PERSONAL FINANCE NEWS

SPACE INVADERS COST £66M
Space invaders, houseguests who stay with friends and family for weeks at a time without paying rent, are causing havoc. More than 4.9m homeowners have been left counting the cost of houseguests who overstayed their welcome last year. Direct Line research shows that the space invaders caused £66m in damages to their hosts’ homes, leaving a trail of devastation in their wake – breaking furniture, prized heirlooms and antiques. Perhaps it is time for the hosts to chuck them out or at least upgrade their insurance.

CREDIT CARD RATE HITS 13-YEAR HIGH
The increased competition in the credit card market at the end of the 1990s meant rates fell dramatically, indeed they kept falling until 2006. Now, however, the average rate for new customers hit a 13-year high at 18.9 per cent. Michelle Slade of Moneyfacts.co.uk explains: “The UK continues to suffer from a high level of unemployment and providers are worried about the increased risk of customers not repaying their debts.”

MUM KNOWS BEST ON MONEY
M&S Money research shows that a shocking 36 per cent of Brits admit that their mum has the most influence on the way they handle their finances. This is compared to 32 per cent who say their father advises them. Despite the fact that more people say that their mum has been the biggest influence on their money habits, more than half (55 per cent) of people say their father took control of their household finances while they were growing up.

SAINSBURY’S INCREASES RATES
The Bank of England might not be notching up its interest rates any time soon, but Sainsbury’s Finance has. Yesterday the supermarket-cum-financier began offering 2.7 per cent gross annual equivalent rate (AER) on its Online Saver account and 2.5 per cent gross AER on its Easy Saver account. The accounts allow you to make deposits into your saving account while you are doing your shopping at Sainsbury’s – the accounts even give you Nectar points.