What to Consider When Considering a Big Purchase

Rockville, MD (PRWEB) April 29, 2015

The combination this month of warm sunshine and tax refunds heating up bank accounts motivate many people to shop for big-ticket items they’ve been dreaming of all winter.

OpenSky, a business line of Capital Bank N.A., known for providing consumer financial and credit education, shares some insights consumers may want to consider before visiting showrooms:

According to Experian Automotive, the consumer credit bureau’s car information arm, knowing where one stands financially is just as important as researching the market for the best deal. To get good terms on a loan, the first thing to consider is credit score. Auto lenders calculate the risks before lending money: the higher a person’s credit score, the lower the risk and the lower the interest rate a lender will offer. That lower rate translates to less money paid over the life of the loan—a savings of hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

Another thing to consider is down payment. Saving for a substantial down payment means less money to borrow. Sizable down payments also give people more equity in their cars from the beginning, making them less of a risk to a lender—typically the higher the down payment, the lower the interest rate on a loan. Additionally it can be important to think about the length of the loan—a longer loan period means smaller, more affordable monthly payments now but more total payout over time.

It’s also a good idea to research the best options and try to get pre-approved for a loan—this can strengthen a buyer’s position when making a purchase offer. Talking to lenders at credit unions or banks with whom one already has a relationship and a good credit history may help get a better deal.

Finally time the car purchase to the market, if possible. According to financial publication Kiplinger, the time to get the best deal on a car is late summer or early fall. That’s when the new models come in and dealers offer incentives for buying the current year’s models. It may take will power to wait a few months—but picture driving down the highway in that beautiful new car, a lot more carefree because of spending less money!

“Getting your finances in order is the first step before trying to negotiate a large purchase,” says Nick Bryan, president of OpenSky. “If you need a place to start, OpenSky’s credit education can help you plan the steps to take to reach your financial goals.”

About OpenSky

OpenSky is a business line of Capital Bank, N.A. that focuses on delivering credit building tools and resources to help consumers establish or re-build their credit. OpenSky credit card products are designed to be easy to get, easy to use and offer variable credit lines, allowing consumers with any financial needs to build a solid credit history. The premiere product, the OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card, has been recognized by Credit.Net as one of the best credit cards for 2014 that build credit fast. With more than 50,000 cardholders and growing, OpenSky is committed to helping consumers meet their financial goals through the power of strong credit and credit knowledge.

For more information visit http://www.opensky.com

About Capital Bank

Capital Bank, N.A., is a leading private bank in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area that offers a range of services encompassing cash management, commercial lending, consumer credit and residential mortgage/Veterans Administration mortgage loans. Capital Bank’s core commercial banking and lending business includes two rankings by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), ranked number two among community lenders and in the top ten among all lenders in the Washington Metropolitan District for loan volume for Fiscal Year 2014. With double-digit asset growth over the past three years, Capital Bank has more than $ 600 million in assets and is well positioned to fulfill its culture of collaborative partnerships and solutions for area businesses and consumers nationwide. For more information, visit http://www.capitalbankmd.com. Member FDIC. An Equal Housing Lender.



(1) Experian Automotive, “4 Steps to Take Before Buying Your Next Car”: http://www.autocheck.com/consumers/content/before-buying-your-car.do

(2) National Association of Realtors (NAR), “Housing Affordability Index”: http://www.realtor.org/topics/housing-affordability-index

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Protect The Credit Score This Holiday Season

Chicago, IL (PRWEB) November 11, 2014

With the holidays fast approaching, people who have been working on improving their credit scores – particularly first-time homebuyers who need to be approved for a mortgage – may be worried about their extensive shopping lists. Without preparation, consumers can unwittingly put hundreds or thousands of dollars on their credit cards during the winter months. However, this doesn’t have to happen. The Federal Savings Bank has put together a number of tips on how consumers can plan their holiday spending in such a way as to not only avoid hurting their credit scores, but also potentially improve them.

Plan before shopping

Consumers should create a fixed budget before buying presents. It’s best they decide how much they can afford to spend on each family member and friend and think of gifts that fit within that dollar amount before heading to the stores. It’s important to set an absolute cap on spending and keep that figure in mind throughout the shopping process.

Cash over card

People should try to use cash instead of credit as much as possible. If they’ve determined a budget, they can draw a certain amount of cash from each paycheck leading up until the holidays. To avoid pulling out the plastic, consumers can plan which presents can be purchased with cash each week. They can also take advantage of layaway plans though these should be carefully reviewed and avoided if they contain numerous fees and high interest rates.

