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Mortgages

  • Find the right mortgage deal for you in under 2 minutes[1]
  • Whether it’s remortgaging or buying a home, we’ll tailor the results for you

[1] Correct as of March 2024.

Compare mortgage rates

To compare mortgages with us, you’ll need to tell us the type of mortgage you’re looking for, the property value, your deposit and the period of time you want to repay the mortgage. It’s important you understand what’s available, what you can afford and the fees you might need to pay.

If you’re ready to continue on your mortgage journey without comparing products, please contact our trusted mortgage partner London & Country Mortgages Ltd for fee-free advice on a comprehensive range of mortgages from across the market. 

What is the mortgage rate?

The mortgage rate is the amount of interest you’ll be charged on the loan against the property. Mortgage rates vary based on several factors, including your deposit amount, the length of your mortgage term and whether you’re choosing a fixed-rate deal or variable rate.

A fixed-rate mortgage secures a guaranteed mortgage rate for an agreed time, while a variable rate means your mortgage payments could go up or down throughout your loan term.

What mortgage do I need?

Remortgage

Remortgaging is when you switch your existing mortgage to a new deal, using the same property as security. You can remortgage with the same lender or switch to a different mortgage provider. You may be able to find better mortgage deals with lower interest rates.

First-time buyer

As the name suggests, a first-time buyer mortgage is aimed specifically at people buying a property in the UK for the first time. Our comparison tool can help you play around with deposits versus borrowing amounts, to find a mortgage rate that can help you achieve your dream. 

Buy-to-let mortgage

A buy-to-let mortgage is specifically designed for people who want to invest in a property, whether a house or flat, in order to rent it out to tenants. You’ll usually need a larger deposit than you would for a mortgage to buy your own home. 

What are the different types of mortgages?

We’ll let you compare mortgages by type, including fixed, variable rate, offset or interest only mortgages.

Fixed rate

With a fixed-rate mortgage, the interest on your mortgage is fixed at a set interest rate for an agreed period of time, typically between two and 10 years. This type of mortgage could be good if you need to stick to a budget.

Once the fixed rate deal is over, you’ll be automatically switched to your mortgage provider’s standard variable rate (SVR) unless you choose to find a new deal.

Variable rate

Tracker mortgage – this has a mortgage interest rate that's tied to the Bank of England base rate. The mortgage changes with the base rate. Most trackers last two or five years, but you can get lifetime (also known as term) tracker mortgages.

Discount – discount mortgages are different from trackers in that they’re not tied to the Bank of England base rate; they’re a bit more unpredictable. Instead, they’re linked to the lender’s standard variable rate (SVR), usually for between two and 10 years. With a discount mortgage, your monthly repayment could fall as well as rise.

Standard variable rate (SVR) – this is the long-term rate of interest that mortgage lenders will charge once their fixed or introductory discounted or tracker period ends. This is often much higher than the rate you could get during the initial deal of a mortgage.

Although mortgage lenders roughly track the Bank of England base rate, they can decide to increase or decrease their SVR whenever they wish.

Fixed or variable offset mortgage

Probably the most complicated option, offset mortgages link your savings to your mortgage debt. With this type of mortgage, you don’t earn interest on your savings – instead, your money is set against your mortgage so that you pay less interest on the debt.

Available with fixed or variable rates, offsets are great for paying off your mortgage more quickly. They also offer a bonus benefit for those in the higher or top tax brackets, as you don’t pay tax on your savings.

Interest only

As the name suggests, with an interest-only mortgage you only pay the interest on the loan. This could mean lower monthly repayments, but it also means that at the end of the mortgage term you’ll still have to pay back what you borrowed. You’ll need to have a plan in place to do this when you take out the mortgage – for example, you could pay off the outstanding balance with savings or by selling your property.

What are the common fees when applying for a mortgage?

These are the common fees when applying for a mortgage:

Advice fee – if you get help from a mortgage advisor, you may have to pay for their services. You won’t need to pay this if you get advice from our partner London & Country Mortgages.

Booking fee – this ‘reserves’ your loan as the application goes through. It’s worth noting that this will need to be paid upfront and won’t be refunded if you decide not to take out the mortgage.

Arrangement fee – this is what you pay your lender for setting up the mortgage. While a typical fee will be around £1,000, it could be as much as £2,000. You can pay upfront or add it onto your mortgage, but remember you’ll then be paying interest on it.

Valuation fee – there’s no set price for a valuation and some lenders offer them for free. They cover the lender surveying the property you want to buy to make sure it’s worth the amount you want to borrow.

Legal fees – paid to a solicitor to cover all the legal paperwork, including Stamp Duty (or equivalent) and search fees. Stamp Duty is a tax paid by the buyer on the purchase price of a property and is unrelated to the size of the mortgage.

Find out more about mortgage fees when applying for a mortgage.

Ready to get mortgage advice?

We’ve partnered with London & Country Mortgages Ltd (L&C)** to provide you with fee-free mortgage advice. Get in touch with one of their advisers here.

