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What is a remortgage?

A remortgage is when you switch your current mortgage deal to a new one. This could be to replace your existing mortgage or borrow additional money against the property.

You can either remortgage to a new lender or stay with the same one (this is known as a product transfer).

Why should I remortgage?

You might want to remortgage if:

  • Your current mortgage deal is coming to an end - When your deal comes to an end and you're moved onto your lender's standard variable rate (SVR), the interest rate is usually a lot higher.
  • You'd like to switch deals - You may want to switch to a fixed-rate mortgage so you know how much you're expected to pay monthly. Or onto a variable-rate mortgage deal if you think rates may fall soon and you might benefit from lower payments as a result.
  • You're not happy with your current lender - If you're not happy with the level of service, remortgaging allows you to switch to a new lender.
  • You want to overpay your mortgage - Most mortgages have the option to overpay your mortgage without fees up to a certain amount (usually 10%). But some deals have more flexibility and allow you to overpay by more than this – you may be able to remortgage to one of these more flexible deals.
  • The value of your property has increased - If your property has increased in value, your new lower loan-to-value (LTV) could help you access better deals when you remortgage. But bear in mind that mortgage rates are much higher than they have been in recent years. So you may find the rates available to you now are higher than when you took out your current deal.
  • You'd like to borrow more on your mortgage - You might want to borrow more on your mortgage to get a lump sum to help consolidate debts, make home improvements or for something else.

How to get the best remortgage deal

The best remortgage deal for you depends on your individual circumstances. There are lots of different factors that affect what rates and deals you have access to, including your LTV ratio and financial situation.

To improve your chances of getting the best remortgage deal with a new lender, you should:

  • Put a larger deposit down if you can afford it
  • Review your finances and reduce outgoings where possible
  • Make all credit repayments on time
  • Check your credit report for any mistakes

When it comes to remortgaging, it's usually worth speaking to an independent broker like Mojo, who can compare mortgages from across the market to find a suitable one for you and your circumstances.

Even if you think you want to stay with the same lender, speaking to a broker can help you decide whether the deals available with them are better than those with other banks and building societies.

Remortgaging with Mojo Mortgages

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When is a good time to remortgage?

The ideal time to remortgage is around 3-6 months before your current deal ends.

This is because it can take a while for your remortgage application to be reviewed. Contacting a broker or lender in advance prevents the risk of you moving on to your lender's (usually more expensive) SVR.

Most mortgage deals are valid for 6 months, so make sure you're switching at the point your deal expires rather than any earlier to avoid early repayment fees.

How long does a remortgage take?

From the date you make an application, the remortgage process typically takes between 4 to 8 weeks. But that timeframe isn't a guarantee for everyone, as some may experience delays.

Generally, remortgaging your home is faster than buying a property. It could be even faster if you’re staying with your current lender and you’re not looking to borrow extra.

If you’re switching to a new deal, be sure to start the remortgaging process early enough to a new deal when your current one expires.

This means you won’t switch to your lender’s SVR – which is typically more expensive – when your current mortgage term runs out.

Can I remortgage early?

You can, but depending on your current mortgage, you might find it expensive to do.

Most mortgage deals have early repayment charges (ERCs). This is a fee that applies if you switch to a new mortgage before your current deal is up.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t start looking around earlier for your next mortgage as you can still apply and lock in a new rate. Then when your current deal expires, you can switch straight to your new deal, avoiding any ERCs. And if rates decrease before you switch, you can always change to a new deal.

How much can I borrow with a remortgage?

You can find out how much you can borrow on your remortgage by using our mortgage repayment calculator.

When determining whether to lend to you and how much you can borrow, lenders look at:

  • Deposit amount - The larger your deposit, the lower the LTV ratio, which normally gets you access to better deals.
  • Income - Lenders typically lend around 4.5 times your household's annual income. If your financial circumstances have changed and you're no longer earning as much since you last took out a mortgage, you may find it harder to get a remortgage.
  • Spending habits - It can be worth reviewing outgoings and reducing these where possible in order to show the lender you can afford the payments.
  • Credit history - If your credit rating has declined significantly since you last applied for a mortgage for any reason, you might want to take steps to improve it.

