Tag Archives: used cars

woman shopping for auto loans

How to Get a Low Rate on a Used Car Loan

Shopping for cars is fun. Shopping for car loans – not so much. The good news is that you are in a stronger negotiating position when you shop for auto loans in advance. Many people don’t do this until they find a vehicle, but at this point, you’re at the mercy of the banks. 

Below are the steps to take to get the best rates on a used car loan. 

Shop in the Right Places 

Don’t wait to look for financing until you’ve won your bid. The best way to get lower interest rates is by shopping for car loans ahead of time. This way, you can compare shop and take advantage of available discounts and incentives. 

Where can you shop? Consider large national banks like Chase or Bank of America, as they tend to have special promotions and automated processes. Also try credit unions and community banks. Credit unions usually have lower interest rates than banks, whereas community banks tend to be more flexible and easier to communicate with. Other options worth looking into are online lenders and financial companies. 

Get Pre-Approved on Your Auto Loan 

Once you have shopped around for quotes, take the next steps to get pre-approved. Having a pre-approval in place shows the seller that you are qualified to purchase the vehicle. And, if you choose to use the seller’s financing services, they’ll know what rates they have to beat, which can result in an ever lower rate for you. 

If you find that you’re not approved for a car loan, be wary of dealers that say they can finance your purchase regardless of your credit. You could end up paying very high interest rates. In this case, it’s better to work on building your credit and trying again for a loan at a later date. 

Know Your Credit Score

Speaking of credit scores, it’s important to know how these numbers affect your ability to get a loan and their influence on your interest rates. Credit scores are important because they tell lenders how likely you are to pay back the loan. Having a high credit number is a good sign, resulting in faster approvals and lower rates. 

According to Experian, buyers with bad credit pay four times more than those with excellent credit. Again, if your credit isn’t good, it may be best to wait on a vehicle and work on improving your score. This way, you can get better rates and loan options when it comes time to buy a repo. 

Manage Your Loan-to-Value Ratio (LTV)

The loan-to-value ratio is the value of the vehicle you’re buying compared to the amount you’re borrowing. For the best interest rates, you’ll need an LTV of 80% or less. If you have an LTV that is greater than 100%, this means that you’re underwater or have negative equity. If something happens to your car, your auto insurance carrier won’t pay for the total loss, which means you’ll still be on the hook for the rest of the loan balance. 

When shopping around for a repo, be sure to check out your options for financing in advance. This way, you’ll have everything ready to go when you start bidding on vehicles. For a full selection of repo lists from local banks and credit unions, visit RepoFinder.com

cars driving on the road

5 Things You Get When You Join RepoFinder Pro

RepoFinder is a nationwide directory of banks and credit unions that have repossessions for sale. These repos are sold to the public, so you do not need a dealer’s license to purchase them. You can use our site for free, allowing you to search for repossessed cars, trucks, RVs, boats, etc. in your state. However, if you find a vehicle that you’re interested in, you can benefit from upgrading your account to Pro status. 

Below are five things you get when you join RepoFinder Pro for just $4.95 a month. No long-term contracts – cancel anytime! 

1. Full access to our Featured Repo list. 

If you want to learn more about any of the used vehicles on our directory, it helps to have RepoFinder Pro. With full access, you can view all information, such as the vehicle’s type, price, location, condition and other details. For example, has it been inspected by a mechanic? This will help you make informed decisions as to which repos you want to bid on at auction

2. Unlimited searches. 

There are no limits on the number of searches you do as a RepoFinder Pro member. This is important because it will probably take time to find a repo that fits your budget and buying criteria. Some people even bid on multiple vehicles before they win. To help narrow your search, use our category buttons. 

3. No sales fees or commissions. 

There are never any sales fees or commissions when you use RepoFinder Pro. We have an easy month-to-month subscription, and you can cancel anytime. At less than $5.00 a month, it’s easy to renew your membership until you find a repo that meets your needs. If you find a vehicle and your bid is accepted, you can cancel your membership – no strings attached. 

