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Mortgage calculators - be on the lookout ...

By Chris Smith on 21 Apr, 2017

Owning our own home is a dream that many of us share, and we dedicate our lives and careers to building up enough money to owning our own property outright. The banks are only too happy in helping us realise this aspiration by helping us with mortgage loans. Today, thanks to advances in technology, you no longer need to book appointments with your bank manager and financial advisor to find out if you can afford the rate the banks offering from your dream home.

From the comfort of your sofa, you can easily compare the latest rates and changes to the housing market on your tablet, while the X Factor plays in the background. Many banks and financial centres have made this possible with the advent of mortgage calculator pages. These handy tools use simple algorithms to calculate repayment rates based upon the amount you earn every year, the period you want to pay your mortgage back over, and how much interest you’ll have to pay.

Mortgage calculators, and other online resources are a great way to get a quick insight into how far your money will go when it comes to purchasing a home. Using the information from these tools, users are able to make more informed decisions about their finances without the hassle of visiting a bank. Unfortunately, as the technology that allows us to do this has become more sophisticated, so have the criminals and the scammers.

Online banking is a wonderful innovation that helps thousands of us every day, but like any type of online activity, it doesn’t come without its risks and hazards. Here are a couple of tips to keep you safe when you’re using the internet to get a good deal on your mortgage.

Stick to sites you know and trust

A quick Google search for mortgage calculators reveals that many of the main banks have their own individual tools for users to play around with. This is great for people who want to shop around, but always take time to ensure you are on a banks proper site and not one that is mocked up to look identical. This practice is a fairly common form of phishing, but you can ensure you’re protected by checking that you’ve entered the webs address correctly into your browser and be on the lookout for other tell-tale signs.

Never give out personal information

This point can never be reiterated too many times; never ever give your personal information to a website that you don’t fully trust. This doesn’t just count for the likes of account numbers and sort codes. Hackers are becoming so sophisticated, that they are able to gain access to your accounts by using the memorable information that might take the form of street addresses, maiden names and even old pet names. A good rule to stick by is only give websites information that you would give to a stranger.

Simpler is better

For the majority of these mortgage calculator tools, you’re only likely to be asked to put in information about your yearly earnings. Some simple tools don’t even ask for as much as that; you can adjust the amounts with scroll bars. As stated before, when sites start asking for more information than you would deem as appropriate, that’s the time to click off and look elsewhere. Some sites allow you compare a number of providers, allowing you to circumvent these options.  

The internet is a useful place to gain information, but it doesn’t come without its risks. Unfortunately for hard-working, honest people, there are always going to be scammers out there looking to steal your details. Know what kind of sites to avoid, and only give out personal information to those you know and trust. Hopefully then you’ll find a mortgage deal that suits your needs and you can find a home you love. 

 

Chris Smith is a writer and blogger. On his website 'Spend It Like Beckham', he writes about sport, finance, and a number of other topics. Over the course of his career, he's written for The Guardian, the Telegraph, Salon and The Huffington Post.