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8 Times When It Pays to Be a Cheapskate

What if you could get the quality you need without expensive products? Here’s how, when buying cars for teen drivers, formal wear, cruises and more.

Source: moneytalksnews.com

What Is a Recourse Loan?

Car loan application

In borrowing, there are two types of debts, recourse and nonrecourse. Recourse debt holds the person borrowing money personally liable for the debt. If you default on a recourse loan, the lender will have license, or recourse, to go after your personal assets if the collateral’s value doesn’t cover the remaining amount of the loan that is due. Recourse loans are often used to finance construction or invest in real estate. Here’s what you need to know about recourse loans, how they work and how they differ from other types of loans.

What Is a Recourse Loan?

A recourse loan is a type of loan that allows the lender to go after any of a borrower’s assets if that borrower defaults on the loan. The first choice of any lender is to seize the asset that is collateral for the loan. For example, if someone stops making payments on an auto loan, the lender would take back the car and sell it.

However, if someone defaults on a hard money loan, which is a type of recourse loan, the lender might seize the borrower’s home or other assets. Then, the lender would sell it to recover the balance of the principal due. Recourse loans also allow lenders to garnish wages or access bank accounts if the full debt obligation isn’t fulfilled.

Essentially, recourse loans help lenders recover their investments if borrowers fail to pay off their loans and the collateral value attached to those loans is not enough to cover the balance due.

How Recourse Loans Work

When a borrower takes out debt, he typically has several options. Most hard money loans are recourse loans. In other words, if the borrower fails to make payments, the lender can seize the borrower’s other assets such as his home or car and sell it to recover the money borrowed for the loan.

Lenders can go after a borrower’s other assets or take legal action against a borrower. Other assets that a lender can seize might include savings accounts and checking accounts. Depending on the situation, they may also be able to garnish a borrower’s wages or take further legal action.

When a lender writes a loan’s terms and conditions, what types of assets the lender can pursue if a debtor fails to make debt payments are listed. If you are at risk of defaulting on your loan, you may want to look at the language in your loan to see what your lender might pursue and what your options are.

Recourse Loans vs. Nonrecourse Loans

Bank repo signNonrecourse loans are also secured loans, but rather than being secured by all a person’s assets, nonrecourse loans are only secured by the asset involved as collateral. For example, a mortgage is typically a nonrecourse loan, because the lender will only go after the home if a borrower stops making payments. Similarly, most auto loans are nonrecourse loans, and the bank or lender will only be able to seize the car if the borrower stops making payments.

Nonrecourse loans are riskier for lenders because they will have fewer options for getting their money back. Therefore, most lenders will only offer nonrecourse loans to people with exceedingly high credit scores.

Types of Recourse Loans

There are several types of recourse loans that you should be aware of before taking on debt. Some of the most common recourse loans are:

  • Hard money loans. Even if someone uses their hard money loan, also known as hard cash loan, to buy a property, these types of loans are typically recourse loans.
  • Auto loans. Because cars depreciate, most auto loans are recourse loans to ensure the lender receive full debt payments.

Recourse Loans Pros and Cons

For borrowers, recourse loans have both pros and and at least one con. You should evaluate each before deciding to take out a recourse loan.

Pros

Although they may seem riskier upfront, recourse loans are still attractive to borrowers.

  • Easier underwriting and approval. Because a recourse loan is less risky for lenders, the underwriting and approval process is more manageable for borrowers to navigate.
  • Lower credit score. It’s easier for people with lower credit scores to get approved for a recourse loan. This is because more collateral is available to the lender if the borrower defaults on the loan.
  • Lower interest rate. Recourse loans typically have lower interest rates than nonrecourse loans.

Con

The one major disadvantage of a recourse loan is the risk involved. With a recourse loan, the borrower is held personally liable. This means that if the borrower does default, more than just the loan’s collateral could be at stake.

The Takeaway

Hard Money Loan signLoans can be divided into two types, recourse loans and nonrecourse loans. Recourse loans, such as hard money loans, allow the lender to pursue more than what is listed as collateral in the loan agreement if a borrower defaults on the loan. Be sure to check your state’s laws about determining when a loan is in default. While there are advantages to recourse loans, which are often used to finance construction, buy vehicles or invest in real estate, such as lower interest rates and a more straightforward approval process, they carry more risk than nonrecourse loans.

