With gas prices increasing many Americans are looking to scooters as a way to protect their pockets against the price of gas. While finding a fuel efficient alternative is a good decision, many scooter buyers are not protecting their pockets when it comes to scooter financing.
There are many options available when financing a scooter including credit cards, manufacturer low payment promotions, installment personal loans and financing for bad credit applicants. Educating yourself about the various types of scooter loans is important before you make a financial decision.
Here are some tips for you to follow:
1. Don’t shop for a scooter that is too expensive: Today there are scooters that cost as much as $9000, but shopping for one of these scooters makes little sense if you can not get approved for financing.
Therefore, it is a good idea to shop online, and at your local bank for a scooter loan before you enter the showroom.
2. Watch out for low payment promotions: Manufacturers often entice you into buying a scooter with low payment promotions which structure payments as low as $39 for 2 years.
Low payment promotions look enticing, but are a very bad financial decision for you.
Fundamentally with low payment promotions you are only paying off the interest on your loan each month and very little is going towards the principal on your scooter.
Worse off at the end of the promotion your payment will double and your interest rate could increase to as high as 22.9% annual percentage rate.
3. Get an installment loan: Most low payment promotions mentioned above are on a manufacturer credit card.
Opting to get scooter financing with an installment loan is a much more wise decision.
With an installment loan the lender can not increase your interest rate or payment and your scooter will be paid off at the end of the term.
4. Consider a personal loan: If you walk in your bank and ask for scooter financing the bank may not have such a product.
Therefore you will likely have to ask your bank for a personal loan, which is basically a simple interest installment loan that can be used for recreational items.
A personal loan is a great way to finance your scooter and is much safer than a credit card or low payment manufacturer promotion.
5. Read the fine print: As your parents probably told you make sure you read the fine print before signing any loan document. Definitely do not enter a loan contract that you do not understand.
6. Don’t borrow more than you can afford: There is little reason to purchase a scooter to save on gas if you borrow more than you can afford.
Borrowing more than you can afford will put you in a risky financial position. You must consider the cost of insurance, registration, maintenance and gear and choose a scooter that fits your budget.
7. Avoid zero down payments loans: Trying to secure scooter financing with a zero down payment is possible, but may not be the wisest financial decision.
Since scooters depreciate quickly putting money down can help you from being upside down if you wish to sell your scooter in the first 24 months. Putting money down is a wise decision.
In the end, buying a scooter is a great way to hedge against future gas price increases. But making a sold financing decision that gives you piece of mind is much more important.
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