Today, the Bank of England has announced that they are increasing the base rate to 3.5%.
Interest rates can have an impact on a wide range of areas including mortgages, borrowing, pensions and savings. The Bank of England has increased the base rate to try and tackle rising inflation (cost of living) which has generally been attributed to increasing energy costs, higher prices of goods coming from abroad, a buoyant job market and businesses charging more for their products**. It is likely that the Bank of England could increase the base rate further to meet their inflation target of 2% *
Some steps you can take that might help to manage further interest rate rises on your mortgage.
We’d suggest putting yourself in the best possible position and ensuring that you are prepared for future rate rises by reviewing your finances sooner than later, which could potentially help soften the impact. Every person has different circumstances, so we strongly recommend you look at the terms of your mortgage and contact your mortgage adviser to discuss your individual needs and circumstances before taking any further action, to see what would be the most suitable option for you.
1. Find out what type of mortgage you have
How you’ll be affected by an interest rate rise depends on what mortgage you’re on and when your deal comes to an end. If you don’t know, check your paperwork or get in touch with us to discuss your existing mortgage arrangement.
The good news is that if your mortgage is on a fixed rate, your monthly repayments are unaffected. Those with fixed rate mortgages are likely to be affected once they reach the end of their current deal. An interest rate rise could make remortgaging more expensive.
If you have a variable rate tracker mortgage that is linked to the Bank of England base rate, you are likely to see an immediate impact on the amount you repay. Those on a standard variable rate (SVR) could see an increase which is decided by the lender. If you are unsure, it is worth checking your mortgage terms and conditions in your mortgage offer document.
If you are on your lender’s SVR, please ensure that you get in touch with us as you could be paying more than you need to be.
For those readers who are still on a variable rate or are coming to the end of their fixed rate period, now might be a good time to seek professional mortgage advice and let us talk you through your available options.
2. Put yourself in the best possible position
Once you understand the type of mortgage you have, the first step is to work out what you can afford and a good way to do this is to create a budget which can help highlight any areas where you may need to cut your expenditure and identify savings opportunities. Tactics such as building your credit score could help you get a better deal when it comes to securing your next mortgage.
3. Take Mortgage Advice
Depending on your circumstances, there can be measures you can take. It could be that the most apparent course of action is to switch to a fixed-rate mortgage, or if the term of your fixed rate is due to end shortly, you could consider fixing your mortgage rate for a longer period of time.
If you fix your mortgage for a longer time period, for example, 5, 10 years or more, then this could give protection for potential interest rate rises over a longer period of time.
However, it is worth noting that fixing the rate for a longer term, may mean that you’re not able to benefit in any rate decreases in the future.
Whether this is right for you will depend on your circumstances, bear in mind that other deals may come on to the market in the next couple of years and you may not be able to switch to them without incurring hefty early repayment charges.
If you’re looking to remortgage within the next six months, it’s a good idea to start looking now. Lots of lenders’ offers are valid for six months. So, it might be a good option to lock one in now, if this is right for you and your circumstances.
If you are on your lender’s standard variable rate (SVR), don’t hesitate to get in touch with us as soon as possible, as it means that you could be paying much more than you need to be.
Arrange a Review
As your mortgage adviser, the key message is to act now to help avoid an unwelcome surprise, even if it only means reviewing your finances. Everyone’s situations are different. You will likely be contacted by your current lender offering advice or other intermediaries too. But if you need any further advice or support, then don’t hesitate to speak to us for guidance.
We will assess your current circumstances and help to search across an extensive number of products for the most suitable deals that are most applicable to your individual needs and circumstances.
Please note – A mortgage is secured on your property, so your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.
There may be a fee payable for mortgage advice. The precise amount will depend upon your circumstances, but will be agreed with you before proceeding.
*Inflation and the 2% target (2022) Bank of England. Available at: https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/monetary-policy/inflation (Accessed: December 15, 2022).
**The Bank of England. 2022. Why have interest rates gone up? [online] Bankofengland.co.uk. Available at: https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/knowledgebank/why-are-interest-rates-in-the-uk-going-up [Accessed 03 November 2022].