car financing Archives - Common Trust FCU

Tips for Making & Sticking to Resolutions

When the new year ball drops, it is the perfect time to turn a new page. The new year can be exciting, yielding opportunities to restart with a clean slate for fresh goals. Personal and fiscal reflection helps you assess where you stand in your shoes to set your resolutions in motion. As you begin to draft your resolutions list, the Common Trust team is offering some tips to kick off a great 2022 and keep you on track to stick to your resolutions.

Limit Your Resolutions List

Typically, humans tend to be harder on ourselves than we need to be. You might have a long list of resolutions, but be kind to yourself and focus on only a few so you do not overwhelm yourself. Self-care is important in reflection, so be sure to cut yourself some slack. Consider starting with a small, actionable goal so you can get into the goal-achieving mode.

Choose a Specific Goal

Many people often set lofty resolutions at the turn of the new year, and this practice makes some bite off more than they can chew. However, it also presents great opportunities to grow and overcome any struggles with sticking to goals.  Setting your mind on one specific, realistic goal helps craft a concrete plan to achieve that goal. For example, if your goal is to exercise more, create an actionable plan and create daily calendar reminders to go for a walk or go to the gym.  Achieving a small goal boosts your self-esteem and helps you tackle things more easily.  If you have a big goal, consider breaking it into manageable pieces and take one thing at a time.

Change up your Resolutions

If you find yourself stuck on one resolution year after year, chances are you have it in your mind you cannot stick to that goal and may mean that you will likely abandon it. So if your resolution in years past was to lose weight, for example, change it to something like just eating more vegetables per week to retrain your mind to embrace a different version of your goal. 

Plan, Plan, Plan

Whatever your goal might be, you need to plan to achieve it – just the thought of an idea won’t be enough. Creating a detailed plan and even using your phone for reminders, tracking progress, etc. will help you manage how you will achieve your goal. Working on a goal without a plan creates a higher risk of giving up if an obstacle arises.

The Buddy System

More often than not, a goal with a friend or family member means you’ll be even more motivated to achieve that goal. Connect with a friend or loved one to see if you both share the same goals and create a method to keep one another accountable. If you make it fun or like a game, you may even find yourself enjoying motivating the other, which means you’ll be more likely to adhere to the plan.

Set One Financial Resolution 

We recommend making one small economic goal that improves your financial well-being when creating your list. Even making one adjustment to your finances means you can put money towards something that makes you feel good– like travel or giving to a charity. Pennies turn into pounds quickly, you will find, and making a financial modification will help you allocate money towards something you love. 

When challenging yourself to change the tides, remember that taking on too much is usually the very reason New Year’s resolutions can fail. Be kind to yourself and create realistic steps to get into the right mindset to create the change you seek. 

As always, Common Trust is available to help you with any of your own personal financial goals. Happy New Year, and we look forward to helping you make 2022 your brightest year yet.

Don’t Let the Car Financing Spook You- 6 Tricks To Watch Out for at the Dealership

When you’re buying a new car, one of the last things you want to face is tricks from your car dealer. Experienced car salesmen know what to say and what to ask so you’ll buy a car at the price they want. However, don’t let this scare you away from purchasing a new car. Make sure you are prepared and read our guide of gimmicks to avoid at the car dealership.

Pushing you to buy right now

When you’re at the car lot, your dealer will most likely push you to buy the car right now. They’ll tell you that the car is the last one on the lot, that the price will go up tomorrow, or someone else is interested.  No matter what they tell you, take time to think over your decision and don’t let them rush you into a purchase until you are ready.

Low-balling your trade in

One strategy many salesmen do is offer a very low price for your trade-in. First time car shoppers often accept the low offer because they don’t know what their car is worth or don’t how to negotiate. When buyers do negotiate, they might be happy when the offer raises even a little bit, but still end up leaving with less than the car was worth.

Avoid this by shopping your trade-in around to multiple dealers so you can get a feel for what your car is worth and what other dealers would offer for it.

