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Mortgage Guide

Repaying your mortgage

There are basically two alternatives: Repayment (Capital and interest), and Interest only.

Repayment mortgage

With a Repayment mortgage you pay part interest and part capital repayments to the lender each month and in this way the capital debt outstanding is reduced until the loan is repaid.

Interest-only mortgage

With an Interest only mortgage, you make no capital repayments until the end of the term. Instead payments may be made into an investment designed to repay the loan at the end of the mortgage term. With this type of mortgage there is a risk that the value of the investment may not be enough to repay the debt. During the mortgage term, you pay only interest to the lender on the outstanding balance

Combination

Some lenders can offer a combination of the above which may be more suited to your individual circumstances.

Interest Rates

In addition to the standard variable interest rate, there are many different schemes available: Fixed, Discount, Capped and collar, Flexible or even a combination of some of the above!

Standard variable rate

With this type of mortgage your payments will go up or down when the lender’s mortgage rate changes. Most standard variable rates tend to move in line with the Bank of England base rate but there is sometimes a delay and there is no guarantee that the lender will pass on the full effect of the increase or decrease. When the interest rate goes up, the amount that you must pay also rises, and it falls when interest rates come down.

Tracker

Tracker mortgages are basically a type of variable rate mortgage. What makes them different from other variable rate mortgages is that they follow – track – movements of another rate. Most commonly, the rate that is tracked is the Bank of England Base Rate.

This is a variable rate where the interest rate is a set amount above or below the Bank of England or some other base rate and so always “tracks” changes in that rate.

Fixed rate

The rate is fixed for a specified number of years, so you know what your payments will be over that period. Following this period, the rate will usually revert to the lender’s standard variable rate

Discounted rate

A discounted rate gives you a reduction of, for example, 1% off the variable rate for a specified period. So, although the rate may rise and fall, you will be paying less than the standard variable rate for this period

Capped rate

Your payments are variable, but they are guaranteed not to rise above a set level (the “cap”) during a specified period. These schemes may sometimes include a “collar” or minimum rate level which is the level the rate will not fall below. Following this period, the rate will usually revert to the lender’s standard variable rate.

Flexible mortgages

These give various benefits which usually include the ability to vary monthly payments in line with your changing circumstances. They may also allow you to take ‘payment holidays’ and to borrow back any overpayment you have made. Because of their flexible nature and the variety of schemes available it is not possible to give a full description here, but your mortgage adviser will provide more detail if you are interested in this type of loan.

Current account mortgage

This is a flexible mortgage linked to your current account. Some companies in this sector also link savings accounts, credit cards, mortgages and personal loans together into combined accounts. With this type of mortgage, you are only charged interest on the net amount you owe the lender, after netting off any savings or current account balances against the amount of your mortgage.

Cashback

Some loans offer a lump sum which is paid out following completion, with a mortgage charged at the lender’s variable base rate. Smaller cashbacks may be offered with reduced rates and other incentives as a combination package. These types of mortgages will typically have early repayment charges which would apply if you redeemed within a specified period after completion.

Buy to let mortgages

A Buy to let mortgage enables you to buy a property with the sole purpose of renting it out. A deposit of at least 20% of the property’s value may be required.

What is APR?

All lenders must quote an Annual Percentage Rate (APR) in addition to their standard interest rate. This is to help you compare different schemes. The way APR is calculated can be confusing, but it considers other costs, such as any booking fee, arrangement fee etc. It gives a more accurate indication of which mortgage is likely to be cheaper over the whole mortgage term, so is particularly useful if you intend to keep the mortgage for the whole term.