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.

Even More Interesting but Useless Broadband and Internet Facts

Even More Interesting but Useless Broadband and Internet Facts

As we’re so confident that you will have loved our previous article listing interesting but useless facts about broadband and the internet, we’ve decided to compile another with even more fun online facts you won’t believe. Okay, you probably will believe them as you know what a strange and wonderful place the internet can be, but even so, we’re sure you’ll get a kick out of them. Some of these facts may prove useful at your local pub quiz, whilst others may simply offer you something interesting to tell your friends the next time you’re down at the pub. Just FYI, please don’t hold us responsible if your friends don’t in fact find them interesting.

Spam has been around a long time

Last time we spoke about how email had actually been around since 1971. Well, for a blissful 7 years, those fortunate enough to use email did not need to worry about spam. All that changed one fateful day in 1978 however. Back then, 600 internet users were the recipients of a spam advertisement for a presentation provided by Digital Equipment Corporation for what was known as DEC system 2020. None of these 600 people asked for this email, and none found it useful. If only they knew then what we know now about spam.

You can still access the world’s first website

As we’re on the subject of world firsts, you can actually still access the very first website in the world. That’s right, it’s still online! Needless to say, it’s a very primitive HTML site, and it contains nothing more than a couple of lines of text, created via the first version of HTML. The site, if you’re interested, is info.cern.ch.

URL meaning

Ever hear people talking about a website’s URL, and you just nod your head aimlessly, hoping that the subject of conversation will soon change? Yes, us too. Well, the next time you hear people talking about web URLs, you can now relax, safe in the knowledge that URL stands for Uniform Resource Locator.

Gmail was once owned by Garfield

When you think of broadband and Gmail nowadays, you think of Google. Well, once upon a time, the hugely popular cartoon cat Garfield, actually offered an email service named Gmail. Google later acquired the service, and the rest, as they say, is history.

The internet sure has a lot of naked women

Okay, we know that the internet is a pornography haven, but did you know that around 80% of all online images out there are of a naked woman of some description? Well, you do now. Currently, the online adult industry generates around £2,300 every second. Yes, we did say second, and now you know why there are so many naked ladies out there.

The internet took off very quickly

To reach 50 million internet users, it took just 4 years. To put that into perspective, TV took 12 years, whereas radio took a whopping 38 years. Hooray for broadband.

Myths About Car Finance and Insurance

Myths About Car Finance and Insurance

Buying a new car is either a treat, or a chore. Some people take great pride in their vehicles, while others view them purely as necessities. The great thing about the motor industry nowadays, however, is that thanks to the numerous car finance deals currently available to us, we can purchase a variety of new and attractive vehicles without bankrupting ourselves in the process. As well as car finance however, there’s also the insurance to consider. When it comes to finance and car insurance, there’s a lot of myths and misconceptions that need clearing up. That’s what we’re aiming to do today. Here’s a look at a few common myths and misconceptions about car finance and insurance.

You don’t need to pay an excess if you’re not at fault

This is one of the most common myths surrounding car insurance, and it’s simply not true. Many people out there seem to think that if they make a claim that wasn’t their fault, I.E if another insured vehicle crashes into them whilst they were stationary, that they don’t need to pay the excess. The truth is that you still need to pay the excess up front. The good news is that most insurers will refund this excess if it is deemed that you were genuinely not at fault. This is why it’s important to remember to go with an excess that you know you can afford.

Car finance is a rip off

When you speak to a lot of people about car finance, many of them will tell you that it is a rip off and waste of money. Yes, the finance companies do charge more than the vehicle is worth because it is from the interest payments that they are able to make their money. These interest rates are usually very competitive and very affordable. Car finance is ideal because it allows you to purchase an expensive vehicle and pay for it over the course of several months/years, by making affordable monthly payments. If you go with the right deal, car finance is actually anything but a rip off.

Some colours of car are more expensive to insure than others

We’re not quite sure where this myth originated from but take it from us that it is simply not true. Some people claim that black cars and red cars, are more expensive to insure than others. We don’t know why people assumed this, but it is simply not true at all. It is incredibly rare for an insurance company to even ask what colour your car is, so please do not avoid red or black cars if you are trying to save money on your insurance because in reality it won’t make any difference at all.

