Declaration of Financial Independence

Happy Independence Day Montana!

On this day in 1776 the Declaration of Independence was signed declaring the original 13 colonies free from the reign of the British Empire. This new nation became known as the United States of America. Since then, every 4th of July we celebrate our freedom and independence with fireworks, parades, concerts, and BBQs.

As Americans we value our independence: the independence to vote how we want, to practice or not practice a religion of our choice, to write what we want, to voice what we want, and to subscribe to any type of lifestyle we desire; basically, to live our life the way we want.

At Randash Auto, we want all Montanans to live free of bad credit.  This is our mission and focus.  Our financing program is design to help people improve their bad credit score or establish good credit.  The freedom from bad credit allows Montanans to access better mortgage rates, to live in the home of their choice, and to receive other benefits associated with a good credit score. 

We understand the stress of credit card bills is overwhelming. Or the feeling of “one step forward, two steps back” due to an unexpected trip to the emergency room, or the frustration of being denied a car loan or approval for a home rental because of bad credit. This does not feel like freedom. This is not what we want for our lives as Montanans.

Declaration of Financial Independence

What can you do to start gaining some financial freedom?  There are various opinions of what the best ways are to financial freedom, but overall these are the most common practices to lead to financial independence


  • Create a weekly and monthly budget, and stick to it!  This is probably the HARDEST part to becoming financially free.  This requires focus like Paul Revere and his midnight ride to warn the militia of the invading British troops: no stopping, no resting, only keeping your head down and focused on the road. To achieve financial freedom a person must focus on their budget and keep riding that budget. 


  • No splurges.  If you have money left over from your budget, or find $20 in a coat pocket, or get a bonus at work, the extra money goes into your savings account.  Becoming financially free requires serious discipline and there is no opportunity for splurging.  


  •  Pay off debt.  According to Dave Ramsey, a popular financial advisor, pay off the smallest debt first. He advises to first save $1,000 before your tackle debt, because you don’t want an unexpected expense kill your progress. Then once the smallest debt is paid off, move to the next one and try to build momentum to keep you focused and motivated.

 

  • Create more than one revenue stream.  Living pay check to pay check is not freedom.  Any type of side income you create will help you achieve financial independence, whether it is selling goods on craigslist, making crafts to sell at farmer’s market, hosting a garage sale, or becoming skilled in another trade you can do in the off hours of your fulltime job.  The more revenue streams you create, the faster you get out of debt, and the faster you move to financial freedom.
 
  • Change your mindset.  One of the biggest, and most underrated, skill to becoming financially free is your mindset. You need to stop working for your money and instead put your money to work for you.  Most rich people are actually very frugal and invest their money verses spending it.  Get control of how you think of money and how you handle money. You need to control your money and not have money control you. Do the research and get creative on how you can earn more money and how to leverage it to make it work for you.

 

We know, because we have been there.

Randash Auto knows from personal experience the constraints of bad credit.  In fact our founder, at one point in his life was broke, in debt and his business was failing.  No one was willing to give him the second chance he needed to fix his financial situation.  We understand that people don’t intend on getting themselves into a bad credit situation: life happens. Come see us today, if you want to take a step toward freeing yourself of bad credit.  Our finance partner Credit Care Financial helps those who have been denied a car loan by traditional lenders.  We want you to celebrate the 4th of July in 2018 with more financial freedom! You can do it! 

Credit Scores Explained


Bozeman Dealership Demystifies the “One” Credit Score Myth

 

Do you know your credit score? Even if you think you do, there may be more to it than you know. That’s because there are a multitude of credit scores available from different credit bureaus.  Here is a list of the various credit scores:

 

  • ·         FICO Credit Score

Let’s start with the one most everyone knows. Your FICO score. This is the most widely used credit score, and it’s from the 3 main credit agencies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. It ranges from a low of 300 to a high of 850. When you’re shopping for a car, your FICO credit score is typically pulled.

 

  • ·         VantageScore Credit Score

There’s also the VantageScore. This model competes with FICO scores, and also ranges from 300 to 850. It’s used only about 10% of the time compared to FICO.

 

  • ·         PLUS Credit Score

Another credit score you may not know is PLUS score. It’s simply based on what’s in your Experian credit report and ranges from 330 to 830. It’s strictly for educational purposes.

