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How Long Should You Fix Your Mortgage For?

How long should I fix myself into a mortgage for? Our guide to 2, 3 and 5-year fixed rate deals will help you decide.

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Pete Mugleston

Author: Pete Mugleston - Mortgage Advisor, MD

Updated: June 28, 2022

Fixed-rate mortgages are often worth considering if you like the idea of consistency for a set period. If you fix yourself into a deal, you can enjoy peace of mind, knowing that your monthly mortgage payments won’t change during the timeframe you’ve locked yourself into.

But how long should you fix yourself into a mortgage for? To help you answer this question, we’ve put together this guide, which covers topics including the benefits of longer fixed rates versus shorter ones, what factors you should consider before fixing yourself in, and more.

Read on for more information or jump straight to a topic using the menu below…

How long can you fix yourself into a mortgage for?

Fixed-rate mortgages traditionally come with two-year, three-year and five-year introductory rates periods where the interest rate will not change until after this timeframe. While these are the three most common fixed-rate periods, mortgage deals with longer fixes are available.

It’s possible to get a 10-year fixed-rate mortgage from some UK mortgage providers, and a minority go even higher than this for borrowers who like long-term consistency.

Mortgage Lenders for Fixed rate deals

Showing a range of the latest UK mortgages from lenders with various fixed-rate terms. Updated as of June 2022

Mortgage amount £150,000, over 30 years

30

Lenders

Mortgage Lender #1

£576

Monthly payment

95%

Maximum LTV

3.05% 3 year discounted

Initial rate

£199

Product fees

4.9% APRC

Overall cost for comparison

Mortgage Lender #2

£664

Monthly payment

95%

Maximum LTV

3.39% lifetime discounted

Initial rate

£0

Product fees

3.5% APRC

Overall cost for comparison

Mortgage Lender #3

£636

Monthly payment

90%

Maximum LTV

3.05% 3 year discounted

Initial rate

£199

Product fees

4.9% APRC

Overall cost for comparison

Mortgage Lender #4

£685

Monthly payment

90%

Maximum LTV

3.64% 5 year fixed

Initial rate

£774

Product fees

4.2% APRC

Overall cost for comparison

Mortgage Lender #5

£504

Monthly payment

75%

Maximum LTV

1.31% 2 year fixed

Initial rate

£995

Product fees

3.3% APRC

Overall cost for comparison

Mortgage Lender #1=6

£879

Monthly payment

75%

Maximum LTV

5.79% 2 year fixed

Initial rate

£0

Product fees

4.9% APRC

Overall cost for comparison

Did you know… You could access 30% more of the mortgage market with a broker on your side – Get Started with an OMA-Expert to find out how much this could save you and unlock more deals.

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How long should you fix yourself into a mortgage for?

The answer to this depends on a number of factors but we can help you decide what kind of deal to choose by outlining the benefits of longer fixes compared to shorter ones, and explaining why people typically choose one type of fixed-rate mortgage agreement over another.

 

 

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Advantages of a longer fixed rate
Advantages of a shorter fixed rate 

Fixing yourself into a mortgage for five years or more comes with the following advantages…

  • You’d be protected from interest rates rises for a lengthy period
  • Longer-term consistency and peace of mind

Although the list of benefits is relatively small, longer-term fixed-rate mortgages can potentially be a great option for people who have no plans to move house or remortgage in the foreseeable future. If your circumstances are unlikely to change and there’s a very favourable interest rate available, it’s usually worth considering locking yourself into it for as long as possible.

You can exit a fixed-rate mortgage early, but this usually means paying early repayment charges (ERCs). The longer there is left in the introductory period, the higher these fees usually are.

People typically choose two-to-three-year fixed-rate mortgages for the following reasons…

  • You’d have the flexibility to move house sooner
  • You can remortgage sooner if you want to switch to a new deal
  • Interest rates are typically lower than on longer fixes
  • Fees could be lower if you want to exit the deal early

People generally choose shorter-term fixes to keep their options open. You’d have the flexibility to move house in the near future or remortgage onto a new deal or a new product type, such as a tracker mortgage, with either your current mortgage provider or another lender.

