Things to Consider Before Signing Up for Zero% at the Dealership

zero%Zero percent financing is something you’ve probably heard before, however, before you sign on the dotted line, here are some things to consider…

What is really your best deal? Undoubtedly you’ve heard about “zero percent financing” offers that many auto dealers like to promote. Although they seem to be incredible deals, and are certainly tempting, you should read the fine print and know the facts before you head to your local dealer.

To help you decide if zero percent (or a low “teaser” rate) is the best deal for you, here are a few facts and restrictions you may encounter:

  • Almost perfect credit may be needed in order to qualify for these offers.
  • You may be required to give up a manufacturer’s rebate.
  • It could mean shorter terms and larger monthly payments.
  • It is usually offered on a limited number of models.
  • You may be limited to dealer stock and not be able to choose the exact vehicle you are interested in.

Research, research, research! By using our free available research tools such as AutoSMART & Autocalcubot loan calculator, you will be better equipped when you finally make that trip to the dealership. You may find that giving up that zero percent financing for a manufacturer’s rebate will save you more money.

And finally…Read any contract carefully before signing it. Ask questions about anything you do not understand and don’t feel pressured into making a decision right then and there.

Happy shopping!

Safety Precautions When Driving in the Rain

???????????????????Fog, rain, snow and -whatever Mother Nature throws at you, can be a serious driving hazard. Maximize your safety on the road with these tips:

  • Check equipment. Throughout the season, monitor your tires for tread wear and proper inflation, replace worn wiper blades and top off your windshield washer fluid as needed. 
  • Wait if possible. Avoid going out early in a storm. Streets often are slickest during the first hour of rain when road oils and water combine to create a slippery surface.
  • Give yourself extra room. Rule number one: Slow down. If the road is wet, allow at least twice as much following distance as on dry pavement.
  • Don’t depend on technology. Antilock braking systems may actually lengthen stopping distances, and four-wheel drive won’t prevent hydroplaning on water or improve braking on slick roads.

Click here for more slick weather driving tips.

For more information and how Liberty Mutual Insurance may be able to help you save on your auto insurance, feel free to contact our Liberty Mutual representative, Dan Ressegiue or visit our webpage:

AgentDanielRessegiueDaniel Ressegiue

303 West Main Street | Suite 100
Freehold, NJ 07728
732-308-3868 Ext. 50950

Daniel graduated from The Pennsylvania State University majoring in Psychology and business and is currently finishing an MBA at Monmouth University. During his tenure at Liberty Mutual, he has been awarded many awards including National Rookie of the year special recognition, 5 Time “Pacesetter,” Pursuit of Excellence and is a Liberty Lamplighters Club inductee. During his spare time, he enjoys staying active playing soccer, racquetball and partaking in long distance running competitions.  He is also a member of Jersey Shore Runners Club, Penn State Alumni Association, as well as SCORE, a nonprofit entity dedicated to the mentoring of small business owners.*First Financial Federal Credit Union Client #38361

Article Source: Liberty Mutual Insurance

Spring Driving Tips


Spring Driving Tips

  • Inspect your tires, if needed buy new tires.
  • Get your oil checked.
  • Steer around the potholes.
  • Slow down and increase your following distance during spring showers. Watch for pedestrians who cannot see or hear as well in the rain.
  • Use low beam headlights in foggy conditions. High beams reflect from raindrops and fog, actually making it harder to see.
  • Avoid large puddles of water which are as dangerous as patches of ice. Your car can hydroplane on the surface. Splashing water also affects your brakes and makes it difficult for other drivers to see.
  • Keep your tires inflated to the correct pressure for safer handling, longer tire life and up to 3% better gas mileage.
  • Also, have a pro check your car air conditioner. It’s going to get hot quickly!

For more vehicle related advice, or to buy (or sell) a vehicle – be sure to check out AutoSMART, our free online car buying resource! And for a handy auto loan calculator, try Auto Calcubot

Click here to view the article source.

Winter Driving Checklists: Be Prepared and Arrive Safely

Did you know that the leading cause of deaths during winter storms are transportation accidents? Preparing your vehicle for the winter season and knowing how to react if stranded or lost on the road are the keys to safe winter driving.

Before a winter storm, make sure you have a mechanic check the following items on your car:

  • Battery
  • Antifreeze
  • Wipers and windshield washer fluid
  • Ignition system
  • Thermostat
  • Lights
  • Flashing hazard lights
  • Exhaust system
  • Heater Brakes
  • Defroster
  • Oil level

You also want to make sure you tires have adequate tread. All weather tires are usually adequate for most winter conditions. However, some state jurisdictions require that to drive on their roads, vehicles must be equipped with chains or snow tires with studs. You may also take note of a few of these helpful tips:

  • Keep a windshield scraper and small broom for ice and snow removal
  • Maintain at least a half tank of gas during the winter season
  • Listen to the radio or call the state highway patrol for the latest road conditions. Always travel during daylight and, if possible, take at least one other person
  • If you must go out during a winter storm, use public transportation
  • Always dress warmly but wear layers of loose fitting, layered, lightweight clothing
  • Store a supply of high energy “munchies” and several bottles of water

Another couple things you should keep in mind when traveling long distance in the winter months is to make sure you car is stocked with a few essential items that will help you in case a problem arises. Here are some suggestions:

  • Flashlights with extra batteries
  • First aid kit with pocket knife
  • Necessary medications
  • Several blankets
  • Sleeping bags
  • Extra newspapers for insulation
  • Plastic bags
  • Matches
  • Extra set of mittens, socks, and a wool cap
  • Rain gear and extra clothes
  • Small shovel
  • Small tools (pliers, wrench, screwdriver)
  • Booster cables
  • Set of tire chains or traction mats
  • Cards, games, and puzzles
  • Brightly colored cloth to use as a flag
  • Canned fruit and nuts
  • Non-electric can opener
  • Bottled water

 Stay safe and warm this winter!

