Post about "finance"

The ABCs of Auto Finance

Car loans were created for the same purpose as with any expensive items–to help average people, or those without large sums of money, to be able to purchase these items. The consumer could put up a small amount of capital, and establish ownership of the item, and then a lender would hold a secured note for the remaining balance, under certain terms. The most important parts of the terms include loan amount,interest rate, payment, and duration or ammortization of loan. So, I’m getting a $10,000 loan, at 9% interest, with a monthly payment of $207.58, and the loan is for 5 years. Make sense? Good, we’ll come back to this. Understanding terms is extremely important- how can you know your getting a good deal without understanding the terms?

If your feeling overwhelmed, don’t worry, we are here to clear up your confusion and arm you with everything you need to make wise decisions. Just relax and read on…

Here’s some History…

Cars became more and more expensive over the last several decades, so, naturally, more and more people needed to use financing to enable there vehicle purchases. This worked out for the banks and other financial institutions because they could make a lot of money producing and holding these notes.

Decades ago, the process was fairly simple. You’d shop around with banks for the best interest rate, borrow the money from them, go to the dealership, and pick out your new car. At some point large car manufacturers realized how much money the lenders or banks were making, and decided to try and cash in themselves. So what did they do?

The big names in car manufacturing decided to create a lending system so they could provide their own loans. In this way, their dealerships could offer their own in-house financing to car buyers. They would make the money from the purchase, as well as the interest on the loans, and sell more cars because of the convenience of offering financing. This system is still very common today.

In recent years, due to the widespread use of the internet, consumers are more commonly going on-line for their auto financing needs, using consumer sites like AutoFinanceReview.com [http://www.autofinancereview.com]. This puts the consumer in control, and people are increasingly favoring this route. More on this later…

So, let’s talk a bit more about dealerships…

Your at the dealership and have picked out a car. Let’s use Car Max auto finance as an example. Car max will want to first figure out how much you can afford to pay monthly. You will then be asked to fill out an application. This application includes all of your info, including income, credit history, residence, and employment history.

Most dealerships will then review your application information, and match you with one of their lenders for financing. They generally have a database of lenders to choose from. Some of the lenders only service loans for buyers with great credit. Some specialize in servicing loans for buyers with bad credit. The idea is, most credit profiles can be matched with a lender, unless your credit is really terrible! Your credit score however will directly effect the terms of your loan. Most importantly, it will effect the auto loan interest rate. Generally, credit scores and interest rates are inversely proportional. What? This just means that the higher the credit score, the lower the rate. The lower the credit score, the higher the rate. Basically, lenders are all about balancing risk. If you have poor credit, they will want to balance that risk with a higher interest rate. Understand? Good.

Regardless of which lender ends up servicing your loan, the dealer still gets paid for their car, by the lender. Additionally, the dealership is able to tack on a few “points”. “Points” refers to percentage points, and these are often added to the deal by the middle-man. The dealer is the middle man between you and the lender, and the dealer is basically charging you for the service. The percentage points are calculated as a one-time amount and added to the sales price. So you can see this as a system is all-around profitable for the dealers. We mentioned this before, but this is why it is smart to go on-line and more and more consumers are doing just that for their financing needs.

Visit AutoFinanceReview.com [http://www.autofinancereview.com] for more information.

What Are Some Risks and Issues Around My Company Setting Up a Customer Finance-Leasing Program?

Many firms benefit significantly from either setting up on their own or partnering with a third part to set up a customer financing program for their products. Key benefits are increased sales, cash flow, customer loyalty, etc.But are there also some risks for the company to be aware of also – Of course there are and let’s look at some of those risks.We would also point out that these risks are in fact the same ones taken on by independent leasing firms also.Foremost from a risk perspective is that fact the customer financing program will be viewed by the customers as the one and same as your company. Therefore customer service and financing ability are in fact now part of your firm’s reputation.Companies may also find that the borrowing costs to set up a program are in fact higher than their normal business operating costs. Naturally the method in which the finance division is set up also affects the debt levels of your company. No business wants to fail because it took on higher debt in an effort to in fact help their customers!On a long term basis company lenders might view your firms foray into customer financing as an additional risk factor, which they might try to compensate on by imposing restrictions such as additional covenants, requests for more equity into the firm, etc. The bottom line is simply that setting up a customer financing scenario may in fact affect your own firm’s ability to borrow.If your firm is larger then analysts and firms looking at your firm might in fact be raising issues and perceptions around which business you are actually in, i.e. your products, or the financing of those products. Business owners and financial managers will always want to ensure that ultimately they are sticking to their core business model and philosophies. If your firm becomes too enamored by financing you possibly run the risk of total business failure. There are numerous cases in financial history where firms collapsed because of the shenanigans of the finance division.We have heard the term in business ‘sticking to our knitting’, which of course simply means that management needs unique skills to run a business, and those skills are different in financing. Owners and managers related to the customer financing division must have strong skills in financial sales, structuring, and credit… Naturally we are also inferring that additional skilled personnel ultimately must be hired.No company every wants to look back in hindsight and say that if failed or stumbled because efforts and funds went into financing, as opposed to r&d, marketing, staff, and product growth. Do not let a customer finance program become an obstacle to your ultimate business successBusiness owners should ensure that there is good communications between the main operating company and the customer financing division – clear goals and philosophies should be set out re the function of such a customer finance program.In summary the benefits of offering financing to your customer are very obvious, and proven true by some of the largest and most successful companies in the world – but all you have to do is to do it right! Ensure your firm is aware of the risks and challenges and monitor your customer financing program on an ongoing basis to ensure you are not straying from your core business model.