How to Get out of an Underwater Car Loan

car-784887_640It sounds strange, right? An underwater car loan brings to mind a car going off a bridge and slowly sinking.

Well, an underwater car loan does sink you in debt. The term “underwater” refers to owing more than your car is worth.

Say you borrowed $25,000 to purchase a car five years ago. You still owe $15,000. But when you looked up the price, it was only worth $9,500. You’re underwater, to the tune of $5,500. Even if you sold your car tomorrow, you wouldn’t get anywhere near what you owe.

More and more car owners owe more than their vehicles are worth. When new car buyers at dealerships offer their current cars for trade-in, 32 percent are underwater. That’s the highest percentage since the number began to be compiled in the early 2000s.

Why are an increasing number of people underwater on vehicle loans? Many factors contribute. Car prices are very expensive. Dealers and other lenders are allowing low or no down payments. Since cars depreciate 20% in price the minute you drive them off the lot, you can be underwater before you get the car home if you don’t have a 20% down payment.

Longer loan terms also play a role. A $25,000 car may leave you making payments for many years. This is especially true if you are a single person. You have less disposable income than a couple, and may have wanted a low monthly payment. That’s great for your monthly budget. Not so great for putting a dent in your car loan.

Car depreciation also plays a role in the rise in underwater car loans. By the third year, your car has lost 50 percent of its value. So your $25,000 car is worth about $12,500 in year three. You may still have about $15,000 to $20,000 left on your loan.

Underwater loans can hamper your ability to save and buy a house or start a family. They can hamper your ability to go eat pizza, for that matter.

So how do you get out of an underwater car loan? Here are four methods.

  1. Keep Your Car

The most prudent way to get out from an underwater loan is simply to keep your car. Many cars today will keep going past the 100,000-mile mark and beyond quite nicely as long as you keep up the maintenance. At some point, if you are in a fender-bender, you may find the car is worth less than the cost to fix it. But until then, keep on drivin’. Put the loan payments to good use.

  1. Increase Your Monthly Payments

You can pay down any type of debt faster by increasing the monthly payments. Vehicle loan debt is no exception. Go through your budget and determine if you can hike the payments. If you can double the amount of your payment, it can pay down your debt nicely. But even $25 more per month will help.

  1. Refinance Your Debt

You may be able to refinance your debt. If you can get a lower interest rate, your payments will be lower. This depends on your lender’s policies on refinancing car loan debt. It’s worth trying, though, especially if your credit score is good to excellent. Credit unions may be the best candidates for this strategy.

  1. Roll Over Your Loan

Some of those new car buyers with underwater trade-ins may have been rolling over their loans. This requires a lender who will give you a loan for a new vehicle and roll over the outstanding amount from your previous car into that amount. In other words, if you are buying a $25,000 car and have $4,000 still outstanding, your total loan is $29,000.

  1. Sell Your Car and Borrow the Difference

This is recommended for people whose goal is to decrease their overall debt, not solely to get out from an underwater loan. Say you owe $17,000 on a car now worth $12,000. You’re $5,000 underwater. You sell the car and pay off $12,000 of your car loan. Then you pay down the $5,000. The downside? You will no longer have the car. It is workable if you either don’t need a car or can use another car.

  1. Borrow on a Credit Card

If you have offers for 0 percent or low-interest rate credit cards, it may be a good idea to borrow the amount you need on the credit card. Then pay off either the underwater amount or the entire car loan with the credit card money. Note that this will only make financial sense if the interest rate on the credit card is less than the one on your vehicle.

It’s no fun being one of the many folks underwater on a car loan. But you are not alone. These steps can get you out of being underwater.

Anum Yoon is a millennial money blogger who runs Current on Currency. You can find her work in various sites across the web, sharing her thoughts and views on money and life.

How Much is My Hair Worth?

how much is my hair worth

Saving money can be difficult. Oftentimes we look for new and innovative ways to make some extra cash to stash away. I’ve been trying to save up cash for a substantial emergency fund but have found it difficult. So, I started looking for new ways to make money.

I stumbled upon plenty of articles about strange ways to make money, how to make money selling your body and even how to sell your hair. The last one was what caught my interest though. You can sell hair? How much is my hair worth?

What Kind of Hair Can You Sell?

First, you’ve got to have nice hair to be able sell it. No one will want to buy damaged hair. However, if you’ve got 10 (or more) inches to chop off and your hair is healthy, you’re in business! Most buyers are looking for “virgin” hair which means it has never been dyed, washed too much or subjected to high temperatures. So, how can you sell your hair and how much is your hair worth?

How to Sell Your Hair

Selling your hair is actually pretty easy, especially considering what an odd task it seems to be. As previously stated, you’ll need to cut at least 10 inches off your head. You can do this yourself or get it cut professionally (Great Clips cuts it for free if you cut 10+ inches).

Now that you’ve chopped your hair you can go about selling it online. You can go to Buy and Sell Hair and Online Hair Affair to post your hair for sale. Decide which site you’d like to make the listing on. The listing should include details like the length, texture, hair care habits and information about your lifestyle. You’ll pay a one-time listing fee for your posting but it’ll be worth it once you make a ton of cash from selling your hair.

How Much is My Hair Worth?

Purchasing long, healthy hair is actually pretty expensive. On the sites mentioned above, hair has been priced in the high hundreds and even low thousands. You can always compare your hair to other listings on the site as well to determine a fair price for your hair. If you’re still wondering “how much is my hair worth,” you can use this calculator to determine how much you should sell your hair for.

As I said earlier, I am not able to sell my hair for extra cash because I’ve dyed it quite a bit. However, it turns out that it is a legitimate way to make money (and quite a bit of it). If you’re looking for a way to make extra money and have 10 inches to spare, sell you hair!

