6 Ways to Minimize the Cost of Your Auto Loan

Let’s face it, cars are expensive. It’s not only the price of the car, but also the gas, insurance, maintenance, car washes, and more. For most of us, there are also considerable costs associated with the auto loan. With the economy as it is, every expense is worth examining.

Use these strategies to save money on your next auto loan:

  1. Improve your credit. Nothing has more impact on the terms of your loan than your credit score: the better your score, the lower the interest rate. If your credit history is sketchy, it’s going to cost you. So if you have credit problems, put off buying that new car until you’ve done some work on your credit.

  2. Avoid small loans. In many cases, interest rates tend to be higher on small loans. If the car costs less than $5,000, then it’s best to simply save up ahead of time and pay cash for the car. If you’re desperate for a vehicle, however, this may not be an option.

  3. Refinance. You can refinance an automobile at a lower interest rate if interest rates have fallen since you bought the car. This especially makes sense if you’ve also been able to improve your credit since you obtained your loan. You could easily save $100 per month by refinancing.
      • With the subsequent reduced payment schedule, you can apply the extra you’re saving toward other investments or you can pay off your car sooner.

  4. Shop around for financing. It might be easiest to get your financing at the dealership, but it’s rarely the best place. Finding a better financing offer means extra money that could be in your pocket instead of the dealer’s.
      • Check out what the dealer has to offer, but get some other financing quotes and see what makes the most sense.

  5. Consider leasing. While leasing is usually considered to be more expensive in the end than purchasing, it can make sense if you never own a car long enough to get it paid off.
      • Your monthly payment will likely be less and the taxes are less, since you usually only pay tax on your payments, not on the value of the car.

  6. Find a less expensive vehicle. Cars today are almost universally quite reliable. There’s almost no practical difference between a modern $10,000 car and a $100,000 car. All the extra cost has little to do with how reliably or safely the car will get you from point A to point B.
      • Consider purchasing a slightly used automobile to really save some money. If you can find a car that’s almost new with low mileage, you get all the advantages of a new car, including the warranty, without the new car cost.

There are several ways to save money on your next auto loan. If you have the luxury of time on your side, fix any credit challenges you may have and shop around for the best financing terms. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Do what you can to keep as much of your money as possible.


Engarde Financial Group is positioned to educate and serve its clients with other insurance coverages.

We understand that your personal items that you possess are of significance to you. Here at EFG we look at every situation differently. When it comes to your needs there is no such thing as one size fits all. Speak to a insurance professional today so that we can design a policy to cover all the things you love.

9 Ways to Save On Car Insurance

You are legally required to carry insurance for your vehicle, but this doesn’t mean you should overpay for your coverage. The monthly premium your insurance provider charges is a recurring expense that will impact your budget, so it’s important to look for an affordable option.

It is possible to purchase the kind of coverage you need, protect your vehicle, and save money if you take the time to shop around and select the right provider and policy.

Start by finding out more about how much insurance you’re required to carry. There are laws specific to each state regarding how much coverage you need.

These steps will help you find a more affordable policy for your vehicle:

  1. Consider raising your deductible. This means you’ll have to cover a higher out-of-pocket expense if you get in an accident, but your monthly premiums will be lower.

  2. Drive less. Let your insurance provider know if you drive less than the average individual, use public transit to go to work, or carpool. Some insurance providers will grant you a discount, since driving less means you’re less likely to get in an accident.

  3. Have some clauses removed from your policy. Go over the policy you’re interested in and ask your insurance agent to make a few changes if there is more coverage than you need.

  4. Update your coverage regularly. The value of your vehicle will drop over time and you might find that you’re paying for coverage that exceeds the value of your vehicle if you don’t upgrade your policy regularly.

  5. Bundle your policies. Most insurance provider will give you a discount if you insure more than one vehicle with them or buy a homeowner’s or a renter’s insurance policy when you insure your vehicle.

  6. Be a good driver. You can usually earn a discount if you have a good driving record, but you might have to contact your insurance provider and ask for a discount. Some insurance companies will give you an additional discount if you complete a driving class.

  7. Improve your credit score. Some insurance providers will calculate your premiums based on your credit score. Work on improving your credit and contact your insurance provider to ask for a discount once your score goes up.

  8. Choose a vehicle you can afford. If you are in the process of buying a new car, compare the average price of an auto insurance policy for different vehicles to find one that’s a good fit for your budget.

  9. Shop around. The premiums and discounts offered vary from one auto insurance provider to another. Take the time to request quotes and to compare your options before you purchase insurance.

Combine all these tips to find an affordable policy to insure your vehicle. Ensure the policy you purchase meets legal requirements and provides you with enough coverage to replace your vehicle if you get into an accident.

Don’t hesitate to talk to your insurance agent to find out more about the different discounts you might qualify for or to simply ask for a discount!


Engarde Financial Group is positioned to educate and serve its clients with other insurance coverages.

We understand that your personal items that you possess are of significance to you. Here at EFG we look at every situation differently. When it comes to your needs there is no such thing as one size fits all. Speak to a insurance professional today so that we can design a policy to cover all the things you love.

When to Explore Rates for Auto Insurance

How often do you think about your auto insurance rates? If you’re like many, you only consider your rates during renewals. If so, you may be surprised to learn that auto insurance companies periodically raise insurance rates across the board.

Therefore, you might have taken the best deal for insurance when you first bought it, but now, you could be paying more than necessary for your auto coverage.

