Understanding Your Credit Score How to Go From High Risk to High Rolling

A credit score is your financial behavior, expressed as a number. They typically range from 350-800. The lower the score, the less likely it is that you will repay debt- or at least that’s the story the numbers tell. To banks, you are considered a bigger risk.  These numbers aren’t based on anything personal, like your job is, race, gender, sexual preference, or if you are single or dating many people- to the banks, you’re just a number.

This number is based on data culled from your financial footprint by FICO: what types of credit and debt do you have? Student loans, home mortgages, or credit cards. Then it looks at how often you make payments on time, how many accounts you have in good standing, your debt to available credit ratio, credit limits, length of credit history and other factors.

The most important thing you can do to get a healthy credit score is to pay your bills on time. To help with this, you might want to set up an automatic payment system with your bank, and have checks sent.Having good credit will save you quite a bit of money in the long run, as you will pay lower interest rates.

Buy Here Pay Here auto loans are most often made to subprime borrowers. These are people who have a credit score lower than 579, and are considered a high risk by banks, so they often can’t get bank loans. The good news is, that everyone can raise their credit score. If you take out a Buy Here Pay Here loan on a car, you not only get a vehicle to get you to work, but by making monthly payments on time, you can improve your credit score.

Read More >

Like a Virgin Buying Your First Car

You’ve saved and saved until you just can’t wait a moment longer- you need your first car. Perhaps you’re practical want a sedan to get to church and school, or you need a truck for work, or just want to drive fast in something sexy. There are some general rules that everyone can use to choose the best first car.

Establish a monthly budget

For many of us, there is a vast chasm between what we want, and what we can afford. Take a realistic look at your budget so you know how much you can spend on payments, insurance, gas, and maintenance. You don’t want to fall behind on car payments, or your car can berepossessed and you’ll lose your down payment and everything you’ve paid so far.

Take an Honest look at What Your Life is Like Now, and What You Want it to Look Like

Your car should land right between these two points. Are you planning on having children soon- then a two door sports car or small pick-up truck probably isn’t right for you. Do you plan on changing jobs in the near future? If so, how far might your commute be? And will you want to make a little extra money on the side driving for Uber or Lyft? Then take a look at their guidelines for what’s required in a car. While cars are utilitarian, they are often emotional purchases, so take some time and be realistic with yourself about what’s really best for you.

Locate Financing and the Right Dealer

If you’re buying a new car, you will often need bank financing. When buying a used car, many dealerships offer Buy Here Pay Here loans. If you haven’t established credit yet, or have bad credit, this is your best bet for financing. Ask to take a test drive. Make sure you are comfortable in the car, start and stop, merge onto a freeway, and get to know the car and make sure it’s a perfect fit before you purchase it.


Read More >

How To Work With A Used Car Salesperson They Can Be Your Ally

Used car salesmen and women get a bad rap. They’ve been depicted by Hollywood as hustlers and peddlers of lemons who would do anything to make a buck. In the 1990 film Cadillac, Robin Williams plays a used car salesman named Joey O’Brien. He’s pure trouble- and even tries to sell a car to a widow at her husband’s funeral. Nothing is sacred! However, in reality, most car sales people want you to have the best option for your needs. Here are some tips for working with them effectively.

Shop When It’s Not Busy

This means a weekday. If you can get a late lunch hour, go by a dealership then as it won’t be as busy as a weekend and they can spend more time with you.

Find Out What Insurance Will Be

Some cars, like those with a V6 engine, or a Mercedes sedan will cost you more- especially if you have teenagers. Car salespeople should be able to help you navigate not only the most reliable car for your needs, but ones with reasonable car insurance rates.

Test Drive with the Entire Family and Salesperson

If you’ve found a car you like, make sure it’s a comfortable fit for everyone who will be driving, and riding in it. If you have a driveway with a dip, or a steep hill on your commute, be sure and see if the car can clear these. Listen carefully for sounds and ask the salesperson about them.

Do Your Research

Be sure and read Consumer Reports or Auto Trader so you know what a good deal is based on make, model and year as well as mileage.


They enjoy this. Really, they do.

Read More >

Use Earned Income Credit To Start A Strong Fiscal New Year A Bigger Down Payment Means Lower Monthly Payments

With the government shut down, there may be delays on receiving Earned Income Credit. Instead of getting stressed out over this- it can’t last forever–spend the time planning how to use it to help improve your finances this year. One way is to put it towards a down payment on a used car, so that you have lower monthly payments. The ideal down payment for a car is 20%. There are three big advantages to this.

More Money in Your Pocket

Lower monthly payments mean that you pay less interest over the life of the loan. This is particularly important for subprime borrowers who pay higher interest rates.

More Skin the Game

While a car is a necessity in modern life, and yes, some are luxuries, it’s not considered an investment. In fact, it depreciates rapidly in the first few years. By having already paid off a good portion of it, you don’t have to worry about the value of your car being less than what you owe on it.

Stay Above Water

Owing more than a car is worth is known as being “under water.” The problems with this is that if you want to trade it in for a new car, you might not have a credit, and could even end up owing money. Another issue is if the car is totaled, the insurance pay out might be less than what you owe on the car.


