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If you’re buying a home and have never owned a property anywhere in the world before, you’re classed as a first-time buyer. Saving up enough of a deposit for your first home can be daunting, but lenders often have 95% LTV and 90% LTV deals available. You may even be able to borrow up to 100% with a guarantor mortgage, where someone, usually a family member, agrees to pay the mortgage if you can’t. There are also government Help to Buy mortgages that can help you onto the property ladder.
If you’re at the end of your initial mortgage deal, which could be a fixed- or tracker-rate loan, you should consider remortgaging to a new deal to avoid paying your lender’s higher standard variable rate (SVR). If you need money for something specific, like a home renovation project, you can also borrow against your property by remortgaging to increase the size of your mortgage.
This is also known as a home-mover mortgage. It’s used if you can’t take your existing mortgage with you when you move to a new home and therefore need to take out a new mortgage. Make sure you take any charges for leaving your existing mortgage early into account when calculating your moving costs. Most mortgages have early repayment charges if you switch to a new deal before the initial deal ends.
A buy-to-let mortgage is required if you are looking to buy a property to rent out as an investment. Buy-to-let mortgages are usually interest-only, which means you only repay the interest each month and reimburse the amount borrowed (the capital) at the end of the term. You will typically need a deposit of at least 20% to be approved and the amount you can borrow depends on the rental income you will get for the property each month. Typically, it will have to cover your monthly interest payment by at least 125%, although the exact figures depend on the lender.
There are many factors lenders look at when working out how much you can borrow. These include your salary, your spending, any regular outgoings and your credit history. Use our affordability calculator to see how much lenders might be willing to lend you.
This tool can show you how much equity, or value, you have in your home. Enter your home's current value, your outstanding mortgage and any other debts secured against your home to find out how much equity you have built up in your property over the years.
A fixed-rate mortgage has an interest rate that is set for a specific period of time. This means your mortgage repayments won’t change for the duration of your fixed-rate. This can bring peace of mind when it comes to budgeting as you’ll always know what your mortgage payments will be. However, if the Bank of England base rate drops during your fixed-rate period, you won’t benefit from lower interest rates. You can typically get a 2-year fix, 5-year fix or 10-year fix.
A variable-rate mortgage has an interest rate that can go up or down. These include discounted mortgages, which give you a discount on the lender’s standard variable rate for a set period, or tracker mortgages, which usually track the Bank of England base rate. This means your repayments could change throughout the course of your mortgage. A variable-rate mortgage might be cheaper than a fixed-rate one initially but could end up being more expensive overall.
As the name suggests, a tracker mortgage tracks the Bank of England base rate by a set amount. For example, you might get a tracker mortgage that is set to track at two percentage points above the base rate. This means when the base rate fell to historic lows of 0.1%, your mortgage rate would have dropped to 2.1%. When the base rate rises, your interest rate rises with it at two percentage points above. So, if the base rate is 1%, you pay interest at 3%.
If you have a fixed, discounted or tracker mortgage that is coming to the end of its initial period, you will move onto your lender’s standard variable rate. This will usually be more expensive, as the rate you pay will be determined by your lender. Although the rate can be influenced by changes in the Bank of England base rate, it doesn’t have to follow it exactly. If you don’t want your repayments to increase after your initial deal ends, you should consider remortgaging to a new deal. You can do this either by switching to a different lender or moving onto a new deal with your existing one.
That depends. Lenders calculate how much they think you can afford to borrow based on your salary and other income along with your outgoings, which they verify by checking your bank statements.
If you have a good credit score and a relatively large deposit, lenders will offer a more competitive interest rate, which means you can borrow more for the same monthly repayments.
If you’re currently renting your home, you may find that mortgage repayments for buying an equivalent home cost less. However, bear in mind that as a homeowner you are responsible for additional payments, such as buildings insurance, maintenance costs, repairs and replacing appliances that are beyond repair.
The minimum deposit for a standard mortgage is 5% of the property price, but whether you can actually borrow the other 95% will depend on your circumstances. The bigger your deposit, the cheaper your mortgage deal is likely to be.
Mortgages are advertised with maximum loan-to-value (LTV) percentages. Lenders offer their most favourable rates once the sum you need to borrow drops to 60% of the property's value (when you have a deposit or equity worth 40%).
There are schemes to help first-time buyers raise a deposit or part-buy their homes, which means a smaller deposit is required. But for the best start, save as much as you can so you can buy with the biggest deposit possible.
Use our whole of market mortgage comparison tables to find deals from the entire market and compare across all the available rates.
You’ll unlock better deals at lower loan to value bands. If you have a deposit that covers 12% of a property, try saving a bit more to reach 15%.
High consumer debt will limit the number of mortgage deals available to you. Keeping debts low will also improve your credit score.
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Mojo will find out about your circumstances, check your eligibility, and search across the whole of market to help you secure the best mortgage for your circumstances.
An expert will be on hand to offer help and advice and you will be supported through each step of your mortgage application.
The mortgage guarantee scheme aims to increase the supply of 95% loan-to-value (LTV) mortgages for creditworthy households by reducing the lenders’ risk.
The guarantee compensates mortgage lenders who provide 5%-deposit mortgages for a portion of any net losses they suffer if you fail to pay your mortgage and your home is repossessed. The idea is that mortgage providers are more likely to lend to those with smaller deposits thanks to the guarantee.
