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This is MoneyUK regions with the biggest mortgage debt revealedThis is MoneyMortgage holders in pockets of London such as Newham and Tower Hamlets along with those in towns on the outskirts such as Barking, Crawley and Harlow are the most at risk if the Bank of England raises interest rates, data suggests. Those who have ...
Irish IndependentRise in number of those who think now is good time to save following USC cutIrish IndependentCharlie Weston, Personal Finance Editor ... The Nationwide UK (Ireland) savings index shows those under the age of 50 feel Government policy is encouraging them to save, especially the reduction in the universal social charge (USC). Younger people ...
Telegraph.co.ukLord Turner warns on peer-to-peer: this is what the 'stress tests' showTelegraph.co.ukWhen bankers ploughed investors' money into the mortgage market before the credit crisis in 2008, they took on more and more risky borrowers. A similar spiral could conceivably happen, warned Neil Faulkner of 4thWay, a risk rating agency. There is a ...and more »
3 Major Movers Worth Buying Today? Domino's Pizza Group PLC, Pinewood Group PLC And CPP Group PlcAOL Money UKBut with the credit card insurer reporting an operating profit of around £2.2m in its interim results last year, it appears to be making progress towards becoming a more financially stable and resilient business. And with a debt restructuring having ...and more »
The IndependentMoney Video round-up: mortgage rates, bank accounts, energy bills and free stuffThe IndependentThe Bank of England has kept rates at 0.5 per cent for seven years now, but borrowers who think they're on a great low deal should think again. Complacency could mean them missing out on even better deals, with two year fixed rates on offer at less ...Will UK interest rates be on hold for another four years?The Week UKall 4 news articles »
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To Save or To Clear the Debts?

You may have noticed that your savings aren’t doing a lot to pay their way these days. Pensioners are badly hit as many of them use the interest from their life savings to pad out the weekly amount they get from the state. Many mortgage payers are happy as their payments have come down, but just about everyone else with savings is in the situation where the real value of their money is falling because interest payments aren’t as high as inflation.

 The average rate for UK instant access accounts including current accounts was around 0.17% at the end of February and we’ve had another cut in the Bank base rate of half a percent since then. Despite that, with credit hard for many people to come by; credit limits being cut by the card companies and worries about job losses, if you can, it’s best to have some savings on hand for an emergency. And the latest figures show that people are saving more. There’s nearly £1,000 billion of savings in our banks and building societies and another £90 billion in National Savings.  

In terms of interest you may as well keep your money under the bed – but then that’s probably the first place a cash strapped burglar is going to look. Fixed rate bonds pay slightly higher rates than instant access accounts. National Savings and Investments products are increasingly popular because people want to know their money is safe whatever the interest rates and they have a 100% government deposit guarantee. It’s never been more important to shop around and don’t be slow to move your money to higher interest rate paying accounts. Keep a close check on any accounts you do have to see what interest you are being paid. The financial pages of the newspapers are good for advice on which accounts are paying the best rates but these change frequently. 

Once you’ve got your emergency fund in place if there’s any money left over think about clearing expensive debts. There’s no point in having a lot of money sitting in an account getting 2.5% interest if you’re paying off loans or credit card accounts at interest rates in the high teens and 20’s. Homeowners are paying off their mortgages too. Some who’ve seen their monthly payments fall are continuing to pay at the old rate so that they clear their mortgages more quickly.

If you have a lot of savings think about getting some financial advice. Your money may not be doing as well for you as it could and a good Independent Financial Adviser can be worth his or her weight in gold. Visit more than one and choose the advice you feel happiest with. Family, friends and colleagues may be able to recommend advisers they’ve used and found helpful.

If you’re lucky enough to have money to put aside it’s time to take stock and nurture it so that it can nurture you back in the future.

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