If you’re looking for a new bank account that allows you to easily store as well as access your cash, you might be thinking about opening a money market account or checking account. But how do you know which to choose? Decisions, decisions. Both types of accounts have unique advantages, depending on your savings and spending goals.
âThink about how you will be using the money within the account,” says Jill Emanuel, lead financial coach at Fiscal Fitness. “Is this money for daily, weekly or monthly use? Or is it money that will not be needed regularly?”
You’ll probably need a little more to go on before answering the question, “How do I decide between a money market account or checking account?” No worries. Our roundup delves into the features of both types of accounts to help you determine which one could be right for your financial plans, or if there’s room for both in your money mix.
Get easy access to your funds with a checking account
In simple terms, a checking account allows you to write checks and make purchases with a debit card from the money you deposit into the account. That debit card can also be used to withdraw cash from the account via an ATM.
When deciding between a money market account or checking account, Emanuel says most people use a checking account for the primary management of their monthly income (i.e., where a portion of your paycheck is deposited) and daily expenses (often small and frequent transactions). âA checking account makes the most sense as the account where the majority of your transactions occur,” she adds. This is because a checking account typically comes with an unlimited number of transactionsâwhether you’re withdrawing cash from an ATM, transferring money to a savings account or swiping your debit card.
While a checking account is a good home base for your finances and a go-to if you need to easily and quickly access your funds, this account type typically earns little to no interest. Spoiler: This is one key difference when you compare a money market account vs. a checking account.
âIf you plan to use your account for monthly bill payments and day-to-day transactions, you would be better suited with a checking account, as these support daily and frequent use.â
Grow your balance with a money market account
When you’re comparing a money market account vs. a checking account, think of a money market account as a savings vehicle that allows you to earn interest on the balance you keep in the account.
“A money market account is an interest-bearing bank account that typically has a higher interest rate than a checking account,” says Bola Sokunbi, certified financial education instructor and founder of Clever Girl Finance.
With some money market accounts, you can even earn more interest with a higher balance. Thanks to its interest-earning potential, a money market account can be the way to go if you’re looking for an account to help you reach your savings goals and priorities.
If you’re deciding between a money market account or checking account, you may think that a money market account seems like a typical savings account with your ability to earn, but it also has some features similar to a checking account. With a money market account, for example, you can withdraw cash from an ATM and use a debit card or checks to access money from the account. There are no limits on ATM withdrawals or official checks mailed to you.
Before you decide to use this account for your regular bills and your morning caffeine habit, know that federal law limits certain types of withdrawals and transfers from money market accounts to a combined total of six per calendar month per account. If you go over these limitations on more than an occasional basis, your financial institution may choose to close the account.
Don’t need regular access to your funds and want your money to grow until you do need it? Then the benefits of a money market account could be for you.
Deciding between a money market account or checking account
Still debating money market account or checking account? Here are some financial scenarios to help you determine which account may best suit your current needs and goals:
Go with a checking account if…
- You want to keep your funds liquid. If you’re thinking money market account or checking account, know that a checking account is built for very regular access to your funds. âIf you plan to use your account for monthly bill payments and day-to-day transactions, you would be better suited with a checking account, as these support daily and frequent use,” Sokunbi says. Think rent, cable, utilities, groceries, gas, maybe that morning caffeine craving. You get the idea.
- You want to earn rewards for your spending. When you’re comparing money market account vs. checking account, consider that with some checking accountsâlike Discover Cashback Debitâyou can earn cash back for your debit card purchases. The best part is you are earning cash back as you keep up with your regular expensesâno hoops to jump through or extra account activity needed. Then put that cashback toward fun things like date night, lunch at your favorite spot or a savings fund dedicated to something special.
- You want to deposit and withdraw without the stress of a balance requirement. If you do your research when comparing money market accounts vs. checking accounts, you’ll find that some checking accounts don’t require a minimum balance (or much of one). However, you may be required to maintain a minimum balance (and potentially a higher one) with a money market account in order to avoid a fee. If you’re accessing your money frequently and need to make large withdrawals, a checking account with no minimum balance requirement is a convenient option.
