Product Spotlight: Easy access ISAs
Looking for a tax-free home for your money that can give you easy access when you need it? Here are the top three easy access ISAs currently available:
• Al Rayan Bank takes the top spot with Instant Access Cash ISA (Issue 2) paying a market-leading expected profit rate of 0.60% AER from a minimum investment of £50. This Sharia-compliant account pays interest on a monthly basis, permits unlimited further additions and withdrawals, and allows penalty-free transfers both into and away from the account. It can be opened and operated online, by post, in branch, by phone and via smartphone app.
• Next up is Paragon Bank, with Triple Access ISA (Issue 3) paying 0.40% AER on its anniversary. It permits transfers in and can be opened with a minimum of just £1, though it should be noted that although further additions are welcome into this internet-operated account, only three withdrawals are permitted each year on a penalty-free basis, with any further access resulting in a lower rate being paid.
• Completing the top three is Charter Savings Bank, with Easy Access Cash ISA – Issue 20 paying 0.40% AER on its anniversary. It requires a minimum investment of £5,000 and permits transfers in, with both further additions and withdrawals allowed without penalty. Transfers away from this purely internet-operated account are also permitted.
Alternatively, for those who have used their tax-free allowance for the year, or who simply want a slightly higher rate, the best one-year bonds could be a solution. Here, Ahli United Bank (UK) plc, Habib Bank Zurich plc and QIB (UK) all pay the market-leading expected profit rate of 0.65% AER on maturity for a 12-month commitment. As an added incentive, the accounts from Ahli United Bank and QIB (UK) are exclusively available via the Raisin UK platform and offer new savers the chance to earn a welcome bonus of up to £50 – valid on accounts opened between 22 March and 30 April 2021 – depending on the value of their deposit. Terms and conditions apply.
Product Spotlight: 75% LTV remortgages
If you’re remortgaging and have built up 25% equity in your home, you’re going to need to find the best 75% loan-to-value (LTV) remortgage deals to suit. Here are the top three.
• Clydesdale Bank leads the way with a rate of 1.24% (4.1% APRC) that’s fixed to 31 May 2023 before reverting to 4.55% variable for term. It’s got a product fee of £1,999, but offers free valuation and legal fees as an incentive. It permits overpayments, too.
• Next up is Furness Building Society, with a two-year fixed rate of 1.29% (4.6% APRC) that reverts to 5.14% variable thereafter. It’s got a fee of £1,499 and an incentive package that includes free valuation (max £665) and free legal fees (£150 towards legal fees in Scotland), and it permits overpayments. A near-identical product with a lower fee of £999 is available to those in certain Lancashire postcode areas.
• Yorkshire Building Society completes this overview with a rate of 1.37% (4% APRC) that’s fixed to 31 May 2023, after which it reverts to a discounted variable rate of 4.25% (0.24% discount) for another three years then 4.49% variable for term. It’s got a fee of £1,495, but no incentives, bar the option to take overpayments, underpayments and payment holidays.
How to start investing in the stock market
The past year has seen saving rates tumble to their lowest levels on record, leaving many savers struggling to get a good rate of interest on their deposits. As a result, many are now considering investments for the first time in the hope that they will offer better returns.
One of the most popular investment options is investing in the stock market and, although it can offer much higher returns than current savings rates, it is a much riskier option and can result in investors not making any returns, or worse, losing their initial deposits as well. As such, those considering this option should speak to an independent financial adviser, but for those who are curious about investing in the stock market and want some basic information beforehand, here we look at how consumers can get started investing in the stock market.
Top current accounts that pay you to switch
Few people would turn down the opportunity to earn money for doing very little, which is why bank switching incentives have remained popular over the years. Although the last 12 months have seen many deals being removed, consumers looking to receive cashback or an incentive for switching bank accounts still have a few options available, with many of these incentives having relaunched in recent weeks.
Currently, three providers offer consumers an incentive for switching bank accounts. first direct offers new customers £100 if they switch to its 1st Account, while Virgin Money is offering a luxury case of wine and a £50 charity donation, or 15,000 bonus points as part of its Virgin Red rewards scheme. HSBC, meanwhile, is offering £125 to those who switch to its Advance or Premier bank account. Find out more here.
Can you get a buy-to-let mortgage with a low deposit?
The stamp duty extension, together with a report from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) that found a high likelihood of rents increasing by just over 2% later this year due to an increase in tenant demand, makes buy-to-let (BTL) an attractive investment opportunity for many investors.
While BTL is traditionally popular for those with a large deposit – many BTL mortgages are available at 60% and 75% loan-to-value, which require a 40% and 25% deposit respectively – potential BTL investors with smaller deposits are not shut out of the market, as there are mortgages that come with lower deposit requirements of 20% and even 15%. But how easy is it to get a BTL mortgage with a lower deposit, and is it a worthwhile investment?
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Tax-efficient, long-term growth with a Foresters Friendly Investment Bond
A Foresters Friendly Society Investment Bond is a great way to invest from £5,000 up to £150,000 and aims to make the most of your money, offering the potential for long-term growth over five years or more. It can be taken out in joint names, which is ideal for couples wishing to invest. And, with our expert fund managers looking after your investment and the ability to withdraw up to 5% each year tax-free, what is there not to like?
Plus, policyholders gain access to a range of unique member benefits, including educational awards and discretionary healthcare grants – in 2019 Foresters paid over £1.6m in discretionary grants to their members. Established for over 185 years with more than 70,000 members, Foresters is recommended by 89% of reviewers (reviews.co.uk March 2021), was shortlisted for the Insurance Company of the Year and Investment Strategy of the Year at the Insurance Asset Management Awards 2020 and named as Best Small Insurer at the Insurance Investment Exchange Awards 2019.
Capital at risk. Bonuses are not guaranteed. Membership benefits are not regulated.
Find out more and apply today: