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Switching mortgage provider

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Last updated
May 21st, 2024
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Switching mortgages

There are many reasons you may want to switch mortgage, but the most popular is to save money.

Switching mortgages is known as remortgaging when you do so with another lender. You can also switch mortgage deals and stay with the same lender – this is known as a product transfer.

Can I switch mortgage providers?

It depends on your current circumstances, some will find it harder than others. If your financial circumstances or credit score has declined, for example, you may find that the interest rates available to you have risen.

Many people who took out mortgage before the Bank of England began raising the base rate back in 2022 may also find that the rates available to them are much less favourable, purely due to changes in the market, rather than their circumstances.

If you plan to switch lenders, new mortgage affordability checks are likely to be carried out when you apply, however, this won't always be the case with a product transfer. You may be able to arrange a product transfer even if you can't switch mortgage providers straight away.

If you're struggling to meet the affordability requirements to move mortgages with your existing lender too, it's best to seek the advice of an experienced mortgage broker.

Is a deposit required?

Sort of, although not necessarily a cash deposit. When you remortgage, the equity in your home acts as the deposit. Equity is the percentage of the value of your home that you currently own. If you don't have much equity, the remortgage rates offered won’t be as competitive.

You’re also unlikely to be able to increase your borrowing if you only have a small amount of equity. But it's sometimes possible to offer a cash deposit on top of your existing equity to get the best mortgage rates available to you.

Why might you switch mortgage providers?

There are many reasons people may change mortgage provider, but some of the most common ones are to:

  • To get a better mortgage rate - when you come to the end of your current mortgage term, you're transferred to the lender's standard variable rate (SVR) which is usually higher than any mortgage deals they have

  • To borrow more - either when moving home to a more expensive property or as an alternative to a personal loan

  • To enjoy more flexible terms - you may want to take advantage of options such as overpaying your mortgage, taking a payment holiday or offsetting your interest with an offset mortgage

  • To change deal type – You may want to switch from a variable rate mortgage to a fixed rate mortgage to be sure that your payments will remain the same for a set period. Or vice versa, if you feel that a variable rate offers you more flexibility

  • To benefit from your equity - If the equity you hold in your property has increased, either due to increased property value or repaying some of your loan, you may be able to take advantage of a lower loan-to-value (LTV) deal – Lower LTV mortgages usually come with better mortgage rates.

When to switch mortgage providers

If you want to switch mortgage providers, it's often worth looking at options around six months before the end of your existing deal. Most mortgage offers are valid for six months so you can secure a new deal and switch when your current deal ends, avoiding both the SVR and any ERCs.

But if you're already on your lender's SVR, you won't face ERCs if you want to switch.

If you want to switch before your existing deal ends, make sure you're aware of what fees will apply to remortgage early and check that the savings you'll make justify the cost. It can be worth consulting a fee free mortgage broker in this situation so you understand all your options.

When is it not a good idea to switch mortgage providers?

In certain circumstances, it may not be the right time to switch mortgage deals. That said lender criteria can be complex, so it’s worth speaking to an experienced whole of market mortgage broker before you rule it out completely.

  • The ERCs are high unless you’re on an SVR, the chances are you'd have to pay to leave your mortgage deal. Early repayment charges can be high, so in many cases it may be better to wait out the deal's end date

  • A change in financial circumstances - If your financial circumstances or credit score have declined, it may not be possible to meet new lender requirements - especially if rates have also risen since you took out your original mortgage

  • Your property has fallen in value If your property's value has reduced since you bought it, the LTV (loan to value) of your borrowing may have risen

  • You have a small mortgage balance – if you owe less than £50,000 on your mortgage, switching to a new lender won’t necessarily be beneficial. The costs of a remortgage deal will likely to cancel out any savings at this point in your mortgage term.

What to consider before switching mortgage providers

Before making the decision to switch it’s important to consider the following:

  • A product transfer is typically easier and cheaper to arrange, so make sure your current lender can’t offer you a more competitive deal before you settle on switching mortgage lenders

  • How much your property is currently worth, or more specifically, the equity you have built up and whether it will reduce the LTV (loan to value) of your borrowing enough to positively impact the latest mortgage interest rates available to you

  • Whether your financial circumstances or credit record have declined since you took out your original mortgage deal

  • Whether your existing deal has high ERCs that would reduce the benefits of switching. Your lender will be able to advise you about any charges that may apply

Kellie Steedquotation mark
When you're considering switching mortgages, timing is the most important factor. Your current circumstances will determine which deals are available to you, and therefore how much you could save.
Kellie Steed, Mortgage Content Writer

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Switching mortgage provider FAQs

What fees are involved with changing mortgage providers?

There are a number of fees involved with remortgaging your property, namely:

Exit fees - Also known as a deeds release fee or mortgage completion fee, this is charged by some lenders to close your mortgage account. This charge typically applies no matter whether your deal has ended or not.

ERC (Early Repayment Charges) - Unless you're on your lender's SVR, you're likely to need to pay ERCs to leave your mortgage deal. This is generally charged as a percentage of what you still owe and can be very costly, especially if you have years remaining on your current deal.

