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Unless you’re in the market for an original Van Gogh, a new home will be the biggest purchase of your life. Therefore, before signing 25 years of your life away on a mortgage, it’s vital that you know exactly what you’re paying for.
Originally from Australia, offset mortgages arrived here in the late 1990s with the key benefit of allowing you to offset any savings against a mortgage.
Similar to offset mortgages, this option lets you combine your finances (e.g. mortgage, credit cards, store cards, bank account, loans) into a single account with the mortgage lender.
Flexible (sometimes called ‘lifestyle’) mortgages let you make extra repayments when you’re flush with cash, and allow partial payments, or even payment holidays, when you’re a little skint.
Yet another type of variable rate mortgage, tracker rates move up or down in direct relation to The Bank of England Base Rate rather than a lender’s Standard Variable Rate (SVR).
This is a type of variable rate mortgage (i.e. it will rise and fall in line with your lender’s SVR) that puts a ceiling (or cap) on your mortgage interest rate. This means that the rate is guaranteed never to rise above a certain level for a specified period, though it can still go down, triggering a reduction in monthly repayments.
The primary attraction of fixed rate mortgage deals is that they offer a guaranteed set monthly repayment for a specified period of time, regardless of changes in the lender’s SVR.
Carl Chambers worked as a consumer interest writer at Confused.com between 2007 and 2010. We miss his terrible puns!View more from Carl
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