Go with a money market account if…
- You want to earn interest. âIf your money is just sitting there, it should be earning money,” Emanuel says of the money market account or checking account question. âI spoke with a woman recently who told me she’d had around $50,000 sitting in her checking account for at least the last 10 years, if not longer. If that money had been in a money market account for the same period of time, she would have earned thousands of dollars on it. Instead she earned nothing,” Emanuel says.
- You want to put short-term savings in a different account. If you have some short-term savings goals in mind (way to go!), you may benefit from keeping your savings separate from your more transactional checking account so you don’t dip into them for a different purpose. That whole out of sight, out of mind thing. âA money market account is the perfect place for money that will be accessed less frequently, such as an emergency fund [a.k.a. rainy day fund], a vacation fund or a place to park money after you’ve received an inheritance or proceeds from selling a home,” Emanuel says.
- You need an account to fund your overdraft protection. If you’re comparing money market account vs. checking account, consider that a money market account could also cross over to support spending goals. One way is in the form of overdraft protection. If you enroll in overdraft protection for your checking account, for example, you could designate that funds be pulled from your money market account to cover a balance shortfall.
âA money market account is the perfect place for money that will be accessed less frequently, such as an emergency fund [a.k.a. rainy day fund], a vacation fund or a place to park money after you’ve received an inheritanceÂ or proceeds from selling a home.â
Using both accounts to achieve your financial goals
Speaking of crossover. Both spending and saving are vying for your attention, right? Consider leveraging both types of accounts if you have needs from the checking and money market account lists above.
“Personally, I use my checking account for bill payments, my day-to-day spending, writing checks and for any automatic debits I have each month,” Sokunbi says. She’s added a money market account to the mix “because of the higher interest rateâto store my savings for short-term goals, for investing or for money I’ll be needing soon,” she explains. Maybe it’s not about deciding between a money market account or a checking account, but getting the best of both worlds.
Before opening a money market account or checking account, do your research and compare your options to see which bank offers the best package of low or no fees and customer service, in addition to what you need from an interest and access to cash perspective.
The post Money Market Account or Checking Account: Which Is Best For You? appeared first on Discover Bank – Banking Topics Blog.
A consumer loan is a loan or line of credit that you receive from a lender.
Consumer loans can be auto loans, home mortgages, student loans, credit cards, equity loans, refinance loans, and personal loans.
This article will address each type of consumer loans.
Get Approved for personal loan today.
Types of consumer loans:
Consumer loans are divided into several kinds of categories. They include auto loans, student loans, home loans, personal loans and credit cards. Regardless of type, consumer loans have one thing in common: you have to repay the loan at some period of time.
Most people who are thinking of buying a car will apply for an auto loan. That is because buying a car is expensive.
In fact, it is the second largest expense you will ever make besides buying a house. And unless you intend to buy it with all cash, you will need a car loan.
So, car loans allow consumers to purchase a vehicle where they may not have the money upfront. With an auto loan, your payment is broken into smaller repayments that you will make over time every month.
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You can choose between a fixed or variable interest rate loan. But the most important thing is, whether you’re buying a new or used car, it’s important to compare loans to help you find the right auto loan for your needs.
Start comparing auto loans now!
Another, and most common, type of consumer loans are home loans. A home loan or mortgage is a loan a consumer receives for the purpose of buying a house.
Buying a house is, undoubtedly, the biggest expense you’ll ever make in your life. So, for the majority of consumers who want to purchase a house, they will need to borrow the money from a lender.
Home loans are paid back over a period of time. Those mortgages term are typically 15 to 30 years. They can be variable rate or fixed rate. A fixed rate means that your repayments are locked in for a fixed term.
Whereas a variable rate means that your repayments depend on the interest rate going up or down when the Federal Reserve changes the rate.