Article Source: NJ State Police

Know the Facts: 0% Financing on Auto Loans

The Truth Behind 0%

When it comes to getting an auto loan, take the time to carefully look at all your options. What you initially think is a great offer, may end up costing you more money in the long run.

Take a look at the chart below to see some common myths…


Research Your Options

As a credit union member you are already aware of the many benefits First Financial offers, including low interest auto loans and great service tailored to your needs. By researching your auto financing options before you visit a dealership, you may find that when using First Financial’s low percentage rate you are still allowed to use any rebates offered by the manufacturer. This could be your best deal! Refer to our auto loans page for information and details about the loan, preferred dealers, links to apply online and our most recent rates and promotions. If you have any additional questions about our auto loans or refinancing options, contact us at 866.750.0100, e-mail us at, or stop into any one of our branches.

Don’t forget to use our FREE online car buying and research tool, AutoSMART! This tool allows you to look up new and pre-owned cars based on model, make, year, mileage, color and so much more. Buying and selling a car has never been easier, be sure to download the AutoSMART app for your Android or iPhone today!

*Click here to view the article source.


Winter Driving Tips That Could Keep You Safe

icesnow_logo2You might not live in the middle of snow country, but it still is important to keep in mind that winter driving conditions can present more of a challenge. Here are some things to keep in mind as you head out into the open road.

  • Speed Limits: Remember that these limits primarily refer to safe speeds during ideal weather conditions. Always slow down while driving on snow or ice. When driving uphill on ice, pick a path that will allow the most traction. Allow for greater stopping distances during snow and ice storms. In order to bring your car to a safe stop, you must allow 8-10 seconds between you and the vehicle in front of you.
  • Curves and Turns: To maintain better control of your vehicle, reduce speed just before the turn. Any sudden acceleration or deceleration during a turn will send you into a skid. Never brake while driving on ice. If you are approaching a patch of ice, brake during your approach. Applying pressure to your brakes while on ice will only throw you into a skid. Monitor vehicles in front of you and be sure to monitor the vehicles in front of you. Unpacked snow will give most vehicles sufficient uphill traction.
  • Keep Your Distance: The most important thing to remember when driving on slick roads is that you must travel, steer, and brake more slowly than usual. The distance needed to stop on ice is twice as long as what you would need to brake under normal driving circumstances. This means you should keep at least a three-car distance from the vehicle directly in front of you. Remember that tires which are in proper working condition and are adequately inflated provide better transaction.
  • Extra Slippery: Certain areas of roadways, because of location or track of direct sunlight, are almost always more hazardous than others. Use extra caution when driving on bridges, overpasses and tunnels. What is known as “black ice” commonly forms on roads that wind around lakes and rivers, in tunnels, on overpasses and in highly shaded, rural areas. Black ice is almost invisible to the naked eye. Be especially leery when driving your car into shaded areas, and slow your vehicle down during your approach.
  • Handling Skids: The biggest problem facing most winter drivers is skidding on slick, icy or snow covered roads. It is possible to steer out of a skid! First of all do not panic. Once you feel your car begin to skid, slowly remove your foot off the gas until you feel your wheels regain traction control. Do not attempt to brake! As your vehicle’s tires grab the road, slowly turn the steering wheel in the direction you want your front wheels to go.
  • Gimme a Brake: Anti-lock braking systems (ABS) offer significant advantages on slick roads, if used correctly. To operate ABS effectively, motorists should apply steady pressure to the brake pedal during the entire stop. ABS will automatically pump the brakes, if necessary, to keep the wheels from locking.  Never manually pump ABS brakes yourself. Apply only steady pressure continuously until you come to a complete stop. If you don’t have ABS, you should gently apply pumping pressure to your brakes during slippery conditions. Do not apply steady pressure to your brakes. Standing on your brakes will only cause wheel lock, and may result in your car spinning out of control.
  • Slow Motion: Everything you do on icy roads will affect how your vehicle handles the situation. Move slowly. Turn slowly. Brake slowly. Sudden changes can cause your car to spin our of control. Not all cars respond the same to icy, slippery roads. For that reason, knowing how to handle your vehicle and how it responds to various weather conditions is important. AAA recommends that motorists practice slow-speed maneuvers on an empty snow or ice covered parking lot. You should also page through your vehicle’s owner manual, familiarizing yourself with your vehicle’s braking system and tire traction.


“Remember, when driving in the ice and snow – TAKE IT SLOW!”

Article Source: CUDL AutoSMART Magazine

*First Financial is not responsible for any contest listed on external publications.