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First Investors Financial Services Review

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Finding the right auto loan can be a time-consuming process. To find the best option for you, researching multiple companies is a must. Luckily, we’ve done the research on First Investors Financial Services for you. Whether you are looking for an auto loan or want to refinance an existing one, First Investors Financial Services might be an option — especially if you have bad credit or a history of bankruptcies that are limiting your lender choices.

About First Investors Financial Services

First Investors Financial Services has been around since 1988. Based in Atlanta, Georgia, the company can service accounts in all 50 states, plus Washington, D.C., though it may not issue loans in every state.

The company works with both auto dealers and consumers to provide lending opportunities. As a borrower, you can finance a new or used car with First Investors Financial Services through a participating dealer. You also have the option to refinance your current auto loan directly through First Investors if it is not already financed through First Investors Financial Services or any of its related companies.

Although First Investors Financial Services offers a range of financing options, the company targets consumers with credit scores of 510 and higher. In particular, the lender focuses on consumers that have undergone a bankruptcy process in the past.

You can check out other auto loan options for buying a used car to ensure you find the best deal possible.

First Investors Financial Services: At a glance

When you are considering an auto loan of any kind, you need to consider multiple lenders. You should take the time to shop around and compare available rates. Finding the best offer could save you hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars over the lifetime of your loan. Make it a priority to explore the different offers that lenders provide.

New car loan APRs and loan terms are not readily available on the First Investors Financial Services website. However, some clues may be gleaned from S&P Global Ratings, which reports an average weighted APR of 13.49% for First Investors loans made through dealers and refinance loans customers make directly through the company; it’s the latter that makes up the bulk of First Investors’ business. Here is an overview of what First Investors Financial Services’ refinance loans are like:

  • Loan terms range from 30 to 72 months
  • Minimum loan amount is $8,000 (can be $10,000 in some states)
  • Maximum loan amount is $40,000
  • Minimum credit score required is 510
  • APR range from 7% to 19.9%

You will be able to work with First Investors Financial Services for your car, truck or SUV refinancing needs if your current loan if not through this company or any of its subsidiaries. In fact, you may be able to refinance the balance of two personal vehicles in some cases. However, you cannot refinance commercial vehicles, motorcycles, RVs, or heavy equipment.

How to apply for refinancing

While you have to go through an authorized dealer to apply for financing on a new or used car, you can apply for refinancing online. Head over to the First Investors Financial Services website to get started, and click on the “Apply Now” button on the homepage to be taken to the online application form. The application process is free, so you can get a quote for your refinancing situation without handing over any cash.

After you distinguish whether this will be an individual or joint application, you will be asked to provide a wide range of information. You’ll need to input your name, vehicle information, Social Security number, date of birth, address, income information and more.

It is a good idea to have some documents ready for this process. Gather your proof of identity and residence and your method of payment as a start. You can find a full list of documents that you should have ready here. As a part of the application process, you will also be required to grant permission for the company to obtain your credit reports through a hard inquiry.

The process of filling out your information should only take about 20 minutes. Usually, you’ll be informed of the initial loan decision within 24 to 48 hours. However, this initial decision will need to be supported by additional loan verification documents that you will be asked to provide later in the process.

The entire process, from application to funding, should take between seven to 10 business days if everything goes perfectly. However, in some cases, it may take more time due to paperwork problems. With that, the average length of the process is 16 days. Throughout the process, you’ll be able to check your application’s status by calling customer service or checking on the website.

The fine print

  • No prepayment penalty but you may have to pay an origination fee and notary fees.
  • Income requirements for borrowers.
  • Vehicle requirements for refinancing.

First Investors Financial Services seems to be transparent about its lending practices over the phone. However, its website left out details, such as APR ranges and loan terms for refinancing, that are critical to know when you are shopping around for an auto loan. Many lenders provide important details through their website so that the borrower has all pertinent information before considering the application process for refinancing.

