Other Options To Acquire Solar Power
A solar lease might sound like a good deal but it isnt by far the only setup to access savings from renewable energy. Lets look at other options at your disposal:
Solar loan – With falling costs to install solar and moderate interest rates, homeowners can easily take out a small loan to pay for the installation. Solar loans allow you to buy solar without needing tens of thousands of dollars upfront. Instead, you make small payments and once your loan is paid off, the panels are completely yours.
Solar energy plans – If you live in a deregulated U.S. state, you might shop around for electricity plans offered in your zip code by competitive providers. They often sell affordable, 100% solar-powered plans to reap the benefits of green energy.
Cash purchase – Buying panels for cash has the highest return on investment but it’s the most financially demanding option. Not many homeowners will have the resources to do this, but we include this option for completeness.
How Does A Solar Power Lease Work
An average solar lease contract lasts approximately 15 to 20 years during which you are entitled to the energy produced by the companys solar panel in exchange for a monthly fee.
At the end of the contract, you typically have three options :
The last option is particularly attractive as it provides a route to solar panel ownership.
Refinancing A Leased Car With Bad Credit
The good news: you can refinance a lease with bad credit. The bad news: its going to take some work! It can be done though.
First, lets define bad credit.
According to Credit.com, anything below a 600 on an 850 scale is considered bad credit. With a credit score below 600, its going to be more difficult to secure credit terms, but it can absolutely be done.
Once you know the buyout amount, youll need to find a lender that specializes in bad credit.
The lender should:
- Have low credit score requirements
- Accept lease buyout loans
- Float you a big enough loan to cover your cars payoff amount
Supermoney.com has a great list of low-cost lenders you can check out. Theres also lending tree, which also covers lease buyout loans.
Try to secure as many quotes as possible. Comparison shopping will save you money!
Auto loan rates can vary greatly, and youll end up with a better rate if you can get quotes from at least 3 different companies.
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Purchasing From A Car Insurance Company
Buying gap insurance from a car insurance company can provide you with the best rates. If you switch insurance carriers, make sure that your gap coverage is honored by your new insurance carrier. A few extra dollars a month could financially protect you in the case of a total loss while youre upside-down on your auto loan.
Getting A Refund For Gap Insurance
You don’t need gap insurance once you’re no longer upside down. After you have paid off enough of your vehicle’s price that the amount you owe is less than the car’s value, you can cancel gap coverage.
If you prepaid for coverage, then you’ll be refunded any premium you haven’t used. For example, if you have paid for six months of gap insurance, but your car is paid off three months later, you’ll be able to get a refund for the other three months.
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How To Negotiate Your Payoff Amount
The buyout price youll be paying might not be competitive, to the point where youll lose significant money in the transaction. If youre considering refinancing for financial hardship, you need to know the numbers involved before doing anything!
Start by using Kelly Blue Book calculator, or the cars.com book value calculator to find the fair value of your car.
Then, compare your cars buyout price to the fair value price. If the cars fair value is above the buyout price, congratulations. You have some equity in the car. Chances are, your leasing company wont want to negotiate the buyout agreement if this is the case.
However, if the fair value is less than the buyout price you should try to negotiate.
Theres two ways to go about this, depending on how much time you have left on your lease.
If you have only 2-3 months left, the lease company may call you to potentially negotiate a buyout. If you can, its best to wait in this situation. Theyll be the ones coming to you, and may offer you a better deal. Otherwise, youll have to call them.
Tell them that you have cash in hand but want to negotiate the payoff amount. Youll have more luck the older your car is, as the lease company wont want to take back an older vehicle if they can receive cash and not have to be liable for selling the car.
What Does Gap Insurance Cover
Gap insurance applies any time your vehicle is stolen or totaled in an accident. When you file a qualifying claim, your comprehensive or collision coverage will pay the actual cash value of your vehicle, minus your deductible. Your gap coverage may then pay the difference between your vehicle’s ACV and the outstanding balance of your loan or lease. If your gap coverage includes a limit, it may only cover a portion of your outstanding balance if you owe a lot more on the vehicle than it’s worth. Note that gap coverage may not cover additional charges related to your loan, such as finance or excess mileage charges.