Tips on Borrowing

  • Borrowing money from a lender is a significant commitment. Consider talking to a financial advisor before you take that step to be completely clear about how it will impact your finances. Finding a financial advisor doesn’t have to be difficult. In just a few minutes our financial advisor search tool can help you find a professional in your area to work with. If you’re ready, get started now.
  • For many people, taking out a mortgage is the biggest debt they incur. Our mortgage calculator will tell you how much your monthly payments will be, based on the principal, interest rate, type of mortgage and length of the term.

Photo credit: ©iStock.com/aee_werawan, ©iStock.com/PictureLake, ©iStock.com/designer491

The post What Is a Recourse Loan? appeared first on SmartAsset Blog.

Source: smartasset.com

Best business credit cards with a 0% intro APR

Choosing a card with an introductory APR can be a great move for a small business. You can pay off large purchases over time without worrying about accruing interest – allowing you to truly invest in your business.

If you have a large business purchase looming ahead that you want to finance, there are plenty of great small business credit cards that offer 0% interest on new purchases for the first few months of card ownership.

Read on to learn about some of the best business credit cards with an intro APR.

See Related: How does credit card APR work?

Chase Ink Business Cash® Credit Card

  • Chase Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card
  • American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card
  • Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express
  • Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business
  • Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business
  • Best intro APR business card for office supplies: Chase Ink Business Cash® Credit Card

    The Ink Business Cash Credit Card offers one of the longest introductory periods available on the market – 0% for the first 12 months on purchases (13.24% to 19.24% variable APR thereafter). Plus, the card comes with a competitive earning rate that makes it a particularly good choice for small business owners who need to stock up on office supplies.

    Chase Ink Business Cash® Credit Card
    Ink Business Cash

    Why should you get this card?

    If you’re determined to keep costs to a minimum, the Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card offers a lot of cash back on your business purchases — including purchases made on employee cards — for no annual fee.

    Read full review

    Other things to know:

    • 5% cash back on internet, cable and phone services and at office supply stores (on up to $25,000 in purchases per year)
    • 2% cash back on gas and dining (on up to $25,000 in purchases per year)
    • 1% cash back on other purchases
    • $750 if you spend $7,500 in first 3 months
    • No fee for employee cards
    • Mobile wallet app to track receipts

    Beyond a competitive intro APR, the Ink Business Cash card offers plenty of potential value for cardholders with a competitive rate of cash back on internet, cable and phone services, office supplies, gas and dining purchases. If you spend a lot of money on office supplies or you frequently charge client dinners to your business card, you can rack up plenty of rewards with the Ink card.

    Best intro APR business card for a flat rate on all purchases: American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card

    The American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card offers an intro APR of 0% on new purchases for the first 12 months of card ownership (13.24% to 19.24% variable APR thereafter). Unlike the Ink Business Cash card, the Amex Blue Business Cash offer the same 2% cash back on all purchases, up to $50,000 per calendar year (1% thereafter). If you have a wide variety of purchases to make for your business, this flat rate might equate more rewards.

    American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card
    Blue Business Cash

    Why should you get this card?

    The American Express Blue Business Cash Card comes with a major selling point: 2% cash back on your first $50,000 of purchases each year for no annual fee.

    Read full review

    Other things to know:

    • 2% cash back on up to $50,000 in purchases per calendar year, then 1% cash back
    • Eligibility to enroll in American Express Working Capital Terms
    • Free employee cards
    • Business expense-tracking tools
    • No annual fee

    Adding to its appeal for small business owners, the Blue Business Cash card comes with access to top-notch business perks from Amex, including expense-tracking tools and the ability to enroll in Working Capital Terms.

    Alternate #1: The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express

    If points are more your speed than cash back, the Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express offers the same generous rewards rate as the Blue Business Cash – with one key difference. Rather than cash back, Blue Business Plus cardholders earn 2 Membership Rewards points per dollar on the first $50,000 in spending each year and 1 point per dollar on all purchases thereafter.

    value Membership Rewards points at an average of 1.19 cents per point. If you redeem your rewards strategically, you can stretch them a long way.

    Plus, the Blue Business Plus card offers the same lengthy introductory interest rate on new purchases – making it a top-notch card for financing large purchases in the first year (after that, it’s 13.24% to 19.24%).

    Alternate #2: Chase Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card

    Another popular Chase small business credit card, the Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card offers the same 12 months interest-free for new purchases (13.24% to 19.24% variable APR thereafter) as the Ink Business Cash. But unlike the Ink Business Cash card, the Ink Business Unlimited offers the same flat rate of cash back on all purchases – 1.5%.

