With a 10 year fixed rate mortgage, the interest rate you pay is fixed for the first 10 years of your mortgage. Fixing your rate for 10 years offers peace of mind and allows you to budget well into the future.
The problem is that you’ll lose out if interest rates go down, which may mean that you are stuck on a relatively expensive rate for the remainder of the fixed-rate period. That’s because if you want to switch to a new deal during the 10-year period, you’ll be forced to pay early repayment charges (ERCs) to exit your current mortgage contract.
Although the Bank of England base rate, which affects the cost of mortgages, started to go up at the end of 2021, historically speaking, it’s still relatively low so it could be a good time to fix your rate.
Whether you should take out a 10-year fixed rate depends on how important certainty over the long term is to you and whether you think interest rates will go up during the 10-year period. Your future plans are also a factor.
The financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic forced interest rates to record lows in 2020 and into 2021 but rates started creeping up again at the end of 2021. A fixed-rate mortgage that lets you lock into today’s rates for 2, 5 or 10 years may well seem an attractive option as the Bank of England battles rising inflation by hiking interest rates.
However, Covid-19 is a good example of how unexpected events can completely change the interest rate environment so it’s impossible to predict exactly when or by how much interest rates will go up or down, so you should think carefully before fixing your mortgage rate for a long time.
Find out more with our guide to when to fix your mortgage rate.
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The most obvious advantage of a 10 year fixed rate mortgage is that your mortgage costs will stay the same for the next decade, so you know your repayments won’t become unaffordable due to interest rate hikes (as long as your financial situation doesn’t change). It will also help you to accurately predict your living expenses for the next 10 years, making it easier to manage your finances.
If interest rates rise during the 10-year fixed period, you could save money by not being on a variable rate, which would go up along with the base rate.
Another advantage is that you won’t have to think about remortgaging or pay any associated costs to do it for a decade. You’ll be able to forget about your mortgage for 10 years.
While there are a number of advantages to a 10-year year fixed mortgage it’s important to carefully consider whether it’s right for your circumstances and shop around for the best deal. Make sure you factor in fees as well as the interest rate when you’re comparing deals. The best way to do this is by comparing the total cost over 10 years.
A major disadvantage is that you’re tied into your mortgage rate for 10 years, so if circumstances change within that time and you want to switch your mortgage deal or pay it off completely, you’ll have to pay early repayment charges (ERCs).
These charges can amount to hundreds or even thousands of pounds so interest rates will have to have become a lot lower to make it worth paying them to switch. As a result, you may end up paying over the odds for several years if rates go down during the 10-year deal period.
It also means it can be harder to move home during the 10 years. While most mortgages are “portable”, which means you can transfer your mortgage to a new property, your lender will still want to do affordability checks and carry out a valuation of the new property before agreeing to it. If you want to borrow more or less than your current mortgage, you may still have to pay set-up fees or ERCs.
10-year fixed mortgage rates tend to be more expensive than shorter fixed deals, as you pay for the security of locking in your rate for such a long period.
You could save thousands of pounds a year by switching to one of the best 10-year fixed mortgage deals once your current deal ends rather than moving onto your lender’s standard variable rate. When working out how much you can save by switching, it’s vital to factor in the mortgage fees and charges involved as well as the interest rate.
10-year mortgage costs can include:
Product fee: Typically around £1,000, but can be anything from £0-£2,000.
Telegraphic transfer fee: Typically £20-£50.
Valuation fee: Usually £150-£1,000 or more (depending on your property value) but some mortgage deals offer free valuation fees.
Mortgage account fee: Typically £100-£300.
Mortgage broker fee: This could be £400-£500 or a percentage of the value of your mortgage. The broker may receive a commission from the lender instead or as well.
Exit/closure fee: Usually £50-£300.
Early repayment charges: These could be between 1–8% of the value of your remaining loan. These charges – known as ERCs – only usually apply if you want to switch during your initial mortgage deal (10 years in this case) and tend to decrease the further into the deal you get.
With a 2 year fixed rate mortgage, your rate will stay the same for two years. It’s likely to be lower than with a 5 year fixed rate but you’ll have certainty about what your monthly repayments will be for a shorter period.
The advantage of a shorter-term fix is that if rates go down during the deal period you’ll be able to benefit from this by switching to a new deal without paying ERCs sooner.
A 5 year fixed rate mortgage occupies the middle ground between a 2 year and a 10 year deal. You’ll have the peace of mind of knowing what your mortgage costs will be for five years but won’t be tying yourself into a deal for as long as a decade.
The longer you fix for the higher your interest rate is likely to be, so a five-year fixed deal will be more expensive than a two-year one but cheaper than a 10-year deal.
A lifetime mortgage - also known as an equity release mortgage - is not a direct alternative to a 10 year fixed rate mortgage as they’re designed for homeowners aged 55 or over who want to release equity from their home without moving out.
You don’t have to make monthly payments as the mortgage is paid off when you die or move into long-term care but the interest builds up during the period you have the mortgage, so it can be expensive.*
* You should always take financial advice before going ahead with a lifetime or equity release mortgage.
Ten-year fixed rate mortgages offer certainty that your payments will be consistent for a good length of time. But they are less flexible, so you may have to consider if you'd like to pay off your mortgage earlier or change your deal should your circumstance be different in a few years’ time.”
Five year fixed rate mortgages allow you to fix your mortgage rate for a 5-year period. Compare quotes to find the best deal for you.Learn more