Limit and prioritize credit usage

Because many people can’t afford to pay for all of their holiday shopping in cash, they should prioritize which items are best bought with a credit card. Credit cards often have superior fraud protection and return policies, so save the large, big-ticket items for the plastic. Less expensive gifts should be purchased with cash. Consumers should keep in mind that they shouldn’t put more on their credit cards than they can pay off within one or two payments – otherwise, they risk racking up high interest charges.

Start planning for next year

It may seem too soon, but January is when everyone should begin thinking about the next holiday season. Consumers can have an estimated budget of what they’ll need for shopping and start setting aside money right away. This way, when November hits and shopping is on everyone’s mind, there will be plenty of cash saved for spending and the credit cards can take a rest.

For more information on how to improve your personal finances before applying for a mortgage, contact The Federal Savings Bank, a veteran owned bank.

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Prepare for Holiday Spending: The Best Apps for Bargain Hunters

Boston, MA (PRWEB) October 09, 2014

As the holiday season approaches, American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) today released its recommendations for the best apps for bargain hunters.

Now is the time when shoppers should not only plan ahead for what they will purchase this holiday season, but also determine a plan for how they will afford it. Mapping out holiday financial plans is a good way to avoid overspending and credit card debt.

According to the Prosper Spending Score, spending during the 2014 holiday season is projected to increase by more than eight percent from 2013, with E-Commerce once again playing a large role in sales. Last year, online sales from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday climbed 26 percent to $ 7.6 billion, with Cyber Monday seeing sales increase 16 percent from the previous year and finishing 31.5 percent higher than Black Friday.

“All too often, consumers’ lack of preparation for the season can create long-term financial struggles and leave them with a lingering holiday debt hangover come the New Year,” said Steven Trumble, President and CEO of ACCC.

ACCC predicts that retailers will offer a variety of attractive incentives to consumers this holiday season, including sales, price-matching guarantees, and various promotions. These trends will continue to increase as November and December approach, with some competing retailers opening on Thanksgiving, or launching Grey Thursdays (preview sales before Black Friday).

Whether shopping for presents, home goods, or holiday parties, these smartphone apps ensure that consumers will save money and score can’t-beat bargains.

Coupon Sherpa – With this handy app, consumers can access hundreds of coupons to popular retailers and restaurants and set favorite stores to easily track their latest deals.

Retail Me Not – No need to print coupons before leaving home- easily search for the coupons and browse trending deals to find the best offers. Coupons can be saved for later, automatic alerts can be sent for deals that are nearby, and notifications can be sent when deals are about to expire.

Snip Snap – Perfect for extreme couponers, this app allows users to snap photos of coupons, save them to their phone, and redeem them later. You can also use this app to share coupons with friends.

Target’s Cartwheel – Use this app to choose from hundreds of offers across every category at Target. Show your printed or mobile barcode at your Target store checkout and feel good when you see your savings add up.

Grocery Smarts Coupon Shopper – Another great app for extreme couponing, you can use this app to cross-reference manufacturer coupons with store sales. This app tracks store prices and shows you exactly how you can use current manufacturer’s coupons to save.

Favado – Favado allows you to easily compare grocery prices and notifies you when your favorite items go on sale.

Red Laser – This barcode scanning app lets you immediately compare prices when in a store or making a purchase from your phone.

Amazon Price Check – Use barcode scanning, camera, speech, or text search to find the lowest prices from Amazon.com and its merchants. You can also share in-store prices.

Shop Savvy – You can use this app to not only search for deals online and locally, but you can also use it to make a purchase from an online merchant or participating store.

ACCC is a 501(c)3 organization, that provides free credit counseling, bankruptcy counseling, and housing counseling to consumers nationwide in need of financial literacy education and money management. For more information, contact ACCC:

    For credit counseling, call 800-769-3571
    For bankruptcy counseling. call 866-826-6924
    For housing counseling, call 866-826-7180
    Or visit us online at ConsumerCredit.com
About American Consumer Credit Counseling

American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) is a nonprofit credit counseling 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to empowering consumers to achieve financial management and debt relief through education, credit counseling, and debt management solutions. ACCC provides individuals with practical debt solutions for solving financial problems and recognizes that consumers’ financial difficulties are often not the result of poor spending habits, but more frequently from extenuating circumstances beyond their control. As one of the nation’s leading providers of financial education and credit counseling services, ACCC’s certified credit advisors work with consumers to help them determine the best plan of action to get out of debt and regain financial stability. ACCC holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and is a member of the Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies. For more information or to access free financial education resources, log on to ConsumerCredit.com or visit TalkingCentsBlog.com.