    Though a slightly lower rate than the Amex Blue Business Cash or Blue Business Plus, this earning rate is still great for cardholders who don’t weigh their spending heavily to one particular category. For a card with no annual fee, it is a pretty generous earning scheme. Plus, there are no caps on what you can earn. If you spend significantly more than $50,000 per year on your business, the ongoing flat rate of 1.5% might make more sense for you.

    Other intro APR business cards

    While a 0% interest rate is a compelling reason to choose a business rewards card, you should also ensure that the rewards rate on the card closely matches your spending habits. This will boost your ability to eke plenty of value out of the cards even after the intro APR ends.

    If none of these Chase or American Express cards seem right for your spending, Capital One also offers two cards with introductory APRs. Both the Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business* and the Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business* offer a 0% APR on new purchases for the first nine months (13.99% to 23.99% variable APR thereafter).

    Though this introductory period is shorter than those on competing business cards, it might be worth taking a shorter offer if one of these card’s rewards better suits your spending. With the Spark Cash Select, you can earn 1.5% cash back on every purchase. The Spark Miles Select comes with 5 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, while other purchases earn 1.5 miles per dollar.

    Bottom line

    Business credit cards are a valuable resource, as they can improve your cash flow while allowing users to rack up rewards on all their business purchases. By choosing a card with an introductory APR, you can pay off large purchases or debt over time without racking up interest – saving yourself money to reinvest in your business.

    *The information about Capital One Spark Cash Select for Business and Capital One Spark Miles Select for Business has been collected independently by CreditCards.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.

    Source: creditcards.com

    How to Set Financial Goals: A Simple, Step-By-Step Guide

    Want the number to be bigger? Go back through your budget and figure out where you can afford to make cuts. Maybe you can ditch the cable bill and decide between Netflix or Hulu, or replace a takeout lunch with a packed one.
    It’s also the money you can use toward your long-term financial goals.
    You’re in awesome financial shape — and you’ve made it to the fun part of this post.
    So even though becoming debt-free seems like a big sacrifice right now, you’re doing yourself a huge financial favor in the long run.
    You might try to get away with a smaller emergency fund — even ,000 is a better cushion than nothing. But if you lose your job, you still need to be able to eat and make rent.
    And the trouble isn’t brand-new: We’ve been bad enough at saving for retirement over the past few decades that millions of today’s seniors can’t afford to retire.
    Future you will thank you. Heartily. From a hammock.

    What to Do Before You Start Writing Your Financial Goals

    Now you can figure out exactly what you want to do with it.
    You don’t need to abandon the idea of having a life (and enjoying it), but there are ways to make budgetary adjustments that work for you.

    First Thing’s First: How Much Money Do You Have?

    Did you know almost half of Americans have absolutely nothing saved so they can one day clock out for the very last time?
    Ideally, you’ll want to find other ways to save for retirement, too. Look into individual retirement arrangements (IRAs) and figure out how much you need to contribute to meet your retirement goals.
    Saving money is all well and good in theory.
    And I do mean all of the expenses — even that .99 recurring monthly payment for your student-discounted Spotify account definitely counts.

    1. Figure out how much money you have. It might be in checking or savings accounts, including long-term accounts like IRAs. Or, it might be wrapped up in investments or physical assets, like your paid-off car.
    2. Assess any debts you have. Do you keep a revolving credit card balance? Do you pay a mortgage each month? Are your student loans still hanging around?

    You also get to decide the size of your emergency fund, but a good rule of thumb is to accumulate three to six times the total of your monthly living expenses. Good thing your budget is already set up so you know exactly what that number is, right?
    One method is known as the debt avalanche method, which involves paying off debt with the highest interest rates first, thereby reducing the overall amount you’ll shell out for interest.
    Is everything in order? Amazing!

    A woman creates a monthly budget while sitting on her bed. The sheets are white with a floral pattern on them. This story is about how to set up financial goals.

    Create a Budget

    To help keep you from financial goals like “buy the coolest toys and cars,” which could easily get you deeply into debt while you watch your credit score plummet, we’ve compiled this guide.
    You get to analyze your own priorities and decide exactly what to do with your hard-earned cash.
    Source: thepennyhoarder.com
    Before you run off to the cool-expensive-stuff store, hold on a second.