Under the rules of the scheme, the government guarantees the portion of the mortgage over 80% – effectively 15% of the loan if you have a 95% mortgage - but the lender has to pay 5% of this amount if it’s lost. As a result, the lender retains just a 5% risk in the portion of losses covered by the guarantee. The scheme is available for new 95% mortgages on homes costing up to £600,000 until 31 December 2022.
Shared ownership means buying between 10% and 75% of a home from a housing association or other organisation and paying rent on the rest. When you part-buy, part-rent, you only take out a mortgage for your share, so you only need a 5% to 10% deposit on the part you’re buying.
You can buy a larger share later at a price based on the property's value at that time in a process known as “staircasing”.
To be eligible in England your household income can not be over £80,000 (£90,000 in London). You must also be unable to afford to pay all of the deposit and mortgage repayments needed to buy a home that suits you. To apply, you need to register with the Help to Buy agent for the area where you want to live.
If you’re a first-time buyer over the age of 18, the government’s Help to Buy equity loan scheme in England and Wales may be of interest. The scheme allows eligible buyers to take out a loan for the equity needed to buy a new-build home. However, there are some limitations: the house being sold must have been constructed by a Help-to-Buy-registered homebuilder. You must also be able to afford the fees and interest payments. You can apply for the loan on your own or with other people, but all the applicants must meet the eligibility criteria.
The property must not exceed the maximum purchase price for the scheme. This is between £186,100 in the North East and £600,000 in London
You must be able to pay a deposit worth at least 5% of the amount needed to buy that share and arrange a repayment mortgage for at least 25% of the property purchase price. You can then take out an equity loan to cover 5% to 20% of the purchase price (5% to 40% in London)
You do not have to pay interest on the equity loan for the first five years. In the sixth year, you’ll be charged interest at 1.75%
This is a new scheme in England that allows first-time buyers and key workers to buy a home for 30% to 50% less than its market value. The scheme is being offered on a limited number of plots on most new developments.
To be eligible, you need to be a first-time buyer and have an annual household income of £80,000 or less (£90,000 in London). Lower limits may be set by different local authorities.
You will also have to take out a mortgage for at least 50% of the purchase price and pay a 5% deposit as a minimum.
Yes, but you might have to pay a higher interest rate and mortgage fees and supply a bigger deposit than someone who hasn’t had credit problems. Your choice of lenders may also be limited.
Credit problems that affect your credit score include missing credit card payments, defaulting on loans, having County Court Judgements (CCJs) against you and being declared bankrupt. Lenders may be more wary about lending to you as they see you as a higher-risk borrower than someone with a good track record of repaying credit.
Depending on the level of credit problems you’ve had, you may still be able to get a mortgage from a mainstream lender. If you have a very poor credit record you may need to apply to a specialist lender.
A mortgage broker can look at the whole market to find the best bad credit mortgage for you.
Stamp Duty is a tax on property transactions that you might have to pay when you buy a home. As it can amount to thousands of pounds it’s important to check whether you have to pay it and how much it will be.
In England and Northern Ireland, you don’t have to pay anything if the home you’re buying costs £125,000 or less. Above this, it’s charged as a percentage of the purchase price with different percentages applied to different portions.
If you’re a first-time buyer, you don’t have to pay anything on the first £300,000.
You’ll pay an extra 3% if you have already owned one residential property.
You may be tempted to go directly to your bank to secure your mortgage, but not shopping around could cost you thousands in the long run. To ensure you get the best mortgage rates, you should compare mortgages across the whole market.”Nisha Vaidya, Mortgage Editor
The best mortgage rate will depend on your personal circumstances and the state of the economy. Sometimes the deals with the lowest interest rates are the cheapest but make sure you factor in additional product fees before choosing one as they can make your mortgage more expensive overall.
Mortgage rates tend to follow the Bank of England base rate – the higher the base rate is, the higher mortgage rates tend to be. You can fix your rate if you think rates are going to go up or you want the peace of mind of knowing how much your mortgage payments will be throughout the initial deal.
The amount that you can borrow for a mortgage is based on a number of factors, including your salary, your monthly outgoings, your credit score, and any existing debt or loan agreements you may have in place. You can use our calculator to get an idea of how much banks and other mortgage companies may be willing to lend you.
Lenders usually expect you to provide at least 5-10% of the property price as a deposit. Some mortgages are available without a deposit, but you usually need a guarantor. For first-time buyers, there are some buying schemes you can use to help you get on the property ladder with a 5% deposit.
On top of your deposit and mortgage, there are many fees and costs associated with buying a home, including solicitor fees, arrangement fees, property surveys and Stamp Duty. You can work out the total amount by adding up all of the costs of buying a home, listed in our guide.
With a repayment mortgage, each monthly payment pays off some of the capital (the loan itself) and some of the interest applied to the loan.
You take out a mortgage of £170,000 with a two-year fixed-interest rate of 2.2% and a standard variable rate of 3.89% for the remaining 23 years.
You’ll pay off some of your mortgage plus the 2.2% interest in the first two years, amounting to 24 monthly payments of £727.13.
If you don’t remortgage, for the remaining 23 years you’ll pay off the remainder of your loan plus the 3.89% interest. This amounts to 276 instalments of £876.59.
In total, at the end of your mortgage, you will have paid £259,388.82.
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Last updated: 18 May 2022