15 Mar 2014

Safe Groundwater – Not Just for Water Well Owners

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If you’re a well owner, you understand just how essential a resource groundwater is to daily life. Without it, we couldn’t survive. Unfortunately, not everyone realizes this, and many others simply take it for granted. That is why the National Ground Water Association hosts National Groundwater Awareness Week each year in March.

The idea of this annual observance is to promote why groundwater is important to you. And by “you,” we mean everyone. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 90 million Americans get their tap water from municipal agencies that rely on groundwater supplies. Another 13 million citizens pull their water directly from the ground through private wells. As vital as groundwater is, too often we hear in the news or experience firsthand contamination to water supplies. Sometimes, groundwater becomes tainted naturally, but more often we humans are to blame. Polluted groundwater can cause severe health problems and even death to those who drink it.

So how can you – everyone – help raise awareness about the importance of groundwater, and why do we need to do our best to keep it clean? The Indiana Ground Water Association (IGWA) provides some helpful facts and figures for our state. C&J Well Company wants to highlight some of those numbers, and we ask that you share this information with others in your family, your community and your workforce. Spreading the word is one of the easiest and most effective ways to help others think about issues; in this case, protecting our groundwater for current and future generations.

Do You Rely on Groundwater?

When we turn on our taps, the fresh water that flows out has to come from somewhere. For many Hoosiers, that water comes from right under our feet. According to the IGWA:

  • 1,630,000 residents rely on private water wells.
  • 564,277 households are connected to private wells.
  • Nearly 1,000 Indiana farms spanning more than 345,000 acres use irrigation wells.
  • 8% of our state’s total water supply comes from fresh groundwater.
  • 100% of Indiana households rely on that groundwater.
  • 65% of Indiana livestock & aquaculture rely on just 4% of the groundwater supply.
  • 188 Indiana well firms (including C&J) employ more than 1,000 people.
  • More than 1,600 Indiana scientists & engineers work with groundwater.
  • Many more businesses & companies related to the groundwater industry call Indiana home.

As you can see, our groundwater goes a long way in providing jobs, education and life to Hoosiers across our state. And when it is compromised, groundwater affects us all. That is why events like National Groundwater Awareness Week are so important.

For more information on groundwater, click here to view the facts from the National Ground Water Association. C&J Well Co. encourages you to share this blog and the information provided with those around you. Together, we can make a difference and help safeguard our precious groundwater for years and decades to come. Please feel free to contact C&J to learn more about private water wells, quality and conservation, and other important topics on Indiana groundwater.

08 Mar 2014

Cost Estimate for Digging a Water Well

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Water WellWater wells aren’t exactly common knowledge to every homeowner. At C&J Well Company, we understand that, and we are always happy to answer your questions. One of the more common questions we field from folks goes something like this:

“How much does it cost to dig a well?”

It’s a very common question, and also one of the most difficult to answer. That’s because no two wells are ever exactly alike, and many variables factor into the final cost. As a professional well company, C&J has to take many things into consideration before we get to work, such as:

  • The size of your property
  • The location of your property
  • What type of well you want
  • How far down we have to dig
  • Your specific water needs
  • Which pieces of equipment we must use
  • Which components go into your well
  • Costs & labor
  • Licenses & permits
  • Water quality testing

The list goes on and on, so you can see why drilling a quality well is much more than digging a simple hole in the ground! Speaking of holes, we want to caution people from attempting to dig their own water wells just to save money. This is no easy feat by any means, and there are many things that can go dangerously wrong in the process. Some folks may have the tools, the resources and the skills to build a water well on their own, and we commend them for that. But for the vast majority of home and property owners, it is simply smarter – and safer – to hire an expert well company like C&J to do the work for you. Contact us to learn more about the procedures and precautions we follow for all of our professional well services.

With all that said, we realize we still haven’t used a single dollar sign in this whole blog article. Now we can’t provide a laser-accurate estimate, but customers can expect to spend $3,000 or more for a typical residential water well. Irrigation wells can cost $5,000 or more. Well parts and components, along with the connections to your home, may cost up to a couple thousand dollars more. Remember these are just rough estimates; your specific costs could be more or less. To get an accurate service quote, please contact C&J Well Co. We’re happy to share our cost schedules with you, and we will even come out and visit your property to give you a fair and accurate estimate.