About London & Country Mortgages Ltd (L&C)

**London & Country Mortgages Ltd (L&C) is a multi-award winning mortgage broker with over 20 years’ experience in helping people secure their perfect mortgage. Advice is provided by L&C, who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (143002).

L&C is not a part of Compare the Market Limited. Compare the Market receive a % of the commission that our partner London & Country earns. All applications are subject to lending and eligibility criteria.

L&C will not charge you a broker fee should you decide to proceed with a mortgage.

What mortgage can I afford?

When looking at mortgage tables and comparing providers’ rates, it’s important to get an idea of what you can afford and how likely it is you’ll qualify for what you’re hoping to borrow.  

Mortgage providers will look at a range of factors when deciding whether to lend to you. These include:  

  • Your income 
  • How much deposit you have 
  • Your debts 
  • Your spending 
  • Whether you can afford the mortgage you want. 

They’ll want to know about your history of paying back debt, so they’ll also look at your credit score to assess the risk of lending to you. A high score will show them you’re able to manage your money and might make better deals available to you.  

Don’t forget there’ll be other expenses, like surveys, mortgage fees, legal costs and stamp Duty (or its equivalent) – so make sure you take these into account when working out how much you can afford to spend on a property.

When considering mortgage affordability, it’s important to know that your home or property may be repossessed if you do not keep up with your mortgage repayments. Therefore, you need to ensure that you’re comfortable with the monthly repayments for your agreed term. 

Mortgage calculators

To help you get an idea of your mortgage options, try our mortgage calculators:

Basic mortgage calculator

A basic mortgage calculator is a quick and easy way to help you work out how much you could borrow. But remember, the actual amount you can borrow will depend on several factors, like the deposit you have, any outstanding debt and your monthly outgoings.

Mortgage calculator

Remortgage calculator

Coming to the end of your fixed-rate, discount or tracker deal? See how much your monthly payments could increase if you don’t remortgage. 

Remortgage calculator

Equity release calculator

Over 55 and want to release some of the value of your home? Get an idea of your options.

Equity release calculator
Author image Sajni Shah

What our expert says...

“The sharp incline in mortgage rates we’ve seen over the past year or so is not something many households could have predicted. Many have seen their repayments skyrocket as their fixed deals have come to an end.

But with the slowdown in inflation and the possibility of a summer interest rate cut from the Bank of England, it’s hoped mortgage rates will start to come down.”

- Sajni Shah, Consumer expert on money and utilities

How can I improve my chances of getting the best mortgage deal?

No one likes to be rejected, so you’ll want to make sure you’re as prepared as possible to boost your chances of mortgage approval:

  • Check your credit file and take time to build up your credit score.
  • Save enough for a decent deposit – the larger your deposit, the more chance you’ll have of securing a good mortgage deal with a better rate of interest.
  • Choose your property wisely – mortgage lenders can be prickly when it comes to non-standard homes, and flats with leasehold issues that may be difficult to sell on.
  • Get your paperwork together – lenders want to see proof of income. That’s usually three months’ worth of bank statements, payslips and your latest P60, or tax returns for the past two or three years if you’re self-employed.
  • Be careful with debt – ideally, try to pay off large outstanding debts. Avoid applying for any type of credit just before you apply for a mortgage.  

Find out more ways to maximise your chances of mortgage approval.

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Help for first-time buyers

Getting on the property ladder isn’t always easy, but there are several schemes currently running to help first-time buyers.

The mortgage guarantee scheme

This government-backed scheme aims to make mortgages on homes up to £600,000 available to people with just a 5% deposit. It’s open to first-time buyers, as well as people who already own their own homes. Most of the high-street banks have signed up to the scheme.

The First Homes scheme

Offers new-build homes at a discount of 30% to 50% on the market price to first-time buyers in England. See if you’re eligible.

Help to Buy equity loan

Help to Buy equity loans are designed to help first-time buyers buy new-build homes. Under the scheme, the government lends buyers a percentage of the cost of the property.

This scheme is no longer available in England. However, you can still apply for an equity loan in Wales.

Shared ownership scheme

Aimed at both first-time buyers and people who can’t afford to buy a home on the open market. It allows you to get a mortgage on a share of a property pay rent to a housing association on the rest.

Learn more about shared ownership.

Stamp Duty relief

First-time buyers in England and Northern Ireland don’t have to pay Stamp Duty on the first £425,000 of properties costing £625,000 or less. In Scotland,first-time buyers don’t have to pay Land and Buildings Transaction Tax on the first £175,000 of a property. There’s no first-time buyer’s relief in Wales.

Learn more about Stamp Duty.

Our guide to first-time buyer mortgages helps you with all the basics so you can find the right deal for your budget.

