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This Mortgage Checker will give you all the answers you need. Download free today and check your mortgage for errors.

Home Money Manager
 
   

Home Loan Manager - User Manual

Frequently Asked Questions

1. General Questions

  1. Where does the software store my loan details?
  2. Can I import the transactions available from my Internet banking site?
  3. Does the software need my Internet banking account number and password?
  4. What is a Registration Key?
  5. Can I use the software on more than one computer?

2. Mortgage and Loan Questions

  1. What should I do if I find an error in my mortgage?
  2. Will this software work with my mortgage and loan types?
  3. Does this software work with Offset Accounts?
  4. I have a first and second mortgage, can I audit both of them?
  5. I've had a mortgage for five years, can I go back and audit it?
  6. Why can't I just use my Amortization Schedules to audit my loan?
  7. What information do I need to audit my mortgage?
  8. Do I have to enter in all my mortgage and loan information?

3. User Settings

  1. What is the recommended screen resolution?
  2. How do I free up some space on my screen?
  3. How do I hide the toolbar?
  4. How do I hide the Account List and Account Views?
  5. How do I switch between the Statements view, Transactions view and Interest Rates view for an account?
  6. How do I sort information?
  7. How do I change the date format?
  8. How do I change the number of decimal places?
  9. How do I change the decimal place character?
  10. How do I change the thousands separator character?
  11. What is the "Shade Alternate Lines On Screens" user option?
  12. What is the "Open Last Workbook On Start Up" user option?
  13. What is the "Statements Displayed Newest To Oldest" user option?
  14. What is the "Look and Feel" user option?

4. Accounts, Statements, Transactions and Interest Rates

  1. What is an Account?
  2. How do I add/edit/delete Accounts?
  3. What is a Statement?
  4. How do I add/edit/delete Statements?
  5. What is the Statement Reporting Year?
  6. What is a Transaction?
  7. How do I add/edit/delete Transactions?
  8. How do I update all the statement balances, if I add a Transaction to an old statement?
  9. How do I assign a Category to a Transaction?
  10. What is an Interest Rate?
  11. How do I add/edit/delete Interest Rates?

5. Categories and Parent Categories

  1. What is a Parent Category?
  2. What is a Category?
  3. How do I add/edit/delete Categories?
  4. How do I change the Parent Category on a Category?
  5. What is a Category Wildcard Pattern?
  6. How do I add/edit/delete Category Wildcard Patterns?
  7. How are Category Wildcard Patterns used?

 

 

1. General Questions

1.1 Where does the software store my loan details?

The software asks you to provide a filename to store your loan details in, and then creates a single file with the extension .hlnn. Throughout the documentation we refer to this type of file as a workbook and in most cases you will only need one to store all your loans in (however there are no limits to the number of workbooks you can set up). We recommend you store your workbook in the same directory you store your other personal and financial information so you can backup it up regularly.

The location of the current workbook you are using is displayed in the title of the software at the top of the screen. For example, if you are using the Sample workbook on a Windows system, the software title will show the location:

C:\Program Files\HomeLoanInterestManagerPro\samples\sample.hlnn

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1.2 Can I import the transactions available from my Internet banking site?

Yes - The software has an import wizard that lets you import transactions you download from your Internet banking site, allowing you to load years of mortgage details in minutes. The software also allows you to type in your mortgage details manually if you don't use an Internet banking site, or if you don't have access to your oldest statements in electronic format.

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1.3 Does the software need my Internet banking account number and password?

No - For security reasons we have designed the software so that it does not access your Internet banking site, and therefore it does not require your login account number or password. Instead it relies on you visiting your Internet banking site as you would normally, downloading your transactions onto your computer hard disk (usually in .CSV format), and then getting the software to import the transactions from your hard disk.

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1.4 What is a Registration Key?

A Registration Key is a unique code that comes with the software and allows you to unlock it. When you receive your Registration Key all you have to do is enter it into the software and activate it.

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1.5 Can I use the software on more than one computer?

Yes - We have a fair-use policy that allows you to install the software on all the computers you use to manage your personal finances. For example, you can install the software on your home PC, a laptop and your office computer (if appropriate).

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2. Mortgage and Loan Questions


2.1 What should I do if I find an error in my mortgage?

If you find an error in their mortgage we generally recommend the first thing you do is talk to your lender and tell them you think there might be a problem, and ask your lender what you should do. The bank may do their own checks straight away based on a single phone call, they may ask you to fill out a form or they may ask you to provide some type of proof in which case you can send in copies of the Interest Checker and Daily Interest report (hard copy or print to PDF) from the software.

We find it helps if you work with your lender rather than against them as they will want to help fix the problem and quickly find out how many other customers it impacts.