Credit scores don’t matter

When you are looking to pay your insurance on a monthly basis, insurance companies will check your credit rating. After all, they want to know that they are going to get their money on time, and your credit rating will help reassure them. If you have a poor credit score, getting car finance will be much tougher, as will finding affordable monthly insurance deals as well.

Mortgages – 4 Things to Look for When You Are House Hunting

Mortgages – 4 Things to Look for When You Are House Hunting

It doesn’t matter whether you’re looking to get onto the property ladder for the very first time, or if you’re a seasoned property buyer, knowing what to look for when you’re house hunting is absolutely vital. We know that buying a house in this day and age is a heck of a lot more complex and expensive than it was a generation ago, but if you keep your eyes peeled, choose the best mortgages, and know what you’re looking for, buying a property needn’t be as hard as you may have imagined. When buying a property, you need to ensure that your heart doesn’t rule your head, which is why we’ve compiled this article on mortgages and things to look for when house hunting.

Mortgage providers

Okay, now, assuming you have your eye on a property that seems to be ticking all of the right boxes, one of the main things you need to consider is who is providing your mortgage. You can of course speak to a mortgage advisor and speak to various other experts who specialise in the field of mortgages, but ultimately you need to decide who to contact if you are looking to take a mortgage out on a property. Knowing who to speak to will determine what kind of a mortgage deal you get, how much you will be lent, and how much it will cost you each month to pay it back.

The area

When buying a property, one of the most important things to consider is the area. It could be the nicest property in the world, but if the area is not right for you, living in the property itself just won’t feel right. Ask yourself if the area is right for you. Does it have a reputation for crime and/or anti-social behaviour or is it quiet and peaceful? Does it have all of the local amenities you would need to live comfortably? What are the schools like if you have children? Are there good transport links, do you get a good vibe from the area? All of this, and much more besides, will need to be considered when it comes to the area.

The location of the house

Okay, so assuming you like the area the property is located in, what do you think about the location of the house itself? Does it have a nice view if you want one? Is it located on a flat surface or on a hill or steep incline? What’s the garden like? Are you heavily overlooked by your neighbours? Will you be able to park your car/cars? All of this is also very important when you’re searching for your dream home.

Size of the property

If you’re simply buying for yourself, there’s a good chance that you won’t want to purchase an overly-large property with, say, five bedrooms. If however, you have a large family, you’ll need a fairly-large home. People always seem to focus on the bedrooms when buying a home, and while this is important, you also need to remember bathrooms. One bathroom shared between one large, or even average-sized family, is a recipe for disaster. Basically, choose a property that is the right size for you and everybody else who may be living there.

4 More Interesting Stories About Broadband and the Internet

4 More Interesting Stories About Broadband and the Internet

As you know, the internet is now a fairly-large part of modern life. By fairly-large, we actually mean that it is an integral part of modern society, and without it, civilisation as we know it today would crumble. The internet plays such an important role in so many of today’s tasks that it’s hard to believe that it’s only really been very popular since the mid-1990s. At the time, the internet was considered the stuff of Science Fiction, but if we look back today at how it used to be, it would look decidedly primitive.

The internet can be funny, it can be scary, and it can be downright bizarre. One thing that is for certain however, is the fact that it’s going nowhere anytime soon. Here are 5 more interesting stories about broadband and the internet that you probably hadn’t heard before.

The world’s first webcam

Webcams are used for all kinds of things, but do you know where the first webcam was created and what it was streaming? No, not that, so get your minds out of the gutter. The world’s first webcam was in fact created at Cambridge University back in 1991. The image the webcam was streaming was in fact located next door to the old computer room of the university. The image was of a coffee pot. The idea was that thirsty employees could monitor how much coffee was in the pot and would know when it was full and when it was empty. The stream was sadly retired back in 2001, but it had a very solid ten years and saved countless university employees from going thirsty.

