Choosing your mortgage isn't as simple as finding the best rates and saying "I'll have that one."
Instead, you need to make sure the mortgage itself suits your needs before you can even look at rates. It is, after all, likely to be the biggest financial commitment you'll ever make!
This means looking at the various types of mortgage first of all:
What mortgages are available in 2014?
The three main types of mortgage are fixed rate, tracker mortgages or discount mortgages; however you may also want to consider offset or current account mortgages depending on your finances.
Each of these employs a different method for setting your interest rate at any given time, and determining the total amount you have to repay. That means you need to look at each mortgage's effect in both the long term and short term; is it affordable now, and is it worth it in the end?
In addition to the standard mortgage types, the Government's Help to Buy Scheme is already in place for first time buyers and/or those with smaller deposits, mortgages for people with bad credit are also on offer or you could opt for an interest-only mortgage deal (whereby you need to save enough of a nest egg to pay off the full balance at the end of its term).
How to compare mortgage rates
Once you've identified which type will fit your needs, you can start to think about rates. In order to get the best interest rates for mortgages 2014, you'll need to compare your finances to the products listed in those categories.
Importantly, you should take all fees and costs into account alongside interest rates to find the total cost per mortgage - too high and these can make even attractive-looking rates work against you.
- Application fees: Will the lender charge you a fee to get your mortgage set up? Even the best mortgage lenders 2014 may charge fees, YOU need to decide if they're affordable both now and in the long term.
- Your deposit: The size of your preferred deposit will have a big impact on the range of lenders available, the types of mortgage, and your access to the best rates. However, in some cases you might be best served either upping or lowering that deposit slightly, in order to qualify for the best mortgages 2014.
- UK mortgage rates 2014: the cheapest mortgage rates 2014 has to offer mean nothing if the mortgage is unaffordable. In some cases you may be able to get around this (e.g. by switching away from the best fixed rate mortgages 2014 before its subsequent rates kick in or by extending over a longer term overall), but be aware what you're getting into because it could cost you more in the long run.
Once you've checked out the best mortgage deals UK 2014, simply go for the option that will cost you least overall (after interest, fees and charges into consideration). Last but not least, check that you meet all the stated eligibility criteria to avoid your application being declined and leaving an unnecessary search on your credit file.
It's always worth getting advice from a mortgage advisor if you're not sure which mortgage deal is best for you.