09 March 2012

Lenders are increasing SVRs now too!

Many existing customers with the Halifax will shortly receive a letter confirming that their Standard Variable Rate will increase from 3.50% to 3.99% on 1st May. Not a nice letter to receive, but it is within the lenders power and will affect between a reported 600,000 – 850,000 customers. A spokesman for the lender says the change acknowledges that the cost of funding a mortgage in today's market remains significantly higher than the longer term average. The increase to the rate reflects the fact that raising money through savings and wholesale markets is currently very expensive. It is not expected that many others will follow suit (RBS also had previously increased rates for some 200,000!). Some lenders have written in guarantees to their mortgage offers terms and conditions, so don’t panic just yet as many track Bank Base Rate. It
does mean that you should review your mortgage offer, especially the small print. If your lender can increase the SVR rate whenever they feel necessary, maybe it’s a good time to review your
options. You don’t have to be loyal to the lender…they may not be thinking especially about you!

The deadline for the end of the stamp duty holiday is looming. The first time buyer's £250,000 completion threshold applies up to 24 March 2012 inclusive. During this time, all First Time Buyers can claim relief on Stamp Duty. Not long now, so get pushing for completion!

The latest figures from creditaction report
- The average amount owed per UK adult (including mortgages) was £29,634 in January. This was around 122% of average earnings.
- 318 people are declared insolvent or bankrupt every day (based on Q4 2011 trends). This is equivalent to 1 person every 62 seconds during each working day
- 1,473 Consumer County Court Judgements (CCJ's) are issued every day (based on Q4 2011 trends). The average value of a Consumer CCJ in Q4 2011 was £2,949.
- Citizens Advice Bureaux in England and Wales dealt with 8,652 new debt problems every working day during the year ending September 2011.
- 93 properties are repossessed every day (based on Q4 2011 trends).
- In Q4 2011, Banks & Building Societies wrote-off £1.48 billion (of which £907 million was credit card debt) amounting to a daily write-off of £16.23m!!
Although these are some horrific and eye opening figures, I do think it’s worth stating these
every now and again. It highlights the state of our economy and makes you stop and think about finances and whether there’s something you could be doing better or with another provider. It is always good to talk!

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