Beware the SVR mortgage trap

Tuesday, 2nd October, 2018

This definitely sounds more sinister than it really is, however the standard variable rate (SVR) mortgage trap surprisingly affects a high number of people every year.

It’s a bit like household energy deals or ISAs: you are drawn in by the competitive rates, be they cheap – and fixed – energy or a high rate of interest for the first 12 months, only to find yourself paying twice as much for home heating or receiving half as much interest as soon as that period is over.

It’s arguably more difficult to overlook increases in your monthly mortgage payments than it is the rate of interest on your ISA, generally because the stakes are higher and the increases more noticeable, however people do tend to find themselves on the SVR and subject to higher monthly payments – and there’s really no need for it to happen at all.

When it comes to finding yourself on your lender’s SVR rate, there are two scenarios:

a) You’ve sorted the mortgage and you’ve lost track of when your preferred mortgage rate ends and the SVR begins – and your lender either hasn’t reminded you, or they have, but you’ve put off sorting it for another day

b) You use a mortgage broker and they’ve failed to remind you to consider your options as you approach the end of what seemed like the best mortgage deal when you took it out 18 to 24 months ago.

As a Guildford mortgage broker the advice we have covers both points, and that’s don’t just use a mortgage broker – but a good mortgage broker.

Firstly, using a mortgage broker doesn’t mean handing over money to someone who you feel does just as good a job as you. In return for getting a mortgage broker to apply for a mortgage on your behalf, you will be working with someone who’s qualified, bound by stringent regulation and who often has access to the best mortgage deals on the market at any given time.

More importantly, in the context of the SVR trap at least, it takes the responsibility of keeping on top of your mortgage off of you and places it firmly at your mortgage broker’s door.

Secondly, good mortgage brokers should know your mortgage as well – if not better – than you. As a result, they should not only be aware of key dates, such as the date your mortgage is due to switch to the SVR, but also proactively contacting you with a list of options when it comes to doing something about it.

That’s what we do, at least, and it’s an approach that prevents the majority of Complete Mortgages’ clients from having to experience the SVR.

Don’t get caught in the SVR mortgage trap. Contact a member of the team at Complete Mortgages on 01483 238280 who can manage your mortgage on your behalf and make sure that you’re aware of all the best mortgage rates available to you in advance. Alternatively, email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk.


How will the second interest rate rise affect my mortgage?

Tuesday, 7th August, 2018
mortgage broker guildford

After much speculation the second interest rate rise has happened.

As of now, the interest rate is 0.75% following only the second rise by the Bank of England in a decade. In fact, the last time the base rate sat around this region was in 2009 – so it’s no surprise that it’s heading on an upward trajectory.

But what everyone wants to know – particularly those on either a standard variable rate mortgage or a tracker mortgage – is how the interest rate rise affects mortgage repayments.

As per our last interest rate rise article, we’re going to keep it simple and say that the increase of 0.25%:

  1. Increases a £100,000 repayment-based tracker mortgage that matches any rise in the base rate by £12 a month
  2. Increases the monthly payments on a £200,000 mortgage loan by £25

For some, a rise of 0.25% may be manageable. For others, this increase and the possibility – or, if we’re honest about it, the probability – of others further down the line may be unsettling. On this basis, many will now be viewing the fixed rate mortgage as a safer bet given the consistency and stability it represents.

The good news is that there is still a raft of competitive fixed rate mortgages on the market.

Inevitably, in the wake of this week’s news, lenders across the nation will be looking to reflect the rate rise in their products, so those considering applying for a new mortgage or remortgaging will need to move relatively quickly if they are to agree a deal before any changes are implemented.

According to the Guardian, the number of people on a variable mortgage has fallen to 35% from 70% in 2001, so there is a clear move towards the security offered via fixed rate mortgages.

As a mortgage broker in Guildford, we’ve seen countless people switch to a fixed rate mortgage since the first interest rate rise in November and we now expect to experience a sharp rise in fixed rate mortgage applications in the coming weeks. And, as a Guildford mortgage broker with access to a comprehensive selection of mortgages that includes some of the most competitive deals on the market, our advice is don’t waste time.

If you’re either about to apply for a mortgage or are thinking of switching your mortgage from variable to fixed, then contact us on 01483 238280 or email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk.

By Mark Finnegan, Director at Complete Mortgages


Time to remortgage?

Friday, 27th May, 2016
apply for a mortgage

When is a deal not a deal? In mortgage terms it’s when you’re paying more for a home loan than you need to be – and there are quite a number of people who are guilty of it.

Not because they’re thoughtless or have money to burn, but because life is busy and all too often, accepting the shift onto a standard variable rate is sometimes easier than rolling up your shirtsleeves, getting into the ‘nitty-gritty’ of your agreement and getting the wheels in motion to change your mortgage (which, for many homeowners, is perceived as a mammoth job in itself).

Here’s the thing: you could me missing out on a cheaper mortgage deal. Many of you will be reading this and thinking, ‘that’s nonsense, my standard variable rate is 2.50% – could it even get any cheaper?’ If you are that person, then the answer is, ‘yes, it can’.

Not that long ago, it seemed as though interest rates were set to rise at the end of 2015. And then they didn’t. Now, there are predictions of an interest rate rise up to 1% at the end of 2017, rising to 2% at the end of 2018. The result of which is that there is now an abundance of ‘cheap mortgages’ available, some of which include five year fixed rate mortgages that cost less than what many people are currently paying for their standard variable rate mortgage.

As a Guildford mortgage broker with a reputation for providing good service, we let our existing customers know when they’re about to default to their pre-agreed standard variable rate. They then have the option of applying for a mortgage that’s cheaper and saves the money that they would have otherwise unknowingly spent without seeing any real gain.

Of course, those people who don’t have any safeguard or ‘alert system’ in place, either because they don’t have a broker or because their broker isn’t doing what it should, will never know what they are missing.

Which, of course, is why I’m writing this piece. As we enter that time of the year whereby mortgages typically ‘reset’, it’s important that homeowners are made aware of their options.

Similar to changing utility provider, changing mortgage is often much less work than you think – particularly if you have a reputable mortgage broker doing the work for you.

Regardless of whether you decide to use Complete Mortgages for your mortgage application or not, then just be aware that the market is currently very competitive. And, as is the case with everything, nothing lasts forever. So, if you’re aware that you’re about to enter the world of SVR mortgages – or even if you weren’t aware until reading this piece – then I would urge you to a) find out what your rate is and b) shop around and see what is currently out there.

Alternatively, contact the Complete Mortgages team to find out if we can save you money.

From remortgaging and first time buyer mortgages to commercial mortgages and bridging loans, we can help. Contact 01483 238280 or email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk.

By Mark Finnegan, Director at Guildford mortgage brokerage, Complete Mortgages