If you are planning to buy a property in the UK, you will need to choose a type of mortgage that suits your needs and circumstances. A mortgage is a loan that you use to buy a property and pay back over a period of time, usually 25 years or more. The amount you borrow, the interest rate, the repayment method and the term of the loan can vary depending on the type of mortgage you choose.
There are two main types of mortgages in the UK, and they are: Repayment mortgages and Interest-only mortgages.
Repayment mortgages: With a repayment mortgage, you pay back both the capital (the amount you borrowed) and the interest each month. This means that by the end of the term, you will have paid off the whole loan and own the property outright.
Interest-only mortgages: With an interest-only mortgage, you only pay the interest each month, and you will need to repay the capital at the end of the term. This means that you will need to have a plan to save or invest enough money to pay off the loan, or you may have to sell the property to cover what you owe.
Within these two main types, there are different ways that the interest rate can be calculated and applied to your loan. Some of the most common types of mortgages in the UK are:
Fixed-rate mortgages: The interest rate is fixed for a certain period of time, usually 2, 3 or 5 years. This means that your monthly payments will stay the same during this period, regardless of what happens to the market rates. This can give you certainty and stability, but you may miss out on lower rates if they fall during your fixed period. You may also have to pay a penalty if you want to switch or repay your mortgage early.
Tracker mortgages: The interest rate is linked to an external rate, usually the Bank of England's base rate, and changes along with it. This means that your monthly payments will go up or down depending on how the base rate moves. This can give you lower rates if they fall, but also higher rates if they rise. You may also have more flexibility to switch or repay your mortgage without a penalty.
Discount mortgages: The interest rate is discounted from the lender's standard variable rate (SVR) for a certain period of time, usually 2 or 3 years. This means that your monthly payments will be lower than the SVR during this period, but they will still change if the SVR changes. This can give you a cheaper rate initially, but also more uncertainty and variability. You may also have to pay a penalty if you want to switch or repay your mortgage early.
Offset mortgages: The interest rate is calculated based on the difference between your mortgage balance and your savings balance. This means that you can reduce the amount of interest you pay by keeping some money in a linked savings account. This can give you more flexibility and efficiency, as you can use your savings to pay off your mortgage faster or access them when you need them. However, you may get a higher interest rate than other types of
mortgages, and you may lose some benefits from your savings account.
These are some of the different types of mortgages available in the UK, but there are also other options that may suit your specific situation, such as buy-to-let mortgages, guarantor mortgages, help to buy mortgages and joint mortgages.
To sum up, choosing a type of mortgage is an important decision that will affect your finances and your property ownership for many years. You should consider factors such as how much you can afford to borrow and repay, how long you want to stay in the property, how much risk and flexibility you want, and what your future plans are. You should also compare different products and lenders before choosing a mortgage. By doing some research, planning ahead, and seeking professional advice, you can find a type of mortgage that works for you.