What the papers say- 26th and 27th March 2011

The Government’s new FirstBuy scheme came under fire in this weekend’s financial press, with experts in the Times, Guardian, and Telegraph calling it a gamble at a time when property prices are predicted to fall. Certainly the advice was for potential borrowers to go into schemes like these with their eyes open and fully understand the terms and conditions. The majority of First Time Buyers will in fact still need a sizeable deposit or parental assistance, suggested the Sunday Times, so it is still worth considering alternative schemes such Lloyds Lend a Hand. The Telegraph also looked at the thorny subject of mortgage fees, following a recent increase in set up costs by some lenders. Brokers advised that, for a small loan, a low or zero fee deal is likely to be more cost effective, whereas for larger loans it may be worth paying some fees to secure a good rate. Elsewhere, the Independent on Sunday revealed that changes to the way life companies are taxed could add 10% to life cover premiums, and closer to 30% for women including the recent rise following this month’s gender-equality ruling. Anyway looking to take out a new policy, or change their existing cover, is urged to do so quickly.

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