First Investors Financial Services received an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, though the company has also received only 1.5 out of 5 stars from customers, based on 15 reviews.

First Investors Financial Services will not charge you a prepayment penalty if you choose to repay your refinance loan early. However, the company does charge an origination fee and notary fees on some refinance loans. Plus, the company charges transfer fees on all refinance loans.

If you are applying to refinance your vehicle, your car cannot be older than eight years, and it must have less than 95,000 miles. It is sometimes possible to refinance a second vehicle, but that will ultimately depend on your specific situation.

You will need to be at least 18 years of age and have an annual income of at least $18,000 to qualify. When you get your loan offer, make sure to read through all of the details.

After you get your offer from First Investors Financial Services, you will have 45 days to decide whether to accept it. However, based on your changing financial situation, your offer details may be altered every 10 days. Keep that in mind as you go through the process, especially if you are applying for offers with multiple lenders.

Once you have your offer in hand, compare it to several other lenders to make sure that you accept the best loan offer possible for your situation.

Pros and cons of financing through First Investors Financial Services

As you consider First Investors Financial Services for your auto financing and refinancing needs, make sure to consider other options. It is critically important to shop around and compare rates from multiple lenders. Even if you have bad credit, there are other companies that are willing to work with you on car loans. Without shopping around, you could be leaving an option that will save you money on the table.

Before you apply for refinancing, you may want to take a look at an auto refinance calculator to get an idea of your potential savings.

Every lender has its strengths and weaknesses: here, we’ve picked out the ones that stand out for First Investors Financial Services auto loans. You can then compare these with the pros and cons of other lenders that you come across in your search.

Highlights of First Investors Financial Services auto loans

  • No prepayment penalty. If you take the opportunity to pay off your loan early, you won’t be penalized. Although this may seem like an unlikely reality, you never know what the future will hold.
  • Options for borrowers with bad credit. First Investors Financial Services is willing to work with you even if you have a low credit score — the company is willing to provide loans for people with credit scores as low as 510. If you have bad credit and are struggling to find a lender, then this could be a good option. And even if you’ve declared bankruptcy in the past, First Investors Financial Services is able and willing to work with you for your auto loan needs.
  • Payment date flexibility. If you need to align your monthly payment with your paycheck, then First Investors Financial Services is a good option. You will be able to move your payment date by up to 20 days from your original due date. It can be helpful if you need to carefully plan your stretched budget around big bills.
  • Willing to work with non-citizens. It can sometimes be difficult to secure an auto loan or refinancing offer if you do not have citizenship in the U.S. First Investors Financial Services is able to work with non-residents with permits to provide financing options. If that applies to you, then this could be a good option for you.

Lowlights of First Investors Financial Services auto loans

  • No credit card payment options. Although you can pay with a debit card in most states for a fee, credit cards are not accepted in any state.
  • Dealer restrictions. If you are financing a car from a dealer, then you will only be able to use First Investors Financial Services if the dealer is authorized to work with them.
  • Lack of transparency. While other lenders clearly list rates and terms for its refinance loans, First Investors Financial Services’ website lacked that information.
  • No motorcycle or RV loans. First Investors only refinances auto loans, no motorcycle or RV loans of this writing.

Who is a First Investors Financial Services auto loan best for?

First Investors Financial Services is best for someone with a low credit score or a previous bankruptcy. The company is willing to look past those issues and work with you anyways. Of course, you should be prepared to pay more in interest as a borrower with low credit.

However, First Investors Financial Services is not your only option. Before you make a final decision about your auto financing and refinancing needs, make sure to shop around. Comparing rates between multiple lenders is critical to securing a favorable loan.

If you are having difficulty finding a lender that will work with you, check out these tips to secure a car loan with bad credit. The car, and payment, of your dreams, could be right around the corner.

