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A Guide to Today’s Best Mortgage Interest Rates

No impact on credit score

Pete Mugleston

Author: Pete Mugleston - Mortgage Advisor, MD

Updated: August 4, 2021

Are you looking for the best interest rates available in the UK today? Check out our live rates table below to see what kind of deals are available and which lenders are offering them.

Remember – This is just a mortgage rates table. Although it’s a good starting point, it won’t let you know exactly which mortgage deals you’re eligible for and what factors determine this.

This is where the brokers we work with come in. They can search the entire market for the best rates and deals that you qualify for and negotiate with lenders to help you secure them.

Make an enquiry with us and we’ll match you with the mortgage broker who’s best placed to help a customer with your needs and circumstances get the best rates and deals. For more information about mortgage rates, have a read through our FAQ section below…

FAQs

Why not just go with my current bank/building society?

It’s perfectly normal to want to use a lender that you’re already using at the moment. However, they can only offer you mortgage deals they have and cannot access other lenders’ products.

There is a good chance that a more suitable deal could be found elsewhere. The consequences of using your current bank can sometimes mean a significant financial loss over time. No one lender is the same as another. Every lender will have its niche speciality, whether you’re a first-time buyer, landlord, have poor credit or are overseas.

Also, remember that lenders can have different lender direct and intermediary deals, so comparing them all in order to benchmark rates can help to ensure that you’re getting a good deal rather than being shortchanged for being a loyal customer.

Should I get a fixed-rate mortgage or a tracker?

No adviser can predict the market, and as a result, very few will offer any advice on what is likely to happen to interest rates in the short or long term. A good adviser, however, will gauge from your attitude and understanding, which mortgage from the thousands of options is best suited to you. The different rates are suitable in different scenarios, and often, the ideal rate should have something to do with the borrower’s character, personality and personal financial circumstances.

For example, tracker mortgages and other variable mortgages may be more suitable to the person who is less averse to risk or the property investor. On the other hand, a family may want to choose a safer, more secure and more predictable investment. In this instance, a fixed-rate mortgage would likely be the more preferable solution. You should only really consider getting a variable mortgage product, such as a tracker-rate mortgage, if you can comfortably afford repayment amounts that are higher than the amount quoted at the outset.

This is because variable mortgage rates can change depending on what the bank of England’s base rate is set to. Getting a mortgage is a very serious financial commitment and should not be taken lightly. Be sure you’re well aware of all the facts and implications before taking out a mortgage.

I've seen some 'headline' low rates. Should I trust them?

There’s more to getting the best mortgage than just having the best rate. Say, for example, HSBC offer you a 2 year 2.5% tracker mortgage, with a £999 arrangement fee, £300 valuation fee, and legal costs to pay. It looks likely to save you £50 per month over the next two years, when compared to a higher 2 year 3.49% tracker rate, with no fees with Santander.

The HSBC deal may seem more attractive when sold to you by monthly payment, but unless you are desperate for the lowest monthly outgoing, it’s important to dig down and look at the ‘total cost’ over the 2 year period. Fees like arrangement charges, valuation fees or solicitors costs all add up, and as in the example above, a £50 a month saving actually isn’t that great when you do the maths…

MONTHLY = £50 x 2 years = £1200 saved. FEES = £999 + £300 + ~£350 (approx legal costs) = £1649 paid out. TOTAL COST = £1649 – £1200 = £449 additional cost over the 2 years. 

This is why it’s best to speak to a qualified independent mortgage advisor who has access to the ‘whole of market’ and who knows their way through the different fees and charges that some banks may not fully explain.

How will my mortgage term affect the deal I get?

Generally speaking, the shorter the term of the mortgage, and thus the higher the monthly payments, the less you will pay out overall. It can be wise to attempt to pay it off over as short a time period as possible, as long as it can be comfortably afforded. In times of plenty, a borrower may be able to overpay.