Please note: The results from the software are only as accurate as the information entered and we sometimes find the problems are because loan details have been entered incorrectly (e.g. a missed transaction, a wrong statement date, etc). Therefore we recommend you go through the Interest Calculation check list to confirm you have entered all the information correctly (prior to contacting your bank)

For more information, refer to the Interest Calculations help topic.

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2.2 Will this software work with my mortgage and loan type?

Home Loan Manager Pro uses the internationally accepted formula for calculating interest, and allows you to customise the interest calculation settings so you can use it with just about any loan type. A sample of the loan types that can be audited include:

  1. Variable Interest Rate Loans
  2. Principal & Interest Loans
  3. Fixed Interest Loans
  4. Lines of Credit
  5. Investment Loans
  6. Variable Repayment Loans
  7. Interest Only Loans
  8. Adjustable Rate Mortgages
  9. Auto / Car Loans
  10. Student Loans
  11. Boat Loans
  12. Redraw Facilities
  13. Offset Accounts
  14. Split-Loans

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2.3 Does this software work with Offset Accounts?

Home Loan Manager Pro has been specially designed to work with mortgages that have one or more offset accounts. If you have a mortgage and an offset account then you set up two accounts in the software and link them. If you have multiple offset accounts linked to the same mortgage then you set up an account for each offset account.

The mortgage account is set up with a type of "Loan / Mortgage", and the offset accounts are set up with a type of "Interest Offset". The accounts are then linked together. You can nominate the deductible percentage allowable for each offset account linked to the mortgage (default is 100%) and set up your own interest rate scales for each account.

Offset accounts are mainly used in Australia, New Zealand and the UK.

For more information, refer to the Offset Accounts help topic.

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2.4 I have a first and second mortgage, can I audit both of them?

Yes, there is no limit to the number of mortgages and loans that you can audit with Home Loan Manager Pro. You can set up as many loans per workbook as you like, and you can have as many workbooks as you can fit on your hard disk.

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2.5 I've had a mortgage for five years, can I go back and audit it?

Yes, Home Loan Manager Pro has no limits when it comes to the age of your existing loan and mortgage information. Simply enter the correct dates (no matter how old) and the software will process them.

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2.6 Why can't I just use an Amortization Schedules produced by a mortgage calculator to audit my loan?

There are two main reasons why an amortization schedule cannot be used to audit your loan:

  1. Amortization schedules are estimates of what could happen, and not a record of what actually happened.

    If your lender were to charge you the wrong amount, charge you twice, use a wrong index or interest rate, use the wrong balance, miss an additional repayment, use a wrong date, and so on, it would not be reflected in your amortization schedule.

    Home Loan Manager Pro lets you to capture the historical information produced by your lender, allowing you to perform your audit on actual events.
  2. Amortizations schedules show a "fair estimate" of what your repayments should look like over the life of the loan. Assumptions are made when building your amortization tables (for example; a day count convention of 30/360, one fixed interest rate, payments & charges being calculated every 30 days, no additional repayments, and so on).

    In reality the lender may use different parameters and calculation methods to those used by the amortization schedule, including a change in the day count, the compounding method, the payment frequency, the processing dates or they may have to allow for multiple interest rate changes.

    Home Loan Manager Pro sets default calculation parameters, which you can fine-tune on a per-loan basis so that the calculations match those of your lender.

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2.7 What information do I need to audit my mortgage?

There are three main components you need, in order to be able to audit your loan:

  1. Information on the type of loan you have
  2. A list of changes to the loan balance
  3. A list of interest rate changes (if any)

You may already know enough about your loan type to be able to set up an account in Home Loan Manager Pro. If not, then your loan contract should contain what you need.

The changes to the loan balance and interest rates are normally included on your statements. If you do not receive statements, or you do not have the information, then you may need to contact your lender.

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2.8 Do I have to enter in all my mortgage and loan information?

The only true way to find if your lender is overcharging you is to enter the historical facts about your mortgage and loans. Once you have recorded what and when your lender has charged you, you can use Home Loan Manager Pro to check that it is accurate.

However you can enter as much or as little information as you like, and

To make sure you can get the job done quickly, Home Loan Manager Pro provides you with the following time saving features:

  1. The import wizard will load your statements in seconds (from a file or spreadsheet), and the Auto-Matching tool will summarize your mortgage transactions automatically.
  2. The transaction entry screen makes light work of typing in your transactions (if you don't have them in a file), by providing you with a default date, description auto-fill, and balance estimator.

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3. User Settings

3.1 What is the recommended screen resolution?

We recommend a screen resolution of approximately 1024x768 or greater.

If you are using a smaller screen resolution (eg 800x600) then you may find that several of the buttons do not fit on the screen. Please refer to How do I free up some space on my screen? to fix the problem. Alternatively, you can use the pop-up menus (by right clicking within the screen) in order to access the same options. For example, right clicking in the Accounts view will bring up a menu with the options to Add, Edit and Delete an Account.

