Financial health begins with these tips, tools and resources

Every month is a financial literacy month for customers of Santander Consumer USA (SC) – April is just when everyone else takes part.

Marking the official Financial Literacy Month in April, SC will continue our ongoing focus on providing all vehicle shoppers and owners useful, finance-related content in our redesigned Learning Center and on the SC blog and Chrysler Capital blog.

And it doesn’t matter whether you are an SC customer or not to take advantage.

“It is important for Santander Consumer USA, as an auto lender, to recognize the importance of financial literacy this month and every month,” said Lori Millard, executive vice president of Operations at Santander Consumer. “We want to help all our customers lead healthy financial lifestyles and be well prepared when they shop for their next vehicle.”

For Financial Literacy Month itself, look for the following featured articles:

How to use an auto finance calculator: a step-by-step guide
It’s useful to know how to use an auto finance calculator when you plan to buy a car. Fortunately auto finance calculators are not that difficult to figure out.

Buying versus leasing when shopping for your next vehicle (video)
Life is full of big decisions, including getting a new vehicle. But a question you will have to answer is whether you should purchase a new vehicle or lease it.

Here’s how long a car should be financed new or used
We’ll help you steer clear of financial potholes when you buy your next car, because you could pay a price if you don’t know how long your vehicle should be financed.

What you need to know about credit when financing a vehicle
What you need to know about credit when financing a vehicle is that lenders generally provide more financing to borrowers with higher credit scores.

Car buyers want financing information before shopping – CarGurus study
Most car shoppers think that pre-qualification for vehicle financing before visiting a dealership is a good idea but many are unaware that it is a possible option.

The debut of our buying vs. leasing video is scheduled for April in the Learning Center and on the blog. In fact, all video content is available by going directly to the Learning Center.

This month, we already have covered these topics, each accompanied by a short, informative video:
How to set up a monthly budget to finance your next vehicle
Why your credit score is important when financing a vehicle
What is a simple interest contract in auto financing

Here are some tips based on our videos – and one without – to help you get financially literate and stay financially healthy:

1. How to set up a monthly budget to finance your next vehicle (video)

  • Track your expenses
  • Pay off credit card debt to save money in interest
  • Set goals for what’s important to you
  • Use cash to avoid overspending
  • 2. What is a simple-interest contract in auto financing? (video)

  • Learn how the terms “principal” and “interest” impact your auto financing account
  • Pay on your scheduled due date to pay the exact amount of interest agreed upon
  • When you pay later than your due date, more interest has accrued
  • Consistently paying early can reduce the overall amount of interest you pay
  • 3. Why your credit score is important when financing a vehicle (video)

  • To keep your credit in good standing, pay your bills on time
  • Only apply for the credit you need
  • Typically, the lower the credit score, the greater the risk to the lender, which can increase the interest rate
  • Leave plenty of room on your credit cards and don’t get too close to your credit limit
  • 4. Interest rate calculator: How your credit score affects car financing

  • Ultimately, the best way to affect the interest rate on your car payments is to improve your credit score
  • Crunch the numbers with an auto finance calculator
  • Do your research by comparing new to used vehicles
  • By improving even one credit level, it could make an impact and show a cost savings

  • Becoming financially literate and staying financially healthy are choices you must make for yourself, but we provide tips, resources, and tools such as our finance calculators to help you achieve those goals.

    So, why would it matter to an auto lender whether their customers are financially literate and healthy?

    “We think that the better prepared customers are financially to make a major purchase such as a vehicle, the easier that buying process will be for them, and the more likely it is that they will be satisfied and financially secure after making their purchase,” Millard explained.

    Financial Literacy Month is just a reminder that you can benefit from making smart choices year-round.

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