Over the loan’s term, you will pay back the principle amount of the loan plus interest. This makes it very important to compare home loans. Doing so allows you to save thousands of dollars on interest and fees.
The most common types of consumer loans are personal loans. That is because a personal loan can be used for a lot of things.
A personal loan allows a consumer to borrow a sum of money. The borrower agrees to repay the loan (plus interest) in installments over a period of time.
A personal loan is usually for a lower amount than a home loan or even an auto loan. People usually ask for $500 to $20,000 or more.
A personal loan can be secured (the consumer backs it with his or her personal assets) or unsecured (the consumer does not have to use his or her personal asset).
But most of them are unsecured, so getting approved for one will depend on your credit score, income and other factors.
But consumers use personal loans for different purposes. People take out personal loans to consolidate debts, such as credit card debts. You can use personal loans for a wedding, a holiday, to renovate your home, to buy a flt screen TV, etc…
Consumers use these types of loans to finance their education. There are two types of student loans: federal and private. The federal government funds a federal student loan.
Whereas, a private entity funds a private student loan. Generally, federal student loans are better because they come at a lower interest rate.
Believe it or not credit cards is a type of consumer loans and they are very common. Consumers use this type of loan to finance every day expenses with the promise of paying back the money with interest.
Unlike other loans, however, every time your pay with your credit card, you take a personal loan.
Credit cards usually carry a higher interest rate than the other loans. But you can avoid these interests if you pay your balance in full immediately.
Small Business Loans
Another type of consumer loans are small business loans. These loans are used specifically to create a business or to expand an already established business.
Banks and the Small Business Administration (SBA) usually provide these loans. Small Business Loans are different than personal loans, because you usually have to provide a collateral to get the loan.
The collateral serves as a way to protect the lender in case you default on the loan. In addition, you will also need to provide a business plan for the lenders to review.
Home Equity Loans
If you have your own home, you can borrow money against it. These types of consumer loans are called home equity loans. If you’ve paid off the mortgage on the home, you can borrow up to the full value of the home.
Vice versa, if you’ve paid half of the mortgage on the home, you can borrow half of the value of the house. You can use a home equity loan for several purposes like you would with a personal loan.
But most consumers use this type of loan to renovate their house. One disadvantage of this type of loan, however, is that you can lose your house in case of a default, because your house is used as a collateral for the loan.
Loan refinancing is a basically taking a new loan to replace an existing one. But you get this loan specifically either to refinance your existing mortgage or to refinance your student loans or a personal loan.
Consumers usually refinance in order to receive a lower interest rate or to reduce the amount of monthly payments they are making on their existing loans.
However, reducing to a lower payment will lengthen the time to pay off the loan and you will accrue interest as a result.
Consumers also use this type of loan to pay their existing loans off faster. However, some mortgage refinancing loans come with prepayment penalties. So do you research in order to avoid that extra charge.
The bottom line is consumer loans can help you with your goals. However, understanding different loan types is important so that you can choose the best one that fits your particular situation.
So do you need a consumer loan?
Get Approved for personal loan today.
Speak with the Right Financial Advisor
If you have questions about your finances, you can talk to a financial advisor who can review your finances and help you reach your goals (whether it is making more money, paying off debt, investing, buying a house, planning for retirement, saving, etc). Find one who meets your needs with SmartAssetâs free financial advisor matching service. You answer a few questions and they match you with up to three financial advisors in your area. So, if you want help developing a plan to reach your financial goals, get started now.
The post What Is A Consumer Loan? appeared first on GrowthRapidly.
When your valentine wants a little extra love, all he or she has to do is take a strip out of the jar and read one of your messages.
If you canât afford a bouquet of roses, see if your local flower shop is selling single roses. A single red rose often says more than a whole dozen.
Remember mixtapes? Bring that sentiment to the 21st century by making your special someone a Spotify playlist. You donât even need Spotify Premium; just get the free version of Spotify for your desktop, build the perfect list and share it with your valentine.
