Saturday, April 11, 2009

How to Use a Car Loan Finance Calculator

By Michael B Podgoetsky

Finding a car loan finance calculator can help you determine the best rate, amount and payment terms for your new or used car loan. These calculators are an important part of the car financing process. Thanks to the Internet, you can now find a variety of car loan finance calculators with just the click of your mouse.

Car loans help you finance the purchase of an automobile. They can be used for new or used cars, but normally you need to purchase through a dealership of some sort in order to get a loan. Car loans may or may not require a down payment, depending on your credit score, your income and how much you want to borrow.

Before you find a calculator and plug in your numbers, make sure that you are using the right kind of loan calculators. There are tons of loan calculators available online, but not all are for auto loans. Real estate loans, commercial loans and credit cards all have calculators available online. Be sure you're using an auto loan calculator.

Car loan finance calculators will help you determine what is possible based on your qualifications. You'll need to enter the amount of the loan you want to obtain, the rate of the loan and the length of repayment. Auto loans normally run for 36, 48 or 60 months. The longer the term of the loan, the lower your payments will be. However, you'll also have to pay more interest if your loan is for a longer period of time.

The car loan calculator will help you find a variety of different options for your car loan. You can play around with the different figures to see how your rate will be improved by different factors. Advanced car loan finance calculators will give you extra details on your loan that will help you evaluate it more carefully. You'll be able to see how much interest you can save by having a shorter term loan or how much of a difference a few percentage points of interest can make.

Loan calculators will help you evaluate the best options for you before you go shopping for a car loan. By using a calculator before you shop, you can find out what type of rate you can expect. You should note that a loan calculator is just a tool to use. It is not a guarantee that you'll get those rates. Banks have different rates for auto loans, so it pays to shop around. In addition to considering the amount of money that you want to borrow, the bank will also look at the current interest rates and your ability to repay.

After finding a variety of quotes with an online car loan finance calculator, you'll be better prepared to find out more about a car loan from a lending institution. For the most accurate rate, you should meet with a loan officer or contact a lending institution online. While you'll be able to plug numbers into a calculator, you won't know the exact rate you'll receive.

For more information on finding a car loan finance calculator and other tips on managing finances, visit The site offers extensive information on all aspects of finances for consumers.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Starting a home-based business

It can be great to be your own boss. But there are challenges, too. Make sure you think it through before setting up on your own.
Home-based businesses are a growing part of the corporate landscape -- there are more than 11 million home-based businesses in the U.S. today, according to a recent study by the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America.

But before starting one up, think it through. It’s great to be able to wear your pajamas to work, but you need to earn a decent income and there’s a lot more to operating your own home-based business than meets the eye. The U.S. Department of Labor lists some useful websites for home-based businesses or people who are self-employed.

To begin with, you need to have lots of initiative, self-confidence and marketing skills, as well as perseverance. Nobody’s going to be putting work in your in-basket anymore -- you’ve got to get out there and find it. Good contacts as well as the ability to sell yourself and your goods and services are essential. Once you’ve got the work, you’ve got to be disciplined enough to get up and get at it every morning so that you meet deadlines and delivery dates. You also have to persevere when business is slow and the checks are few and far between.

Good organizational skills and business smarts are other must-haves. You need to set up a business plan, arrange financing, price your products or services competitively, and make sure you don’t get so caught up in a project that you let marketing, bookkeeping and other essential tasks slip.

If you are ready to set up your own business, here are some of the pros and cons of working for yourself out of your home.


Flexible working hours. This one’s a biggie, especially if you have kids. It also allows you to capitalize on your personal peak working times and to goof off on a sunny day (provided you have the discipline to make up the lost time after sundown or on a rainy Saturday).
Being your own boss. No one will be looking over your shoulder or stepping on your toes. No one can fire you (except your clients). You have the freedom to put as many of your own ideas into effect as you see fit, and you get the benefit and experience of participating in every aspect of a business operation.
Cost savings. Working out of your home, you won’t have much overhead and your transportation costs will be lower than if you were commuting. You should also enjoy a reduction in what you’re paying for work clothes and outside meals. Depending on the age of your kids and nature of your occupation, a home business can also help you save on childcare.
Tax benefits. The IRS says you can deduct certain costs (mortgage interest, repair charges, utility bills and real estate taxes among them) associated with your home’s maintenance if you have a home office. Consult a tax advisor to find out whether these deductions apply to you.
More control. The ability to dictate how you can spend your time (and how much of it you wish to spend on work) is important.

Financial challenges. You have to find funding for your start-up, and also figure out how to weather ups and downs in your income, especially at first. That means exploring financing options such as lines of credit, refinancing your mortgage to get cash out of your home, private investors and family loans. Until the business is established, you may also have to consider options such as continuing part-time work at a regular job until the business is established, selling your second car or renting out space in your home. It’s a good idea to make a personal budget as well as a business plan, so you can anticipate cash shortfalls and estimate how long it will take until your business brings in enough for you to pay your bills.
Keeping your work separate from the rest of your life. When you work in the same place you sleep, work can encroach on your personal and/or family life. Keeping the line between the two worlds distinct can be a challenge. You might want to consider: getting two phone lines (one personal, one business); making a strict schedule for yourself that limits working hours, and putting your office in the basement or other, separate part of the house.
Long hours. With no colleagues to back you up, you’re the one who has to burn all the midnight oil.
It gets lonely. As much as the water-cooler chatter might have distracted you at the office, you may miss it in the silence of your home office.
More administrative headaches. Tax deductions are one thing, but accounting for all of your expenses in the kind of detail the IRS requires can be time-consuming. Unless (or until) you can afford a bookkeeper to look after this chore, you may spend a fair amount of your time on clerical tasks