That’s why it’s a good idea to check auto insurance rates at least yearly to ensure you can’t get equal or even better coverage for less than what you’re now paying. Plus, you may experience other situations that should trigger a re-checking of your rates for auto insurance.

Consider these situations that could affect your rates:

  1. Accidents. If someone on your policy recently had an accident, your auto insurance company probably increased your rates. Interestingly, if you take a look at what other insurance companies would charge you for auto insurance, you might find that you can get much lower rates, even after a car accident.
      • Therefore, if you or someone in your family recently had an auto accident, it’s smart to check insurance rates with other companies in order to keep your premiums low.

  2. Buying a new car. When you’re purchasing a new car, examine auto insurance rates at various companies. It’s wise to look at rates early in the car-shopping process to compare them for the 2 or 3 make and models of cars or trucks you’re considering for purchase. Otherwise, you might make the mistake of buying a car that’s quite expensive to insure.
      • So, before you select and buy a vehicle, check insurance rates with at least 3 auto insurance companies.

  3. Is your teenager almost ready to drive? If so, it’s time to explore insurance coverage rates. Some auto insurance companies offer very reasonable rates for teen drivers while others are downright exorbitant.
      • A few months before your teenager will be driving, investigate pricing on auto insurance from companies you believe are reputable and dependable.

  4. Driving your car more or less than before. In the event you change the amount of miles you’re driving your car, take the opportunity to check car insurance rates. Although your current company might be willing to cut your rates, go ahead and examine the auto insurance rates at 2 or 3 other companies so you can compare them.
      • You might get lucky and find an insurance company willing to give you a “cut-rate” deal for the miles you drive your car in a week, month, or year.

  5. Your car’s value decreases. As your car ages, it’s wise to adjust the coverage on the car, which will reduce the amount of your auto insurance premium. Although you might have full coverage on a new car, after a car is 3 or 4 years old, most auto insurers suggest reducing your coverage to save money on your auto insurance premiums.
      • As the value of the car reduces, so should the amount of car insurance you pay.

  6. Your living situation changes. Maybe the amount of money coming in to the home reduces. Or you get a divorce or get married. Perhaps you switch from full-time work to part-time work. Or maybe it’s retirement time.
      • During periods of transition, consider it an opportunity to evaluate how much money you’re paying for car insurance.

You may be able to save over $500 yearly by comparing auto insurance companies, so make it a point to explore rates of various auto insurance companies and compare them with the rates you’re paying currently. You just may keep a few more dollars in your own pocket.


Engarde Financial Group is positioned to educate and serve its clients with other insurance coverages.

We understand that your personal items that you possess are of significance to you. Here at EFG we look at every situation differently. When it comes to your needs there is no such thing as one size fits all. Speak to a insurance professional today so that we can design a policy to cover all the things you love.

How to Find the Best Automobile Insurance Policy

Car insurance is required in almost every state. While many of us don’t actually ever use our insurance, the costs to maintain a policy can be significant. There are several things you can do to ensure you’re getting the best policy at the lowest price.

Check out these tips to help you find the best automobile insurance for your particular situation:

  1. Shop around. Prices can vary considerably from company to company.
      • Not all companies evaluate risk factors the same way. You might be surprised how much you can save by shopping around and getting a few quotes.
      • There are many websites that will allow you to submit your information and get quotes from numerous companies.

  2. Get the appropriate amount of coverage. Many people have far more coverage than they need. Many have too little coverage, which is also less than ideal. Analyze your situation to help you determine what would work best for you.
      • That old clunker doesn’t need extensive coverage. You’re probably not going to worry about a scratch in the parking lot or a little hail damage on the roof, so the extra cost wouldn’t be worth the return.
      • Along the same lines, do you really need $500,000 in liability coverage if your net worth is only $25,000? Get some expert advice and to ensure you’re not getting more than you need.

  3. Consider the deductible amount. Evaluate the cost savings and decide if a higher deductible makes sense for you. If you never seem to use your insurance, and have some money in the bank, a higher deductible can save you money.
      • Moving up to a $500 deductible can save as much as 30% over a $250 deductible.

  4. Keep your credit record clean. Your credit score is frequently used by insurance companies to price your policy. Some companies severely penalize those with lower scores.
      • Pay your bills on time and avoid taking out loans you don’t need. That pesky credit score seems to affect everything these days.

  5. Get your home and auto insurance from the same company. Most companies offer discounts if you have multiple policies. Ask what they’re willing to do if you combine the two.
      • Remember to include RVs, boats, snowmobiles, and any other vehicles as well. You could save a bundle.

  6. Consider the insurance cost before you buy a car. Some cars cost far more to insure than others.
      • Before you drive that sports car or luxury car home, get some insurance quotes first. Some vehicles are much more likely to be stolen, and the insurance will be more expensive. Others can be much more costly to repair.

  7. If you don’t drive many miles each year, ask for a mileage discount. The less your car is on the road, the less likely it is to be in an accident. Low-mileage drivers can qualify for significant discounts.

Use the tips above to tailor your automobile insurance policy to your own needs. All policies are not created equal and a standard set of benefits might not fit you at all. Shop around and educate yourself about what you really need. The peace of mind combined with cost savings will let you sleep like a baby at night.


Engarde Financial Group is positioned to educate and serve its clients with other insurance coverages.

We understand that your personal items that you possess are of significance to you. Here at EFG we look at every situation differently. When it comes to your needs there is no such thing as one size fits all. Speak to a insurance professional today so that we can design a policy to cover all the things you love.