Monthly Archives: April 2012

Outrageous Craigslist Car Ad Becomes Internet Sensation

What does it take to make a $700 1995 Pontiac Grand Am into one of the most wanted cars on the internet? Simply make the greatest Craigslist ad ever.

On Wednesday, Jalopnik posted what they claimed was “the best Craigslist car ad ever.” The ad, posted by Joe Strachila, was for a 1995 Pontiac Grand Am GT, a fairly run-of-the-mill used car. The ad, created by Joe’s lifelong friend Kyle Miller, was anything but ordinary.

I thought I had seen just about everything on the internet until I saw the ad’s headline, “1995 Pontiac Grand Am GT – AKA – JESUS TAP-DANCING CHRIST.” The splashy bright-yellow and blue ad claims, “Never in your life has a car made you so appealing to the opposite sex…EVERY PREVIOUS OWNER HAS HAD A BEARD. This was the car that broke Pontiac. When it came off the production line, each person in the company had a collective aneurysm from the visual masterpiece with which they had blessed humanity, and gave up entirely.”

Of course, the question I had was that if the car was so amazing, why was the owner selling it? The answer was that he wasn’t man enough to handle it. “I tried to be,” he laments.” “I grew my beard to unreasonable lengths, trimmed my fingernails with belt sander, ate nothing but lumber for 6 straight days and knocked a polar bear unconscious. The car chuckled at my failed attempt at manliness, and became so bloated with testosterone that it literally blew a head gasket. Oh right, you’re definitely going to have to fix that…”

I seriously doubt that any car, much less a car with a blown head gasket, could live up to the hype of this Craigslist ad. Still, I have to give the seller credit for creativity. He took a $700 1995 Pontiac Grand Am and turned it into an internet sensation, and now, he is flooded with offers for the car. Supposedly someone even offered $10,000 for the honor of owning “Jesus Tap-Dancing Christ.”

Only one person can get Joe’s 1995 Pontiac Grand Am, but if you’re looking for a car that will blow your mind even if you don’t have mind-blowing credit, Approved Loan Store can help! Fill out an auto loan application here, and keep up with the latest in auto news by liking Approved Loan Store on Facebook and following Approved Loan Store on Twitter.

Cordray, CFPB Tackle Discriminatory Lending

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is still getting its feet wet seeing as how the President just assigned Richard Cordray to the agency a few months ago. That doesn’t mean they don’t want to hit the ground running, though.

According to the the Chicago Tribune, Cordray mentioned discriminatory lenders in a recent speech and warned that they would be the first to really see the force of the new agency. “The Consumer Bureau is still in its infancy, but we will not be silent on discriminatory lending practices. Our twin goals here are to protect consumers and empower them to be able to protect themselves.”

The CFPB plans to monitor the financial institutions for potential lending violations. This will be regarding all forms of consumer credit including auto loans, credit cards, and student loans. According to the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, lenders are barred from basing credit decisions on race, color, religion, sex, or marital status. The CFPB will also be looking for disparate impact in lending in which lending practices aren’t discriminatory themselves but have discriminatory effects. Cordray also touched on this goal in his speech, stating, “This subtle but powerful form of discrimination creates damages that are no less direct than the kind of overt and blatant discrimination that, we hope and assume, is increasingly a relic of a bygone era.

To better illustrate the impact that these practices can have, the Chicago Tribune article highlights the disparity in African-American households. On average, the median wealth dropped more than 50 percent in the years 2005 and 2009. Hispanics saw even worse results, losing 66 percent in their wealth. This has not stopped the discriminatory lending from targeting these groups, however.

The CFPB looks to be a powerful force in aiding the consumer in a time where everyone is looking to take advantage of them. One of the key tools they plan on using is education. They want to make sure that everyone has the right knowledge to keep from being victims. “Whether they are applying for an auto loan, student loan, or home loan, consumers need to know their rights and they need to know what red flags to look for that may indicate their rights are being violated,” Cordray said. “We want consumers to be able to recognize when they may be victims of discrimination.”

Approved Loan Store is the honest way to get approval for a car loan, even if you’re suffering from bad credit. Fill out an application to see the process work for you and see why so many have proclaimed their love for the services ALS provides. Be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter so we can keep you educated on industry news.

Auto Loan Approval-By-Phone: Why Approved Loan Store Doesn’t Do It

At Approved Loan Store, we get asked all the time why we can’t give car loan approvals over the phone and why our customers need to bring their driver’s license, Social Security card, proof of income, and other identification to their appointment. Yesterday, there was a perfect real-life example in Dedham, Massachusetts, and we would like to share it with our readers so they understand why approvals-by-phone simply don’t happen.

