Friday 23rd February 2007

Top Money Stories - 19 ~ 23 February 2007

Top – Tip:

Credit cards have been in the news a lot this week. One tip for keeping your credit card spending well-managed, is : try leaving your card at home. If you really need it for something then it will be there but leaving your credit card out of your wallet means you can’t make impulse purchases you might later wish you hadn’t.

Monday 19th February

Credit card spending down in January

The British Bankers Association (BBA) figures for credit card borrowing in January showed a fall of £496m – the biggest fall since figures began. Other types of lending, such as mortgages, are still significantly up but this drop in spending on plastic may well show that people are starting to think through their spending more carefully – particularly when it comes to debt. More information about credit cards can be found on MoneyBasics.

Tuesday 20th February

‘Deathbed’ mortgages on the increase

One in four mortgage lenders now offer mortgages spread over 40 years or longer (in some cases up to 52 years!) according to a Moneyfacts survey. This comes as a result of rising house prices making it much, much harder for people to buy property using more usual mortgage arrangements. Whilst borrowing over such a long period of time is helpful to get on the ladder and can, if well managed and with a bit of luck, be a great opportunity. However it does leave the borrower open to a very large amount of risk and also saddled with large debts for a very long time so any decision to borrow in this way should be taken extremely carefully.

Wednesday 21st February

Budget date set

It was announced today that Gordon Brown will deliver his next budget on March 21st. Moneybasics will bring you all the news and how Budget 2007 affects you. Minutes give interest rate rise hint? The minutes of last months Monetary Policy Committee meeting, the body who decide interest rates at the Bank of England, show that the panel voted 7-2 in favour of holding rates at 5.25%. However the 2 votes against were in favour of a rise and the minutes show that it is still highly likely rates will have to rise again to combat inflation, quite possibly as soon as March.

Friday 23rd February

Banks starting to charge people for not using their credit cards

A growing industry trend is the introduction of annual charges to credit card customers who have ‘low usage’ on their card. Exactly what ‘low usage’ means has yet to be defined. This comes amidst much speculation about the end of free banking in the UK with banks looking to recoup lost revenue as regulations tighten on penalty charges. News of further additional charges for previously free services is likely to come in the coming months and it is important you make sure you are paying attention to your own banking situation to ensure you know if you’re getting the best deal.

Prepared by Chris Tapp for MoneyBasics