The rates and fees mentioned in this article are accurate as of the date of publishing.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

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Investing

5 of the Best Ways to Invest $5,000

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone and is not intended to be a source of investment advice. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

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Saving money can be difficult for everyone. Between student loans, buying a home, or starting a family, it’s an accomplishment to save a sizable amount of money at all. Once you have some cash saved up, you may wonder what the next step is. Many financial professionals would recommend investing your spare money to help you reach your goals.

If you’re not sure where to get started investing your $5,000, take a look at some of your options below. Although we’re not presenting every single investment option on the market, many of these are a good place for investors to get started.

Best ways to invest $5,000

When you decide to start investing, remember that there are many options. The best option for you will vary based on your particular financial situation. If you’re not sure which investment path is right for you, then consider talking to a financial advisor before taking the first step.

1. Use a robo-advisor

A robo-advisor is an automated investment platform that operates online. Instead of choosing where each and every dollar is allocated, you just need to answer a few questions from the robo-advisor. Once you enter your information, the platform will automatically build a portfolio that matches your investment style and goals. For example, if you’re a young person interested in saving for retirement, your portfolio may be more aggressive than an older investor who will need to access their money sooner.

The biggest benefits of using a robo-advisor are that they typically offer lower fees than other brokerage accounts and instant portfolio diversification with even a small amount of investment capital.

Some drawbacks to consider about robo-advisors include a lack of personalized services that a human advisor might offer. In some cases, you may not have any access to a human advisor, which might be a problem when you have specific investing questions.

When you are just starting to invest, a robo-advisor may be a good choice. If you are comfortable with growing your investments slowly over time, then a robo-advisor is capable of handling this for you. As your investment portfolio grows, you may want to look into an investment advisor to help create a more personalized plan to meet your goals.

To get started with a robo-advisor, compare the fees of several options before you choose one. Consider your options carefully and choose a robo-advisor that seems best suited to your investment needs.

2. Consider micro-investing

Micro-investing is a way to start investing without having to save up to a minimum account balance. Some brokerage accounts require several hundred dollars as a minimum investment, but that isn’t realistic for everyone. Instead, you can use micro-investing to get started.

Micro-investing apps such as Acorns allow you to invest your spare change. Typically, you link up your debit and credit cards to the app. Each time you make a purchase, the app will round up your purchase to the next dollar and invest the change.

For instance, if you bought dinner for $20.25, the micro-investing app would round up your purchase to $21 and invest 75 cents. Although that seems like an incredibly small amount, your investments can add up over time. The best part is that your budget will barely feel the squeeze of this investment method.

3. Save for your retirement

Retirement is an expensive part of life that will be here sooner than you think. If you plan to stop working in your later years, then you need to start planning as early as possible in order to capitalize on the benefits of compounding interest.

The first place to start your retirement investment is through your employer’s 401(k) plan. Check to see if your employer offers a plan that’s worth maximizing; some employers even offer matching funds, which is essentially extra money for your golden years.

Other types of retirement accounts that you may want to consider are traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs. Both of these accounts have annual contribution limits set by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Although each of these accounts have different rules, both are very commonly used retirement accounts that are suitable for new investors.

4. Open a high-interest savings account

Many investment accounts can leave your money inaccessible for a certain period of time. A high-interest savings account could help solve that problem. Your money will grow slowly, but you would have access to the cash at any time.

If you’re concerned about not having quick access to your cash, then this is a good option. The interest rates on these accounts are typically lower than investing your money in the market. However, there is significantly less risk involved as well. You will need to determine what kind of investment risks you are willing to take before choosing this route.

A high-interest savings account is an especially good option for anyone that has not built an emergency fund. Life happens, and you may need quick access to cash. Before opening a high-interest savings account, take a look at all of your available options to ensure you are getting the best rate possible.

5. Put your money into a CD

A certificate of deposit (CD) is a savings account that will allow you to earn interest on the money you deposit into it. Although CDs typically pay more interest than your average bank account, there is a trade-off. You will need to leave your money in the account for a specified amount of time.