Arthur Roberts wanted to get a new car. His previous car had been repossessed, and he was looking to get a car loan. Rather than take less-than-favorable rates or a cheaper car, Roberts forged documents from Attorney General Martha Coakley’s office and a credit bureau claiming that he had been the victim of identity theft. As a result, he got approval for a $22,000 car loan.

It wasn’t long until the law caught up with Roberts. He was indicted last March, and yesterday, he pleaded guilty to one count of larceny by false pretenses and three counts of common law uttering. He was sentenced to two years in jail, but due to medical reasons, he was put on three-year probation. The conditions of his probation are that he has to report any purchases made over $3,000, provide his quarterly credit reports to his probation officer, and inform his probation officer if he applies for credit.

This is why approvals-by-phone do not happen. There is too much of a risk that criminals will submit other people’s personal information, claim that they earn a higher income than they really do, and commit fraud just to get a car. At Approved Loan Store, we set up appointments for our customers to meet with a Special Finance Representative so that we can verify all of your personal information. We do not and nor will we ever stand for illegal activities, and the best way we can prevent that is by insisting on approvals in-person and with the proper documentation.

Are you having trouble getting approved for a car loan? Approved Loan Store can help! Fill out our auto loan application here, and keep up with the latest news and consumer education by liking Approved Loan Store on Facebook and following Approved Loan Store on Twitter.

Image: Victor Habbick /

Approved Loan Store: Car Loan – Meeting with Your Special Finance Representative

At Approved Loan Store, we take the hassle out of car buying. We make the process easy, even if you have challenged credit. Still, we want our customers to understand our process and why we are the best way to get into a new or used car quickly!

The first step is filling out our convenient and secure online auto loan application here. Once you fill it out, you will hear back from one of our friendly Approved Loan Store representatives within 24 to 48 hours. They will verify the information on your application and let you know if you are picked for our loan program. If you are chosen, you will be scheduled to meet with an Approved Loan Store Special Finance Representative to look at vehicles and discuss your financing options.

Now, we get more questions about the meeting with a Special Finance Representative than any other part of the process, so we wanted to answer some of the more frequently asked questions here.

1. What do I need to bring with me to the appointment?

Bring your driver’s license, Social Security Card, a proof of residence, and proof of your income. Proof of residence can be a utility bill or bank statement that has your current address on it. For proof of income, bring two recent pay stubs or a letter from your employer stating how much you make and whether you are paid weekly or bi-weekly.

2. Do I need to buy a car if I set up an appointment?

Absolutely not! Approved Loan Store will work very hard to put together the best deal for you, but you are not obligated to purchase a vehicle if you meet with a Special Finance Representative.

3. Approved Loan Store set me up with Special Finance Representative located at a Kia/Chrysler/Mazda dealership, but I want a different brand of car. What do I do?

No worries! Your Special Finance Representative might be located at one dealership, but they can pull cars from any of Approved Loan Store’s certified locations. You are not limited by brand make or model. Tell your Special Finance Representative what car you are looking for, and they will do their best to get you that car! Remember, any make, any model!

4. Why do I need to set up an appointment?

Our Special Finance Representatives are busy folks, and they meet with lots of people like you on a daily basis. If we didn’t schedule appointments, they wouldn’t be able to work with you one-on-one and give you personal attention.

5. What if I don’t get a car?

We work hard to get our customers into a car, but in the rare scenario that we can’t get you the car you want at the financing you want, we offer complimentary gifts just for making it to your appointment. Ask your Special Finance Representative for details.

6. Why do I have to meet with a Special Finance Representative? Can’t I get approved over the phone?

Without seeing proper documentation and doing a credit check, it is impossible to get approved for a car loan. Anyone that tells you that you are approved for a car loan over the phone is not being honest. Besides that, your financing depends on your credit score, what car you want to get, and other factors that need to be discussed in person.

7. Is there anything else I need to bring to my appointment?

This appointment is as much for you as it is for us, and you will get out of it what you put into it. With Approved Loan Store, you will get great customer service, financing options, and a huge inventory of vehicles, but you will get even more out of it if you come prepared and know the right questions to ask. An inquisitive consumer is a smart consumer, so never be afraid to ask if you don’t understand how much you will be paying, the APR, or how many total payments you will be making.

Still have questions? Feel free to call and speak with one of our Approved Loan Store representatives at 877-217-2217. Are you looking for a new or used vehicle? Fill out our secure online auto loan application here, and check out testimonials from real Approved Loan Store customers here. You can also keep up to date on the latest news from Approved Loan Store by liking us on Facebook and following us on Twitter.

Image: Ambro /

“Clean up your credit overnight! Get the best rates without leaving the house, and pay no money down on a Mercedes-Benz!”