 

  • ·         TransRisk Credit Score

Like Experian, TransUnion has their own credit score. It’s called the Trans Union New Account score. This one is unique because it doesn’t take into account your entire account history. It ranges from 300 to 850.   To read more on this score, click here for pdf.

 

  • ·         Equifax Credit Score

Finally, there’s the Equifax score. This, of course, is Equifax’s version of your credit score. It ranges from 280 to 850, and is purely an educational tool.

 

Review your Credit Report


Now that you know about the various credit scores and reporting sources this next step is very important, you must review your credit report for accuracy and fraud.  Consumers are allowed one free credit report from each of the three major bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion and a great site to begin this review process is at www.annualcreditreport.com. Your credit report is your report card on how well you manage your credit and debt thus indicating whether or not lenders will approve you for a loan.  Your credit history makes up your credit score and you don’t want someone else’s bad credit history damaging your credit report.  Review your credit report and if you have negative information on it and it is true then it stays, but if this negative information is not yours then contact the credit bureau to start the dispute process.

 

In conclusion, these three numbers, your credit score, affect major aspects of your life and family from home mortgages and auto loans to credit cards and landlord agreements.  Understanding your credit score and improving it is something the Credit Superheroes at Randash Auto are here to help you with. If you are need of a new pre-owned car and your credit score is less than perfect, we have various finance programs to get you closer to owning the car you desire.



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If you need help establishing your credit give us a call at (406)522-9900 and we can discuss your options!

Avoid These 4 Credit Killers at All Cost


Avoid These 4 Credit Killers at All Cost

We all love a good thriller movie.  Maybe the couple is camping in the dark forest and don’t know about the drowning that happened at Crystal Lake.  Or maybe a new person moves into the neighborhood that seems a bit odd.  Or what about the teenagers who stumble upon an abandoned spooky house and they go inside and never come out.  Whatever the plot is, a good thriller entails a dark and scary place, innocent people and a suspicious person who turns out to be the killer! But watching a killer act in a movie is a whole lot different than watching your credit get killed.


There are 4 credit score killers you want to seriously avoid. These situations are dangerous and can cause your credit score to plummet to its demise.

 

First, you want to avoid letting an account go delinquent. This is when you simply ignore a bill, refuse to pay it and let it go to collections. By letting it go delinquent, it tells the credit bureaus that you are a credit risk. As a result, your credit score starts falling.  If you are short on the money to pay the energy bill there are state and local programs that can help you set up payment plans or receive payment assistance to avoid delinquency.  A good website to learn about these programs is: www.needhelppayingbills.com.

 

2.      The second situation to avoid is maxing out your credit card. Don’t do that! If you must raise your credit limit, do so. But try not to max your credit card out. Maxing out your credit cards seriously kill your credit score. If you even exceed your credit limit, you can receive a penalty fee.  A penalty fee is the highest rate a credit card company can charge you according to their terms and conditions and this rate can be as high as 30%!  A 30% interest rate on top of a maxed out credit card is a scary situation that will surely send a person to their grave.

 

3.      The third situation is to avoid picking up a negative public record at all costs. Some examples include going through foreclosure, having a bankruptcy, or a judgment or lien against you, or even a wage garnishment. All of these can slaughter your credit like Freddy Krueger in “Nightmare on Elm Street”.

 

4.      Finally the last credit killer is identity theft. Yes, identity theft is not be your fault, but until your name is cleared, this curse will murder your credit score. According to Experian.com protect yourself from being the victim of identity theft by:

 

a.      not using one password for all financial accounts,

b.      never giving out personal information over the phone

c.       regularly checking your credit report

d.      destroying all physical records of credit cards and bank statements

 

Protect your identity and protect your credit score by being diligent with your personal information and monitoring all financial activity.

 

Scared of Your Bad Credit?

Don’t let a scary credit score keep you from driving a quality pre-owned car.  At Randash Auto, we work with many people whose credit has suffered due to a credit killer. We want Montanans to enjoy the thrill of watching scary movies, and to be scared of their bad credit or no credit.  Visit us today in Bozeman to see how we can help you get financed for a quality pre-owned vehicle and start to turn your scary, bad credit to a sweet, good kitty cat.



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If you need help establishing your credit give us a call at (406)522-9900 and we can discuss your options!

How can I Buy a Car When I am Self-Employed?


How can I Buy a Car When I am Self-Employed?


