Your mortgage is likely to be one of your biggest monthly costs and making sure you’re on the best possible deal can often make a big difference to your finances.

Steep living costs mean many of us are feeling under financial pressure, and with mortgage rates fluctuating all the time, it makes sense to review your mortgage sooner rather than later.

Although it has eased significantly compared to last year, inflation isn’t coming down quite as fast as analysts predicted. Learn more in our article Inflation falls to lowest level in nearly three years. As a result, it’s expected that we may have to wait a bit longer before interest rates come down, so if you spot a deal you like, you may want to snap it up quickly.

Here are five good reasons why you may want to consider remortgaging now. Remember always to check first that there aren’t any hefty redemption penalties or early repayment charges to pay before you leave your existing deal.

Want to speak to a mortgage advisor? Speaking to an experienced mortgage advisor can help you to understand your options and get a great deal on your mortgage.

If you’re looking for expert mortgage advice, you can get a free consultation with an independent mortgage adviser at Fidelius. Speak with a qualified, FCA-regulated, independent mortgage adviser you can trust. Rated 4.7/5 on VouchedFor from over 1,000 reviews.

Why remortgage?

Reason one: Remortgaging could save you hundreds - if not thousands - of pounds a year

There are around 800,000 homeowners who’ve been on their lender’s standard variable rate (SVR) for six months or more and could be better off if they remortgage, according to the city regulator the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The SVR is the rate that you typically roll onto automatically once your mortgage deal finishes and tends to be much more expensive than other mortgage rates.

Homeowners on a lender’s SVR often pay hundreds of pounds a year more than those on low cost fixed or variable deals. According to financial website Moneyfactscompare.co.uk, the average SVR currently stands at 8.18% – close to the highest it’s been since the financial crisis of 2008.

For example, someone with a £150,000 repayment mortgage with 15 years left to run who is borrowing 60% of their property value would be paying £1,449 a month if they were on the typical SVR of 8.18%. Their monthly payments would fall to £1,161 a month if they remortgaged to a best buy two-year fixed mortgage rate of 4.67% – a saving of £288 a month or £3,456 a year.

The table below shows the monthly and annual savings homeowners currently paying the average SVR of 8.18% could achieve if they were to remortgage to a best buy two-year fixed rate of 4.67%. Bear in mind that variable rate deals are also available, but you’ll need to be comfortable accepting the risk that your mortgage payments will change, so they could fall or increase over time.

If you are able to save by remortgaging, you may want to consider using this cash to overpay your mortgage so you can clear it sooner. Most lenders allow you to pay off 10% of your mortgage each year without penalty, but check the small print of your particular deal first. You can find out more about the benefits and drawbacks of making overpayments in our article Should I overpay my mortgage?

Mortgage amount Term remainingMonthly savingAnnual Saving
£50,0005 years£82£984
£100,00010 years£178£2,136
£150,00015 years£288£3,456
£200,00020 years£410£4,920

Bear in mind that this information was correct at the time of publishing and is subject to change. The criteria used is illustrative only and the actual savings that might apply to you will depend on your individual circumstances.

Remember too that most mortgages have arrangement fees, and some may also have legal fees, although many remortgage deals come with free legal work included. To maximise any potential savings, make sure you always look at the overall cost of any deal you’re considering moving to.

Many people in their 50s and 60s stay on their lender’s SVR because they think remortgaging isn’t an option that’ll be available to them because of their age. However, age shouldn’t be a barrier and several banks and building societies will lend up to the age of 80 and beyond – subject of course to passing their affordability checks. Find out more in our article Mortgages if you’re over 50: what you need to know.

If you are struggling to get a standard mortgage because of your age, you may want to consider other options such as a retirement interest-only mortgage.

With a retirement interest-only mortgage, rather than your mortgage finishing on a specific date, you carry on making interest payments indefinitely so that you’re able to stay in your home without having to pay back the capital owed.

The capital only has to be repaid when you die or move into long-term care and the property is sold. You can find out more in our article How retirement interest-only mortgages work.

Another option is a lifetime mortgage, which is a type of equity release plan, so there are no monthly interest payments to make. Instead, the interest you owe builds up over time and only has to be paid back, together with the amount borrowed, when you either die or move into long-term care. Learn more about lifetime mortgages in our guide Lifetime mortgages explained and about the differences between lifetime mortgages and retirement interest-only mortgages in our article What’s the difference between a lifetime mortgage and a retirement interest-only mortgage?