22 Last-Minute Valentineâs Day Gift Ideas Under $5
Donât want to give away your only copy of your favorite read? Find it in a used bookstore. You can often get used books for under , and they make excellent presents.
If you read the Modern Love column in The New York Times, you might have seen the piece about The 36 Questions That Lead to Love.
2. Lloyd Dobler Serenade
Still scrambling for that perfect Valentineâs Day gift?
Weâve already got you covered with at-home date ideas â for whether you are together in-person or far apart. Here are 50 last-minute gifts that all cost less than .
Even the most humble of grocery store bouquets can become beautiful with a little help. Take the flowers out of the plastic, trim them and put them into a vase. Or, if you donât have a vase on hand, get a glass jar out of the recycling bin, rinse it out and put the flowers in.
3. Bulk Candy
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.
If youâre giving bulk candy, presentation matters. Put it in an attractive bag or box, tie it up with a ribbon and make your gift as special as the recipient.
4. Handmade Card
Write your valentine a love poem. It worked for Shakespeare, and it could work for you. Choose one of the classic poetry formats, such as the sonnet or the villanelle, or create your own.
Nothing says âIâm in this for the long termâ like âThis was my old stuffed bear, and I hope youâll love it as much as I do.â
Take the iconic image of Say Anythingâs Lloyd Dobler holding a boombox over his head as you model and get ready to tell your valentine that âIn your eyesâ¦ I am complete.â
Nicole Dieker is a contributor to The Penny Hoarder.
Keep this pattern going until the notebook is full. A shared journal is a lovely way to write about hopes, dreams and plans for the future.
Take your poem one step further by setting it to music. How many people get a song written just for them? Perform it for your special someone on Valentineâs Day, and youâll learn that the best gifts donât have to cost a thing.
8. Band Performance
Take an old T-shirt and turn it into a pillow. This Instructables guide will help you get started. Youâll need to get something to stuff the pillow with, which you can generally get at a craft store or even Target or Walmart for under .
9. Request a Song
Your cost investment depends on how many art supplies you currently have around, but a hobby store often sells affordable individual sheets of art paper. Even an ink drawing on a piece of good paper can look beautiful.
10. Old Shirt Turned into a Pillow
Find an excuse for your special someone to be out of the house or apartment on Valentineâs Day morning and then scrub, wash, sweep and fold. Top it off with a few flowers in a vase or a plate of homemade cookies on the table.
11. Old Stuffed Animal
Want a gift that your valentine will really love? Try a perfectly cleaned home.
All youâll need for this one is a jar and a few pieces of paper. Tear or cut the paper into strips and write something special on each strip. Then, fold the strips in half and put them into the jar.
Sometimes the simplest gifts are the best. If your local radio station takes requests, request your special song. Text your valentine when itâs time for your song to play, or listen to it together.
Get an inexpensive notebook, write a journal entry and give it to your Valentine with the instructions to read whatâs inside, write a new journal entry and give the notebook back.
13. Homemade Cookies
While everyone else is getting expensive bouquets delivered to their valentines, why not give your date a plate of delicious homemade cookies? You can also take these cookies with you for a picnicking or stargazing adventure.
14. Love Thoughts in a Jar
Get some massage oil, put some towels over freshly washed sheets and give your special someone the massage he or she has always wanted. Look for resources online, like these massage tips from Canyon Ranch resort, that will show you how to give a safe, proper massage.
Spend an evening asking your valentine those questions â and answering them yourself â and it becomes an evening youâre unlikely to forget.
15. Book of Memories
Use an actual boombox if you can get your hands on one, or pull out your iPhone and crank up the volume.
16. Coupon Book
Wondering how youâre going to get your special someone something truly special â without spending a lot of money in the process?
If your special someone owns a Kindle, a Nook or another e-reader, there are gobs of books available for under . Look for the 99-cent listings so you can give multiple books and make your gift look extra-special. You can also look for deals from Bookbub.
17. Massage Night
Giving the gift of an old stuffed animal shows your special someone that you love and trust them enough to share one of your most treasured possessions.
