08-19-2022  2:01 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

‘Wake of Vanport’ to Be Screened August 28

Register for this free event to be held at Open Signal in Northeast Portland

Heat Returns to Pacific Northwest Wednesday, Thursday

Multnomah County, which includes Portland, will offer people places to stay cool Wednesday as temperatures potentially reach 100 degrees Fahrenheit

Basic Guaranteed Income Program to Launch for Black Portlanders

Brown Hope’s Black Resilience Fund argues the impact of direct cash payments. 

Oregon Justice Fires Panel Due to Lack of Public Defenders

Criminal defendants in Oregon who have gone without legal representation due to a shortage of public defenders filed a lawsuit in May that alleges the state is violating their constitutional right to legal counsel and a speedy trial.

NEWS BRIEFS

Reduced Costs for Parks Programs

Portland Parks & Recreation announces new Parks Levy-funded Access Pass to reduce cost as a barrier for Recreation and...

Measure on Portland Government to Appear as-Is on Ballot

Politicians, business leaders and civic activists have called for reshaping Portland’s form of government, which they say...

The Regional Arts & Culture Council Rolls Out New Grant Program

The Arts3C grant program is designed to be fully responsive to what artists and art makers in the community need funding to support ...

OHA Introduces New Monkeypox (hMPXV) Website

As of Aug. 10, 95 people have tested positive for monkeypox in Oregon ...

Wyden, Colleagues Renew Request for FDA to Address Concerns about Dangerous Pulse Oximeter Inaccuracies Affecting Communities of Color

“There are decades of research showing inaccurate results when pulse oximeters are used to monitor people of color” ...

Court: Extraordinary damages OK in 'wrongful life' case

SEATTLE (AP) — The Washington Supreme Court says that under state law, it's OK for judges to award extraordinary damages in so-called “wrongful life” cases where a child has birth defects or disabilities that require extensive care. The unanimous decision Thursday came in the...

GOP lawmaker arrested, accused of disorderly conduct at fair

CANBY, Ore. (AP) — A state lawmaker was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of disorderly conduct and interfering with a peace officer at the Clackamas County Fair in Canby, Oregon. Republican Rep. James Hieb, of Canby, was arrested Wednesday night and told The Oregonian/OregonLive the...

Mizzou full of optimism with new QB, defensive coordinator

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Missouri coach Eli Drinkwitz is on his third defensive coordinator in three years at Missouri, and the Tigers are about to start their fifth different quarterback in the season opener in the last five years. Sounds like a program that should be on shaky ground. ...

Hoosiers looking for a turnaround after dismal 2021 season

Indiana linebacker Cam Jones and quarterback Jack Tuttle took matters into their own hands this offseason. They called their teammates together to discuss the goals and aspirations of the program, the need to always play with an edge and to break down precisely why things went wrong...

OPINION

No One Ever Told You About Black August?

Black America lives in a series of deserts. Many of us live in food deserts, financial deserts, employment deserts, and most of us live in information deserts. ...

Betsy Johnson Fails to Condemn Confederate Flags at Her Rally

The majority of Oregonians, including our rural communities, value inclusion and unity, not racism and bigotry. ...

Monkeypox, Covid, and Your Vote

We must start a voter registration drive right here where we live. This effort must become as important to us as putting food on the table and a roof over our heads. ...

Speaking of Reparations

To many Americans, “reparations” is a dirty word when applied to Black folks. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Judge throws out M award over California custody death

SAN DIEGO (AP) — A federal judge has thrown out an million lawsuit award over the death of a Southern California man who was beaten, hogtied and shocked with a stun gun by sheriff’s deputies in 2015. U.S. District Judge Marilyn Huff said Wednesday that the March award by a...

Head of Oregon’s troubled public defense system is fired

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The head of Oregon’s public defenders’ office was fired Thursday in a clash over how to solve a dire shortage of attorneys to represent people too poor to afford a lawyer. Critics for years have said Oregon’s unique public defense system is in crisis, with...

Judge blocks Florida 'woke' law pushed by Gov. DeSantis

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — A Florida judge on Thursday declared a Florida law championed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis that restricts race-based conversation and analysis in business and education unconstitutional. Tallahassee U.S. District Judge Mark Walker said in a 44-page...

ENTERTAINMENT

Judge denies bail for Rushdie's attacker, bars interviews

MAYVILLE, N.Y. (AP) — A judge refused to grant bail Thursday to the man accused of trying to kill Salman Rushdie as the acclaimed author prepared to give a talk in western New York. Hadi Matar, 24, appeared in a western New York courtroom after a grand jury indicted him on charges...

Review: 'Three Minutes' a heartbreaking celluloid memorial

What gets you, deep in the gut, are the smiles. The broad, awkward, sometimes silly smiles of people on an unremarkable day in an unremarkable town in 1938 Poland, fascinated by this new thing called a movie camera and oblivious to the fact that one day, this amateur travel movie will become a...

