What is a flexible mortgage?
This type of mortgage arrangement gives homeowners flexibility when paying each month. It means you can make over payments when you need to, and then compensate another month when you want to pay less. This arrangement can often be used in conjunction with other mortgage types.
Features of flexible mortgages may include:
- Over payments – paying more than your agreed monthly rate whenever you need to. You may be able to underpay at other times to compensate. Always check when your interest rate is calculated in the year so that over payments are made before this time.
- Payment holidays – If you’ve made over payments, some lenders allow you to take a short payment break if you need to. This must be arranged and agreed with your lender before doing so. Be careful with this as it can result in repayment rates increasing to spread out the cost of missed payments. There may also be charges associated with taking a payment holiday including admin fees.
- Offset savings – This keeps debt and savings in separate pots, but you only pay interest rates on the difference between the two.
- Pros and cons of flexible mortgages
The benefit of flexible mortgages is that those in unique situations who expect to have changing financial needs in the future can prepare by paying more now. You may want to pay more each month, and then pay less when you have a large expenditure coming up, such as a holiday. However, ensure you check the associated rates as if it’s a higher-rate mortgage product, you could be paying more. That said, making many additional payments could mean you pay less interest rates overall by paying off the debt quicker.
When you get to the end of your first introductory mortgage offer, you’ll often be switched to the lender’s standard variable rate (SVR). However, many want to find a better deal and decide to remortgage their home. If you’re looking at moving to a flexible mortgage, always check the terms and conditions of your current mortgage first, as many offer flexible features as standard.
When looking to apply for any type of mortgage, getting professional, impartial advice can help you get the best mortgage product for you. Find a trusted mortgage adviser in your local area here.