What Is a Retainer Fee and What Does It Pay For?
A legal attorney retainer fee in simple terms, is a down payment to retain the services of your chosen attorney. Most retainer fees are not a flat rate fee and do not represent the total cost of the services offered by the attorney or their firm for your case.
What is a retainer fee for? The retainer fee shows the lawyer that you are committing to hiring them to be your legal representative and/or legal counselor.
The retainer fee pays them for the initial start up services and allows them to proceed with investigating your needs to prepare your case. As your case and their services progresses you will accumulate other charges that make up the rest of your attorney and legal fees.
With some attorneys, the retainer fee can be negotiated down to a flat rate, but many of their services will be limited.
People seeking divorce are not usually financially prepared for the required lawyer retainer fees along with the high cost of the other legal fees as well.
You should request an estimate of the total charges from your attorney. Some attorneys will work on a flat rate price but will still require you to pay the retainer fee up front.
Don’t panic. We have some options you can try to get the money needed for the best legal assistance fast. We also have some tips to help you make good choices in selecting a lawyer and preparing for your court case.
Attorney Fee Loan Options, Providing Money For Your Legal Fees.
If you do not have the money for an attorney sitting in your savings account, your next best option is to get an affordable loan. Loans are a good option because in many situations you can have the money available to you the same day you apply.
Just remember that loans are different, and the type of loan you get could cost you a lot more in interest charges than necessary.
If you have bad credit, and you have to apply to several lenders to get approved, it may take longer for you to get the actual check in hand. Retainer fees need to be paid up front so a loan will get you the money you need the fastest.
Valley Auto Loans has a free service that can find a lender for your loan fast without paying too much for it over the long run. Their nationwide pool of lenders review your application and offer loans that fit your needs with no obligation to accept their offers. Using a simple budget can even show you how to get extra money out of your paychecks each month.
Option 1- Personal Loans For Lawyers and Attorney Loans
Getting a personal loan from your bank or credit union is a fast way to get the money you need for any legal fees or lawyer retainer fees. Many come with a short term so you will not have a long-term financial burden.
Some legal firms offer attorney financing for the purpose of paying for a lawyer but like personal loans, they have high-interest rates. If your credit rating is low, you probably will not qualify for their in-house financing.
Taking out a personal loan or attorney fee loans has many drawbacks. For instance, These loans require either a good credit history and a high credit score or collateral.
Applying for multiple personal loans will put a strong hit on your credit rating. This will actually lower your credit score.
Most young people are already paying on a car loan. Adding another loan payment to their budget simply won’t do.
Most personal loans will not require collateral if you have good credit, but are harder to get if you do not own anything of value such as a home or a late model car.
Overall, Personal loans for lawyers cost more for the money you borrow than most other types of loan options. Many loan companies that offer personal loans for paying attorney fees or child custody legal fees take advantage of those in desperate situations because of their client’s limited loan options.
Option 2- Refinance Your Present Car Loan to Use The Equity For Cash
Refinancing your car to reclaim the equity that you have paid into it is wise. This is in many ways the fastest, easiest way to borrow money for lawyers’ fees, court fees or any large purchase that you did not plan for.
If you have a car loan that you have paid faithfully on for a couple of years, “you have built up equity in that car.”
By refinancing the car loan, you can take out the equity you have built up and use it for legal fees, court costs or however you need to. Here is an example.
Refinancing your car loan to pay for your lawyer fees
If your car is three years old and it is worth $17,000 and you owe $9,000 to pay it off you can refinance the loan to get the $8,000 difference in cash. Of course, this is a simple example, and there will be some small loan fees, but the loan fees can be rolled into the new loan as well.
Refinancing your car loan to get the cash out does not require a down payment, thus more money is available for your lawyer retainer fee and other legal fees.
One loan is better than two!
Now keep in mind that some refinance loans could extend your car payments for several years and could put you owing more for your car than it is worth for a period of time.
However, if you add your first car loan and its payments, plus a personal loan to pay for legal representation with high-interest rates you will probably find you cannot afford both loans at the same time. If you compare the interest rates, and the amount you will pay with two loans, a single loan with a lower interest rate will be better for you, and can even lower your monthly loan payment.
One easy way to get a lower interest rate (APR) is to move your loan from your present lender to a new lender. The new lender will be more competitive to offer you a lower rate to get your business.
Money For Your Lawyer Through Loan Refinancing
If you think an auto refinance is a good option for you, there are a few things you will want to do first to get the most cash and the best interest rates available.
- Check your credit score– start by checking your credit score. If there are any errors on it, then call the credit department and get them resolved as soon as possible.
- Raise your credit limit– If you are like most young persons you may have a few credit cards that are at or close to their credit limit. If you apply for a loan with maxed out credit cards, you will get a lousy interest rate or may get turned down altogether. Most young people have never asked for their credit limit to be raised on their cards. This is an easy process that only requires you to call the credit card company and request a higher credit limit on that card. Once you get a higher limit on your cards, you will see that your credit score has just automatically gone up. This is because you are no longer close to your maximum credit allowance of the credit you have established. Just remember why you increased your credit limit and do not add more credit charges to those cards until you pay them down some.
- Find the correct value of your car– If you own the car outright, and you want to refinance it, you will need to know the correct resale value to get the most for the equity from the car. Kelley Blue Book is a good place to start. Just remember to use the resale value and not the trade-in value. The trade in value is only used if you are trading in the car to a car dealer. It always represents the lowest value of your car.
- Search online for lenders– If you have a low credit score, you will not have much luck getting a good auto refinance loan from banks or credit unions. Most Credit Unions offer lower interest rates than standard lenders. However, you need excellent credit to qualify for those low rates. Car refinance loans offered by subprime credit lenders supply some of the lowest rates for those with slow or bad credit.
- Fill out your application at home– If you fill out your application online, you can do it in the privacy of your home and can take your time finding the correct information the lender will ask for. Your application should be filled out completely and accurately to prevent any delays.
We Will Search Loan Refinance Lenders For You, You Save Time And Money
Valley Auto Loans is an auto loan broker that reviews your application with our large pool of select auto loan companies. This process gives you the advantage of finding the best refinance company for your new car loan without multiple credit checks on your report.
With one application we can do the looking for you. Then all you have to do is review the offers and choose the one you like.
There is no obligation to choose any loan, and our application service is free. It does not get any easier than that.
Auto refinancing should be your first option.
Let’s look at a real life example of a woman going through a separation and needed to get money to cover her lawyer fees and other legal fees for separation and child custody case.