So when you receive a tax refund this year, think of ways it can be used to improve your financial health for the year. One of these is to make a bigger down payment on a used car so that you have more money in your pocket and can always sell for more than you owe if need be.

Read More >

Why Buying a Used Car is Better Have that New Car Scent, and Still Be $14, 989.39 Ahead

If you’re shopping for a car, there are many reasons to choose a used car over a new one. The first is cost. Along with actually paying more for the new car, you’re also paying more in sales tax. As well, it costs more to insure it every month, as well as register it every year.  And cars don’t increase in value the way real estate often does. In fact, they depreciate, rapidly. Which means you lose 20% of the value from the moment you buy it.

According to Kelley Blue Book, the average cost of a new car in 2018 was over $30,000.00.  (Along with the highest prices yet for new cars, Forbes reports that missed payments have gone up as well.) Due to depreciation, or the fact that once you drive your car off the lot, it’s no longer new, you’ve lost $6000.00 right there. You are immediately underwater, and owe more than your new car is worth- on the first day you own it. And within three years, that car has depreciated to a value of $15,000.

When the owner of the new car sells it, and you can buy it, you are beneficiary of this depreciation. The original owner has absorbed it. Even if you’re buying from a used car lot, you’re still benefitting.  And a used car depreciates less drastically. If you buy that car for $15,000.00, and then sell it in three years, you can probably get $10,000.00 for it. So the difference is substantial. You can also research cars that hold their value- we have a blog post on this you can visit here.

What is often missing when purchasing a used car is that new car scent everyone seems to like so much. But you can buy that at Home Depot for $10.61. And still be $14, 989.39 ahead.

Read More >

When Buy Here Pay Here Is Your Best Option And How To Avoid the Repo Man

It you have a poor credit score- below 550, or haven’t established credit, the best way to get a new set of car keys is through a Buy Here Pay Here used car dealership. The benefits of this are that the dealer is the financier, so it’s one stop shopping. Also, if you make your payments on time, you will improve your credit score, of if you don’t have one yet, you’ll establish a solid credit score. This will help with securing loans for purchasing a home, financing a new business, or upgrading to a new car.

At Finn’s Discount Auto, we have advice for people financing through Buy Here Pay Here for the first time.

First, know what car is best suited for you and your family’s needs. How large of a car do you need? Do you drive a lot or a little? Is a third seat or spacious leg room more important? Then do the research on the types of cars you’re interested in.  A good place to start is Kelley Blue Book.

Next, be sure you can afford the monthly payment. Sit down with a calculator and estimate not only the monthly payments, but also what insurance, registration and repairs will cost each month. Make sure you can pay this amount. Best case scenario is if you can pay off your loan early. This will save you in interest payment.

If you fall behind on payments with a Buy Here Pay Here dealerships, then you run the risk of your car being repossessed. At Finn’s Discount Auto, we do not like repos! We want to keep our clients happy and coming back to do business with us again in the future.

Read More >

Buying a Car To-Do List How to prepare for buying a used car

Tax returns are arriving, and while you have a nut, it’s a great idea to put it towards a large purchase, like buying a car. At Finn’s Discount Auto, we have a wide range of great cars right now. Before coming in, make sure you’ve done your homework on purchasing a car so that you have a good experience and get the car that’s right for you.

Know What You Want

Are you going to drive for Uber? Then you’ll need a backseat. Do you have a large, or growing family? Then maybe a Mini-Van is your best option. Do you plan on using for hauling. Pick-Up truck is the obvious answer. Take time to evaluate your needs, now and in the future. Aim for a vehicle between those two places. You can also research car prices by checking Kelly Blue BookEdmunds, and NADA Guides.

Features Wish List

Decide what your deal breakers are. Do you have to have four-wheel drive or manual transmission? What about power windows, heated seats, or screens that show you obstacles behind you when backing up. Are you flexible on car colors? Knowing what you want, but can live without will help narrow down your shopping.



Even with a substantial down payment, you will most likely financing to purchase a car. Check your credit score to see if banks will finance you. If not, a Buy Here Pay Here dealership is your best, and probably only option. By making a large down payment, you will save on interest in the long run. As well, with Buy Here Pay Here, you’ll have financing and shopping in the same place.


Ask Questions at the Dealership

Ask your car salesperson about mileage, the engine, gas mileage, maintenance and other pertinent facts about the wear and tear on the vehicle.


Drive Away!

Be sure and maintain your car, insure it, and make sure you make payments in time so that your credit score improves.

Read More >

Repo Man: Facts and Fictions

The film, Repo Man, is a cult classic. Otto, a young punk rocker played by Emilio Estevez becomes a repo man. He’s resistant to this at first, but then finds himself addicted to this adrenaline-fueled job. If you don’t pay your loan back, then lenders have the legal right to repossess cars. But it’s not as quirky and outer worldly as the movie may have led you to believe.

Fact: In most states, repossession is legal after your first default.

Fiction: Buy Here Pay Here Car Dealerships want to repossess your car. In fact, at Finn’s Discount Auto, we want you to make your payments on time, so you build a solid credit history and save on interest. We also want you to return with friends and family to buy more cars. We do NOT want you to miss a payment and repossess your car.


