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16 February 2018: Bank of England: More Rises Ahead

Despite a recent 0.25% interest rate rise having hit in November 2017, The Bank of England is now warning that the next rate rise could come much sooner than expected.

Originally, the next two rises were predicted to take place over a longer course of three years or so.

However, there could now be a third increase, the first one coming as soon as May, with another potentially in autumn.

The rate is likely to rise from 0.5% to 0.75%, another increase of 0.25%.

What Will This Mean for You?

The impact on your everyday life will be much the same as the last interest rate rise.

For mortgage holders, the news could be bad. Interest rates on variable or tracker mortgages will probably rise to match the increase.
Monthly payments will increase with this, making it more difficult for many households to keep up.

Luckily, those on fixed rate mortgages should go untouched for the time being. You can compare fixed rate mortgages HERE.

However, the rate they will have to pay after the fixed term will still rise in line with the Bank of England rate, and will therefore be harder to pay off.

For savers, there may be some better news. Banks generally raise their interest rates for savings accounts to match the increase again, meaning higher interest returns for savers.

This was already seen happening after the rate rise in November.

This could potentially create more competition over savings rates, forming a better market for all savers. You can compare savings accounts HERE.

However, these rises happen quite slowly, so don’t expect any immediate increase in interest. It may be best to wait out after the rise to ensure you get the highest rate you can, as some banks may hold back their increased interest rates for a while.

16 February 2018: The Property Ladder – Untouchable for Middle Earners?

The difficulty for young people to buy their own home has already become prominent over the past few years. Yet now there are new figures revealed by economists which suggest a much wider problem than previously thought.

Even those who earn mid-range income, anywhere from £22,200 to £30,600, are now struggling to buy their own homes.

The amount of middle earners owning a home has dropped significantly since the 1990s, by around 40%.

This population comes from a range of backgrounds, including both university graduates and those who left education at 16, some with children and some living alone.

Therefore this is clearly a widespread issue and not just one relating to lifestyle circumstances.

For those who rent the problem runs even deeper. With money which could go towards a deposit being spent on rent and bills, it’s nearly impossible to save the amount needed each month for a deposit.

House prices have been rising seven times faster than the incomes of this population for the past twenty years, particularly in the South East area.

Many believe that until more affordable housing options are being built, this problem will stick around for a significant amount of time.

31 January 2018: Smart and Easy Ways to Save Cash around your Home

Find recipes to suit what you already have at home
Deliberately look for the recipes that you already have most or all of the ingredients for. It’s both a waste of time and money to go out and get unusual ingredients which you may never use again. There’s now websites which allow you to find recipes by searching with the ingredients you have. One of our favourites is

Borrow the items you will only use once
This applies to all aspects of your home, inside and outside. Things like gardening equipment, electrical food equipment and even things for babies which will be grown out of etc. There’s no point in buying a piece of equipment which you’ll not use again or very rarely. See if you can borrow one from friends or family first, or even neighbours.

Save on laundry
Hanging your clothes to dry instead of tumble drying them will save money on energy bills, whilst being more eco-friendly! Even if you don’t have a garden, a small retractable washing line can be placed somewhere in the house. Little costs like this really do add up.

Buy furniture and decorations wisely
Using charity shops, second hand websites such as, and offers from friends and family, it’s easier than you think to decorate your house affordably. So many people are willing to get rid of their stuff for extremely cheap, or even free, just to get it out of the house. There’s hardly ever anything wrong with the items, it’s just that they don’t suit the owner anymore. With the average home costing £15,000 to furnish, this is an area you can really save on!

Gaps and leaks are expensive!
Check around the house for drafts in windows or doors. This prevents heat escaping in the winter which means less money spent on heating, and similarly helps keep the house cool in summer. Block these with draft stoppers or get them replaced if you can afford to. High quality doors and windows will last you decades. 

Stop costs rising in winter
During winter everyone spends more on heating and electricity to keep the house warm. Unused rooms are often still heated despite no one using them. By turning down (or off) the heating in these rooms and keeping a few plug-in heaters you can warm up a room very quickly. Cosy blankets are also a good idea.

Recycling can pay out
Lots of recycling points actually now pay money for you to recycle. Some have automated machines that pay out coins for each bottle or item. If there’s not one of these recycling points close by (many are at tips), then try to save all of these recyclables up and take them to the closest one when you’re going that way for something else to save petrol money.

Spare change can add up to hundreds
Don’t turn your nose up at spare change! If you kept all the copper coins you ever had it would add up to hundreds right now. By having multiple jars to collect spare change around the house, you’re more likely to just pop it in when you go by, instead of forget about it because it has nowhere to go. If you can, try the speedy way of collecting money by saving £5 notes or £1 and £2 coins. This adds up very fast!

24 January 2018: Car Insurance Premiums Rise Again

According to the Association of British Insurers (ABI), car insurance premiums have yet again risen from October to December 2017 to an average of £481, which is a huge 9% rise on the same period in 2016.

This rise is the latest of eight since 2012.

There was previously a discount rate which meant insurers could be compensated for the expenses of long-term injury claims. This was, however, reduced by the government in April 2017 which means insurance firms now have to pay out more.

This is one of the reasons they use for explaining premium increases. The government are looking at potentially reversing the changes to this discount rate.

