Loans

Save money with offset mortgage

by Admin

Over on our sister site LoanTutor, there is a new tool and a new article trying to explain what an offset mortgage is and how it could help you save money. With an offset mortgage, you use your savings to effectively cancel out some of your mortgage balance, which reduces the interest your lender charges you. You can use this to either reduce your monthly payments, or keep your payments the same and pay off your mortgage quicker.

If you would like to learn more, have a read of the offset mortgage article, or to see how much you might be able to save try out the offset mortgage calculator.

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Thursday, November 29th, 2012 Mortgages 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.

Loan Tutor website launched!

by Admin

A new sister site to The Salary Calculator has been launched to provide information about loans and loan repayment.

Loan Tutor contains details about different loan types, such as mortgages, unsecured loans, debt consolidation loans and student loans. As well as a suite of tools for calculating loan repayment costs, there are also hints and tips and links to further information about borrowing money.

There will also be articles with suggestions of how you can save money with loans, including the first of these which explains how to avoid overpaying your student loan. Other articles and tools are planned for the future, including car loans, offset mortgages and credit cards.

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Tuesday, August 7th, 2012 About The Salary Calculator No Comments

Student Loan repayment threshold

by Admin

Those of you who are repaying your Student Loan through PAYE might have noticed that this month your student loan deduction is a little lower than usual (£5-£6 lower). This is because the annual threshold for student loan repayments increased in April from £15,000 to £15,795.

Income-contingent Student Loans are repaid from the April after you complete your course, at a rate of 9% on any gross income above this threshold. This is similar to the way income tax is calculated – i.e. a percentage of any income above a certain “free” allowance. However, while the tax-free allowance usually increases by a small amount each year, the student loan repayment threshold has been steady at £15,000 since April 2005 – before that, it was £10,000. If you’ve been paying off your student loan for a few years now, you may be surprised to see this change. More information is available from the Student Loan Repayment site. The Salary Calculator is up-to-date with this change to the repayment threshold.

If you are repaying your student loan and you think you might be close to paying it off, this earlier blog post about Student Loan over-repayment may be of interest to you.

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Monday, April 23rd, 2012 Student Loan No Comments

Student Loan over-repayment

by Admin

As you might have heard on the news or read in this article, £15 million has been overpaid this year by former students repaying their student loan – because the repayments have continued to be taken even after the full amount of the loan has been paid back.

The problem occurs because although the Student Loans Company (SLC) has informed your employer through HMRC that you should have student loan deducted from your payslip each month, the SLC doesn’t know how much is being repaid until the end of the tax year when your employer files its tax return. As you’ll see on the About page of The Salary Calculator, student loans are repaid at a fixed rate of 9% of anything you earn over £15,000 – no matter how large (or small) the balance of the loan. If you are close to repaying the total of your loan, deductions may continue for some time until the SLC realise that you have overpaid – and even then, they have to communicate to HMRC who then pass the “stop” message on to your employer.

There are things you can do to help prevent overpayment, however. The Student Loan Repayment Portal (which appears currently to be unavailable) will show the last known balance of your account, and allows you to enter information from your payslips to estimate how much is outstanding. If you are close to repaying the full amount, you can contact the SLC directly and pay off the remaining balance by debit card over the phone. When you do this you will need to make sure that the stop notice makes its way from the SLC through HMRC to your employer – if not, you will find the deductions continue to be taken even though you have repaid the loan. You may be able to get the SLC to fax confirmation of the stop directly to your employer, making sure it arrives in time for your next payslip – if you speak to the SLC about repaying your loan, you can ask them about this and discuss it with your employer.

Alternatively, you can arrange for your remaining balance to be taken by Direct Debit rather than by PAYE deduction – meaning that when the balance has been repaid in full, the debits stop automatically. Again, the SLC need to send a “stop” note to HMRC and your employer, but this happens before the amount is repaid and therefore if something goes wrong you are less likely to be trying to get a refund.

If you are repaying your student loan and you think this may apply to you, check out the Repayment Portal I linked to above and see how much is still outstanding on your loan. I repaid my loan earlier this year and I can tell you it is a good feeling!

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Wednesday, December 15th, 2010 Student Loan 3 Comments

Mortgage availability continues to rise

by Admin

Since the collapse of the housing market and plummetting property values filled the mortgage companies with fear of taking on the risks of buyers defaulting on the their home loan, the number of mortgages available to buyers also fell. But over the last year the trend in both house prices and mortgage availability has been promising.

More mortgages are now available with lower deposits (higher loan-to-value) than a few months ago, and some lenders are prepared to risk more with first time buyers. All of this is good news if you are looking to buy a house, and although prices have recently fallen slightly, the overall trend is still for prices to increase. Increased mortgage availability should help more buyers into the market, increasing demand and pushing prices up.

But a note of caution – with house prices returning to the value current occupants bought at, more and more owners will feel ready to sell up – more houses on the market increases supply and therefore lowers the price. Some analysts think that this effect will start to work harder against the increasing demand, slowing growth in house prices, but not actually pushing prices back down.

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Tuesday, March 9th, 2010 Mortgages No Comments

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