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Keep track of repayments with a mortgage repayment calculator

Whether you're about to become a first time buyer, or you're simply looking to move homes, ensuring you get the right mortgage for you and your financial situation is of the utmost importance.

With many banks now starting to loosen the purse strings a little when it comes to lending, it would appear on face value at least that things are finally starting to move again in terms of competitive mortgage rate for all types of buyer.

While this may be true in some cases, the banks will be sure never to leave themselves in the kind of situation they found themselves in when this global recession started. Careless lending and a lack of control behind the scenes has meant that many banks are still operating at huge losses, so increasing their vulnerability is not something they currently aspire to.

The same should be true for your own financial dealings. Even if you survived this recession relatively unscathed, it's still very important that you don't get complacent, especially when committing yourself to something as big as a mortgage.

Circumstances can change, and you'll need to factor this in when deciding what your budget is. For our money, the best practice would be to draw up a list of potential budgets. Have the first representing your current financial status, include all monthly income and outgoings and tally everything up to see what money you have available at the end of the month.

Next repeat the process, but rather than doing it for your current status, try changing the parameters a little. How much would your deficit be if you or your partner found yourselves out of work? The employment market is still finding its feet again after a tough time, so you'll need to take into consideration the fact that it could be weeks, if not months, before you find yourself a new job.

When you have all your budgets drawn up, compare them to the rates on the table for the quotes you have received from mortgage lenders. Could you afford repayments even in the worst case scenario? How long would it be before the well dried up if you found yourself out of work? Can you rely on others for financial support if things go badly wrong?

To help you figure all this out, you can check out this great mortgage repayment calculator found on the BBC website at www.bbc.co.uk/homes/property/mortgagecalculator.shtml.

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