4 Things You Didn’t Know About WIFI and the Internet

Although there are arguments to be made for the internet slowly turning us into slaves to technology, for the most part, broadband and the internet has been a truly remarkable invention that has revolutionized modern life as we know it today. Without the internet, you wouldn’t be reading this fun article today.

Without the internet, you wouldn’t be able to read your friend’s pointless statuses on social media, or watch funny videos of people slipping over when you’re supposed to be working. On a more serious note, without the internet, life as we know it today would come grinding to a screeching halt. We owe a lot to the internet, but are you a self-proclaimed ‘internet buff’? Unless you already know these fun facts that we’re about to share with you, we’re going to recommend that you hold off on referring to yourself as an internet buff just yet. Here are 4 things you didn’t know about WIFI and the internet.

WIFI doesn’t stand for anything

Some of you reading this article will now be getting pretty hot under the collar, as the general belief is that WIFI actually stands for ‘Wireless-Fidelity’. That, however, is not the case. An early WIFI advertising slogan incorrectly stated that WIFI did indeed stand for ‘wireless fidelity’ and things took off from there. The truth however, is that WIFI doesn’t really stand for anything. It’s just a fun-sounding technical term used in the tech-industry.

The internet is not as new as you think

If you’re like us, you probably connected to the internet sometime in the mid to late nineties, as that is when the world really jumped on board the whole internet saga. The internet, however, was not invented in the nineties at all, it was actually created much earlier than that, way back in 1966 in fact.

The internet is water-based

Water and electricity generally don’t mix, but in the case of the internet, this is an exception. You see, the internet works thanks to a series of underwater ‘submarine communications cables’ which are laid underwater on the sea bed between various stations located on land. In the past, the internet has been disrupted thanks to these cables sustaining damage from numerous things, including ship anchors, and natural disasters such as earthquakes.

Broadband gets its name from physics

Nowadays, all households get their internet connectivity thanks to broadband. But what precisely is broadband? Well, broadband is a term used in the world of physics, to describe a form of radiation which gives off a ‘broad band’ (see what we mean?) of continuous frequencies. Technically speaking, the sun is a form of broadband, although don’t worry, we’re confident that the sun isn’t in fact a giant glowing broadband internet router that some superior alien species forgot to switch off. Or are we?

Car Finance – How to Purchase an Affordable Car

Owning a car is not only liberating, it also helps make everyday life so much easier. What’s more, with fantastic car finance deals available to more people than ever before, nobody is missing out. Car finance is one way to purchase an affordable car, and we’ll be looking at that in more detail a little later on, but what else can be done?

Buying a car is generally not cheap, and it’s certainly not like calling in at your local supermarket for a pint of milk and a loaf of bread. Buying a car can be an expensive ordeal, which is why we’ve compiled this article. If you’re on the lookout for a car and want to keep your costs low, here’s a look at a few tips on how you can snag a great bargain and buy an affordable car.

Purchase a car at least a year old

If you’re looking to buy a brand-new car, you should ask yourself whether it really does have to be brand new, or whether you could cope with a car older than one year old. You see, according to recent research, cars that are at least one year old are considerably cheaper than cars that are brand new. The second you drive a brand-new car out of the dealership it begins losing value. Cars, other than classics, are probably the worst investments you could make in terms of finances. Within the first twelve months, cars lose as much as 27% of their total value. Therefore, if you buy a car roughly a year old, it will still have very few miles on the clock, but will now be a great deal cheaper and more affordable. We’re not talking hundreds of Euros here, we’re talking several thousand.

Car finance

We touched on car finance earlier on, but now we’ll elaborate. Car finance is seen by some people as a rip-off, but that’s not true. Sure, once upon a time, car finance interest rates were extortionate, but times have changed. Now, finance companies have to be more competitive than ever, which means offering low interest rates so that people go with them in the first place. If you want to buy a reliable and fairly-new car, rather than a clapped-out old banger, car finance is ideal. Car finance lets you purchase a fairly-expensive car and pay a small amount each month over several years, plus a little interest.

Choose the right time to buy

If you are buying from a dealership, it may be worth planning your visit carefully. You see, dealership salespeople have targets to meet in order to snag bonuses, and typically they are based upon sales made quarterly. December, March, June, and September, towards the end of the month, are typically good times to visit. During this time, the more cars they sell, the more commission they will earn so they will be likely to do a better deal with you. Needless to say, don’t be afraid to haggle, especially as you have nothing to lose, while they have everything to gain.

