Understanding the key mortgage terms
There are a number of types of mortgage available. The following list, although not exhaustive, covers the most common types.
Fixed Rate Mortgages: An interest rate that is fixed (i.e. it doesn’t move up or down) for a set period of time.
Variable Rate Mortgages: The interest rate on your mortgage may increase or decrease over a set period of time. There are several types of variable rate mortgages including:
Tracker: A variable mortgage that is either above or below the Bank of England’s Base Rate by a set percentage within a set period.
Discounted: A variable mortgage that is discounted from a Lender’s Standard variable rate (SVR) by a set percentage within a set period.
Capped: A mortgage that is guaranteed not to rise above a specific rate (the ‘cap’) within a set period. Unless this is combined with another rate, such as a Discount or Tracker, the Lender’s SVR will be charged if it is lower than the capped rate; if it rises above this ceiling the rate charged will remain at the capped level.
Cashback: a mortgage in which the Lender refunds a sum of money, either as a percentage of the loan or a flat figure, to the borrower upon completion. With this type of offer the borrower will typically be tied to the Lender’s SVR by early repayment charges necessitating repayment of the cashback if the loan is repaid within a set period.
Offset mortgage: This is a fully flexible mortgage which allows a borrower to keep balances (such as mortgage debt, savings account and current account) in separate accounts, but, for the purposes of interest calculation, all balances are aggregated. Money in savings or current accounts is set against the mortgage balance and interest is only charged on the outstanding amount, meaning interest payments are reduced.
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