Archive for July, 2022

The National Insurance threshold increase and what it means for you

by Madaline Dunn

In the midst of numerous cost of living hikes, it’ll likely be comforting to learn that as of 6th July, millions of people will be slightly better off as a result of the National Insurance (NI) threshold increase.

At The Salary Calculator, we’ll walk you through:

  • How much the threshold has been increased by
  • Why the threshold increase is happening
  • How this will affect people
  • How to check what difference it will make to your take home

How much has the threshold increased by?

From 6th July 2022, the threshold for National Insurance contributions increased from £9,880 to £12,570. This means that people will now have to earn additional £2,690 before paying towards National Insurance.

Why has the threshold been increased

Back in April, the government announced that despite the cost of living crisis continuing to worsen, NI would be increasing by an additional 1.25% in an effort to aid NHS recovery, and fund the Government’s share of social care. However, the government has now raised the NI threshold as part of what it’s called the Chancellor’s “wider vision for a lower tax economy.”

How will this affect people?

This threshold increase means that some people will see a boost in their July pay packets. Experts have outlined that those earning around £31,500, or less will notice the most significant difference. Moreover, the UK government has said that almost 30 million working people will benefit overall, with the average worker saving over £330 in the year from July.

According to a previous statement by the government, 70% of NI paying workers will pay less, and 2.2 million people will no longer be required to pay NICs as a result. According to figures by HW Fisher, those earning £14,000, will save around £342.37 a year, meanwhile those on £20,000 will see savings of £267.36.

A more in depth comparison of how the situation has fluctuated in recent months shows that someone earning £20,000 would have been faced with a monthly NI payment of around £104 before April. This then rose to £112 following the hike and now, as a result of the July changes, will drop to approximately £82.

That said, while any money saved is arguably a win, it’s important to put the savings into a broader context, Alice Haine, personal finance analyst at investment platform Bestinvest, for example, has noted that the £330 workers will save, “won’t stretch far when you realise that only equates to £27.50 a month”.

While Haine outlined that for some, £27.50 could be the difference between “having dinner every night and sometimes going without,” for many it will “barely make a dent in their budgets as they struggle to pay the household bills amid rampant inflation as soaring food, fuel and energy prices become the norm.”

Stevie Heafford, tax partner at accountancy firm HW Fisher, echoed similar sentiments and when asked if it will help to solve the current crisis, he said: “The very short answer is, no. Those with lower income will save more in pure monetary terms, but they will be more exposed to the general increases in cost of living as they are less likely to have any sort of ‘buffer’.”

How can you check what difference it will make?

You can review how much of a difference this will make to your take home pay by heading over to The Salary Calculator, where you will be able to figure out exactly how much you’ll save.

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Wednesday, July 13th, 2022 Economy, National Insurance No Comments

None of the content on this website, including blog posts, comments, or responses to user comments, is offered as financial advice. Figures used are for illustrative purposes only.

Mortgages and interest rate increases

by Madaline Dunn

The latest figures shows that in the six months to May, UK mortgage rates rose at their fastest pace in ten years. According to research by Hamptons estate agents, this interest rate rise means that it is now cheaper on a monthly basis to rent than to buy. Moreover, over two million households in the UK will see mortgage payments rise.

If you have a mortgage, the headlines are likely causing confusion and concern, and it can be challenging to know where you stand.

At The Salary Calculator, we’ll walk you through:

  • What’s happening to interest rates on mortgages and how people will be affected, and
  • What options do people have to navigate soaring costs

The interest rate rise and its effect on mortgages

In an effort to address rising inflation, the Bank rate rose from 1% to 1.25% and there have been further warnings that this could increase to as much as 3% by the end of the year. The rate hasn’t been above 1% since 2009, following the financial crash.

According to David Hollingworth, L&C associate director, this means “an entire generation of homeowners used to low rates could be facing a shock. Adding: “Although rates remain low in historical terms the available deals have already risen rapidly. Our analysis shows that the average of the ten largest lenders’ lowest two-year fixed rates for remortgages have already trebled since the lows of last October. That is an increase of more than £130 per month for a £150,000 25-year repayment mortgage.”

But, what does this mean for those with mortgages? Well, those on standard variable rates (SVRs) or tracker rates will be hit the hardest, with the former seeing an average annual increase of £191, and the latter £303, according to UK finance. This will also impact around 2.25 million homes (a quarter of mortgage borrowers).

Those who are on fixed rates (85% of all mortgages), however, will not have to deal with the increase until they remortgage. That said, 1.3 million borrowers are set to come to the end of their fixed-rate deals this year. According to, those remortgaging onto a fixed rate deal will be faced with average rates of around 3.25% for a two-year fix and 3.37% for those locking in for five years.

It’s not just those with mortgages who will feel the sting either. Tom Selby, head of retirement policy at AJ Bell, outlines that renters will also be on the receiving end of this hike and “also likely see costs increase.” Speaking to Sky News, he said: “Landlords will inevitably pass on their own higher costs, although when this happens will depend on the terms of your rental agreement.”

Discussing the impact that these rising rates will have on people, Sarah Coles, senior personal finance analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said that rising prices and rates risk will lead to people being trapped in pricey mortgages that they’re unable to escape, turning them into “mortgage prisoners.” Unfortunately, though, this is already happening and according to Rachel Neale, lead campaigner for the UK Mortgage Prisoners group, over 200,000 people in Britain have already been put in this position.

What are the options?

Looking ahead, it’s likely that rates will climb further. Grainne Gilmore, head of research at Zoopla, said to cope with this, “locking into a rate shortly could save hundreds over the longer-term.”

Meanwhile, for those whose mortgage is set to expire in the next six months, it might be a good idea to remortgage, as it could work out cheaper than later on (for example, November or December’s average rates.)

It has also been recommended by some that overpaying now could save you money in the long-term; Alice Haine, personal finance analyst at Bestinvest, said: “Paying down debt or adding an extra monthly sum to their emergency fund would also strengthen their financial reserves against the myriad of challenges ahead.”

Some lenders are also offering help. For example, Nationwide has expanded its lending ratio, and introduced a simple switcher process. Santander, on the other hand, has introduced a 5% deposit for first-time buyers. At the end of June, it was also announced that from 1 August, borrowers’ finances won’t be subjected to the mortgage market affordability test, where banks and building societies calculate how much to lend.

Mortgage Prisoners UK, a not-for-profit organisation that campaigns for fairer mortgage rates for all, argues not enough is being done, and has called on the government to take action. However, in a statement, a Treasury spokesperson said: “We know that people are struggling with rising prices and worried about the months ahead. That’s why we’ve stepped in to ease the burden, helping eight million of the most vulnerable British families through at least £1,200 of direct payments this year – and giving every household £400 to help pay their energy bills.”

Adding: “As part of our £37bn support package we’re also saving the typical employee over £330 a year through the imminent National Insurance tax cut, are allowing Universal Credit claimants to keep £1,000 more of what they earn and have made the biggest cut to all fuel duty rates ever.”

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Wednesday, July 6th, 2022 Mortgages No Comments

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