Offering a different price online

Some dealers will promote one price online or over the phone, but once you get into the dealership, the offer completely changes. Often, the price that is promoted online is the price that is only offered to the shopper with the best credit.

Dealers use this as a strategy to get you into the dealership where they hope they’ll be able to convince you to buy. If this happens to you, stand firm on your budget and don’t let them sway you into paying more just because you are in the dealership.

Putting your purchase into a single transaction

While buying a car might seem like one purchase, it’s actually three different transactions that should be treated individually. Buying your new car, trading in your old one, and securing your financing should all be negotiated separately.  

By negotiating everything at once it’s easy for dealers to mislead you and make a larger profit. While they might give you the price you want for your new car, they’ll also low-ball your trade-in.  Avoid this by separating each transaction and shopping them at different locations.

Selling you a monthly payment

One rule of car shopping is to always focus on negotiating the purchase price first. Once you agree on a vehicle price that you are comfortable with, then move on to discussing the monthly payments.

If the dealer knows the monthly price you are willing to pay before you settle on the total price, they’ll offer you the monthly payment you want, but extend your loan term. You might walk away from the dealership feeling like you got what you wanted, but you’ll end up paying more in interest over time.  

Sneaking in additional fees or upgrades

Once you finally agree on a price, make sure to read through the agreement carefully. Car salesmen are known for sneaking in additional fees, and making mistakes that end up costing you. Dealers also may add in the cost of extra upgrades that you didn’t want.  Make sure you read your final agreement over carefully and ask upfront about what the fees and upgrades are.

You can avoid these car car dealership tricks and stay on track at the dealership by shopping for your auto financing beforehand. From now until November 30th, CTFCU is offering auto loan rates as low as 2.5%. Contact us or visit our auto loan promotion page to learn more about our auto loans before you go to the dealership.

5 Auto Loan Tips for First Time Buyers

From car financing, shopping and negotiating, being a first time car buyer is an overwhelming task. Receiving an auto loan from a trustworthy lender is a great option to make the financing process much easier. Consider these five tips to guarantee a successful experience while getting your first auto loan.

Check your credit

Checking your credit reports is one of the first necessary steps towards financing your new car. Your credit rating determines the interest rate of your auto loan and if any errors are present, it will leave you paying more than you should have to. Check your credit score before applying for a loan and address any mistakes. If you have no credit, consider building good credit by taking out a secured or store credit card.

Determine your budget

When planning for your first car, determining a budget and figuring out how much you are willing to spend per month is one important step you do not want to skip. Use an auto finance calculator to figure out a monthly payment that you can reasonably afford. Make sure to factor in other expenses that come with owning a car including insurance, repairs, and maintenance. While planning your budget, don’t forget that although low monthly payments might be appealing, the lower they are, the longer your term will be and the more you’ll end up paying in interest.  

Save for a downpayment

First time buyers should consider putting at least 20% of the car price down. A no-money down deal sounds great, but it has the potential to leave you in a risky situation. You can avoid getting into a situation where the car is worth less than what you owe by putting down a larger down payment. It saves you money on interest over time and shows the lender that you are committed to your investment.

Get a pre-approved loan

Getting a pre-approved loan before making a large financial decision is always a good idea. Pre-approval means you are approved to borrow a certain amount of money before you even enter the car lot. It’s a great way to know how much you can afford before you start shopping, and it offers more credibility to car salesmen that you are firm on your budget and serious about your offer.

Find a cosigner

If you are unable to qualify for an auto loan on your own, using a co-signer is a great way to finance your first car. A co-signer is a trusted individual who signs off on helping you with any missed payments but you’ll maintain all rights to the car. Using a co-signer often improves the chances of your approval and helps to improve the terms once approved.

Are you looking to buy a car for the first time? This fall we are offering auto loan rates as low as 2.5%, making first time financing easy. Visit our auto loan promotion page or contact us to learn more.

Did you know that CTFCU now has an online Education Financial Center for members? Learn more about buying a car through this 3 minute course!

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