Would you sell your hair for cash?

Photo: Richard foster

Have You Used The Walmart Savings Catcher App?

Walmart Savings Catcher
Just about everyone has a Walmart or a Walmart Supercenter nearby. In fact, 8 percent of every dollar spent in America is spent at Walmart. The store is known for having great deals and saving people quite a lot of money, however, many Walmart shoppers don’t know they could be saving even more cash with the Walmart Savings Catcher app.

The Walmart Savings Catcher App

You know that QR code at the bottom of each of your Walmart receipts? Well, you can scan that using the Walmart Savings Catcher app and save yourself a ton of money! The app takes the information from your receipt and finds the same items in your area at different stores. If other stores are offering the item for less, you receive the difference on your Walmart account. After you’ve scanned the QR code it may take up to 72 hours for your savings to be posted to your account but you’ll be able to use the cash you saved during your next trip to Walmart (or stash it for a larger Walmart purchase).

The Walmart Savings Catcher app is a free app available on iPhone and Android. Once you’ve downloaded it you can scan the QR code on your receipt and begin saving money.

How to Use Walmart Savings Catcher

The app is pretty user-friendly (from my personal experience). Simply go to Google Play or the App Store and download the app and begin scanning your receipts.

The QR code that you’ll be scanning is located at the bottom of your Walmart receipt. It is easiest to do this right after you’ve been shopping but you can scan receipts up to a week after you’ve made your purchases. For example, if you made your purchase on February 1 you can scan the QR code in the Walmart Savings Catcher app up until February 8.

Once you’ve gotten your receipts scanned into the app, Walmart Savings Catcher does the rest. You’ll receive a notification when you receive cash from the Savings Catcher and you can have it added to an eGift card to use in-store or online.

More Information About Savings Catcher

Walmart Savings Catcher
Now that you’re caught up on what the Walmart Savings Catcher app does and how you use it, there are a few other things people commonly ask about the app. According to the Walmart Savings Catcher website, these are some of the most frequently asked questions:

  • What type of promotions does Savings Catcher include? The Walmart Savings Catcher honors any BOGO deals that has the price is listed in the competitor’s ad. It will also honor any sales prices from other top retail stores (no locally-owned stores though). However, it will not honor any BOGO deals without a price listed in the ad, percentage off entire section deals (ex. 40% off all women’s clothes), closeout sales or competitor-specific deals.
  • Can you use Savings Catcher online? No. The app can only be used for in-store purchases.
  • Can you still use coupons? Yes! In fact, Walmart compares the price before the coupon is applied.

Customer Service for the Walmart Savings Catcher App

Although I’ve not had any issues with the Walmart Savings Catcher app, some people have had some trouble. There have been a number of reviews citing issues with the app. Worst of all, it seems if you need to troubleshoot the app, customer service seems to be scarce. Here are a few tips on how to troubleshoot the app:

  • If the app is down you can access your personal Savings Catcher account on the website. If you need to upload a receipt you will have to manually enter the code.
  • Delete the app and re-download (sometimes you have to do this to get it to work).
  • Give it some time. Servers can get crowded. Wait a little while and the issue may resolve itself.
  • If you’d like to speak to a customer service rep about the app, you can call the customer service line at 866-224-1663. or start a chat online.

Even with its hiccups the Walmart Savings Catcher app is totally worth it. Give it a try! You’ll likely recognize savings the first time you try it.

Have you tried the Walmart Savings Catcher app? 

Photos: The Motley Fool and Deal Wise Mommy

Tai Lopez’s Net Worth

Tai Lopez's net worth

Have you heard of Tai Lopez? He’s joined the ranks of other popular internet sensations out there and he’s become a millionaire doing so.

The bulk of Lopez’s earnings have stemmed from his use of social media and work he’s done on the web, however, there’s been some speculation as to whether he’s a scam or not. His videos are viewed more than 200 million times a year and he’s been able to make millions of dollars. So, what is Tai Lopez’s net worth and how is he making all the money?

What is Tai Lopez’s Net Worth?

The exact amount of Tai Lopez’s net worth is difficult to find. It is estimated to be between $3 million and $7 million, not shabby for someone whose got his claim to fame from a Youtube series. A simple Google search won’t give you a lot of information on the internet star though and it isn’t really known how he’s come across all that cash.

Lopez has been doing what he can to keep his personal life, including his finances and even his age, under wraps. Even the names of his businesses that are earning him millions haven’t ever been released. There are a few things we do know about Tai Lopez though.

Tai Lopez’s net worth has stemmed from a number of things, including:

Advertising on his Youtube channel His “67 Steps” audiobook Online courses about social media You have to pay for his good content (the free stuff isn’t great)

How is Tai Lopez Making Millions?

Tai Lopez's net worth

Now that you have a basic idea about who Tai Lopez is and theories on how he makes his money we come to the juicier part of discussion. Many people have debated as to whether or not Tai Lopez is a scam. So, is he?

It is difficult for internet entrepreneurs like Lopez. He seemingly became popular overnight, which can make people hesitant on whether or not they can trust them. Think about it, some of the most successful businesses are successful because they’ve been around and been reliable for years. The answer, however, is that Tai Lopez is not a scam. Many sources claim that Lopez is a legitimate business man with a great social media strategy. In fact, many of his SoMe students have made their money back and then some from his courses.

Internet stars are popping up every day but not every one of them reaches Tai Lopez’s net worth. The virtual entrepreneur isn’t going to be slowing down any time soon either. His net worth will likely continue to increase in the coming years as web-based businesses continue to grow.

What do you think of Tai Lopez’s net worth and his business? Do you think it is a scam?

Photos: Youtube and Google