Fact: If you contact they lender they will often give you a 30-day extension.

Fiction: This starts from the time you contact the lender. The truth is that the 30-day extension starts from the day the payment was due.

Fact: Hiding your car or blocking it with other vehicles does not mean the repo man can’t take it. They’ve seen it all and will catch you when you least expect it.

Fiction:  Hiding from the repo man buys you time. No, any extra time and effort the repo man spends, he or she will charge the lender for. This means that if the vehicle is sold, the total amount owed to the dealer will be greater due to repossession fees. On some occasions, the sale price is greater than what is owed, so the car owner may actually get money back. Unless it goes to paying the repo man.

Read More >

Road Trip: Spring Wildflowers From El Paso to Albuquerque

This season’s rain and snow are leaving behind a bevy of blooms in the desert. Come by Finn’s Discount Auto and buy a comfortable car to take your family on a spring road trip. Heading north from El Paso into New Mexico, there are many options for hiking, enjoying a picnic and marveling at the colorful gifts left by winter rain.

Starting in El Paso, hit the Franklin Mountains State Park at 1331 McKelligon Canyon Road. If your timing is right, a blanket of  Mexican gold poppies will be spread out around the base. You may see claret cups in April.

Pack a picnic and head to the Organ Mountains National Monument in Las Cruces. Here you’ll see a smattering of the Mexican gold poppies, along blue lupine. The magnificent Saguaro cactus and the Organ Pipe cactus also bloom in late spring. The Visitor Center has a small garden with signs identifying native wildflowers.

Two and half hours north of El Paso on Highway Interstate 125 is the Bosque del Apache, a marvelous refuge for migrating birds. It’s known for the massive flocks of Snow geese and Sandhill cranes that winter there. The Chupadera Trail is a 9.5 mile loop through an amazing array of desert plants.

Keep heading north another 100 miles, and this will take you to the Petroglyph National Monument. Desert marigolds bloom in mass, while scarlet hedgehog cactus and tulip prickly pear have sprouted up around the rocky formations etched hundreds of years ago.







Read More >

Does This Fiat Make Me Look Fat? Function Vs. Form in a Car

Television personality Marie Kondo is creating a craze in society – convincing us to “unclutter”. Her filtering philosophy for cleaning out closets and garages is, “Does it bring you joy?”. You could ask this of the car you are currently driving.  Does it make you happy? Is it fun to drive or you look good in it? Is it an expression of your personality and lifestyle? Our father drives a maroon Honda Civic. Nothing about this vehicle says “Joy” or personal brand.  He doesn’t care- that’s not why he owns a car. He was looking for reliability, good gas mileage, and low monthly payments. He found all of that in a Honda Civic.

But then there’s our nephew, Emiliano. He drives the world’s most impractical car – a Nissan Skyline. There are very few of these in the United States, and they are barely legal.  The steering wheel is on the right-hand side, and it has terrible gas mileage, the clearance is super low so any speed bump is a drama, but it can go 155 to 200 miles per hour. Emiliano likes to drag race, and is something of a ladies man. He spends every paycheck on that car, but he’s got way more game with his race car than a Honda Civic.

If you’re looking for reliability, a comfortable ride, and to feel joy when you drive your car, we have you covered at Finn’s Discount Auto. Right now we’ve got a gray Nissan convertible that’s stylish and fun, as well as tried and true Honda Civics, and numerous mid-sized SUV’s like Hyundai Elantra. Or come by and check out our sporty Jeeps and Scion XB. We’ll help you find your sweet spot between form and function in your new used car.

Read More >

Tax Day Cometh: You May Be Able to Deduct Interest on Your Car Loan

April 15th, tax day, looms closer and closer. If you’re self-employed, or have a side-gig, such as making deliveries or driving for Uber, you might want to check if you can deduct vehicle expenses from your Self-Employed taxes.

To do this, you first calculate how many miles you drove all year. Then you choose between taking the standard rate, or the actual expenses you incurred with your car. To do this, figure the percentage that was personal driving, and how much was for business. Say you drove 100 miles a week, and 40% was for business. That’s the percentage of car expenses you can deduct. Keep in mind, driving to your work place is commuting, so that’s not deductible, but driving to do business banking or buy supplies is deductible.

The average standard rate for 2018 is 54.5 cents per mile. So if you drove 40 miles a week for work, you would deduct $21.80 per week for your standard rate.

Or, you could deduct your actual car expenses.  These include: depreciation (amount you can deduct over time for general wear and tear of the vehicle), registration and property tax fees,  parking and tolls, new tires, maintenance and repairs. As well, you can write off registration, taxes, & licenses. Compare and see which number is bigger, and choose that as your deduction.

One car expense that’s deductible with both of these methods is the interest you paid on your car loan. This is often a significant expense, especially with a Buy Here Pay Here Loan. Keep this in mind when borrowing money to pay off your loan – you are self-employed, the interest is tax deductible. Ask the business department at Finn’s Discount Auto when you purchase a car, and make sure and tell your tax person that you have deductible interest on your car.

Read More >