Rising fraud is also pushing up car insurance costs as many fake claims, particularly for whiplash, have been made.

The rising premiums may slow in future as new legislation is passed to control fraud, high repair bills and insurance premium tax, but for now the cost of car insurance is very unlikely to fall.

This makes it even more vital that customers find the very best deals they can on their car insurance. You can use a comparison site just like to compare car insurance deals.

CLICK HERE to compare and save on car insurance

18 January 2018: Tesco Clubcard: What's happened and our pick of alternatives

As Tesco slashes Clubcard rewards, here’s a roundup of other great rewards schemes and points cards you can use to your benefit

On Monday, Tesco announced they would be ‘regulating’ the value of rewards which they currently run on their Clubcard scheme. Instead of some being 2x their value, and some being 4x their value, they have now made all rewards 3x their value with immediate effect.

This has been met with anger from users of Clubcard, as it has decreased the value of many people’s points.

With 1 point collected for every £2 you spend, and each point being worth 1p (or 3p if you exchange it for vouchers), it’s still one of the best reward schemes. But there are others which we think are equally good, if not better…

Supermarket Rewards Cards

Sainsbury’s Nectar Points

  • Collect 1 Nectar point per £1 at Sainsbury's supermarkets and at
  • Collect 1 point per litre of fuel purchased at Sainsbury's petrol stations.
  • 2 points are worth 1p

Morrison’s More Card

  • Earn 5 points per litre when you buy fuel at Morrisons
  • Earn 5 points for every £1 you spend in store and online
  • Earn 25 points for every £1 you spend on Gift Cards in store
  • Get a £5 More voucher for every 5,000 points you earn
  • 10 points are worth 1p


Nando’s Card

  • Earn one ‘chilli’ when you spend £7 or more at Nando’s
  • The further you get around the wheel of ‘chillies’ the better rewards you get. All rewards are free food.

Subway Card
  • Earn 10 points for every £1 spent.
  • 100 points can be redeemed for a hot drink, 200 points can be redeemed for a snack. 500 points can be redeemed for a regular 6” Sub, flatbread or salad and with 1000 points you can redeem for a regular 12” Sub or flatbread.

Costa Coffee Club Card

  • You'll earn 5 points for every £1 you spend.
  • 1 point is worth 1p.

High Street and Retail

Boots Advantage Card

  • Collect 4 points for every £1 you spend. With one point equal to one penny
  • 1 point is worth 1p.

Ikea Family Card

  • Exclusive offers, discounts and freebies, including extra 10% off sale prices and special prices on selected IKEA products.

Holland and Barrett

  • Earn 4 points for every £1 you spend.
  • 1 point is worth 1p, and you can collect these in coupons of 50p each.

Superdrug Beautycard
  • You'll earn 1 point for every £1 you spend.
  • 100 points is worth £1, 200 is £2, and these have to spent in multiples of 100.
  • Get exclusive lower prices for selected products both in store and online.
  • Every Thursday you’ll get exclusive member discounts on a different brand or product category.

Points Credit Cards

Sainsbury's Bank 33 Month Balance Transfer Credit Card

  • Up to 10,000 bonus Nectar points. Each time you spend £40 or more on Sainsbury’s shopping in the first two months you’ll get 1,000 points. (Ends 25th March 2018)
  • 2 Nectar points per £1 spend on Sainsbury's shopping or fuel. 1 Nectar point per £5 spent elsewhere.
  • Balance Transfers 0.0% Fixed for 33 months (0.59% fee)
  • New Purchases P 0.0% Fixed for 3 months

Representative Example: Assumed borrowing of £1,200 for 1 year, at a Purchase Rate of 18.95% (variable), representative 18.9% APR (variable). Credit available subject to status. You'll pay a 1.5% fee to transfer a balance to this card in the first 3 months. Sainsbury's will then refund 0.91% so the overall fee is 0.59%. 3% balance transfer fee afterwards (minimum £3 at all times).

M&S Shopping Plus Offer Credit Card
  • Balance Transfers 0.0% Fixed for 25 months (2.9% fee)
  • New Purchases 0.0% Fixed for 25 months
  • Buy M&S Travel Money with no cash advance or foreign exchange fees.
  • Earn M&S reward points every time you shop with your card.
  • A bonus points voucher worth £5 when you use your M&S Credit Card in store.
Representative Example: Assumed borrowing of £1,200 for 1 year, at a Purchase Rate of 18.9% (variable), representative 18.9% APR (variable). Credit available subject to status.

John Lewis and Waitrose Partnership Credit Card
  • Balance Transfers 0.0% Variable for 18 months (2.9% fee)
  • New Purchases 0.0% Variable for 9 months
  • Every time you spend on your partnership card, you’ll earn points towards John Lewis Partnership vouchers. Every 500 points you earn is worth £5 in vouchers.
  • Earn 1 point per £1 spent in store or online at John Lewis and Waitrose.
  • Earn 1 point per £2 spent everywhere else, at over 36 million MasterCard outlets worldwide.
  • All new customers will receive 1,000 points worth £10 if they spend or transfer £500 in their first 90 days from account opening.

Representative Example: Assumed borrowing of £1,200 for 1 year, at a Purchase Rate of 18.9% (variable), representative 18.9% APR (variable). Credit available subject to status.