These days, a lot of companies are promising the world to people with challenged credit who are looking for a way back. One of the fastest ways to re-establish credit is through a car loan, so there is a high demand for car loans from people with challenged credit. Unfortunately, this means that some businesses will take advantage of that demand and take advantage of less-informed consumers. We wanted to clear up some misconceptions and misinformation that is spread about credit restoration and auto loans. If more consumers are educated, then less people will fall prey to these predatory companies.

First off, credit restoration is not an overnight process. Any company that offers an overnight solution or a new Social Security number with a clean credit record is lying. Worse, anyone that offers to sell a new Social Security number is committing a crime. These Social Security numbers have to come from somewhere, and some of these scam artists are selling children’s Social Security numbers. Foster children are especially vulnerable to these crimes because their personal information is passed around so much, and most parents wouldn’t think to check their child’s credit report.

The truth is that the credit restoration process can take as little as a month or up to half a year. By law, the credit bureaus have to be given about 35 days to respond to any credit report dispute, so the quickest way to gauge if a credit restoration company is legitimate is asking them how long the process takes. Also, credit restoration companies cannot charge upfront for services. Some companies get around this law by bundling credit restoration with other services, but they cannot specifically charge consumers for credit restoration work until they see results.

Another misconception about credit is that getting negative information taken off will automatically improve the credit score. A large part of a credit score is based on credit history, so getting a good credit score means having open accounts that have been paid on time consistently. (Once again, this is why an auto loan is a great option for people who want to improve their credit.) Still, some people expect their credit score to dramatically increase immediately after starting credit restoration, but any change in the credit score depends on the individual and their own credit history. One person might go from a 500-something credit score to low 700s while someone else will struggle to break 600. It is not a one-size-fits-all process, and every person will have a different experience.

When consumers understand how credit restoration works, they have an easier time picking out which companies are legitimately trying to help people with challenged credit and which companies can’t deliver what they are promising. Doing credit restoration in one week and getting an auto loan with premium rates the next week is simply not possible. At Approved Loan Store, we know that rebuilding credit takes time, and we offer real solutions, not fantasies. If you have challenged credit, we can help you in getting a car loan, and we can also advise you on reputable credit restoration services. The road back to good credit is tough and getting a car can be tough too. That is why Approved Loan Store is here to help, getting customers into a car and back on the road to good credit.

To learn more about our auto loan program, fill out our secure online application here, and stay up to date with the latest from Approved Loan Store by liking us on Facebook and following us on Twitter. Also, watch real Approved Loan Store customers talk about their experience on our YouTube channel.

Image: M – Pics /

Don’t Be a Yo-Yo: Avoiding the Latest Auto Scam

You go into a dealership and they set you up with car that you want. You sit down with the man in charge of finances and he gets you set up with a great deal. Everything is looking great and the dealership even lets you drive home with car even though the sale hasn’t been finalized. You get home and can’t help but smile at your good fortune. The house of cards doesn’t crumble until the next day, when the dealership calls to have you come back in. Suddenly the financing that you were offered has fallen through and now you’re being asked to sign a new deal with a higher interest rate or a much higher required down payment.

This dilemma has a name, and it’s one that has consumer groups asking the FTC to do something about it. It’s referred to as a “yo-yo scam.” The NY Times has an article on this very thing where they define the scam as where the salesperson “pulls the consumer back to the dealer, like a yo-yo on a string.”

Christopher Kukla, Center for Responsible Lending’s senior counsel for government affairs, says the the dealers will do this scam because once a consumer takes home the car, they believe the deal to be done. That means they aren’t in the market anymore, not researching for better loans at other dealerships. If the buyer refuses to the new agreement, they hit a road block on getting the down-payment back or their trade-in returned. Typically the trade-in has already been sold. The ones that are targeted by this scam are usually suffering from low incomes and bad credit.

The advocacy groups are asking that the FTC step in to put an end to this practice. They believe that it gives dealers an unfair upper hand in negotiations. The National Automobile Dealers Association has dismissed the claim however, saying that the practice is not prevalent. We here at Approved Loan Store would like to hear your thoughts on the matter. Have you ever been a victim of the yo-yo scam?

Approved Loan Store helps people with bad credit find the car they want. We are not in the business of deception, we pride ourselves on being honest with customers. Don’t take our word for it, we have over a hundred people providing testimonials on the quality of our business. Fill out the application, we would like to work with you. Like us on Facebook to see all the latest industry trends and be sure to also follow us on Twitter.

Approved Loan Store: Our 100th Customer Testimonial!

This week, Approved Loan Store hit a major milestone. We got our 100th customer testimonial, posted right here on!