Banks will often offer an attractive introductory term but this will almost certainly increase after the given time period. Remortgaging after this period could end up outweighing the short term gains.

How much does my deposit affect the rates I will get?

UK mortgage rates vary heavily depending on the level of equity already owned. This will come in the form of either the initial house deposit or in the form of equity already owned on a property. The greater the gap between the initial purchase price of your home and the overall house price, the more risky the loan is to the lender. The more risk it will be to the lender, the higher the mortgage rate will be paid overall.

You’ll see that when you’re using our mortgage search engine, or when you’re viewing our best buy tables, a maximum loan to value (LTV) will be stated. Try to overpay as much as possible, to begin with, in order to bring down your overall LTV as much as possible. First-time buyers or people with bad credit often struggle with this, and a whole-of-market mortgage broker may have the clout and know-how to help you out.

Should I be paying broker fees?

Nearly all independent financial advisors (IFAs) and mortgage brokers charge a fee of some sort. This is because commission from financial products like mortgages is, these days, nowhere near where it used to be, and costs are high.

Many mortgage brokers and IFAs need to charge fees to survive in the industry – many that have persevered with a no-fee ethos have gone out of business in the last few years as the market declined. Truly independent advisers don’t make their money pushing certain high commission products. The fee payment system helps ensure that the mortgage broker is acting in a more objective fashion and you are receiving the best advice.

It is normal for Independent mortgage brokers to charge initial consultation fees or for a portion of the fee to be paid ‘on application’ and some to be paid ‘on completion’. This ensures that if for whatever reason the mortgage doesn’t go through, they still cover costs and aren’t effectively working for free. In most instances, it’s a good idea to find an IFA that can give advice and quotes you upfront before any payment is made.

Are there flexible mortgages available?

Yes. Flexibility is another important variable to consider. You may want the ability to overpay, underpay, take a payment break, borrow-back money, port your deal to a different house, and more. Most mortgages nowadays come with a certain level of this ‘in-built’ anyway, but there are specialist options that cater for larger allowances or further flexibility. Mortgages that allow this are certainly more attractive than those that don’t, but check that it’s not something you’re paying for that you don’t need.

How do I know if I qualify for the best mortgage deals?

You don’t really, not until you apply. To have the best idea it is always best to talk it through with an expert to make sure you get it right, first time. Multiple applications for credit can leave numerous searches on your credit file, which can harm your chances of getting any mortgage, especially the ones which require top-level credit scores. We can help you find access to a fully authorised, professional, and proven broker service. Give us a call or make an enquiry today.

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About the author

Pete, an expert in all things mortgages, cut his teeth right in the middle of the credit crunch. With plenty of people needing help and few mortgage providers lending, Pete found great success in going the extra mile to find mortgages for people whom many others considered lost causes. The experience he gained, coupled with his love of helping people reach their goals, led him to establish Online Mortgage Advisor, with one clear vision – to help as many customers as possible get the right advice, regardless of need or background.

Pete’s presence in the industry as the ‘go-to’ for specialist finance continues to grow, and he is regularly cited in and writes for both local and national press, as well as trade publications, with a regular column in Mortgage Introducer and being the exclusive mortgage expert for LOVEMoney. Pete also writes for OMA of course!

Read more about Pete

Pete Mugleston

Mortgage Advisor, MD

FCA disclaimer

*Based on our research, the content contained in this article is accurate as of the most recent time of writing. Lender criteria and policies change regularly so speak to one of the advisors we work with to confirm the most accurate up to date information. The information on the site is not tailored advice to each individual reader, and as such does not constitute financial advice. All advisors working with us are fully qualified to provide mortgage advice and work only for firms who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. They will offer any advice specific to you and your needs.

Some types of buy to let mortgages are not regulated by the FCA. Think carefully before securing other debts against your home. As a mortgage is secured against your home, it may be repossessed if you do not keep up with repayments on your mortgage. Equity released from your home will also be secured against it.

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