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Repayment Or Interest Only Mortgage. What Are The Differences?

Feb 5, 2008
Peoples perception of finance and loans has changed quite considerably over the last decade or so and, with so many lenders offering what would appear to be bargain deals, getting finance is something that is often entered into with little regard for the monetary consequences. Look at the amount of people who opt for interest only mortgages over repayment mortgages. But if money is borrowed it will have to be paid back at some stage. What this article aims to do is show the ways that mortgages can be arranged with the onus on repayment.

To understand this basic principle you need to first understand how mortgages can be set up. Excluding the many types of interest deals you can get on the market there are essentially two types of mortgages, capital repayment and interest only.

No matter which one you choose there will be some form of interest to be paid. With a capital repayment mortgage you pay interest on the mortgage plus a small amount of the capital borrowed so that the loan is gradually reduced every month. If you choose this form of mortgage over, say, a 20 or 25 year period, at the end of the period the loan will be paid off.

With an interest only mortgage it is only the interest on the loan that is being covered every month, the loan itself remains the same. In order to reduce the loan other methods of payment must be considered. One option is to arrange for a repayment vehicle.

One method which used to be very common but is now less in favour is an endowment policy. An endowment is effectively a life insurance policy which runs the duration of the mortgage but which also accrues cash through contributions and returns on investments. The principle behind this is that by building up this cash pot, by the end of the term of the mortgage you have amassed enough capital to pay off your debt in full.

However, with an interest only mortgage you really only need to gather enough money to pay off the initial loan so there are other ways to go than just endowment. A pension policy can also generate enough cash to give out a lump sum as well as a pension, and so could be employed as your repayment vehicle. All you need to assure is that the money you are paying into a pension policy is enough to guarantee that at the end of the term you have sufficient tax free money to pay off your debt on your home whilst also leaving enough extra to give a pension. Pension link mortgages can be a very attractive option, in particular when you consider the tax benefits attached to them.

There are several forms of repayment vehicle nowadays, such as savings plans, personal equity plans and even personal savings accounts. In truth any type of savings, including bonds and unit trusts can be used as long as they are going to be enough to pay off the whole mortgage loan. But remember that all investment plans come with some risk. You are putting your money in an unpredictable market so you can be at risk if it doesn't perform as hoped.

So in conclusion there are repayment mortgages and there are interest only mortgages but with interest only you have the added responsibility of ensuring you have a suitable repayment vehicle. It is always recommended that anyone getting a mortgage should seek professional mortgage advice whether it is for repayment or interest only mortgages but that advice is far more necessary if you are considering interest only with a repayment vehicle because the risks associated with getting this choice wrong can cost many thousands of pounds.
About the Author
Mortgage Route offers information help and advice on mortgages from qualified mortgage brokers coupled with no obligation mortgage calculators and sourcing tools.
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