you need to consider. You also need to think about how much it will cost for insurance, gas, registration, etc. If you can’t work that into your budget, you may need to reconsider.

SECU MD “Mobilizing” Auto Loan Applications

State Employees Credit Union (SECU) of Maryland, the state’s leading credit union with 225,000 members and nearly $3 billion in assets, is putting mobile first when it comes to their auto lending business. In 2014, they saw good growth in the number of auto loans they financed, and 2015 promises to continue the trend. In order to keep up with growth, they are stepping up their game in the mobile arena. Their goal is for their mobile application technology to rival that of their online, tablet, and phone-based services.

One Vice President noted that the credit union is seeing a lot of activity in the credit range between prime and subprime–more specifically, credit scores in the range of 670 to 700. These scores are 50+ points higher than those classified as “bad,” but they are not quite high enough to be term “good” or “prime.”

SECU MD is headquartered in Linthicum, just south of Baltimore, and they now 22 branches throughout the state.

Read the full article on the subject here:

Should You Pay off Your Auto Loan Early?

An auto loan is a necessary way of living our lives. However, there are some considerations that can be made to make this part of our lives a little less stressful. Things such as paying off the loan early, refinancing, or making double payments all factor into the decision making process. Each one should be examined in depth and compared to your individual financial situation prior to making the decision. For example, paying off the loan early may seem like a great idea. You may want to use some inheritance money or a bonus from work that you have received. However, you should stop and examine your entire debt load. What debts are carrying the highest APR (Annual Percentage Rate)? Is it your auto loan or is it possibly a credit card balance? Taking care of the debt that has the highest APR first will save you interest charges in the long term and ultimately put more of that cash into your pocket.

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GM Financial’s Strategy To Boost Sales in 2014

GM Financial is making plans to roll out a prime retail program early next year because of heightening competition.The program is targeted at dealers that the company already has relationships with. Their strategy is to first and foremost support GM vehicle sales. GM Financial also reported that its first-quarter net income has one down from the previous year from $112 million to $106 million. Consumer delinquency behavior had a large part in the decrease of the overall net income. GM Financial also announced today that they intend to offer $2 billion aggregate principal amount of senior notes in various branches. The goal is to repay certain indebtedness to General Motors and for general working capital purposes. The notes will be offered only to qualified institutional buyers.

Read the full article here:

Charge Your Electric Car At Work?

Sales and use of electric cars is on the rise. Companies like GM are offering charging stations for workers at one of their plants in Maryland that makes components for electric vehicles. Other major companies, like Verizon, are joining in on this eco-friendly idea, stepping up to the Energy Department’s Workplace Charging Challenge.

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Maryland Senator Working Hard to Ban Smoking in Cars With Young Children

While some might find the idea appalling, some still smoke with their children in the car. Jennie M. Forehand, a Maryland senator, is trying hard to ban the practice of smoking in cars with young children present. Forehand was involved in a bill last year to make this law a reality. Unfortunately, the bill did not pass the House committee. This year, Forehand is working on a new bill that would stop smoking in cars with young children once and for all.