Bizarre Mortgage Application Questions Revealed

People are quick to chastise millennials as being ‘self-righteous’ and ‘overly-sensitive’ with a false sense of entitlement, but when it comes to buying a property, especially for the first time, people in this day and age are right to feel hard done by. Their parents likely purchased their first property for less money than is now required purely to put down a deposit on a house. Ever since the credit crunch and the global financial crisis where the banks needed to be bailed out, lenders have really clamped down on their lending policies. It is now harder than ever to get a mortgage, though there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Lenders are becoming slightly less-strict nowadays, and there are plenty of resources and schemes available to help buyers get on the property ladder for the first time. Mortgage lenders do of course need to be cautious with whom they lend their money to, but some of the questions being asked are downright bizarre. If you’re thinking of applying for a mortgage, here’s a look at some bizarre questions you may find yourself being asked during the application process.

What do your children receive for pocket money?

If the person/persons applying for a mortgage happens to have children, this is indeed a genuine question. Yes, really. Now, bear in mind that the average price for a semi-detached property in Ireland is currently €271’000, it’s pretty safe to assume that the average child in Ireland will not be receiving anything close to that in weekly pocket money. If they were, the parents probably wouldn’t need to apply for a mortgage in the first place. Are the lenders really that strict that they’re genuinely worried about how much money a child is getting in pocket money each week?

How often do you eat steak per week?

This is another common question asked by mortgage lenders, and we can only assume it’s because they consider steak to be a luxurious and highly expensive food. In reality, steak prices nowadays are very reasonable, especially if you go for the less expensive cuts like rump. The lenders obviously want to figure out whether their mortgage repayments would be safe or whether or not the recipients would be out squandering their mortgage payments on Ribeye and sirloin steak instead. This question is flawed for many reasons.

To begin with, not everybody eats the same meals every single day, so some people have no idea when they’ll eat steak next. Then of course, there’s the fact that the recipients could simply lie. We’re fairly sure the mortgage police won’t be round every week to inspect the contents of their fridge.

How much do you spend on your pets?

Okay, there are some people out there that spend an astonishing amount of money on their pets, especially if their pets happen to be horses. Generally speaking, however, most people purchase the bare essentials needed to keep their fur-babies happy, clean, healthy, and fed and so we aren’t talking life-changing amounts of money.

Do you plan to have any more children?

This is a very personal question and it’s not really anybody else’s place to ask it, but some lenders do. Bear in mind that a mortgage is a long-term commitment that normally lasts decades, how can anybody give an answer for a future scenario? A couple may not be ready for kids when they apply for a mortgage, but three years down the line, perhaps they will be? You can’t expect them to tell the lenders that they want kids in three years because at the time of applying they may not have done.

4 Car Finance Mistakes to Avoid

4 Car Finance Mistakes to Avoid

Okay, so the time has finally come for you to take the plunge and buy yourself a new car. Your old banger has finally given up the ghost, and you’re looking to treat yourself to something a little more upmarket and expensive. Unless you have a few grand laying around the house, car finance may be your only option to make your monthly payments more manageable. Before you apply for car finance however, there are some things you need to know. Car finance is not a given, and you aren’t guaranteed to be accepted and approved. To help give you the best possible chances of success however, here are 4 car finance mistakes to avoid making.

Failing to check your credit score before applying

Before you even consider applying for car finance, the first thing you need to do is check your credit score. There are a number of websites online that offer this service for free, and while they aren’t generally 100% reliable, many of them are pretty accurate and so they will give you a rough idea of what your score and rating is. If you check your score beforehand, it gives you an idea of what your chances will be of being approved. If for example, you check your score and your rating is low this means you will likely not be approved. If your rating is good, your chances of being approved increase. It is worth knowing your score because if you are rejected, your credit score will actually drop further, and vice versa if you’re approved.

Not shopping around

The car finance market in Europe is incredibly lucrative, which means that there are plenty of companies out there that want a piece of the action. This is good news for car buyers because it allows them more choice and more options. Before you consider applying for car finance, read reviews online, post in forums, and do your own research to try to find out more about the different options available to you. Yes, we know it’s time-consuming and how you’re desperate to get behind the wheel of your new motor, but if it means you save a few hundred Euros each month, surely it’s worth doing?

Not setting a budget

When you buy a new car, you need to set yourself a maximum budget well in advance. The issue with finance is that, because the monthly payments are often so manageable, people forget how much they’re actually paying for the car. Before buying, give yourself a maximum budget and don’t forget how, over the years, when your car finance deal has ended, you will likely have spent more money than the car was valued at, at the time of purchase. It sounds unfair but that’s how finance works. Make sure you factor the interest payments into your total budget.

