Tips for Finding a Lost Bank Account

With all of the demands on your time, you could lose track of an old bank account. While that might sound outlandish, it can happen to the best of us.

In California alone, there is $9 billion worth of unclaimed property—this includes lost bank accounts, “uncashed checks, insurance policy money, stocks, safe deposit boxes, and other unclaimed cash.”

Sometimes it’s your own account that you’ve forgotten about. Other times it can be an account you inherited after the death of a loved one. Whatever the reason, once you realize you’ve misplaced a bank account, you’ll likely want to track it down.

Finding Old Bank Accounts

If you’ve lost track of money that belongs to you, don’t panic. Here are a few potential ideas for how to find lost money in bank accounts. It might take a little leg work, but finding the unclaimed money due to you can be worth it.

If you’ve accessed the account within the past year, you might be able to recover the account directly from the bank. Exactly how to recover a lost bank account number will likely vary based on the financial institution. Your account information can be found on checks and often on old account statements.

If it’s been longer than a year, you might have to dig a little deeper to recover a lost bank account. The best place to start in a quest for unclaimed property is through your state of residence’s unclaimed property division, usually run through the state treasury department.

Each state will have its own rules and regulations for how individuals should go about proving ownership of the unclaimed money. Most of the time the process starts with filling out an online form. Generally, states will require substantial evidence that the money rightfully belongs to you.

The National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators operates MissingMoney.com, which is a multi-state directory that allows you to search by name for missing or unclaimed money. You could also search for missing money from a lost bank account on Unclaimed.org , which directs you to your state’s unclaimed property office.

If you belonged to a credit union in the past, it may be worth checking the unclaimed deposits listing run by the National Credit Union Administration.

Depending on the circumstances, you may need to provide proof of your address from decades past. If you’re claiming money on behalf of a deceased relative, you may need more than just a death certificate—sometimes a full probate court order is required. You could check with the local government to confirm the regulations in your state.

Be on the Lookout for Fraud

As you’re searching for lost bank accounts, you may find organizations that offer to find unclaimed money, generally for a fee somewhere between 10% and 20% of the amount recovered. AARP recommends avoiding any services that require payment upfront.

Be wary of any emails or letters you receive offering to return unclaimed property to you for a fee—these are generally scams.

If you encounter an organization or individual who claims to be a part of the government and offers to send you unclaimed money for a fee, these are also generally a scam. Government agencies will not contact individuals about unclaimed money nor will they charge a fee.

If you’re in need of assistance as you search for lost bank accounts, you could consider consulting your financial planner.

Some financial planners offer services to clients to help them look for unclaimed money that may be owed to them. Depending on the financial planner, these services may not even have an additional fee.

Other Sources of Unclaimed Money

Unclaimed money isn’t limited to lost bank accounts. There are a variety of reasons you could be missing money due to you—perhaps you switched jobs and lost track of a pension plan or 401(k). Maybe you forgot to update your address and missed a payment or tax refund.

Pension and Retirement Plans

If you previously worked for a company that offered a pension plan, you can search the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation’s unclaimed pension database .

For lost or missing retirement plan funds, you could check the National Registry of Unclaimed Retirement Benefits , which is operated by PenChecks Trust, one of the largest providers of retirement plan distribution services.

Tax Refunds

If you suspect you are owed a missing tax return, you could use the online resource Where’s My Refund? , which is operated by the IRS. To use the tool, you’ll need to know your Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, your filing status, and the exact amount of the refund.

The IRS recommends calling regarding a missing tax refund only when it has been more than 21 days since you e-filed or six weeks since you mailed in your tax return.

If you’re missing a tax return, know you are working on a deadline. You have just three years to claim a missing tax refund before the money becomes the permanent property of the U.S. government.

Rolling the Money Into Another Account

Once you’ve successfully tracked down your lost bank account or other unclaimed money, you might consider choosing a new bank or want to compare the different types of deposit accounts available to you.

Finding the right account for you is a personal choice. One option you could consider is a cash management account like SoFi Money®. SoFi Money offers easy money management and saving all in one.

With SoFi Money®, you’ll have instant access to your accounts anywhere you go. The account allows you to easily track your spending and savings so you can see your cash flow at any given moment.

And if you’re working toward a few savings goals simultaneously, you could set up individual financial vaults for each goal. Plus, there are absolutely no account fees (subject to change) associated with SoFi Money®.

