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How to get the Best Standard Variable Rate (SVR) Mortgages

Everything you need to know about how you can secure the best SVR mortgages.

No impact on credit score

Pete Mugleston

Author: Pete Mugleston - Mortgage Advisor, MD

Updated: August 24, 2021

A standard variable rate (SVR) mortgage is most commonly used by lenders as a temporary ‘parking spot’ once a particular deal – fixed rate, tracker, discount rate – comes to an end.

However, they can often be used as a longer term option for anyone whose primary aim is to have complete flexibility and freedom with their mortgage payments.

This article looks at how you can secure the best standard variable rate (SVR) mortgages in the UK and why they can be an attractive alternative to fixed term deals available across the market.

What is the current standard variable rate for mortgages?

All UK mortgage lenders have their own standard variable rate (SVR), there isn’t one universal SVR across the whole market, and this rate can move up or down at any time.

A lender will use the Bank of England’s base rate as a guide when setting their SVR, however, there is no strict criteria as to how they do this and a lender is not obliged to change its current SVR mortgage rates directly in line with all base rate movements.

Whereas a tracker mortgage includes a rate that is solely influenced by the movement of UK base rates (up or down), an SVR mortgage can move higher or lower based on a wider range of factors, in addition to the base rate, such as:

  • A lender’s internal borrowing targets
  • A lender’s total lending position
  • A lender’s overall cost of borrowing

Is a standard variable rate mortgage the best option for me?

This really depends on what you’re looking for in a mortgage.

The key advantage of using an SVR mortgage is the complete flexibility they provide. Unlike a fixed-rate or tracker type deal, you are not tied into an SVR mortgage and are free to move onto another deal whenever you like. You can also overpay on your mortgage without any restrictions or penalties.

It’s often the case, however, that the average standard variable mortgage rates are higher, and therefore more expensive, than other mortgage types. Also, because the interest can vary, it can be difficult to accurately budget from month to month as the payments can change without warning.

How do I compare SVR mortgage rates and deals?

Any number of lenders and third party websites will allow you to make a comparison of a whole host of standard variable rate (SVR) mortgages available across the UK market.

This, however, can be quite an arduous task, particularly if you’re a first-time buyer who, perhaps, would prefer to have a better understanding of the track record of each lender before making a decision.

This is where we can help. The mortgage brokers we work with have a deep understanding of the entire market and will already know what UK lenders can offer for this type of mortgage.

If you get in touch we can arrange for a whole-of-market broker to contact you and help compare SVR mortgage rates so you can make a much more informed choice that is the best fit for your circumstances.

How can I find the cheapest standard variable rate mortgage?

Finding the cheapest SVR mortgage sounds quite straightforward, however, the cheapest in terms of rates isn’t necessarily the most attainable as the terms on offer by a lender may not suit everyone and some deals come with heft arrangement fees.

For example, the cheapest rate may only be available if you have a large deposit, or if you want to use a repayment method rather than interest only. It may also only be available if you have a particular level of income or on a specific type of property.

A basic fact of trying to find the best mortgage is that not everyone will qualify for every mortgage deal that is available. Again, this is where using a whole-of-market broker can prove to be a wise move.

The brokers we work with can identify the cheapest SVR mortgage (in terms of overall cost) which suits your own personal circumstances. If you make an enquiry we can put you in touch with an expert who can help you identify the right mortgage for you.

Will I always need a high deposit to qualify for the lowest standard variable rate mortgage?

Not necessarily. Whilst it’s true that most lenders who offer the lowest SVR mortgage rates may attach certain terms – minimum 15% deposit, for example – there are certainly some lenders who will consider a lower deposit of, say, 10% and a few who may go as low as 5%.

If you get in touch, the brokers we work with can discuss the deposit you have available and look at finding the lowest SVR mortgages to suit the terms you’re looking for.

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What other factors could influence my eligibility for the best SVR mortgages available in the market?

As discussed, the size of your deposit could possibly influence whether you qualify for the best SVR mortgage rates.

In addition, there could be a number of other factors which lenders will want to consider, such as:

The criteria for accepting a mortgage application will vary from lender to lender. If you have previously been declined for a mortgage for any of the factors stated above, get in touch so we can ask for an expert to discuss with you how they can help.

Speak to an SVR mortgages expert

There are lots of SVR mortgage rates available across the UK market, it can be difficult to know for sure which is best for you. If you’d like to speak with someone who can help you make an informed choice call Online Mortgage Advisor today on 0808 189 2301 or make an enquiry.

The advisors we work with have a wealth of experience in all areas of mortgage lending and deal with customers in your situation all the 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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