Keep in mind that gap insurance doesn’t cover other property or injuries as the result of an accident, nor does it cover engine failure or other repairs.
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Loan/lease Insurance Vs Gap Insurance
Gap insurance tends to be a bit more generous and flexible than loan/lease payoff coverage and in some critical ways. You can often avoid out-of-pocket costs at all with gap insurance. You won’t be forced to come up with a portion of the balance in order to retire the loan against the destroyed or stolen vehicle.
|Loan/Lease Payoff Insurance|
|Pays only up to 25% of the vehicle’s actual cash value||Pays the difference between the vehicle’s actual cash value and the loan balance against it|
What If You Want To Cancel Your Gap Insurance
Drivers who would like to cancel their gap insurance should start by contacting the insurer or dealer the coverage was purchased from. Each company has its own step-by-step process for removing optional coverages from an auto insurance plan. Be aware that you may need to jump through some hoops when canceling insurance during a policy term.
If you prepaid for gap coverage, you might be able to receive a refund for the premiums you havent used. We recommend you review the original contract you signed to see if you qualify for a refund.
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You May Be Able To Skip Gap Insurance If
If you’re still paying off your car, you almost certainly have collision coverage. You’d be playing with fire without it, and, in any case, you’re probably required to have collision coverage by the terms of your loan or lease agreement.
- You made a down payment of at least 20% on the car when you bought it, so theres little chance you will be upside-down on your loan, even in the first year or so that you own it.
- You’re paying off the car loan in less than five years.
- The vehicle is a make and model that historically holds its value better than average.
It’s worth checking the National Automobile Dealers Association guide or Kelley Blue Book periodically to get an idea of how much your car is worth. Compare it to your loan balance. If your loan balance is less than your car’s value, you no longer have a gap to worry about.
Gap Insurance Is Worth It When:
- You dont have the savings to pay off your loan or lease if the car is totaled or stolen.
- Your down payment is less than 20% of the cars value.
- Your loan will last four years or more.
- You drive more miles than average, which reduces the cars value faster.
- Your car is a make and model that depreciates especially fast, like a luxury sedan or electric vehicle.
- You are a single-car household and need a car to get around.
- Your loan includes negative equity from your last car.
Since gap insurance covers the difference between the cars actual cash value and the amount you owe, researching these two numbers will be a key deciding factor in whether gap insurance is worth it.
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How Does A Lease Buyout Loan Work
When your lease is up, your options may include extending your lease, returning the vehicle, re-leasing the car or purchasing it.
Check your paperwork to confirm your options because not all leasing agreements allow you to buy the vehicle after your lease term ends. If yours does, and you want to buy the car but dont have the cash on hand, youll likely need to secure financing with a lease buyout loan.
Before you apply for a lease buyout loan, read your lease agreement to learn what you need to do to buy your leased car. Youll need to let your leasing company know of your plans to buy ahead of time.
Some banks, credit unions, online lenders and finance companies offer lease buyout loans, which are similar to other types of car loans. If approved, the lease buyout loan will be based on the amount you want to borrow, the annual percentage rate and loan term. Shop around to compare estimates of loan rates and terms so you can find the best loan for your needs.
What Are The Usual Terms In A Solar Leasing Program
No two solar leases are the same but there are some common traits that you should expect to find.
Solar lease contracts are typically 20 to 25 years long . When you sign a contract, the company will send a developer to install the solar panel system on your roof and set you up with a monitoring app .
Your monthly price and the price escalator will be stated in your contract. Price escalator is added to the contract to account for the rising cost of electricity each year your lease payment will be slightly higher .
You must pay your solar lease until the end of term if you decide to exit early, you might have the pay the company out or be asked to buy the panels at a fair market value.