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3.2 How can I free up some space on my screen?

You can hide the toolbar and the Loans view.

Please refer to How do I hide the toolbar? and How do I hide the Account List and Account Views?

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3.3 How do I hide the toolbar?

From the View menu choose Display Toolbar.

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3.4 How do I hide the Account List and Account Views?

From the View menu choose Display Account List and/or Display Account Views.

NOTE: The Account List is the panel containing the list of accounts in the current workbook, and the Account Views is the list of views displayed under the account you are currently working with (i.e. Summary, Statements, Transactions, Interest Rates).

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3.5 How do I switch between the Statements view, Transactions view and Interest Rates view for an account?

You can use any of the following:

  1. From the View menu choose Statements, Transactions or Interest Rates.
  2. From the Toolbar choose Statements, Transactions or Interest Rates.
  3. From the Tabs at the bottom of the screen choose Statements, Transactions or Interest Rates.
  4. In the Statement view, double click on a statement to switch to the Transactions view.

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3.6 How do I sort information?

Every table column in Home Loan Manager Pro can be sorted in ascending or descending order by clicking on the column name in the header of the table. The current sort order is indicated by a small triangle next to the name.

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3.7 How do I change the date format?

From the View menu choose Options....

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3.8 How do I change the number of decimal places?

From the View menu choose Options.... You can enter a value from 0 to 9.

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3.9 How do I change the decimal place character?

From the View menu choose Options.... You can enter any single character, for example: '.' or ','. If you do not want a decimal place character, then enter a space.

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3.10 How do I change the thousands separator character?

From the View menu choose Options.... You can enter any single character, for example: '.' or ','. If you do not want a thousands separator character, then enter a space.

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3.11 What is the "Shade Alternate Lines On Screens" user option?

This option turns on or off the light shading of every second line throughout Home Loan Manager Pro.

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3.12 What is the "Open Last Workbook Start Up" user option?

This option will automatically open the last workbook you were working on, when you next start the application.

If the workbook is password protected, you will be prompted to enter the correct password before you can view the workbook.

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3.13 What is the "Statements Displayed Newest To Oldest" user option?

This option allows you to select the order in which the application will display the Statements.

If you select the option, the newest Statements will appear at the top of all lists and the oldest will appear at the bottom.

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3.14 What is the "Look and Feel" user option?

This option allows you to select the look and feel to be used by the application. If you change the setting, you must restart the application before the change will take place.

  1. The Operating System look and feel allows Java to render the application as close as possible to the Operating System it is running on (e.g. Mac, Windows, Linux, etc). Note: Under some versions of Linux, Java uses the Cross Platform (Java) look and feel for the Operating System look and feel so changing the option will have no impact.
  2. The Cross Platform (Java) look and feel is the standard Java look and feel, and looks the same no matter which Operating System you use it on.

This user option was introduced because in the past some operating systems have presented unexpected results when trying to run the software. By switching to Cross Platform (Java) mode the software worked and allowed us to work through the issues with individual users, while fixing the problems.

By default all version of this application run in Operating System look and feel, however in the event of a error, our support staff may ask you to switch over to help diagnose the problem.

If you want to experiment, you can switch between the look and feel settings at any time and it won't cause any problems.

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4. Accounts, Statements, Transactions and Interest Rates

4.1 What is an Account?

An account represents one of your loan accounts. For each loan you have that you wish to monitor through Home Loan Manager Pro you set up an account.

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4.2 How do I add/edit/delete Accounts?

Either click on the Add, Edit or Delete button in the Loans view toolbar, or right click in the accounts table to produce a pop-up menu and select Add, Edit or Delete.

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4.3 What is a Statement?

A statement represents a statement you receive from you loan provider. For each loan statement you receive you set up a new statement in Home Loan Manager Pro.

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4.4 How do I add/edit/delete Statements?

Either click on the Add, Edit or Delete button in the Statements view toolbar, or right click in the statements table to produce a pop-up menu and select Add, Edit or Delete.

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4.5 What is the Statement Reporting Year?

The statement reporting year is used to group up statements in the yearly reports.

If a statement falls over a year-end period then you can use either year as the reporting year. For example, if a statement was from December 10 2007 to January 9 2008 then you could select 2007 or 2008 as the reporting year. The most important thing is to apply the same rule consistently from year to year.

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4.6 What is a Transaction?

A transaction represents a new charge, deposit or refund on your loan statement. For each item on the loan statement a transaction is created in Home Loan Manager Pro.

Refer to the importing transactions help topic for more information on creating transactions automatically.

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4.7 How do I add/edit/delete Transactions?

