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Credit card map of Britain revealed - what do people in your area look for?Derbyshire TimesDan Plant, editor-in-chief, MoneySuperMarket, said: “Credit cards can help you save money when managing debt, borrow new funds, build your credit rating or earn rewards for spending. However, you need to select the right type of plastic, and then use ...
This is MoneyCould a lifeline for older borrowers unable to repay interest-only mortgages be about to arrive?This is MoneyAn interest-only mortgage time bomb has been ticking for several years now and there are fears it's about to go off. We've known trouble has been coming since about 2008, but the City watchdog is now so worried about the number of people at risk of ...and more »
The SunWhat does Toys R US' bankruptcy mean for customers in the UK?The SunYou could also use a 0 per cent credit card, which will allow you to spread the cost of your Christmas purchases without being charged interest. And of course - you could always save up the cash and buy presents that way too.and more »
The GuardianPublic inquiry needed into UK's £200bn debt crisis, say senior MPsThe Guardian“Debt is a huge emotional burden for people,” said Nicky Morgan, the Conservative MP who chairs the Treasury select committee. She added that “unstable personal finances” often emerged as problems raised by her constituents in Loughborough.
The GuardianCar finance: the fast lane to debt?The GuardianWhile credit cards and personal loans make up the bulk of a £200bn debt mountain accumulated by British consumers, car finance has seen the fastest expansion. The second most expensive purchase in the majority of people's lives, after buying a home, ...and more »
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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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