If you want to see how much a lifetime mortgage is likely to cost you based on your individual circumstances, our lifetime mortgage calculator can crunch the numbers on your behalf.

You must seek professional advice before you apply for a lifetime mortgage. You can find an equity release adviser via the Equity Release Council’s (the trade body for the equity release sector) website here. Find out more about equity release in our guide Equity release: What is it and how does it work?

Want to speak to a mortgage advisor? Speaking to an experienced mortgage advisor can help you to understand your options and get a great deal on your mortgage.

If you’re looking for expert mortgage advice, you can get a free consultation with an independent mortgage adviser at Fidelius. Speak with a qualified, FCA-regulated, independent mortgage adviser you can trust. Rated 4.7/5 on VouchedFor from over 1,000 reviews.

Reason two: Mortgage rates are rising - but hopefully not for long

The start of 2024 saw several lenders re-price their fixed rate deals downwards as they battled to attract customers. However, that trend has now reversed, with some of the biggest lenders, raising rates in recent weeks. At the time of writing, the best five-year fixed rates are at nearly 4.5%, with offerings from Barclays and MPowered at 4.34% and 4.37% respectively.

This shows that the best deals on the market often don’t stick around for long, so if you do spot a mortgage deal you like – and you don’t have any redemption penalties to pay if you’re leaving your current mortgage – you may want to grab it while you can.

The differential rate between the average two-year and five-year fixed mortgage rate is much smaller than in previous years, and it’s currently actually cheaper to go for a five-year fixed rate deal over a two-year fix, so if you want peace of mind for a while, it’s worth thinking about whether a longer fixed rate might be a better option.

Bear in mind, however, that you should only really consider a long-term fixed rate if you’re confident that your circumstances won’t charge, as there are usually steep early repayment charges if you want to leave your mortgage deal during the fixed term. You must also be comfortable accepting the risk that if rates come down once you’ve locked into a longer deal, you won’t be able to benefit from potentially lower rates in future.

If you don’t need budgeting certainty, and you believe interest rates will start to reduce soon, you might decide that a variable rate deal suits you better. Find out more in our guide Should I go for a fixed or variable rate mortgage?

Reason three: Remortgaging could provide you with some protection from economic uncertainty

If you’re currently on your lender’s SVR, your mortgage rate and your monthly payments will move up and down depending on what happens to interest rates. No-one knows exactly when or by how much interest rates might fall in future, and recent higher than expected inflation numbers means some expect rates to remain high for a little while yet.

If you’re worried about your payments increasing, or you’ve already seen your monthly payments jump, remortgaging to a fixed rate mortgage could provide valuable peace of mind that they won’t change whatever happens to interest rates.

Reason four: You might have moved into a different loan-to-value band

When you remortgage, you’ll notice that deals usually show a maximum loan-to-value figure expressed as a percentage next to them.

The loan-to-value is the amount the lender is prepared to let you borrow in relation to the property’s value. For example, if a mortgage has a maximum 80% loan-to-value, this means that you’ll only be able to borrow up to 80% of your property’s value, so you must own at least 20% of the equity in your home.

If a mortgage has a 60% maximum loan-to-value, you’ll only be able to borrow up to 60% of the property value and must own at least 40% of the equity in your home.

The best mortgage rates are normally reserved for those with a large amount of equity in their property, as they’re considered the lowest risk by lenders. For example, MPowered at the time of writing, was offering a two-year fixed rate mortgage at 4.67% for homeowners looking to remortgage at a 60% loan to value. This deal has a £999 arrangement fee. If you have a 75% loan to value, however, the cheapest two year fix was from Leeds Building Society at 4.74% two-year fix with a £1,499 fee.

Monthly payments on the same £150,000, 15-year repayment mortgage at the 4.67% rate would cost £1,161 but £1,166 at the higher rate of 4.74%. Over the two-year fixed rate period, you’d save £120 if you found yourself eligible for the 60% LTV mortgage deal rather than the 75% deal, before arrangement fees are taken into account.

If you’ve been slowly paying off your mortgage and benefiting from rising house prices over the years, you are likely to own a greater proportion of equity in your home, so it’s well worth seeing if you’re now eligible for better mortgage rates. If you find yourself close to the edge of the next LTV band, you might also want to see if it’s worth scraping together enough savings to pay off your mortgage to enable you to move down a LTV band and access better mortgage rates.

