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A record number of Americans are grappling with $1,000 car payments and many drivers can’t keep pace. Here are 4 ways to stay ahead


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With a record 17.5% of American consumers paying at least $1,000 a month for their cars, it’s no surprise that drivers are starting to fall behind on their bills.

The percentage of borrowers with “subprime” auto loans that were at least 60 days late on their car payments hit 6.11% in October 2023. This exceeds the record set just prior to the pandemic, according to Fitch.

Multiple factors led to this. The Federal Reserve’s aggressive interest hate rikes led to higher prices, with the consumer price index increasing by more than 14% over the last two years.

Meanwhile, credit card debt has increased, while savings have decreased nationwide.

To get ahead financially, here are four things you might want to consider.

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  • Stop getting ripped off by your auto insurer
  • A December report by Insurify predicated that Americans would pay 16% more for car insurance — that’s almost $1900 — in 2023. It seems that Insurify wasn’t too far off since an August 2023 report from the Bureau of Labor statistics says vehicle insurance increased by 19% in August year-over-year.
  • But, depending on which state you live in, driving history and the make and model of your car, there are some insurers that can offer you as little as $22 a month for insurance.
  • Thanks to SmartFinancial, comparing multiple insurance companies is easier than ever.
  • When you sign up for SmartFinancial * , they’ll ask you some quick questions that help determine your insurance. Things like your age, your home state, the type of vehicle you drive and your driving record.
  • Based on your answers, they’ll instantly sort through many insurance companies to find you the lowest prices available in your area.
  • SmartFinancial will also find any discounts you may be eligible for * . For example, if your car has airbags or daytime running lights, you might be able to get a cheaper rate.
  • In the same amount of time it takes to watch a cat video on YouTube, you could save yourself almost $40 a month*

You’re probably overpaying for this, too

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Premiums on home insurance have been on the rise as well. The average price of a home insurance policy in 2023 is $1,516 — nearly 40% higher than it was 12 years ago.

And on top of that, if your home state is prone to severe weather or natural disasters, you could pay up to $1,700 more than the average each year.

If you want to get the best deal possible on coverage for your home — no matter where you live — you’ll need to comparison shop multiple home insurance companies.

Using SmartFinancial to compare rates is free and ridiculously simple*.

You just answer some quick questions about yourself and the type of insurance you want, and SmartFinancial will instantly sort through over 200 insurers to find you the best deals available in your area*.

Read More : 6 Subtle Signs That Someone Is Wealthy

Increase your quarterly income

Other than saving on expenses, you can also improve your financial situation by collecting passive income.

For that, real estate is usually the first asset to come to mind. And these days, you don’t even need to buy a house to start investing in real estate.

First National Realty Partners * allows individual investors to access institutional-quality commercial real estate investments. With FNRP, investors own a share of properties leased by national brands like Whole Foods, CVS, Kroger and Walmart, providing a stable quarterly income without the worry of tenant costs cutting into your bottom line.

You’ll get the insight and benefits of ownership, while FNRP handles the hard work, including vetting, management and due diligence necessary to create a successful real estate investment relationship.

If you’re a non-accredited investor, Fundrise * lets you invest in dozens of high-end properties without having to cough up your life savings or play landlord. With as little as $100, you can start building a real estate portfolio right away.

Make use of your spare change

You don’t need a lump sum of money saved up to start investing. In fact, you can begin by simply making better use of your digital nickels and dimes.

Check out Acorns, an app that takes the leftover change from your everyday purchases and invests it for your future.

When you make a purchase on your credit or debit card, Acorns automatically rounds up the price to the nearest dollar and places the excess — the coins that would wind up in your pocket if you were paying cash — into a smart investment portfolio.

Your spare change may not seem like much, but look at this math: $2.50 worth of daily round-ups add up to $900 per year — and that’s before your savings earn money in the market*.

Signing up for Acorns takes less than five minutes, and you can start saving automatically for just $3 a month. You can even upgrade to add a retirement account and investment accounts for your kids — all boosted by your spare change.

Plus, if you sign up with this special link * , Acorns will add $10 to your account as soon as you make your first investment.

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