News

Up to 40 per cent have not made key checks on their credit rating or electoral roll entry

Banks tell 'at risk' borrowers to spend less or lose their homes

Mortgage payments should be top priority for customers, say lenders

When the price is not right: Why is a $50m record collection unable to sell for even a fraction of its value?

Sometimes unique items aren't worth what we think, discovers Phil Boucher

David Prosser: Standard & Poor's is still feeling the heat

Outlook There is confusion over exactly what the Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating in relation to the downgrading of the US by credit ratings agency Standard & Poor's (and no one will say on the record). Some reportssuggest the SEC is conducting an insider dealing inquiry. Others think the regulator is looking into the decision itself.

United States loses AAA credit rating from S&P

Credit rating agency Standard & Poor's said today it had downgraded the United States' credit rating for the first time in the history of the ratings.

Stephen Foley: Will Obama lose the US’s AAA credit rating?

In one place for your convenience, the current positions of the three main credit rating agencies on long-term US government debt.

US debt deal may be too little, too late

The fight to save the US's AAA rating is just beginning, with huge implications for the global economy

The US Debt Ceiling: Is America in danger of default?

What is a debt ceiling?

Leading article: Shooting the messenger

Manuel Barroso has become the latest European politician to take a swipe at the credit rating agencies. The president of the European Commission this week suggested that the timing of Moody's latest downgrade of Portuguese debt was "questionable" and implied some sort of anti-European conspiracy from the three large US agencies.

Don't take no for an answer from mortgage lenders

News that banks are getting tough on potential borrowers doesn't mean you won't get a mortgage.

Questions Of Cash: Barclays' doubt over 7/7 payout ended in debt

Q. I was a customer with Barclays for several years, but closed all my accounts in spring 2008 – I thought. I was badly injured in the London 7/7 bombings and received compensation. When I went to the bank with a compensation cheque, the woman at the counter was very rude and quizzed me as to "where you got this money" and "what was it for", as if I was a drug dealer. This was despite the cheque clearly stating London Bombing Charity Relief Fund. So I closed my account.

Questions of Cash: 'Santander worries damaged my health'

Q. I am disabled and problems with my Santander card are damaging my mental health. I was notified that dormant accounts incur a £10 charge. I've not used my Debenham's store card for some time and decided to close the account. I wrote to Santander by recorded delivery and cut-up the card. I also logged-on to my account online and requested the card be deactivated. Three weeks later, I still haven't had confirmation that the account has been closed, nor have I had a response to my online message. FM, London.

Good news at last: change is on the cards

Looking for a loan is about to get easier, but you'll still need to hunt around, says Joe McGrath
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas