Some lenders are distributing letters to those coming to the end of their product term offering them new rates, but indicating a deadline in which to switch. We had one customer recently who was four months out from their current rate changing from a fixed rate to the lenders Standard Variable Rate. They were offered some great new rates to stay with the lender, but had an effective deadline of just two weeks in which to accept, even though their product wasn’t changing for four months! This is not acceptable, no one should be pressured to accept a deal and we have passed this example on to the industry trade body to review and take on. However, some customers might accept this and go with the deal. This might be understandable but what if rates were to decrease in the next three months? There would be every good reason to be annoyed! Always read the small print, do not panic and seek expert advice.
With this in mind, do you look at your financial budgets frequently? A report from a well-known credit referencing agency has suggested that over 78% of mortgage people surveyed are not currently budgeting for a rate rise. We all know rates will rise at some point, probably a while after Brexit, but nobody knows when exactly this will happen! Many of those questioned did not know how much a rate rise would cost them on a monthly basis, despite many respondents believing rates would rise over the next twelve months! A 1% rise on a £100,000 mortgage can increase the monthly payment by as much as £83. As we go in to some months of uncertainty, and especially with regards to the cost of funding within the mortgage market, do make sure you are ready for all eventualities.
Whether you require the security of fixing your payments for an amount of time, or whether you are a bit of a risk taker and might look at a short to a medium term tracker, right now, there are some potentially great products in the market.
However, always shop around. The initial rate may look good, but there might be hidden fees, large lender fees and early exit fees too! There may be better options available to you elsewhere.