Martin Lewis explains what mortgage customers need to do due to interest rate chaos | The Sun

Martin Lewis explains what mortgage customers need to do due to interest rate chaos | The Sun

MARTIN Lewis has offered advice on what mortgage customers should do following chaos in the housing market.

A number of lenders, including Halifax and Virgin Money, have pulled fixed deals after the value of the pound against the dollar collapsed.

Sterling went to its lowest since decimalisation in 1971 on Monday, with the Bank of England (BoE) saying it "won't hesitate to change interest rates".

More recently, the BoE has said the interest base rate could rise to 6%.

The drop in the pound came after Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng announced a raft of economic reforms last Friday.

Now, Martin Lewis in moneysavingexpert.com's latest newsletter has tried to answer some of the questions mortgage lenders might have amidst the turmoil.

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Should I swap my variable or tracker mortgage?

Standard variable mortgages (SVRs) are usually what borrowers are put onto after their fixed rate deal ends.

Interest rates on these types of mortgages can go up at any time.

Tracker mortgages are similar, but they follow the Bank of England's base rate more closely.

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Lewis said it might be worth ditching your old tracker or variable mortgage deal and switching to another.

Moneysavingexpert.com's mortgage comparison tool can show you some of the rates available to you.

You can always get a new deal with your existing lender as well, known as a "product transfer".

In some cases, it might be easier to be accepted onto this type of deal and you may pay lower fees.

Use savings to get a cheaper deal

If you have the money in your bank, you can pay off some of your mortgage which will reduce your monthly outgoings.

That only applies if you still owe more than 60% of your home's value on a mortgage though.

The main bands where interest rates drop most are at 90%, 80%, 75% and 60%.

Speak to a broker

Lewis said it was worth using a mortgage broker to "navigate the maze" of the market.

They'll have details of what lenders need for you to be accepted onto a mortgage deal.

Plus, they might be able to help you find a deal that can only be accessed by them.

Act now if your fixed rate mortgage is ending

If your fixed rate mortgage is coming to an end, some lenders let you lock in a new rate six months in advance.

Many more let you fix three months before as well.

So if yours is coming to an end and you don't want to end up on a variable rate mortgage, it's worth getting in touch with your lender now.

If your fixed deal isn't ending soon but you want to switch, you can do so, but you will have to pay early repayment fees which could cost you thousands.

Get help if you're struggling to pay your mortgage

The everyday cost of living is surging as well as mortgage rates.

If you're worried about missing a mortgage repayment, also know as falling into arrears, there is wider support on offer.

You can change the terms of your mortgage, for example, by increasing the length of time on your loan so your payments are lower.

If you're on certain benefits including Universal Credit you might be able to claim support for mortgage interest.

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You can also get free debt advice from:

  • Money Helper – 0800 138 7777
  • Citizens Advice – 0808 800 9060
  • StepChange – 0800 138 1111
  • National Debtline – 0808 808 4000

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