Monthly Archives: January 2012

Car Loans: Using Tax Refund as a Down Payment

It’s the silver lining of having to deal with taxes.  After all the math and beating your head against a table trying to figure out why box 8 doesn’t add up right because of box 6, it’s nice to see that chunk of change coming back into your pocket.  The average tax refund in 2011 was $2,913 according to an article in Yahoo Finance.  Another figure the article quotes is that the average American worker spends just shy of $2,000 a year on lunches and coffee.

It begs the question of just what to do with a hefty amount of money.  Does it go towards all those lunch breaks?  Does it go towards paying off the credit card debt built up from holiday shopping?  Is it time to buy that new TV?  57% plan to use it to pay off debts.  There’s another option though.  That amount of a refund is perfect for putting down towards a new vehicle.  It’s sound advice for the weary car buyer out there afraid of their credit score.  Lending is really starting to pick up in the sub-prime market as the economy is starting to turn around.  That’s great news for someone with extra spending cash in their wallet.

A higher down payment can lead to a much better monthly.  The difference between putting $1,000 down on financing a $15,000 car is about $297.46 a month at 10% interest.  If you put down closer to $3,000, that rate goes down to $254.96.  That’s over $50.00 a month and that savings can add up fast.  So before just using that tax refund to head to Starbucks, think hard about how much it might benefit the buying of a new car.

Now is a good time to buy and explore your options.  Approved Loan Store has a number of dealers available to work with you even if you have bad credit.  Fill out the easy application here and you’ll hear back from someone within 48 hours.   Make sure to also like us on Facebook to keep up to date on the latest news and trends in the industry.

Image: Robert Cochrane /

Lower Your Graduate Debt by Picking the Right School

Before looking at student loans and comparing interest rates, there is an easy step that people often miss in preventing high debt post-graduation: picking the right school.

Last week, U.S. News released their rankings of schools whose students had the most and least post-graduation debt. These rankings were determined by the percentage of students who took out loans and the average total indebtedness per student graduating in 2010. Schools that performed better typically had more opportunities for student employment, scholarships, and grants.

Topping the list of schools with the least debt was Alice Lloyd College in Kentucky where 32 percent of students took out loans and owed an average of $3,108 post-graduation. Following closely is Princeton University with 24 percent of students taking out loans with an average of $4,385 debt after graduation. The highest rate of borrowing on this list was East-West University of Illinois in ninth place with 80 percent of students taking out loans and graduating with an average of $7,000 in debt.

Now, prospective students are getting bombarded with glossy flyers and sucked in with new fitness facilities, bigger fine arts centers, or a better cafeteria. Post-graduation debt is a problem that seems far away when taking college tours, but it is something that cannot be overlooked. A degree no longer guarantees work. Jobs for graduates are harder to find, and if the economy does not improve in the next few years, future graduates might be stuck out of work with a mountain of debt.

You can view the full list of the Top Ten Schools with Least 2010 Graduate Debt here, and if you are looking for a student loan, learn more and apply for a loan here. You can also follow Approved Loan Store on Facebook here.

Image: Stuart Miles /