As a SoFi member, you’ll also have access to other member benefits, like career counseling and the opportunity to speak one-on-one with a financial advisor who can help you create a personalized financial plan.

Want to make the most of your recently found money? Find out more about how a SoFi Money® account can help.


External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.
Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.
SoFi Money®
SoFi Money is a cash management account, which is a brokerage product, offered by SoFi Securities LLC, member FINRA / SIPC .
Neither SoFi nor its affiliates is a bank.

SOMN19087

Read more

How to Save Big with Senior Discounts

From wrinkles to brittle bones, we often hear about the negative aspects of aging. But getting older has its bright side, too. There’s the chance to enjoy travel and hobbies instead of working, and the wisdom that comes from life experience. And of course, there are senior discounts.

When people hear about senior discounts, they might imagine a hunched over person with gray hair hobbling to the local diner with a walker.

But you don’t have to be over 80 to save big. The senior discount age requirement can be as young as 55 or even 50. And the opportunities to economize go far beyond early bird specials, if you know where to look.

Saving money is a welcome proposition for people of any age, but it can be especially important as you get older. That’s because many seniors live on a limited income, whether a pension, Social Security, disability assistance, or distributions from retirement accounts.

At the same time, the cost of living keeps going up because of inflation. And with people living longer on average, retirement savings have to go farther than they ever have. If you’re on the younger side of the “senior” spectrum, every dollar you save can help you put more into your nest egg.

Common Senior Discounts

Here are some tips on the kinds of discounts out there and where to look for them:

Travel

Exploring the world is something many people look forward to in their retirement years. Good news—lots of senior citizen discounts apply when it comes to travel. Airlines such as American Airlines, Southwest, United, and Delta offer lower fares for older passengers for some destinations and markets.

Your best bet is to call the airlines directly to check for available deals. British Airways also offers discounts on flights and vacation packages for members of AARP, which anyone aged 50 and over can join .

Members of AARP also get discounts on car rentals with Budget Rent A Car (10-30% off), Avis (10-30% off), Zipcar (43% discount on membership), and Payless Car Rental (discount of 5% and up).

Hertz separately offers discounts of up to 20% to travelers who are 50 or older, and Alamo provides deals through its Senior Circle program. If you prefer to travel by bus or train, Amtrak gives 15% off on most domestic trains to riders 62 and older and 10% off on cross-border trains to travelers 60 and over. Passengers who are 62 and over can also ask for 5% off on Greyhound bus trips.

Seniors can also save on many cruises. Royal Caribbean and Carnival offers special rates on certain routes for those 55 and older. AARP members can also get deals with river cruises through Uniworld, Collette, and Grand European Travel, as well as Caribbean cruises with MSC.

Hotels are another way older customers can pay less for travel. Best Western offers up to 15% off for guests 55 and up. Motel 6 and Choice Hotels give 10% off to those 60 and older, and Hampton Inn gives the same to guests 65 and older (or AARP members). Marriott offers at least 15% off to those 62 and older, and IHG gives an undisclosed deal to those in the same cohort.

AARP members also get 10% off at Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, which includes Super 8, Days Inn, and La Quinta. Plus, they get 10% off at Ramada Worldwide, Comfort Inn, and Cambria Hotels, as well as 5% off at Hilton Hotels and Resorts.

Seniors can also save while traveling closer to home. Many city transit systems offer free or reduced fares for older residents.

San Francisco’s Muni system is free for riders 65 and older who meet income limits. Chicago, New York, Washington, D.C., and many other cities also offer lower fares to older passengers.

Shopping

As a senior, you can also save big with many retailers. Clothing stores that offer discounts to older shoppers include Belk, Goodwill, Kohl’s, Ross and Christopher & Banks.

In some cases, discounts only apply on certain days. Beyond apparel, seniors can get discounts on purchases at craft stores, including Michaels and Joann, and grocery stores like Bi-Lo and Bealls.

AARP members also get deals with UPS, LensCrafters, and various flower delivery services. Walgreens gives seniors 55 or older up to 20% off on the first Tuesday of the month, or anytime for AARP members.

Rite Aid does the same (except for prescriptions) on the first Wednesday of the month to those 65 and older. Don’t forget to check for discounts with local stores, as well — they’re not always advertised.

