QUESTION: I have paid 24 months of a 60 month car loan. I still owe $10,500 to pay it off but the payments are now too much for me, despite an interest rate below 5%. Should I cash in some stock or use my equity line (over 5%) to pay it off, or should I hold on a few more years to get a slightly better percentage back on a sale?
–Robin Gregory, Enka, N.C.
Question: I have $17,000 in credit card debt at a variable rate of 10.99%, which I plan to pay off using my monthly income by December 30. I have a $15,000 car loan at 2.65% fixed with 4.5 years left to pay on it, which I was not planning to pay off prior to the loan term date. I am receiving a $7,000 after-tax bonus in September. Should I use this to pay down the car loan or use it to pay down the credit card?
Question: The common advice is to not open any new credit before applying for a mortgage. If I lease a car, how will it affect my credit score, and how much time should I allow before I try to buy a home?
– Ron Sim, Los Angeles
Ask SmartMoney has a single, simple mission: Answer your questions. Answers are written by the staff of SmartMoney.com and SmartMoney magazine, with the help of outside experts. Topics cover investing, spending, retirement planning, saving for college, insurance, taxes and more. Submit your question in the form below, or email email@example.com.