As a yardstick for those with less-than-perfect credit, avoid loans with interest greater than 9.5 percent, said Ron Ramos
, counseling director at Rhode Island-based Southern New England Credit Counseling
Even if the higher interest appear to offer lower monthly payments, lenders take more out of your pocket by extending the life of the loan, he
said.Over time, borrowers with lengthy loans may end up with car payments and car repair payments at the same time.Ramos
also urges consumers beware of adding fees into the total amount financed, which lenders offer to do in to "save" you money.Ultimately, though, you end up paying a lot more because you pay interest on the fees, he
said customers with poor credit should be extremely careful whether taking out a car loan or refinancing, because the interest rates can easily rise beyond a level that is manageable.Southern New England Credit Counseling
is conducting a survey to find out exactly what their clients are paying in car interest.So is the Connecticut branch of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now
(ACORN), a national activist group known for fighting predatory lending in mortgages.