Private water wells make wonderful resources for the countless homeowners who rely on them. There is nothing quite like turning on your faucet and watching fresh, clean, natural water, completely disconnected from any municipal entity, flow from the tap. It’s your own water, after all, and you never have to worry about what happens to the city supply. To experience the benefits of private well water for yourself, contact C&J Well Co. today.

01 Mar 2014

Conserve Well Water with this DIY Rain Barrel

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DIY rain barrel

Example of DIY Rain Barrel

There is something inherently satisfying about self-reliance. Whether you grow and/or hunt your own food, build your own structures, or create your own electricity, being resourceful is a handy skill to have, especially in a pinch.

Water is one of the most important resources on earth. So why not capture some of it naturally? Today, we’re going to show you how to construct your own rain barrel. Rain barrels are great because they are inexpensive, easy to build, conserve well water, and are very versatile implements for properties of all sizes. With warmer weather right around the corner, you can get started now to capture some of those spring showers once they arrive.

Ready to go? Let’s scrounge up some supplies.

DIY Rain Barrel Materials & Tools

  • Barrel – For rain barrels, size matters. Trash cans work well, and 55-gallon drums are also fairly standard. You can use plastic or metal. If you’re salvaging a used barrel, make sure it is thoroughly cleaned and never contained toxic material.
  • Spigot
  • Hose clamp
  • Metal washers (2)
  • Rubber washers (2)
  • Waterproof sealant
  • Landscape fabric
  • Platform material (optional)
  • Drill
  • Utility knife

Put it together

Now that you have your rain barrel supplies gathered, drill a hole a few inches above the bottom of your barrel. Make sure the hole is slightly smaller than the spigot you intend to use.

Once the hole is drilled, grab your spigot, as well as a metal and rubber washer. Place the metal washer over the spigot threads and push it all the way on. Then do the same thing with the rubber washer. Make sure both fit tightly around the threading. Now you’ll want to use your sealant and apply it around the rubber washer. Once finished, plug the spigot into the hole. From the inside of the barrel, place another set of rubber and metal washers over the spigot threads, followed by the hose clamp. The idea is to sandwich the 2 rubber washers between the metal washers to form a seal around the hole in the rain barrel.  Make sure everything feels tight.

Next, use your utility knife to cut a hole on the top of the barrel. This hole needs to be large enough for your gutter downspout to drain into it. Add a couple more drill holes near the top of the barrel for overflow. If you want, you can connect additional barrels from these holes with hose or PVC pipe for even greater water storage.

You will want to cover the downspout hole with a piece of landscape fabric. You can cut a piece large enough to cover the top of the barrel and then place a lid over it, or you can put the fabric on top of the hole and “glue” it on with the sealant. The fabric will trap dirt and debris, and prevent mosquitoes from reaching the water.

After you have everything put together, it’s time to install your rain barrel! Place it right under a downspout in a spot you’ll use it most often (next to a garden, a flower bed, etc.). Placing the barrel higher off the ground will create more pressure when you hook up a hose, thanks to gravity. Use bricks, pieces of 4×4 lumber or other material to construct a platform for the barrel.

Once your rain barrel starts collecting water, you’ll see just how easy it is to be more resourceful at home. For other methods, such as private water wells, irrigation wells or geothermal drilling, contact C&J Well Company. We offer many installation and maintenance options for folks across central Indiana.

We hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Feel free to get in touch with us for any other questions you have!

20 Jan 2014

Dangerous Water Contaminants

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Keeping Your Water Contaminant Free

Keeping Your Water Supply CleanThey are invisible to the naked eye and often difficult to test for without professional help. We’re talking about water contaminants that foul the water supply.  Municipalities constantly test for impurities at water treatment facilities. For private wells, however, the responsibility of finding, fixing and preventing these pollutants is on the owner.

Not all well water impurities are inherently dangerous. Some minerals actually improve the taste and quality of water. But homeowners should know which contaminants cause trouble, and be vigilant in making sure these things don’t infect their drinking water. Let’s take a look at some of these impurities and explain why they may be bad for you.

