It seems everytime I watch Clark Howard’s cable consumer show, I learn something helpful that I want to share with readers. This week’s edition was jam-packed with helpful goodies.
Here’s a sampling:
**A new rule goes into effect this week that allows mortgage lenders to do a last-minute credit report on home buyers or those refinancing their mortgages. So before closing, resist the urge to apply for instant credit to buy applicances, furniture and other big stuff for that new house. It will lower your credit score and could cost you the loan. Hold off on those purchases til after closing.
**When you buy a car, dealers make a profit on the financing not on the actual car sale. So don’t leave the financing entirely up to the dealer who could mark up loans, leaving you with high rates. Instead , before you buy, pre-qualify for a car loan at a credit union (which typically offers the lowest rates, anyway), a bank or online lender. With that information in hand, you’ll know whether the car dealer is offering you a good deal.
**It’ll cost more to fly this summer. The big, established airlines are tacking on $20 to $60 in extra fees on round-trip tickets this summer. That’s because they’re considering the whole summer as peak travel time, same as Christmas and Thanksgiving. It’ll come out to $10 to $30 more each way . Travelers may get a break flying on Tuesdays and Wednesdays – the least traveled days – with just an extra $10 fee.
Now, if you’re feeling smug, because you knew all this already, give yourself an "A" for consumer smarts… or maybe you just watched the same show I did.