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Cashpoint; MONEYBOX.

IAM a first-time buyer and have savings for a 5% deposit. Now properties are being sold for more than the valuation price, I can't compete with people who have lots of cash to put down. I've looked at fixed price properties, but there are very few on the market. What else could I do?

SOME mortgage products will now allow you to borrow up to 125% of the valuation, as long as your income can support it.

You still put your 5% deposit down, as with a standard mortgage, then the lender will allow you to borrow in excess of the valuation to enable you to pay the full price up to 125%.

Make sure your loan does not put you under too much financial pressure each month.

IAM a male aged 54 and contributing to my own personal pension. A company representative suggests that I contract-out of SERPS. What does this mean?

IT means that part of your national insurance contributions normally paid to the State Earnings Related Pension Scheme are redirected into a private pension plan of your choice. Then it's invested in the stockmarket where the opportunity of growth may be higher than if you had left the monies with the DSS.

However, as the stockmarket can go down as well as up, generally it is advisable for males to rejoin SERPS as they approach age 50. In your circumstances, I would suggest that you remain contracted into SERPS.

MY daughter has saved pounds 1500. She wants to keep it for university next year. What is the best way for her to invest it until then?

THIS is a short-term investment so try a high interest-bearing bank account.

Postal accounts tend to offer the best rates. If she is a non-taxpayer, she just needs to fill in a simple form to allow the interest to be paid gross, ie tax free.
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Title Annotation:Features
Author:Collins, Lesley
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Feb 20, 2000
Previous Article:Cashpoint; EVEN DEL BOY CAN MAKE HIS FORTUNE.
Next Article:Cashpoint; Finance update.

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