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

The Financial Times and Sunday Telegraph both reported this week on the jump in interest rates and monthly payments faced by borrowers coming to the end of 0% tracker rates taken out two years ago. More than 100,000 homeowners face a potential payment shock, but experts advised that not all schemes will automatically revert to a lender’s Standard Variable Rate, as many deals offer a lifetime tracker rate once the incentive period ends. For those that do revert to a lender’s SVR, the good news is that these rates are not as high as they were two years ago, so any jump should still be affordable.  The Mail on Sunday continued this theme and took a more general look at the options available to borrowers in the current climate. Experts were quick to point out that before deciding what to do next, a borrower should consider any budgetary concerns they might have, and what impact future rate rises will have on their finances.  Many lenders are currently offering a good range of deals and incentives, including Abbey, who recently launched a range of ‘Homebuyer Plus’ schemes that include free legal work or a contribution towards legal fees as well as a free valuation. Experts in the Observer estimated that this could save purchases between £800 and £1000 in fees.  Finally, the Telegraph looked at worrying statistics suggesting that half of all UK women have no Critical Illness, Life Cover or Income Protection, yet 46,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer every year. With many more people surviving serious health problems, the need for Critical Illness cover is becoming more apparent, and people are urged to shop around and get independent advice in oorder to find the right policy for them and their families.

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