4. Access to the largest nationwide bank repo database. 

RepoFinder proudly offers the largest national bank repo database. We know that there are other repo listing sites out there, but none are quite as extensive as ours. You’ll find plenty of repossessions in your state that include cars, trucks, ATVs, RVs, boats and even small aircraft. 

5. No dealer license required. 

With RepoFinder Pro, you can buy used cars and trucks without a dealer’s license. All repos listed on our directory are sold to the public. Other listing sites only sell to auto dealers who plan on buying vehicles in bulk at wholesale prices, which is why they require a special license. 

Feel free to browse our database at any time. It’s free and easy to use! If you find vehicles that you want to bid on or want more information on, you’ll have far more access by upgrading to RepoFinder Pro. With month-to-month subscriptions and a low fee, you have nothing to lose! 

man shopping for cars

Do I Need a Dealer’s License to Buy Repossessions?

If you’re interested in buying a repossessed vehicle for sale, you might be wondering if you need a dealer’s license to do so. Depending on who you buy the repo from, it’s possible that they may require a dealer’s license. But, not every repo seller does.

RepoFinder.com is a nationwide directory of banks and credit unions that sell repossessions to the public. You do NOT need a dealer’s license to buy any of the vehicles listed on our site. Let’s learn more about what a dealer’s license is, when you need it and why RepoFinder does not require one. 

What is a Dealer’s License? 

A car dealer’s license is required to start a dealership business. This license allows you to purchase new vehicles from car manufacturers and used vehicles from auto auctions. The benefit of having this license is that you can buy vehicles on a large scale. So, if you wanted to purchase ten vehicles from a repo auction, you could do so with a dealer’s license. 

To obtain a dealer’s license, you need proof of a federal tax identification number and evidence of your company’s name and location. Additionally, you need proof of insurance to cover all of the vehicles you plan to sell at your dealership. 

Why Would Someone Use a Dealer’s License to Buy Repos? 

Repossessed cars, trucks and recreational vehicles are hot. They are sold at highly discounted prices because the banks and credit unions are trying to recoup their losses. It’s not uncommon for repos to need some basic maintenance and repairs, as many haven’t received this from their owners. But, they tend to be in decent condition with few major problems. 

For this reason, the dealerships love getting repos. They can purchase the cars in bulk at a discounted rate, fix them up and sell them for as much as any other used car on the lot. This is why some repo listing sites and auctions require a dealer’s license. 

Does RepoFinder Require a Dealer’s License? 

RepoFinder sells repossessed vehicles to the public, so you do not need a dealer’s license to purchase a vehicle through our repo listing site. However, it’s important to know that each bank and credit union has different processes for selling repos. Therefore, you’ll want to visit each individual site to know what you need to purchase a vehicle.

For example, some banks will make you go through the bidding process while others allow immediate purchases. We do recommend working with banks that let you see the vehicle before you sign anything. Once you sign the paperwork, the car is yours whether it drives or not. 

RepoFinder.com makes it easy to shop for repossessions in your area. Check back often, as new repossessions are being added all the time! 

parking lot

What Do Banks Do with Repossessed Vehicles?

Most people who buy cars and trucks borrow money from the bank to do so. This means that they don’t own the vehicle free and clear, even though it’s theirs to drive around and maintain. If they stop making their monthly payments, the lender can take the vehicle away from them. This is often done without warning. Lenders might send a driver to get the car or take it away with a tow truck. 

Even though lenders don’t tell people when they’re coming to pick up the car, it’s not a surprise. When borrowing money from a lender, you have to agree to specific terms. This includes making your payments on time and maintaining insurance. If you don’t meet these requirements, the bank has the right to take the vehicle away. 

So, where do these vehicles go once they are taken by the bank? Surely they don’t sit in the parking lot! Let’s learn more about where repossessions go and how people like you can benefit from them. 