Tesco Bank Clubcard 15 Month Balance Transfer and Purchase Credit Card

  • Balance Transfers 0.0% Fixed for 15 months (0.85% fee)
  • New Purchases 0.0% Fixed for 15 months
  • Earn Clubcard points wherever you use your card, plus your usual points in Tesco.
Representative Example: Assumed borrowing of £1,200 for 1 year, at a Purchase Rate of 18.9% (variable), representative 18.9% APR (variable). Credit available subject to status. 0% interest periods apply to any balances or money transferred within the first 90 days of account opening.

15 January 2018: Open Banking: What is it and what can it do for me?

‘Open banking’ is about to begin as a new scheme which allow banks and building societies to give access to customer's financial data to regulated businesses.

Banks already hold all our information about our transactions and payments, but there will now be an option to make this available to businesses. 

It sounds scary, but this information can only be given if the customer has given the bank permission to do so. This access will only be given securely, and customers will not have to give any login details, passwords, or online banking information.

Customers can give or decline their permission for banks to give out this information at any time they choose.

The reason this is happening is to use customer’s payment history to get them better deals on pretty much anything available to buy.

Online companies will be able to look at the customers spending and find them better deals depending on how well they manage their finances.

Many banks, however, are already way behind on starting this new scheme up.

The original deadline was 13th January 12018, yet Allied Irish Bank, Danske and Lloyds Banking Group were the only actually ready to start, whilst the 6 other biggest current account providers in the UK have been given an extra 6 weeks of preparations time.

It’s a waiting game now to see how this system will work and if it will genuinely help those purchasing through online stores.

13 December 2017: Overdrafts: Latest news on charges and alternatives to overdrafts

There has recently been calls for banks to end charges placed on unauthorised overdrafts.

Thousands of people are finding that as they fall into their overdraft, it is becoming impossible to get back out due to extra charges stamped on top of what needs to be re payed.

This means many are in a circle of debt, and banks are now being asked to give more support to those who have been trapped by their charges.

Although there are now caps where banks have had to publish maximum monthly charge since September 17, many want charges to be completely abolished to prevent people being stuck in debt in the first place.

It has been said that banks fail to help their customers even when they admit to being in debt.

Lloyds is the only bank to have already abolished charges for unauthorised overdrafts.

Some banks claim to not let their customers get unauthorised overdrafts, yet they can still apply for emergency lending, which would put them in the same dangerous position. The majority of other banks do still offer unauthorised overdrafts however.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said it was considering a ban on charges for unplanned overdrafts - but it is not due to report until 2018.

Many people in their overdrafts use them to pay off expensive bills or similar and so end up completely stuck.

There is also the claim that banks will give customers huge overdrafts which they could never afford, instead of setting them a sensible limit. Overdrafts can be one of the most expensive ways to borrow money.

However, there are alternatives to having an overdraft…

Firstly, shopping around bank accounts to see who offers the better rate overdraft is a good idea. You’d be surprised at how much changing banks makes a difference. Some even have a fee-free overdraft buffer up to a couple of hundred pounds. This compared to an account which charges a daily fee and sometimes also interest could save you a huge amount monthly.

Compare bank accounts here to see if you could be charged less on your overdraft

If you want to stay away from overdrafts completely, but you definitely need extra money ASAP, then you could go for a good rate personal loan. They’re often much cheaper than overdraft charges, but these tend to be better for borrowing slightly larger amounts as this gets the cheapest rates.

Compare loans here to see if it could be cheaper than your overdraft

Another option to borrow money fast would be to get a 0% purchases credit card. This will give you free borrowing for a certain amount of time. However, you must be able to pay this off before the 0% time period ends, or you will be hit with high credit card interest rates.

You can also transfers debts on a credit card across to a 0% balance transfer card. This keeps any debt interest free for a certain time period, giving you longer to pay it off before it starts to increase.

Compare 0% credit cards here and see how they could benefit you

22 November 2017: The Budget 2017: Round Up

After the big reveal of the budget today, we’ve rounded up the main points you need to hear about, and how they will affect you…


£44bn to support the housing market with some of the following actions…

Halving rough sleeping by 2022 and eliminating it by 2027

Stamp duty abolished for all first time buyers purchasing a home under £300,000

300,000 new homes per year being built on average by mid 2020s

Continued protection of the green belt

100,000 homes in Oxfordshire alone by 2031

£10bn more poured into Help to Buy equity loans

•    Most of these factors point towards getting new buyers on the ladder, and will hopefully make it much more affordable to buy

Cars and Transport

£1.7bn to go into the transforming cities fund – mostly aiding public transport

New railcard for 26-30 year olds, saving 1/3 on rail fares

The fuel duty rise which was due in April 2018 has been cancelled, keeping costs down for motorists

No cost for charging electric cars at work

£220mil clean air fund

Existing diesel supplement in company car tax to rise by 1%

•    The cancelled fuel duty rise has the biggest impact here, keeping costs from rising for the huge amount of motorists across the country. The railcard will also impact a significant amount of people, as this currently only stretches to those aged 25.

