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Frequently Asked Questions In Interview With Answers

Frequently Asked Questions In Interview With Answers

Frequently Asked Questions In Interview With Answers

That car that's supposed to provide you with the freedom to get you where you want to go may also be one of the many chains tying you down to a job you'd rather ditch. That's because -- over the course of a lifetime -- the average person will spend more than three years at work just to pay for their various sets of wheels.

The folks at eBay Deals recently released a "Trading Time" calculator that lets you figure out how long you have to work to pay for various expenses. It's an eye-opener.

Over a 50-year working lifetime, the typical person will work 157 weeks to generate the cash needed to pay for his or her cars. Then, add in another 50 weeks of work to cover car insurance. Those figures are based on the weekly median gross income. Yours may be higher or lower, of course.

If that doesn't seem like a lot to you, then think about this: You work even longer to pay for your vehicles because you need to figure in taxes and the interest on your car loans. And don't forget all the time in that vehicle commuting or shuttling your kids around.

According to the Trading Time calculator, other major expenses that keep you chained to your desk may include shoes (17 weeks), phone bills (60 weeks) and even toilet paper (two weeks).

Whether you love your job, hate it or or fall somewhere in between, it's helpful to think about the things you spend money on in terms of the amount of time you have to spend working to pay for them. Only you can decide what's really worth it.

Can You Get Back Some of Your Time?

Of course you may have no choice but to drive, and in that case, you may want to look for ways to try to reduce your costs. For example, can you drive a slightly used car instead of a new one? Keep your vehicle longer? Settle for a more economical model?

Another way to cut costs is to improve your credit. With a better credit score, you will qualify for a lower interest rate, which can mean significant savings over the life of the loan. You can see your credit scores for free at Credit.com to determine whether your credit is good. Ideally, you want to review it at least a month before you plan to shop for a vehicle in order to address any issues you uncover. (Give yourself more lead time if your credit isn't great. Here's a guide to help you rebuild your credit. )

Here's an example of the savings you may achieve by boosting your credit. As of June 4, the lowest quoted rate for a $20,000 50-month auto loan with excellent credit on Credit.com is 1.99 percent. That translates into a monthly payment of $411. But for someone with poor credit, the rate jumps to 14.99 percent or a monthly payment of $540.

Frequently Asked Questions In Interview With Answers
Frequently Asked Questions In Interview With Answers

Lorem Ipsum

Lorem Ipsum

Lorem Ipsum

After two years of relative frugality caused by the financial crisis, Americans are again borrowing in a big way. Credit card debt is spiraling upwards, car loans are fueling big sales in Detroit and even stock market investors are loading up on debt.

A series of data releases about consumer borrowing this week paints a picture of an economy that's rebounding smartly from its earlier doldrums. But have consumers learned any lessons about loading up on the red ink?

According to the Federal Reserve, outstanding consumer revolving debt, which is mainly credit cards, increased from $807.2 billion in November to $826.6 billion in December, a 2.5% increase in a single month. Outstanding nonrevolving debt, such as auto loans, rose from $1.608 trillion in November to $1.611 trillion in December. Automakers have reported a sharp increase in sales in the fourth quarter, with Detroit taking the lion's share of the jump.

The New York Stock Exchange released data showing that margin credit -- money investors borrow to buy shares -- increased to $276 billion in December, up from $233 billion at the start of the year. That reflects a sharply higher stock market but also an increased appetite for borrowing.

Combined, the two reports raise a key question: Is America releverging?

"Not Grounded in Reality"

The increase in monthly credit card outstanding balances was the first reported rise in 27 months. But Odysseas Papadimitriou, CEO of Evolution Finance, which publishes a credit card comparison site called cardhub.com, says the Fed's figures may significantly underestimate the actual increase in borrowing.

That's because the Fed include charge-offs of credit card debt that consumers can't pay. Assuming charge-offs were around $5 billion in December, Papadimitriou says outstanding debt may have grown by $25 billion instead of $19.6 billion, 20% more than the Fed reported.

