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For Car Loans and Mortgages, Research First.

When most people think of personal finance, an unsavory bombardment of images comes to mind. Running a budget, being stingy with money, not spending on things you want, etc. I suppose to some degree these are all true, but the level of which you take it varies widely. Plenty of PF bloggers out there splurge occasionally on things they want. JD has his comics, I like computers, and so on. It’s simply a matter of working the things you want into your budget so that you are still saving and following the golden rule of spend less than you earn.

Surprisingly people often overlook an important part of the above rule when it comes to large purchases. Part of the reason people are so squeezed right now and others are losing their homes can be broken down into the following statement: They didn’t do their homework. It’s absolutely crucial to research large purchases. The larger the price tag, the more important it becomes. My sister for example, rushed into buying a car because the dealer offered it to her right there and she “really needed one” which left her with unfavorable car loan terms.

It’s liberating to know that you’ve looked into all of your options and come out ahead with a good deal on a large purchase. Car loans and home mortgages in particular are some of the largest one-time buys you’ll make into your lifetime and the repercussions of making a poor choice can haunt you for years to come. Check out sites like Complete Loan Source for researching used car loans. Shop around as much as humanly possible, look into the type of car you want, how long the car is expected to run properly, factor in potential maintenance costs and above all put as large of a down payment as you can feasibly handle. The more you pay now means the less in interest you’ll pay later.

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