Spam for everyone

Spam isn’t just a questionable “meat” product that is contained in a can. It turns out that spam is also very prominent when it comes to emails. We all receive spam and junk mail in our emails, but did you know that a whopping 70% of all emails sent online are in fact spam. Each minute we send over 200 million emails, so that is a heck of a lot of spam, we’re sure you’ll agree. Thank goodness for spam filters, huh?

Italy isn’t as fond of the internet as others

We’re not sure whether it’s because the weather is so beautiful, the quality of life is better, or because people are simply busy doing other things, but Italy does not use the internet as much as the rest of the world. In China, there are literally camps designed specifically to treat people addicted to the internet. In Italy however, roughly one third of the population has never used the internet before.

All hail the creator

We all know what the World Wide Web is, but do you know who is credited with creating it? Well, you will shortly. The man responsible for creating the web is an English computer scientists and engineer named Tim Berners Lee. It is actually Sir Tim Berners Lee, as back in 2004 he received a Knighthood from Her Majesty the Queen.

Interesting Car Finance and Motoring Facts You Probably Hadn’t Heard Before

Interesting Car Finance and Motoring Facts You Probably Hadn’t Heard Before

For many of us, our cars aren’t just oversized boy’s toys that we get to play around with at the weekend. No, they’re our lifelines. Without a means of transportation, even the most trivial of tasks becomes a chore. Thanks to car finance and various other payment options, it’s now possible for us to own expensive vehicles and spread the cost out over several years to help keep payments low. If you’re a fan of the motor industry however, this article could prove particularly interesting. Below we’ll be listing a series of car finance and motoring facts that you probably won’t have heard before. So, without any further hesitation, let’s begin.

The UK produces a lot of cars

Although the manufacturing of motor vehicles isn’t the first thing that springs to mind when we think of the UK, the truth is that we produce a heck of a lot of cars. In fact, on average, the United Kingdom produces more than 60 million cars every single year. That works out at roughly 165,000 cars per day. That’s pretty-impressive, we’re sure you’ll agree.

The world’s very first speeding ticket

There are fewer easier ways to find yourself in a bad mood, than to get home, check the post, and see that you have been issued with a speeding ticket in the post. We know that speed limits are in place for a reason, but sometimes they aren’t clearly signposted, and sometimes people simply aren’t paying attention, and consequently they pay the price – literally. The world’s very first speeding ticket, however, was issued over a century ago. It was issued back in 1902 and was issued to a motorist travelling at 45mph.

We spend a lot of time stuck in traffic

When you’re feeling stressed and agitated, going for a nice leisurely drive through the countryside is a great way to unwind. Sadly, not all of us can afford this luxury on a regular basis and some of us find ourselves stressed and agitated because of traffic. In the UK, the average driver will spend an average of 99 days of their life stuck in traffic. Now, if that’s not soul-destroying then we don’t know what is.

Ford were responsible for car finance

Nowadays we take credit for granted as we can get it for virtually everything. Way back in 1908 however, the world’s first mass-produced vehicle was the Ford Model-T. It cost $850 at the time, which is now the equivalent of $20,000+. Needless to say, not everybody had that type of money to spend on a car. To help boost sales, many dealerships offered this vehicle to paying customers via instalment loans. Back then it wasn’t regulated, but the premise was still the same as it is now when it comes to car finance.

The inventor of cruise control was blind

Ralph Teetor was the man responsible for inventing cruise control. Ralph was an inventor and the president of car vehicle manufacturing company. He was also blind so didn’t drive himself. After one too many car trips with his lawyer, Ralph decided to invent cruise control. The story goes that his lawyer was a bad driver that would always slow down when speaking and speed up when listening. By 1958, the world’s first cruise control unit was used commercially thanks to Chrysler.

Mortgages – 4 Top Tips for Letting a Property

Mortgages – 4 Top Tips for Letting a Property

With mortgages becoming tougher and tougher to obtain, and with house prices increasing, getting on the property ladder is now a whole lot tougher than it was several decades ago. With that said however, with the right amount of determination, dedication, and hard work, it can certainly be done. Once you have purchased a property, rather than worrying about mortgages and repayments etc, you could actually use the property to earn you some money. How? By letting it out.