18. Shared Journal
Why not make this Valentineâs Day the start of a Wednesday letter tradition of your own? Give the gift of a love letter, and tell your valentine that it is the first of many to come.
These questions, which include âWhat would constitute a âperfectâ day for you?â and âWhen did you last cry in front of another person?â are designed to build intimacy and bring people closer together.
19. Love Letters
Does your valentine like picking the movie you watch together? Does your valentine like not having to do the dishes? Choosing the right coupons is what makes this gift special.
Have you read the book âThe Wednesday Lettersâ? Itâs the story of a man who writes his wife a new love letter each Wednesday.
20. Clean All The Things
Anyone can go to the grocery store and get a 99-cent card with a pre-printed message. Only you can make a one-of-a-kind card with your own heartfelt statement of love.
Even if youâve only got in your pocket, you can still make this Valentineâs Day memorable.
21. The 36 Questions
The coupon book is another classic gift that has almost become clichÃ©. The secret to making it work is to put together coupons that your valentine actually wants.
Have a favorite book that you think your valentine will also love? Take it off your bookshelf, write an inscription and turn it into a gift. Itâs just as intimate as giving a stuffed animal, and you can talk about the book together afterwards.
A handmade card can often be one of the best and most treasured Valentineâs Day presents.
22. One Rose or Grocery Store Flowers
Maybe your special someone likes jelly beans or chocolate-covered almonds. The bulk candy aisle offers plenty of choices for putting together a gift that tastes better â and is much more personalized â than a cheap box of waxy Valentineâs candy.
Do you have painting or sketching skills? Make your special someone a piece of original art. Itâs hard to go wrong with a flattering portrait or a sketch of the place where the two of you shared your first kiss.
This one works best if your Valentine is a fan of classic â80s movies.
Buy an inexpensive sketchbook or notebook. Then, fill each page with a memory â the place you first met, the first time you held hands, the concert the two of you attended last spring. Draw, write, glue in ticket stubs â do whatever you want to make this book a true book of memories. Chances are it will be an unforgettable gift.
Got a friend who can play bass and a buddy who knows the drums? Teach them the song you just wrote, or ask if theyâll be willing to help you cover a song that has a special meaning for you and your valentine. Then give your valentine a never-to-be-forgotten concert.
Insurance companies determine risk when calculating rates and offering coverage. If the company determines that your accident risk is higher than average, you’ll have to purchase high-risk auto insurance. Since companies base rates on risk, you can expect to pay more for coverage if you need high-risk insurance.Â
Find out why you might need high-risk insurance, how you can lower your premiums, and more. Then you’ll be ready to shop for high-risk auto insurance if necessary.Â
Reasons for High-risk Auto Insurance
Insurance companies look at various factors when determining risk. You might need high-risk insurance if you:
- Have lots of at-fault accidents on your recordÂ
- Have a large number of speeding ticketsÂ
- Have reckless driving or racing violations
- Have been convicted of driving under the influence
- Are a young, inexperienced driver, or are over 65 years oldÂ
- Have bad creditÂ
- Use the vehicle for a ridesharing service or another high-risk activityÂ
- Drive a high value or specialized car
- Had your license suspended or revoked
- Let your insurance lapseÂ
Lowering Your Risk
If you’ve been flagged as a high-risk driver, there are some things you can do to reduce your risk in the eyes of the insurance company. Reducing your risk can lead to lower premiums.
First, if you are high risk due to moving violations, take a defensive driving course. Speak with your insurance agent before taking a class to ensure it’s approved, though.Â
Also, practice safer driving behaviors while on the road. Follow the speed limit and obey all laws. After you hit the three-year mark without any tickets, your premium should decrease.
