Best new money deals - January 4th

For a cheaper loan…

  • first direct has reduced rates on selected tiers of its unsecured personal loan. Customers can now apply for a competitive loan of £7,000 to £25,000 over one to seven years with a rate of 3.4 per cent APR. Customers must be 18 and over and must either open a first direct current account or be an existing customer. Applications can be made online or by telephone.
  • Verdict: first direct earns an ‘excellent’ Moneyfacts personal loan rating following a reduction to its £7,000 to £25,000 tier.  Applicants must be an existing customer of first direct or open a current account to apply for this competitive deal, which is currently the lowest rate on the market at 3.4 per cent APR.

To pay off card debt cheaply…

  • Halifax has increased its introductory 0 per cent interest term for balance transfers to 38 months on its Balance Transfer Credit Card MasterCard. The card carries a 2.75 per cent introductory balance-transfer fee with any transfers outside of the introductory period charged at 18.95 per cent per annum. The card also offers an introductory 0 per cent interest deal on purchases for six months. Purchases will be charged at 18.9 per cent APR thereafter. Customers must be 18 and over and apply online.
  • Verdict: By extending its 0 per cent interest balance transfer offer by one month, Halifax improves its position in the market as one of the longest deals around, thereby earning a well-deserved ‘outstanding’ Moneyfacts product rating. As with any lucrative interest-free deal, customers would be wise to pay more than the minimum repayment to ensure the debt is cleared before interest is charged.

For a better-paying notice account...

  • Paragon Bank has relaunched its 120 Day Notice Account (Issue 4), which pays a variable rate of 1.96 per cent yearly or 1.94 per cent monthly. Savers can invest from £500 and up to a maximum of £100,000. Further additions are permitted and an unlimited number of withdrawals can be made provided 120 days’ notice is given. This deal is for savers aged 18 and over and must be operated online.
  • Verdict: Investors looking for easy access to funds will be delighted by this relaunch. Paying 1.96 per cent, this deal enters the Best Buys to hold a market-leading position, and provided savers are willing to plan their withdrawals, will be an excellent choice for those looking for a decent return.

For those wanting to squirrel cash away for five years...

  • Secure Trust Bank has re-issued its five-year fixed rate bond, paying 3.11 per cent yearly until December 31, 2020. Savers can invest from £1,000. Further additions are allowed while the issue remains open, but early access is not permitted. This deal is for savers aged 18 and over and can be operated by telephone or by post.
  • Verdict: This latest update from Secure Trust Bank reaffirms its status as a Moneyfacts ‘Best Buy’ and earns an ‘excellent’ product rating as a result. Savers looking to invest over the longer term will find this competitive rate highly attractive, but as with any long-term deal, they must be happy to lock their money away.

For a cheaper two-year fixed mortgage... 

  • HSBC has extended the end date on its two-year fixed rate mortgage, which is priced at 2.19 per cent until March 31, 2018. This deal is for all customers who borrow at 90 per cent loan-to-value with a fee of £1,499. An incentive package of free legal fees is available for remortgage customers and all borrowers have the flexibility to make overpayments. HSBC’s lending area includes Scotland. 
  •  Verdict: This mortgage is competitively priced in the market for customers who have a 10 per cent deposit. The free legal fees incentive for remortgage customers will be great for those looking to keep initial costs down, while those who want a little flexibility will welcome the option to make overpayments. This deal therefore earns a well deserved Moneyfacts ‘excellent’ product rating.

Thanks to Charlotte Nelson at Moneyfacts.

There are more money-saving tips in every issue of Yours magazine, out every fortnight on a Tuesday.