Where Repo Cars and Trucks Go 

When the bank comes to collect a car, truck, boat, etc. that is behind on payments, they often bring them to third-party storage facilities. These facilities specialize in managing the repossession and storage of repos. In some cases, however, the banks provide their own storage. 

Regardless of where the repo is being stored, the banks will hold it there until they list it for sale. In the meantime, they hope that the original owner makes payments and takes back the vehicle. If the owner cannot do that, the car is listed for sale. Lenders might sell the car to a dealership, while others organize auctions or list the vehicles on their website where private sellers can place a bid. 

How Repos Benefit the General Public 

The goal for the lender is to recoup some of their losses. This isn’t always possible, though, because repos are sold for a heavily reduced price. If the lender wants to recoup more of their losses, they will try to collect payment from the original owner – this “loss” does not get passed onto the new buyer. That said, the lender is responsible for selling the car at a reasonable market price. 

Here are some of the ways that repossessed vehicles help out the general public:

  • Affordable prices. Cars are expensive and not everyone can afford a new car payment. Repos are sold at low prices, allowing people to get a good vehicle at an affordable price. The affordability of these vehicles also makes them great for teens and college students and older adults who don’t drive much. 
  • Safe, reliable cars. There is a stigma that repo cars aren’t good cars, but this isn’t the case. Older vehicles are often paid off. It’s the newer vehicles that people have trouble affording and end up defaulting on their loan (average car loans are between 2 and 6 years). In reality, repos are often newer cars that are in good condition. 
  • Less waste. Rather than abandoning repossessed vehicles, they are sold through auction sites and dealerships to people who need them. Furthermore, it may be more environmentally friendly to drive a used car because it has less carbon dioxide emissions. 

Ready to check out the repossessions in your area? Visit RepoFinder.com, click on your state and find the banks, lenders and credit unions that are selling repossessed vehicles at great prices! 

used car for cheap

How to Find a Used Car for Under 10K

According to Experian, the average car price for 2019 tops $34,000! That’s a lot of money for a vehicle, especially when you start factoring in all the costs associated with having a car – insurance payments, oil changes, gas fill-ups, tire replacements, etc. 

Whether you’re on a tight budget or are purchasing a car for a young driver, paying over $30k might not seem reasonable. Fortunately, there are ways to get a dependable vehicle for $10k or less. You might have to wait longer, but the right car will come along. 

Browse Repossessions 

One of the best ways to find a cheap used car is to look at the repossessions in your area. Check with banks and credit unions for a complete list. If you do a simple search online, you’ll probably end up looking at dealerships that are selling so-called repos. You’ll end up paying more for these vehicles, so stick to local banks, lenders and credit unions. You can find a full list of repos in your state by visiting RepoFinder.com

Know How to Negotiate 

Negotiations can save you a few hundred dollars or more on a used car. The key is to do your research and know what the car sells for so that you can be an effective negotiator. If you’re interested in a repo car, you’ll find that many banks and lenders are open to negotiations. They’re looking to move repos as quickly as possible so they can get them off their books. A fair, reasonable offer is a win-win for both of you. 

Shop at the Right Time 

Some times of the year are better than others to shop for a car. Generally speaking, it’s best to shop late in the year and late in the month. Car dealerships have sales quotas they have to meet, which typically break down to monthly, quarterly and yearly sales goals. In order to reach these goals, dealerships may push harder to get cars sold at the end of a month, which means lower prices and better negotiations for buyers. 

Do Your Research 

Always do your research when shopping for used vehicles, whether they be “for sale by owner” or repossessions from your local credit union. Find out what the car is worth, as some makes/models have a low resale value. Others have reoccurring defects, hard-to-find parts or costly maintenance that will have you spending a lot more than $10k in the first year. It’s better to pay more initially and get a great car in the long run. 