Arrangement and booking fees - Not all lenders charge arrangement fees, but some banks and building societies will do.

Valuation and conveyancing - Your new lender will instruct a new valuation to gauge the current value of your property. Solicitors will also still have to carry out conveyancing and deed changes on your behalf, much like when you took out your original mortgage.

Many lenders offer fee free remortgages as an incentive to switch to them, meaning that valuation and legal fees won't always apply. Remember to compare mortgage deals across the market to make sure you get the best terms for your circumstances!

Is it worth switching mortgage providers?

It really depends on your exact circumstances. There are a lot of factors that contribute to whether or not a remortgage is right for you, and timing is key to this. 

Switching to a new deal can save you money on interest, afford you more flexible terms, such as the ability to overpay, or even allow you to borrow more, but this won’t be true for everyone, so it’s important to fully understand your choices.

If you’re unsure, speaking to a knowledgeable online mortgage adviser can help you make the right decision for you.

How long does it take to switch mortgage providers?

A typical remortgage takes around four to eight weeks to complete, however, it can be slightly quicker or take longer than this, depending on the complexity of the case.

If you’re simply transferring your mortgage to a different deal with the same lender (a product transfer) it is usually much quicker.

Can you switch your mortgage at any time?

You won’t usually be able to remortgage or do a product transfer within the first six months of taking out your mortgage, but you have the choice to switch mortgages at any point after that. 

Remember that if you are currently in a fixed-rate mortgage deal or within the introductory rate period on a tracker or discount deal, you will likely have to pay ERCs (early repayment charges) to leave the deal before the term has ended, however.

How is my property valued when I switch my mortgage rate?

When you switch mortgage providers, the new lender will want to do a full valuation of your property, similarly to the one that was carried out before you bought it. This is to determine its current market value, which may have risen or fallen since your purchase. If you opt for a product transfer with your existing lender, they won’t usually need to do a new home valuation.

Can I switch to a new mortgage deal and change my term at the same time?

Yes it’s possible to change your terms in a number of ways when you remortgage, for example, you might want to switch from an interest-only to a repayment mortgage, from a fixed-rate to a tracker rate, or to a deal with more flexible terms, such as an offset mortgage. 

It’s even possible to change a residential mortgage to an investment rental property by remortgaging to a buy-to-let mortgage, if this suits your circumstances. So long as you meet the criteria of the new lender, you can generally choose the terms that suit your needs. 

Can I remortgage a home I’ve bought through a government scheme?

Generally, yes you can, but it will depend on which scheme you used and your circumstances. Not all lenders offer remortgages to those applying through government home ownership schemes, and those that will are usually the same lenders that also offer mortgages to this type of applicant.

  • Shared ownership mortgages can usually be remortgaged based on the value of your share of ownership.

  • Right to Buy mortgages can also generally be remortgaged, but this can be more complex. Depending on when you bought the property, you may not be able to make any changes for a defined period or may have to pay off your equity loan in order to do so.

How often should I remortgage?

There are no set rules about how often, or even whether you should switch your mortgage deal at all. The best time to do it is typically when your current deal comes to an end, or when it otherwise makes financial sense to do so.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that if you keep leaving deals early and paying ERCs in order to get the best mortgage interest rate, the fees paid over the lifetime of the mortgage will likely outweigh the benefits you get from changing mortgage deals in the first place. Seeking advice is the best way to make sure switching your mortgage is in your best interest.

How do I switch mortgage providers?

You can either speak to your current or a new lender directly to ask to switch mortgages, or speak to a mortgage broker, if you want to be certain you're changing to the best deal available to you.

Once you've chosen a product, the relevant lender will provide an updated valuation of your property to ensure it still provides adequate security for the loan. Assuming they are happy that it does, they should then make you a new mortgage offer. It's a very similar process to when you took out your original mortgage, however, in this case, the conveyancer will arrange for the new loan to repay your existing mortgage.

About the author

Kellie Steed
Kellie has a wealth of content writing experience, however, in 2020 took a vested interest in the mortgage industry, and chose to specialise in this area exclusively. Her personal goal is to author the most comprehensive and helpful online guide available for each mortgage type, as well as every customer need, no matter how niche.

YOUR HOME/PROPERTY MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP WITH YOUR MORTGAGE REPAYMENTS.

The FCA does not regulate mortgages on commercial or investment buy-to-let properties.

Uswitch makes introductions to Mojo Mortgages to provide mortgage solutions. Uswitch and Mojo Mortgages are part of the same group of companies. Uswitch Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) under firm reference number 312850. You can check this on the Financial Services Register by visiting the FCA website. Uswitch Limited is registered in England and Wales (Company No 03612689) The Cooperage, 5 Copper Row, London SE1 2LH. Mojo Mortgages is a trading style of Life's Great Limited which is registered in England and Wales (06246376). Mojo are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and are on the Financial Services Register (478215) Mojo’s registered office is The Cooperage, 5 Copper Row, London, SE1 2LH. To contact Mojo by phone, please call 0333 123 0012.