(1) Lose fifteen pounds
(2) Drink less coffee
(3) Spend more time with the kids
(4) Finally buy a new car
Sound familiar? Yeah, those were our new year’s resolutions too.
Much has been said in the news lately about the average age of cars owned in the United States reaching an all-time high of almost eleven years old. While cars may be more durable and resilient that ever before, many of us want, or desperately need, a new car. Unfortunately, our credit score or errors on credit reports may be keeping us from realizing this dream.
Cleaning up those credit reports to help people achieve their resolutions of owning shiny new cars (or other dreams) makes the first quarter of each new year a blissfully busy time at Ovation.
It usually takes 6 to 8 months of dedicated work to navigate the cumbersome but time-tested dispute process with the three major credit bureaus and clear blemishes and mistakes from the credit reports of our clients. So if we start working on that new year’s resolution now, many clients will smell that new car smell by September – still plenty of time to fulfill that resolution (we don’t make any promises about the 15 pounds).
Coupling credit repair with a healthy tax return will make payments on that new ride more manageable. The tax return will provide the big down payment that will help to lower the principal payments or allow us to reach a little higher up in the automotive echelon. However, whether the down payment is $1,000 or $15,000, the cash down does nothing for the interest rate. It is our credit report and credit score that drives the interest rate, and it significantly affects the monthly payment, especially over a longer-term loan. Better credit means lower interest, leaving more money in your wallet each month for gas to feel the torque of that new engine.
Perhaps it isn’t a car that gets your engine going? Perhaps you are perfectly happy with the dependable subcompact in the driveway. The first quarter of the year is still a great time to get our finances in order, check the three major credit reports for errors, pay things off, and dream of our financial goals for the coming year. This can only help you realize your dreams, whatever they are – practical and pragmatic or romantic and whimsical.
Once the credit reports are tidy, remember to park the new car (or the old clunker) in the garage, slam a cup a green tea, and go on a long walk with the kids.