How a Bozeman car dealer helps local entrepreneurs.

Great job, you achieved the American dream; you own your own business! You should feel proud of your hard work, entrepreneurial spirit and being able to call yourself “boss”.  You’re in control of your future and that’s empowering. In fact, did you know approximately 30% of Americans are self-employed or work for someone who is self-employed? 


Owning your own business has many perks such as: your hard work and sweat equity goes back into your investment; you are able to attend your children’s school plays; and you have the flexibility to work from home.  Probably the most gratifying perk is that you are building your dream and ultimately serving your community.


But as you also know, this privilege comes with its cost and one cost might be your credit.  Building a dream requires risk, and your credit cards may have taken the brunt of this construction with overextended credit lines or missed payments.  Getting behind on loan payments, because a client backed out of their contract or didn’t pay for their end of the deal, can easily derail your once good and stable credit. 


Applause please.

What you have achieved by opening a business is remarkable and the work it took to get there should be applauded; instead you are getting denied.


People who are self-employed and have a low credit score can be denied a car loan because:

  1.  They don’t have the steady income of a typical employer-paid job
  2. They don’t have proof of income they are generating
  3. Trying to secure financing for a car is challenging because typical lenders and banks see your situation as risky.  Even though they may say congratulations, their actions of loan denial may say something else.


Increase Your Odds of Approval

To help you get approved for a car loan we recommend you:

  1. Keep your tax returns.

Regardless if you are self-employed or work for an employer, you should make it a habit of keeping your tax returns up to three years. If you are looking to take a loan take the last two years of your tax returns to the bank or car dealer to discuss a loan.

  1. Be careful with tax deductions.

Owning a business requires expenses. Yes, you can deduct various expenses on your taxes; however, the lower your taxable income the lower amount you will be approved for a car loan. Be prudent on how many expenses you actually use on your tax deductions, and to increase your chances of approval on a car loan, it's best to demonstrate a monthly taxable income between  $1,500-$1,800, or higher.

  1. Have a balanced debt-to-income ratio.

It's important to manage your finances and have a balanced debt-to-income (DTI) ratio. Your DTI is how much money you make each month to have more money you owe/pay in debt each month. Generally, your DTI should be at or below 36%. For example, if you make $1,500 a month then your debt expenses should be $540 or less each month. If you can show this type of balanced DTI ratio, you will increase your chance of securing a good loan.


Still being denied a car loan? Visit Randash Auto Center!

Randash Auto is very supportive of business owners.  If you are self-employed and you need a car and a car loan, come see us as Randash Auto. When you visit us, bring in your tax returns and financial statements, and provide both your personal and business credit scores.  Your stated income helps get you approved for a loan, but the more proof of income you offer the better the loan rate you can receive.  Also, at Randash Auto we make sure your car payments work within your budget, so you can continue being a successful business owner. Stop by the dealership today!



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If you need help establishing your credit give us a call at (406)522-9900 and we can discuss your options.

Credit Mix is the Trick to Good Credit


Credit Mix is the Trick to Good Credit – Bozeman Car Dealer Explains Ways to Improve your Credit Score. 

Maybe it seems like you’re doing everything right when it comes to your credit. You’re paying your bills on time, and sometimes even early, you’re keeping your credit balances low, and you are not opening new credit cards, and avoiding hard inquires for your credit score.  But it seems like your credit score is stuck in a swamp. It’s either staying the same or continuing to slowly fall over time and that’s frustrating.  After all, you’ve have been to be so good with managing your credit.   What else can you do?

 

There’s often one overlooked factor that affects your credit score. It’s your mix of credit, also called your credit mix.  Your credit mix refers to the various types of accounts that make up your credit report.  You see, the credit bureaus want to see that you can handle a variety of credit products such as credit cards, auto loans, mortgages and student loans.  Have only one type of credit such as credit cards or only student loans is not “bad”; it’s just not helping you improve your credit score.

 

Fixed Credit and Revolving Credit

Fixed credit means a loan of set (fixed) payment or installment each month, such as student loans, a car payment and a mortgage payment.  Revolving credit means a loan that doesn’t have a set payment amount and you decide the amount to pay each month such as with credit cards and home equity lines. .

