What the papers say - 3rd and 4th January 2009

The weekend money pages were full of New Year good intentions, with a range of credit-crunch diets, debt detox plans and financial resolutions to absorb. In its ‘new year, new start’ feature, the Guardian urged readers to give themselves a money makeover by ensuring they have the best possible savings and mortgage deals, setting a budget and paying off debts. The Times also had a step-by-step guide offering readers some financial first aid. The mortgage advice was to check existing deals and calculate whether it makes sense to switch, as well as overpaying the loan wherever possible. The Sunday Telegraph conveyed a similar message in the first instalment of its recession-busting four-week plan. The advice was to talk to a mortgage broker, who will be able to calculate the exact savings, the rate and the fees paid up front. The Sunday Express asked readers to shine a spotlight on their finances and urged anyone whose existing deal comes to an end early this year to have a look now at what’s available. The Independent on Sunday offered a ten-point plan on how to cope with the pressures that 2009 will place on the nation’s finances.

Elsewhere, the Financial Times revealed that interest rates for borrowers and savers are likely to be dragged down by further aggressive cuts to the Bank of England base rate, with another base rate reduction expected next week and more early in 2009. The Mail on Sunday looked at Nationwide’s recent decision to impose a collar on it’s tracker rates and the outrage this has caused amongst borrowers and experts alike.

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