With average car loans around $30k, it’s no wonder why many people are getting savvier with their vehicle purchases. There’s no reason to spend this much money if all you need is a clean, reliable car to get you to and from where you need to go. RepoFinder.com has a full list of banks, lenders and credit unions in your area with repo inventory. Browse our list and see what you can find for $10k or under! 

college student

5 Reasons Why Repo Cars are Great for College Students

Do you have a college student who’s begging to have a car? With the increasing costs of college tuition and everything that comes with it, it’s no wonder why buying a vehicle is the last thing you want to do. But, there are practical reasons why some college students need a vehicle, such as getting to and from work or sports practice. 

Fortunately, there is a solution to your dilemma: a repossessed vehicle. These used cars are a great pick for college students and other young drivers. Here are five reasons why. 

  1. Repos are reasonably priced. 

Repossessions have been taken away by the lender or bank. They want to recoup their losses as quickly as possible, which allows you to land a great deal on a used car. Use RepoFinder.com to find repossessions in your area. We recommend buying directly from the lender – not a dealership or third party. Buying direct is cheapest, and you may even be able to purchase the vehicle without financing. 

  1. You won’t mind leaving it parked on campus. 

If your student comes to college with a car, they won’t get a heated, covered parking space. The vehicle will be left out in various parking lots or on the sides of streets. It may be borrowed or used to transport friends. Repos are not always in poor condition, but many of them have been well-loved. You won’t mind if it gets a few dings along the way. 

  1. …Or they sit in your driveway.

Perhaps you want to purchase a used vehicle for your student to use when they come home. If the car will be sitting on your driveway while your child is away at college, a repossession is a great option. Again, the used car will probably already have some dents and dings, so it can sit outside without you worrying. When your child does come home from college, they’ll have a safe car to drive.

  1. Your insurance rates will be lower. 

Car insurance rates are typically lower with repossessions. Because these cars aren’t new, they are cheaper to insure. And, if you choose to buy the vehicle without financing, you don’t have to get full coverage. You can get the basic insurance in your state and save money on your monthly premiums. 

  1. They’re not beaters. 

Lastly, repossessed vehicles are not beaters. In fact, many are new and in great condition! This means that your college student can have a car that they’re proud of and start working toward more responsibility by making monthly payments, paying for oil changes, etc. It’s a win-win for everyone in the household.

To browse repossessions in your area, visit RepoFinder.com. It’s free and updated regularly, so check back often for new repos that you can bid on.

retired woman on bench

Why Retirees Should Consider Repo Cars

Each year, thousands of people buy repossessed trucks, cars and recreational vehicles because of their affordability. Many repos are in good condition and sold at a fair price, allowing buyers to pay in full for the vehicle or finance a small amount. But, repos are not just reserved for young people with little to put down or car enthusiasts who love getting a good deal. They are also a great option for retirees.

Once retired and living off savings, people have a different perspective when making purchase decisions. If you’re currently retired and living off a fixed income, you may want to consider a repo for your primary or second vehicle. Here are the reasons why these used vehicles make a great option for retirees. 

Affordable Monthly Payments 

The most obvious benefit to repos is that they are affordable. How much they cost depends on the condition they are in and what the previous owner owed on their loan. Banks and lenders try to recoup their losses, but there is always room for negotiation. That’s why it’s important to do your homework, look up Kelley Blue Book prices and know what you should be paying for a particular vehicle. 

In general, repos sell for 25 to 40 percent of a similar car’s value. This means that you can walk away with a lower car payment than if you were to buy new or lease. And, if you choose to buy the car outright, you won’t have a car payment at all. This usually isn’t an option with new and used cars, but it can be with a repo. 

Service and Warranty Plans May Be Intact 

Many repossessions are in good working condition, as they were being used and driven up until they were taken away. If you can land a repo that’s new, the service and warranty plans may still be intact. While you won’t get a warranty with the bank or lender, the existing warranties that came with the vehicle can transfer to a new owner. 

