Compare our best remortgage deals, and learn how remortgaging works and when you should remortgage
What’s in this remortgage guide:
Includes what remortgaging means and why you might want to remortgage
Includes how long it takes and if you need a solicitor
Includes how much remortgaging costs and remortgaging fees
Includes how to find the best deals
Remortgaging if you're unemployed
If you're unemployed you may still be able to remortgage to a new deal. But you will have fewer mortgages to choose from.
In most cases, you will not be able to change mortgage lenders if you're unemployed.
You may be able to switch to a new mortgage with your current mortgage lender. This is a product transfer.
In June, Trussle research found you could save £326 a month on average on your mortgage repayments. This is if you transfer your product to your lender's best deal.
You can always get personalised advice by talking to a mortgage broker.
If you're going to lose your job you can speak to your lender about your options. You may be able to get a mortgage payment holiday.
Or find a mortgage with a lower interest rate using our mortgage comparison tool.
What is a remortgage?
A remortgage is when you swap your current mortgage for another one. You can remortgage with your current lender or choose a different one.
You might want to remortgage to:
get a better rate
buy another property
pay off other debts
make home improvements
How to remortgage
It can take a few weeks to several months to remortgage, depending on your situation.
It’s a good idea to start looking for a new deal about three months before you need one.
If you find a good deal, the lender may reserve it for you until your current deal ends.
See how long it takes our customers to remortgage with different lenders in our lender guide.
4 steps to remortgaging
Step 1 - Check for charges
You may have to pay an early repayment charge if you remortgage before the end of your initial period.
This could be up to 5% of your mortgage balance. The percentage is set out in the terms and conditions of your mortgage.
Speak to your lender if you do not know how much you’d have to pay.
It may be best financially to wait until your deal is about to end before you remortgage.
Step 2 - Look at your credit report
If you remortgage with your current lender, they may not check your credit history. This is as long as you’re not borrowing more or making big changes such as changing the mortgage length or type.
Otherwise, a lender will look at your credit report. Your credit report or file is a detailed record of your credit and debt history.
It includes things such as missed debt repayments, and how much credit card and loan debt you may have.
Your credit report helps a lender decide whether to give you a mortgage.
It’s a good idea to look at your credit report before you remortgage. If you apply and the lender turns you down it will affect your credit history. This could make it harder to get a loan in the future.
Learn more about credit reports and scores in our credit score guide.
You can check your credit report for free by contacting a credit reference agency (CRA).
If your credit report does not look good, consider improving it before you remortgage.
Find out how to improve it in our bad credit mortgage guide.
Step 3 - Find out how much your home is worth at the moment
You’ll get a better mortgage deal the more equity you have in your home.
Equity is the value of your home minus how much you owe on your mortgage.
Your home might have gone up or down in price since you bought it. Ask an estate agent to value your home, or check a house price website like Zoopla.
This will give you a more accurate figure to use when you look for deals.
Step 4 - Get a new mortgage
You can find remortgage deals by:
asking your current lender
using a comparison website
speaking to a mortgage broker
Remortgaging with your current lender
It can be quicker to remortgage with your current lender, but you could miss out on a better deal elsewhere. Using comparison sites
A comparison site can give you a good idea of what deals are on the market.
You may not be able to get one if your situation does not match the rules the lender attaches to their mortgages.
The benefits of brokers
Brokers help you decide what type of mortgage you need, then find the deal that suits you best.
Some brokers work with lots of lenders so they're able to choose from lots of different deals. At Trussle, we deal with more than 90 lenders.
Brokers are useful if your situation is more complicated. For example if you have bad credit or are self employed.
Few lenders, like First Direct, do not offer mortgages through brokers.
Some brokers charge a fee. Trussle is fee free.
Do you need a solicitor
You do not need a solicitor or a conveyance for the legal side if you remortgage with your current lender.
You will need a solicitor if you move to a different lender.
Your savings will depend on personal circumstances
How much you can save by remortgaging
Our research found that some people save almost £5,000 when they remortgage.
Most people choose to remortgage to save money.
This is because lenders often offer a low interest rate for a fixed period on new mortgages. When it ends, they move your onto their standard variable rate.
SVRs are usually quite high which can make your mortgage more expensive.
The difference between a market leading deal and average SVR is around £4,700 in interest a year. This research is from the Trussle Mortgage Saver Review 2018.
How much remortgaging costs
Remortgaging can cost anything between nothing and several thousand pounds.
The amount varies depends on things like if you change lenders and what fees they charge.
Before choosing your mortgage, it’s important to know exactly how much it will cost you in the long run.
The true cost of your mortgage is your monthly repayments, plus fees, minus any cashback.
You may not have to pay a fee if you stay with your current lender.
Speak to your lender or a mortgage broker to find out which fees you'll have to pay.
Early Repayment Charge
You may have to pay an ERC if you remortgage before the end of your current deal's initial period.
It can cost up to 5% of your mortgage balance.
