What the papers say – 21st – 22nd April 2012

Lenders including the Co-Op Bank, Halifax and Clydesdale Bank are set to increase their Standard Variable Rates from next month, and thousands of borrowers will see their monthly payments rise as a result. The Times, Sunday Mirror and Observer all highlighted the importance for anyone on their lender’s SVR to review their options now and consider remortgaging to a better deal while they are still available. Experts suggested that many will want to take the opportunity to put more certainty into their finances by either fixing or taking a tracker directly linked to the Bank of England Base Rate, but were also keen to point out that borrowers must be aware of all set up costs before signing up. The Sunday Express followed this by looking at the ‘hidden costs’ involved with arranging a mortgage, advising homeowners to check whether a lender charges a booking fee as well as arrangement fee, as this could affect the total cost of a deal. Elsewhere the Sunday Telegraph warned that some lenders are going through old mortgage contracts looking for legal ways to push up rates for those on variable and tracker rates. This follows the news that Manchester Building Society has invoked a little known clause allowing it to give customers 12 months notice of new rates which will not be linked to BOEBR. The Government NewBuy initiative also attracted some attention, with the Guardian and Sunday Times reporting that Halifax has become the latest lender to offer deals under the scheme. Brokers have reported a low level of inquiries for NewBuy, and suggested that this could be a result of how the loans are being made available. Nationwide deals, for example, are available through brokers, but others are only available direct and no advice is offered.

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