Here’s how to compare variable mortgages and find the best and cheapest monthly interest rates that suit your needs.
Whatever your situation, you’ll want the cheapest one you can find. After all, who wants to pay more than they need to?
So, how can you save a few quid on your monthly payments? One way could be with a variable rate mortgage.
Fixed or variable rate mortgage?
Before you begin looking for the best variable rate mortgage deals you need to be happy that they’re the best choice for your finances.
Variable mortgages, unlike their fixed rate counterparts, keep an eye on your bank’s Standard Variable Rate (SVR) and thus indirectly the Bank of England’s general base rate.
Initially variable rate mortgages tend to offer a cheaper interest rate than the same fixed rate alternatives.
However, as this rate can go up or down depending on the wider economic situation, the amount of interest charged with a standard variable rate can also fluctuate.
How you can pay less with a mortgage variable rate
When making a standard variable rate comparison, you may well find that there are lenders offering better deals than the one you’re on now if you’re already a homeowner.
This means that if your introductory rate has almost, or has, ended, you could save money on your repayments by switching to get a lower rate elsewhere.
If you do remortgage and have a fair amount of equity – 40% say – then you might be able to knock a sizeable amount off your initial interest rate, meaning you’ll pay less each month.
So if your property’s value has increased since you first bought it (giving you greater equity) and you own 40% or more of its value, you can compare the most competitive loan-to-value (LTV) current variable mortgage rates.
Of course, the deal you get depends on what you can afford to pay each month. Make sure you can keep up the repayments as if you can’t, you run the risk of your home being repossessed.
This is particularly important with variable rates, as unlike fixed ones you won’t know exactly how much you’ll need to pay each time (because rates can change at short notice).
Variable rate mortgages for first time buyers
The best variable rate mortgage deals can also be considered if you are a first time buyer, as long as you can table a hefty down payment (for example, if you can put down a 30% deposit, you can compare variable mortgage rates of 70% LTV).
The larger your deposit on a house, the less money the lender has to put forward to let you buy it, meaning there’s less risk for them and they can offer better interest rates.
Avoid getting stung by extra mortgage fees
You’ve decided on the standard mortgage rate you want and you’re about to save a fair amount of cash in repayments. Seem too good to be true? Well, it could be.
These generally apply to the provider’s cheapest interest rates and as these can be as much as £2,000, they can have a pretty big impact on how much you pay.
You may need to work out whether you’ll pay more with a £1,000 fee and 2% variable interest or no upfront fee and 2.6% monthly interest over the course of a typical introductory two year rate.
Our Q&A community can help answer your questions about variable rate mortgages, or read our guide How to find the best mortgage deals.