Beware of early payoff penalties

This sounds bizarre, but if you suddenly decide that you would rather pay off the price of the car in one lump sum, and therefore pay off your car finance in one go, often there may be hidden penalties. That’s right, for paying off the car early, you are sometimes charged a penalty, as it means the lenders may make less money from interestover the coming months/years. Be crystal clear on all terms and conditions when buying a new/used car.

4 Ways to Purchase a Car Without Breaking the Bank

Car Finance – 4 Ways to Purchase a Car Without Breaking the Bank

To some people, cars are nothing more than a way of getting from A to B. To others however, cars are an enormous passion, with some literally earning a living from them. If you’re a self-proclaimed ‘petrol head’ you’ll no doubt have spent many a Sunday afternoon daydreaming about one day owning the sports car you’ve always wanted. Rather than day dreaming about owning your dream car however, why not make it a reality? Thanks to car finance, personal loans, and other means of buying, buying your dream car, whatever the price tag, is now easier than ever. Here’s a look at a few examples of how you can purchase a new car without breaking the bank.

Cash or savings

If you’re serious about buying your dream car, you may have decided to start saving up for it years ago. One day, the time will come when you have enough savings to be able to head out and buy your new car in one go. The benefit of using your own cash/savings is the fact that once you buy it, you then own the car and you can do with it whatever you like. Sure, there’s the tax and insurance to pay for, but once you own the car and have paid for it that’s it. If you can afford to buy it outright, buying it there and then is certainly going to work out cheaper in the long run. There’s also the bonus of you owning it, so you could always sell it if funds were tight.

A personal loan

Another way of buying a new car without spending a fortune on car finance is to get yourself a personal loan. A personal loan can be obtained from a finance provider, a building society, or a bank, as long as you have a fairy-impressive credit rating. Once you are approved, you then borrow the money and can pay it back in monthly payments over the course of several years. The longer you spread out the cost, the less you will pay each month.

Personal Contract Purchase

Personal Contract Purchase, or PCP, for short, is a type of car finance where initially lower monthly repayments are made. Rather than obtaining a loan for the full cost of the car, you instead obtain the loan based upon its value now, and the estimated value at the end of your hire agreement. This is often estimated based upon your predicted mileage.

It is worth noting however, that like most other forms of car finance, at the end of the agreed hire period, you will likely have paid more for the vehicle than it is worth, thanks to the interest payments. After all, the PCP providers have to profit some way, otherwise they’re getting nothing in return. At the end of the term you have the option to pay the difference and buy the car if you really liked it, or you can start the process again with a new vehicle, or simply give it back to the dealership and pay nothing else.

Mortgages – Tips to Sell Your Home

Mortgages – Tips to Sell Your Home

Okay, after many happy years, and countless memories along the way, the time has now come for you to sell your home. Before you start looking into mortgages for your next property, that is indeed, if you require one, there is first the matter of selling the home you currently reside in. Selling a house isn’t like listing something second-hand on the internet, with a ‘buy it now’ option. Selling a house can be a stressful, complex, time-consuming, and even expensive process. That’s right, before you can sell your home there is a good chance that you will have to part with money yourself. Needless to say, not only do you want to get the best price, but you will also want to get the sale done and dusted as quickly as possible. That’s why for today’s topic, we’re looking at mortgagesas we list a series of tips to help you sell your home quicker.

Spruce it up

If you’re looking at selling up, comparing mortgages on a new property, and moving on, the last thing on your mind will be redecoration until you’ve purchased somewhere new. However, as the saying goes ‘you have to spend money to make money’. Unless you can honestly say that your house is immaculate, it is well worth spending some money and redecorating the house, or at the very least, giving the walls a neat new coat of paint. The nicer the house looks, the more likely it will be to sell. This also means tidying up the garden, cutting the grass, removing the weeds, and perhaps even painting the exterior. The nicer the property looks, both on picture, and in person, the easier you should find it to sell.

List on a Friday

Okay, this may sound like superstitious nonsense, but there is some truth to it. You see, according to recent statistics, the best day to list your property for sale if you want rid of it quickly is on a Friday. This is because people are generally happier on a Friday as it’s the weekend and it gives them time to relax and have fun. It also means that people will likely be free over the weekend to come and view, plus they may even have had a drink or two, which always lifts the spirits.

Cover all bases

Remember, when people are looking to buy a new home, they want as close to perfection as you can get. Although you might have been happy to live with that blown lightbulb in the corner, or that annoying paint chip on the wall, a prospective buyer won’t. All of those tedious maintenance jobs that you have been putting off for months, even years, will unfortunately need to be taken care of if you want to increase your chances of a quick sale. Basically, put yourself in the buyer’s shoes and ask yourself if you’d be happy to buy the property in its current state.