"There is a segment of the population whose expectations are not grounded in reality," Papadimitriou says. "They think their spending can go back to pre-recession levels, when in fact the housing bubble was responsible for allowing them to have that level of spending."

Nonetheless, Adam Levin, chairman of credit-counseling website credit.com says he has detected a new sense of frugality among consumers.

In a poll credit.com conducted last month, when asked how they intended to deal with their holiday debt, 60% of respondents said they are planning to pay the debt in full, 13% said they would carry a credit card balance and 26% said they came out of the holidays with no debt. Last year, only 45% said they intended to pay off their debt in full.

"A New Sense of Frugality"

"People were feeling better and spent, but they were a bit more frugal," Levin says. "That could be because they were forced to banks shut down a lot of accounts and raised credit limits because they are fearful of what may be an uncertain economy or because there is a new sense of frugality basically branded into us, based on what we have lived through in the past few years."

Levin says credit card solicitations were much higher this year than last year, but they were mainly aimed at consumers with high credit scores.

However, another Fed survey does show a loosening of credit, saying "banks again reported an increased willingness to make consumer installment loans, and a small net fraction of respondents reported easing standards for approving consumer credit card applications."

While consumer spending is great for the economy, is increased borrowing good for the consumer? It is -- if it's done prudently, within one's income limits. But it will lead to only more trouble if new borrowings are being used to fund purchases that can't be easily paid off.

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Frequently Asked Questions In Bank Interview

Frequently Asked Questions In Bank Interview

Frequently Asked Questions In Bank Interview

If you've been rejected for a car loan due to poor credit during the last year, and you'd still like to buy a new car, it may be time to apply for that loan again. Experian Automotive (EXPN) reported on Tuesday that the automotive credit industry increased the share of new car loans going to credit-challenged borrowers by 12.7% in the third quarter of 2010 compared to the same period last year, a sign that lenders are loosening their credit criteria.

The report also found that the number of borrowers defaulting on their loans declined in the third quarter, saving the industry $6.4 billion.

During the third quarter, new loans to nonprime customers (those with credit scores in the 620 to 679 range) rose to 10.86% of all loans from 9.79% in Q3 2009. Loans for subprime customers (with credit scores from 550 to 619), increased to 6.61% from 5.66% in 2009, and loans to deep-subprime customers (credit scores below 550) rose to 1.59% from 1.46%.

Customers were not only able to gain approval for more loans, but for higher loan amounts. The average loan amount for a new vehicle jumped to $25,273 in he quarter, up from $22,743 a year earlier. The average loan amount for a used vehicle jumped from $15,729 to $16,706.

"With delinquencies down and less money in their portfolios at risk, lenders can be a little less conservative in their lending strategies," said Melinda Zabritski, director of automotive credit for Experian, in a statement. Zabritski also said that lenders were now offering a greater variety of loans to meet the needs of a wider group of consumers.

The relaxing of credit standards is expected to help keep up the positive sales momentum that the auto industry has seen this year. Morgan Stanley's Auto Industry Outlook for 2011 calls for auto sales to rise about 10%.

Frequently Asked Questions In Bank Interview
Frequently Asked Questions In Bank Interview

Frequently Asked Questions Format

Frequently Asked Questions Format

Frequently Asked Questions Format

A new car is one of the biggest wealth drains for you and your family. Use these two simple yet powerful tips to take control of this expensive item.

Think in the Long Term (for Models)

Buy the car you want -- but only after it's at least two years old, and three would be better. By doing this, you automatically save hundreds of thousands of dollars over your lifetime.

When I was 23, I wanted to buy a nice four-door sedan, and I was drawn to the Cadillac STS. The new model had a base price of more $50,000, and with any kind of little extras the sticker was almost $55,000. I was doing very well at a young age, but I wasn't doing that well to blow 50 grand on a new car.

