Whether you are looking to buy a house, a car, boat or RV, StraightTalk has a buying guide to help you get the most for your dollars.

 

 

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  • Car Buying Guide

    Car Buying Guide

    Written by Remar Sutton
    Consumer Advocate

     


    "Just click here and this beautiful convertible can be yours for $1 under invoice. Unbelievable! And we've got Zero Percent financing. Even more unbelievable! And we'll give you a free computer when you buy from us! And we guarantee the value of your trade-in!"

    ~ Guy on the TV Commercial


    Introduction

    Listen to the hype—whether it's on TV, online, or in print—and you'd think saving money on a vehicle is as easy and fast as flipping the TV remote. Wrong!

    Did you know a dealer or online auto service can sell or lease you a new set of wheels for exactly what the dealer paid the manufacturer and still make $500 to $1,500 on just the car itself?

    Did you know that "Zero Percent" financing may cost you more than financing at a bank or credit union—even if the bank or credit union's rate is 7 percent?

    Do you hate dealing with dealers and look forward to buying or leasing a vehicle online—or from a buying service—just so you won't have to deal with the dealer yourself? Guess what: you have to deal with a dealer, even if you use a buying service! All new vehicle sales—repeat, all—have to involve a dealer.

    Do you think the Internet has made it safer for you to research and/or acquire a new vehicle? Think again! In just the past three years, the entire auto business has been ripped apart, reinvented, and re-launched. "In an instant, your privacy, your money, and your good credit can be stripped away—and that's if you're dealing with the 'good' car guys!" That quote, from the latest edition of my book Don't Get Taken Every Time, sums it up. (Read the Introduction and Chapter 1 of the book.)

    That’s why I’ve written this special buying guide for you. For over 20 years, I’ve tracked the inner workings of the auto industry. As President and co-founder of the non-profit Consumer Task Force For Automotive Issues, and as co-founder of the Privacy Rights Now Coalition, I’ve pretty much seen it all when it comes to wacky sales gimmicks, deception and consumer abuse. And, it’s my sworn duty to keep those things from happening to you!

    And will this guide work! If you follow this guide, you can probably keep thousands of your hard-earned dollars in your pocket rather than in the dealer's.

    A major promise up-front: FoolProof News & Guides is about educating you, not trying to hype you. This program provides you an oasis from the pressure, confusion and deception that is rampant in the auto industry and on the Web. And it gives you straight answers.

    For instance, where is it cheapest to finance? If Directions Credit Union determines that it would be cheaper and better for you to finance at some other institution, they’ll send you there. Think about that! Do you really think any other financial institution would do that?

    Directions Credit Union makes that promise because their goals are different than the other players in the auto industry. A dealer or their finance sources have two objectives: to sell you their product or service (whether or not it’s the right product for you) and to sell it to you at the maximum price you will pay. Directions Credit Union's job, on the other hand, is to make sure you buy what’s best for you and to make sure you pay the least for it.

    They’re not just being noble, either. Since you own part of the credit union, Directions Credit Union's financial well-being is linked closely to your financial well-being: when you prosper financially, they prosper.

    And since Directions Credit Union is not-for-profit and owned by you, their prosperity translates into money and benefits for you. Nice!

    Any questions? Why not e-mail me directly at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.? And thanks for reading. Your pocketbook, as they say, will thank you.

    REMAR SUTTON

     

    Next chapter: 1. Dealership Tactics

    Article Count:
    9
  • Mortgage Guide

    Mortgage Guide

    Written by Remar Sutton
    Consumer Advocate

     

    Introduction

    Mortgage_HomeHey, do you think it’s tough getting the right car loan? Well, welcome to the world of home mortgages!

    In a car transaction you can throw away thousands without thinking. But in the mortgage world, you can throw away tens of thousands of your hard-earned money, jeopardize your credit and your sanity, and be stuck for decades with a rotten loan. No fun at all.

    Directions Credit Union's FoolProof News & Guides Mortgage Guide helps protect you from big mistakes by telling you the truth about mortgages and the mortgage process. And this guide will help you, whether you get a mortgage with Directions Credit Union or not!

    So, let’s get to work! Head to chapter one, and fasten your seat belt…..its going to be an exciting ride....

    Article Count:
    8
  • Boat Guide

    Boat Buying Guide

    Written by Remar Sutton
    Consumer Advocate

    Introduction

    boats-mooredA boat! If you’ve ever gunned the engine of any watercraft, whether it’s a ten-foot dingy or a thirty-foot cruiser, or raised the sail on the smallest sailboat, you know how exhilarating boating can be. Who can worry on the water?

