What the papers say- 10th - 14th December 2011

Changes in the mortgage market, both in terms of rate and criteria, were the subject of much discussion in the financial press this week. The Sunday Telegraph considered how the increased cost of funding, resulting from the eurozone crisis, has led to mortgage rates gradually starting to increase over recent months, while the Sunday Times reported on the potential impact of tighter funding conditions. Some lenders have tightened up on criteria regarding groups such as First Time Buyers and accidental landlords, and experts suggested that this is likely to continue. This theme continued into midweek with the Daily Express urging borrowers to act now to secure a good rate. For borrowers looking to take advantage of cheap rates while they are still available, the Times warned that market-leading deals may not always be the best option. There are various factors to take into account including the total cost of a deal, as well as criteria and service, so best buy tables should very much be seen as a starting point to further research. Elsewhere the Financial Times looked at the advantages of offsetting for those looking to reduce their mortgage debt, while the Sunday Times carried news that Lloyds International is stopping lending to borrowers based in France, Ireland and Italy. In protection news, the Sunday Telegraph discussed the benefits of income protection following research by the Institute for Social and Economic Research showing that only 24% of those that have been unable to work for longer than 12 months due to illness actually re-enter the workplace.

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