I was thumbing through my local paper (yes, this was before the Internet changed everything) and saw an ad for a 2? year old Cadillac STS for $19,500. The car had less than 40,000 miles on it and came with an extended warranty to 90,000 miles. It was gorgeous, shiny and just serviced.

It was an attractive price since the first owner was eating the depreciation.

According to www.Edmunds.com, the average car will lose 11 percent of its value the second you roll it off the lot and an additional 15 percent to 20 percent the first year you own it. The second-year depreciation (loss) is another 15 percent, for a loss of at least 45 percent over the first two years.

Depreciation is usually calculated off of the base price, not the extras. This could be the sport package that raises the price $10,000 but only gives you $2,000 back after the first year or two. So it's quite possible to find beautiful cars with manufacturer warranties still in place and pay 35 percent to 50 percent less than the first owner did when purchased new.

I drove that car for four years, had very few out-of-pocket repairs, and sold it for $3,500.

So what kind of deal could you get today? When I was young, one of the dream cars was a Ferrari Testarossa, and its price was around $200,000. You can buy one now for around $50,000, and most don't have that many miles on them because they're babied by the owners.

Think in the Short Term (for Loans)

If you finance your auto purchase, you can save a lot of money by keeping the term to no more than 36 months. This builds equity in the car faster and saves on interest.

This might be difficult because the monthly payment is higher than if you finance over six years, and it's higher than a monthly lease. If you finance $25,000 at 5 percent interest for three years, your monthly payment will be $749.27, and your total payout will be $26,974. If you extend that loan out to six years, your monthly payment drops to $402.62, but your total payout rises to $28,989. That's $2,015 more out of your pocket to own the car.

Assuming you buy the car with a small down payment, by financing it for six years, your loan pay-down is going at a much slower pace than the depreciation on the vehicle, creating an "underwater" situation on the car almost from the get-go. During the three-year program, you're paying down the car faster than it's depreciating, giving you options if you have to sell the vehicle.

If you truly can't afford that three-year payment, take out a five-year option and send a little extra every month toward the principal to pay it off sooner.

Leasing a newer model looks attractive because the monthly payment is less, but you might not want to do that. I'll explain why next week, when I offer several other ways to save loads of money when purchasing an automobile.

Frequently Asked Questions Format
Frequently Asked Questions Format

Frequently Asked Questions About Life

Frequently Asked Questions About Life

Frequently Asked Questions About Life

If you've been rejected for a car loan due to poor credit during the last year, and you'd still like to buy a new car, it may be time to apply for that loan again. Experian Automotive (EXPN) reported on Tuesday that the automotive credit industry increased the share of new car loans going to credit-challenged borrowers by 12.7% in the third quarter of 2010 compared to the same period last year, a sign that lenders are loosening their credit criteria.

The report also found that the number of borrowers defaulting on their loans declined in the third quarter, saving the industry $6.4 billion.

During the third quarter, new loans to nonprime customers (those with credit scores in the 620 to 679 range) rose to 10.86% of all loans from 9.79% in Q3 2009. Loans for subprime customers (with credit scores from 550 to 619), increased to 6.61% from 5.66% in 2009, and loans to deep-subprime customers (credit scores below 550) rose to 1.59% from 1.46%.

Customers were not only able to gain approval for more loans, but for higher loan amounts. The average loan amount for a new vehicle jumped to $25,273 in he quarter, up from $22,743 a year earlier. The average loan amount for a used vehicle jumped from $15,729 to $16,706.

"With delinquencies down and less money in their portfolios at risk, lenders can be a little less conservative in their lending strategies," said Melinda Zabritski, director of automotive credit for Experian, in a statement. Zabritski also said that lenders were now offering a greater variety of loans to meet the needs of a wider group of consumers.

The relaxing of credit standards is expected to help keep up the positive sales momentum that the auto industry has seen this year. Morgan Stanley's Auto Industry Outlook for 2011 calls for auto sales to rise about 10%.