Reason five: lenders are tightening up their affordability criteria

Steep living costs have prompted some lenders to reassess how much they’ll lend if you’re looking to remortgage.

Santander, for example, previously changed the way it calculates how much it’s willing to lend, with other lenders also reviewing their affordability criteria. Affordability calculations are used to work out how much a borrower can afford to repay given their personal circumstances, and to test whether they could still meet repayments if more pressure is placed on their finances.

It may therefore be sensible to remortgage as soon as possible, as securing a new mortgage deal when your current deal ends could be harder than it was when you last remortgaged.

Find out more in our article Is it getting harder to get a mortgage?

When to remortgage

Lots of people put off thinking about remortgaging until their current deal has finished, so that they don’t get hit with any early repayment charges for leaving before their initial term is up.

While it’s sensible not to incur any penalties, it is usually possible to secure your next deal up to six months before it actually begins, so that you can roll from one deal straight to the next without having to move onto your lender’s SVR in between.

The remortgage process typically takes around six to eight weeks, but can take longer for non-standard cases, so it’s well worth getting started sooner rather than later if your mortgage deal is due to finish soon. Alternatively, if you know when your current deal finishes, set up a free reminder and we’ll let you know when it’s time to search for a better deal.

In some exceptional cases, if you’re stuck on a particularly high mortgage rate, it may still be worth remortgaging before your current deal ends, even if there are early repayment charges to pay. It’s worth getting a fee-free broker to crunch the numbers on your behalf to see whether it makes financial sense to move to a new deal if early repayment charges still apply.

How to get the best deal when you remortgage

Compare mortgages

It’s almost always a good first step to see which rates are available in the wider market, and not just from your lender. Remember too that when you’re comparing mortgages, it’s important to look at the overall cost of any deal, rather than focusing on the headline rate alone, as arrangement fees can have a significant impact on how much you’ll pay. You can find out more about this in our article Why the lowest rate mortgage may not be the cheapest deal.

Understand acceptance criteria

It’s important to note that when using any mortgage comparison service, you may not be accepted for the lowest rates. Lenders use a variety of factors in their lending decisions, including your credit score and financial history. They are also forced by the regulator to obey strict affordability rules and are obliged to check that people can afford repayments at much higher rates of interest.

If you are looking to extend your mortgage term into retirement, the lender’s affordability assessment is often more of a challenge to acceptance than your age. As they will have to model the affordability assessment on your post retirement income. Find out more in our article Mortgages if you’re over 50: what you need to know.

Seek advice from a mortgage broker

The mortgage market has been a heavily intermediated (or brokered) market since the FCA implemented the Mortgage Market Review in 2014 to try and reduce the amount of unaffordable lending that led to the financial crisis of 2008. This means that the majority of mortgages and remortgages today are conducted through a broker, and in fact, some lenders have exclusive deals that are only available through mortgage brokers.

Perhaps the best reason to get advice from a mortgage broker is because they can help you navigate the different lenders’ acceptance criteria. This is particularly useful given how quickly the mortgage market is changing right now, and if you have any unusual circumstances around your income or property.

Want to speak to a mortgage advisor? Speaking to an experienced mortgage advisor can help you to understand your options and get a great deal on your mortgage.

If you’re looking for expert mortgage advice, you can get a free consultation with an independent mortgage adviser at Fidelius. Speak with a qualified, FCA-regulated, independent mortgage adviser you can trust. Rated 4.7/5 on VouchedFor from over 1,000 reviews.

Help with your mortgage

Sadly we know that not everyone is able to remortgage right now. Many people are experiencing financial difficulties and so may be struggling to keep up with their mortgage payments. If you’re in this situation, it may be worth speaking to your lender to see whether you might be able to extend your mortgage term to make payments more affordable, or if there are other ways they might be able to help you. Find out more in our article What can you do if you can’t pay your mortgage?

Others may be unable to remortgage because they are ‘mortgage prisoners’ trapped paying expensive standard variable rates as a result of not meeting lenders’ affordability criteria. Our article What help is there for mortgage prisoners? explains what is being done to support people in this situation.

If you can’t currently remortgage, there may be other ways to reduce your outgoings. Learn more in our article 21 ways to cut costs.

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