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Could You Beat the Standard Variable Rate?

If you’re on your lender’s SVR, we could help you find a better deal.

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Pete Mugleston

Author: Pete Mugleston - Mortgage Advisor, MD

Updated: June 30, 2022

Switching to a better mortgage rate is likely to be the single most significant cost-saving measure you can undertake as a homeowner.

After all, paying the mortgage is easily the biggest monthly expense in most households, so any downward adjustment is likely to make a huge difference to your outgoings.

In fact, the potential savings have never been more compelling, as the gap between introductory deals such as fixed rates has widened steeply in recent years, with some of the highest standard variable rates (SVRs) now standing at 5 times more than the lowest advertised fixed rates.

This means you could well be throwing away thousands every year if you stay on the SVR.

Despite this, figures shared by the FCA in 2018 showed that up to 2 million mortgage customers in the UK are on their lenders’ standard variable rate, and most will be paying over the odds.

So why not consider making the switch? In this article, we’ll compare some of the best-known lenders’ SVRs with the cheaper introductory rates, along with some general tips on finding out what you could save.

If you want to skip the reading and take action, speak to one of the whole-of-market mortgage brokers we work with to find out how much you could save by switching away from the current SVR mortgage rate you’re being charged.

The brokers we work with are experts in finding ways to save customers money on their mortgage. They’ll be happy to answer your questions and find the best available mortgage rate for you.

Am I paying too much on my standard variable rate?

If you’re on a lender’s standard variable rate, it’s most likely that you’re paying more than you need to be, even if you happen to be on the cheapest SVR mortgage. This is because current SVR mortgage rates are significantly higher than most introductory rates, and the majority of borrowers paying them will be eligible to switch to a better deal with the right help and advice.

If you’re in this category and want to switch as soon as possible but you’re put off by the hassle of changing providers or think you might be turned down, think again.

The advisors we work with will be happy to help you find and arrange a new mortgage deal with a rate that’s likely to be far lower than your lenders’ SVR, even if you’ve been rejected by lenders in the past.

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How much could you save by switching?

To get a rough idea of what your mortgage repayments would look like if you were to switch to a new product, you just need to take the amount you have left to repay, your current interest rate and your current repayment amount. Once you have these to hand you can plug the figures into a mortgage calculator, then compare your current payments with what they’d be on a typical fixed rate.

Of course, because a mortgage calculator works on very rough calculations and you won’t know for sure which rates you’ll be eligible for until you start the process of applying for a new mortgage deal.

For a more accurate and realistic figure we suggest you speak to an expert who will have a good idea. Make an enquiry and we’ll match you with a suitable advisor who can help you find the best rates to suit your circumstances.

What rate will I qualify for?

You can easily compare SVR mortgage rates online to get an idea of what’s available, but what are your chances of being offered one of the lowest rates?

For any mortgage application, this will depend on how closely you fit the lender’s criteria, including factors such as:

  • Your credit history
  • Your age
  • Employment status
  • Income (amount, and type)
  • Loan size
  • Loan to value
  • Property type

Don’t forget that even the best SVR mortgage rates are likely to be higher than any 2-3 year fixed rate you might be offered, even if you don’t qualify for a ‘headline’ rate, and the gap between lenders’ initial and expired rates is widening all the time. So don’t be put off applying by any concerns about the factors listed above.

What if I can’t switch to a better rate?

We often deal with customers who believe they may be what’s known as ‘mortgage prisoners’, as they’ve been told they are no longer eligible to apply for new products such as fixed rates or trackers.

Fortunately, there are initiatives being put in place to make it easier for these customers to break out of SVR jail and, as the issue becomes better understood, more lenders are willing to make offers to them.

If you’re stuck on a standard variable rate and have struggled to secure a cheaper rate in the past, the expert whole-of-market mortgage brokers we work with will be ideally placed to help you find a sympathetic lender, and secure you a much better rate.