Frequently Asked Questions About Life
Frequently Asked Questions About Life

Frequently Asked Questions Template

Frequently Asked Questions Template

Frequently Asked Questions Template

We all remember the subprime mortgage crisis. The financial system was thrown into chaos, and many homeowners lost their homes during these dark days.

Fortunately, the vast powers of the Federal Reserve were summoned to help stabilize the housing market, and along with it, the entire economy. The Fed worked its monetary magic, and the housing market is finally returning to normal.

However, there is another crisis brewing just under the economy's surface.

The sector this potential crisis is in isn't as large as the subprime mortgage sector, but it's still a $27 billion sector, according to Forbes magazine. In fact, Forbes reports that 1 in 4 Americans may be participants in this potential crisis.

Driving Toward a New Economic Cliff

I became aware of this potential time bomb last year. A close friend was financially destroyed by the subprime mortgage crisis. He is an investor and was overleveraged on more than a dozen investment properties. He was finally forced to declare bankruptcy to get out from under the mountain of debt.

Within a week of the bankruptcy filing, he started getting letters from companies like Wells Fargo (WFC) and General Motors (GM). While my friend was used to getting nasty letters from banks and finance companies, these letters were very different. These were not demand letters challenging his bankruptcy, threatening lawsuits or anything the least bit negative. Believe it or not, these letters were pre-approval letters for auto credit!

In fact, one financial company actually sent my bankrupt friend a check for $30,000 to be used at any participating auto dealer for the car of his choice. He took the check and bought a used BMW.

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I couldn't believe it. Here's a bankrupt guy with a credit score in the low 400s, working a menial labor job, with automobile credit being thrown at him by several large and reputable lenders. These were not the "buy here, pay here" sharks at the corner used-car lot.

While I was happy for my friend, I was reminded strongly of the subprime mortgage crisis. Folks with really bad credit and sketchy employment were able to get mortgages that they really couldn't afford during the subprime mortgage crisis.

Now the same thing is happening with auto loans.

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The Numbers Behind the Looming Bust

I have started to see more and more advertising for this type of lending, raising the question of whether the subprime auto loan market will explode like the subprime mortgage market. I wondered, if this situation is truly a financial bubble, when will it burst -- and how can I best position myself to profit?

After asking these questions, I thought of John Paulson making $3.7 billion during the collapse of the subprime mortgage market. The thought of replicating just a tiny fraction of Paulson's success motivated me to find the answer. Here's what I discovered.

Bloomberg has reported the average loan to value, or LTV, for subprime auto loans has increased to 114.5 percent this year from 112 percent in 2010. Loan to value is a measure of the money lent as a percentage of the market value of the asset. A 114.5 percent LTV means that the auto loan is for 14.5 percent more than the actual value of the car. For comparison, the average LTV of subprime auto loans in 2008 maxed out at 121 percent.

This increase in LTV is signaling greater competition and a decrease in underwriting guidelines in the subprime auto sector. In other words, more and riskier loans are being made.

Subprime auto lender Exeter Finance, recently acquired by the Blackstone Group (BX), has reported an increase in late payments from 5 percent in 2012 to 7.8 percent this year. However, it's important to note that subprime lenders Banco Santander's (SAN) U.S. consumer unit and GM Financial have reported lower loan losses from 2010 loans than losses from loans originated in 2007 and 2008.

How to Profit If the Bubble Bursts

GM, which is heavily involved in subprime lending, has improved dramatically since its pre-bailout days. The company has posted more than $1 billion in net income in each of the past four quarters.

However, 88 percent of GM's North American consumer finance receivables are firmly in the subprime category. In fact, GM listed consumer receivables 31 or more days late at $1.1 billion, a 34 percent increase from last year. Making matters worse, auto dealers with weak financials currently owe GM nearly $1.6 billion, per Bloomberg. This is up from just $12 million, indicating a radical increase.

