NEW YORK (8/9/10)--Exempting car dealerships from the new consumer financial protection bureau amounts to painting a big red target on consumers' backs, but consumers can take four steps to protect their wallets, said MSN Money
columnist Liz Pulliam Weston in her "Money Central" column Thursday. Credit unions figure prominently among the four steps. Pulliam Weston outlaws the tricks that dealers can pull on consumers. They include:
* Marking up the interest rate; * Larding the contract with junk fees; * Talking consumers into a more expensive car than they can afford; * Baiting and switching; and * Playing yo-yo with the contract (calling after the consumer takes possession of the new car and changing the loan terms).
"Because the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection won't have your back, you'll need to approach the car-buying transaction as the minefield that it is," Pulliam Weston wrote. The best approach, she said, includes applying for financing from a credit union or a community bank. "Don't walk onto a car lot until you have a loan approval in hand. You might want to start with your local credit union, because it's member-owned and tends to charge lower rates and fees." The other steps include pulling credit reports and checking FICO fees, setting limits on one's borrowing and saying no to the yo-yo. For the full article, use the link.