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Friday, February 22, 2013

Let me pick your brain

This reminds me of an amusing story about Picasso's napkin. The story goes that Picasso was sitting in a Paris café when an admirer approached and asked if he would do a quick sketch on a paper napkin. Picasso politely agreed, swiftly executed the work, and handed back the napkin - but not before asking for a rather significant amount of money. The admirer was shocked: "How can you ask for so much? It took you a minute to draw this!" "No", Picasso replied, "It took me 40 years". In another story, a machine in a factory has malfunctioned, and the engineers on site can't find the source of the problem. So they call on a retired worker who had spent a long time working with the machine. He comes in, walks up to the machine, looks at it for a minute, pulls out a piece of chalk and draws a circle around the screw that needs to be tightened. He then writes them a bill for $5,000. "$5,000, that's ridiculous, all you did was draw a circle around a screw!" So he writes them a new bill: drawing a circle around a screw: $1. Knowing where to draw it: $4,999. Consultants tell folks, "It is not about your time, it's about the value to your client. When you get it right everybody wins.)

Thursday, February 7, 2013

CAR Buying from a credit union

When you need an auto loan to buy a car, where should you start? Figure out how much you can afford. Buying a car is one of the more expensive purchases consumers will make and for most of us buying a car usually requires getting a loan. When seeking an auto loan, the first thing we ask our members to do is take a look at their budget and decide how much they can afford to pay each month on a loan. We also encourage members to consider the cost of insurance and upkeep on the car, in addition to gas expenses. That helps them figure the total cost to purchase and operate the car. We talk to our members about creating a budget so they understand all their income sources, all their obligations and how the auto loan will fit into their overall expenses. Budgets are useful when making financial decisions of any type. If you do not have a budget, VyStar Representatives will provide a free financial assessment and help you create a budget so you know where you stand when it comes time to get a loan. Compare auto loans - it is more than just the rates. The next step you should take is to compare Annual Percentage Rates (or APRs) on loans. We hope you will consider VyStar first when it comes to new or used auto loan rates. It is always nice to get the lowest rate possible but it is equally important to check to see if the loan provider charges fees and other costs and penalties that may be attached to a loan. You will also want to see what else is being offered that might make one loan less costly than one at another lender. A good example is VyStar's new $200 cash back offer for every auto loan of $10,000 or greater. This cash goes right into your savings account. Understand what zero percent financing means. While on the subject of shopping for the best interest rate, you may notice some zero percent financing offers in the marketplace. Zero percent financing can seem like a great deal but it is not always your best option. Shoppers, the ones who really need it, often do not qualify for this type of loan and can end up walking away with a much higher interest rate. These special offers sometimes come with shorter repayment terms, committing buyers to higher monthly payments and stretching their budget to pay off the loan in a shorter amount of time. It is also an interesting fact that some consumers do not negotiate on the actual price of a vehicle when interested in this type of offer. Sometimes a special interest rate offer comes with a higher price on the vehicle. With all of this in mind, we just encourage you to explore all the details of the purchase and the loan, and ensure you are getting the best value that fits within your budget. Look at the fees and penalties on a loan. When shopping for a loan we hope you will not base your borrowing decision on interest rates alone but look further into fees that might be charged for a loan such as application fees, penalties for missing a payment, a termination fee for paying off the loan early, etc. There may even be an overnight delivery fee or longer wait. Get pre-approval before you shop. Setting up a loan before you go shopping for a car is most helpful because you will be able to focus more on the price and purchase. It eliminates rush decisions at the dealership on down payments, interest rates and monthly amounts that you will have to live with long after you drive the car off the lot. At VyStar you can get a loan set up and a VIP Check issued, usually with little wait time. VIP checks are used to write your own loan up to your approved amount at participating dealerships. If you happen to be out shopping for a car before checking with us, VyStar auto loan financing is also available at many area dealerships.