Insurance

Mortgage rates spike in response to new fee, but deals are still around

Mortgage rates have taken off ever since lenders found out Wednesday night that they’ll be charged a new fee on most refinance loans.

Average rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages have skyrocketed and are above 3% for the first time in months, according to Mortgage News Daily.

“Mortgage lenders don’t like surprises, and they don’t like suddenly being forced to pay hundreds of millions of dollars they hadn’t budgeted for,” says Matthew Graham, MND’s chief operating officer. “When that happens, they are going to raise rates to offset the newfound losses. And that’s exactly what they did.”

But one of the nation’s largest mortgage lenders is offering a 30-year loan with rates as low as 1.999%, so deals are still out there. You just need to know how to find them.

What’s happened to mortgage rates?

Andrii Yalanskyi / Shutterstock

It was just last week that 30-year mortgage rates dropped

Read More

‘My mum’s advice saved me from lockdown anxiety’

My Money is a series looking at how people spend their money – and the sometimes tough decisions they have to make. Here, Lexy Oliver from Cheshire takes us through a week in her life during the coronavirus pandemic.

Lexy is 27 and lives in Cuddington, Cheshire, with her husband Jonny, also 27, and their cat Bobby. She is the fifth generation to work in her family business, a delicatessen owned by her father. Jonny works as a data scientist for a holiday lettings agency. Lexy says there are no better staff discounts than good food and holidays!

The Covid-19 situation has certainly had an impact on their finances over the last few months. Lexy was furloughed for 10 weeks, and Jonny has just returned to work having been on furlough since April. During lockdown, when neither of them were in work, they were down over £1,000 a month in

Read More

Hoboken Low On Rapid Coronavirus Tests Due To U.S. Shortage: City

HOBOKEN, NJ — Hoboken’s uptown drive-through coronavirus test center is low on rapid tests and is “utilizing non-rapid testing at their site for some patients and reserving rapid tests for those with symptoms or who are at-risk,” the city announced Friday. Typically, Hoboken residents can head to the 15th Street center to get a test, but only some go because they have symptoms, while others do it to ensure they are well before seeing older relatives, or in order to travel to another state with restrictions.

The city said the issue is “due to a nationwide shortage of rapid COVID-19 tests.” As a result, “Riverside [Medical Group] has ordered more rapid tests, however, non-rapid tests may be used for most residents at their site for the near future. We apologize for the inconvenience it may have caused for residents scheduled for testing over the next several days.”

To get a

Read More

The Capital Letter: Week of August 10

Another week has passed with, it seems, little in the way of material progress towards the next stimulus package, and it remains unclear how much of the relief measures contained in the four executive actions signed by President Trump on August 8 will actually take effect — and when. In particular, the $400-a-week supplement to unemployment insurance (to replace the $600 in the earlier stimulus provisions) may well turn out to be $300, as the final $100 is meant to come from the states, which are not exactly flush with cash at the moment. Additionally, as CNBC noted, if a state already pays $100 a week to a recipient of unemployment benefits, it can count that aid as its “match” and won’t have to pay out any additional funds.  All in all, with the country effectively being subjected to an unprecedented and enforced social experiment— an experiment that is

Read More

Latinos’ health threatened by coronavirus misinformation and distrust

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — When Claudia Guzman suspected she had caught the coronavirus, her friends and family were full of advice: Don’t quarantine. Don’t get tested. A homemade tea will help cure you.

“They were saying, ‘Don’t go to the hospital,’ because supposedly, if you are admitted into the hospital, they administer the virus into your body,” said Guzman, who was born in Chicago to parents from Mexico and now lives in Memphis, Tennessee.

False claims and conspiracy theories, ranging from bogus cures to the idea that the virus is a hoax, have dogged efforts to control the pandemic from the beginning. While bad information about the virus is a problem for everyone, it can pose a particular threat to communities of people of color who already face worse outcomes from the virus.

