Car Dealers Find The Parts Market

A car dealership has long been the place you go to buy a new car. Recently, car dealers have become brand outposts, offering a variety of post-sale services from manufacturer-certified mechanics and repair shops to acting as retailers of Original Equipment Manufacturer parts. Manufacturers have realized that the sale is just the beginning of a customer’s relationship with the brand and increasingly rely on car dealers to ensure a smooth ownership experience.

The Rewards of Loyalty

Manufacturers realized that buyers stay loyal to a badge as long as the brand retains its positive image. Customer loyalty is even more ingrained than it was previously, and most customers only switch brands after a negative experience. Manufacturers began to focus on ensuring that car dealers delivered a reliable, standard, uniform sales experience across product lines. Buildings, uniforms, processes, and advertising were all standardized.


Ownership doesn’t end at the showroom door. A bad experience with a car, even if it is unrelated to a manufacturer’s defect, could cost a customer for life. As a result, certified services are now offered through dealerships. Technicians must pass a series of qualifying procedures to allow them to perform work on vehicles that will be backed by the company. This ensures uniform quality and control at any branded dealership. Service performed under these conditions also preserves the vehicle’s warranties and is visible throughout the company via a universal service record. This can enhance the resale value as well as maximize the utility of the car over its service life. Additionally, any maintenance performed by certified technicians is usually warranties through the company as well, adding another layer of protection for current and future owners.


An ownership experience could also be jeopardized by the use of shoddy or knock-off parts. To encourage the highest standards of performance, car dealers structured their operations to include becoming a regional distribution hub for OEM parts. As a result, many dealerships now have extensive parts inventories for their mark, sometimes to the tune of millions of dollars worth. This coordinated effort ensures that branded vehicles run at their peak engineered performance for the duration of their service lives and minimizes the risk that a customer will encounter a poor ownership experience for any reason that can be controlled by the retailer.

Many consumers are unaware of these changes and hence do not utilize them to their full advantage. Using manufacturer-certified services and parts can extend or preserve vehicle warranties. Maintenance performed by car dealers, as well as the certified technicians they employ, ensures that the vehicle continues to perform at the highest level possible. Company-issued updates, recalls, and parts all reach customers through the extensive databases maintained by service departments as well, meaning that the latest technology is available most directly to those who utilize their dealership. Taking advantage of post-sale benefits is an often-overlooked perk of brand ownership.

Medical Emergencies: Leading Cause of Bankruptcies in America

There are several reasons people file for bankruptcy. What may come as shocking news is that most people are a SINGLE major health issue away from considering bankruptcy as an option. How can this be when majority of families have some form of health insurance? For one thing, it all depends on a number of circumstances. Here are a few examples of what needs to be considered:

• What type of insurance you have
• What sort of medical issue you have
• What is the co-pay percentage

Medical bills are actually the biggest cause of bankruptcies within the United States. In 2013 alone, almost 2 million people had filed for bankruptcy citing medical bills as their reasons. Even health insurance provides minimal help in preventing these cases.


One reason is that the average co-pay in most plans is 20%. This works out well for check-ups and minor injuries but if you happen to contract a major illness or get in a serious accident, you could possibly rack up a bill over $50,000 where you would need to cover 20% or $10,000 along with the deductible. For just about anybody, this would be a life-changing tragedy that necessitates seeing a bankruptcy lawyer.

Who are affected?

Of those who have stated medical bills as their reasons for filing bankruptcy, 78% of them had medical insurance of some sort. Most of those affected were educated middle-class families. 1 out of 5 Americans will face problems paying medical bills this year. Accidents and life-changing diagnosis can happen to anybody.

Even with proper savings and good spending habits, the burden of some medical bills is simply too much for most people to handle. This is a problem that an estimated 56 million Americans will need to face this year alone.

What can happen?

Seeing as most health care institutions employ their own means of collecting debts, overdue health bills are treated the same way as other types of debt regardless of the fact if you are now incapable of maintaining your job due to your health issue. You can expect similar means of debt collection such as multiple phone calls, court ordered actions, and other harassing techniques.

How to address the issue?

Bankruptcy is, and should always be, considered as the final option and should only be seriously considered once all other options are exhausted. Lawyers that specialized in bankruptcy are also experts when it comes to finding working solutions for debts. Your best course of action would be to seek the assistance of a bankruptcy lawyer as soon as you are facing a massive medical bill.

The common belief is that credit card debt or mortgages are the main causes for filing for bankruptcy. Most people are caught blindsided by such big bills that they find themselves at a loss for what to do. Simply having the knowledge that 3 out of every 5 bankruptcies are caused by medical bills is already a good start. Knowing is always half the battle and it always beats being caught off-guard.

How to Create a Budget Around Debt Repayment

In order for you to start putting extra money aside to pay off your debt, you must first gain control of your monthly spending. After all it is your spending habits that have led you into debt in the first place. Before each month begins, you must sit down and allocate every single Dollar of your income to a particular spending category. Every Dollar has a purpose. You must create what is known as a Zero Balanced Budget. What this means simply is that when you total up your income and subtract all of your expenses, the balance is $0. Every single Dollar of your income must be put to work for you, there is no spare money. Not even a spare cent!

