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Homeowners Advised Against 'Missing Out'

Aug 18, 2007
Those yet to change to an offset mortgage could be "missing out", it has been suggested.

According to figures by Yorkshire Bank, some four million homeowners could collectively save up to 29 billion pounds in interest and income tax by switching their mortgage, savings and currents accounts to an offset product. With an average potential saving of more than 11,000, pounds making the switch could see households save some 11,000 pounds - a figure which could help many consumers pay off their secured homeowner loans.

Gary Lumby, head of retail for Yorkshire Bank, said: "The average homeowner who has their savings, current account and mortgage with the same bank but has not yet considered an offset mortgage could be missing out on a great opportunity." He added that following recent interest rate rises by the Bank of England, those with offset mortgages are beginning to see "positive balances" in current and savings accounts "working even harder to offset mortgage interest". "With built-in payment flexibility there is also an option to overpay or underpay," he added.

Research by Yorkshire Bank revealed that offsetting mortgage debt could give consumers room for "greater tax efficiency by effectively earning the mortgage interest rate". If homeowners made this switch, then the financial provider estimated that some 151 million pounds in tax alone could be saved over the coming year.

Figures from the financial services firm also revealed that the average British homeowner has some 15.5 years left on a mortgage deal with an outstanding balance of 84,000 pounds. An offset mortgage causes any money left in a homeowner's linked current and savings account help to offset the outstanding mortgage balance, meaning they pay less interest. Meanwhile, those with an offset mortgage who are in credit with their lender will find the amount of interest payable on their home loan is reduced by the same amount.

It has also been suggested that those who give up smoking could reduce the length of their mortgage payments. Figures released by Charcol indicated that those who stop a 20-a-day habit could save up to 2,016 pounds a year - a figure which may well help towards meeting secured loan cost.

The study also revealed that homeowners who are on a 25-year repayment mortgage could save over 29,000 pounds in interest and consequently pay off their home loans eight years in advance. Drew Wotherspoon, marketing and communications director for the financial services firm, said: "When smokers look at what quitting can do to their finances it may provide that added incentive to finally stub out the habit." He suggested that quitters may also find attempts at debt management eased as life and home insurance costs could fall.

Meanwhile, those buying a property for the first time have been advised to ensure that they are conscious of the various fees applicable. According to Julia Harris, Moneyfacts analyst, consumers should factor valuation costs into their planned spending of homeowner loans costs. She added that as such fees often "running into hundreds of pounds" in addition to four digit arrangement costs and "crippling" stamp duty, borrowers need to be savvy when managing their finances.
About the Author
Abbi Rouse writes for Loan-Arrangers .co.uk where visitors can compare loans online. Then apply for the best rate secured loans and bad credit loans available.
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