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 payoff 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 a record low of 0.1%, 2021 could be a very good year to switch to a fixed rate mortgage and there may never be a better time to lock in to a 10 year fixed rate mortgage.
The financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has forced interest rates to record lows in 2020 and into 2021. The base rate has plunged from 0.75% at the beginning of the year to just 0.1% at the time of writing (June 2021). Mortgage lenders have also reduced their rates, giving rise to some of the cheapest fixed rate deals ever.
With the UK now in recession, it’s unlikely interest rates will start going up again any time soon. And there really is very little room for them to fall further at this point. So 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.
However, Covid-19 is a good example of how unexpected events can completely change the interest rate environment. While we can be fairly confident that interest rates will go up again at some point, it’s impossible to predict when and 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.
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.
You are stuck with this mortgage rate for 10 years; if you want to switch within that time or your circumstances change for any reason, you will generally have to pay exit fees to do so. These can be 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.
You’re therefore likely to end up paying over the odds for several years if rates go down during the 10 year mortgage term of your deal.
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 lengthy period.
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 (i.e. 10 years).
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.
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.
Whether or not a 10 year mortgage is right for you will depend on your circumstances. If you are confident that you will stay in your property for at least a decade and you would like the knowledge that your payments will stay the same for a long time, it may be an option for you. However, be sure to consider the potential downsides to a 10 year mortgage before you commit.
Depending on your lender, most mortgages allow you to overpay a set amount of money each year towards your mortgage. The amount that you can repay will depend on your individual policy, so check with your lender before making any overpayments and incurring an expensive early repayment charge.
One of the main advantages of fixing your mortgage interest rate for a long time period is that regardless of any changes in the base rate, your monthly mortgage payments will remain the same. This can be helpful for budgeting and planning ahead, as you have the security of knowing what your payments will be.
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