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6 Reasons Refinancing Your Car Make Good Financial Sense

6 Reasons Refinancing Your Car Make Good Financial Sense

When you’ve had a car for a long time, it’s almost expected that you’ll keep making the same payments you always did. Refinancing is a process that is usually associated with houses. However, refinancing your car could save you hundreds each month. It’s possible to refinance with the original loan provider but that doesn’t mean you can’t shop around before making that choice. It’s important to remember that refinancing, for homes or cars, isn’t for everyone. Before you actively seek this option, be sure to determine the value of your loan (how much you have left) and the value of your car. Here are six reasons why refinancing your car is a smart decision for you and your wallet.

1. The length of your loan is longer than five years

If your original loan is set to last longer than five years, chances are that you’ll actually be paying more interest than the principal. Refinancing may be able to reduce the length of your loan so that you pay a value closer to what you signed up for. And if it’s possible or helpful for your finances, you can refinance your loan for an even longer term to get lower payments.

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2. Your credit score has risen

Depending on what your score was when you got the car, your interest terms may not have been the best. As with most credit-related purchases, a higher credit score will get you a better interest rate. This improvement could be the difference between a few hundreds of dollars each month. You can check your credit report before applying for the refinance to see whether it’ll be worth it or not.

3. Car interest rates have fallen

As with the economy, interest rates can get really high or really low. For this, timing will be important on when you choose to refinance. If you’re unsure of what the rates look like, you can research and get the information for your local area as well as cities nationwide. This will help your decision. You can also find out the current trends so you’ll know whether to wait a while longer or act immediately.

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4. You didn’t get the lowest rate possible

Credit scores and ratings are not unchanging or permanent in any way. There are various factors that will determine whether or not your score will gain or lose points. Maybe your credit was shaky or new when you got the car. And if not that, it’s possible the economic conditions weren’t really favorable. Even worse, if you bought a new car and got talked into what sounded like a great deal by a talented salesperson, it’s worth looking into your loan terms. Time, interest rates and credit scores change. So that means you can also change the conditions of your loan to help get the most of your money.

5. You financed with the dealer where you bought the car

The rates being offered by dealers are typically higher so that they get a larger profit from each sale. So probably what they offered was a higher rate than what other lenders would give you for the same price and vehicle. If that’s the case, you can definitely seek other lenders to get a lower rate. Various banks and credit unions may offer lower rates. However, there might be a membership required before you can take advantage of their deals. Check with your own financial institution and see what they’re willing to offer you.

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6. You need to lower your monthly payments

This is one of the most common reasons why it might be time to refinance your loan. Maybe your financial situation has changed for the worse and it’s just hard to keep paying for your car. Whether it’s an employment issue or the stress of additional bills, a refinanced loan may help your monthly costs. Financial institutions are great places to seek advice on how and where to cut costs and you might be driving one. If you need to rearrange your monthly payment plan without pushing your budget to the limits, refinancing your car might be one of your best options. By using this process, you be able to reduce some of your monthly financial pressures.

Featured photo credit: 1860391 via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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