Types of Water Contaminants & Impurities

Microorganisms. Microscopic organisms include bacteria and viruses, and do sometimes appear in water. Shallower wells are more prone to contamination. Coliform bacteria are especially common and cause many illnesses. They often reach wells through runoff from farms, sewage plants, wild animals and other sources where waste is present. Water should be routinely tested and wells thoroughly cleaned to prevent the spread of microorganisms.

Heavy metals. Arsenic, lead and other heavy elements are naturally found in rocky soil. While not very common, heavy metal contamination can lead to a number of serious health problems, even death. Heavy metals enter wells when underground water flows through rocks and soil containing these materials. It is important to have well water tested annually by a certified drinking water laboratory.

Nitrates. Nitrates are commonly found in fertilizers. Therefore, rural wells in agriculture-rich areas face a higher risk of nitrate contamination, especially after heavy rain and flooding. Plants rely on nitrates for growth, and the leftover nitrates absorb into soil and leach into groundwater. Nitrates are especially harmful to babies, the elderly and people with weak immune systems.

Radionuclides. Radioactive elements include radon and uranium, and result from natural and manmade occurrences. Radionuclides are naturally found in rocks and soil, but waste that originates at power plants and medical facilities may also contribute to their presence in water supplies. Exposure to radiation is associated with a higher risk of cancer

Industrial products. All sorts of hazardous materials pose potential dangers to water supplies and wells. Petroleum products, cleaning chemicals and solvents, paints, landfill waste and other harmful substances can enter water supplies through accidental leaks and/or deliberate human activity. Depending on the material, health problems can range from minor to severe.

Regular Water Contaminant Treatment

In order to keep you and your family safe and your water supply clean, you must take regular care of your well. Again, it is up to you and only you to ensure your well is safe to use and your water is safe to drink. Regular testing, cleaning and professional analysis help maintain the highest quality water, and keep well components in good working order. C&J Well Company helps homeowners across central Indiana with everything from well digging and installation, to comprehensive maintenance and certified water testing.

For more information on keeping your water supply fresh and impurity-free, contact C&J to learn more about our expert well services.

03 Jan 2014

Water Contaminant Troubleshooting

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Protect Your Well From Water Contaminants

Water Contaminant Troubleshooting for Wells and Well Water

In one of our December blog articles, we talked about low well water yield and highlighted some of the common causes for falling water pressure in your home.

While issues like clogged well screens and sediment buildup are certainly frustrating, they are mechanical in nature and can be fixed by a handy homeowner or a professional contractor like C&J Well Company. What you really want to avoid is contamination in your water supply. Drinking organic or inorganic toxins can make a person sick, or worse.

Today, we’ll focus on some of the nasty stuff that can find its way into your water and describe where it comes from, and what it can do to you. Hopefully this emphasizes the importance of regular well maintenance and cleaning!

Types of Water Contaminants

 

WHAT IT IS
WHERE IT COMES FROM
WHAT HAPPENS TO YOU
Coliform bacteria Found naturally in the environment; also found in human and animal fecal waste Usually nothing, but coliform presence means harmful bacteria like E. Coli may be present
Cryptosporidium Fecal waste Gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea and vomiting
Giardia Fecal waste Gastrointestinal problems
Arsenic Found naturally in soil; also found in runoff from agricultural and industrial sources Skin damage; gastrointestinal problems; numbness; paralysis; vision problems
Nitrates Fertilizer runoff; sewage and septic leaks; soil erosion Several serious health risks, especially for babies
Lead Plumbing corrosion; improper disposal of lead-based paint; natural runoff Physical and mental disabilities in children; high blood pressure; kidney damage
Synthetic Organic Chemicals (SOCs) Herbicide and pesticide runoff; industrial chemical discharge; emissions from burning waste Increased risk of cancer; cardiovascular problems; organ failure; reproductive problems
Volatile Organic Chemicals (VOCs)

Runoff and leaking of gasoline, diesel and solvents; chemical spills Increased risk of cancer; cardiovascular problems; organ failure; reproductive problems
Radionuclides Natural decay and erosion of radioactive elements in the ground; improper disposal of radioactive materials Increased risk of cancer

 

Regular Well Maintenance Can Help Control Water Contaminants

What is the best way to protect yourself and your family from organic and inorganic pollutants in the water? Protect your well! Don’t ignore responsibilities like water quality testing (by an independent laboratory), regular well maintenance and disinfecting. If you rely on a well for your home’s water source, it is up to you to ensure that water is safe to drink.

