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Mortgages

Where to get the Best Mortgage

Choosing the right mortgage is really important. The cost differences between some mortgages are really significant and so choosing one that will keep the cost low for you in the long term could make a huge difference. There are also different types of mortgage and which of these you choose will make a huge difference as well.

The problem with lenders is that they vary their terms, products and rates over time. This means that you cannot know for sure which will be the best. There is not one that always offers the best products but also different borrowers have different needs and so it all depends what you want out of a mortgage. You can really only compare the lenders at the time that you need to borrow and hope that you pick the one that has the best deal. However, you can change lenders part of the way through your mortgage term in most cases, although there will be costs associated with this.

It is therefore wise to start by considering what is most important to you from your lender. You may think that the cost is the only thing that matters. Although this will be a big factor, as no one wants to pay more than they have to and many people cannot afford to pay that much, there are other things you need to consider. You need to think about whether they offer the type of mortgage that you want, how flexible they are if you need to miss a payment, how good the customer service is and whether they have a local branch. Some of these things may not be important to you, but it is worth thinking about what might be.

Even if you have had a mortgage before it is worth doing some research to find out more about what is available. The marketplace does change, for example ten years ago interest only mortgages were common but these days most lenders will not offer them as they are concerned that the home buyers will not put enough money by to pay off the balance when it is due. There has also been a tendency to move away from tracker mortgages as the interest rates are so low.

With there being so much choice it can be confusing. Some people would rather pay for an independent financial advisor to help them. The advisors will know all about what is currently available as well as what lenders have offered in the past and help to explain what would be best. Sometimes they even have access to deals which are not available to the public. They can be expensive but if they can save you a significant amount of money or find you the precise mortgage that suits your needs then it could be worth it.

You may choose to do that research yourself, maybe because you would rather be in control of your choice or because you cannot afford to pay a financial advisor. Make sure that if you do this, you take a lot of time and make sure that you have a full understanding of what is being offered. If you choose to use comparison websites it is important to make sure that you are aware that they do not compare prices from all lenders. They will usually only list those which pay them a good commission if you sign up through the link on their comparison website. Not all comparison sites work like this so it is worth comparing them and using one that you trust. Not all companies are listed on comparison websites either, so you need to keep this in mind and do your research beyond thesesites if you want an idea of what is available across the whole mortgage market.

Overall it is worth bearing in mind that a mortgage can be a long term commitment and it is important to spend time understanding about the different types available and what you need out of a mortgage. Compare the different lenders and consider which will suit your needs the best. Decide whether you think paying a financial advisor will help you to save money and find a product better suited to you or whether you can take the time yourself looking at what is available, looking at comparison websites and lenders websites to get an idea of what is available.

Lending

What is Peer to Peer Lending?

Peer to peer lending is quite a new lending process and this means that many people have not heard of it. Some may just know the name but not have much idea of what it means. Others may be worried that because it is not something they know well, they would not want to try it. However, it is worth knowing more about what it is so that you can decide whether you should really ignore it.

A peer-to-peer lending company will bring together lenders and borrowers without using a bank and therefore cutting out the middleman. Savers will often be happy to tie their money up for a while and be willing to do this if they can get a good return. This money is then used to lend to those who need money. The company will do a credit cheque on those who want to borrow money and assess their risk. The cost of the loan will often be determined by the risk level as lenders will only be prepared to take risk if they have the chance of getting a good return on the money that they are lending.

There are different companies that run peer to peer lending schemes and they do things differently. This means that there is no exact way to explain how it works. The details will all be different and the interest rate that you pay will also vary. It can be worth comparing them to other lenders though, find out if they will lend to people like you and compare the rate to other lenders and see whether you think that it is worthwhile. It is really important to find out exactly how it works, how much it will cost and what might happen if you do not make a repayment.