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Disadvantages Of Refinancing A Lease
While you can always wait until the end of your lease to buy your vehicle, if you want to refinance it during the lease, youre going to have to pay other fees upfront. Its very likely youll pay an early termination fee which is usually between $300-$500. There may be other fees that apply, and its worth checking your lease paperwork to determine which may affect you.
Youre also going to have to pay any applicable state taxes, transfer costs, and potential purchase options. Assuming you leased a new car, this amount can be in the thousands, and youll have to include this amount in the loan.
Although youll own the car, the additional money youll have to borrow may cause the monthly payment to be more expensive than your lease contract. Your loan will also have a higher interest rate then a new car loan, because most leased cars are considered used.
Theres also the added downside where you could end up upside down on your loan, if the payoff amount is higher than the residual value of your car. If you end up deciding to sell, youll have to cover the difference.
What Is A Solar Leasing Program
A solar lease is a financing option for using a solar panel without a hefty down payment. The homeowner rents the solar installation from a company and pays a fixed fee in exchange for the electricity produced by the system .
A specific type of solar lease is a Power Purchase Agreement , which is more like paying a utility bill to a solar leasing company, based on the number of kilowatt-hours your panel produces.
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Can You Keep Your Car If Its Totaled
You can keep your car if its totaled and pay for the repairs yourself in most states. The insurer will deduct the cars salvage value what they would have gotten selling your car to a junkyard from what they pay you.
There may be a lot of red tape involved with getting your car back on the road, though. Your car will probably be issued a branded title, salvage title or salvage certificate until repairs are completed and inspected. The total loss will also be part of the cars vehicle history report, and totaled cars can be difficult to insure or sell later on.
How Much Is Lease/loan Gap Insurance
This additional coverage to your policy adds only a few more dollars to your premium but it could save you a lot of money in the long run. Your insurance agent can tell you just how this coverage will affect your premium, and they can help you better understand the right time to remove it. Keep in mind, some car dealerships offer this coverage at the time of sale, and you can purchase it at the time you add your vehicle with American Family Insurance.
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Ask Your Dealer About Allstate
This product is sold through authorized dealers around the country.
What Is Loan Or Lease Gap Coverage
Auto leases and loan terms often run 60 months or longer. When you add to that the fact that your car depreciates usually 11 percent the minute it leaves the lot people can quickly find themselves owing more on leases or loans than the vehicle is worth. Gap insurance coverage can pay the difference between the amount you owe on the car and the total cost to replace it with a new one.
If you are leasing your vehicle or have a vehicle loan, the loan or lease assistance coverage endorsement is probably a good fit for you. Heres why: if youre in an accident and your vehicle is a total loss, your auto policy will generally pay you for the actual cash value of your vehicle. Great! However, the value of the vehicle can be less than what you might actually owe, leaving you with a potentially hefty bill. Loan or lease assistance coverage helps pays the difference, or gap, to help lessen the financial load on your end.
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Where Can You Buy Gap Insurance
You can buy gap insurance from most big-name car insurance companies, including State Farm, Progressive, Allstate, Esurance, Farmers, Travelers, Nationwide, 21st Century and USAA. Most companies require that drivers have comprehensive and collision coverage in order to get gap insurance, and some companies may have additional special conditions drivers must meet to qualify for it.
If you are interested in purchasing only gap insurance, some car dealerships offer standalone gap insurance coverage. However, most of the time, insurers offer better rates for gap insurance compared to dealers. While car dealers might say you are required to have gap insurance or that you must buy it from them, it is up to you to decide if or where you buy gap insurance.
How Do I Get Gap Insurance
The easiest way, and probably the cheapest way, is to ask your auto insurance company if they can add it to your existing policy. You can compare prices online to make sure you’re getting the best deal.
The car dealership will probably offer you a gap policy but the price will almost certainly be higher than a major insurer will offer. In any case, check to make sure you don’t already have gap insurance on your vehicle. Auto lease deals often build gap coverage into their pricing.
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