Eating Out

Seniors can eat for less at a variety of restaurants, sometimes on specific days. The exact age when the benefit kicks in and the type of discount can vary, but the average is around 10% . Popular chains such as A&W, Applebee’s, Ben & Jerry’s, Chili’s, and Shoney’s offer 10% off at most locations.

The perks at Chili’s, Dairy Queen, IHOP, TCBY, and Whataburger kick in at age 55 , and Krispy Kreme and Steak ‘n Shake offer discounts to customers as young as 50.

Other restaurants — including Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., Dunkin Donuts, and Denny’s — give 10% off to members of AARP . Places like Arby’s, Back Yard Burgers, Dairy Queen, KFC, McDonald’s, and Taco Bell throw in a free soft drink or coffee for seniors.

Keep in mind that discounts might vary by location at restaurants that are franchises. And make sure you’re clear on what the discount includes (many don’t cover alcohol, for example). Don’t feel like you have to limit yourself to the big chains—many local restaurants also offer discounts or early bird specials.

Recreation

There are lots of ways to save as a senior in your leisure time. Many movie theaters, including AMC, Cinemark, Landmark Theatres and Showcase Cinemas, offer discounts, with some only applying for certain days or times.

Adults age 62 and older can enjoy the great outdoors for less with a Senior Pass that will get them into more than 2,000 national parks and other recreational sites overseen by six federal agencies.

The pass, which costs $20 for a year or $80 for a lifetime, may also include discounts on camping, swimming, and boat launch fees.

Museums are another place that offer reduced fares for seniors, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles. Zoos, such as the Bronx Zoo, and gyms are also places seniors can enjoy for less.

Services

Senior discounts extend the necessities of life, too. AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon all offer deals on monthly phone plans for older subscribers. Jiffy Lube, as well as some regional auto repair providers, offers savings to seniors at some locations.

Certain utility providers also give discounts to older residents on things like garbage collection, water, and power; income limits are sometimes a prerequisite. Some car insurance companies also slash premiums for older riders, and Great Clips and Supercuts offer cheaper haircuts to seniors at some locations.

Saving the Smart Way with SoFi Money

Senior discounts can be a great way to cut your expenses, but having more in the bank is just as helpful when it comes to achieving your goals. Opening a cash management account with SoFi Money®, where you can spend, save, and earn all in one place, could be an easy way to put your cash to work for you.

There are no account fees (subject to change) and you can use your phone to make deposits or transfers, and you can send money instantly to other SoFi Money customers. It takes just minutes to open an account online.

Making the Most of Your Golden Years

Every penny counts when you’re a senior. Saving big through senior discounts—and earning as much as possible in your accounts—means more of your hard-earned retirement income stays in your pocket. So you can use the cash for what you really want to do in your golden years.

Want to keep your cash in place that pays? Open a cash management account with SoFi Money today.


External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.
Third Party Brand Mentions: No brands or products mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.
SoFi Money®
SoFi Money is a cash management account, which is a brokerage product, offered by SoFi Securities LLC, member FINRA / SIPC .
Neither SoFi nor its affiliates is a bank.

SOMN19013

Read more

Bank Accounts for College Students

College students most likely want to make smart choices when it comes to money management in order to set themselves up for future financial success.

A favorable account for college students typically depends on personal financial needs, but the bank itself might be beneficial in more ways than imaginable.

While specific student bank accounts do exist, a beneficial account for any student will be the one that benefits them and their money the most.

How Do I Choose a Bank?

There are four main factors that might be helpful to research when choosing a new bank: fees, interest rates, location, and online access.

Something students may want to avoid is a bank that charges monthly fees for student or traditional checking accounts or requires a minimum deposit to open a new account.

Another fee to watch for is the overdraft fee, which currently averages just over $33 . For students who may not keep a lot of money in a checking account, an overdraft fee could end up being more than the total account balance.

One type of fee that might be forgotten until monthly reconciliation time is the ATM fee. Somesome banks and financial institutions will refund up to a certain amount (or sometimes all) of ATM fees each month when using another bank’s machine to withdraw cash.

If the evening’s entertainment is somewhere that only accepts cash, having an easy option to access funds could mean the difference between having fun with friends or having to sit the night out.

College students might also want to consider researching interest rates. If building up a savings account for post-college expenses or loan payments is a priority, it could be helpful to look into a bank that offers high-yield savings accounts, which typically earn a higher interest rate than checking accounts.