The question is, can GM remain profitable after the U.S. Treasury pulls completely out? Remember, the Treasury Department filed its final plan to close out its GM holdings in September.

I think GM made the mistake of placing short-term profits before long-term goals with its aggressive pursuit of highly risky subprime loans. As more and more subprime borrowers default, GM's bottom line will be hurt substantially. No company can withstand massive defaults of loans.

The technical picture shows a double top in the $41.50 range on the daily chart. I would not be surprised to see General Motors trading at $28 within the next 15 months.


Risks To Consider: Shorting any stock can be very risky due to the theoretical unlimited upside. Be sure to always use stop-loss orders and diversify when investing.

Action to Take: I like General Motors as a short if price drops below $40 on a daily close. Placing initial stops at $42 and a target price of $28 makes solid investing sense.

P.S. Are you terrible at knowing when to sell? You're not the only one. Fortunately, a former trust fund manager created a two-part blueprint that reveals when to sell... and when to buy. It's been 85 percent accurate for over four years -- and just closed out a 70 percent gain. Click here to access it now.

David Goodboy does not personally hold positions in any securities mentioned in this article.
StreetAuthority LLC does not hold positions in any securities mentioned in this article.

Frequently Asked Questions Template
Frequently Asked Questions Template

Frequently Asked Questions Examples

Frequently Asked Questions Examples

Frequently Asked Questions Examples

Buying a car brings on the stress no matter how you slice it -- especially if you wind up slicing a lemon.

From betting on a good price for your old car and scrimping dough for the down payment to picking out the make and model that best fits your family and lifestyle, you've got a lot to think about ... and a lot to watch out for. That "great price" you're getting for your old car may be nullified by inflated costs on the new one, or draconian loan terms, one of the sleaziest car-sales tactics in the book.
Indeed, consumer advocates say Americans often let their guard down too early and get taken for a ride when it comes to their car loan. Not ready to get the raw end of the deal? Read on to find out what you need to know to protect yourself from landing in a bad loan pothole.

Chris Kukla, senior counsel for government affairs at the Center for Responsible Lending, stresses that dealerships don't just make money on the car itself. "The dealer's going to try to sell you on a whole other host of products. The finance office is responsible for about 50% of dealer profits," Kukla says, so don't let your guard down when you sit down to sign the contract.

"They sell credit insurance, extended warranties, vehicle service contracts, security systems, tire and wheel protection and gap coverage," Kukla explains. "If you finance through the dealer, you're going to have to face that gauntlet."

These ancillary products are always pitched as ways to "protect" your new investment; dealerships bank on the fact that customers will feel so mentally worn out from the buying process that they'll think, "Gee, that sounds like a smart move." In reality, says Kukla, it's only a smart move for them.

Though recent legislation has cracked down on sneaky lending practices when it comes to mortgage loans and credit cards, auto dealers banded together and lobbied Congress for exemption from the new rules -- selling Washington on the idea as only car salesmen can.

"It's particularly unfortunate that the auto dealers were exempted," says Steve Verdier, executive vice president and director of congressional affairs at the Independent Community Bankers of America, who calls this a "Wild West" situation. "There really was no substantive justification for that at all from a consumer standpoint," he says. Patrick Keefe, spokesman for Credit Union National Association, confirmed to WalletPop that it's a buyer-beware market out there when it comes to car loans.

As a result, auto financing takes place without a lot of the oversight many Americans just assume is part of any financial transaction. Dealerships can -- and do -- mark up the rates they get from banks, and get to pocket the difference between the bank's rate and what you pay. "Car dealers can increase your rate, and they're under no obligation to tell you the markup exists," warns Kukla. Your best bet, he says, is to shop around so you know what the current rates are, then get approved for a loan on your own.