    Pro Tip
    It’ll help you set goals and create smart priorities for your money. That way, however you decide to spend your truly discretionary income, you won’t leave the 10-years-from-now version of you in the lurch.

    Your expenses probably include rent, electricity, cable or internet, a cell phone plan, various insurance policies, groceries, gas and transportation. It also includes categories like charitable giving, entertainment and travel.
    And you need to start now, while compound interest is still on your side. The younger you are, the more time you have to watch those pennies grow, but don’t fret if you got a late start — here’s how to save for retirement in your 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s.

    Need to go back to basics? Here’s our guide on how to budget.

    But what are you saving for? If you don’t have solid financial goals, all those hoarded pennies might end up in limbo when they could be put to good use.
    And if you’re operating without a budget, it can be easy to run out of money well before you run out of expenses — even if you know exactly how much is in your paycheck.
    Jamie Cattanach (@jamiecattanach) is a contributor to The Penny Hoarder.
    A ton of great digital apps can help you do this — here are our favorite budgeting apps — but it can be as simple as a spreadsheet or even a good, old-fashioned piece of paper. It just takes two steps:
    See? It’s all about priorities.
    So sit down and take a good, hard look at all of your financial info.
    You might plan to travel more, take time off work to spend with family or drive the hottest new Porsche.

    Setting Financial Goals

    Once you’ve learned your net worth, you need to start thinking about a working budget.
    It also offers me the opportunity to see what I prioritize — and to revise those priorities if I see fit.

    1. Build an emergency fund.
    2. Pay down debt.
    3. Plan for retirement.
    4. Set short-term and long-term financial goals.

    If your job offers a 401(k) plan, take advantage of it — especially if your employer will match your contributions! Trust me, the sting of losing a percentage of your paycheck will hurt way less than having to work into your golden years.
    By writing down my short- and long-term financial goals and approximately how long I expect it will take to achieve each, I can figure out what to research and how aggressively I need to plan for each goal.
    Make a list of your debts and (ideally) don’t spend any of your spare money on anything but paying them off until the number after every account reads “Figuring out where your money should go might seem daunting, but it’s actually a lot of fun.

    1. Build an Emergency Fund

    You can’t decide on your short- or long-term financial goals if you don’t know how much money you have or where it’s going.
    Print out the last two or three months of statements from your credit and debit cards and categorize every expense. You can often find ways to save by discovering patterns in your spending habits.
    But there’s one more very important long-term financial goal you most definitely want to keep in mind: retirement.
    Take the full amount of money you owe and subtract it from the total amount you have, which you discovered in step one. The difference between the two is your net worth. That’s the total amount of money you have to your name.

    2. Pay Down Debt

    This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.
    Congratulations. You’re in control of your money.
    This will essentially be a document with your total monthly income at the top and a list of all the expenses you need to pay for every month.
    Make a list of the goals you want to achieve with your money and which category they fall into. Then you can figure out how to prioritize your savings for each objective.
    For example, some of my goals have included:
    Your financial goals should be (mostly) in this order:

    Pro Tip
    There’s lots of great information out there about how to pay off debt, but it’s really a pretty simple operation: You need to put every single penny you can spare toward your debts until they disappear.

    Finding money to sock away each month can be tough, but just starting with or of each paycheck can help.
    If you ever want to stop working, you need to save up the money you’ll use for your living expenses.

    A retired woman floats in a circular floating device in a swimming pool.

    3. Plan for Retirement

    Set the numbers you’re willing to spend in each category, and stick to them.
    Congratulations! We’re almost done with the hard part, I promise.
    If it seems like a lot, cool. Hang tight and don’t let it burn a hole in your pocket. We’re not done yet.
    Many experts suggest making sure you have an emergency fund in place before aggressively going after your debt.
    Because you’re wasting money on interest charges you could be applying toward your goals instead.
    No matter your goals, it’s helpful to categorize them by how long they’ll take to save for.
    If you’re motivated by quick wins, the debt snowball method may be a good fit for you. It involves paying off one loan balance at a time, starting with the smallest balance first.
    But if you’re hemorrhaging money on sky-high interest charges, you might not have much expendable cash to put toward savings.
    You can make the process a lot easier by automating your savings. Or you can have money from each paycheck automatically sent to a separate account you won’t touch.
    If it seems like… not a lot, well, you can fix that. Keep reading.

