With a repayment mortgage, each of your monthly payments consists of two elements; interest on the amount of loan outstanding plus a part repayment of the amount borrowed. The repayments are calculated to ensure that, at the end of the mortgage term, the entire loan has been repaid.
In the early days your payments will consist predominantly of interest, but as time goes by and the capital outstanding reduces, the interest element will fall as the capital element rises.
A repayment mortgage is ideal for buyers who want the certainty that their mortgage will be paid off at the end of its term.
With an interest-only mortgage, all you pay to your lender each month is the agreed interest on your outstanding loan amount. You will need a separate arrangement for building up the capital to repay the loan at the end of its term.
Lenders have different criteria, but a suitable repayment plan is likely to mean paying regularly into savings or investments and could include pensions and other properties. If you use an investment plan, it’s your responsibility to ensure that it remains on track to pay off the capital at the end of the mortgage..
As there is a risk that your chosen capital repayment plan may fall short of the amount needed to repay the mortgage loan, interest-only mortgages tend to appeal to borrowers who are happy to live with this level of uncertainty.
Variable interest rate mortgages
The most basic type of mortgage. The interest rate rises and falls in line with market conditions, most commonly when the Bank of England changes its base rate. Occasionally other economic and market factors come into play as well, so the interest rate you pay can change even without the base rate moving.
Often buyers choose a variable rate mortgage if they believe that interest rates are likely to fall, but even in these circumstances there are probably better alternatives available.
Discounted rate mortgages
The interest rate paid is at a discount to the lender’s standard variable rate, rising and falling in line with market conditions. The discount period typically lasts for 2 to 5 years, after which you will revert to the standard variable rate.
Discounted rate mortgages suit buyers who like the benefit of a reduced rate of interest, but can afford to pay a higher amount if rates go up.
These are generally standard variable rate loans where, as an inducement to choose them, a lender offers a cash sum on commencement of the mortgage. The amount of cashback is generally a small percentage of the total loan.
The cashback mortgage is most suitable for borrowers who need a lump sum to help with the cost of their home move.
Fixed rate mortgages
Particularly popular with first time buyers, fixed rate mortgages do exactly as the name suggests. The rate of interest which you pay is fixed for a set number of years, generally 2, 3 or 5, but sometimes 10 years, regardless of what happens to interest rates in the wider market.
While you benefit when interest rates are above the fixed level, the downside is that you'll be stuck on a higher rate if other mortgage rates go down. You can switch from your fixed rate mortgage, but if you do so during the fixed rate period there will be an early repayment charge to pay.
When the fixed rate period comes to an end, your mortgage will be changed to the lender’s standard variable rate and you can consider applying for another fixed rate deal.
If you need to budget carefully, a fixed rate mortgage is worth considering.
The interest rate charged on a tracker mortgage moves in line with a nominated interest rate, usually the Bank of England base rate or LIBOR rate. The actual rate that you pay will be a set percentage either above or below the rate being tracked. When the base rate goes up, your mortgage rate will go up by the same amount. When it falls, so too will the rate that you pay.
Capped rate mortgages
This is another version of the variable interest rate mortgage, with a set limit on the maximum rate of interest which the borrower pays. So you have the benefit of reduced payments when rates go down, with the security that repayments will never exceed a certain level despite how high rates rise.
An offset mortgage consists of a savings account and mortgage together.
Each month, the amount on deposit within the savings account is offset against the outstanding mortgage amount and interest is only payable on the difference between the two. You can still access your savings should you need to, but the higher the balance retained within the savings account, the greater the reduction in mortgage interest.
The product can be beneficial to buyers with a high amount of savings, particularly if they are higher rate tax-payers.
For borrowers struggling to save a sizeable deposit, the 95% mortgage can offer an appropriate solution. The downside is that, because only a small reduction in property prices poses a significant risk to the lender, they will charge a comparatively high mortgage rate.
If you only have a low deposit, you may be eligible for Government's Help to Buy Equity Loan Scheme. You can find more information here www.helptobuy.gov.uk/equity-loan
Just like most other types of mortgage, with a flexible mortgage you can choose to pay more than the required amount when you have the opportunity to do so. But unlike other home loans, if you have already paid an excess and then run into payment difficulties or simply want to take a payment “holiday”, you can reduce or miss a few payments.
There is generally a cost to pay for this added flexibility, by way of a higher interest rate than payable on other deals.