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Advise about credit card debt and auto loan

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New Member

Advise about credit card debt and auto loan

Hello all. I'd like to get your feedback regarding my situation and the best route for me to take. I will need to finance a new (used) car soon, as my old truck is on her last legs (blown head I think). I'm ok for right now, as I'm borrowing a relative's car, but that won't last forever (another few months maybe). I'll be staying in the $10-15k price range. And I'll have about 2k for down payment.

 

As for income, I only make about $30k a year. I work for the public school system, and while the benefits are great, the pay is not. Espcecially here in overcrowded Central FL where wages are pretty low. I also make some extra money on the side doing computer repair work, buying/selling on CL, etc. That might equate to ~$5k a year. 

 

Credit Report:

  • 700-725ish scores according to CreditKarma (I know this can be WAY off)
  • Average Age 9Yrs 4 Mos.
  • Payment History 99.4% (only have one 30 day late from ~2 years ago with Penfed which I tried to get removed via Goodwill letter, but was unsuccessful)
  • Derogatory Marks 0 (I spent a LOT of time cleaning my credit report up 4-5 years ago and tried to stay on top of it)
  • Total Accounts 17
  • Utilization (this is what's killing my score) 45-50%

Debt:

  • Mortgage - 100k loan, 90k balance, ~150-160k value. I got lucky on this one and bought in 2011 when prices were dirt cheap.
  • Penfed CC - 10k limit, 90% utilization, 10.5% APR
  • Alliant CU CC - 5k limit, 70% utilization, 9.74 APR
  • Home Depot CC - 5k limit, 15% utilization, 23% APR
  • BofA CC - 10k limit, 0% utilization (This is my mom's card. I'm an authorized user. I never use this account. It just helps a lot with utilization and age of accounts) 
  • Student loans - 2k balance, 6.5% APR

 

I've been reading about personal loans from Sofi, Lending Tree, etc. and wondering if it would be a good idea to take one out to pay off my CC's and student loan? I went ahead and did the pre-appoval for Sofi which I was offered...

  • 3 year, up to 15k, 11.24% APR, $480 mo payment
  • 5 year, up to 21k, 12.24% APR, $330 mo payment (I'd only use 15k though)

 

Would it be beneficial for me to do a personal loan to pay off the CC and student loan debt, so that it boosts my credit score to get a better auto loan interest rate? Or does it impact me adversly when the auto loan underwriters see the personal loan? Also, *if* a personal loan is the recommended way to go, I have no problem cutting up my cards except one (which will go in a drawer for emergencies only), until the personal loan is paid off. I also know that a mortgage refi is an option, but I'm a little hesitent about going that route. Any other suggestions are welcome. Thanks in advance.

 

6 REPLIES
New Member

Re: Advise about credit card debt and auto loan

One more question as well. *If* a personal loan is the recommended way to go, how often does Sofi recalculate APR/rates? I know the ~12% rate I'm getting isn't all that great as compared to my CC APR's. However, I recently made a couple payments to the CC's that should drop the utilization down a few points. I don't think those have been reflected on my CR yet though. But I'd like to re-apply again in a few weeks to see if I can get the Sofi APR lower.

Message 2 of 7
New Member

Re: Advise about credit card debt and auto loan

Anyone? 

Message 3 of 7
Valued Contributor

Re: Advise about credit card debt and auto loan

Can you pay down your cards at all? As you've observed, that would be a big help.

 

Also, you should get your FICO scores. You can sign up for a $1 free trial through CreditCheck Total. Cancel within the trial period. There are people here who grab a free trial frequently and can fill you in if you have questions.

 

Finally, FICO dings you for loans obtained through finance companies. It's much better to go through a bank or credit union if you're able to. Don't discount that possibility until you've investigated it.

Message 4 of 7
Valued Contributor

Re: Advise about credit card debt and auto loan

I think Sofi generally will SP you again in 30 days..
Message 5 of 7
Community Leader
Valued Contributor

Re: Advise about credit card debt and auto loan

I know you prefer not to go the mortgage route, but I would at least look into it because I think you might find a short term 5 year second mortgage will have a better rate.  You would be better off to consolidate to a rate lower than what you are paying now.  Are you a member of NFCU or any credit union?



EQ 679 EXP 700 TU 763
Message 6 of 7
Established Contributor

Re: Advise about credit card debt and auto loan


medicgrrl wrote:

I know you prefer not to go the mortgage route, but I would at least look into it because I think you might find a short term 5 year second mortgage will have a better rate.  You would be better off to consolidate to a rate lower than what you are paying now.  Are you a member of NFCU or any credit union?


I agree with medicgrrl on this one. Not only will the rate be better, you will also be able to write off the interest. Kill two birds with one stone so-to-speak.



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Message 7 of 7