Check the terms and conditions of your mortgage or ask your lender to see how much it is.
Arrangement fee or product fee
This is what a lender charges for setting up your new mortgage. It can cost between £300 to £2,000 but is often £1,000.
A mortgage deal with a higher arrangement fee will usually have a lower interest rate. A deal with a lower arrangement fee will often have a higher interest rate.
If you’ve got a big mortgage, it could be cheaper to have a lower interest rate and a higher arrangement fee.
If you’ve got a small mortgage, a lower arrangement fee and higher interest rate may be cheaper long term.
You can also choose to pay the repayment fee when you take out the mortgage or add it to your mortgage. Adding it to your mortgage will be more expensive as they'll add interest.
Booking fee/reservation fee/application fee
This is usually around £100 to £200 and you pay it when you apply for a mortgage. You will not be able to claim it back if your mortgage does not go ahead.
This is what a lender charges to value your home.
A valuation lets lenders check that your home meets the mortgage conditions.
A lender also needs to know how much it’s worth as they may have to sell it to get their money back if you miss repayments.
The valuation fee can be free or may cost around £300, depending on the lender.
Chaps fee (or funds transfer fee)
This is the cost of electronically transferring the mortgage funds to you or your solicitor.
It can be around £30.
Deeds release fee/mortgage completion fee/redemption administration fee/discharge fee
When you end your mortgage contract you'll have to pay this fee. It can cost between £50 to £300.
These are the legal fees.
You do not need a solicitor if you remortgage with your current lender. But you will if you remortgage with a new one.
Your new lender may offer to pay for your legal fees, but you will not be able to choose your solicitor.
It can sometimes be quicker to use your own solicitor.
Some brokers charge a fee for their service.
Fees can be fixed or a percentage of your loan. The amount is often around £500 for a normal residential mortgage.
In most cases, you only have to pay it if you apply for a mortgage with one of the lenders they suggest.
Trussle is fee free.
Compare our best remortgage rates and deals
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How to find the best remortgage deals
Comparison sites can give you a good idea of what deals are on the market.
You can only get the one you pick if your situation meets the lender’s conditions.
Mortgage brokers help you decide what type of mortgage you need, then find the deal that suits you best.
Some brokers work with many lenders. We work with 90.
See how much we could help you save with a remortgage
You may have to pay an early repayment charge to your existing lender if you remortgage
Remortgaging to improve your home instead of moving house
In June we surveyed over 2,000 adults in the UK to see if coronavirus had affected their plans to buy, sell or own a home.
Since the coronavirus lockdown:
82% of homeowners in the UK are not considering a larger home with more space when moving home
68% are more interested in improving their situation at home
1 in 7 homeowners are considering remortgaging for home improvements
The numbers are different across the country. They rise to 22% in the South East and 37% in London. They drop to 4% in the North West and 2% in Northern Ireland.
Younger people seem keener to remortgage to improve their home. 29% of 18 to 34 year olds said they'd consider it.
The number drops to 19% for 35 to 54 year olds and only 3% for people aged 55 or more.
The top 6 home improvements across the country were:
A new kitchen (26%)
Redoing the bathroom (23%)
Landscaping the garden (22%)
Building an extension (16%)
Having a larger garden (9%)
Creating a home office (8%)
See what improvements you could make with your mortgage savings with our remortgage calculator.
See what the top 6 home improvements are for different age groups in the UK.
Top home improvements: 18 to 34 years old
We asked people in the UK aged 18 to 34 years old what home improvements they would make if they were possible.
A new kitchen (25%)
Landscaping the garden (19%)
Building an extension (16%)
Having a large garden (16%)
Redoing the bathroom (16%)
Converting a room into a home gym (11%)
Top home improvements: 35 to 54 years old
We asked people in the UK aged 35 to 55 years old what home improvements they would make if they were possible.
Landscaping the garden (29%)
A new kitchen (28%)
Redoing the bathroom (25%)
Building an extension (23%)
Creating a home office (14%)
Having a large garden (13%)
Top home improvements: 55+ years old
We asked people in the UK aged 55 years or more what home improvements they would make if they were possible.
A new kitchen (25%)
Redoing the bathroom (24%)
Landscaping the garden (18%)
Building an extension (11%)
Building a garage (4%)
Building a swimming pool (4%)
Types of remortgages
Buy to let remortgage
Some reasons to remortgage your buy to let property include to:
get a better rate
buy another property
improve your home
pay off other debts
set up a business
switch to a residential mortgage
Remortgaging a buy to let property generally works in the same way as remortgaging your home.
Buy to let mortgages usually have a higher interest rate and fees than a normal residential mortgage.
Lenders will have certain conditions that you’ll have to meet, so it’s a good idea to speak to a mortgage broker.
Remortgage with bad credit
If you’ve got bad credit you could have fewer mortgages to choose from. This means you might not be able to get the best rate.
It’s a good idea to improve your credit report as a lender will look at it before deciding whether to give you a mortgage.