Greater Flexibility with Car Choices 

When you were working, driving the kids around, etc., you may have been limited on the types of vehicles you could drive. Today, you probably don’t need that minivan with built-in tablets and sliding doors. You may only need a vehicle for practical purposes – getting from Point A to Point B. This opens up many possibilities. For example, you can buy a repo that’s in good condition but has a lot of miles. 

As you can see, repo cars are worth considering for retirees. They are affordable and do the job of providing you with reliable transportation. Before buying a repo, always do your research and inspect the car. We recommend bringing along someone who knows cars if you don’t. To browse the repo vehicles in your state, visit RepoFinder.com today. 

checking for used car problems

Used Car Problems You’ll Want to Avoid

Buying a used vehicle can be a stressful experience, especially when you’re not sure what to look for. Things get even more complicated with repossessions because they do not come with a warranty. Whatever problems the repo has will become yours to fix. Many issues can be fixed but there are some you’ll want to avoid. 

To ensure you are making a good decision, always inspect the vehicle you’re going to bid on and take a friend with you, preferably someone who understands cars. This way, you have a second set of eyes and ears picking up on things you might miss. Below are used car problems we recommend avoiding. 

Inoperative Gauges or Warning Lights 

Make sure the warning lights and gauges work properly. You’ll need these lights to tell you if something in the car needs immediate attention. If you see the lights come on, this means they’re working, though you probably need to address an issue like low tire pressure, low oil pressure or power steering problems. 

Major Structural Damage 

Minor body damage that has been professionally repaired shouldn’t be a big deal. But major body damage is a different issue. Damage from car accidents that bend the frame or structure can be difficult and expensive to repair. Even if you were to get them fixed, there’s a possibility that you and your passengers wouldn’t be properly protected in a car crash. Bottom line: avoid repos with major body damage. 

Flood Damage 

Another type of damage to avoid is flood damage. Rising water can be just as damaging as a severe crash because it can create rust and mold in the interior. Aside from damaging the carpeting, insulation and upholstery, water can also cause corrosion in the electrical connections. Some signs to look for include mold, rust and mud in unlikely places.

Missing Titles 

As long as you purchase the repo from a reputable seller, you should have no problem getting the title. The bank, lender or credit union that owns the vehicle will release the title once you pay for the vehicle. However, we do not recommend buying a repo without the title, even if it seems like a good deal. Otherwise, there’s always a chance that the true owner could come back and claim the car. 

The best way to avoid bringing home a used car with lots of problems is by inspecting it before buying it. Bring along a mechanic, or at least someone who knows a lot about cars. This way, you can look over the vehicle and make sure nothing obvious stands out. To shop for repossessions in your area, visit RepoFinder.com

fixing a common car problem

Common Car Problems You Can Fix on Your Own

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When buying a used car, there’s always a chance that you’ll inherit some problems. Most car buyers are aware of this but recognize they’re getting a much lower price on the vehicle than if they were to buy it new. The hope is that any problems that do turn up will be minor and easy/inexpensive to fix. 

Even though used cars don’t have the same warranties as new cars, dealerships will often provide a limited warranty on some or all of the vehicle’s components. When buying a repossession, this is not the case. You buy the car “as-is” and that’s that. Whatever problems the vehicle has will become yours. 

This is not to say that all repossessed cars, trucks and RVs have problems. Many are actually in great condition and only require light cleaning and routine maintenance. Below are the most common car problems you can fix on your own. Don’t let them scare you out of a great repo purchase! 

Replace Dead Battery 

If the repo you’re inspecting isn’t running, it might need a new battery. Batteries are reasonable and can be replaced on your own. Here are a few ways to tell if the battery is dead or close to dying: 

  • The engine cranks but doesn’t start. 
  • The car starts but is sluggish. 
  • The engine starts but the interior lights don’t turn on. 
  • Jumpstarting the battery works. 