Economy and Tax

A pledge to have 600,000 more people in work by 2022

£49.9bn forecast for borrowing this year, then borrowing will fall every year of the forecast from here (debt to peak this year then fall as a share of GDP)

£3bn more to Brexit negotiations

4.4% rise in living wage

Tax-free personal allowance to rise to £11,850 in April 2018

Higher-rate tax threshold to increase to £46,350

£4.8bn to be raised by 2022 for new package of measures on tax evasions and avoidance

•    With such a significant rise in the living wage, many people will be positively affected. The rising tax allowance also means less tax to pay on income for thousands of people, meaning an all-round ease of pressure off many people’s finances.

NHS and Health

£10bn investment in NHS to come

£2.8bn resource funding for NHS for immediate relief, with £350mil of that for immediate commitment for winter

£28mil for mental health and counselling services - for Kensington and Chelsea to help with Grenfell tower crisis

•    The aid to the NHS will affect everyone, and will hopefully see an improvement to NHS services and make it more accessible to all.


VAT refunds from April 2018 for Scottish police and fire services

Duty on beer, wine, spirits and most ciders will be frozen

Duty on high-strength “white ciders” to be increased

Tobacco will rise by two per cent above Retail Price Index (RPI) inflation while the minimum excise duty on cigarettes introduced in March will also rise, as will duty on hand-rolled tobacco

£20mil investment to support further education colleges

•    Freezing of duty on most alcohol comes as a pleasant surprise for most, whilst the rise in duty on tobacco was expected. The investment to further education colleges again aims towards the younger generations, and makes education more accessible for many.

21 November 2017: Clever Ideas to Save at Christmas

Budget 2015

!50 image

Clever Ideas for Saving Over Christmas

The Cost – Transport

Transport during the festive period is expensive, whether you’re travelling home or off on a winter getaway. Some prices are even raised as companies know travel tickets will be in high demand at this time of year. But there’s a couple of things you can do to cut the cost.

•    Megabus fares are extremely cheap, and they now travel to hundreds of destinations. Not only do they travel throughout the UK, so that you can get home for Christmas, but also through Europe, for anyone looking at winter holidays!
•    Car shares are another popular idea to travel cheaply. There’s loads of car sharing websites including and They charge a small fee per passenger, but this is a huge amount less than trains or similar. As always, do be careful when sharing cars with strangers. Here's some safety tips.
•    If possible, book your tickets way in advance. That way you should avoid heavy price rises as the tickets become in demand. is one way to book in advance, and they claim you typically save 43% booking train tickets in advance. In my experience it's one of the easiest sites to use and there's always a huge choice.

The Cost – Presents
This is the most obvious cost when it comes to Christmas. But with clever planning and spending habits it won’t be quite as expensive!

•    With this year’s Black Friday coming up fast (24th November 2017) and Cyber Monday (27th November 2017), there will be hundreds of deals on every kind of present. Do your research beforehand to ensure you’re actually getting a good deal, and keep a strict list of what you need to get so you don’t end up buying unnecessary items.
•    You can also save by getting rewarded when you shop for presents. There are lots of cashback sites around now which essentially reward you in vouchers or cash when you shop through them. You could also choose to use a cashback credit card, or a rewards credit card to score extra points. Yoou could be earning 0.5% cashback on all your purchases, or getting double clubcard points in Tesco!
•    Another great way to cut costs is to spend less on the wrapping of presents, and more on the present itself! Classic brown paper is much cheaper than wrapping paper, and can be customised or left simple. You could also make your own designs on the plain back of any old wrapping paper you have lying around. Save bows, gift bags and decorations throughout the year and you will have a stash to use come Christmas.
•    If you find yourself buying unnecessary gifts for those you don’t absolutely need to buy for, it might be time to have a conversation. Most people will be relieved themselves if you suggest not buying presents for each other, and it prevents you receiving lots of things you’ll never use. Choose who you speak to wisely...maybe not one for the parents!

The Cost – Festive Food
The main thing to remember here is to plan ahead! Being smart about how you save for food at Christmas and how and where you buy it can add up to a lot of saving.

•    Supermarkets usually partake in stamps for food schemes. These come in the form of cards or similar, and every time you top it up with a certain amount of money, the supermarket adds on a percentage. This means that you can save throughout the year by topping up this card a bit at a time, and you’ll get a bonus from the supermarket at the end. This one from Iceland gets you 5%! It might also be time to take the plunge and try a discounter like Aldi or Lidl, or if you can't quite face that, maybe Asda!
•    You could also consider using a points and rewards card to do your food shopping, as this will collect lots of points for you to use another time, so you’re essentially saving money for the future.
If you're nominated to cook the Christmas dinner, don't be afraid to ask people to bring a course each to save you doing absolutely everything.

The Cost – Accommodation

Not everyone is able to stay with family over Christmas, and accommodation can be one of the most expensive items, especially during Christmas when hotels put their prices sky high. Try these alternatives to save some money.
Generally, it pays to book early.

•    AirBnB is one of the cheapest and most convenient websites to use. Not only do they offer places to stay in every location, but they’re also great for last minute bookings.
•    Use comparison sites if you do end up needing a hotel, but ensure you clear your browser before checking each site, as the sites will automatically raise the price if they see you looking at other hotels on another site. Trivago is one of our favourites as it compares other comparison sites! Expedia and are also great sites with a huge range.
•    A sneaky trick we've picked up is that on some sites, if you abandon your shopping cart just before booking, you may find you're sent an email with a discount code to go  back and complete your booking.


