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Want the best possible job? Check out auto loans

[Aug 22, 2011.]


If you live in a metropolitan area and rely on public transportation, you could be at a severe disadvantage when it comes to accessing a good job, according to research published earlier this year by The Brookings Institution. The study found that a typical resident using mass transit systems could reach only 30 percent of jobs in such an area within 90 minutes. And that, of course, means that those without a car who are looking for new work are effectively cut off from 70 percent of opportunities within their own cities.

That's a national average, and, as a rule, the further west you live the better your mass transit system is likely to be. In Honolulu (the best), you can (using that 90-minute cutoff) access 60 percent of jobs using public transport, but if you're in Palm Bay, Fla., you can reach only 7 percent. However, that "west is best" rule is one that's frequently broken, and last week, The New York Times quoted a different study that found that "residents of Los Angeles's Watts neighborhood who owned cars could access 59 times as many jobs as those without cars."

But wherever you are, you are most likely to be able to find the best job for you if you own your own car. And, for many of us, owning cars means having auto loans.

Cheap auto loans still available

A couple of weeks ago, this blog reported (see Auto loans could be hit by nation's downgraded credit rating) on some of the media's dire warnings about what could happen in the short term to consumer credit interest rates. Many believed that they could rise sharply. Well, that hasn't come about--at least not yet. In fact, some forms of lending have become cheaper since then. Here's what Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac's chief economist, said about last week's mortgage rates:

The Federal Reserve's policy statement last week and ongoing market concerns over the European debt market carried momentum into this week allowing all mortgage products in our survey to reach all-time record lows. For instance, 30-year fixed mortgage rates are now the lowest in over 50 years.

Auto loans aren't that cheap yet, but on August 15, The Baltimore Sun said: "The silver lining in all this economic upheaval lately: low interest rates on consumer borrowing. Mortgage rates are at or near record lows, causing a jump in refinancing. Credit card rates remain largely flat. And new car loans have been inching downward."

Quotes for auto loans

The question is: Will auto loans remain this affordable for long? And the short answer is: Nobody knows. But if you want a great deal, you might well believe that you should be checking out quotes for auto loans right now.


About Author:

Peter Andrew has been writing about -- and for -- business for more than two decades. For the last couple of years, he has found himself increasingly specializing in the U.S. financial sector.

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