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What are 10-year fixed-rate mortgages?

Many UK banks and building societies offer a 10 year fixed rate mortgage, but is it a good idea to fix your rate for a whole decade?

Fixing the rate on a 10 year mortgage 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 – leaving you stuck on a relatively expensive rate.

However, with the Bank of England base rate on which many mortgage rates are calculated at 1%, 2022 could be a very good year to switch to a fixed rate mortgage.

Will interest rates go up?

The financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has forced interest rates to record lows in 2020 and into 2021. But since December 2021 rates have been creeping up again.

A fixed rate mortgage that lets you lock into today’s low 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. While the plan seems to be for interest rates to go up again this year, it’s impossible to predict exactly when or by how much – so you should still think carefully before fixing your mortgage rate. 

Find out more with our guide on when to fix your mortgage rate.

Rent to Buy

Should I take out a 10 year fixed rate mortgage?

The most obvious advantage of a 10 year fixed mortgage is that your mortgage costs are fixed for the long term: your rate and your monthly repayments will stay the same for 10 years.

This means you know your repayments will not become unaffordable due to interest rate hikes. It also means you can 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 mortgage term, you will probably also save money by not being on a variable rate. You may even find yourself on one of the cheapest mortgage rates available. 

On top of these advantages, by signing up to a long-term deal with a 10 year fixed mortgage, you can also avoid having to pay to arrange a new deal in a few years’ time.

What are the disadvantages of 10 year mortgage rates?

You are stuck with this mortgage rate for 10 years; if your circumstances change for any reason within that time and you decide to switch, you will probably have to pay early repayment fees. 

These can amount to hundreds or even thousands of pounds. So interest rates will have to become a lot cheaper to make it worth paying these charges to switch to another mortgage deal. 

As a result, you may end up paying over the odds for several years if rates go down during the 10 year mortgage term of your deal.

It also means it can be harder to move home during that 10-year period. While it’s possible to transfer a mortgage to a new property – known as ‘porting’ – there will be new checks from your lender for things like affordability and property valuations and if you want to borrow significantly more or less than your current mortgage, you could be stuck with fees too.

10-year fixed mortgage rates often tend to be expensive compared to shorter fixed deals, as you pay a higher interest rate for the security of locking in a rate for such a long period. 

Is a 10 year fixed mortgage cheaper?

You can save thousands of pounds a year by switching from your lender’s Standard Variable Rate to the best 10 year fixed mortgage rates. 

But when working out how much you can save by switching to a 10 year fixed rate mortgage, it’s vital to factor in the fees and charges involved – as well as the interest rate. 

10 year mortgage costs include:

  • Arrangement fee: Typically around £1,000, but can be anything from £0-£2,000

  • Booking fee: Usually £99-£300

  • Telegraphic transfer fee: Typically £25-£50

  • Valuation fee: Usually £150-£1,500 (depending on your property value)

  • Mortgage account fee: Typically £100-300

  • Mortgage broker fee: This is normally around £500, but can also be a percentage of the value of your mortgage (paid as a commission)

  • Exit/Closure fee: Usually £75-£300

  • Early repayment charge: Typically between 1–5% of the value of your remaining loan, these charges – known as ERCs – only usually apply if you want to switch during your mortgage term (ie 10 years)

How to find the best 10 year fixed rate mortgage

There are lots of advantages to a ten year fixed mortgage, however it is important to make sure that you consider whether it is right for your circumstances. Before you decide whether to commit to a fixed rate mortgage, you can carry out a mortgage comparison to find the best 10 year mortgage rates on the market. 

Should I switch to a 10 year fixed rate mortgage?

If you still have a substantial amount to repay on your mortgage, remortgaging to a 10 year mortgage could be a very wise move – especially if and when mortgage rates start going up again. However, if you only have a few years and a small amount left to repay on your mortgage, it may not be worth remortgaging once you take into account the fees and hassle involved.

Find out more about the costs of remortgaging (or moving home) with our guide to home buying costs.

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