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5 Car Loan Scams to Look Out For



While we want to believe that everyone out there is an Honest Abe, unfortunately, scammers are abundant – but they’re not always easy to spot. Here are some common car buying scams to be on the lookout for.

Scams to Watch Out for When Car Buying

1. Spot Delivery

A spot delivery, also called yo-yo financing, is when the dealership says you’re all good to go and you can take the car home even though the financing hasn’t officially gone through yet. What may happen, however, is the dealer calls you to inform you that you have to come back to the dealership because your loan request was denied – and if you want to keep the vehicle, you’ve got to figure something out.

What often happens with a spot delivery is that you have to return to the dealership and get a loan that’s not as good of a deal as you were told you were going to get. This can mean a longer loan term, a higher interest rate, or possibly, that you’re required to put more cash down.

While this technically isn’t an outright scam – since you’re still paying and getting a vehicle – it’s more of a tactic used by unscrupulous dealerships. And to avoid falling into a spot delivery, simply don’t leave the dealership with a car until you’re positive that all financing paperwork and underwriting is complete.

2. Gift card payments

If you’re looking to purchase a vehicle and the seller wants you to pay for it in gift cards, it’s likely a scam. Often, a scammer that asks for a payment in gift cards redeems the cards then drops off the face of the Earth. You lose the money and may never hear from them again. Gift cards can’t be refunded (in nearly every case), so you’d be out of your hard-earned cash for good.

3. Credit repair scams

While you’re shopping for a car online, you may see advice stating you should improve your credit score before applying for an auto loan. While this is good advice, since your credit score can make or break your eligibility for a car loan, be aware of credit repair scams.

Credit repair companies can’t do anything you can’t do – meaning they can’t simply increase your credit score because you paid them. They can assist you in removing errors from your credit reports by contacting your creditors for you, but that’s about it. If a credit repair company asks for a large payment upfront or promises to boost your credit score by a specific amount of points, it’s generally the sign of a scam.

4. Title-jumping

Title-jumping is when someone sells a car to a buyer without giving the buyer the title. This is illegal in every state. Unless the buyer and seller sign a title and transfer ownership, the sale is not legitimate. If you don’t have a title, you also can’t register a vehicle in your name. Don’t go through with a car purchase without a title, and avoid buyers who are reluctant to show you a title.

5. Title-washing

Title-washing is when someone takes a vehicle that has a branded title (such as flooded or salvage) and registers it in another state where the title can be “washed” and rebranded as clean. Then, they try to sell the car with the fake clean title. A good way to avoid this is by getting the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) of the car you’re looking to buy and requesting a vehicle history report to get its actual history.

Quick Tips on Avoiding Car Buying Payment Scams

  • 5 Car Scams to Look Out ForDon’t wire money or give a stranger a cashier’s check until you’ve seen the vehicle and title, and have a bill of sale. If it’s a scam, you’re not likely to ever get the money back once the money is received and the scam is revealed.
  • Don’t pay for a car with a gift card. Gift cards are typically non-refundable, and if you get scammed, you’re out of luck.
  • Avoid paying for a vehicle with peer-to-peer online payment services, such as Venmo or Cash App. These payment services typically state that car purchases are not covered, since their transaction services are meant to be between you and someone you know and not payment for services or big-ticket items.
  • Payments for a vehicle through PayPal are not covered under their buyer/seller protection policy.
  • If a seller asks you to pay for a car with a cryptocurrency, this should be a red flag. Cryptocurrency, such as bitcoin, is untraceable and non-refundable.

If a deal seems too good to be true, it just might be. Make sure to be prepared for your next car-buying experience, and do your homework on the vehicle, and the seller if you’re not shopping with a known dealership.

Shop With a Local, Reputable Dealership

Avoiding a car-buying scam starts with shopping at a reputable dealership with an accredited lending institution. Most dealers are signed up with one or more lending partners, making car shopping a smooth experience if you’re eligible for financing.

And if you need bad credit lending resources, then a special finance dealership could be what you need.

Special finance dealers are signed up with subprime lenders that are equipped to work with many unique credit situations. If you want to get back on the road with a bad credit car loan, then start with us at Auto Credit Express. We’ve created a coast-to-coast network of special finance dealers, and we want to look for one in your local area. Complete our free car loan request form and we’ll get right to work!

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Are Sallie Mae Student Loans Federal or Private?



When you hear the name Sallie Mae, you probably think of student loans. There’s a good reason for that; Sallie Mae has a long history, during which time it has provided both federal and private student loans.

However, as of 2014, all of Sallie Mae’s student loans are private, and its federal loans have been sold to another servicer. Here’s what to know if you have a Sallie Mae loan or are considering taking one out.

What is Sallie Mae?

Sallie Mae is a company that currently offers private student loans. But it has taken a few forms over the years.

In 1972, Congress first created the Student Loan Marketing Association (SLMA) as a private, for-profit corporation. Congress gave SLMA, commonly called “Sallie Mae,” the status of a government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) to support the company in its mission to provide stability and liquidity to the student loan market as a warehouse for student loans.

However, in 2004, the structure and purpose of the company began to change. SLMA dissolved in late December of that year, and the SLM Corporation, or “Sallie Mae,” was formed in its place as a fully private-sector company without GSE status.