Interest rates can often be lower if you have a good credit rating. It could be worth checking your credit record before applying or any type of loan to make sure that it is correct as you will struggle if you have a bad credit rating. Sometimes. If you do have a bad credit rating, it could be due to incorrect statements on your credit report so it is worth checking. You may also be able to make a few changes, perhaps by paying off a debt or registering to vote, which could make a difference to your rating. Someone with a poor credit rating could end up paying more in interest than other lenders. So again it will be worth checking that credit report.

Another advantage with some lenders is that there is no minimum loan amount. Many lenders will only lend you specific sums of money and the lowest amount that they are willing to lend could be a lot more than you need. This means that you will take on more debt than necessary and you will end up paying for money that you do not need.

One problem with this type of loan is that you will have to pay a fee to the company for setting up the loan request. If no one agrees to lend you money you will still have to pay the fee. You may be able to raise some of the money, all of it or none of it and you will not know until you apply. There will be different protections in place than with traditional lenders and so you need to find out what these are so that you know exactly where you stand.
If you cannot make a loan repayment then the company may pass you to a debt collection agency who will chase the money on their behalf. If you still cannot pay it may go to court. By missing a payment you will have an entry on your credit report, just like other loans which will reduce your credit rating.

If you are considering borrowing some money then this could be an option for you. It is worth doing your own research and find out specifically about the main companies in the market, what their rates are, how they work and what their charges are. It is important to be confident that you know as much as you need to know about them and the way that they work before you borrow from them.

Credit Cards

How to find the best Credit Card Interest Rate

Credit cards can be extremely useful. Many people like to use them for online purchases, for example as they often have insurance which can protect you if goods do not arrive or are faulty. People also use them so that they do not have to pay for goods immediately after they have purchased them. They can be a good item to fall back on if you are short of money.

However, credit cards do have charges. Each month you will get a bill which will give you a selection of repayment options. You can pay back the minimum amount which will usually be just the interest or a very small amount. This is usually very affordable and some people will take this option. However, if you do this, then you will be charged interest on the outstanding balance. You could pay back more than the minimum balance, but unless you pay off the whole bill, you will still have to pay some interest. If you do choose to pay off less and be charged interest, then you will need to look for a credit card which has an interest rate that is as low as possible.

There are some credit cards which have a zero interest rate. These are very useful, because you get a chance to pay back the outstanding balance without interest being added. Therefore it will not go up unless you actually spend on the card. The disadvantage with this sort of card is that the zero interest does not last for long. You may find it only lasts a few months and probably a year maximum. Once this happens it will move onto a variable rate and this could be a lot dearer than other cards out there. You could transfer to other cards, but there is often a fee for doing this and so you may lose the advantage you had over other cards which have no interest free period.

Most credit cards have a variable rate and so you can only compare which will be the cheapest at a certain time. As time goes on rates will change and the card that is the cheapest will change as well. However, unless you think switching cards will save you money, it is best to find a card that is likely to stay at a competitive rate. This could be pretty tricky to find, but you could find information which will show you the average rates of credit cards from certain financial institutions.

However, if you go with well-known lenders you may expect that the rates will stay competitive. However, because the well-known brands have plenty of customers based on their reputation, they do not necessarily need to compete with having good rates.

You can use a comparison website to compare the rates of some current lenders. This will give you a snapshot idea of who is charging what and you will be able to compare them. It is worth being careful though as not all lenders will be listed on these sites and not all sites will compare the same lenders. You may also find that some comparison websites will only list the lenders that give them the highest commission and therefore there could be a lot of cheaper lenders out there that you will not see the rates of.

Using a financial advisor could be a better idea. They have a lot of knowledge of the market and they may even have access to deals which you may not. They will be able to not only tell you where the best rates are at the moment but also who is likely to stay at a good rate into the future as well. You will have to pay for financial advice if you want to use an independent advisor but if they can find you a really good rate you could save a lot of money and therefore it could be well worth the investment. If you cannot afford to do this or are not sure that it will offer good value for money, you could always get free financial advice from branches of banks and building societies but they will only be able to tell you about their own products. It could give you a better idea of what they have available though.