If you’re high-risk because of a DUI conviction, speak to your insurance company about installing an interlock ignition device. While most companies will not reduce the rates, some will, so it’s worth exploring.Â
Improving your credit score can also lower your premiums. Some insurance companies charge more for bad credit scores, so make your payments on time and reduce your credit-to-debt ratio.Â Â
SR-22 Certificate and High-risk Insurance
If you require high-risk auto insurance because your policy lapsed, or your license was suspended or revoked, you might need an SR-22 certificate. This certificate is not insurance. Instead, it is proof that you have the required liability insurance. Your insurance company will issue the certificate and send it to the necessary state office on your behalf.Â
High-risk Insurance Restrictions
Some high-risk policies include restrictions. For example, you might be the only person protected when driving your vehicle. If someone else drives your car, he or she won’t be covered. Also, if you are in an accident and the court assesses punitive damages, your policy might not cover it. Finally, the company might review your driving history annually and increase your rates if you have any infractions.Â
Because of these restrictions and the high cost of coverage, work hard to reduce your risk, so you can get a standard policy soon.Â
Getting High-risk Insurance
Finding high-risk auto insurance is a bit harder than purchasing a standard policy. Some major insurance providers offer high-risk coverage, so you can begin shopping there. However, you might have to use a company that specializes in these policies. When you choose such a company, you’re less likely to get turned down for insurance.Â
As with any insurance policy, you should compare quotes before purchasing high-risk coverage. Companies use different formulas for assessing risk. One company might see you as extremely high risk, while another might view your risk at a moderate level, meaning you’ll pay less. After you compare quotes, you can purchase your policy and hit the road once again.
What Is High-risk Auto Insurance?Â Â is a post from Pocket Your Dollars.
For many people, car insurance is a major expense category in the household budget. And because itâs against the law to drive without car insurance, itâs not a budget item that can be eliminated unless youâre willing to go car-free. That doesnât mean, though, that youâre stuck paying sky-high rates. Hereâs how to get cheap car insurance.
Learn about personal loan rates.
How Insurance Companies Set Car Insurance Rates
Like health insurance, car insurance comes with both premiums and deductibles. The premiums are what you pay the insurance company every month to maintain your coverage. The deductible is what youâll pay when you start making claims, up to a certain annual cap of, say, $1,000.
Itâs worth noting that most people who say they want cheap car insurance mean that they want car insurance with low monthly premiums. But, as with health insurance, thereâs a risk to having a policy with low premiums and a high deductible. In the event of a serious accident, youâll have to meet that deductible. So, one way to get lower premiums is to opt for a higher deductible, but this is only a safe strategy if you have enough liquidity to cover your deductible in the event of an accident.
When car insurance companies set insurance premium rates they take several factors into account. These include applicantsâ age, gender and driving history, as well as the type of car the applicant drives and the driverâs state of residence. While you canât change your age, there are other steps you can take to get favorable rates from car insurance companies.
Types of Coverage
Insurance companies charge more for comprehensive car insurance than they do for basic coverage. In most states youâre required to have liability insurance to cover any damage you do to another car or driver. The extent of that coverage requirement varies by state. In most states, youâre not required to have insurance to cover damage to your own car, or injuries you might suffer in an accident.
If you choose to add insurance coverage for yourself, you can opt for comprehensive coverage or collision coverage. Collision coverage, as the name indicates, covers damage from an accident with another car or an object, and in the event that your car flips. Comprehensive coverage covers things like theft, vandalism and natural disasters, too.
So, while youâll almost definitely need to buy liability coverage to cover other driversâ damages, you might not need to buy physical damage coverage for your own vehicle. It will depend on the terms of your lease if youâre leasing a car, and on your own assessment of the risks you face.
If youâre buying a valuable new car, youâll probably want comprehensive coverage. If youâre paying cash for an older, used vehicle, you can probably get away with a more basic level of coverage. Whatever insurance option you choose for yourself, be sure to comply with state laws relating to liability insurance for any damage you might do to another driver. Once you have a car insurance policy, carry proof of insurance with you in your vehicle at all times.
