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Fax: (713) 684-1600

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Community Outreach
Important Note:

June through November our agency may become prohibited from binding coverage should a “Tropical Disturbance” enter the Gulf of Mexico or Caribbean Sea.

In these cases we may be unable to bind new coverage quoted in open proposals until the storm leaves our area and our binding authority has been restored.

Please arrange your coverage protection early to avoid this type of delay. While we regret any inconvenience, the carriers impose these restrictions on all agencies.

Getting a Better Car Loan

Recently, Congress passed on a major chance for increasing customer securities. Last summer, the car industry obtained an exemption from the new interest rate reform law. Although brokers for home loans are subject to these new policies, auto dealerships are not. The same auto giants that brokered roughly 80% of customers’ $850 billion in car loans may continue charging high-interest rates unchecked. If you have to take out a vehicle loan, don’t assume your auto dealer will offer you the best interest rate. There are many ways the auto dealer may up your rate, pad your loan with charges, or use longer-payback loans to attract you with a lower payment.

When it comes to an auto loan, you’re much better off obtaining pre-approved loans from a bank or a local credit union before visiting a car dealership. The loan pre-approval process can help you set a reasonable budget for your auto purchase. There are several things to keep in mind when selecting a car to buy. You should be able to pay at least 20% of the sticker price up-front for your car. You should also be able to pay your loan back in four years or less. Finally, make sure the monthly loan-payback rate won’t exceed 10% of your gross earnings. A large deposit will guarantee you never owe a greater amount on the vehicle than it’s worth.

If the auto dealer offers you a much lower interest rate, you can choose not to take the bank loan. Regardless, a pre-approved rate can give you extra confidence, knowing what rate you can expect to pay.

Dealers Hide Costs: Avoiding Extra Fees

The Center for Accountable Loaning found auto buyers pay an extra $20 billion each year. This is due to auto dealers raising interest rates on loans they provide. Car dealers inflate their own profits with extra fees such as:

  • Charges for cleaning your car
  • Marketing Fees
  • Life Insurance for settling your loan if you die, and more

Ask about any fees before you buy – and balk if you see any.

If a car dealer offers you better terms for your auto loan, you can always skip the bank loan. Know what to expect for a car payment. Getting pre-approved means you’ll walk into a car dealership knowing how to manage your auto loan. We are always looking for great information about any insurance topics that may impact your health or your wallet. If you have any insurance-related questions, reach out to us for help.