How much does it cost to remortgage?

When you remortgage, the cost of your monthly repayments is determined largely by the remaining loan amount, mortgage term and interest rate. The rate you can get is influenced by your LTV ratio and financial circumstances.

But when you're going through the remortgaging process, there are other fees that may apply, including:

  • An arrangement fee - Also known as product fee, this is the fee for the mortgage product. Costs can vary depending on the deal. but it can be up to a couple of thousand pounds. Some lenders may let you add the fee to the mortgage loan amount, but you then pay interest on it.
  • A property valuation - This is often part of the remortgaging process with a new lender so they can decide if your home is worth the amount you want to remortgage for. There may be a fee charged for this, but some lenders offer free valuations as part of the remortgage deal.
  • Legal fees - Legal fees also apply if you're remortgaging to a new lender, as a solicitor is involved to cover the legal paperwork. Some deals offer free legal fees, but some may charge for this.
  • Early Repayment Charges (ERCs) - ERCs may be charged if you choose to remortgage before the end of your current deal. These can amount to thousands of pounds.

Do I need a solicitor to remortgage?

If you're moving to a new mortgage deal with your current lender, you don't normally need a solicitor as there's no additional legal work. This is called a product transfer, and should be relatively straightforward.

But if you're moving your mortgage to a new provider, you might need to involve a solicitor. This is because the transfer of the mortgage deed from one lender to another involves additional legal paperwork.

Often, lenders include this legal assistance as part of the remortgage deal, which should help minimise any hassle. Sometimes this is free, but not always. It's worth checking so you can budget appropriately.

What our mortgage expert says

"Interest rates are higher than they have been in a number of years, so it's important to get the right remortgage deal. Make sure you speak to a whole-of-market broker well in advance of your current mortgage ending, to avoid going on to your lender's standard variable rate, which is usually more expensive."

Claire Flynn, Senior Content Editor at Mojo
Senior Content Editor | Mojo, Mortgages Expert | Mojo logo

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Need more help?

Should I revalue my house before I remortgage?

You usually only need to revalue your property if you’re changing mortgage lender. If you’re staying with your current lender, a full valuation isn't generally required making it a bit more straightforward.

If you’re looking to borrow more against the value of your home, you normally do need a valuation.

How does the loan-to-value rate of my home affect remortgaging?

The lower the LTV ratio, normally the better remortgage deals and rates you can access. The cheapest rates are normally available for those with a 60% LTV or lower.

The equity you have in your home will determine your LTV ratio for remortgaging. But you can also put down additional money to boost your deposit amount and reduce the LTV ratio.

How can I remortgage to release equity?

You can remortgage to release equity in your home to allow you to borrow more than what you currently own on your existing mortgage.

Whether you can remortgage to a larger mortgage depends on your affordability and the LTV ratio you're looking to borrow.

Alternatively, you can look into taking out a second mortgage which means you keep your existing mortgage and take out another one. But this does mean you'll have to keep up with 2 loan repayments on the same property. 

Can I remortgage if I have bad credit?

You may be able to remortgage if you have bad credit. Some lenders offer bad credit mortgages but it normally depends on the severity of your credit issues.

There are specialist brokers who deal with adverse credit, and might be able to help you find a lender that can consider your application.

Can I remortgage if I'm self-employed?

You may be able to remortgage if you're self-employed. But you need to evidence that you're earning enough to cover the loan repayments, normally via providing a few years of full accounts or SA302 end-of-year tax calculations.

Certain lenders are also more flexible with self-employed applicants. Mojo Mortgages may be able to help identify which banks and building societies are best suited for your circumstances.

Is there an age limit on remortgaging?

Different mortgage lenders have different age limits, so it’s best to check with yours first if you want to remortgage.

Some may have an age limit for starting a mortgage and others for when the mortgage term comes to an end.

There are also a few lenders who don't have any age restrictions.

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Page last reviewed: 11 March 2024

Reviewed by: Claire Flynn


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