Homeowners ‘Need To Consider Their Options’
An increasing number of people could be safeguarding their financial future, new research suggests.
In a study conducted by the Building Societies Association (BSA), some 2.3 billion pounds was invested into savings accounts at such financial institutions over the course of November. And with this figure being almost three times higher than that recorded during the same month in 2006, many consumers may find that they are able to meet various demands on their spending, such as loans and utility bills, with greater ease. In addition, discounting the amounts saved in September and October, the investments made during November would have been at an all-time high.
Commenting on the figures, Adrian Coles, director general of the BSA, claimed that the money saved between September and November this year is about equal to that over the entire of 2006. He said: “Building societies continued to attract record inflows in November, albeit slightly reduced from the extraordinarily high figures of September and October.
“Much of these savings are likely to come from further withdrawals from Northern Rock bank. They also reflect the attractive rates of interest on offer at building societies which are encouraging people to save. A perception of a possible change in the economic environment may also mean that greater attention is being given to savings these days.”
Meanwhile, findings from the BSA also showed that mortgage lending dropped last month. In November gross lending accounted for 4.1 billion pounds, a fall from the 4.6 billion pounds recorded during the corresponding month in 2006. The director stated that the general decrease in activity over the last 12 months could be attributed to the impact of base rate hikes by the Bank of England’s monetary policy committee and the reduced availability of low-rate loans and other types of competitively-priced credit.
He said: “People coming off a fixed rate in the new year are potentially looking at a big increase in their mortgage repayments. As a consequence, it is important they begin to consider their options to help make their repayments as low as possible when their fixed-rate period finishes.”
Those consumers who are to face an increase in their monthly repayments were advised to take heed of a four-point action plan. At first homeowners are urged to talk to their existing loan lender about their mortgage options available to them, before reviewing any financial commitments, such as loans and plastic cards, in the light that they may face higher mortgage payments. Consequently, those who feel that they may experience problems in paying their mortgage were urged to get in touch with their lender as soon as possible and “make any necessary arrangements” to make sure that their finances will be in “good shape”.
Such sentiments were echoed by Skipton Building Society earlier this year, as a spokesperson told the Bradford Telegraph & Argus that those consumers approaching the end of their fixed-rate deal should “consider their finances“. Saving for the future and making overpayments on their mortgage were put forward as potential ways of reducing financial pressures. For such people, applying for a low-rate loan as a means of debt consolidation could be another way in order to free up more money in which to make mortgage payments.