Chicago suburbs, by flikr user Scorpions and Centaurs
American student loan debt totals nearly one trillion dollars. These loans break down to about $23,300 owed by each borrower. Changing Gears has been reporting on the effects of that debt and what it takes to pay it off.
We want to know how student debt affects big purchasing decisions. Are you ready to buy a house? And if so, can you get a mortgage?
Tell us how student debt affects your housing plans.
Earlier today, we brought you the story of Buy Here-Pay Here dealerships in the Midwest. These are places where the dealer finances car loans himself (BHPH is sometimes called in-house financing.).
Basically, he is the bank and he takes on all the risk. That’s especially true because BHPH dealers cater to people with bad credit – deep subprime customers who typically have credit scores less than 550.
It’s not hard to find people who are out of luck, out of work, and grateful for the opportunity to finance a car at all. But that opportunity comes at a steep price, which is either folded in or added on in the form of interest rates up to 25%.
So here are six tips to consider if you’re thinking about Buy Here-Pay Here:
Polk, the Southfield, Mich., firm that tracks automobile data, says the average age of cars and trucks has reached a new high. The average car on the road is now 11.1 years old, while the average truck is 10.4 years old.
Photo by Lester Graham / Michigan Radio
Overall, the average vehicle is now 10.8 years old, compared with 10.6 years in 2011. Polk bases its data on vehicle registrations, rather than sales numbers.
It’s a number that everyone in Detroit and the auto industry elsewhere watches closely, since it helps gauge how many future vehicles might be built.
What’s behind the longevity? Continue reading