Find out how to choose a mortgage whether you are buying your first home, moving house or remortgaging to get a better deal on your property.
Think carefully before securing other debts against your home. Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage or any other debt secured on it.
There are numerous types of mortgages available, so it’s important to choose carefully. Finding the mortgage types that best suit your financial circumstances should mean you:
Choose a mortgage that you are eligible to apply for
Have more chance of being accepted
Save money with smaller repayments
Save money with a lower overall cost
Are confident you can afford the repayments
You can talk to a financial adviser or broker for advice on types of mortgage loans. They should be able to recommend a mortgage that suits your financial circumstances.
Use our mortgage form to find a broker who can help you choose a mortgage.
A deposit is the cash sum you pay towards buying a property. This can come from your savings or from the equity you own in your current home.
If you have £20,000 saved and want to buy a £100,000 property, your deposit would be worth 20% of the purchase price.
Your mortgage (home loan) pays for the rest, and the percentage it covers is called the loan to value (LTV).
In this example the LTV would be 80% (the other 20% is your deposit).
Mortgages with a lower LTV are usually much cheaper because lenders will consider you less of a risk as you have a large deposit. As a result, they can offer lower fees and interest rates.
If you need a mortgage with a high LTV (such as 95%) this means you have a much smaller deposit (just 5%) and so are considered riskier to lend to.
As a result, the mortgage types you will be offered are likely to have higher interest rates.
Use our comparisons to only look at mortgages that you can get with the deposit you have. You can filter the results by the LTV required, so if you have a 20% deposit, only look at mortgages that offer an LTV of 80% or higher.
Compare mortgages by their LTV to match the deposit you have
The only mortgages you can get without a deposit are guarantor mortgages, which require someone else to agree to cover your repayments if you miss them.
However, there are different types of mortgages designed for low deposits and a range of schemes that help you get on the property ladder or save a deposit.
You can choose the term of your mortgage when you apply. This is how many years you will pay it off over. Mortgages are usually taken out over 25 years, but some lenders offer up to 40 years.
Choosing a longer term means your repayments will be smaller each month, but the loan will take longer to be paid off.
A shorter term means larger monthly payments. However, you will pay the loan off more quickly and pay less interest (and so less in total) as a result.
There are many different mortgage types available.
Mortgage interest rates can change, which means the amount you repay could go up if your interest rate rises.
However, you can get mortgages that fix their interest rates for up to 10 years. This means you can be sure you will pay the same amount each month until the fixed rate deal ends.
You can also get mortgages with other types of interest rate:
Standard variable rates (SVR) can change at any time
Tracker rates usually follow the Bank of England base rate, so will rise or fall with interest rates
Discount rates are a set amount below the lender's SVR
You can pay off your mortgage in two ways:
Repayment mortgages put the amount you pay each month towards both the interest and reducing the balance of your mortgage until it is paid off.
Interest only mortgages put your repayments towards the interest but the amount you owe will not go down. You will need to save up separately to pay off the balance.
If you already own a home but want a better mortgage, you can switch to a new deal.
You could pay less by getting a better interest rate as long as the fees do not cancel out what you could save. Here is how to work out if you can save money with a remortgage.
If you want to move house you can either transfer your existing mortgage to your new property or get a new mortgage for your new home.
Not every mortgage is available to first time buyers, and many are only available if you have a large amount saved for a deposit.
However, there are many mortgages designed for first time buyers and schemes to help you get on the property ladder like:
The Right to Buy scheme lets you purchase your council house with a discount
Guarantor mortgages require another person to be named on the mortgage to cover your repayments if you miss them
Shared ownership mortgages let you buy a percentage of a property, which means your repayments and deposit could be much lower
Here is everything you need to know about buying your first home and the types of mortgages you can get.
Your credit history can put lenders off giving you a mortgage if you have:
Missed repayments on a mortgage, credit card, loan or other form of credit
Been through bankruptcy or had a county court judgment against you
Already borrowed more than you can afford to repay
However, you may still be able to get a bad credit mortgage, although they are usually more expensive and require a larger deposit.
You may be able to borrow more if you get a joint mortgage, and you can split the monthly repayments between you.
Most joint mortgages are taken out by couples, but you could get one with friends or family too. Some lenders offer them for up to four borrowers.
If you need a new mortgage to move house or want to remortgage to a better deal, some lenders may not accept you if you will be retired before the mortgage is paid off in full.
However, you could still get a mortgage with a shorter term or from a lender with a higher maximum age.
You could use an equity release mortgage to borrow money from the share of your home you have paid off already. They can be expensive but could help you pay off the rest of your mortgage or make a large purchase.
Some mortgages offer a cash lump sum that you get once the mortgage has been taken out.
Although this bonus can be useful, it could be cheaper overall to get a mortgage without cashback but a lower interest rate.
Some lenders offer offset mortgages that are combined with either:
A savings account
A current account
The amount you have saved reduces the amount of your mortgage you have to pay interest on.
For example, if you had a mortgage of £150,000 and £50,000 in the linked savings account, you would only pay interest on £100,000 of your mortgage.
The amount this saves you could be more than the interest you would earn if you put the £50,000 in a savings account.
If you want to build your own house, you could get a self build mortgage to pay for land, materials and other costs.
If you are self employed, you may not have a guaranteed salary and it can be difficult to prove how much you earn. This means not all lenders will be willing to offer you a mortgage.
However, some lenders may accept you if you can prove you earn enough to afford the mortgage.