We are going to preface this entire article with a warning: Be careful when you are shopping for a new roof, especially regarding financing. It is tough enough trying to find a qualified roofing contractor and then negotiating a fair price. But, when a salesman hears that you are financing their whole game plan can change. Now, they want to sell you on a payment. Now, they want to sell you an upgraded package. Now, they want to sell you new gutters, windows, and insulation. It is time to stop the madness, this type of behavior is reprehensible and embarrassing. Every customer deserves to be treated as if they were a family member and if a company is not willing to make that commitment in modern times, they will simply suffer the consequences.
Over the past few years we have already seen a major crack down in the finance industry, helping to rid society of many predatory lenders and the deceptive practices they used. For whatever reason, the home improvement industry is a little behind the times and once again the lending criteria has loosened up lately. In our previous articles we have discussed what type of financing you should ask about when looking to purchase a new roof. To recap, make sure it is a simple interest, unsecured loan with a fixed interest rate. Before you get to the details regarding the loan, you need to make sure you are purchasing a quality product from a reputable company that is giving you a fair deal. It is only fair to let the prospective contractor know that you are financing, but do this at the end of their presentation. If you disclose this information to early they can either try to take advantage of you, or sell you things that you just may not need. Customers are typically given a cash option at a discounted price and this is nothing to fear. There are costs involved in financing that need to be taken into account, so you are going to also have to decide if that is the best way for you to go if you have other means available.
Negotiate your best deal based on the bottom line, do not let anyone starting playing with the monthly payments. This is one technique they use to deceive you as a $100 a month payment sounds great until you realize it is for 12 years and that if you are ever late its quadruples. We often times can treat a financed transaction with less respect and attention then we would if we were paying cash. This is a major problem that needs to be avoided, because in all honesty it is a lot more dangerous long term incurring debt and all the responsibilities that come with the loan. Lastly, be careful about giving the contractor any money up front when financing. We have heard horror stories here, where the quote comes in real low at first and they take a substantial amount for the down payment, only to get half way through the project and try to inflate those numbers drastically. It is one thing when the contractor is expecting the customer to pay cash and thus not sure if they have anymore, but if they already have an open credit line available it is much more likely that they will be able to push you into paying more.
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