Flexible mortgages come in different forms but the key similarity that links them all together is that they have features that allow you to pay off your mortgage with fluctuating monthly payments.
For example, one month you may have unexpected expenses so only be able to pay off a small amount whereas the next month you may receive a bonus and want to pay off a bit more.
Usually both of these would incur substantial fees, but with most flexible mortgage deals you have a lot more control over what you pay each month - meaning you can pay it off at a quicker or slower rate than most people.
Some flexible mortgage providers will also give you the option of taking short "payment holidays" where you will not have to make any payments or even borrow back money if you have repaid some of your capital borrowed.
The best flexible mortgage deals will allow you to benefit from all of the above advantages but even those will have restrictions. For example you may need to pay a minimum amount each month, specifically request a payment reduction or holiday, or only be allowed to pay a maximum amount off per year or month without incurring a charge.
These amounts will vary depending on the provider you use so compare flexible mortgages from as many providers as possible before narrowing it down to the best flexible mortgage for you and your circumstances.
When you have narrowed it down to these final few choices, you will find it much easier to then check the application criteria and terms and conditions before making your final decision.
It is important that you fully understand the terms of any flexible mortgage quotes you are offered because different providers use this term to refer to different types of mortgages.
Some banks will call fixed rate mortgages that allow overpayments and payment holidays flexible mortgages, whereas others refer to offset mortgages or flex rate mortgage deals that track a base rate 'flexible'.
Flexible mortgages, particularly if you are able to secure a cheap flexi mortgage deal, can be a good option for people with a fluctuating wage as the self-employed, or those with fluctuating monthly expenditure.
However, while overpaying on your mortgage can help to reduce the amount of interest you need to pay, and therefore the overall cost of your home, drawing on your mortgage or taking payment holidays will mean you end up paying more in the long run. For this reason you need to be disciplined when it comes to managing your money if you decide to apply for a a flexible mortgage deal.