Either click on the Add, Edit or Delete button in the Transactions view toolbar, or right click in the transactions table to produce a pop-up menu and select Add, Edit or Delete.

Note: The Add Transactions option will remain disabled until the account contains at least one statement.

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4.8 How do I update all the Statement balances, if I add a Transaction to an old Statement?

If you find you have missed a transaction after entering several years of data, you will need to go back and add the transaction to the correct statement. This may then lead to the opening and closing balances on the newer statements showing errors.

To update the statement balances you need to go to the Statements view, select the statement you want to change, click on the Edit button in the toolbar, and enter the new opening balance for the statement. Repeat this for each statement with an incorrect opening balance. Once you have corrected the statement opening balances, the closing balances and all the transactions in the statements will automatically be updated.

For example, if you missed a $10 transaction in the first statement, you would need to add $10 to each opening balance where the statement is showing an error. The software does not try to change the opening balances for you as the value needs to match what is printed on your paper statements. If it were to automatically flow the $10 through every opening balance it could create other errors and problems. Therefore once you have manually corrected your opening balances, they will not be changed by the software.

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4.9 How do I assign a Category to a transaction?

In the Transactions view, select a transaction and click on the category column. This will show a list of all valid categories to choose from.

All transactions that have not been assigned a category are highlighted with a border.

Please note that the INTEREST parent category (and all the categories linked to it) is used by the Interest Checker Report to perform its calculations. Categories in this group should only be allocated to transactions that represent periodic interest charges.

Refer to the Interest Checker Report for more information on the usage of the Interest category.

Refer to the category auto matching help topic for more information on automatically allocating categories to transactions.

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4.10 What is an Interest Rate?

An interest rate represents the rate your loan provider is charging you from a given point in time. For each change in rate you create an Interest Rate in Home Loan Manager Pro.

Interest Rates should be set to the annual rates that appear on your loan statements.

Each time an interest rate is added, a transaction is automatically created in the appropriate statement to indicate the date the rate change took place.

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4.11 How do I add/edit/delete Interest Rates?

Either click on the Add, Edit or Delete button in the Interest Rates view toolbar, or right click in the interest rates table to produce a pop-up menu and select Add, Edit or Delete.

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5. Categories and Parent Categories

5.1 What is a Parent Category?

A parent category is the highest level of grouping in Home Loan Manager Pro and is used to group categories.

A default set of parent categories is provided with Home Loan Manager Pro, including DEPOSIT, FEE, INTEREST and WITHDRAWAL.

Please note that the INTEREST parent category (and all the categories linked it) is used by the Interest Checker Report to perform its calculations. Categories in this group should only be allocated to transactions that represent periodic interest charges.

Refer to the Interest Checker Report for more information on the usage of the Interest category.

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5.2 What is a Category?

A category is the lowest level of grouping, and is used to group transactions. Each category is linked to a parent category.

A default set of categories is provided with Home Loan Manager Pro which you can change to suit your needs.

Any changes you make will be saved in your workbook along with your account information. This allows you to set up different category lists for different workbooks.

Categories can easily be moved from one parent category to another. Refer to How do I change the Parent Category on a Category?

Please note that the INTEREST parent category (and all the categories linked to it) is used by the Interest Checker Report to perform its calculations. Categories in this group should only be allocated to transactions that represent periodic interest charges.

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5.3 How do I add/edit/delete Categories?

From the Category menu choose Maintain Categories.

Click on the Add, Edit or Delete button in the Categories view toolbar.

If you choose to delete a category that has been assigned to one or more transactions Home Loan Manager Pro will inform you how many transactions are linked to the Category. If you continue with the delete, then the transactions will have the category un-assigned from them and will go back to being un-matched. The transactions will not be deleted.

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5.4 How do I change the Parent Category on a Category?

From the Category menu choose Maintain Categories.

Click on the parent category column and a list of valid parent categories will be displayed.

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5.5 What is a Category Wildcard Pattern?

A category wildcard pattern is link between a category and a keyword in a transaction description.

A category wildcard pattern is made up of a criteria and a pattern.

The criteria can be "contains" or "does not contain"

The pattern can be any combination of letters, numbers, symbols, etc.

For example: "contains interest" and "does not contain adjustment" are both valid wildcard patterns.

Refer to the category auto matching help topic for more information on the usage of category wildcard patterns.

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5.6 How do I add/edit/delete Category Wildcard Patterns?

From the Category menu choose Maintain Categories.

Select the category you wish to maintain.

Click on the Add, Edit or Delete button in the Wildcards view toolbar.

A description of the wildcards that will be applied to a given category is provided on the screen.

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5.7 How are Category Wildcard Patterns used?

Category Wildcard Patterns are used by the Category Auto-Matching tool.

Refer to the category auto matching help topic for more information on the usage of category wildcard patterns.

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