Fixed-rate periods or two or three years can be a viable option for anyone who knows their needs and circumstances could change in the near future.

The main drawback of shorter fixes compared to longer ones is that you’d have more uncertainty in the longer term. There’s know way of knowing what kind of rates might be available in two-to-three years when your fixed rate expires, and there is usually a fee to pay to renew your mortgage after the introductory rates period has ended.

How to choose the right fixed-rate mortgage

To choose the right fixed-rate mortgage, here are some questions you should consider…

1. Are your circumstances likely to change?

Perhaps you have plans to have a baby in the next couple of years and will need to move to a larger property as a result. If that’s the case, you might want to consider fixing into your mortgage for a shorter period so you’ve got the option to move in the not-too-distant future.

2. What is the Bank of England’s interest rates outlook?

It’s worth researching what kind of interest rates the Bank of England is forecasting for the future. While this is not an § absolute science, during times of economic uncertainty, some people like peace of mind and choose longer fixed-rate deals to safeguard themselves against a sudden rate shift or lock down a good deal that might soon disappear from the market.

On the flipside, if forecasts suggest that rates could drop, it might be worth keeping your options open with a shorter fix so you could potentially remortgage onto a better deal when the initial rates period ends or onto a different product type altogether, such as a tracker mortgage.

3. Do you prefer consistency or flexibility?

If consistency is what appeals to you most and your circumstances are unlikely to change, it might be worth exploring what kind of deals are available with five-year fixes or higher. But if you want the flexibility to sell your property or remortgage without having early repayment changes to foot, it’s obviously a better idea to research your shorter fixed-rate options.

Be sure to speak to a mortgage broker before you choose a fixed-rate mortgage

The above questions are intended as a rough guide to encourage you to think about whether a longer or shorter fixed-rate mortgage might be your best option. But it’s important to speak to a mortgage broker to get bespoke advice before you choose a mortgage deal.

A mortgage broker will thoroughly assess your needs and circumstances and help you choose the ideal mortgage for you. If that happens to be a fixed-rate, they will advise you about how long you should fix yourself in for, with every factor, including fees, considered.

Your broker will guide you through the application process, helping you with any paperwork along the way, and introduce you to the lender who’s best placed to offer you a great deal.

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Key takeaways from this guide

  • 01

    Choosing the right fixed rate is important:

    It’s essential to think about your needs and circumstances before deciding how long to lock yourself in for. There’s no point fixing yourself into a deal for five years if you’re planning to move in two, for example.
  • 02

    A broker can help you choose the right fixed rate:

    A mortgage advisor who specialises in fixed-rate deals can assess all of your requirements and match them with a mortgage that’s absolutely perfect for you. What’s more, they will introduce you to the right lender, make sure you get the best rates and guide you through the application.
  • 03

    We can match you with the right broker:

    Ideally, you’ll want a mortgage broker who specialises in helping customers just like you, and that’s exactly what our free broker-matching service will provide. We can pair you with a mortgage advisor who specialises in fixed-rate mortgages and helps customers like you every day.

Call 0808 189 2301 or make an enquiry online and we’ll set up a free, no-obligation chat between you and your ideal mortgage broker today.

FAQs

Can you make overpayments in a fixed-rate mortgage?

Yes. You can usually overpay by up to 10% of your outstanding mortgage balance each year while in the introductory rates period of a fixed-rate agreement. Once you’ve reverted to your lender’s standard variable rate (SVR), you can overpay by as much as you want, but keep in mind that SVRs usually come with higher interest rates than fixed rates.

What is the longest fixed-rate mortgage available in the UK?

The longest fixed-rate mortgage currently available in the UK comes with an initial rates period spanning 40 years. Rates on this product depend on how much deposit you put down, but it comes with no early repayment charges, allowing you to overpay or remortgage at any time.

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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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