!50 image to compare and save on credit cards, loans, bank accounts and much more at moneyhelpline

21 November 2017: What to expect in tomorrow’s budget

What to expect in tomorrow’s budget, and what we think MIGHT be coming up…

A lot of these expectations are based on the promises made by Theresa May at the Conservative Party Conference. Nothing is completely certain until the reveal tomorrow. We will be keeping updates throughout the day tomorrow through our twitter and facebook accounts.

The budget this autumn is expected to revolve more around young people, including helping them to buy homes and the price of their education.

Probably the most certain thing to expect is a promise from the government to build 300,000 homes a year, and some plans to encourage these homes to be built. This has been stated by Philip Hammond himself so should definitely be included tomorrow.

It’s also quite likely that there will be a fuel duty freeze. If this is not seen, drivers will be pushed into the festive season with rising fuel costs, which will likely reduce spending elsewhere. A budget which doesn’t freeze fuel prices would probably be extremely unpopular at this time of year.

The following points are also expected to come up in the budget tomorrow, although are less certain that those above:

-    There are talks of cutting stamp duty for first-time buyers, helping them to get on the property ladder.
-    Details of the promise made by Theresa May at the Conservative party conference of £10bn more for Help to Buy will potentially be revealed.
-    Another promise made by the Prime Minister at the conference was to freeze tuition fees, so we might expect some more detail on this.
-    There’s a possibility of cuts to annual and lifetime pension allowances, but this has been mentioned less.
-    Potential to extend the 16-25 railcard has been discussed, helping people in this age range to save a huge amount on transport.
Again, most of these expectations revolve around helping the younger generations.

There are also some broader points, including:

-    Calls to tackle underfunded dementia care, and to spend more on care services in general.
-    A potential raise in income tax in 2022, which could raise £3.1Billon a year
-    Investment in driverless cars – A bit of a strange one, but something the chancellor has been talking about a lot.

The true contents of the budget will be revealed tomorrow (22nd November 2017) at around 12.30PM.

9 November 2017: Bank of England Rate Rise Increase

 Bank of England Rate Rise Increase – What This Means for You 

An announcement today stated that the Bank of England will be raising its base rate from 0.25% to 0.5%.

The rate rise might seem threatening, but there are only 2 main ways in which it’ll affect everyday consumers.

1.    Mortgage interest rates will increase
2.    Savings interest rates will increase

Of course, this is a mixture of good and bad news - where mortgages become more expensive, it should be easier to save money with increased return.

It will mostly be products which track the base rate which are affected by this change. For example, tracker mortgages.


This will almost definitely see the end of super low rate mortgages.

Fixed rate mortgages are safest right now, as their interest rate doesn’t change.

Variable rates will probably increase, but are set by the bank your mortgage is from so you may not necessarily see an increase. Tracker mortgages will definitely be seeing an increase, as these align with the Bank of England base rate.
The best variable rate mortgage we are currently offering is 0.99% from Furness (then rising to 5.29% after 2 years)*

Although this rise is imminent, there will still be a small time frame, potentially a couple of weeks, where current deals may still be available. If you need to secure a deal, do so now before you don’t have a choice.

If you’re unhappy with your current deal, or think it will increase with the rate rise, then switching to a fixed tariff would be a good option. This will lock in the amount of interest you pay and safeguard it from the rate rise or future rate rises. The best fixed rate mortgage we are currently offering is 1.17% from Yorkshire Building Society (then rising to 4.99% after 2 years)**

You can compare or switch mortgages here.


Rate rises are good for savings as they see the interest rates go up. Many accounts will be raising their interest rate, but it does depend on the bank providing the savings itself.

Interest rates have already been rising, with 1.3% currently at the top of easy access savings accounts. This could now rise as high as 1.5%, although it’s unlikely to jump the full 0.25% to 1.55%.

This makes it one of the best times to get a savings account set up. Make sure you wait until the rates have been finalised and gone up, but this should be before the end of the year.

The best way to maximise interest on savings is to have one or two current accounts which currently have the highest interest rates. You can use up the high interest limit in these accounts (e.g. Nationwide current account 3% up to £2500), then place any remaining savings into a savings account which will have a higher limit.

Our current best savings rate is 2.4% fixed from Vanquis Bank or 1.3% variable from RCI Bank.

You can compare or switch savings accounts here.

*Representative example A mortgage of £125,000 payable over 25 years, initially on a variable rate for 2 years at 0.99% and then on a variable rate of 5.29% for the remaining 23 years would require 24 payments of £470 and 276 payments of £728. The total amount payable would be £213,207 made up of the loan amount plus interest (£87,208) and fees (£999). The overall cost for comparison is 4.7% APRC representative.
**Representative example A mortgage of £125,000 payable over 25 years, initially on a fixed rate for 2 years at 1.17% and then on a variable rate of 4.99% for the remaining 23 years would require 24 payments of £480 and 276 payments of £709. The total amount payable would be £208,934 made up of the loan amount plus interest (£82,204) and fees (£1,730). The overall cost for comparison is 4.3% APRC representative.

13 October 2017: Monarch Airlines: Update

Since our last news on Monarch airlines, there has been a huge change in their advice to passengers already abroad.

Previously, customers were led to believe that they could definitely expect a return flight home at no cost to them and organised on their behalf. This advice has now changed.

The CAA’s new advice states that "… anyone who departed the UK after the date of administration, relying on a repatriation flight to return to the UK, will not be automatically eligible for a repatriation flight."