Customer service is a top priority to everyone here at Approved Loan Store. From the initial phone call through your scheduled appointment at a partner dealership, we make the process of getting a new car fast and easy. Read our customer testimonials here, and check out all of our video testimonials on our YouTube channel here.

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Fraudulent Car Loan Companies Charged by FTC

Scam artists are always looking for new ways to pull the wool over people’s eyes. One such case is a new fraud scheme that’s targeting car owners who are having troubles with car loans. It’s very similar to a scheme that was running rampant during the peak of the housing crisis where a company would offer assistance to struggling homeowners in securing a modification on their loan. They would collect up front fees from the unknowing victim and run with the money.

An article posted on the Huffington Post shows that the FTC is starting to target these fraud companies. The agency has filed charges with two California companies. The charges allege that the companies, Hope for Car Owners and Auto Debt Consulting, have been tricking troubled car owners with problematic practices. They charged up front fees on service they did not provide, refused to give any refunds, all of which went against the services they advertised and even guaranteed. These charges represent the first case the FTC has brought against companies that offer car loan modifications.

Businesses like this are what give loan modification companies such a bad name. It never ceases to amaze me just what people do to take advantage of those who are desperate for help in hard financial times. Many people are just starting to get back on the right track of paying back car loans with a rebounding economy. The last thing they need is someone looking to steal their hard earned cash. To make sure the decisions you make when times are rough, the FTC has a page dealing with auto loan scams worth checking out.

Be assured that Approved Loan Store is one of the legitimate companies looking to help you drive away in the car you want. We love working with people with bad credit. Go online and fill out an application to see how the process works for yourself. Also make sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to see the latest in news and trends from the auto industry.

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Paul Ryan Budget Would Cancel Loans to Auto Industry

In the midst of the partisan bickering in Washington D.C. over the budget recently, the auto industry has been put on the chopping block by Paul Ryan’s Republican-backed budget.

Right now, there is a loan program in place for green energy efforts called the Advanced Technology Manufacturing Program. It was signed into law by President George W. Bush back in 2007, and part of the $25 billion program includes $16 billion which would go towards modifying auto factories. In Ryan’s proposal “The Path to Prosperity,” he was highly critical of President Obama over green initiatives, apparently forgetting that President Bush had signed it into law, and he claimed it “blocks proven domestic energy sources while spending recklessly on uncompetitive alternatives.”

Now, there should be debate over government spending in this country, and both Democrats and Republicans need to be willing to compromise. However, it is unfair of Paul Ryan to pin this program on President Obama and label it as “spending recklessly.” Alternative energy sources are the future, and we need car manufacturers making hybrid and electric cars now. If hybrid and electric cars start selling now, we will get early adapters in the next few years, and by the time we need to switch completely to hybrid or electric cars, America will be ready. Manufacturing fuel-efficient cars should not be a partisan issue; it should be common sense.

Looking for a new or more fuel-efficient car? Fill out Approved Loan Store’s car loan application here, and keep up with the latest new and trends from the auto industry by liking Approved Loan Store on Facebook and following Approved Loan Store on Twitter.

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Poll: Auto Bailouts More Popular Than Bank Bailouts

With U.S. auto sales on the rise, a new poll is showing that Americans are much more supportive of the government bailout of the auto industry now than when the bailout happened in 2009.

The poll was conducted by Harris Interactive, one of the country’s foremost market research firms. Respondents were asked two questions. The first question was, “Regardless of whether you support or oppose these government bailouts, do you think the ones that the government has done have helped or hurt the economy?” and the second question was, “How much would you support or oppose the U.S. government using taxpayers’ money to bail out these sectors that are suffering from the economic recession?”

To the first question, 45 percent thought that the bailout of the car manufacturers helped the economy, compared to 23 percent who felt the same about the banks and 15 percent for insurance companies. Only 29 percent of respondents thought the car manufacturers bailout hurt the economy. To the second question, 69 percent of respondents in 2009 said they were opposed to using taxpayer money to bail out car manufacturers, and in 2012, 70 percent said they opposed it.

It might not seem like there was much of a change in how people responded to the second question. A little over two-thirds of the American public is still opposed to an auto bailout . Still, considering that there was an auto bailout only 3 years ago, I think it is interesting that the percentage held steady, especially when compared to public opinion on insurance company and bank bailouts. Insurance company bailouts went from 77 percent opposition to 86 percent opposition, and bank bailouts went from 65 percent opposition to 84 percent opposition.

Whether you supported or opposed the auto industry bailouts, it can’t be denied that the U.S. auto industry has made a comeback with higher sales, better cars, and better deals. Take advantage of this time in the auto industry and get into a new car today! Fill out our auto loan application here, and keep up with the latest news from the auto and loan industry by liking Approved Loan Store on Facebook and following Approved Loan Store on Twitter.

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