College location might be one of the biggest determining factors when looking for a bank. For students attending college away from home, researching banks near campus may turn up some convenient options.

Many banks and credit unions have local branches. Having an ATM nearby might also be an important factor to consider.

Some colleges may offer an on-campus bank branch or a few ATMs. Choosing a well-known bank with locations across the country may offer an advantage to being able to find a physical branch, but if that isn’t an important factor, considering which banks are near campus could be an alternative.

Another piece of the puzzle, and one that some students might seek for convenience, is online banking. Especially when choosing a bank that does not have a location near school, making sure the bank’s app or website is up to snuff could make banking transactions that much more convenient.

Some banks may offer mobile check deposit through an app, which could mean even fewer trips to a physical bank branch.

How Many Bank Accounts Should I Have?

Learning to manage money is part of becoming an adult. College students are most likely living on their own for the first time and might have little to no experience opening and using a bank account.

Having just one checking and one savings account might simplify keeping track of funds earmarked for spending and those meant for savings.

For students interested in saving for longer-term goals—maybe tucking money away for future student loan payments or emergency funds—opening another savings account could be one strategy to help reduce the temptation to think of that as available, spendable money.

Having too many accounts could become a problem if keeping track of those separate accounts becomes too much to handle on top of an already busy school schedule.

What Kind of Account Works For College Students?

Besides looking into which financial institution might work well for college students, something else to consider might be the type of institution to do business with.

Credit unions, for instance, tend to be smaller but still offer many of the same services as a big bank. They may also offer more flexibility and lower fees.

As nonprofits, credit unions are designed to serve their members, and typically pay higher interest rates on deposits and offer a more personalized experience and better customer service.

If you don’t need a brick-and-mortar bank location every two blocks, a credit union could be the right fit for college. Some credit unions also offer online and mobile banking options.

Plus, if you are using a credit union savings account, odds are you will earn higher interest, and avoid some of those other larger bank fees along the way.

Though some bigger financial institutions do offer special, college student-only accounts with lower fees or certain bonuses to help maintain a healthy budget as well.

A money management account could be another option to amp up savings and avoid fees. SoFi Money® is a cash management account that enables members to spend, save, and earn an interest rate all in one place without paying account fees.

Funds can be managed and accessed from anywhere—complete with mobile transfers, photo check deposit, and customer service available through the app.

College students looking for a flexible money management experience might find SoFi Money® to be the right option. Learn more.


External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.
SoFi Money®
SoFi Money is a cash management account, which is a brokerage product, offered by SoFi Securities LLC, member FINRA / SIPC .
Neither SoFi nor its affiliates is a bank.

SOMN19082

Read more

Pros & Cons of Living Cash-Only

When it’s time to split the bill at dinner with your friends, most people these days throw down a stack of credit cards. The world at large seems to be moving in the direction of plastic. About 30% of American adults say they don’t use cash at all to buy things in a typical week, according to a Pew Research Center survey.

Meanwhile, the survey found that only 18% of respondents use cash for nearly all of their purchases. Some stores and restaurants have stopped accepting cash entirely, in some cases inviting municipal bans on the practice. Countries like Sweden, Denmark, and Norway are transitioning to become nearly cashless societies.

But is the move away from cash really a good thing? Some people have decided to buck the trend and go in the opposite direction, opting for a cash-only existence. And when it comes to your own personal spending, is it better to rely on debit and credit cards or turn primarily to cash?

There’s no one answer to these questions—both methods come with advantages and drawbacks. If you’re trying to figure out whether living on a cash-only basis makes sense, here are the different factors you may want to consider:

Pros of Cash-Only Living

Spending money the old-fashioned way can offer some significant perks. Here are some benefits that come with using cash for all your transactions:

It Can Help You Budget and Save

Waving a credit card around can sometimes feel like magic. It can be easy to forget that you’re spending real money and to end up charging more than you intend. Using cash can help some people stick to a budget, supporting them to get out of debt or save more.

With cash, you can take out the amount you have to spend for a certain period of time, and when you’re out of bills, you’re done. Or you can set aside the amount you’ve budgeted in envelopes labeled with categories like “rent,” “food,” and “entertainment.” Using only the cash you’ve withdrawn can keep you from spending outside of those limits.