    FROM THE BUDGETING FORUM

    4. Set Short-Term and Long-Term Financial Goals (the Fun Part!)

    Maybe you want to have a six-course meal at the finest restaurant in the world or work your way through an extensive list of exotic and expensive wines. (OK, I’ll stop projecting.)
    What experiences or things can your money buy to significantly increase your quality of life and happiness?
    Now, let’s move on to repaying debt. Why’s it so important, anyway?
    It’ll depend on your individual case — for instance, I totally have “wine” as a budget line item.
    As a bonus, if your credit score could be better, repaying revolving debt will also help you repair it — just in case some of your goals (like buying a home) depend upon your credit report not sucking.
    Start by listing how much you actually spent in each category last month. Subtract your total expenses from your total income. The difference should be equal to the amount of money left sitting in your bank account at month’s end.
    All right, you’re all set in case of an emergency and you’re living debt-free.
    We say “mostly” because it’s ultimately up to you to decide in which order you want to accomplish them.
    After all, even if something seems like exactly what you want right now, it might not be in future-you’s best interest. And you’re playing the long game… that’s why they’re called goals!

    But to make the most of your money, follow a few best practices while setting your goals.
    For example, if you have a ,500 revolving balance on a credit card with a 20% APR, it gets priority over your ,000, 5%-interest car loan — even though the second number is so much bigger.
    Consider the funds you have left — and those you’ll continue to earn — after taking care of all the financial goals above. Now think: What do you want to do with your money?
    It’s pretty hard to argue against having more money in the bank.
    That means you’ll pay the interest for a lot longer — and pay a lot more of it — if you wait to pay it down until you have a solid emergency fund saved up.

    Can I Get a Car Loan If I Have No Credit?

    buy a car with no credit

    Yes, lenders have auto loans for people with no credit, but getting one is not guaranteed. It will depend on the lender’s flexibility, the down payment you can afford, and the kind of car you want to buy. It may even depend on how you ask.

    Phil Reed, senior consumer advice editor for the consumer auto site Edmunds has some good advice on how to get a car loan with no credit. He says a surprising number of people simply walk into a dealership and say, “Hi, I have no credit, and I want to buy a car.” He doesn’t recommend this approach. Instead, he offers these five tips for people who need a no-credit car loan.

    1. Get Pre-Approved

    If you have no credit or a thin credit profile, you should try to get preapproved for a loan before heading to the dealership. This will let you compare rates with any loan the dealer may offer. It may also give you a bargaining chip when negotiating the final deal.

    If you have a relationship with a bank or credit union, you should start looking for financing there. Reed recommends making an appointment to meet with your bank’s loan officer in person.

    “Make a case for yourself,” he says. That means bringing your pay stubs and bank account records with you. You should also check your credit reports, if they exist, and credit scores. You want to know as much about your credit profile as a lender would. If you don’t know your credit score, don’t worry—you can check your credit score for free every month on Credit.com.

    If you can’t get a loan from your financial institution, you may be able to find a no-credit auto loan online. Just make sure it’s from a reputable lender. Credit.com can also help you find auto loan offers from trustworthy lending institutions.

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    2. Negotiate a Good Price

    A dealership could beat the offer you get from your bank or credit union. However, if you know you’re already approved for a loan, you can focus on comparing rates and prices instead of worrying about financing.

    Reed says that it’s important to be wary. You don’t want to feel so indebted to the dealer for “giving” you a loan that you fail to negotiate the price of the car. And if the dealer’s financing isn’t better than the bank’s, at least you still have an approval in your pocket.

    Having a good down payment or trade-in can also help your case. A trade-in would reduce the amount you’ll need to borrow, and a larger down payment would show the lender some commitment on your part. Edmunds recommends putting at least 10% down on a used car, so start saving now.

    3. Choose the Right Car

    Be sure the car you’re buying is affordable for you, even if it’s not the car you’d choose if you had more money and better credit. “If you have no credit, it’s not the time to get your dream car,” Reed says. “You have to choose the right car and the right amount [to borrow].”

    You want reliable transportation you can afford. Making regular, on-time payments won’t just pay down your load, it will also build your credit, so don’t get a loan that requires higher payments than you can comfortably make.

    Sites like Kelley Blue Book, Cars.com, and Edmunds can help you find information on the cars that match your budget. When you’re at the car dealership, remember your budget and don’t spring for optional add-ons you don’t really need.

