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Leasing vs. buying a vehicle

The decision of whether to buy or lease a vehicle can be very important, and drivers may want to consider all the benefits and disadvantages of both options before making their decision.

Those who feel they cannot afford to put a large amount of money down may be drawn to the idea of leasing a vehicle. Since leased vehicles are under warranty, drivers can also enjoy low maintenance costs.

The downside of car leasing is that monthly payments never stop as long as the vehicle is leased. When a vehicle is purchased, a consumer can eventually pay off his auto loan and continue to use the vehicle with minimal monthly costs.…

Consumer Reports advises against the 2011 Mazda 2

The Mazda 2 subcompact has recently been introduced into the U.S. market after having had moderate success in Japan and Europe.

While the Mazda 2 may seem like one of the best cars for bad credit, there are a number of shortcomings that drivers might want to steer clear from, according to Consumer Reports.

The organization reports that the automatic transmission version of the vehicle managed to get 30 miles per gallon in their testing, while the manual transmission version got 33 miles per gallon. While these measures reflect fairly good fuel economy, the vehicle may not give as much bang for the buck as the Toyota Corolla, which is reportedly bigger and more comfortable than the Mazda, and gets better fuel economy.…

Stability control is now standard on the 2011 Honda Fit

Honda has recently announced new standard and optional features for its 2011 Honda Fit. Among the most crucial additions to the car’s standard features is stability control, according to Consumer Reports.

The Fit, a popular city car that has been praised for being fun and functional, is also among Consumer Reports’ top rated budget vehicles. The vehicle also reportedly has a roomier interior than one might expect, coupled with excellent fuel economy, comfortable seating and a responsive ride.

Despite these rave reviews, Consumer Reports found that the tail end of the vehicle wagged slightly during the organization’s tests. In the 2011 model of the Fit, the wagging should be minimized by the addition of stability control.…

Doing research before arriving at the dealership

There are certain mistakes that are common to many consumers who buy a new car at a dealership, and these mistakes can often cost a driver money, time, and could lead to a suboptimal purchase. Most of these mistakes can be avoided with a little bit of research conducted before going to the dealership.

Two very important things for consumers to research before coming to the dealership and starting the negotiation process are market interest rates and their own credit report.

Understanding one’s credit report is crucial, since many reports contain mistakes that make a consumer appear to have a bad credit history and could lead to problems with financing.…

‘Kardashian Kard’ withdrawn after attracting criticism

The ‘Kardashian Kard,’ a prepaid debit card targeted to young adults, has recently dropped out of the market after the Connecticut Attorney General spoke out against its many hidden fees.

The Kardashian sisters, well-known reality television stars, were associated with the card and had their likeness printed on it before the widespread criticism. Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal pointed out that the card had annual fees totalling nearly $100, monthly fees that kicked in after the first year, ATM fees, bill pay fees, loading fees, card cancellation fees and even fees for speaking with the card’s customer service operators, according to Consumer Reports.…

Buying a car in its first year of production

Many drivers in the market for a new vehicle may follow rules of thumb passed around through word of mouth, but not all of these commonly-used rules have a basis in facts.

According to Edmunds.com, many car buyers fear buying a new vehicle in its first year because they anticipate that any model’s first year is when unexpected problems and defects are discovered. This myth reportedly has some basis in fact. Older models often followed this rule, but the news source reports that modern production techniques have made this cautious car-buying behavior unnecessary.

“It probably doesn’t make a lot of difference if you wait a year, because in today’s vehicles, instead of taking an entire model year of production, problems are going to be tracked down in the first few months,” the president of CNW Marketing Research explained.…

Understanding minimum payments

A crucial aspect of credit cards to understand for consumers to avoid decreasing their credit score and accruing unnecessary debt is the difference between a total amount due and a minimum payment.

Since both figures typically appear on a credit card statement, many debtors confuse the two. The total amount due is a figure representing the consumer’s total balance. Should a consumer wish to pay this amount at the end of a billing cycle, no interest will accrue and he will owe nothing on that credit card, according to Forbes.

The minimum payment is the minimum a consumer must pay to avoid being labelled as delinquent on his debt and eventually having the debt go to collections.…

Financial habits that breed the temptation to spend

For consumers trying to improve a bad credit history, temptations to overspend can be difficult to resist. According to MSN, there are a number of financial habits that may increase a consumer’s predisposition to impulse shopping.

Carrying cash or storing information with online vendor sites are among such behaviors. Carrying a lot of cash can give a consumer a false sense of having a lot of it to spend, and storing credit card information with online vendors means that spending is only a click away. In such circumstances, it may be difficult for consumers to stop and consider carefully whether they are making a necessary purchase.…

Advantages of manual transmission vehicles

Manual transmission vehicles are typically outsold by automatic cars in the U.S., yet there is debate among drivers about whether the added control in driving such a vehicle is worth the extra effort required of the driver’s left foot.

There is evidence that manual transmission vehicles may have substantial advantages for drivers with financial difficulties or bad credit history. The most important aspect to consider for such drivers may be the cost of such vehicles. According to Edmunds.com, manual transmission cars are often cheaper than their automatic transmission counterparts.

There is also some evidence that manual transmission vehicles use less gas than those with an automatic transmission, due to the added control the driver has in keeping the engine’s revolutions per minute (rpm) low.…

Avoiding debit card skimming scams

Consumers who have high debts and are working to repair a bad credit history may be tempted to start making more purchases with their debit card than with credit cards. This can be a smart financial decision, as credit cards can have the downside of tempting a consumer into making purchases he cannot afford to quickly pay off. Unlike credit card purchases, debit card purchases take money directly out of a consumer’s checking account.

Debit cards also carry a significant risk of theft, however. While credit card thieves typically charge large purchases which they then attempt to resell, debit card thieves can have direct access to the cash in a consumer’s checking account, according to Consumer Reports.…

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