If you are looking to get a mortgage for the first time or to remortgage then you will want to try to get the best rate possible. There are a number of things that you can do in order to achieve this.
Before you start researching rates, you need to make sure that you are in the best situation to get a good mortgage rate. It is worth noting that when you apply for a mortgage you may not get the advertised rate. This is because the lender will assess how risky you are and then they may charge you more if they think that there is a risk that you will not be able to make the repayments. There are two main things that you can do to improve your chances of getting a good rate. If you have a large deposit saved up then this will show that you are well disciplined with money and you will not necessarily need to borrow such a huge percentage of the value of the house, which will help. Improving your credit record will also be a really big help. This can be done by checking it and seeing what items on there are working against you. It may be that there is incorrect information in there, that you can get changed, that there are loans you can pay off which will improve things or that you need to keep up with paying your bills more regularly to do better. It is well worth looking into.
Once you have done this you then need to start comparing lenders in order to see which rate is the best. Of course, rates will change over time and the most competitive ones may not remain so. However, predicting the future is not possible so it is best to go with the information that you have available to you, which is the current rates. You can use comparison websites for this, which could save time, but there are companies that are not on these websites and you may miss out on seeing what these have to offer if you only stick to comparison websites. An alternative is to pay a financial advisor to look for you. They will not only compare the lenders but they will also be able to explain to you about the difference between different types of mortgage and which they consider to be the best for you.
When comparing rates, you do need to make sure that you are comparing like for like. You may find that there are good rates but they are only fixed for a short period of time and you will then have to move onto an expensive variable rates. You may also find the better rates are for a certain type of mortgage such as interest only or repayment and you may have decided on a particular type and this may not be it. You also need to be aware of other fees they may have. Most will charge an administration fee when you set up a mortgage with them, They may also have fees for things like overpaying, late payments, statements and missed payments. It is worth finding out what those are so that you can see whether when you take those into account, they are actually dearer.
If you are remortgaging you also need to take into account the fees from your current lender as they may charge you to leave. This will depend on the company and it can vary between different types of mortgages as well. Some may tie you in to a fixed rate and then have a penalty of you leave because they want to prevent you from changing accounts if there is a more competitive rate on offer elsewhere. You can find out whether you will have to pay anything by simply telephoning your lender.
It can take a lot of research to actually find out which mortgage will be the best for you, taking into account the rates, fees and any fees from your current lender. You will also need to consider doing this regularly as they will not be the best forever. It could be wise to research again after five years to see whether you are still being offered a competitive deal. If you are likley to do this though, check how much the fees are for leaving the lender you are considering moving to as this could also then be a factor when choosing which to go for.