    4. Don’t Let Interest Rates Scare You Off

    Reed cautions that when you get a loan with no credit, the interest rates you’re offered may seem appallingly high, but that’s part of the cost of having no credit history.

    When you don’t have a credit score, lenders can’t assess how big of a risk they’re taking by giving you a loan. To protect the money they’re lending, they will likely treat you as a high-risk borrower, which means the loan will have a higher interest rate.

    As you make payments, you’ll establish a pattern of reliably paying back money. Over time, you can improve your interest rate by refinancing. Reed says that, according to a dealership employee, a customer once lowered his interest rate from 13% to 2% in two years’ time by improving his credit and refinancing.

    5. Give Yourself Some Credit, Not a Cosigner

    Reed advises against cosigning—a process that involves checking someone else’s credit and using that score to qualify for a loan. It might get you a lower rate and help you get approved, but Reed says that if you bite the bullet and pay a higher interest rate rather than get a cosigner, you’ll have the opportunity to build credit.

    In addition, having a cosigner will tie that person’s credit to yours, and the way you repay your car loan will influence their credit. Reed says if you’re going to do it, do it only as a last resort, and make sure the cosigner is a relative.

    Bottom line, though, as Reed explains, “It’s asking a lot.” It’s better to finance the car yourself, pay on time, and build your credit. That way, the next time you need a loan, you won’t have to worry about whether you’ll qualify.

    Good credit doesn’t just help you get reliable transportation: good credit can make a huge difference in improving your financial security and the peace of mind that comes with it. Start tracking your credit for free today at Credit.com. Your new car will get you moving around town, but your new credit score will get you moving up in the world.

    Image: iStock

    The post Can I Get a Car Loan If I Have No Credit? appeared first on Credit.com.

    Source: credit.com

    Shelter Insurance Review: Car, Home, and More

    Shelter Insurance is a mutual insurance company that was founded in 1946 and operates out of Columbia, Missouri. This highly-rated, award-winning insurance company offers a wealth of insurance products across the states of Colorado, Iowa, Arkansas, Kansas, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Nevada, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Louisiana.

    In this Shelter Insurance review, we’ll look at insurance policies, coverage options, customer satisfaction, liability cover, and more, before seeing how Shelter compares to other leading insurance companies.

    Shelter Car Insurance Coverage Options

    Shelter is a leading auto insurance company in Missouri and other serviced states. It isn’t always the cheapest (more on that below) but it does provide a wealth of coverage options, including:

    Liability Coverage

    Liability coverage is the most basic, bare-bones insurance type and one that is required in most states. Liability insurance covers bodily insurance (per person and per accident) and property damage. It essentially covers you for the damage you do to another driver and their property during a car accident.

    Collision Coverage

    An optional form of auto insurance that covers you for damage done to your own vehicle, regardless of who was at fault. If you have collision coverage on your auto policy, you will get a payout when you hit a guardrail, wall, tree or building.

    However, it’s one of the most expensive add-ons and a lot of the damage you do to your own vehicle may not be severe enough to warrant paying the deductible.

    Comprehensive Coverage

    With comprehensive coverage, you will be covered for many of the things that collision insurance doesn’t cover. For instance, it provides protection against vandalism and damage from extreme weather events. It also covers you in the event of an animal collision, which is surprisingly not covered by collision insurance.

    Personal Injury Protection

    With PIP insurance, you will be covered for some of the personal losses you incur due to an injury sustained in a car accident. For instance, if you’re hit by another driver and suffer severe injuries that cause you to miss work, PIP will pay for the money you lose. It will also cover the money needed to cover traveling for doctor and hospital appointments, as well as childcare costs.

    Medical Payments

    By adding medical payments cover onto your policy you will be protected against hefty medical bills resulting from a car accident. This option is required in just a few states but the coverage limits are often set very low.

    Underinsured and Uninsured Motorist Coverage

    Uninsured motorists are a growing problem on America’s roads. If you’re hit by one of these drivers and don’t have collision insurance, you could be left severely out of pocket. But not if you have underinsured/uninsured motorist insurance.

    This coverage option will protect you against bodily injury and property damage resulting from an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver.

    Roadside Assistance

    Shelter car insurance policies offer optional roadside assistance cover, which gives you up to $100 per claim and covers you for expenses accrued when you are stranded by the roadside.

    Roadside assistance is an emergency service designed to help you get back on the road or to tow your car to a nearby garage. It includes everything from lost key replacement to fuel delivery and tire changes.