Becoming a landlord could earn you some serious money, and it is a great way of making yourself some additional income in the process. Some people rent properties out as a way of earning a little extra cash, whereas other people do so as a full-time job. Whether you wish to become a full-time landlord or simply use a property to make you some extra spending money, here’s a look at our 4 top tips for letting a property.

Get the property ready

First and foremost, when you’re ready to let out a property you need to ensure that it is habitable and ready to be lived in. There are certain rules and regulations that must be adhered to, and different district councils have different rules so it’s well worth knowing the various rules and regulations well in advance. You should also give it a fresh coat of paint, carry out any repairs that need doing, and make it as pleasant as possible to live in.

Don’t try to cut corners

Unless you’re the luckiest landlord in the world, when you have a property you want to let out, it will almost certainly have some problems that you will have to deal with. The last thing you should ever do is try to cut corners and get the issues resolved on the cheap, because ultimately this will come back to bite you in the behind at some point. If there is a damp problem and you can visibly see mould/damp patches on the walls, don’t just paint over them and rent the property as quickly as you can. Instead, find out what’s causing the damp and get that fixed. If a job is worth doing, it’s worth doing right, so just bear that in mind.

Do your research

Before you decide whether or not to rent out a property, it’s very important that you do your research and try to find out as much about the area as possible. Don’t just look at transport links and amenities etc, try to look into average rent prices in the area too. It’s very important that you know what to charge your tenants, as the last thing you want is to be under or over-charging them.

Anticipate the worst

In a perfect scenario, you’d rent your property out to a wonderful couple who always pay their rent on time, plan on staying in the property for the foreseeable future and look after it and keep it in pristine condition. Unfortunately, life doesn’t always work like that. Sometimes there will be times when the property is empty, and you aren’t making money on it. There may also be issues with having your rent paid on time, and with problem tenants. Prepare for the worst but know how to react.

5 Things to Consider When Choosing a Broadband Provider

5 Things to Consider When Choosing a Broadband Provider

In this day and age, it’s safe to say that we rely on the internet and on broadband for virtually everything. Okay, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration, but we do rely on it for a heck of a lot. Whether you need broadband for use in the home, or for use in your business, the important thing to remember is that finding the right broadband provider is essential. Without the right provider, your coverage will suffer, and life will become much harder than it needs to be. If you’re on the lookout for a new broadband provider, here are 5 things you will need to consider.

Your download limits

One of the most important things to consider when choosing a new broadband provider is whether download limits. If you rarely use the internet and don’t download a great deal, a lower limit may be beneficial and probably will be cheaper. If you do a lot of downloading, or you are a large household or a business, choosing a package with unlimited downloads should be high on your list of priorities. This package will probably cost slightly more, but if you do download a lot, it will certainly be worth it.

Price

Before you start getting sucked in with deals that sound too good to be true, a very important thing you will need to consider is the cost. If you’re looking to purchase a new broadband package, how much can you realistically afford and more to the point, how much do you want to spend? Before you begin searching for a new broadband provider, take the time to figure out how much you can afford and how much you want to spend and then give yourself a budget.

Service in your area

Another important factor to take into consideration is the service in your area. Some rural locations for example, may struggle to get a good service or fast speeds from certain providers. If you require fast speeds, it’s worth doing your research and finding out which providers happen to offer the best service in your area.

Customer service

Never underestimate the importance of good customer service. Remember, modern technology is wonderful when it works. When it isn’t working however, it can be a real nightmare. When your broadband goes down, and trust us, it will likely go down from time to time, no matter how awesome it is, you need to be safe in the knowledge that help is never far away. This is where friendly and efficient customer service proves to be so useful. When you’re searching for a broadband provider, try to find out about their customer service and find out whether people rate it or not.

Length of contract

Finally, the last thing you need to consider when searching for a broadband provider is the overall length of your contract. Unless you get an unbelievably good deal, the last thing you want is to find yourself tied down to a lengthy contract. If you aren’t sure in the early stages, it’s best to go with a relatively short contract, as that way if your deal isn’t right, you won’t have long to left before you can switch providers. If it does work out, you can always renew and perhaps opt for a longer contract the next time.