You must pay particular attention to the dates you flew out on and the date you were supposed to return on.


For those due to return to the UK with Monarch on or before 15th October

If you flew out BEFORE 4am on Monday 2nd October (when Monarch went into administration) you WILL have a flight home arranged at no cost to you. This return flight will be as close as possible to the original flight and you should receive details of this flight with at least 24 hours’ notice.

If you flew out AFTER 4am on Monday 2nd October (when Monarch went into administration), you should first ring the call centre for the CAA at +44 1753 330 330 to ask about your options. It cannot be guaranteed that you’ll get a flight home organised for you, so will probably need to make alternative arrangements yourself.

For those due to return to the UK with Monarch on or after 16th October

You WILL NOT have a return flight re-arranged for you. Similarly, if you haven’t flown out with your alternative airline yet you shouldn’t rely on being arranged a new flight home. Please make alternative arrangements yourself.

If you had ATOL protection on your flight or holiday, you can speak to your travel company who should be able to compensate you.

Please ensure you also check the CAA dedicated monarch website for further advice at and call the CAA call centre at +44 1753 330330 for further advice.

6 October 2017: Credit Card debts you can't repay? 5 MILLION OTHERS IN THE RED

Credit Card debts you can't repay? 5 MILLION OTHERS IN THE RED
& how you can ease the weight of credit card debt

The number of people now estimated to be stuck in credit card debt is around 5 million.

Alarmingly, figures from the Financial Conduct Authority Chief Andrew Bailey, are showing that for every £1 these people are borrowing, they are paying up to £3.50 in return.

In response, Bailey has attacked credit card companies for not helping these customers. As most can only afford to pay the minimum each month, they end up with substantial interest debt which continues to build.

Many credit cards now offer several months’ worth of free spending with 0% interest on purchases. But these easily trap customers when their interest rates rocket after the 0% period ends.

Interest rates of around 20% are placed on any purchases once this grace period is over, turning small spends into a new big debt. 

It has been estimated that the 5 million affected, will take over 10 years to repay their debts.

How to use O% Balance Transfer cards effectively

That said, these cards can be fantastic if used correctly. They effectively give you interest-free shopping for over two years for some, and mean you can spread the cost of bigger purchases. But the most important thing is to be smart about how you use them.

How balance transfer cards can help you get out of credit card debt

Remember, the idea is that these credit cards have a period of no interest on balance transfers, meaning you can transfer all of your debt from your old card across and stop accumulating interest on the debt, making it much easier to pay off.

The catch, of course, is that you really need to pay off as much as you can, if not all, of this debt before the 0% balance transfers period closes. If you don’t you will again be hit by high interest rates and be back in the same position.
One other thing to keep in mind is that you shouldn’t be spending on this card. This is solely for minimising your debt and any spending on it would be detrimental.

If you need another cared for spending, pick a 0% purchases card, but again ensure to pay off anything you spend before the interest rates kick in so you don’t have any debt on this card.

Some cards are now offering up to 39 months (over 3 years) of 0% balance transfers. This gives you three years to pay off your accumulated debt without adding interest.

Balance transfer cards can be excellent tools for minimising your debt pay off – just always remember to be sensible with them.

Check out our range of balance transfer and 0% purchase credit cards at

4 October 2017: Ryanair Cancellations: SECOND UPDATE

Ryanair Cancellations: SECOND UPDATE

The airline have now followed the rules given to them (details in our previous update) by sending out promised emails to those affected, giving them more clear options about what they could do and further information.

Despite originally saying that they DID NOT have to offer passengers alternative flights on rival airlines, Ryanair has now acknowledged that they HAVE TO offer passengers full refunds OR tickets on a similar flight with a rival airline.

This is only if no Ryanair flight was available however, but includes options of Easyjet, Jet2, Vueling, Cityjet, Aer Lingus, Norwegian or Eurowings.

Kenny Jacobs from Ryanair has said that they “are committed to processing all such claims within 21 days of receipt and hope to have all such claims settled before the end of October."

4 October 2017: Monarch Airlines Cease Trade

Monarch Airlines – Administration Leaves up to 750,000 Passengers Out of Luck

Following the news of Ryanair’s flight cancellations comes Monarch Airlines ceasing trade.

The news came at 4am in the morning and shocked both holidaymakers arriving for their flights and staff turning up for work.

Around 860,000 people have lost bookings, and about 2,100 people employed by Monarch will have lost their jobs.

Although the news came so unexpectedly to so many people, Monarch did report a loss of £291m last year and is blaming terror attacks in Tunisia and Egypt, the drop in value of the pound, and increasing competition from other airlines for their administration.

There are reportedly around 110,000 of these passengers overseas who will need bringing home. The Civil Aviation Authority are sending out over 30 planes to carry this out.

There is potential for pilots and staff left in uncertainty by Monarch to be mopped up by other budget airlines such as EasyJet and Ryanair. Both of these companies have taken advantage of the situation by selling their own tickets to Monarch customers.

Ryanair are likely to take on pilots to cover their current shortage problem which recently left them having to cancel thousands of flights.



All flights have been cancelled departing the UK.

Do not travel to the airport for this flight as it will not be running.

You will have to book yourself onto another flight with a different airline if you still wish to travel.