For example, if you put your money into a two-year CD, you will be expected to leave that money alone for two years. If you take your money out too soon, then you will have to pay an early withdrawal fee.

Typically, the longer you agree to leave your money in the account, the more interest you earn. Think carefully before locking your money into a CD — it’s a good way to earn interest but it can backfire if you are forced to make an early withdrawal.

To get started with a CD, find the best rate for your money before signing up.

Bottom line

You have many great options when it comes to getting started with investing. It can be difficult to take the first step, but many agree that it is an important component of a better financial future.

One reason why investing can seem difficult to beginners is that they aren’t sure where they want to go with it. Consider your short- and long-term goals and be realistic about the amount of risk you are willing to take with your investments before your portfolio starts to grow.

Want more investment ideas? See some top options for investing $10,000.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

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Roth IRA and 401k: A Smart Investment Pairing

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone and is not intended to be a source of investment advice. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

Written By

Investing for retirement can seem to be an overwhelming task. There are many different types of retirement accounts that all offer different benefits.

You’ve likely already heard of 401(k)s and Roth IRAs, and may be trying to decide which is best for your retirement savings. Each of these accounts offers different benefits. The good news: You don’t have to choose just one.

Can you have a 401(k) and a Roth IRA?

Yes, you can have both a Roth IRA and a 401(k) account. You are even able to contribute to both accounts within the same year. You’ll need to qualify for eligibility in both types of plans, but there’s no type of restriction that says contributions to one kind of account limit your ability to contribute to the other. So, if you’re a retirement savings overachiever, go for it!

To be eligible for you a 401(k), your employer must offer a plan. Anyone can open a Roth IRA if they fall below the income limits set by the IRS.

Keep in mind that the IRS also sets limits on how much you can contribute each year for both 401(k) and Roth IRA accounts.

Benefits of having both a 401(k) and Roth IRA

Tax diversification. While contributions made to a Roth IRA are made after-tax, contributions to a 401(k) are made pre-tax — but you’ll pay taxes either way. However, when it comes time to withdraw money for retirement, you’ll have more options and should be better able to minimize your tax burden.

Age and income factors. Roth IRAs have contribution limits based on your income. “Usually, for younger folks, it makes sense to prioritize the Roth IRA because they are usually in a low tax bracket now, will be in a higher tax bracket later and have many decades for the Roth IRA to grow,” said Kenneth Melotte, a certified financial planner.

The contributions made to a 401(k) are not limited by income. The most important thing is to contribute enough to gain your employer match. After that threshold, a Roth IRA may be the right place for your money. However, it will depend on your exact situation.

Flexibility. 401(k) plans typically have fewer investment options available than Roth IRAs have. More investment options mean you can better diversify your investments and shop around for low-fee options more easily with a Roth IRA.
“If someone is eligible to contribute to both a 401(k) and an IRA, I will sometimes recommend they contribute enough in the 401(k) to get the full match from their employer and then put any excess monies available for investing into the IRA,” said Melotte.

Access to funds. “The main drawback I see with Traditional IRAs and 401(k)s is a lack of liquidity,” said Chad Manberg, a certified financial advisor. “I run into investors all the time who have done a terrific job in saving, but a poor job in cash flow planning.”

Roth IRAs allow you to withdraw your contributions without penalty in a number of different circumstances. This makes money more accessible if you find you need to withdrawal some before you hit retirement age.

Increased savings. Each type of retirement account has contribution limits that can restrict your overall savings. In 2019, the contribution limits for a Roth IRA and a 401(k) are $6,000 ($7,000 if you’re 50 or older) and $19,000, respectively. If you plan to save more than the limit of either account, then you should consider opening both. Choosing just one account would limit your ability to save for retirement in a designated retirement account.

The Bottom Line

Roth IRAs and 401(k)s are each great retirement tools on their own. When combined, they give you even great flexibility and diversification. Take a look at your circumstances including income, age, and how much you can save this year and then decide if one or both is right for you.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.