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What is a fixed-rate mortgage?

A fixed-rate mortgage has an interest rate that remains unchanged – or is fixed – for a set period of time. How long it's fixed for depends on the type of deal you choose. For example, you could have a:

Because the interest rate on a fixed-rate mortgage stays the same, your monthly repayments don’t change during the fixed term period.

In comparison, if you have a variable-rate mortgage, the interest rate can change at any point – usually in line with movements in the Bank of England's base rate. Such fluctuations can make it harder to budget, as you don't know how much your mortgage repayments will be from month to month.

How to compare fixed-rate mortgage deals

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Who is Mojo?

Mojo is a free online mortgage broker. We partner with them so you can get all the mortgage support you need in one place.

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.

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How do fixed-rate mortgages work?

A fixed-rate mortgage allows you to purchase your home or remortgage at a fixed rate of interest for a set term. Your monthly repayments will stay the same during that period, no matter what happens to the base rate or your lender’s standard variable rate (SVR).

The main benefit of having a fixed interest mortgage is that your repayments will remain the same if rates go up, saving you money, whereas other mortgages would become more expensive.

Benefits of a fixed-rate mortgage

Fixed-rate mortgages come with lots of benefits. These include:

  • You can budget more easily with a fixed-rate mortgage because your repayments will be the same every month for as long as the fixed-term lasts.

  • You don't need to worry about price increases as you're protected from rising interest rates. The longer you fix for, the longer you're shielded for.

  • With a fixed-rate mortgage, you're also protected from rises in your lender's SVR.

Downsides of a fixed-rate mortgage

A fixed-term mortgage also has its downsides. These include:

  • They can be more expensive than other mortgages, which means that even though your repayments will be the same each month, they could be higher than with a variable-rate mortgage.

  • You're not protected against interest rates going down. If interest rates went down with a variable-rate mortgage, you'd see the benefit with lower monthly repayments. With a fixed-rate mortgage, your repayments would stay the same regardless of what interest rates are doing.

  • Early repayment charges can be expensive on a fixed-rate mortgage, making it difficult to get out of your deal before the end of the term. This means fixed-rate deals are best suited to those who don’t plan to move home during their mortgage term.

How to get the best fixed-rate mortgage deal for you

Once you've found a fixed-rate mortgage you like the look of, you can use our fixed-rate mortgage calculator to work out how much you'd pay each month, which will help you to work out which are the best fixed-rate mortgages for you. 

Consider which mortgage term best suits your situation when comparing products. With a shorter term, you could switch mortgages sooner, which may be helpful. But, with a longer term, you get the security of knowing what your repayments are for a more extended period.

It's also important to look at the repayments and fees involved, to try to find the cheapest fixed-rate mortgage available.

It might be worth speaking to a mortgage adviser who can help find you the most suitable fixed-rate mortgage deal for your circumstances.

Learn more about finding the best mortgage rates for you.

Advantages of a shorter fixed-term mortgage 

There are several benefits to a shorter fixed-rate mortgage, such as a 1 or 2 year fixed-rate mortgage. These include:

  • Cost they're usually cheaper as they're less risky for the lender

  • Flexibility – they're good if you plan to move house within a few years. You can move when the term ends, rather than pay an early repayment fee to get out of your contract early

  • Reactivity – if interest rates go down, you'll be able to switch at the end of the term and choose from the best and cheapest fixed-rate mortgage deals

  • Early repayment – if you decide to pay off your mortgage early, the penalties don't tend to be as high with shorter term fixed mortgage rates.

Advantages of a longer fixed-term mortgage

The benefits of a longer-term fixed mortgage, such as a 5 or 10 year fix, include:

  • Security – you're locked in for longer, so you're protected against paying higher monthly repayments if interest rates go up. Your monthly repayments won't increase for the length of your term.

  • Less switching – you won't have to find a new mortgage for a long time, which means you avoid paying upfront fees on new deals every couple of years. You'll also save time you’d otherwise spend looking for new deals.

  • Cost – longer-term mortgages can work out cheaper over time. You're avoiding risk and paying less in the way of fees. So, if you know you won't be moving, they can be a better option.

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What deposit do I need to get the best fixed-rate mortgage deal for me?

As with all mortgages, the larger your deposit, generally the better the deal you'll get.

That's because the more money you're putting into the house, the less of a risk it is for the lender, so they are more likely to offer you a cheaper mortgage.

Claire Flynnquotation mark
Locking in a fixed-rate mortgage can help keep your mortgage payments consistent over the next few years. Do your research to find the right deal for you.
Claire Flynn, Senior Mortgages Editor

Fixed rate mortgage FAQs

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