Your credit report, also known as your credit file, is a record of your credit and debt history.
See how to improve your credit score in our credit score guide.
Remortgage to release equity
Equity is the value of your home minus how much you owe on your mortgage.
When you remortgage to release equity, you switch to a new mortgage to get money from your property.
You might want some money to:
build an extension
pay for a wedding
put down a deposit to buy another property
start a new business
The amount you take out of your property will be added to your mortgage balance so you can pay it back.
How much you can borrow will depend on your own personal situation.
Before you remortgage to release equity make sure it’s the best thing for you in the long run.
Speak to a mortgage broker if you’re not sure about how much remortgaging to release equity will cost you.
Remortgage to buy another house
If you want to buy another property, for yourself or to rent out, you may be able to by remortgaging your current home.
You can switch to another mortgage to take out some of the money in your home. This can help you pay for the deposit for another one.
Your mortgage repayments will go up as you’ll be borrowing more.
If you’re planning to buy a home to rent out, you’ll need a buy to let mortgage.
More about buy to let mortgages.
Remortgage for debt consolidation
Remortgaging for debt consolidation is when you take out some equity from your home to pay your debt.
Equity is the amount your home is worth minus what you still owe on it.
The money you take out of your home is then added to your mortgage.
Moving your debt could cost less than using a balance transfer credit card or debt consolidation loan.
It will depend on things such as when you plan to pay off your mortgage.
Speak to a mortgage broker or a financial adviser to make sure you’re making the right decision.
Remortgage for shared ownership
If you have a shared ownership home you may want to remortgage at some stage.
The two most common reasons to remortgage are to:
get a better interest rate
own more shares
When you buy a shared ownership home, you buy between 25% and 75% of its value and pay rent on the rest of it.
If you remortgage and take out a larger loan you could buy more shares until you own your home completely. This is known as ‘staircasing’.
Remortgages for shared ownership can be more expensive than a normal residential remortgage. This is because few lenders offer shared ownership mortgages so there are less available.
Remortgage for home improvements
If you want to improve your home you may be able to use your mortgage to pay for it.
The money comes from the equity in your home. Equity is the amount your home is worth minus what you still owe on it.
You borrow the money from your home and add it to your mortgage. This means your monthly payments go up.
When home improvements increase the value of your home
Remortgaging for home improvements can be a good idea. For example, having an extension built can be cheaper than buying a bigger house. Especially when you consider stamp duty.
If you want to take out a loan for home improvements, remortgaging is usually the cheapest way to do it.
Some improvements could also make your house worth more. A loft conversion may cost £30,000 but could increase the value of your home more than that.
Some home improvements will not increase the value of your home and could make it harder to sell.
You might also not get the money back when you sell your home.
It could be harder to sell a property if you add:
a swimming pool as not everyone wants to look after one
another bedroom to a three bedroom house without adding space downstairs as it be too small for a family of 6
Ask a local estate agent if your plans might increase the value of your home.
The best time to remortgage for home improvements
The best time to put the cost of home improvements on your mortgage is when:
interest rates are low
house prices are high, so it could be cheaper to extend rather than move
How to remortgage for home improvements
Speak to your lender or mortgage broker if you want to remortgage for home improvements.
Your lender will want to know what you need to borrow more for.
They’ll see if you can afford it. They might do this by doing a hard or soft credit check, depending on their rules.
Learn the difference between a hard and soft credit check in our credit score guide.
You may be increasing your mortgage repayments for a long time, so make sure you can afford to.
Remortgage when you own your house outright
If you need some money, you may be able to remortgage your home if you own it outright.
You might need some cash for home improvements or to help a child get on the housing ladder.
Is it a mortgage or remortgage?
If you’ve paid off your mortgage and do not have any other loans on it it is ‘unencumbered’.
Some lenders offer remortgages if your home is unencumbered. Others offer new purchase products.
Lenders look at your mortgage application in the same way for both cases.
If your home is unencumbered it may affect:
the rate you’re offered
incentives such as free valuations
Plenty of lenders
You’re likely to have more lenders and products to choose from if you remortgage and own your house outright.
This is because the risk is lower for the lender. And paying off your previous mortgage shows them you’re a responsible borrower.
Your lender will still look at your finances and credit record to make sure you can afford the mortgage.
Remortgage interest only
An interest only mortgage is when you only pay interest in your monthly repayments. This means monthly payments can be quite low.
You also must have a plan in place to pay the loan at the end of your mortgage term. It could be:
the sale of another property
Often with mortgages you pay some of the interest and the loan in your monthly repayments.
If you remortgage, you can either get a better interest only deal, or switch to a repayment mortgage.
You’ll have a big choice of lenders if you’ve got an endowment policy. They often make an offer based on the middle projected figure in your endowment statement.
If you plan to pay off the capital with savings, or by selling your home, you’ll have a much smaller choice of deals.
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You may have to pay an early repayment charge to your existing lender if you remortgage.
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