You Can Maintain Your Privacy and Security

Every debit or credit card transaction leaves a digital paper trail. You may not be keen on the idea of corporations keeping a record of everything you buy and when you buy it. An even more troubling concern is the potential for data leaks and identity theft.

In 2017, 143 million people had confidential personal information compromised in the data breach at Equifax, a major credit reporting agency. Identity theft, whether through digital loopholes, a lost credit card, or other means, is a widespread problem.

In 2018, more than 14 million Americans fell victim to identity theft. Using only cash is likely to make you less vulnerable to these security threats, since you will have less of a digital presence.

It’s Convenient

Sure, swiping a credit card can be faster than counting coins. But unlike credit cards, cash is accepted nearly everywhere, especially with more U.S. cities expanding legislation to ban cashless stores.

Instead of figuring out how to split a restaurant bill multiple ways using credit cards, you can just pay what you owe.

You Can Avoid Interest and Fees

Credit cards often come with extra fees. Some retailers charge extra to use a credit card since they have to pay for the transaction. Many credit cards also come with annual fees. Sometimes these fees are waived during the promotional period and can sneak up on you later.

If you don’t pay your credit card balance in full, you’re likely to end up paying exponentially more thanks to high interest rates. As of May 2019, the average credit card interest rate was 17.85% . And if you’re tardy with making payments, you may owe late fees as well.

Cons of Cash-Only Living

Using cash only can also have risks and disadvantages. Here are some of the drawbacks:

It Comes With Costs

Many ATMs charge fees for withdrawing cash, which can be troublesome if you find yourself suddenly out of money and need to use an ATM outside of your own bank.

By using credit cards instead of depending on ATMs, you may be able to avoid those costs. There also may be times when you need to mail a check (such as for rent or utility bills), since mailing cash is risky. Postage charges, however slight, can add up.

It Has Security Concerns of Its Own

Keeping cash on your person or in your home comes with vulnerability. You could be a victim of theft or your cash could be destroyed in a disaster. With no record behind it, the money is as good as gone. On the other hand, you can report a lost or stolen credit card and dispute any fraudulent charges.

You Miss Out on Perks

Some credit cards come with benefits—cash back or rewards points that can be redeemed for travel or other items. So if you pay in cash, you could be missing out on free money.

Credit cards may also come with perks that go beyond the financial, such as fraud protection, no foreign exchange fees, discounts at certain retailers and restaurants, or insurance for travel or car rentals.

You Fail to Build Up a Credit History

There’s something ironic about the way lenders look at credit history: If you haven’t borrowed much in the past, lenders may be reluctant to lend to you now.

Opening a credit card account is one way you can build up a credit history (other forms of credit, such as student or car loans, count as well).

A strong credit score is based in part on the average age of your account (the older the better), as well as a history of paying your bills on time and low debt relative to the amount of credit available to you.

Your credit score is an important factor if you’d like to take out a loan in the future, such as an auto loan or mortgage. If you always pay in cash, you may have trouble showing that you have the credit history to qualify.

SoFi Money to Help Bridge the Gap

If you like to pay in cash but still want to earn a return, SoFi Money® may be the right option for you. This is a cash management account where you can spend, save, and earn all in one place.

Additionally, you’ll have access to unlimited ATM fee reimbursements all around the world and there are no account fees (subject to change).

Plus, you can complete transfers and deposits on your mobile phone or send money instantly to other SoFi Money users. It takes just 60 seconds to open an account online.

Spend cash conveniently while paying no account fees with SoFi Money.


External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.
Checking Your Rates: To check the rates and terms you may qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. A hard credit pull, which may impact your credit score, is required if you apply for a SoFi product after being pre-qualified.
SoFi Money®
SoFi Money is a cash management account, which is a brokerage product, offered by SoFi Securities LLC, member FINRA / SIPC .
Neither SoFi nor its affiliates is a bank.

SOMN19088

Read more

Can You Buy a Car with a Credit Card?

Here’s the short answer. Yes, you can buy a car with a credit card. The better question may be whether or not this is the best way for you to purchase your vehicle—and this post will take you through the pros and cons of this method of car buying, as well as provide information about how this process may go.

The reality is that not all car-buying processes where the purchasers use credit cards are alike. So, we’ll show how some are more financially-savvy than others. We’ll also share the average car financing amounts and APRs today, along with average monthly car payments.

