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When looking for a mortgage in today’s market you are swapped with information, products and deals. This can make the whole process very daunting and confusing. For this reason it is good to be prepared with a set of questions to ask your mortgage broker, so that you do not get ripped off and you know where you stand.
1. What are different types of mortgages and in what way do they work?
There are a mass of different types of mortgage products on the market, so make sure that your broker explains the differences between the different types of mortgages and how they can benefit you. For example may lender these days offer fixed rates, discounts and cashback over a number of terms. Also make sure that you get an outline of the varying ways of paying the capital off. This at first might seem to be a complicated area, but once you have the basics explained everything will become a lot clearer and you will start to see how different products will suit your personal circumstances better than others.
2. What is the Annual Percentage Rate (APR)?
In accordance to regulations the APR is meant to appear in all adverts alongside the headline mortgage rate. The APR is used to provide customers with the true cost of loans and empower them to be able to compare different deals. Do remember that APR is unreliable and is no substitute for personal prepared quote that outlines all upfront and ongoing costs.
3. What is the interest rate that I will be charged?
In the cases of fixed, capped or discount rate then your broker should tell you what the initial rate you will paying and how long you will be on that rate for.
4. So what happens at the end of the fixed or discount rate period?
It is important to know what will happen when your fixed or discount rate period ends. Will you be switched on to the standard variable rate or will the lender offer you another discounted or fixed rate deal. Also remember remortgaging is a good option. But if you have credit problems during the term of your mortgage you will have to go for a bad credit remortgage.
5. Standard Variable Rate – What is that?
Because house prices are at a record high many people (probably including yourself) are now thinking of their mortgages in the long term as well as the upfront rate. For this reason it is worth knowing what current customers are paying. It is highly unlikely that when you come to the end of your fixed or discount rate period you will be on the same SVR as current customers. But you can use the information to see how the lender compares against others in the market.
6. What are the Early Redemption Charges or Early Repayment Charges attached to the product?
Most mortgage deals will involve some kind of repayment charge. So you will have to a fee to the lender if you repay your mortgage early or switch to another lender within a set time period. Make sure you find out precisely what you will have to pay and what would happen if you moved home during the mortgages term.
7. What will my monthly payments be at the quoted interest rate?
Your broker should tell you exactly what your monthly payments are going to be. They should also tell you what you would be paying at the SVR as to give you an indication of what you will be paying after your products term comes to an end. Get the broker to work out the payments on interest rates of up to 11% as well. This way if the interest rates rise substantially you will be able to see if you can afford the mortgage.
8. Are there any other conditions attached to the mortgage?
Different lenders will have different deals, incentives and clauses. Lenders will offer better discounts, fixed rates or cashbacks if you are prepared to take the lenders building and contents insurance. This is something that will be worth considering. Just make sure that you are informed about the terms and what would happen if you moved your insurance cover.
9. Are there any Higher Lending Charges?
With some lenders there may be a Higher Lending Charge (HLC) if you are borrowing more than a certain amount of the value of the property. Make sure you know what the charges are and how much the fees are. Some lenders will add HLC charge to the loan others will charge it upfront.
10. What are the arrangement or broker fees?
Your broker should tell you about every payment you will have to make to arrange your mortgage. This will give you an idea of the whole cost of the deal rather than just an upfront rate. This will also allow you to shop around and find the best deal.
So next time you are looking for a mortgage make sure you have these ten questions to hand.