• Car Buying & Selling Tips

    Buying a vehicle is a big decision! As a potential new (or used) car owner it is your responsibility to be an informed and educated consumer. Know about the vehicle you want to buy and take your time when making a decision. Make sure you are informed and comfortable with your decision before you approach a dealer or private seller.

    Here are some helpful questions to ask when buying a car, motorcycle, or other vehicle from a private seller or dealership:

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  • Importance of Checking A Vehicle’s History

    The number one thing you should do before buying a used car is check the history of the vehicle. Years ago buyers could only judge a used car by inspecting its mechanical condition and maybe leafing through the owner's file of service records. But thanks to improved record collection combined with the power of the Internet, the vehicle identification number (VIN) can reveal if a used car has a checkered past. Experts describe the VIN as a car's DNA.

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  • How Much Car Can I Afford

    You’ve decided it is time to buy a new car. Great! Maybe you just want an upgrade or need to replace your current vehicle due to an accident. Whatever your reasons, you now find yourself looking at makes, models and pricing options for your new car. You are probably even asking yourself, “What car can I afford?”

    There are two major pieces of information you need to know to understand how much car you can afford.

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  • The True Cost of Car Ownership

    Whether you're buying a new or used car, make sure you’re aware of all the costs that will come with your new set of wheels. For many of us, a car is essential. Cars can be expensive, not just to buy, but also to run. Before you buy a car, it’s important to ensure you’re aware of all the costs that will come with it.

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  • Refinancing Your Mortgage? What You Need to Know

    Deciding to refinance a home loan is a big decision influenced by your financial situation, available interest rates and your long-term plans for staying in the home. As a general rule, refinancing your mortgage may be worthwhile if you can drop your rate by at least half a percent. Once you've decided to start the mortgage refinance process, it's important to understand what is involved.

    Understand Your Mortgage Refinancing Options

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  • What is Bank Valuation vs. Market Valuation of a Home?

    You’ve found your dream home, but before you complete the purchase of your new home, your bank or lender will value the property to determine the market value, right? Wrong!

    When you’re buying a home or refinancing your loan, banks often need to get what is called a bank valuation. Banks need to know they’re lending you the money responsibly. While it’s true that when you apply for a mortgage, your lender will set a value for the property you’re buying, the figure they come up with is not necessarily an accurate representation of the property’s value.

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  • How Much Will My Property Tax and Insurance Payment Be?

    Monthly mortgage payments can and will change over the term of the loan. There are many reasons why your monthly payment can change. Your monthly payment includes your mortgage payment, consisting of principal and interest, as well as property taxes and homeowner’s insurance. Your mortgage payment is likely to stay the same, but your monthly payments can vary. Here’s a run-down on what influences taxes and insurance and an explanation of how these factors can change your monthly payment.

    Taxes, Insurance, and Maintenance

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  • How Credit Card Usage Affects Your Credit Score

    Your credit score is determined by a variety of factors, so it can be hard to know where to start if you need to build or rebuild your credit. Credit cards can be a great way to improve your credit score. However, you must be careful and manage your credit card use, so you don't get caught in an endless cycle of debt.

    The following tips will help you manage your credit card use and raise your credit score:

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  • The Advantages of Using a Rewards Credit Card

    More and more people are beginning to see the value of signing up for a rewards credit card. Credit cards that offer a rewards program can help you stretch your budget and when used properly, can actually pay you for spending money. Of course, the point of getting a rewards credit card is to treat yourself to the perks of the rewards program. The best way to make sure you get the most out of your rewards credit card is to pick the right one and make sure you pay it off each month. Then use it to your greatest advantage and avoid possible pitfalls such as leaving points unused.

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