For more information and assistance with water quality and proper well maintenance, contact C&J Well Co. to learn more today!

20 Dec 2013

Hidden Dangers of Old Wells

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Old Wells – Health & Safety Risks

Lassie saved Timmy from an Old Well
“What’s that Lassie? Timmy fell down the old well?”

Few of us can forget that innocent yet unintentionally funny quote from television’s Lassie. Thanks to one heck of a smart dog, little Timmy was rescued. That was just a TV show; in real life, old and abandoned wells pose equally real dangers.

How do you find and fix an old well?

It’s not always easy. The property you now own may have been bought and sold several times in the past, and the well you rely on for your private water supply may not be the only well that exists on your land. There are many ways to drill a well, with some techniques much safer than others. Well components and even the ground around them can become unstable and collapse. Unused wells can also collect pollutants like fertilizer and animal waste, which can then contaminate groundwater and spread to other sources of fresh water in an aquifer.

Locating Old Wells

In order to remedy any potential dangers, property owners should take the first and important step of finding abandoned wells on their land. There are a number of ways to locate these old wells, even if you didn’t dig them yourself:

  • Look for pipe ends that stick out of the ground.
  • Inspect small structures or buildings for evidence of past well houses.
  • Locate any unusual ground depressions on the property.
  • Check for ground connections beneath old, unused or damaged windmills.
  • If you rely on a utility for water, find out how water was supplied to your home before a connection was made to the utility.
  • Talk to previous landowners if possible, and review any surveys, maps or other property documents that still exist.

Hidden dangers of old wells New property owners should also speak with neighbors to learn any potential information about wells that previous owners may have operated in the past. The more details you can gather from all possible sources, the better.

After you have located any derelict wells on your property, the next step is to shut them down. Special precautions must be made with environmental officials, and regulations must be followed depending on where you live. For example, not all materials are approved for filling in an old well hole. Contact a professional well contractor like C&J Well Company in Indianapolis, for help with the process. C&J has the tools and experience to guide well owners through every step of proper decommissioning.

We can’t all have a Lassie at home to protect us from dangers. Keep your property safe for everyone and everything, by taking care of old and abandoned wells.

03 Dec 2013

Water Well Issues – Weak Well Pressure

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Common Water Well Issues

Water Well Issues & Weak Well Pressure

At C&J Well Company, we love wells. Water wells provide our customers with a constant supply of fresh, clean water, along with a sense of freedom from municipal water companies. C&J customers also enjoy the cost savings they get from having their own water.

All that said, water wells issues can arise since wells are not without their occasional troubles. Thankfully, almost everything that might happen to a private well can be remedied with a little know-how and some common sense. Many times, well owners find solutions to these problems without even having to give us a call.

Water Well Troubleshooting

Today, we’re going to look at one of the most common frustrations that people with water wells experience. We’ll also provide a list of  troubleshooting and techniques to fix the issue.

We’re talking about weak well pressure and lower water yield. Here’s what to do.

CAUSE PROBLEM SOLUTION
Accumulation of organic material (biofilm) in well screen or pump intake. Discolored, smelly water. Potentially hazardous organisms can damage well components and enter water supply. Follow proper well disinfection steps. Detailed instructions are available on C&J’s website.
Mineral deposits inside well. Build-up can encrust well components and fixtures inside home. Disinfect well with chlorine. Professional cleaning by C&J may be necessary to remove sediment.
Underground sediments clogging well screen. Lower water pressure in home. Dirty water with visible particulates. Sediment in water heater. Remove pump and flush well with water or air. C&J can clean screen and replace with new components if necessary.
Interference from nearby wells. Loss in water pressure and possible loss in well water level. Locate any wells nearby and reduce pump levels to avoid damage.
Well reaches end of lifespan. Borehole, well casing may collapse. Outdated materials fail. Water pressure falls to zero. Replace well components and/or materials. New borehole may be needed. Plug existing hole to prevent accidents and injuries.
Aquifer dries out (can be a temporary or permanent event). Complete loss of water pressure and water supply. Surrounding area may be affected by loss of water levels. Reduce water usage and pumping capacity. Drill a deeper well. Contact neighbors and DNR for more information on local water levels.
Faulty well system. Low water pressure despite adequate water level in well. Damaged or outdated pump. Leak in pipe or casing. Contact C&J Well Co. to schedule professional inspection of well and components.