When completing your budget, you must allow for every single area of spending. If you do not then you will not have money for it when it comes up. For example, if you do not include money for tires or car servicing, you will not have the money for them when they are required. It is easy to account for the general monthly expenses such as food, lights, heat, mortgage and so on, but you must also include a category to cover annual expenses such as clothes, car maintenance, insurance etc. My own personal budget is created using EXCEL, but you can simply use a pen and paper if you wish.

OK you have now created your budget but this is only half the plan. If you do not stick to your budget then it is all but pointless. You need to record every single penny that you spend on a daily basis. You can simply jot it down on a piece of paper or notepad or you can use any number of smart phone apps. I personally use an app called Spending Tracker and it allows me to export my spending record to EXCEL. Last point on this is to record your spending as soon as possible after you spend the money or you will forget.

When you have created your first budget and recorded your spending for one month you will be ready to adjust your budget. It is extremely unlikely that your first budget will go according to plan. If it does then you have not set it tight enough and you need to cut it more. Using your spending record, adjust your monthly expenses as required to get a more accurate budget. Keep doing this until you have developed a budget that you can live on and includes all of your spending requirements.

Once you find yourself following this budget process regularly and consistently, you will free up money to pay towards your debts. If you do not, then you have an “Income/expense gap” problem. I will tackle this in a later article. If you need any further help with budgeting or budget forms, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Can a Bad Credit Report Stop You From Landing Your Dream Job?

Bad credit can affect more than you think!

Today, we live in a fast-paced world where employees are crucial to the success of a business. Businesses rely on a high level of productivity and want their employees to be diligent and work efficiently.

During these tough economic times employers are taking extensive measures to select the right candidates. It’s common for human resource departments to do extensive background checks, including requesting and scrutinizing credit reports.

Why is your credit report relevant?

For starters, a quick peek at your credit report can reveal a lot about your dedication, level of organization, and ethics. If you are not managing your own financial life properly, most employees believe that it could be mirrored into your work life.

Keep in mind honesty, reliability and time management skills are important to every business. With so many good candidates to choose from, businesses are in the driver’s seat, and can hire the cream of the crop.

3 Ways Bad Credit Can Hurt Your Job Chances:

Employers know that bad credit can affect every area of your life. Being hounded by collection agencies can be extremely distracting to your home and work life. It can cause a lot of stress and undue absence, as well as affect your mood and level of performance.

Employers might believe that you don’t take the contracts you sign or your obligations seriously. To some bosses, a bad credit report can make you look irresponsible and untrustworthy. Above all else, businesses want people with a proven track record for following through.

A bad payment history could show potential employers that you have trouble sticking to a schedule. In such a technologically-advanced age – with email reminders and late payment notifications – there are few excuses for forgetting (or mismanaging) your finances. Chronic late payments could send the wrong message.

Bottom line: A company’s reputation and profitability depend on their employees. Good employees are their bread and butter so to speak.

Which is why businesses need to hire people who are productive and dependable. They want employees that will show up on time, follow through on their commitments, and manage the tasks they are given, on time.

The fact of the matter is that many bosses believe that if you can’t manage your own affairs, you can’t possibly manage theirs.

Nowadays, employers are relying upon personal and financial background checks before deciding who to hire.

Keep this in mind if you suffer from bad credit.

4 Pillars of Protection – Products To Consider In Your 4 Pillars of Protection Insurance Portfolio

With a wide range of insurance products available today it is important to understand the differences and benefits to you and your specific situation. A basic portfolio for any person but more specifically for a self-employed person should encompass the 4 following aspects.


By far one of the most important products for anyone, specifically self-employed people is disability insurance. We all work to handle our weekly and monthly expenses in addition to providing the “little extras” if we have anything left over. Employees of a company for the most part will have benefits provided to them however, being self-employed our livelihood depends on our ability to go to work and earn an income. In the event your ability to work is suddenly removed, disability insurance could be the key to your survival. Your income is the fuel for everything. Remove that and over time all else will fall apart.

Life Insurance

Life insurance has so many uses that it could essentially apply to everyone. However, the general consensus of life insurance is that it is suitable only for people with a family. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Life insurance can be used to protect a debt over a period of time, provide for your survivors after final expenses, or give to a charity upon your death. For people who would like the idea of having a benefit as well as a savings or investment vehicle, life insurance could also be an option for you. Life insurance must be carefully evaluated to ensure that it is structured properly based on your specific situation.

Critical Illness

In my experience I have seen this product misunderstood the most. The important thing to understand about CI is that it will pay a lump sum benefit in the event you’re diagnosed with a “specific” covered illness. Most CI products will protect against heart attack, cancer, and stroke however, each policy will differ between companies for other covered illnesses beyond these. Do not make the mistake like most do in thinking that this operates like disability insurance. Yes, they are both living benefits but they provide protection in varying ways.


Within financial circles it is encouraged to have a minimum of 6 months of disposable “liquid” income saved. For most people this is a tremendous feat and some people often throw their hands up in the air and forfeit the idea that they too can have investments. Life insurance can be designed in such a way that not only do you have protection but also an accumulating asset. Outside of life insurance there are many ways to protect and grow your money. The concern for most people is having a large sum of money lying around to be able to invest.

If having a large starting capital is a concern of yours like it was for me, then I welcome you to consider an alternative to the “traditional investments and savings plan”.