Make an enquiry and we’ll refer you to an advisor who has helped customers in similar circumstances secure a better mortgage rate.

Standard variable rate mortgages: lender comparison

In this section, we list some of the best-known mortgage companies’ SVRs along with some current introductory rates for residential mortgages so you can get an idea of how much these can vary, what you could save by switching, either to a different product or a new provider altogether.

Since SVRs are variable by definition, we cannot guarantee real-time accuracy, but the figures shown are correct at the time of writing and should give a rough idea of the variability within the market.

For a more up-to-date picture of current standard variable mortgage rates, we recommend speaking to an advisor with access to the whole market.


Halifax’ mortgage standard variable rate is currently at 4.24%.

It offers fixed-rate deals to new and existing customers, and states that on average, customers save £500 a year after switching from the SVR to one of its fixed rate products.

Its lowest fixed rate is 1.76% on a 3-year mortgage offered on eligible properties with a LTV ratio of 60% or less, rising to 4.79% for a 5-year product. Its current tracker rates start at 1.37%,

However, Halifax states that it cannot offer these deals to customers with an existing Halifax Buy to Let or Halifax Retirement Home Plan mortgage.


Nationwide’s SVR is 4.24% at the time of writing.

It offers fixed rates from 1.49% and trackers from 1.44% for existing customers and 1.59% for new customers switching from another lender. It also offers 5-years fixed rates at 1.84% and 10-year fixed rates at 2.69% in the right circumstances.

It cannot offer these fixed rates if your proposed mortgage term takes you into retirement age, however, or if you’re remortgaging to clear debts of more than £10k.


Natwest’s standard variable rate is currently 4.24%

Its lowest current fixed remortgage rate is 1.53%, with 5 year fixed rates offered at 2.36%. Tracker rates are currently available from 1.43%.

Natwest does not currently offer a 10-year fixed rate.


If you currently have an Accord mortgage, your SVR will be 4.99%

Accord offers fixed rate mortgages from 1.74% on a two-year deal, with trackers at 1.77%. Accord does not accept direct applications, so you’ll need to work with a broker to access its products.

The brokers we work with can help with this, make an enquiry and we’ll match you with an advisor for a free, no obligation chat.


Barclays’ standard variable rate currently stands at 4.24%

The lowest fixed remortgage rate currently offered by Barclays is a 2-year product at 1.42%, and 1.49% for a 2-year tracker. It also offers a 10-year fix at 2.49% for LTVs of 60% or less.


The current Santander SVR is 4.99%.

Santander’s fixed-rate remortgage products start at 1.39% for a 2-year fix (1.99% for ‘large loans’ from £250k to £3 million), or 1.54% for a 2-year tracker.

Please note, it cannot accept applicants who have ever been made bankrupt or ever had a property repossessed.


Skipton’s standard variable rate currently stands at 4.99%.

Its lowest fixed rate products are a 2-year fixed mortgage at 1.66%, and a 2-year tracker at 1.49%. It also offers 7-year fixed mortgage with rates starting at 2.43% for LTVs of 60% or less.

Some of its fixed products revert to a ‘discounted’ rate for an agreed period at 1% below its SVR, currently 3.99%.

Kensington Mortgages

Kensington Mortgages’ standard variable rate is currently 5.10%.

Its lowest fixed rate mortgage is currently 2.69% for LTVs of 75% or lower. It does not currently offer any tracker mortgages.

As a specialist lender that provides mortgages to applicants with adverse credit issues, it will consider applicants in a wide range of circumstances. However it will not accept those with new CCJs within the past 36 months if borrowing up 90%.

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Get expert advice on switching to a cheaper deal

If you’re on a standard variable rate mortgage and want to switch to a better deal, the specialist advisors we work with will be happy to help you through the process, whatever your circumstances.

With access to the whole market and plenty of experience in successfully arranging mortgages for a wide range of customers, they are ideally placed to help you secure the best possible rate for you. Make an enquiry and we’ll match you with an expert shortly.

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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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