How to Get Cheap Car Insurance Rates
In the long term, one of the best ways to get cheap car insurance is to be a safe, responsible driver. The worst drivers have high rates because the insurance company needs financial compensation for the high likelihood that it will have to pay out in the event these drivers get in an accident. If you have a spotless driving record, keep it up. If you have some accidents or tickets in your past, they shouldnât drive your rates up forever. If itâs been a few years since your last incident, you can try calling your insurance company and asking for a lower rate, using your recent, safe driving record as a bargaining chip.
Another way to get cheap car insurance is to use the same insurance company for more than one type of insurance and get a discount for your loyalty. For example, you can contact the insurance company that provides your homeowners insurance, life insurance or motorcycle insurance and ask if the company can give you a good deal on car insurance. If you have more than one car, you can bundle the insurance coverage on both vehicles.
Your credit score will also affect your car insurance rates, just like it affects the rates youâre offered when shopping for a mortgage. If your credit has improved since you last bought car insurance, you may be able to negotiate your way to cheaper car insurance. And if you pay your car insurance premiums and bills on time and in full, youâll build up goodwill with your insurer and might qualify for promotional rates.
If you donât drive very much during the year, you might get cheaper car insurance from a usage-based plan than you would from regular car insurance. Track your mileage before you start shopping for car insurance and see if your low mileage makes you eligible for a better deal.
If youâre under 25, youâll pay higher premiums, all things being equal. Thatâs because insurance companies judge young drivers to be riskier drivers. You can get lower rates by joining your parentsâ plan, or by using your good grades to get a discount on rates, if your insurance company offers that option. Once you reach your mid-20s thereâs no reason to keep paying the high rates that insurance companies levy on young drivers. You can ask your insurance company to lower your rate, or shop around for insurance from another provider.
Finally, the type of car you drive can affect your car insurance rates. Big, powerful and flashy cars are more likely to trigger high car insurance rates because the insurance company assumes youâll be more likely to speed in that kind of vehicle, and that the vehicle will be a target for theft. Vehicles with high repair costs (such as foreign-made cars) may be more expensive to cover, too. In some states, having a used car will mean lower rates because rates are affected by your carâs replacement value. But in other states, rates are based on vehiclesâ safety features, so having an older car wonât necessarily help you get cheap car insurance. If your car has special safety and/or anti-theft features, you may qualify for cheaper car insurance on that basis.
If you donât have a vehicle or youâre thinking about getting a new (or used) car, it may be worth doing some research to find out which kinds of cars will get you the lowest car insurance rates. And if youâre paying a lot for car insurance now, you may be able to get cheaper coverage by negotiating your premiums or switching providers.
Photo credit: Â©iStock.com/andresr, Â©iStock.com/ipopba, Â©iStock.com/kate_sept2004
The post How to Get Cheap Car Insurance appeared first on SmartAsset Blog.
When purchasing or leasing a new car, you have several insurance coverage options. When selecting coverage, you will likely know if you want to have collision coverage or not, but will you know what gap insurance and whether to select that option? If you are driving your owned vehicle or a leased one, and it is totaled, your collision coverage insurance will cover your vehicleâs cash value. The coverage will help you to purchase a another car. However, what if you owe more on your car than itâs worth? That is where gap insurance comes in. Hereâs what you need to know about this type of coverage.
What is Gap Insurance?
Gap insurance protects you from not having enough money to pay off your car loan or lease if its value has depreciated, and you owe more on your car than it is worth. It is optional insurance coverage and is used in addition to collision or comprehensive coverage. It helps you pay off an auto loan if a car has been totaled or stolen, and you owe more than its worth. Gap insurance might also be known as loan or lease gap coverage, and it is only available if you are the first owner or leaseholder on a new vehicle.
Some lenders require individuals to have gap insurance. In addition to collision and comprehensive coverage, gap insurance helps prevent owners and leasers from owing money on a car that no longer exists and protects lenders from not getting paid by a person in financial distress.