Interesting Facts About Broadband and The Internet

Interesting Facts About Broadband and The Internet

In fairly-recent times, there have been some pretty ground-breaking inventions, though none more so than the creation of the internet. The internet has changed the way modern societies live their lives, and we are now more reliant on the internet than ever before. Like it or not, the internet is now a common part of everyday life, and that does not look set to change anytime soon. You yourselves can probably remember back in the mid-to-late nineties when you first had the internet installed in your homes. Looking back at dial-up, it now seems pre-historic, but at the time it was like the stuff you see in Sci-Fi Blockbusters. Broadband and the internet have changed lives, mainly for the better it has to be said, but do you know all there is to know about broadband and the world wide web? If not, check out these interesting facts and see how many you knew beforehand.

A LOT of people use the internet

This should come as no surprise to learn that there are a lot of people using the internet on a daily basis. When we say a lot however, we really mean it. There are currently around 7.7 billion people living on this planet. Out of those 7.7 billion people, more than 4 billion of them use the internet on a regular basis. This is more than 1 in 2 people, so as you can see, sorting your broadband connectivity out should be fairly high up on your list of priorities if you wish to stay with the times.

You can become addicted to the internet

The internet, as great as it can be, can also be detrimental for our health and well-being. It is very possible for an individual to become addicted to the internet. The problem is so bad in fact, that in China, there are special camps designed specifically for internet addicts looking to break their addiction. It is most common for fairly young people to suffer from internet addiction, with 200 million users in the country being aged between 15 and 35.

Broadband speeds are changing

Back in 2005, the maximum broadbandspeed of the internet was 2 Megabits every second. Nowadays however, slightly more than a decade later, it is now possible to achieve speeds of 100 Megabits per second in some parts of the country. You’ve heard of super-fast broadband and fibre optic connectivity, and that is an example of it in action.

Very first YouTube video

We all know what YouTube is so there’s no need to go over what the site is and how it functions. There are hundreds of millions of videos on YouTube these days, but back in 2005, there was just one. On the 23rd of April, 2005, a user named Jawed Karim uploaded YouTube’s very first video. The video was titled ‘Me at the Zoo’ so there’s no prizes for guessing what the video was about. The vid clip was just 18 seconds in length, and as of this writing, it has been viewed 55,095,425 times. That’s impressive, but currently the most viewed video of all time is Luis Fonsi’s Despacito, with 5.2 Billion views!

Mortgages and fintech – a match made in heaven?

Mortgages and fintech – a match made in heaven?

Applying for a Mortgage can be hell! There are few things that are worse than going through the process of meeting with mortgage brokers to trawl through every inch of your financial information, as well as your lifestyle and commitments, not to mention all of the documentation and identification that you have to sift through and file for an application. The process can be lengthy, frustrating and in many cases, cost a lot of money before you are even accepted for a mortgage.

For something that most every people have to do, you would have thought someone would have created a much more efficient and less stressful way of applying for a mortgage a long time ago.

The mortgage market seems to have remained in the dark ages whilst other consumer facing markets have been booming with the help of new technologies. Banks have invested in Fintech in order to make controlling your money possible at the touch of a button through online apps etc, but mortgages seem to have been forgotten about. The Guardian state that new wave of Fintech Mortgage businesses who have launched in the last couple of years, are using cutting-edge technology in order to make finding and applying for a mortgage quicker and slicker. In fact most of these businesses are offering these services for free to their customers. Some would say that with this in mind, mortgages and fintech are a match made in heaven.

There are several key ways that Fintech Mortgage platforms work in order to make the process for consumers through their end to end platforms.

Online mortgage lenders offer an end to end fully automated service which can make decisions on mortgage lending based on your application without the need of information being reviewed by a human. Forbes recently interviewed Francesca Carlesi CEO of mortgage broker service Molo, who explained that their service offer mortgages that are fully underwritten online. Their business is not just an online distribution model but also leverages automated decisions and real time data validation in the back end in order to offer customers quick answers and decisions on mortgage lending.  This makes the process much quicker as applications do not have to be checked and underwritten manually by humans.

Another key way in which Fintech companies improve the mortgage process is by automating the document collection process. The Times discuss how Fintech mortgage service Dashly, enable customers to scan and upload their current mortgage documents at the touch of a button. An automated system then works out where the customer lives, their mortgage rates and term before scanning the system for proposed better mortgage options. All of this information is collected by uploading one document, making the document collection process much easier and in secured in one place.