    Rental Car Reimbursement

    If your car is stolen or damaged so badly that it needs to spend several days or weeks in a repair shop, rental car reimbursement can help you to stay on the road. It will cover you for the money you spend on rental cars, which means you won’t miss a single important car journey.

    Your coverage will be limited to a specific time period and you will not be covered for rentals that extend beyond this period.

    Accidental Death

    A form of life insurance that covers you for accidental deaths, such as car accidents. If you die in an accident, for example, your spouse or family members will receive a payout. There are many more restrictions than you get with term life insurance policies, but the premiums are also much lower.

    Disability Income Coverage

    PIP can cover you if you suffer serious bodily injuries and miss work as a result, but what happens if you’re forced to miss up to a year of work? That’s where Disability Income Coverage comes in. With Shelter, you will be paid a sum of money every week for up to a year.

    GAP Insurance

    If you bought your car on finance and wreck it soon after, the insurance payout may not be enough to cover the losses due to the interest payments and the rapid deprecation that new cars experience. With GAP insurance, you will be covered for that extra amount. As a result, this type of car insurance is often required by auto loan companies.

    New Car Replacement

    If you have a car that is less than a year old and has fewer than 15,000 miles on the clock, you can apply for the new car replacement program, which gives you a like-for-like replacement. This is an essential addition for anyone driving an expensive new vehicle as the losses could be catastrophic without it.

    Other Shelter Insurance Options

    Shelter offers multiple additional insurance options, many of which can be bought along with your car insurance, allowing you to save money with a multi-policy discount.

    As with Shelter car insurance, we recommend comparing rates to other insurance companies, making sure you’re getting the best coverage for the lowest rates. There are a huge number of insurance companies in the United States offering the same coverage options found at Shelter, and many of them are cheaper:

    Homeowners Insurance

    A homeowners policy from Shelter will protect your property and everything in it. You can get cover for the dwelling, personal property, medical payments, personal liability, living expenses, and more.

    Shelter also offers additional coverage options pertaining to electronics, sewer damage, earthquake damage, loss of farming equipment, and more.

    Renters Insurance

    If you rent your home, you won’t need property insurance, but you still need to protect your personal property and that’s where renter’s insurance comes. If your flat/house is burgled and you lose expensive items, including heirlooms, jewelry, artwork, and electronics, you will be covered.

    Umbrella Insurance

    With a minimum liability of $1 million, umbrella insurance will step in and provide cover above and beyond what you are offered elsewhere. If you have a lot of personal assets and are worried about being sued above what your liability insurance can pay, this is the policy for you.

    Business Insurance

    A business insurance policy from Shelter will protect your business against property loss, equipment damage, liability claims, and more. This is essential for all businesses and at Shelter you can choose a range of customization options to make sure the policy is perfectly suited to your needs.

    Flood Insurance

    Your home insurance policy doesn’t cover you for flood damage and this is true whether you’re with Shelter or not. However, you can add flood insurance to your Shelter insurance policy, with the rates dependent on where you live and how common floods are in your area.

    Life Insurance

    In addition to accidental death cover, Shelter also has term life and whole life insurance policies. These provide payouts to your loved ones in the event of your death.

    Your age, activity, medical history, and health will dictate the size of your insurance premiums and your death benefit.

    Shelter Car Insurance Cost

    We ran some car insurance quotes and found that Shelter was consistently more expensive than providers like GEICO, Allstate, State Farm, and Progressive. In fact, when comparing quotes for young drivers, Shelter car insurance premiums were more than double those offered by GEICO and were also substantially higher than other major carriers.

    In many states, including Kentucky and Louisiana, Shelter ranked as one of the most expensive providers. The rates were a little more promising in Missouri, but you’ll probably still get better offers elsewhere.

    Regardless of what you think about Shelter Insurance and whether or not you have had good experiences with them in the past, we recommend getting quotes from other providers first.

    Of course, it isn’t all about price, but it takes some incredibly impressive customer support and benefits for a $3,000 policy to take precedent over one that costs $1,500 or less, and we’re not convinced Shelter has that level of support or those benefits.

    Bottom Line: Shelter Insurance Review

    Shelter is a dedicated, capable, and financially strong insurance provider that offers extensive coverage for both drivers and homeowners. It has good reviews from policyholders, has high ratings from AM Best, JD Power and the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and there are very few complaints when compared to other providers.