    Well, actually, you have reason to worry a lot on the water if you haven’t done your homework before you become the captain of your own vessel.

    Why? Buying a boat smart is probably harder than buying a car smart. First, there are literally thousands of boat manufacturers, including backyard entrepreneurs. Second, even the biggest boat builders produce relatively small numbers of crafts. Evaluating quality and reliability, therefore, is much harder to do.

    Third, virtually no mandatory safety and quality guidelines are in place to protect you from buying junk or dangerous boats. Some boat sellers take advantage of this, and unfortunately, the worst boat salespersons make the worst used-car dealers look like saints.

    Oh, we forgot to tell you the major reason buying a boat smart is harder than buying a car smart: Boats eat money. The cost of the boat itself and key accessories such as radios are only the beginning of the cash outflow:

    • What about “use” costs? (Gas and oil expenses alone can wreck a budget, even if you have only a small powerboat. A slip at a dock can cost more than your boat payment.)
    • What about insurance? (Usually higher than on a comparatively-priced car.)
    • Maintenance? (Boats generally require much more maintenance than cars—and boat mechanics generally cost more than car mechanics.)
    • Storage? (Some neighborhoods won’t let you store your boat in your backyard—and paid storage can be expensive.)

    Aside from budget items, the consequences of buying the wrong boat can be pretty heavy. Breaking down on the side of the road in a car can be inconvenient, but sinking can be really inconvenient.

    That’s why you need tough, unbiased information, both before you buy and after you buy. And that’s why you’re reading the FoolProof Boat Guide! Our guide will help you answer key questions as it saves you thousands and thousands of dollars. We also provide great, trustworthy links to teach you even more. Use these tools wisely, and boating will be the great escape you’ve always dreamed it would be.

    So, let’s go boating!


    Next: Developing a Budget

    Article Count:
    10
  • RV Guide

    RV Buying Guide

    Written by Remar Sutton
    Consumer Advocate

     

    Introduction

    rv-towbehindA home on wheels! Who needs hotels? Who needs restaurants? An RV—whether it’s a luxury six-wheeled motorhome powered by a diesel engine or a two-wheeled tow-along attached to the back of your VW Beetle—can be a magic carpet for you and your family. What’s to worry about?

    Well, actually, you have lots to worry about if you haven’t done your homework before you become the owner of a recreational vehicle, particularly if you’re buying a self-powered model or any used model, self-powered or not. And there are some key questions you should answer before you buy even a glorified tent for two.

    Whether you are shopping for new or used, big or little, the key to owner satisfaction is getting the most for your money in the areas of safety, quality and reliability. Because there are relatively few safety and construction guidelines in place specifically for RVs, doing your homework is crucially important.

    Well, you ask, can’t the sellers tell me what I need to know? The sellers can tell you the basics, and can rattle off their sales spiels effortlessly. But in the real world, sellers of RVs are usually no more forthright than sellers of automobiles. For instance, few if any RV sellers are going to tell you if their models have problems with design, safety or maintenance. In fact, in the free marketplace, that’s not their job—making money is. So helping you find out the information you need to make wise decisions is the FoolProof RV Guide’s goal.

    Oh, yes, what’s the major reason buying a RV smart is harder than buying a car smart? RVs can eat money. This can be true even if you’re buying a used, small tow-behind pop-up trailer for $2,000. Why? Repairs on any RV can be substantial. Replacing the axle on that tiny trailer could cost you more than a thousand.

    In addition to purchase price, consider these other costs:

    • What about “use” costs? (If you’re buying a motorhome, gas and oil expenses alone can wreck a budget, even if it’s a small motorhome.)
    • What about insurance? (The insurance cost climbs dramatically as the size grows, and generally will cost you more than a comparably priced car.)
    • Maintenance? (RVs generally require much more maintenance than cars, and larger motor homes can require very specialized mechanics who generally cost more than car mechanics.)
    • Storage? (Some neighborhoods won’t let you store your RV in your backyard—and paid storage can be expensive.)
    • Towing? If you are buying a travel trailer, fifth-wheel trailer, or even a pop-up camper, can your current vehicle do the job? Or will you need a new vehicle adequate to the job?

    So many ways to get in trouble financially—and all you wanted to do was have some fun with the family!

    That’s why you wisely are doing your homework. And that’s why you’re reading the FoolProof RV Guide! Our guide will help you answer key questions as it saves you thousands and thousands of dollars. We then give you links to trustworthy resources to teach you even more. Use these tools wisely, and exploring the byways of the world will be the great escape you’ve always dreamed it would be.

    So, let’s make some decisions!


    Next: Developing a RV Budget

    Article Count:
    10

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