You can get a refund depending on how you booked:

If you booked directly with First Aviation Ltd trading as Monarch Airlines

If your flight was booked on or before 14 December 2016 and you received an ATOL Certificate stating that your flight is protected with First Aviation, you are ATOL protected. These customers will have refunds made as soon as possible by the CAA.

Information on how you should claim will be available very soon from the CAA. There will be a claim form for Monarch available. Until then, please do not try to submit any sort of claim.

If your flight was booked from 15 December 2016 onward it is not protected by ATOL, and therefore you cannot claim a refund for your flight from the CAA. Your best bet is to contact your credit card company or insurer to see if they can refund you instead.

UPDATE: Even if you payed via debit card rather than credit card, you can still potentially get a refund through 'charge back', although this is less certain than credit card refunds. Check with you bank to see if you can claim.

If you booked directly with Monarch Holidays

If you booked directly with Monarch you will be ATOL protected and should have an ATOL Certificate come with your booking.

Refunds will again be made on these bookings as soon as possible. The CAA say they aim to complete this by the end of 2017 at the latest. As above, a claim form will be available soon but please do not attempt to claim before this.  

If you booked through a travel company or travel agent (i.e. not directly)

You need to contact the company or agent directly about this.


The CAA have reassured customers due to return to the UK that they do not need to come home early.

If you were due to come home on or before 15 October 2017, your new flight home will be coordinated by the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority). They will make the information of these new flights available to you as soon as possible, at least 48 hours before the flight is due.

These should be posted on the CAA’s website at

Do keep checking as the website will be updated constantly.

You will not be expected to pay for this flight.

For further information and advice check

29 September 2017: Mortgage rates may soon be rising – Here’s how to protect yourself

Mortgage rates may soon be rising – Here’s how to protect yourself

A rise in interest rates from the Bank of England is thought to be getting more likely. Bank of England governor Mark Carney has recently commented on the increased likelihood of this rise happening. If interest rates are increased, it will be for the first time in a decade.

Rising inflation is widely pointed to as the reason rates could rise. Inflation has risen from around 1% in Sep 2016 to 2.9% in August 2017. Raising interest rates is the Bank of England’s main weapon in reducing inflation.

The next update from the Bank of England is scheduled for the 2nd of November.
If you’re planning on remortgaging or getting a mortgage in the near future, you may be better to do this before November.

How much could mortgage costs increase?

An interest rate increase would affect both those with existing mortgages on standard variable rates, and those looking to take out a mortgage in the near future.

With the current rate at 0.25%, the first hike is likely to be by 0.25% to 0.5%. There is even speculation that there may be a number of rate rises over the next year increasing the base rate by possibly 1 or even 2%.

Customers on variable rate mortgages or base rate trackers are likely to pay more as the variable rate generally moves up as the base rates does. Here’s roughly how:

If, for instance, the interest rate is increased by 0.25%, a mortgage of £200,000 will be increased by £500 a year more. If it was increased by 0.5%, the same mortgage could expect to pay £1,000 a year more. The difference is significant.

As you can see, even on lower mortgages, say £100,000, an extra 0.25% at £250 a year is not an easy addition to swallow for most.

However, these effects only are applicable to those on variable rate tariffs. Those on fixed-rate mortgage deals would be protected from any increase, but only until the end of their deal’s fixed term.

How to lock in lower mortgage costs (for years)

With some of the very low cost fixed rate deals now available, it’s a great time to consider re-mortgaging to a fixed rate. If you’re looking to take out a new mortgage, then a fixed deal again is likely to be the best for.

You’re probably best to act fast if you are thinking of going for one of these fixed deals, as the talk of rising interest rates is likely lead to their rates rising too in the near future.

You can find a wide range of mortgages to compare at

Check out more info on this topic at the following links:

29 September 2017: Ryanair Cancellations: What Rights Do You Have? UPDATE

Ryanair Cancellations: What Rights Do You Have? UPDATE

Since the original news of the cancellations by budget airline Ryanair broke, there have been several updates to the story.

Originally, 2,100 flights over the next six weeks were due to be cancelled, with around 315,000 customers being impacted.

Most recently, another 18,000 flights are to be cancelled between November and March, which will affect another 400,000 passengers.

This includes the actual suspension of 34 of their flying routes.

Now, following these extra cancellations, there have been questions over whether Ryanair’s actions in compensating customers have been fully lawful.

Originally, Ryanair stated they were within their rights to NOT re-book passengers onto rival airlines.

The airline has now been told it must change this policy, as the UK's Civil Aviation Authority has said they must make it clear how they will re-route passengers who require it.

The airline also has to help any passengers who might have chosen an unsuitable alternative option to travel due to their flight being cancelled in the past two weeks.  

Both of these new terms must be fully applied by Ryanair by Friday 29th Sep at 5pm. These refer to both people flying to the UK and people flying from the UK.
If Ryanair does not comply with these rules, they could be taken to court and potentially fined.

The CAA want Ryanair to make it clear that any expenses will definitely be covered by the airline. 

There had been some evidence that some customers were being denied their right to be booked onto other flights by rival companies, even though Ryanair’s formal policy states that passengers can be booked onto rival airlines as long as it doesn’t cost more than three times the original Ryanair fare.

