Race to cut for mortgage borrowers with Halifax: Vivien Goldsmith and Maria Scott discover what this week's base rate cut will mean for borrowers and for those with money to invest

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MORE THAN a million mortgage borrowers have only until later today to cut their interest payments for the coming year.

The 1.3 million borrowers with Halifax Building Society who have their mortgage payments fixed for a year at a time have an assessment of their mortgage account made on 31 January, the society's year-end.

If borrowers want to make lump sum payments of at least pounds 250 to reduce the sum owing, and hence the level of interest payments for the new year beginning in April, they only have today to reflect the payment in the new monthly levels. All the society's branches open in the morning until noon, and 110 branches reopen from 1pm to 3.30pm.

After this weekend, any over-payments will normally be put aside and will not affect interest payments until next January.

Customers can make a special request for a recalculation during the year after a lump sum payment - pounds 1,000 will reduce payments by pounds 6 a month.

The annual review was set at 10.95 per cent last year. This year the new rate is expected to be 7.99 per cent, effective from April. This will cut the monthly cost of a pounds 50,000 repayment mortgage by pounds 84.45 to pounds 340.08.

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