Car Shopping: Things To Know Before You Go
Time for your very own car? Then, you are so ready to hit the car lots to see what’s available. But before you head to the dealer, take a few detours. You’ll be glad you did.
First stop: The Library. Review the April issue of Consumer Reports for information on new cars as well as repair records on used vehicles. This will help you start to narrow down your choices. Next browse websites like www.edmunds.com and www.kbb.com (Kelly Blue Book) for pricing information and other tips. Visit www.howstuffworks.com to learn about the car buying process.
Nest stop: Aeroquip Credit Union. We’ll work with you to pre-qualifiy for a loan. That way you will know how much car you can afford to buy. You may need a co-signer for the loan. A co-signer is someone, often a parent or an older sibling, who promises to make the loan payments if for some reason you are unable to. With a pre-qualified loan, you are in a better negotiating position at your next stops: the car lots, where you can check out the vehicle you have researched. Plan to visit more than one dealer and to visit more than one time. Armed with your research and your pre-qualified loan, you are more likely to be able to drive a good deal.
Fraud or Identity Theft: It Can Happen to You
When someone steals money from your purse or your wallet, you likely discover the loss right away. But, if a thief steals your identity, you may not even know it until you hear from a bill collector or notice charges on your credit card statement that you didn’t make. The Federal Trade Commission estimates that as many as nine million Americans have their identities stolen each year.
To keep your identity safe, carefully guard your personal information, including your name and Social Security number, driver’s license, debit card number and Personal Identification Number (PIN) or other financial information by:
- Shredding bills or other papers with your personal information on it before you put it in the trash.
- Never responding to suspicious emails asking for your personal information
- Being aware when bills are due in the mail; thieves file fake change-of-address forms in order to divert your billing statements to another location
- Checking your checking account statements carefully to look for any unauthorized charges from your debit card
- Checking your credit report annually through www.annualcreditreport.com, by calling 877.322.8228 or writing Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta GA 30348-5281