As with most situations involving money, what’s right for you isn’t necessarily right for someone else. Factors that help to determine the best financing strategy for you include how much ready cash you have in the bank and your credit score. Finally, we’ll also discuss other strategies for financing the car you want.

So, if you find yourself asking this question—Can I buy a car with a credit card?—then we recommend you read this post to explore your options and decide what’s best for your financial situation.

Pros of Car Buying With a Credit Card

Under certain circumstances, using a credit card to buy a vehicle can be an excellent strategy to consider—for example, when you have the money in the bank to pay off the balance in full when your statement comes.

In this scenario, you’ll have a fast and easy way to purchase your car of choice and, depending upon the credit card you’ll use, you may earn reward points, something you wouldn’t get if you simply used a cashier’s check to buy the car.

Here’s another way that strategy can work: If you have a credit card with a zero percent interest rate for a certain period of time. This strategy, though, isn’t as foolproof as the one where you pay the balance off in full, for more than one reason.

First, if, for some reason, you can’t pay the balance off within the introductory no interest period (emergencies do happen!), then the card will revert to its regular rate, which may be quite high.

If that happens, the situation can go downhill from there, because some credit card companies will then charge the full interest rate on the entire purchase, not just on the remaining balance. So, in that case, nothing was free and you’ll end up paying a high interest rate on the total balance.

Cons of Car Buying With a Credit Card

The biggest con of this strategy is that credit card interest rates are typically high, probably much higher than other available options. And, let’s say that your strategy is to purchase the car on your current credit cards, then transfer the balance to a zero interest credit card.

Besides the challenges listed above about these kinds of credit cards, there may be another one added to the picture if you transfer balances: transfer balance fees. These fees can be as high as 5% and, on a $20,000 car, that’s $1,000.

Here’s something else to consider. Having different kinds of debt can actually help with your credit score, so using an installment loan to buy your car may be helpful from a credit perspective.

Now, let’s return to the original question.

Can You Use a Credit Card to Buy a Car? Sometimes, Yes.

You’ll first need to check with your car dealership to verify that they accept credit card purchases. If they do, which ones do they accept? Some dealerships will allow a certain amount of the purchase, say $5,000, to put be on a credit card.

What’s most important is that you’re clear about what’s allowed; to save time, find out before you get too far along in the negotiating process.

If you go to a dealer that won’t accept credit card purchases, or limits the amount, you’ll have to decide whether to pay another way or to go to another place that sells the car you want and allows credit card purchases.

If you’ve selected a car at a place that takes credit card payments, you’ll need to check your credit limits to make sure you’ve got enough on one card or if you’ll need to use multiple ones.

If you still don’t have enough, you could pay the difference with a cashier’s check and still reap some of the reward-point benefits available through credit card use.

Or you could ask credit card companies for an increase in your limits. Note that, with the latter strategy, it can take a few days for the increased limit to take effect.

It also makes sense to notify your credit card companies that you intend to use your credit cards to make a large purchase. That’s because, if you don’t regularly make large purchases on your credit cards, the transaction might get flagged as potentially fraudulent and could get declined.

Car Financing Options

First, you’ll likely negotiate the price of the car, trying to get the best price possible. Then, if you don’t plan to simply pay the car off in full in cash, it’s now time to finance the vehicle.

You can, as discussed above, use credit cards to purchase a car if the dealer allows that method. You can apply for car loans through the dealership and through lenders that offer loans that use vehicles as collateral.

Note that, when you take out a loan using the vehicle as collateral, the lender has the option of repossessing that asset if payments are not made as agreed upon. This is a secured type of loan.

Dealers often offer loans on payment plans of 36, 48, or 60 months in length. They are often able to get financing approved that same day, while banks and private lenders may offer better deals, as far as interest rates and terms.

Saving For Your Car With SoFi Money

If buying a car is in your future, a good move may be to start saving in an account like SoFi Money®. SoFi Money is a cash management account where you can save, spend, and earn all in one place.

There no account fees (subject to change), and you can easily create vaults within your SoFi Money account, each for its own purpose (like one for a car fund).

Get started with SoFi Money today to save for your dream car.


External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.
SoFi Money®
SoFi Money is a cash management account, which is a brokerage product, offered by SoFi Securities LLC, member FINRA / SIPC .
Neither SoFi nor its affiliates is a bank.

SOMN20005

Read more
TLS 1.2 Encrypted
Equal Housing Lender