In my recent experience, that's exactly how things played out. My husband and I were looking for a new car, and the one we'd picked out didn't have any special financing incentives, so we did plenty of legwork to make sure we got the best rate we could find. Although the dealership assured us we could finance through them and get the same rates as by shopping around, we shopped around anyway, calling or visiting a handful of local bank and credit union branches in the two weeks leading up to the day when we decided to get the car. (We didn't share this schedule with the dealership, though, since we still wanted to haggle and didn't want to tip our hand too early.) We secured what we thought was a very good rate, lower than anything else we'd seen, at a credit union near our home.

We'd also figured out how much we wanted to pay for the car and how much we'd need to finance -- so we had a good sense of how much we'd need to borrow when we met with the loan officer at the credit union. After we got approved, we went back to the dealership and hammered out the purchase price of the car. Then the salesman ushered us into the financing office. Sure enough, we were subject to sales pitches for obscure kinds of insurance, extended warranties and applications of rust inhibitors and the like.

I switched my brain onto autopilot and said "no" numerous times. Then the finance guy (maybe I should refer to him as a salesman, too) ran our credit and came back with a handful of APRs, but the credit union one we'd found was nearly two percentage points lower, including the quarter-point discount we got by agreeing to have the payment taken out of our credit union savings account each month.

Two percentage points on the price of a new car adds up to a significant chunk of change over the life of the loan, and we were very glad we hadn't just taken what the dealership offered. We were lucky in that both of our credit scores were pretty good, so we had access to traditional financing. According to Kukla, Americans who don't have access to these channels and are forced to go through the dealer if they want to finance a vehicle are much more vulnerable to being victimized.

Kukla says one of the most common scams is what's referred to as "yo-yo financing."

What happens here is a dealer will give you the car to take home, assure you verbally that you'll get a particular interest rate but claim they need a day or two to finalize that rate. The contract will have a blank spot by the interest rate or use the word "conditional." A day or two later, the dealership calls the customer back and tells them they need to come into the dealership. Then they tell the customer that they can't get the promised financing and they have to pay a much higher interest rate if they want to keep the vehicle. Many people feel intimidated and trapped by this, so they agree to the higher rate.

Our experts all say: Never take a vehicle based on an incomplete or conditional contract.

Kathleen Keest, senior policy counsel at the Center for Responsible Lending and a former staffer with the Iowa Attorney General, says cars on the lot without prices signal another red flag. Keest says some shady dealers will suss out, through careful questioning, how much money you have and make that the starting point for negotiations. "The choice is based on your money capacity, not your car needs," she says. Often, she adds, dealers will use sneaky, even illegal tricks to pull your credit before you even start talking price. Knowing your financial situation gives them a leg up. If, for instance, they see you have blemished credit, they may feel bold enough to stick you with a higher interest rate if they believe you can't get financing at a bank or credit union.

To find out more about those tricks -- and how to avoid them -- WalletPop spoke with Thomas Domonoske, a lawyer with the Legal Aid Justice Center in Charlottesville, Va. First of all, Domonoske says, don't sign anything until you're ready to negotiate terms. Even if the dealer says a form is purely informational or will be used to enter you into a contest, there could be fine print in there that authorizes them to pull your credit report. Keep the conversation focused on the price of the vehicle, and don't talk about financing until after you've nailed down how much you're going to pay for it.

Also, while credit reporting agencies ideally like to have your name, address and Social Security number to provide a report, dealerships don't need all that info to get a tentative picture of your finances. "If they ask to see your driver's license, you've given them enough information," warns Domonoske. If you want to test-drive the vehicle, do so after you've hashed out the price. (After all, car dealers know that if you become emotionally attached to a vehicle, even in the slightest, you negotiate from a weaker hand.)

"The best way to buy a car is to negotiate one number and one number only," Domonoske advises. "How many dollars do I have to give you to drive the car off the lot?" If all you talk about is the price of the car, the dealer will have no way to illegally access your credit. Finally, Domonoske says, "Don't answer [if they ask you] 'How much can you afford?' That has nothing to do with how much the car dealer is willing to sell that car for."

Frequently Asked Questions Examples
Frequently Asked Questions Examples