 

Lenders and the credit bureaus such as FICO, prefer you have a mix of revolving and fixed credit. If you tend to have all installment loans or all revolving credit, it may be reflected in a lower credit score.  According to FICO, your credit mix makes up about 10% of your FICO score.  This may not feel like a large factor in your credit score, but this mix demonstrates you can manage multiple forms of debt and you don’t get behind of mismanage all the various lines or credit you have.  Managing just one type of debt is fine, but proving you can manage a mix of credit and debt is the real testament that you can be trusted to pay on your loans, thus getting access to more loans with good interest rates.

 

If your goal is to build good credit take action to obtain some revolving credit and some fixed payment loans.  This diversity on your credit report helps your score which helps you achieve better financing options, but with having more accounts to manage you must be prudent to never miss a payment.

 

The Credit Superheroes

Credit Care Financial teams up with Randash Auto Center to help people with low credit or no credit get approved for a car loan.  A car loan is a type of fixed credit and the team at Credit Care teaches clients how to make this car loan fix their bad credit or establish credit.  They truly are the superheroes in helping Randash Auto clients fix their credit.  If you are need a different or newer car but can’t get financing, visit Randash Auto and Credit Care in Bozeman to learn about your options.


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If you need help establishing your credit give us a call at (406)522-9900 and we can discuss your options!

Helping Montana Grads Understand Credit Cards


After high school graduation, you get to experience the freedom of being on your own for the first time.  You are finally an adult.  You get your own apartment. Your parents are no longer telling you what to do, where to go, and how to spend your money.  You are on your own to figure out how you want to live and what time to come home.  This is also the time for you to start establishing and building your credit, or, what happens unfortunately to many people after high school, damaging and destroying your credit.

 

Pizza, prizes and more!

Credit card companies know most young adults are inexperience with managing credit cards and some will swoop in like hawks to present credit card offers that seem too good to turn down. They’ll may even offer a little incentive to sign up with their card on the spot such as offering free pizza or t-shirt or a discounted gym membership, but don’t fall for their bribes. Why?  Here’s what can happen when you accept many of these offers:

·         Each credit card inquiry is a ding on your credit report

·         It’s easy to lose track of how many credit cards you have opened you could miss a payment

·         You may have minimum spending requirements per cards which adds up to a lot of spending that you may not have the finances to cover

·         A rapid increase in opening various credit cards can be interpreted by creditors that you are in desperate need for cash fast

·         Applying for multiple credit cards raises a red flag and indicates you are a “risk” to extend or approve credit

·         A “risky” credit status can affect your job prospects and residence situation because hiring managers and landlords review your credit report

 

But you also know, having credit cards is part of the formula for a healthy mix of credit.  So how should a person balance this delicate principle?  With the freedom of adulthood there also comes restraint and restriction to managing your finances.  You must discipline yourself with good credit behavior.

 

Wise Ways to Handle Credit Cards

1.      One wise way is to open a secured credit card with a small credit limit of $500 or $1000 and use this card to pay for gas or small expenses. Then you pay the balance in full each month. The longer you make on-time payments, the higher your credit score will climb.

 

2.      Another wise approach to credit cards is to research the type of credit card that is best suited for your lifestyle and financial situation.  Each credit card has an ideal customer profile and you should familiarize yourself with the various profiles to find that one that fits you best. You can do this research at www.creditcards.com or www.bankrate.com.

 

3.      Keep your credit utilization ratio between 20-10%.  What does this mean?  Each credit card has a credit limit and you want your balance to have a ratio of 20-10% to the credit limit.  For example, if you have a credit card with a limit of $1,000 with a balance of $500 your utilization is rate is at 50% which is too high.  By keeping your utilization rate at 20% and below you will be able to pay your bill in full each month and keep your credit score climbing.

 

4.      Monitor your credit card statements for fraud.  Every month get in the habit of reviewing your credit card statements to verify the charges listed are your charges.  Also, this habit of reviewing your statements each month keeps you in check with your budget.

 

Mature Your Financial Being

Randash Auto Center and Credit Care Financial congratulate you on entering this next chapter of your life.  Young adulthood is an exciting time to figure out who are, decide what you want to do for and start building your credit.  Educate yourself on the various credit card offers and know the pros and cons to each one.  As a young adult you are mature enough to make your life’s decisions and to mature your financial being includes managing your credit cards wisely. 



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If you need help establishing your credit give us a call at (406)522-9900 and we can discuss your options!