Among Latinos in the U.S., misinformation around the coronavirus has found fertile ground because many in their communities

Read More

New coronavirus rules spark ‘nightmare’ mass tourist exodus and holiday cancellations

Travellers arrive from a Eurostar train at St Pancras Station in London, Friday: AP
Travellers arrive from a Eurostar train at St Pancras Station in London, Friday: AP

The UK’s announcement of new quarantine restrictions for people arriving from France has prompted a last-minute rush to cancel travel plans and a mass exodus from British holidaymakers already on the continent.

From 4am on Saturday, travellers arriving to the UK from Aruba, France, Malta, Monaco and the Netherlands will be forced to self-isolate for two weeks. France warned that it will introduce “reciprocal measures” to the UK.

It has left people on both sides of the Channel scrambling to rearrange plans ahead of the new rules being introduced, with the Eurotunnel website seeing long queues as thousands of customers attempted to make or change bookings.

Polly Courtney, a London-based screenwriter and novelist, was due to drive to France on Friday morning for a family camping holiday with her two young children but was forced to

Read More

Just Eat to stop using gig economy workers

The boss of one of the world’s biggest food delivery platforms has told the BBC he intends to end gig working at his company across Europe.

Jitse Groen, who runs Just Eat Takeaway, says he would rather run his company with staff who get benefits and more workplace protection.

It is the model he has used at the Takeaway.com part of the business he founded 20 years ago.

Gig workers have flexible hours but normally not benefits like holiday pay.

In many industries, coronavirus has made incomes more unsteady for these workers, as companies look to cut back on discretionary spending.

Asked if the pandemic had made him more sensitive to the difficulties gig workers face, Mr Groen said: “It’s our intent not to have those in Europe.”

He said he did not like the people his company relies on to deliver food from restaurants to have to endure tougher

Read More

Quarantine threat sparks surge of Britons racing to get back before deadline

British holidaymakers are racing back from France today to avoid the two-week quarantine that comes into effect at 4am on Saturday.

They face paying hundreds of pounds to make a quick exit from the country with the cheapest ticket on a Eurostar train from Paris to London going for £210 this morning.

The cost of taking a car through the Channel Tunnel on Eurotunnel Le Shuttle services on Friday morning was £260, with the operator warning those without valid bookings not to travel to the terminal. All trains after midday are fully booked. Telegraph Travel has learned of one-way flights from the south of France to the UK as high as £800

Among nearly half a million Britons holidaying in France was Kate Bussmann. “We decided to move our Eurotunnel booking forward to Thursday evening. It was a not-cheap gamble – it cost £99 to change – but we have

Read More

How homeowners can beat the new mortgage refinancing fee

As rates on home loans have slumped to all-time lows this year, hordes of homeowners have cut their monthly mortgage payments by refinancing. But that process is about to get more expensive.

The two huge government-sponsored mortgage companies that buy or back most U.S. home loans say they’ll need to start charging an “adverse market refinance fee” equal to 0.5% of the loan amount, beginning Sept. 1.

Mortgage lenders are livid and say the charge will cost the average borrower an extra $1,400. That’s enough to make some people think twice about whether a refi is worth it.

But don’t rule out getting a new loan, because you might easily trim some other costs to offset the fee.

Mortgage giants blame the fee on COVID-19 ‘uncertainty’

Michele Eve Sandberg / Shutterstock
The coronavirus pandemic is being cited as the reason for the new fee.

The fee is due to

Read More

All the countries UK holidaymakers can visit this summer

Alcudia beach, Majorca: istock
Alcudia beach, Majorca: istock

The list of countries that Britons can travel to without having to quarantine for 14 days on return is sadly diminishing week by week.

France, Malta and the Netherlands were removed from the exemption list last night, alongside Monaco, Turks & Caicos and Aruba.

They join Andorra, Belgium and the Bahamas, which were removed last week, as well as Spain, Serbia and Luxembourg before that.

All of these destinations were previously given the green light for travel, but have been removed after reporting spikes in coronavirus cases.

To confuse things further, the holidaymakers have to check two different government lists: the Department for Transport’s exemption list (so you don’t have to quarantine on return) and the FCO’s exemption list (so any travel insurance you may have is valid).

While the lists are not the same, there is a significant overlap of countries and the lists are

Read More