Choosing the best mortgage interest rate

Posted by Nick Niesen on October 29th, 2010

One of the most important aspects of buying a property is the mortgage interest rate that you can obtain. After all your looking to borrow the amount required for your property for the lowest possible cost.

Standard variable rate is the typical rate of interest that lenders use and it is generally the most expensive option for the borrower. The standard variable rate is the rate of interest decided by the lender which maybe loosely connected to the Bank of England base rate by a margin normally around 2%.
If you are on a standard variable rate then you may notice that some lenders like to involve any rate increases with effect straight away. At any rate the standard variable rate is not the cheapest option available (based on circumstance). As a independent broker we can help you take advantage of any cut-price offers from other lenders.

A fixed rate is exactly as its called, the rate of interest is fixed over a certain period of time, generally between 1-5 years. Fixed rate mortgages are generally easier to manage since you?ll know how much is needed for the monthly repayments on your mortgage. The fixed rate mortgage is ideal for people who maybe under financial stress and need to know where they stand from cheque to pay cheque. Fixed rate mortgages are also suitable if interest are set to rise in the early years of a mortgage. Be aware that mortgage providers are usually one step ahead to adjust fixed rates accordingly. A Fixed rate mortgage means you could end up stuck with paying more then others if the interest rates fall below the figure you?ve adjusted yours to.

Discount rates are a percentage of the lenders variable rate, so your repayments will rise and fall in accordance with the lenders normal rate but you will be paying at a reduced rate over an according time period. This is ideal for first time buyers as a discounted mortgage can give you a few years of breathing space. A 1 -2% discount is very good if there is no lock in period afterwards, with the benefits of this come the ability to remortgage with another lender when the discount rate period draws to an end. Unfortunately you may often find you are locked in for another couple of years on the variable rate so you will not be able to get out of this sort of deal unless you are prepared to face huge redemption penalties. Discount mortgages offer good value for money - but only if there is no lock-in period once the discount has come to an end.

A capped rate will put a barrier to your interest rate you will pay over a certain period of time. If the lenders variable rate exceeds the capped rate then it is here you will benefit, but if the interest rate falls below the capped rate then you will paying the same as many others.
Capped rates will tie you into a mortgage for a certain period of time, usually between 1 and 5 years although recently there has been an introduction of capped mortgages for 25 year periods.
Capped rates give you a mix of advantages of the fixed rates and variable rates, again something is expected in return for this, the capped rate is likely to be higher than any fixed rate you can get. Like fixed rates the capped rate will make financial sense for those who are financially stricken.

Tracker rates tend to follow the Bank of Englands interest rate with a margin either above or below the rate, this is decided by the lender.
How will the interest be charged? Ignoring the type of interest rate you decide to go with one vital question to ask is how frequently is the interested calculated. If you decide to go for a mortgage where the interest is calculated daily then you will find yourself paying less interest over a period of time because every payment will reduce the amount you owe. Current account and flexible mortgages charge interest day by day. If interest is calculated monthly you could end up paying more and you can end up waiting a month after a payment is made before the interest is recalculated. But some lenders have their foot in the door by calculating the interest payable on the amount due at the start of the year and this could make a significant difference to the amount of capital reduction over 12 months. It also means that if you make an additional payment to reduce your mortgage it could be up to a year before this reduces the amount of interest you are charged.

You can compare mortgages by looking at the amount you need to pay every month. Don?t be fooled by latest headline rates as they can be misleading as we know different companies charge different interest rates in different ways. The ideal target is a competitive interest rate that carries no redemption penalties so that it is cheaper to move your mortgage elsewhere if more attractive mortgages become available.

By law mortgage providers have to provide an Annual Percentage Rate (APR) for their products. It illustrates the true underlying interest rate, including all the charges, over the entire term of the loan. This means it adjusts for things such as annually charged interest. Comparing the APR of one loan against another can also help you get a better feel for which is the most competitive.

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Nick Niesen

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Nick Niesen
Joined: April 29th, 2015
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