How Gap Insurance Works
If you buy or lease a new car, you may owe more on the vehicle than it is worth because of depreciation. For example, letâs say you purchase a new car for $35,000. However, a year later, the car has depreciated and is only worth $25,000, and you owe $30,000 on it. Then, you total the car. Comprehensive insurance coverage would give you $25,000, but you would still owe $5,000 on the vehicle. Gap insurance would cover the $5,000 still owed.
Without gap insurance, you would have had to pay $5,000 out-of-pocket to settle the auto loan. With gap insurance, you did not have to pay anything out of pocket and were likely to purchase a new car with financing.
What Gap Insurance Covers
Gap insurance covers several things and is meant to complement collision or comprehensive insurance. Gap insurance covers:
- Theft. If a car is stolen and unrecovered, gap insurance may cover theft.
- Negative equity. If there is a gap between a carâs value and the amount a person owes, gap insurance will cover the difference if a car is totaled.
Gap insurance also covers leased cars. When you drive a new, leased car off the lot, it depreciates. Therefore, the amount you owe on the lease is always more than the car is worth. If you total a leased car, youâre responsible for the fair market value of the vehicle. If you lease, you can purchase gap coverage part way through your lease term, although many dealerships require both comprehensive and collision coverage and strongly recommend gap coverage.
What Gap Insurance Doesnât Cover
Gap insurance is designed to be complementary, which means that it does not cover everything. Gap insurance does not cover:
- Repairs. If a car needs repairs, gap insurance will not cover them.
- Carry-over balance. If a person had a balance on a previous car loan rolled into a new car loan, gap insurance would not cover the rolled-over portion.
- Rental cars. If a totaled car is in the shop, gap insurance will not cover a rental carâs cost.
- Extended warranties. If a person chose to add an extended warranty to an auto loan, gap insurance would not cover any extended warranty payments.
- Deductibles. If someone leases a car, their insurance deductibles are not usually covered by gap insurance. Some policies have a deductible option, so it is wise to check with a provider before signing a gap insurance policy.
Reasons to Consider Gap Insurance
There are several situations you should consider gap insurance. The first is if you made less than a 20% down payment on a vehicle. If you make less than a 20% down payment, it is likely that you do not have cash reserves to cover them in case of an emergency and that they will be âupside downâ on the car payments.
Additionally, if an auto loan term is 60 months or longer, a person should consider gap insurance to ensure that he or she is not stuck with car payments if the vehicle is totaled.
Finally, if youâre leasing a car, you should consider gap insurance. Although many contracts require it, the vehicle costs more than itâs worth in almost every situation when you lease.
Is a Gap Insurance Worth It?
Gap insurance keeps the amount that a person owes after buying a car from increasing in case of an emergency. Therefore, if someone does not have debt on his car, thereâs no need for gap insurance. Additionally, if a person owes less on his car than it is worth, thereâs also no need for gap insurance. Finally, if a person does owe more on a vehicle than it is worth, he may still choose to put the money that would be spent on gap insurance every month toward the principal of his auto loan.
If a person owes more on his car than it is worth and would be financially debilitated by having to pay the remainder of his car payments if his vehicle was totaled or stolen, then gap insurance might be a saving grace.
If the extra cost of gap insurance strains your budget then consider ways to keep your vehicle insurance costs down without skipping gap insurance.
Gap insurance covers the amount that a person would still owe on a vehicle after it is stolen or totaled, and after comprehensive insurance pays out. It prevents people from continuing to owe on a car that no longer exists. While it doesnât make sense for everyone to purchase gap insurance, it is often smart for people who have expensive vehicles that are worth far more than a person owes. It is also something to consider when you are leasing a vehicle.
Tips for Reducing Insurance Costs
- If you need a little additional help weighing your insurance options, you might want to consider working with an expert. Finding the right financial advisor that fits your needs can be simple. SmartAssetâs free tool will match you with financial advisors in your area in five minutes. If youâre ready to learn about local advisors to help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
- You may want to consider all the insurance options available that are suitable for your unique situation. By doing so, you save money. A free comprehensive budget calculator can help you understand which option is best.
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