In 2014, the company underwent another big adjustment when Sallie Mae split to form Navient and Sallie Mae. Navient is a federal student loan servicer that manages existing student loan accounts. Meanwhile, Sallie Mae continues to offer private student loans and other financial products to consumers. If you took out a student loan with Sallie Mae prior to 2014, there’s a chance that it was a federal student loan under the now-defunct Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP).

At present, Sallie Mae owns 1.4 percent of student loans in the United States. In addition to private student loans, the bank also offers credit cards, personal loans and savings accounts to its customers, many of whom are college students.

What is the difference between private and federal student loans?

When you’re seeking financing to pay for college, you’ll have a big choice to make: federal versus private student loans. Both types of loans offer some benefits and drawbacks.

Federal student loans are educational loans that come from the U.S. government. Under the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program, there are four types of federal student loans available to qualified borrowers.

With federal student loans, you typically do not need a co-signer or even a credit check. The loans also come with numerous benefits, such as the ability to adjust your repayment plan based on your income. You may also be able to pause payments with a forbearance or deferment and perhaps even qualify for some level of student loan forgiveness.

On the negative side, most federal student loans feature borrowing limits, so you might need to find supplemental funding or scholarships if your educational costs exceed federal loan maximums.

Private student loans are educational loans you can access from private lenders, such as banks, credit unions and online lenders. On the plus side, private student loans often feature higher loan amounts than you can access through federal funding. And if you or your co-signer has excellent credit, you may be able to secure a competitive interest rate as well.

As for drawbacks, private student loans don’t offer the valuable benefits that federal student borrowers can enjoy. You may also face higher interest rates or have a harder time qualifying for financing if you have bad credit.

Are Sallie Mae loans better than federal student loans?

In general, federal loans are the best first choice for student borrowers. Federal student loans offer numerous benefits that private loans do not. You’ll generally want to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and review federal funding options before applying for any type of private student loan — Sallie Mae loans included.

However, private student loans, like those offered by Sallie Mae, do have their place. In some cases, federal student aid, grants, scholarships, work-study programs and savings might not be enough to cover educational expenses. In these situations, private student loans may provide you with another way to pay for college.

If you do need to take out private student loans, Sallie Mae is a lender worth considering. It offers loans for a variety of needs, including undergrad, MBA school, medical school, dental school and law school. Its loans also feature 100 percent coverage, so you can find funding for all of your certified school expenses.

With that said, it’s always best to compare a few lenders before committing. All lenders evaluate income and credit score differently, so it’s possible that another lender could give you lower interest rates or more favorable terms.

The bottom line

Sallie Mae may be a good choice if you’re in the market for private student loans and other financial products. Just be sure to do your research upfront, as you should before you take out any form of financing. Comparing multiple offers always gives you the best chance of saving money.

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Tips to do some fall cleaning on your finances



Wealth manager, Harry Abrahamsen, has five simple ways to stay on top of the big financial picture.

PORTLAND, Maine — Keeping track of our financial stability is something we can all do, whether we have IRAs or 401ks or just a checking account. Harry J. Abrahamsen is the Founder of Abrahamsen Financial Group. He works with clients to create and grow their own wealth. Abrahamsen shares five financial tips, starting with knowing what you have. 

1. Analyze Your Finances Quarterly or Biannually

You want to make sure that your long-term strategy is congruent with your short-term strategy. If the short-term is not working out, you may need to adjust what you are doing to make sure your outcome produces the desired results you are looking to accomplish. It is just like setting sail on a voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. You know where you want to go and plot your course, but there are many factors that need to be considered to actually get you across and across safely. Your finances behave the exact same way. Check your current situation and make sure you are taking into consideration all of the various wealth-eroding factors that can take you completely off course.

With interest rates very low, now might be a good time to consider refinancing student loans or mortgages, or consolidating credit card debt. However, do so only if you need to or if you can create a positive cash flow. To ensure that you are saving the most by doing so, you must look at current payments, excluding taxes and insurance costs. This way you can do an apples-to-apples comparison.

The most important things to look for when reviewing your credit report is accuracy. Make sure the reporting agencies are reporting things actuary. If it doesn’t appear to be reporting correct and accurate information, you should consult with a reputable credit repair company to help you fix the incorrect information.

4. Savings and Retirement Accounts

The most important thing to consider when reviewing your savings and retirement accounts is to make sure the strategies match your short-term and long-term investment objectives. All too often people end up making decisions one at a time, at different times in their lives, with different people, under different circumstances. Having a sound strategy in place will allow you to view your finances with a macro-economic lens vs a micro-economic view. Stay the course and adjust accordingly from a risk and tax standpoint.

RELATED: Financial lessons learned through the pandemic

A great tip for lowering utility bills or car insurance premiums: Simply ask! There may be things you are not aware of that could save you hundreds of dollars every month. You just need to call all of the companies that you do business with to find out about cost-cutting strategies. 

RELATED: Overcome your fear of finances

To learn more about Abrahamsen Financial, click here

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How to Get a Loan Even with Bad Credit



Sana pwedeng mabura ang bad credit history as quickly and easily as paying off your utility bills, ‘no? Unfortunately, it takes time. And bago mo pa maayos ang bad credit mo, more often than not, kailangan mo na namang mag-avail ng panibagong loan. 

Good thing you can still get a loan even with bad credit, kahit na medyo limited ang options. How do you get a loan if you have bad credit? Alamin sa short guide na ito. 

For more finance tips, visit Moneymax.



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