There are additional guidelines which must now be posted by Ryanair. If you have been affected, you are due one of the following:

-    A new email from Ryanair which gives you "accurate and comprehensive information on [your] rights and options".

-    An offer of a refund or re-routing, including one with another airline, and instructions of how to claim for these expenses.

-    IF YOU HAVE ACCEPTED A REFUND – an offer of reimbursement of the difference to any higher fare that you have booked.

-    IF YOU HAVE ACCEPTED A RE-ROUTING which you think is unsatisfactory you must be offered the option of changing it.

-    For those in the cancellations covering November-March, you must be given the option of a re-route with a different airline if another Ryanair flight isn’t available.

ALL OF THESE ABOVE OPTIONS must be sent out via email by Ryanair by 5pm on 4th October. So if you're impacted do keep an eye on your email.

See more at

21 September 2017: Ryanair Cancellations: What Rights Do You Have?

Ryanair Cancellations: What Rights Do You Have?

Ryanair has announced plans to cancel 2,100 flights over the next six weeks due to a shortage of pilots. Apparently due to a mix up over holiday leave.
315,000 customers are impacted.

All impacted customers should have received emails telling them the bad news on Monday. Unsurprisingly there are thousands of complaints and unhappy customers.

Which? spokesman, Alex Neill, has slammed Ryanair saying that their “approach to informing affected passengers about compensation falls woefully short…It is legally required to spell out compensation rules when a flight is cancelled and, in our view, has so far failed to do that, leaving passengers hunting around for information.”

Kenny Jacobs, Ryanair's chief marketing officer, has stated that they "have taken on extra customer service teams to speed up the rate at which we accommodate and action alternative flight requests or refund applications".

Guidance for Ryanair Customers

1.    Find out if your flight is cancelled…
If your flight has been cancelled you should have been emailed on Monday.
There is a published list of affected flights at
2.    If you find that your flight has been cancelled…

The Flight:

-    You should be given two options (as seen at
-    One of these is to apply for a complete and FULL REFUND of your flight
-    The other is to change your flight for FREE via your Ryanair account

The Hotel:

-    The hotel is a more difficult one. If you have accommodation plans ruined by your flight cancellation, this comes under ‘consequential’ losses, and therefore CANNOT be claimed for. This also includes things like car hire.
-    Try your travel insurance for your best chance of getting any accommodation repaid.

Flights Home:

-    Unfortunately, the cancellations can also affect people who are already aboard waiting to come home.
-    This should be completely covered by the airline, including you food, accommodation, and transport to the airport.
-    KEEP ALL RECEIPTS, so everything can be refunded without question.
-    This area should come under the ‘right to care’ section of EU law.

Extra Compensation:

-    You can potentially gain some extra compensation depending on each individual case
-    If the flight is cancelled with MORE THAN TWO WEEKS NOTICE, the airline DOES NOT have to pay extra, and you can ONLY receive the refund of the ticket. 
-    If the flight is cancelled with LESS THAN TWO WEEKS notice, the airline must refund the ticket, AS WELL AS pay the following:
-    For flights up to 1,500km - £220 (or 250 euros)
-    For flights of 1,500km up to 3,500km - £353 (or 400 euros)
-    THERE ARE COMPLICATIONS, be careful – if you only get 7-14 days notice of cancellation before departure, you can only claim this extra compensation when you ARE NOT offered another ticket departing under two hours after your original departure time and arriving under four hours after your original arrival time. If you get less than 7 days notice of cancellation before departure, you can only claim this extra compensation when you ARE NOT offered another ticket departing under one hour after your original departure time and arriving under two hours after your original arrival time.
-    IF EITHER of these replacement tickets ARE offered to you by the airline, YOU CAN NOT claim this extra compensation.

You can find the refund claim page and instructions on how to change your flight for Ryanair at

1 May 2014: How will new mortgage rules affect borrowers?

!50 image Lenders will have to carry out more detailed checks as new mortgage rules come into force. Borrowers will be asked to provide more information about their income and spending when applying for home loans.

On the 26th of April 2014 the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) introduced new mortgage rules, known as Mortgage Market Review (MMR) which will require that lenders perform tougher checks to potential homebuyers and remortgagors. This new set of rules is designed to eliminate poor or risky lending practices and to protect homeowners from borrowing more than they can afford. The question that arises is how the process will change and how would these changes affect borrowers.

The most significant change is that lenders will now be required to see evidence for the income of the potential homebuyer. However, they will also go through all spending in order to check affordability. Borrowing will depend on whether after regular monthly expenditure, rather than just income, borrowers would still be able to afford repayments. Moreover, lenders will also stress-test affordability to check whether their clients will have enough money to repay the mortgage should the interest rates rise. The new rules will not affect buy-to-let mortgages.

The MMR is likely to result in an increase of the number of people being turned down for a home loan, particularly families with children and remortgagors. Furthermore, checking the client’s financial circumstances in greater detail will make the whole application process longer and more invasive than before. Interviews with new customers could now take approximately 15 minutes longer, raising the length to 2-3 hours.

While these rules are new for lenders, mortgage brokers have been required to use these processes for years. This means that brokers will not only be quicker, but they will also compare deals across the entire market, instead of just talking about their own product. Moneyhelpline has partnered up with London & Country, the UK's leading fee free mortgage broker, to offer expert advice on mortgage deals.

Click here to compare Mortgages
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