What the papers say- 13th and 14th February 2010

Homeowners were urged to take action in this weekend’s financial press following several changes in interest rates over recent weeks. The Telegraph pointed out that after 11 months of keeping Standard Variable Rates low, many lenders are under pressure, and warned anyone currently on a low SVR to prepare for a possible rate rise in the near future. The Independent on Sunday suggested that rising property valuations and an increase in lender competition has meant that many borrowers are nudging back into more affordable loan to value brackets, making it more viable for them to switch deals. The Sunday Times again urged homeowners to take advantage of the ‘remortgage window’ brought about by lower rates and higher house prices, following predictions of a flat or falling property market in the coming years.  There were of course a couple of Valentine themed articles, with both the Observer and Sunday Mirror providing advice for couples on joint finances. It may not be considered the height of romance but, as both articles discussed, establishing a financial plan covering mortgage payments, savings and bills before purchasing a property together can save a lot of heartache further down the line.  Elsewhere there was a return to the tricky but important subject of Critical Illness Cover, with the Sunday Telegraph revealing that almost two-thirds of the population have no form of financial protection if they die or become critically ill. The Observer also looked at cover for children, following a report by Scottish Provident showing that claims for children are the 5th most common after heart attacks, cancer, strokes and MS. Major advances in medicine have allowed more people to live longer, so family protection is certainly an area that more people should be exploring.

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