Home owners ‘missing out on deals which could cut their mortgage costs’

September 15, 2020 11:01:00 PM

Home owners ‘missing out on deals which could cut their mortgage costs’

Growing numbers of mortgage holders are sitting on their lender’s standard variable rate (SVR), when they could be saving significant sums of money by switching to a new deal, according to analysis.

Credit checking company Experian’s analysis of its own UK data suggests 46% of mortgage holders are on an SVR, up from an estimated 44% in March.

Home owners are moved onto their lender’s SVR after an initial mortgage deal comes to an end. The rate is set by the lender and while it may be influenced by the Bank of England base rate it will not necessarily follow its movements directly.

According to calculations by Experian, a home owners with a £150,000 mortgage could potentially save nearly £5,000 over two years by re-mortgaging to a two-year fixed-rate deal, based on typical rates and also taking fees for the new mortgage into account.

Amir Goshtai, managing director of Experian Marketplace, said: “Our latest analysis of the number of home owners on an SVR mortgage may come as a surprise, especially when many households are facing financial struggles.

“But, with people focused on the health of loved ones and managing life in this new environment, it’s not surprising that household finances may have slipped to the back of many people’s minds.”

Experian said some home owners have been looking to save on their mortgage costs during the lockdown. Re-mortgage inquiries through it were up by 92% over the last four weeks of August compared with the first four weeks of lockdown in the spring.

The firm suggested that as well as looking for a cheaper deal with a different lender, home owners should also contact their existing provider before renewal to see if they can get a better rate.

It said anyone with concerns about meeting regular mortgage payments during the coronavirus pandemic should also speak to their existing lender as soon as possible.

Experian also suggested that if a borrower has recently taken an agreed payment holiday and is about to apply for a mortgage, they could check with the potential new lender directly to find out whether a payment holiday will affect their application.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) confirmed this week that mortgage borrowers who are struggling financially due to Covid-19 will be able to continue to get help from their lender in the coming months. This fresh support will be tailored to the individual circumstances of the borrower.

Experian has a remortgage savings calculator on its website.

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