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Different Types Of Interest On A Mortgage

Apr 11, 2008
One of the most confusing parts of getting a mortgage and buying your own home can be the interest rates. From the myriad of choices available to how the interest is actually worked our, it can quickly become confusing if you're not sure what it all means. However, understanding what each type of interest means can help you make the right decision when it comes to choosing the mortgage you want to go with.

Variable Rate

This is one of the most common mortgages and probably the one that people relate to the most. It simply means that your monthly payments will be dictated by whatever the current interest rates are - so, if the housing market is good, you'll probably see your monthly payments rise, whereas if the market's in a slump, your interest rates and payments will be lower.

Tracker Rate

Similar to a variable mortgage but with one big difference - the interest rate is tied directly to the Bank of England, so whatever decisions are made there, you'll find your interest rate is slightly above or slightly below, dependent on current rates.

Fixed Rate

The other most popular type of mortgage, since this keeps your interest rate fixed for a set period of time (usually between 2-5 years). This ensures that you know exactly what you're paying month in and month out. Of course, the downside to this type of mortgage is that if bank rates fall, you won't benefit from the lower mortgage payments that people on variable rates will enjoy. You're also usually penalised if you decide to switch lenders throughout your mortgage term, often as much as 3-4 months worth of interest.

Capped Mortgage

Often seen as a mix of variable and fixed rate, a capped mortgage means that your interest rate will only go so high for a set amount of time. So, if your cap is 10% and the housing market crashes through to 10% or more, you won't pay the extra rates. However, there's the added bonus that if the interest rates fall, you'll make the savings that a variable rate mortgage would give you.

Discount Mortgage

Just as it suggests, this will offer you a discount on your variable interest rate for the first couple of years on your mortgage. However, although it helps reduce your early monthly payments, you still pay the same overall amount that you would if you take out a standard mortgage.

Cashback Mortgage

Excellent for the first time buyer especially, this offers you a cash rebate at the start of the mortgage, calculated as a percentage of your overall mortgage. You receive this cash instantly, and simply pay it back at the end of the mortgage. This is an ideal solution for anyone just starting out on the property ladder, or for anyone on a limited budget.

There are other types of mortgage as well as these ones, including current account mortgages and offset mortgages, which a specialist advisor would be able to discuss with you. Just knowing what's available and whether it's suitable for you or not can make a big difference in the long run.
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