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.

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.