One of the dirty secrets of the car insurance industry is that premiums for the same driver for the same coverage can vary by hundreds of dollars from company to company. Each insurer does its own math; that’s why it pays to compare car insurance quotes .
If you like your carrier, review the dozens of discounts it may have available. You could get 10% off or more for things like making good grades, completing defensive driving training or going at least three years without an accident.
The same is true with homeowners insurance . Shopping around can save you 10% to 15%, as can discounts for things like having a home security system, staying claim-free or being a nonsmoker. And many insurers offer discounts for buying both car and homeowners or renters policies with them.
17. Consolidate your debt
If you’re struggling to keep up with multiple debt payments, you may be able to consolidate those balances – from credit cards, medical bills, store financing or other charges – and lower your payments with a personal loan . Refinancing $5,000 worth of debt from a 10% interest rate to 5% could save you more than $800 in interest if you need to carry the balance for at least four years.
If you have good credit, you can do a balance transfer of high-interest credit card debt onto a new card with a 0% introductory interest rate. Make sure you can pay off the balance before the rate balloons at the end of the introductory period.
18. Refinance your student loans
Borrowers are benefiting from low interest rates and a competitive private student loan refinancing market, and refinancing options are available for people with a range of credit scores. It’s worth checking into whether a refinance could save you money – especially when the average borrower through NerdWallet’s refi payday loans North Canton Ohio platform can save more than $11,000.
19. Change your cell phone plan
If you value money in your pocket over buying a new fancy phone, look into cell phone providers that offer rock-bottom rates. FreedomPop offers basic voice and data service for free. The catch with these services is you often have to buy a phone outright or bring your own. So maybe you don’t want to sell your old phone quite yet. You can find a prepaid cell phone plan for $30 a month or less as well.
4 fast-cash sources to avoid
Payday loans: Payday loans are short-term loans that are made to people who have a source of income and a bank account and that are repaid in a lump sum. Your credit isn’t a factor, but if you already have outstanding payday loans, you may not be able to get another one. Interest is usually expressed as a “fee” – $15 per $100 borrowed is typical. But that can be a trap: Borrowers typically have the option to pay another fee instead of settling the loan, and over time, those fees add up. A typical $15 fee on a two-week loan amounts to nearly 400% interest on an annual basis.
Payday installment loans: Available at stores and online, these payday installment loans stretch repayment terms to as long as three years. You don’t need good credit; the products often are advertised as no-credit-check installment loans . But you typically must meet the requirements of a payday loan: a paycheck and a bank account. Interest charges mount quickly: A $2,000, three-year loan at 400% APR will end up costing over $16,000.
Auto title loans: These short-term loans – in places where they’re legal – require you to hand over the title to your vehicle as collateral for the debt. They’re often compared to payday loans, and the interest rates are comparable, but they can be even worse: If you don’t repay, the lender can seize your car.