What you need to know about money each week and what the news means for you, from the UK's best financial website.
Is scrapping a mortgage stress test a wise move right now?
A mortgage stress test designed to stop borrowers overstretching themselves will be scrapped, it was revealed this week.
The mortgage industry has long bemoaned this supposedly unrealistic test that makes lenders check if borrowers can afford their repayments at a level higher than the fix or tracker deal they may be taking, their lender's standard variable rate plus 3 per cent.
Yet, isn't a bit of an odd time to finally get rid of this, just as interest rates are finally rising and the base rate has jumped from 0.1 per cent to 1.25 per cent in six months?
What's more, it's forecast by some to keep rising and go as high as 3 per cent by the end of the year - meaning almost that entire 3 percentage point rise the stress test uses.
On this podcast, Georgie Frost, Simon Lambert and Lee Boyce discuss why the Bank of England is doing this and whether it is the right move, or could lead to risky lending and even higher house prices?
Also, on this episode the team discuss inflation and how to at least try to do something to combat it with your savings - and also why investors are finding it so hard to buy the dip and be greedy when others are fearful in the inflation storm.
The renewed fervour for offering bumper deals on current accounts also goes under the microscope, but is a bung to join, an interest rate on your balance, or the ability to categorise your spending the best readon to switch?
And finally, you live in an end of terrace house, someone wants to build next door using your wall and making your home a mid-terrace, surely that couldn't be allowed?
Or would it?
Listen to the end to find out.
How will rapidly rising interest rates affect you?
Base rate has gone from 0.1 per cent to 1.25 per cent in the space of six months, in a flurry of rate rising that would have been considered unthinkable a year ago.
Yet, as the Bank of England delivered another 0.25 percentage point raise, voices were raised in some corners to demand why it hadn't gone further.
Why not a 0.5 per cent jump or even a 0.75 per cent one, as the Fed had delivered in the US?
With inflation running at 9 per cent and expected to head north into double digits, the onus is on the Bank of England to show it has a grip and we aren't heading back to the 1970s.
But is rapidly raising rates the right thing to do and how will it affect savers, borrowers and investors?
On this podcast, Georgie Frost, Lee Boyce and Simon Lambert discuss the case for and against rate rises and what the impact is for the economy and people.
Mortgage rates have risen even faster than the base rate, so what can those who need to remortgage do - and will this sink house prices? The team assess the prospects for the property amrket and offer their tips on what borrowers should do to prepare and protect themselves.
Meanwhile, over in the US, it's the stock market that's suffering as rates rise, why is that and how bad could this bear market be?
And finally, petrol prices keep hitting record highs and we want people to switch to electric cars but the government has swiped away the £1,500 grant that helps people buy more affordable models. Will that make a difference, or has electric car demand reached a level where ditching a bung to help out is wise?
Are you saving enough for retirement? (And another state pension blunder)
Women have already been hit by a huge state pension blunder in recent years, but now it seems the DWP is messing up again.
After This is Money's Steve Webb and Tanya Jefferies exposed a £1billion women's state pension scandal, which emerged from a reader question sent in to his column, you'd think the Government would be keeping on top of payments.
But it has turned out that more women appear to being told they aren't due the right amount, or in one case that we reported on this week anything at all.
On this week's podcast, Tanya joins Georgie Frost and Simon Lambert to talk through the problems.
Also, are we saving enough for retirement? Steve sounded a warning this week that auto-enrolment was lulling people into a false sense of security and said that employers need to do more.
The team discuss what you can do to make sure you are putting enough into your pension and why the self-employed need to pay particular attention.
Also on this episode, the investment themes that could run for years and make you a profit and is it time for investors to weigh up buying back into Scottish Mortgage after its 40 per cent slump this year.
And finally, petrol prices are rocketing, so is it time for a VAT cut to ease the double whammy of tax?
How can you protect against holiday chaos this summer?
Just when you thought it was safe to go back on holiday...
Britain descended into holiday chaos this week, as airlines cancelled hundreds of flights, airports struggled to cope and even Eurostar ended up with a day of disruption.
For those who suffered at the hands of airline chaos, it was a harsh and unfair experience - with many of those travellers taking their first post-Covid trip abroad and others heading off for what were meant to be celebratory family events.
Both airlines and airports let their passengers down - after all, they knew how many would be travelling, as they'd all booked tickets - and then got involved in a finger-pointing blame game with the Government.
On this week's podcast, Georgie Frost, Helen Crane and Simon Lambert discuss where the blame lies for the disruption, what people's rights are if their flights are cancelled and what we can all do to protect ourselves if we hope to go away over the summer.
Also on the podcast, the team talk about why some of the best mortgages are currently being offered by lesser-known building societies and how long you'd have to wait for an electric car's lower running costs to pay off.
And finally, from travel chaos to energy firm blunders: how did Bulb swing from telling someone they were owed almost £2,000 and refunding them their cash when they moved, to declaring six months later that the customer now owed Bulb almost £2,000?
Helen talks through a recent Crane on the Case, where Bulb seemingly decided Ofgem's one-year back billing rule didn't apply to it.
What would you do if you suddenly became super-rich?
Sudden Wealth Syndrome. It's a thing apparently and something that many of us probably wouldn't mind suffering from.
That's the term used to describe those who suddenly - and perhaps unexpectedly - come into a very large sum of money. And doing so brings plenty of benefits but also its own problems.
Over the past week, we have heard about the couple who won £184million on the Euromillions, but what are the challenges they will face and how do you deal with that sum of money.
We spoke to a number of experts about this and on this week's podcast Georgie Frost, Helen Crane and Simon Lambert discuss that they said - and why apparently going public is the right thing to do.
The team also conjure up dreams of how they might use so much money, from the long-term, to the first thing they would do.
Also on the agenda are the boost to the Premium Bonds prize fund and rate and whether this makes them a good option for savers and why buying a fixer-upper could end up costing you far more than a house that's already 'done'.
And finally, just when you thought it was safe to go back on holiday... the car hire crunch has got even worse. How bad is it and why?
Is a recession inevitable as inflation hammers the UK?
Inflation continues to surge, the Bank of England says there is little it can do to stall it but is raising rates any way, and at the same time is warning of a potential recession looming.
It seems safe to say this isn’t the Covid recovery year that many people were hoping for: the longed-for bout of calm and optimism has turned out to be a cost of living crisis instead.
So, with inflation now at 9 per cent and set to rise further and central banks swiftly changing their tune on low interest rates, is a recession inevitable?
On this week’s podcast, Georgie Frost, Helen Crane and Simon Lambert take a look at what is driving inflation, whether there is anything the Bank of England can do, if it should have acted sooner and whether we can hope for a nice surprise with inflationary pressure subsiding quicker than expected.
The new proposal for a four times a year energy price cap change rather than one every six months is also on the agenda, along with the sting in the tail that some say means energy firms will be much less likely to offer cheap fixes once prices start falling.
But in one part of the energy market prices are falling already. The cost of gas in Britain has plummeted recently, Simon explains how that has happened and why we can’t take advantage to lower our energy bills now.
And finally, Crane on the Case continues to rack up consumer victory after consumer victory, Helen fills us in on her latest cases and what readers are flocking for help on.
Money is interesting?!
Who woulda thought?!! But this is pitched at the right level to teach me something without being basic. Good tips and predictions, thanks!
Great! Easy listening and informative
I really like all the hosts and the information is first rate.
Light hearted but very informative
Money podcasts can be dry but not this one - lots of quality information presented in a straight forward but thorough way, often going in to more detail than the simple headline story.