With the COVID-19 outbreak impacting every area of our lives, it’s understandable that many of us are more anxious than normal.
One way to improve your mental wellbeing is to sort out your finances. In a survey1, 45% of people said that money is a major cause of stress, rising to 66% among those with no savings or investments to fall back on. So, reviewing your finances is an excellent way to reduce stress levels during these difficult times.
The perfect time to remortgage?
For many people, their mortgage is their biggest monthly outgoing, so it could pay to see if there’s a cheaper deal out there – especially given recent events. On 11 March, the Bank of England slashed its base rate from 0.75% to 0.25% as an emergency measure to limit the economic shock caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. Shortly afterwards, it cut the base rate again to a record low of 0.1%.
Banks withdraw mortgage products
Interest rates may be at an all-time low but finding a suitable deal may be tricky. Since the base rate cuts, banks have withdrawn over 1,500 mortgage products from the market2 due to the risk of offering certain deals in the current climate. Lenders are also focusing resources on dealing with customers enquiring about three-month mortgage payment holidays.
There are still excellent rates and products available, however, so it’s well worth putting in the legwork to secure a cheaper deal.
Protecting yourself and your family
The rapid increase in confirmed cases has served as a reminder that illness can impact our finances when we least expect it. Reviewing your protection needs will reassure you that your family would be looked after if the worst happened. Check to see whether your existing policies still offer adequate cover and consider whether you need to take out any additional cover, e.g. life insurance, critical illness cover, income protection or payment protection insurance (PPI).
Your policy and coronavirus
The Association of British Insurers (ABI) is now offering advice on whether different types of insurance policies are likely to pay out for policyholders affected by coronavirus. For those considering taking out a new policy, things may be more complicated, with some insurers introducing COVID-19 exclusions in a bid to stem their losses.
The importance of advice
The availability of mortgage and protection products is constantly changing, so financial advice is essential to finding the right deal. We are monitoring the situation closely and can provide clear advice to protect your financial wellbeing.
As with all insurance policies, conditions and exclusions will apply
Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.
You may have to pay an early repayment charge to your existing lender if you remortgage