    Shelter serves a number of states and if you reside in one of these, it’s worth getting a quote. Just don’t forget to check other providers and don’t assume Shelter will offer the best rates. In our experience, it’s more likely to be one of the most expensive providers in your state, but you won’t know until you check.

    Visit www.ShelterInsurance.com to learn more and to discuss an auto policy and/or home insurance policy with one of their representatives.

    Shelter Insurance Review: Car, Home, and More is a post from Pocket Your Dollars.

    Source: pocketyourdollars.com

    7 Small Ways to Save Big on Gas

    7 Small Ways to Save Big on Gas

    Gasoline can get expensive, but most of us have to drive at some point or another. Driving around to find the cheapest gas  in town is one way to cut a big chunk out of your monthly gas bill. But there are many tips and tricks that can reduce what you pay at the pump. Here are seven strategies that can help you save money on gas and reduce your environmental footprint.

    See what the average budget looks like for someone in your neighborhood.

    1. Service Your Vehicle Regularly

    Properly maintaining your vehicle can improve its fuel economy. You’ll need to replace dirty filters as often as possible and use the right motor oil whenever you top up. Using the wrong oil could waste gas by making your engine work harder. If you aren’t sure which grade of motor oil your car needs, you can check your owner’s manual.

    It’s also important to keep your tires properly inflated. Tire pressure should always remain at the level recommended by your car’s manufacturer. And you’ll need to make sure your tires are aligned. When it comes to gas mileage, a simple tune-up can go a long way.

    2. Use A/C Wisely

    In some cases, you can waste gas by cranking up the A/C. But it all depends on where you’re driving. If you’re driving fast because you’re on the highway, for example, having the windows open can increase drag and reduce fuel economy. So using A/C when you’re speeding down the freeway won’t prevent you from trying to save money on gas.

    In most cars, the A/C turns on when you try to defrost the windshield. Using a less powerful setting is one way to avoid wasting energy.

    3. Find Cheap Places to Fuel Up

    7 Small Ways to Save Big on Gas

    Generally to find cheap gas, you’ll need to stay away from wealthier neighborhoods and check out stations in the suburbs if you’re driving through a major city. Apps like GasBuddy, AAA TripTik Mobile and Waze can help you find low gas prices in your area.

    If you’re trying to spend less money on gas, waiting until your gas tank is empty and filling up a little at a time throughout the week isn’t a good idea. In fact, doing that could damage your car. It’s best to wait until you have a quarter tank of gas and fill it up all the way.

    Related Article: States With the Worst Drivers

    4. Earn Rewards for Buying Gas

    If you drive a lot, it may make sense for you to get a credit card that rewards you with cash back or points for buying gas. Depending on the kind of credit card you qualify for, you could earn gas rewards of up to 5%.

    5. Travel Lightly

    Carrying around a heavy load can add unnecessary drag. That’s why it’s a good idea to clean out your trunk and remove anything from your roof that you don’t need. By removing excess weight, you’ll be able to maximize your vehicle’s fuel economy.

    6. Drive Slower

    7 Small Ways to Save Big on Gas

    Cars often use more gas when drivers speed up. Exceeding your car’s optimal speed can reduce your gas mileage. In many cars, it’s best to drive at around 50 mph if you want to save fuel.

    When you need to accelerate, it’s best to tap the gas pedal lightly. Speeding up too quickly or hitting the brakes too hard can reduce your miles per gallon.

    Related Article: How to Trade in a Car

    7. Drive More Efficiently

    In addition to monitoring your speed, you can drive more efficiently by paying attention to details. For example, it’s a good idea to turn off the engine if your car has been idle for a while. Avoiding potholes and sudden stops can also make a difference when you’re trying to save money.

    Using cruise control while you’re driving long distances may also help you use less gas. If you want to go the extra mile, consider buying a more fuel-efficient car. Spending a bit more on a new ride might make sense if you want better gas mileage.

    Final Word

    Sometimes you have to get creative when you want to cut costs. By making some adjustments to the way you drive and maintain your car, you can save big bucks on gasoline.

    And if you can capitalize on the best times to buy gas, you probably should. Usually, it’s best to get gas either early in the morning or late at night.

    Photo credit: ©iStock.com/CasarsaGuru, ©iStock.com/Geribody, ©iStock.com/Kesu01

    The post 7 Small Ways to Save Big on Gas appeared first on SmartAsset Blog.

    Source: smartasset.com