Remortgage guide

Your guide to remortgaging

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If you’ve been with the same lender for several years, you may be able to save money by remortgaging – find out how.

Looking for a remortgage deal?

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage

What is remortgaging?

Remortgaging happens when you change the mortgage you currently have on your property, either by switching it to a new lender, or by moving to a different deal with your existing lender.

Reasons why you might want to remortgage

There are a number of reasons you might want to remortgage your home, including:

Your existing deal is coming to an end

When your current mortgage deal ends, you’ll be put on the provider’s standard variable rate – SVR – which is usually uncompetitive. So before that happens, it’s a good idea to look at what other deals are available and think about remortgaging to a deal with a better interest rate.

You’re worried about interest rates rising

If you’re on a variable rate mortgage and your payments are increasing because of the Bank of England’s base rate rise, it could be worth remortgaging to a competitive fixed rate deal to give you peace of mind.

Just check you don’t have to pay any early repayment charges for getting out of your mortgage early.

You need to borrow more

Sometimes homeowners remortgage to release equity from their property. But you will need to make sure you’ve factored in all the fees that come with remortgaging and make sure you’ve looked at other borrowing options before making a decision.

Your lender is likely to ask why you need the money before agreeing to a remortgage, and common reasons include making improvements to your property or paying off other outstanding debts.

You want to overpay

If you’ve inherited some money or received a large bonus, you might want to use it to pay off a chunk of your mortgage early or to increase the monthly payments you make. However, some lenders may not let you do this, or they may only let you increase the payments by a small amount.

If this is the case, you might want to remortgage to a more flexible deal, potentially for a smaller loan or with a better interest rate. But you’ll need to factor in any early repayment charges to see whether it’s worth it.

Your home’s value has increased

If your property’s value has gone up by a significant amount, your loan-to-value - the proportion of the property price that you borrow when you take out a mortgage - will have reduced.

If this is the case, you may have access to more competitive mortgage rates, which could mean it’s worth remortgaging. But again, you’ll need to factor in any early repayment charges to see whether it’s worth it.

A graph showing the average loan-to-value consumers look for when remortgaging

The average loan-to-value consumers look for when remortgaging is 59%, according to MoneySuperMarket data from January 2016 – July 2018.

Reasons why remortgaging may not be a good idea

While remortgaging can seem like a good way to raise some cash or ease your interest payments, it isn’t always the best option. You should avoid remortgaging if:

You’ll pay high early repayment charges

Many mortgages come with early repayment charges that you’ll have to pay if you get out of your deal early. This can work out to be very expensive and can outweigh any savings you’d make by switching.

You’ve nearly paid off your mortgage

If you haven’t got much of your mortgage to pay off, you might find that providers won’t be willing to lend to you.  

You have a poor credit score

A low credit rating means it’s harder in general to find a mortgage, especially one with a good interest rate. So if this applies to you, it’s worth looking at ways to improve your credit rating first, before considering remortgaging.

Your property’s value has fallen

If your property’s value drops, your loan-to-value will increase. This means you’re unlikely to find a better rate if you want to remortgage, and it might even cause you to go into negative equity - where your outstanding debt is higher than the value of your property.

What kind of remortgage deal can you get?

You’ll likely find the same options as if you were taking out a first mortgage when remortgaging. The most common remortgage deals include:

Remortgaging with a fixed rate deal

A fixed rate mortgage is when the interest rate stays the same for a set amount of time. This can be a good option if you want peace of mind that your repayments will stay the same each month. Most fixed rate deals run for between two and five years, although some are longer.

A graph showing that 94% of people looking to remortgage are looking for a fixed rate mortgage

Fixed rate mortgages are the most popular mortgage type for people looking to remortgage, according to MoneySuperMarket mortgage comparison quote searches from January 2016 – July 2018.

Remortgaging with a tracker deal

Tracker mortgages have variable rates that track the Bank of England base rate at a set percentage above or below it.

If the Bank of England’s base rate rises or falls, the interest you pay on your monthly mortgage repayments will do the same. This can be good when rates are falling, but you’ll need to be sure you could afford your repayments if rates went up.

A graph showing the breakdown of borrowing types for tracker mortgages

70% of consumers looking for a tracker mortgage are remortgaging, according to MoneySuperMarket data January 2016 – July 2018.

Other mortgage types to consider

Other mortgage types you might want to consider if you’re looking to remortgage include:

  • Capped rate mortgage: a capped rate mortgage is a variable rate mortgage, but there is a limit to how high the rate can go. This can be useful if you want a variable rate mortgage, but also want to avoid unaffordable payments if the rate rises.
  • Discounted mortgage: a discounted mortgage is another type of variable rate mortgage which offers a discounted rate on the lender’s SVR for a certain period of time.
  • Offset mortgage: an offset mortgage helps to reduce the overall interest you pay by offsetting your savings against the outstanding balance of your mortgage. But this does mean you won’t be gaining any interest on your savings during the deal.

How much does remortgaging cost?

You should always factor in the fees you’ll need to pay before remortgaging, which can include:

  • Arrangement fees: most mortgages have arrangement fees which can cost up to £2,000.
  • Legal fees: you might also have to pay for a solicitor to take care of any legal matters if you’re looking to remortgage with a different lender.
  • Admin fees: the lender might charge for the cost of setting up your remortgage.
  • Valuation: you’ll need to have your property valued so the lender can see if it’s worth the amount you’re remortgaging for.

If you disagree with the lender’s valuation of your property, you can challenge this if you think you can prove that your home might be worth more. This can include the sale price of properties in your local area, a costed list of any home improvements, or even by having it valued yourself – though this can be expensive, so you’ll need to be confident that your home is worth more than the lender’s valuation.

Compare remortgage deals

The best way to find a good remortgage deal is by shopping around, so you can see the offers available from different providers. By comparing remortgage deals on MoneySuperMarket, you can sort through offers by the type of mortgage, as well as the initial monthly cost and interest rate, the overall cost - APRC representative - and whether you have to pay any fees.

You’ll need to enter how much you want to borrow and how long you want to be borrowing for, as well as the value of your property and whether you want to repay interest only or the capital – the value of the property - as well.

The comparison tool won’t take into account your financial situation or your credit history, so the interest rate deal you’re offered when you make an application to remortgage may be different to the quotes you see.

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