If it’s not the battery giving the repo vehicle trouble, it could be the alternator, which will need to be fixed by a professional. Alternators run from around $500 to $1,000. 

Install New Bulbs 

It’s possible that the repo will have non-working lights. You can change out any non-headlight bulbs (e.g., license plate, side marker, fog lights) by removing the retaining screws, pulling out the old bulbs and replacing them with new bulbs. Car headlights can be more difficult to remove and replace, but referring to the owner’s manual will likely provide you with the direction you need. 

Switch Out the Air Filter 

Air filters trap dirt and debris that could damage internal engine parts. They are often checked and replaced during routine oil changes, though it’s very likely that the previous owner didn’t do this. Inspect the air filter during your initial inspection. If it blocks 50% or more light, it will need to be replaced. 

Touch Up Chipped Paint 

It’s common for repossessed vehicles to have chipped auto paint from sitting outdoors. Fortunately, it’s easy to touch up auto paint without it looking shoddy. Clean the chip with wax and grease remover (purchased from the auto store). When dry, dip the applicator in paint and dab it onto the chip. After a month, apply wax to the area. The vehicle will look good as new! 

Fix a Leaky Sunroof

If the repo you’re interested in has a leaky sunroof, don’t be discouraged. It’s probably leaking because the sunroof drains are clogged. To fix this, locate the sunroof drains and clean out any debris that is stuck in them. There is protocol to follow on this, as you don’t want to damage the drain tubes. But, it’s an easy job you can do yourself. 

These are just some of the things you can fix on your own, so you shouldn’t let them deter you from an otherwise good repo purchase. To browse repossessions in your area, visit RepoFinder.com and click on your state!

repo car bought direct from a lender

Buying a Repo? Make Sure it’s Direct from a Lender

There are different ways to buy a repossession, such as through a physical auction house, an online auction service or a lender. At RepoFinder.com, we always recommend buying repos direct from lenders, banks and credit unions. You can find a better deal this way because lenders are motivated to sell. Also, they rarely put money into repos, so you’re not paying for things you can do yourself, like cleaning the vehicle or making minor repairs. 

It’s not always clear cut who you are buying from when purchasing a repossession. For example, some dealerships advertise repo cars and trucks. They aren’t lying – the vehicles really were repossessed. However, the dealership most likely put money into cleaning up and restoring the vehicle, which means the vehicle has a markup to it. 

So, how can you make sure that you’re buying a repo directly from the lender? Here are a few suggestions to keep in mind.

Go Straight to the Source – Lender Websites 

If you do a general search for repossessions, advertisements and sponsored content will pop up first. This content is dominated by dealerships and auction sites that are trying to sell repos for a profit. They’ve likely taken the repos off the hands of lenders and credit unions, then prepped, repaired and added their markup to it. 

The better option is to look for repossessions directly on the websites of lenders, banks and credit unions. This means that you have to visit each site independently, which will take more time. But at least you know that you’re looking at true repos.  

Not sure which lenders and banks to start with? No worries! RepoFinder.com has taken care of the sorting for you. Visit our site, choose the state you live in and that’s it! You’ll be given a list of the banks and credit unions in your area that sell repos. Their inventory changes often, so be sure to check back frequently for newly added repossessions. 

Be Patient in Your Research 

While some people have landed a great repo car right away, this isn’t the norm. It usually takes time and patience to find a decent car at the right price. This is why we recommend starting early and taking your time finding a repossession. 

In some cases, you might find that a car you really like is going for more than its NADA or Kelley Blue Book value. This usually happens because more is owed to the bank than what the vehicle is worth. You should have some negotiating power in these instances, but it’s also possible that the bank will be firm. So, give yourself time to find the right vehicle. 

RepoFinder.com makes it easy to find repossessions directly from banks and credit unions. Browse our site today to find a repo car or truck that fits your needs and budget.