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Fergus will be back on the John Beattie Show on BBC Radio Scotland on Wednesday just after the 1pm news with some great tips to help organise your money and understand your consumer rights. This week he'll be looking at the best way to spring clean your finances at the beginning of a new tax year. Catch up on previous shows here

Moneysucks for musicians

Have a look at the first part of our new series on how musicians can best maximise and protect their income from their own words and music.

It’s not all about the rate

Mortgage rates are reaching record lows, with some lenders offering loans with rates of less than 1%. While this seems like great news for borrowers, it’s more important than ever to look beyond the headline interest rate and study the small print to make sure that a loan that looks attractive doesn’t contain hidden penalties or costs that might make it unsuitable.

The first thing that you need to consider is the amount of deposit required to qualify for these new low loan rates. You might find that the best rates are only available to borrowers who are able to find up to 40% of the value of the property.

There are usually fees involved with these deals as well, and these fees can run well into four figures. By the time you factor the fee into the rate you are paying, you might find that it would make more sense to look at a loan that had a higher headline rate but came with a lower fee. And remember that if you add the fee to the loan you will end up paying interest on it over the whole term of the loan.

The other thing you need to be aware of is whether the rate that you are being offered is fixed or variable, and if it is fixed what happens to it at the end of the fixed period? A fixed rate is great if you are running on a tight budget but at the end of the fixed period the rate can increase dramatically so you need to be ready to move to another product, or perhaps even another lender, if that happens.

And if it is a variable rate then you need to thing about what happens if rates rise. You might have the lowest variable rate in the market today but a higher than average rate in a month’s time if your lender increases its low rates.

As always it’s a question of not just accepting the first deal you are offered, and not just accepting the cheapest deal without making sure that it is absolutely right for you.

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The Daily Record's Mark McGivern has been doing some great work exposing the ticket touts who are ripping off sports and music fans. Let us know if you have been ripped-off by ticket touts when buying tickets for your favourite band or sporting event.
60 Second Tips

In a brand new series listen to and watch Fergus Muirhead here as he explains common money and consumer issues in less than one minute.
This series will build up over the next few months into a valuable library of money and consumer tips, all delivered in a simple and straightforward way.

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