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* THERE was a big 42% spike in remortgage enquiries during October, says Drew Wotherspoon, at leading broker John Charcol.

He thinks borrowers on standard variable rate loans are thinking of locking in a new deal before rates rise.

"If we stay in a low rate environment for several more years, as many think we will, moving to a fixed rate now will rove costly in the long-run," he says.

"However, should we be taken by surprise and rates move upward sharply, fixing soon would be a wise move."

* DEBT charity Consumer Credit Counselling Service (CCCS) says more people calling its helpline are sleeping on the sofa of a friend or family member after losing their rented home or getting their own home repossessed.

CCCS has counselled almost 15,000 people with mortgage arrears and 6,820 with rental arrears this year.

Laura Carver, head of helpline at CCCS, says: "Sleeping on a friend's sofa is better than sleeping outside, but anyone in this situation should get help as a range of charities helps with debt and accommodation issues."

The CCCS helpline is 0800 138 1111 and is open 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday. CCCS Debt Remedy is at * AT CURRENT inflation levels, says Kevin Mountford at moneysupermarket.

com, basic rate taxpayers need to earn 3.8% on their savings to avoid losing money, while higher rate taxpayers need 5.17%.

Although not quite up to those levels, two new products are better than most: Skipton BS offers 3.30% on a new limited edition online bond, while a new Poppy Bond, from Coventry BS, pays 3.11% gross fixed until December 31, 2011. Both require a minimum pounds 500 balance.

* CHEEKY blighters! While 160,000 members of Kent Reliance BS are being urged to vote for a tie-up with US private equity firm JC Flowers or face the bleak alternative of a takeover, Saffron Building Society is proudly blowing its trumpet as "a regional building society serving East Anglia".

Saffron BS sales and marketing director John Eastgate says members are continuing to plough in their money - while a pounds 500 cashback is persuading homebuyers seeking a mortgage to approach the society direct.

Sleeping on a friend's sofa is better than sleeping outside, but help is available
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Nov 15, 2010
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