 

Regular Well Maintenance Will Help Prevent Problems

Keeping on top of necessary maintenance like regular chlorination will greatly prevent problems to your water well. While this guide should help troubleshoot some of the common issues well owners encounter, it is not a comprehensive guide. Your problems may be different or unique. If you have any questions or need assistance with your water well, C&J Well Co. is happy to help!

15 Nov 2013

Water Softening Systems

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Investing in Water Softening has Advantages

When you hear the phrase “hard water,” something like ice might come to mind. But hard water comes out of a lot of faucets around central Indiana, and those folks are missing out on some important benefits. Luckily, C&J Well Company has a simple solution. The water softeners we install and service really do improve the taste, texture and functions of your average tap water.

 

Though the science behind softening water isn’t that hard to understand, we’ll save explaining how water softener systems work for another blog article. Today, we’ll focus on covering some of the most common benefits homeowners get when they add a softener to their water supply.

 

From better tasting, better feeling, better cleaning water that’s better on the environment, softened water is just, well…better.

Water Softening Household Benefits

Tap water that is treated through water softening has many household advantages over hard water. Some of these benefits are noticeable the first time you experience softened water, and include:

 

  • Softer skin and hair.

  • The ability to use smaller amounts of soaps and detergents.

  • Cleaner dishes with less streaking.

  • Less soap scum residue in the bathroom.

  • Fewer mineral deposits and softer laundry.

  • Less mineral buildup, which means longer appliance life.

  • Cleaner plumbing systems.

  • Water that heats faster for bathing and washing.

  • Better water pressure/flow through faucets and shower heads.

Environmental Benefits to Water Softening

Water softener technology is constantly improving, and new systems are much more eco-friendly than their predecessors. This environmental consciousness means far less waste from today’s softeners. Depending on the system you purchase, environmental benefits can include:

 

  • Better water heater efficiency and less maintenance.

  • Lower energy/utility costs.

  • Reduced need for cleaning showerheads and other components, which means fewer chemicals going down the drain.

  • Less mineral buildup (some studies have shown that potentially harmful pathogens may grow faster in the film left behind by hard water residue).

  • Longer-lasting appliances, which means less junk in landfills.

  • Better water pressure, which means shorter bathing and washing times.

 

C&J Water Softening Services

 

Water softeners can be used in residential and commercial settings, and there is a growing demand for applications in both fields. C&J Well Co. specializes in residential and commercial services, so talk to one of our representatives today for more information on how we can serve your home or business.

Is a water softener right for you? Give C&J a call and find out!

31 Oct 2013

Water Well Witching

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To celebrate Halloween, let’s talk about something downright spooky. Witchcraft has been around for nearly as long as mankind. Like ghouls and goblins, ghosts and vampires, witches cast a scary shadow on American culture. While the supernatural can be a controversial topic, here at C&J we want to discuss something equally divisive. It’s an old-school act to find water and other hidden objects, with a moniker that’s downright coven. Can you guess?

 

We’re talking about witchin’.

 

Dowsing, as witching is formally called, is a method of locating underground material. The target can be oil, natural gas, gold or other treasures, human remains and of course, ground water. Dowsing relies on two main resources to get the job done: divination and a dowsing rod. Dowsing rods are typically “Y” or “L” shaped twigs or wire dowels. Divination is a little bit harder to explain; think of it as a sort of psychic ability.

 

An ancient act, dowsing has been around for hundreds of years or more. No one really knows where it comes from, but throughout history, it has been passed down from generation to generation and is steeped in folklore.