Review: 'Beast,' with Idris Elba, has B-movie bite

Sharks, grizzlies, giant snakes and rampaging apes have traditionally been the go-to choices for animal-kingdom antagonists in survival thrillers. Lions not so much. Maybe the king of the jungle has always been too regal, too majestic — too heroic — to be lowered to the status of mere...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

House Democrats' campaign chief faces tough race of his own

PEEKSKILL, N.Y. (AP) — At a recent rally with union workers and other supporters in the downtown square of this...

Biden bill to help millions escape higher health care costs

WASHINGTON (AP) — Millions of people in the United States will be spared from big increases in health care costs...

Bomb threats put tiny Moldova, Ukraine's neighbor, on edge

CHISINAU, Moldova (AP) — For tiny Moldova, an impoverished, landlocked nation that borders war-torn Ukraine but...

Colombian rebels free 5 soldiers, 1 policeman ahead of talks

HAVANA (AP) — A Colombian guerrilla group says it has freed six captive members of the security forces in a...

Stars Coffee, anyone? Starbucks successor opening in Russia

MOSCOW (AP) — People in Moscow who were disappointed when Starbucks closed its coffee shops after Russia sent...

The AP Interview: Refugee head sees lesson in Ukraine crisis

GENEVA (AP) — Europe's embrace of millions of Ukrainians who fled Russia's invasion showed that it's possible to...

hundred dollar bill sliced into pieces
Charlene Crowell

While there’s nothing new about new car fever or the annual ad blitz, there’s a good deal of news on how consumers are choosing and paying for their cars.

For example, new car sales increased more than 5 percent from a year ago. At the same time, the average credit score for a new car loan dropped to 710 and even lower to 645 for a used vehicle.

These data points provided by Experian, a major market intelligence firm, also recently reported that today the average monthly car payments are also at an all-time high: $503 for a new car and $376 for a used one. Car loan terms are also longer and the amounts financed are both larger too. On average, both new and used car loans are respectively 68 and 66 months. The average new car loan is now an all-time high at $30,032.

“The continued rise in new vehicle costs have kept many consumers exploring options to keep their monthly payments affordable,” said Melinda Zabritski, Experian’s senior director of automotive finance. “As long as vehicle prices continue to rise, we can expect leasing rates to grow along with them…The record highs we have seen in vehicle prices also have had a significant impact on the loan market.”

Consumers short on savings for a down payment, but anxious for a new or nearly-new car may opt for a lease rather than a purchase – a very complex transaction with pitfalls of its own. During the first quarter of 2016, nearly a third of all new car transactions were leases.

For consumers, the really ‘good deal’ is tied not only to the cost of the car, but also to the terms of the sale as well. Sale or lease prices, interest rates, length and other items are also important to the art of ‘the deal’.

Unfortunately, all too often consumers of color – especially Blacks and Latinos – consistently try to negotiate a ‘good car deal,’ but often wind up paying more than others. The practice of car dealers adding extra interest to a car loan has a long history of discrimination that has led to a series of multi-million dollar settlements with finance arms of major auto manufacturers and other ones with banks.

Fortunately, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently developed a series of consumer resources that can better inform those making decisions. Topics included in the series cover: how to plan for a purchase; loan options and how to better negotiate a car loan. A consumer guide available for download can also serve as a handy reference, providing greater detail on the process from determining how much to borrow to closing the sale.

Most importantly, CFPB provides specific steps to take before going to dealers. The CFPB strongly encourages consumers to get an offer from a bank, credit union or other finance source before setting foot in the dealership.

The Bureau also urges caution when striking agreements with dealers. Consumers should carefully review loan paperwork to catch differences between what was verbally promised against what the paperwork requires borrowers to do. Consumers should never sign any loan with unclear terms, blank spaces or language they do not completely understand.

According to the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL):

• 80 percent of car loans are financed through dealers;
• At more than one trillion dollars, outstanding car loans are the third highest amount of consumer debt, surpassed only by mortgages and student loans; and
• Although borrowers of color report trying to negotiate loan terms more than other consumers, they wind up paying more for financing.

A fact sheet on how to avoid a predatory car loan is available on CRL’s web.

“Car prices are rising faster than incomes, so consumers are faced with taking on longer loans,” said Chris Kukla, CRL executive vice president. “The CFPB’s new guide rightly puts the focus on the overall cost of the car. Lenders are taking big chances when making loans for 7 or 8 years – borrowers should think long and hard before taking one.”

Charlene Crowell is a communications manager with the Center for Responsible Lending. She can be reached at Charlene.crowell@responsiblelending.org.

PHOTO CAPTION: Charlene Crowell says that all too often consumers of color – especially Blacks and Latinos – consistently try to negotiate a ‘good car deal,’ but often wind up paying more than others.

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