Leader magazineASCL - Association of School and College Leaders

Are you looking for ways to beat the credit crunch?

Over the last 12 months the term 'credit crunch' has been used extensively in various media - but what does it actually mean?

In simple terms, the credit crunch is caused by banks being too nervous to lend money to us or each other. Where they will lend they charge higher rates of interest or demand higher collateral or deposits to limit their risk.

For you and me this means dearer mortgages, higher interest rates on credit cards and pain for investors as stock markets have fallen.

The current crisis was basically caused by years of lax lending, especially in the US, where billions of dollars of so-called Ninja mortgages - no income, no job or assets - were sold to people with weak credit ratings (called sub-prime borrowers).

This seemed a good idea when interest rates were low and property prices were rising, but as interest rates began to increase these borrowers, unsurprisingly, began to default. This was compounded by the fact that these loans had been cleverly packaged into CDOs (collateralised debt obligations), held by various institutions such as banks which consequently suffered massive losses.

ASCL members looking to protect their assets in the long term are invited to attend a free planning for retirement seminar run by LighthouseTemple. To find out more about the seminars or to arrange a financial review with one of LighthouseTemple's independent financial advisers, please contact the Client Services Team on 08000 858590.

One of the benefits of ASCL membership is discounts and special rates on a range of personal and educational products and services. There are healthcare products, financial advice, online staff well-being systems and self-evaluation surveys. Check out the full list at www.ascl.org.uk

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