 

Folks who believe in dowsing will carry a stick or rods in their hands and walk across a patch of land where they hope to find something valuable. Concentrating hard on that object, they believe the tools will automatically point to a spot where treasure is buried. Dowsing rods are said to act like an antenna, amplifying energy of said object.

 

The problem is, dowsing rarely – if ever – finds anything more than soil.

 

Countless scientific and independent studies never have found any definitive evidence that dowsing actually works. They point to strong knowledge of the land and old-fashioned luck as the likely reasons for success.

 

At C&J, we concur with the science. As professional well drillers, we don’t rely on spooky or funny business to locate water on your property. Instead, we invest in proven machinery, equipment and skillful employees, all trained to find water and build wells that meet our customers’ needs. No psychic skills necessary.

 

Witching, divining, doodle bugging – whatever you call it, dowsing has been around for a long time and it’s likely to stay. You may have even seen the practice featured on one of those recent oil reality shows. Just remember that drilling wells can be a lengthy and costly process, so trust the guys with the right tools to get the job done the first time, and not some supernatural swindler with a wooden stick.

 

17 Oct 2013

Geothermal Energy

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At C&J Well Co., we help lots of people with just about everything related to water wells. Most folks are familiar with these types of wells, but fewer know about underground geothermal systems and what they do. Geothermal digging is another specialty here at C&J, and we want to take some time to explain this renewable resource and how it can help your home.

What is geothermal?

Great question! Geothermal energy is a natural form of heating and cooling using the earth as your energy source. Just like your water well provides a source of natural water, a geothermal system from C&J provides a continuous supply of natural energy, in the form of heating and cooling for your home.

Underground, temperatures remain constant throughout the year, no matter how hot or cold it gets aboveground. This makes geothermal energy a wise and affordable choice for clean heating and cooling at home.

How do geothermal systems work?

Like water wells, geothermal systems are dug into the ground to extract what’s underneath. In this case, we are going after energy instead of water.  At C&J, we rely on two main types of geothermal systems: the closed loop and the open loop.

For closed loop systems, we dig a hole and install a geothermal heat pump and piping. Those pipes are then filled with antifreeze, which transfers ground heat to the pump and into your home.

Open loop systems need groundwater to work, so these applications can only be installed on properties with an existing water source. In open loops, the water pumped in to help heat or cool is then pumped back out. C&J has a number of applications for reusing this spent water.

Do I need a big property for geothermal?

The nice thing about geothermal systems is that they work on properties of all shapes and sizes. Closed loop systems can be installed horizontally or vertically, depending on the size of your yard. Even if your home is on a very small property, C&J has a geothermal solution for you.

Is geothermal heating & cooling more efficient than traditional methods?

Absolutely. Many homeowners we speak with are growing more mindful of the environment, and are always looking for better ways to be comfortable at home without causing a big impact on the earth. Geothermal heat pumps from C&J are among the most energy-efficient, cost-effective and green ways to heat and cool your home.

 Want to save money and help save the environment at the same time? With geothermal energy, you can! Consider this investment in your own home, and talk to C&J today about the geothermal solutions that are right for you.

*Loans provided by EnerBank USA, Member FDIC, (1245 Brickyard Rd., Suite 600, Salt Lake City, UT 84106) on approved credit, for a limited time. Repayment term is 60 months. 6.99% fixed APR. Minimum loan amounts apply. The first monthly payment will be due 30 days after the loan closes.
*Loans provided by EnerBank USA, Member FDIC, (1245 Brickyard Rd., Suite 600, Salt Lake City, UT 84106) on approved credit, for a limited time. Repayment terms vary from 24 to 132 months. Interest waived if repaid in 365 days. 18.58% fixed APR, effective as of January 1, 2019, subject to change. Interest starts accruing when the loan closes.
*Loans provided by EnerBank USA, Member FDIC, (1245 Brickyard Rd., Suite 600, Salt Lake City, UT 84106) on approved credit, for a limited time. Repayment terms vary from 12 to 144 months depending on loan amount. 8.99% to 12.99% fixed APR, based on creditworthiness, subject to change. The first monthly payment will be due 30 days from the date of application and monthly thereafter.