With Fintech businesses such as Dashly and Molo working to make the mortgage process easier for consumers to handle at the touch of a button, it is clear to see how mortgages and fintech are a match made made in heaven.

Don’t Make These Mistakes When Buying a Car

Car Finance – Don’t Make These Mistakes When Buying a Car

Buying a car is a real treat for some people, and an absolute nightmare for others. Some people take great pride in their cars and treat them like a member of their family, while others simply use them as a way of getting from A to B. In terms of buying a car however, it’s important that we follow the necessary steps and don’t find ourselves paying over the odds, taking out a bad car finance deal, or ending up with a car we dislike. If you’re on the market for a new car, or a pre-owned car for that matter, we want you to get the best deal possible. That’s why for today’s article, we’re looking at a few common mistakes people make when buying a car, and at what you can do to avoid making them yourself.

Not doing your research

Before you buy a car, it’s important to take the time to do a little research and a spot of detective work. If you are planning on buying from a car dealership for example, it may be worth taking the time to search online and try to find out more about the dealership in question. Do they have reviews? If they do, are they positive? Do they have a reputation for selling poor-quality motors, and have they been involved in any previous scandals? As well as the company you are buying from, look online to find info about the car in question. Is it reliable? What type of feedback does it have, and does it sound as if it will fit your basic needs and requirements?

Spending too much

Another mistake a lot of people make when buying a new car is letting their hearts rule their heads. Rather than thinking practically or logically, they are instead blinded by their desire to own what they perceive to be their dream car. Shortly afterwards however, once the novelty wears off, they’ll realize that in actual fact, they did pay above the odds and will wish they’d gone for something cheaper, and more practical.

Not considering car finance

Car finance is very useful for times when you want to buy a decent car, but don’t have the money to spend in one go. Car finance basically allows you to spread the cost of the car out over several years, where you pay an agreed upon amount of money each month for fixed period of time. This way, your monthly payments are smaller so you can still pay the bills, buy food, and lead a social life, plus you get to drive around in a great car.

Overlooking other expenses

Okay, so suppose you do find your dream car and can easily afford to purchase it without spending over the odds. That is just one thing to consider. Cars will require diesel or petrol to run, plus there’s road tax, insurance, and maintenance. Make sure you consider everything else when buying a car, otherwise you’ll find yourself spending much more than you bargained for.

How to Increase Your Chances of Getting a Mortgage

How to Increase Your Chances of Getting a Mortgage

Let’s face it, we’re currently living in an age in which the ‘millennial’ will find it harder than ever to get onto the property ladder and purchase their very first home. People from a generation or two back may have lived through some tough times, but buying a house back then was much, much, much easier than it is right now. While, thanks to the worldwide global financial crisis of 2009, banks and lenders are far stricter and cautious when it comes to mortgages and loans, if you put in the preparation, do your research, and put in the hard work, it is still more than possible to snag yourself a very reasonable mortgage deal. Here are some tips to help increase your chances of getting a mortgage.

Get a credit score

Sadly, we’re living in a world where we are encouraged to apparently increase our chances of getting into debt. Rather than simply paying for things with cold, hard cash, or with our debit cards, we’re encouraged to take out credit on a variety of things. Why? Because in reality it is crucial that you have a credit score before you approach a bank or lender about a loan or a mortgage. People assume that not using a credit card or not having a credit score is going to be beneficial when in reality the exact opposite is true. Having no credit score is just as bad, if not worse than, having a poor credit score. Mobile phone contracts and credit cards are great ways of building up your score, though you need to be careful. More on that next.

Build your score sensibly

When you get a new credit card it can be tempting to make big and lavish purchases, especially with 0% interest offers and such like. The problem is that eventually this money will need to be paid off. If you miss a payment, this shows potential lenders that you’re not great at managing your finances. If you miss credit card payments, this tells the banks that you may miss mortgage repayments to them. Would you risk lending money to somebody if there was a strong possibility you wouldn’t get it all back? No, and neither will the banks. Make sensible purchases, and the second your credit card is activated, make sure you set up a direct debit to pay off a certain percentage of your card. Most people go with a minimum repayment because the sum is so small that they don’t miss the money, and it still covers their backs. Never miss a repayment and don’t pay off cards too quickly.

Save for a deposit

To buy a house you need a deposit. 10% is the norm, though some go with 5%, while others go with 20%. The bigger the deposit, the better the mortgage deal will likely be. This is because it shows that you are good at saving, and it helps you to get a lower interest rate. If you go with an even bigger deposit, of say, 35% – 40% of the property’s value, you’ll likely be offered some very enticing deals indeed.