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The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (Apr 07)

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (Apr 07)

Category: Money

Updated: 04/12/2009
First Published: 17/04/2007

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

There have been plenty of changes to fees and rates across a range of personal finance products during the last few weeks and here's our round up of the monthly news for savers, investors and borrowers alike…

The good news:

  • Interest rates stay the same - this may only be a temporary reprieve however, as experts forecast a further 0.25% rise within the next couple of months.
  • Cheaper fixed rate mortgages - fixed rate mortgages are now in many cases cheaper than they were in January, but other fees, such as arrangement fees and valuation fees are on the rise.

Fixed rate mortgages are still the most popular, but did you know that you could fix your mortgage from 2 to 25 years, with the recently introduced 25-year fixed rate mortgage from Nationwide? So, don't forget to check out Moneyfacts' fixed rate mortgage best buys.

The bad news:

  • More credit card "stealth" charges - from next month NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland and Mint (all part of the RBS group) will charge £12 if they have to trace a customer who has moved, which will be applied once the bank has received two returned statements.
  • Using your credit card abroad can be expensive - Morgan Stanley now charges a foreign usage fee of 3% on their cards. You can get cards that are cheaper, so before jetting off on this year's summer holiday, why not save yourself some money and check out Moneyfacts' foreign usage credit card best buys.

The ugly news:

  • Gordon Brown – the Chancellor of the Exchequer's1997 tax raid on pension funds is set to cost a typical worker in the UK over £100,000. Prior to 1997, for every £80 of dividends received by a pension fund, a further rebate of £20 would be received by the fund from the Inland Revenue, but not any more.
  • Figures like this are quite rightly headline grabbing, but also act as a timely reminder that we need to do more ourselves to provide for our retirement. Whilst it may seem like a long way off, getting into the habit of putting some money aside each month is a good way of building up a nest egg for later in life.
  • Mini cash ISAs are a great way to start saving, as you can save up to £3,000 each tax year without having to pay Gordon Brown any tax on your interest. For the latest mini Cash ISA rates check out Moneyfacts' best buys .

Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.