Gone are the days when we took out a mortgage and stuck with it for life, until the debt had been completely repaid. The remortgage market is big business these days, and taking a look at the options available could considerably improve your finances. What are some of the reasons for considering switching your mortgage?
1) Get a better deal: Are you sure that your current mortgage is the best one you can get? The market is very competitive and mortgage providers are desperate to attract new business, usually by offering special deals to people who switch their mortgage over to them. As well as aiming for a lower interest rate and lower monthly repayments, remortgaging could net you other benefits such as cash back, free home insurance, or other valuable extras depending on the deal.
2) Lock in a low rate: Interest rates are at historic lows, even taking into account the recent rise. Many experts are predicting that rates will begin to rise again over the next few months and years, leading to more expensive mortgages. By replacing your variable rate mortgage with one that has a rate fixed for a few years, you can protect yourself against future rises in the interest rate.
3) Release equity: As house prices have gone through the roof over the last decade or so, many people find that they are sitting on a large amount of equity in their home - the difference between how much their house is worth and what the outstanding mortgage balance is. Taking out a remortgage that will pay off your current mortgage and also give you some extra funds is an effective way of unlocking some of this stored wealth, providing you with the funds you need for home improvements, a holiday or wedding, or any other large expense. It is often cheaper to raise the money with a remortgage than by, for example, taking out a personal loan.
4) Debt consolidation: It's well known that the public as a whole are in debt to a level never seen before, with easy access to relatively cheap credit providing the temptation to 'live now and pay later'. Nonetheless, the money has to be repaid at some time, and credit cards and the like aren't an ideal way of obtaining long term credit. Taking out a remortgage large enough to cover both your mortgage and your other debts will simplify your finances, leaving you with a single monthly repayment to make, which will usually be for a smaller amount than your total repayments at the moment.
5) Change your mortgage type: People's circumstances change over time, and what might have been an ideal mortgage a few years ago when you took it out might not be the most suitable for your current needs. Maybe you want to switch from an interest-only mortgage to a capital repayment one, or you might want to take advantage of some of the more recent features of mortgages such as flexible payments or offsetting - a remortgage can give you the chance to get a deal more in tune with your current circumstances.
Bearing all the above in mind, a remortgage might seem like an ideal way forward for restructuring your finances. It's important to remember though that the decision to remortgage is not to be taken lightly, as you could potentially be putting your home at risk if you get it wrong, and so it's essential to seek the advice of a properly qualified mortgage advisor if you are in any doubt.
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Nicholas Hunt is a contributor to 1Stop Finance UK, your source for remortgages, mortgages and homeowner loans.
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