Key mortgage terms explained
Annual Percentage Rate of Charge (APRC) APRC shows you, as a percentage, the annual cost of a secured loan or mortgage over its lifetime. It brings together all charges for your mortgage, such as fees and variable interest rates, over the full term to help you compare mortgages.
Annual overpayment allowance (AOA) How much you can overpay on your mortgage without having to pay an early repayment charge.
Early Repayment Charge (ERC) How much you’ll be charged if you pay some or all of your mortgage back sooner than you agreed with your lender.
Loan to value (LTV) The loan to value is the ratio between the value of the loan (mortgage) you take out and the value of the property. It’s shown as a percentage.
Initial interest rate The interest rate you’ll be charged for the set period at the start of your mortgage
Initial interest rate period How long any introductory mortgage rates last before the mortgage switches to a standard variable rate.
Mortgage term The full length of your mortgage – this includes any introductory term. At the end of the mortgage term, your mortgage should be paid off in full if you have a repayment mortgage, or the interest but not the capital paid off if you have an interest-only mortgage.
Standard variable rate (SVR) This is the default interest rate your mortgage lender charges and what you’ll pay once any introductory rates finish. The SVR is not fixed and can change when the Bank of England base rate changes.

Frequently asked questions

What is a guarantor mortgage?

A guarantor mortgage is a type of mortgage where another homeowner – usually a family member or close friend – agrees to cover the mortgage repayments if you’re unable to.  

Guarantor mortgages can be a way to get mortgage approval if you’re a first-time buyer with a limited deposit or you have a poor credit history.  

However, it’s a massive financial responsibility for both you and your chosen guarantor. If neither of you can afford to cover the repayments, you could both end up losing your homes. Guarantor mortgages are also unlikely to offer the best mortgage rates, so think carefully about whether you can afford the monthly repayments before deciding if it’s the best option for you.  

What is the mortgage rate?

Mortgage rates are largely dependent on the Bank of England base rate, and it’s predicted that this will come down in 2024. 

This could be good news if you’re on a variable interest rate mortgage. But if you have a fixed-rate mortgage and mortgage rates change, you won’t be affected until the term ends.

 

How can I secure the best mortgage rates?

The best mortgage rates are typically offered to borrowers with larger deposits and the highest credit ratings. If you want to secure a decent rate, it could be worth building your credit score before you apply for a mortgage.  

There are a few ways to help improve your credit rating, including: 

  • Registering on the electoral roll
  • Checking your credit report for any errors or out-of-date information 
  • Always paying your bills on time
  • Cancelling any unused accounts and cards
  • Avoiding applying for different types of credit over a short period of time.

What is a mortgage agreement in principle?

An agreement in principle is an offer of a mortgage from a provider. It’s valid for a limited time – usually 90 days.

Most sellers will need you to have a mortgage in principle agreement before you make an offer on a house, as it shows you have the ability to borrow the amount needed to buy the property. 

Once you’ve found the right property, you can then go back to your potential lender and finalise the terms of your mortgage.

What is loan-to-value or LTV?

A loan-to-value ratio (LTV) shows how much of your property’s total price is paid for by your mortgage. It’s usually expressed as a percentage. You can work it out by subtracting your deposit as a percentage from a property’s total value. 

For example, a £20,000 deposit on a £100,000 home works out as 20%. Take 20% away from 100% and you’re left with an 80% LTV. 

A higher LTV usually results in a mortgage with a higher interest rate because there’s more risk to the lender. If you can increase your deposit amount or buy a cheaper property in relation to your deposit, you could get a better mortgage rate. 

What is mortgage protection insurance?

Mortgage protection insurance, also called mortgage payment protection insurance (MPPI), can cover the cost of your mortgage each month if you lose your job or can’t work because of illness. Many policies will pay out for a maximum of a year. 

This safety net can be particularly useful if you’re self-employed.

Other types of insurance, including life insurance and income protection insurance, can also be used to help cover mortgage payments. 

What is APRC?

APRC stands for annual percentage rate of change (APRC). You’ll see this figure when mortgages are advertised and it’s something you can use to help you compare deals. It brings together the costs of the mortgage per year, including fees as well as interest. 

When should I get a mortgage?

Before you start looking at properties, it’s a good idea to get a mortgage agreement in principle to help establish your budget. 

You’ll need to provide your mortgage broker or lender with details about your finances to get one. 

Agreements in principle are normally valid for 90 days. Once your offer on a property has been accepted, you can start the full mortgage application. 

How much deposit do I need for a mortgage?

It’s possible to get a mortgage with only a 5% deposit. Most lenders typically want a 10% to 20% deposit, with 20% giving you access to the best mortgage deals.

If you're saving for a mortgage deposit there are various government schemes to help you get a foot on the property ladder, including Lifetime ISAs.

Which mortgage lenders do you compare?

You’ll find mortgage deals from across the market, including some of the biggest providers in the UK, including Barclays, HSBC, Halifax Nationwide, NatWest and Santander. Some deals are available direct from the lender while others are only available through a mortgage broker, such as our trusted partner London & Country Mortgages Ltd (L&C)**.

Page last reviewed on 23 APRIL 2024
by Sajni Shah