Choice of fix or cap

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The Independent Online
------------------------------------------------------------------ SIX OF THE BEST ------------------------------------------------------------------ Savings ------------------------------------------------------------------ Type Account Term 0% 25% 40% Min GIB London & Manchester 5 years 5.8 5.8 4.93 pounds 2,000 B Soc Coventry Instant 7.10 5.33 4.26 pounds 25,000 Tessa Hinkley & Rugby 5 years 7.60 7.60 7.60 pounds 3,000 ------------------------------------------------------------------ Compounded annual rate except for GIB (guaranteed income bond) Source: Chase De Vere 071-404 5766 ------------------------------------------------------------------

------------------------------------------------------------------ Mortgages ------------------------------------------------------------------ Type Source Deal Variable Northern Rock* 3.5% discounted rate on 90% loans Fixed First Mortgage Securities 5.75% 3yrs on 75% loans Capped First Mortgage Securities 5.75% 3yrs on 75% loans ------------------------------------------------------------------ *Arrangement fee of pounds 150. Household insurance through Northern Rock. Source: John Charcol 071-611 7000 ------------------------------------------------------------------

FIRST Mortgage Securities is offering its 5.75 per cent three- year mortgage as either a fix or a capped rate. But as variable rates are unlikely to come below this figure it probably amounts to the same thing.

There is no arrangement fee or compulsory insurance. But although there is no redemption penalty during the three years, there is a one month's interest charge for redeeming the mortgage thereafter.

John Charcol still has five- year fixes at 6.99 per cent. There is a pounds 295 fee and three months' redemption penalty.

Halifax has higher fixed rates - 6.25 per cent until January 1996, 6.95 per cent to 1997, 7.5 per cent to 1999 and 8.25 per cent to January 2001.

Birmingham Midshires has a two-year fix at 5.6 per cent for those with a deposit of at least 10 per cent. It has a pounds 295 fee.

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