A lot of us are living paycheck to paycheck and it’s a tough situation to be in. Even when you’ve managed to get your budget down to your core expenses — rent, food, car — it can still be a struggle to make ends meet.
We know it can seem impossible to cut back on your spending, even more, when you’ve already scaled it back, but we know a good place for you to start: your car. We hear this all the time from readers: “I can’t afford my car payments.” With that in mind, here are four immediate steps you can take to do something about it. You’ll be saying “I can afford my car payments,” in no time.
Every year or two you should compare your rates to those from other insurance companies. Premiums can go up for several reasons, including policyholder’s age, accident claims, traffic violations, moving to a different location, a drop in credit score, adding drivers to your policy and more. But there is also a lot of competition in this industry — car insurance companies really want your business, and you can end up saving a lot when you change your car insurance every year or two. Spend a little bit of time on this and you might never have to say “I can’t afford my car payments,” again.
If you’ve had the same insurance policy for years and are now in need of a cheaper one, you need to try Gabi. In just two minutes, Gabi could help you save up to $825 a year on your car insurance. They do this by letting you compare your current car insurance rate with rates from up to 20 other, cheaper providers. All you have to do is link your current insurance provider by logging into your account or by uploading a PDF of your policy. Seriously, take two minutes to see how much you could save and get a new policy instantly.
On average, Gabi says its users save $825 a year.
2. Refinance Your Loan
Loans are a pain. Yes, they can help you get the things you need that you can’t afford to buy outright, but the interest they collect as you work to pay them off can be a real budget killer (we know, it’s infuriating).
If car loan payments are the driving force behind your high monthly car bill, you should consider refinancing them to reduce the cost. I know, it sounds complicated, but refinancing a loan is a lot simpler than you’d think. All you’re doing is taking out a new lower-interest loan to replace one or more higher-interest loans. Doing this can trim down your monthly payments, and we know an awesome app that can help you compare personal loan rates from the top trusted lenders in seconds — Fiona.
All you have to do is fill out a simple form with a few questions about your situation and needs and the app will get back to you with offers you prequalify for based on the answer you gave. See an offer you like and apply for it directly through the app and get your approved in seconds and access to your funds right away.
Loan rates start at 4.99% and you can borrow anywhere between $1,000 and $100,000 with payments lasting between 24 and 84 months. The better your credit score, the better rates you’ll be able to get.
Fiona is completely free to use and the best part is that using it won’t affect your credit score in any way. Start breathing a sigh of relief and stop saying “I can’t afford my car payments.”
3. Ask About Discounts Any Available Discounts
On top of getting the absolute best insurance premium quote possible, it pays to ask your insurance company what premium discounts they offer. Car insurance companies have all sorts of discounts for policyholders that are based on driving history and habits, car safety features, a driver’s education, military or employment affiliation, customer loyalty and more. Do your research and ask what’s available.
Zebra is a fast and easy way to see what policies are available to you. Use it to compare car insurance rates instantly from over 100 providers nationwide. Just answer a few questions about yourself, your driving experience and the coverage you need (it takes less than two minutes) and within seconds you’ll see side-by-side quotes from insurance companies in real-time to help you find the best fit. Pick the quote you like best and get coverage right away through the app or by talking with one of Zebra’s licensed agents.
Zebra says it saves users up to $54 a month on average.
4. Trade-in Your Car
One of the easiest ways to afford your car is to trade it in for one with a lower repayment. The downside of course is you’ll get less money than if you were to sell it to a private buyer.
Selling to a private buyer and using that cash to pay off the car is also a good solution.
Feature Image: Twenty20