Homeowners locking into rock-bottom mortgage rates are being stung by a hidden £1,000 penalty.
This is because the top deals lenders advertise in newspapers, on television and on the back of buses are not always the cheapest.
These low-rate offers typically have large fees, which put up the cost overall. If you’ve got a small mortgage, it’s usually cheaper to go for a deal with a slightly higher rate and a low fee.
False economy: Lenders low-rate offers typically have large fees, which put up the cost overall
By contrast, those with larger mortgages are better off taking a lower rate with a higher fee.It’s vital you pick the right mortgage after the Bank of England hiked interest rates earlier this month.
The monthly bills of 1.4 million borrowers on tracker rates have risen, and more than 20 banks and building societies passed on the full 0.25 percentage-point rise to borrowers on standard variable rates — the rate you move onto after a fixed deal ends.
These borrowers will typically see their monthly payments rise by £22 a month on a £150,000 loan.
WHERE TO GET CHEAPEST DEALS
Two-year fixed rates are popular with borrowers as they are usually the cheapest deals. The lowest fixed-rate mortgage on the market for borrowers with a 40 per cent deposit is Yorkshire Building Society’s two-year deal at 1.17 per cent, according to mortgage broker L&C Mortgages.
On a typical £150,000 loan over 25 years, the monthly payments are £577 and the total cost over two years is £15,341, including the £1,495 fee.
That rises to £15,816 when you factor in a property valuation at £175 and typical legal fees of £300.
But you would actually be better off going for Barclays’ 1.49 per cent two-year fix, the L&C Mortgages data show. Although the rate is higher and you would pay £22 a month more than the Yorkshire deal, it doesn’t have any fees.
So over two years you’d pay £14,381 — or £1,435 less. If you have a bigger mortgage, the Barclays deal is not the cheapest, though.
The cheapest deal overall on a £300,000 mortgage, including fees, is Sainsbury’s Bank’s 1.19 per cent two-year fixed, which has a fee of £745.
It also comes with a free valuation and no legal fees. It is only available through a broker.
Even though the monthly payments are £1,157, it costs £1,253 less than Yorkshire’s 1.17 per cent deal over the two years, at £28,504.
Two-year fixed rates are popular with borrowers as they are usually the cheapest deals
For borrowers with a £150,000 mortgage and a 25 per cent deposit, Yorkshire’s 1.17 per cent rate is the lowest available.
But the cheapest after fees is AA Mortgages’ 1.34 per cent two-year fixed rate. It has a £495 fee and offers £250 cashback.
It costs £589 a month and £14,771 over two years on a £150,000 loan. That’s £1,044 less overall than the Yorkshire deal.
On a £300,000 mortgage, Yorkshire’s 1.17 per cent deal costs £1,154 a month and £29,757 over two years.
But again, AA Mortgage’s 1.34 per cent two-year deal is cheaper, costing £1,177 a month and £28,802 overall, including a £495 mortgage fee and around £300 for legal fees. That’s £955 less.
The lowest-rate deal for borrowers with a 10 per cent deposit is Atom Bank’s 1.79 per cent, which costs £621 a month and £15,793 overall on a £150,000 loan (available only through a broker).
But the same bank’s fee-free 2.15 per cent two-year deal is the cheapest overall.
At £647, it costs £26 a month more but you save £270 after fees. By contrast, Atom’s 1.79 per cent is cheapest overall on a £300,000 mortgage.
The monthly payments are £1,241 a month and it will cost you £30,687 over two years.
The bills of 1.4m borrowers on tracker rates have risen, and more than 20 banks and building societies passed on the full 0.25 percentage-point rise to borrowers on standard variable rates
CUT COSTS AND BEAT RATES RISE
More and more people are fixing for at least five years to protect against rising costs. The Bank of England signalled it could increase interest rates from 0.5 per cent now to 1 per cent by 2020.
For borrowers with a 40 per cent deposit, the lowest rate on a five-year fix is Sainsbury’s 1.68 per cent. It is also the cheapest overall. On a £150,000 mortgage, it costs £613 a month and £37,505 over five years, including a fee of £745.
Sainsbury’s also has the lowest and cheapest five-year rate for borrowers with a 25 pc deposit at 1.83 per cent. On a £150,000 loan, it costs £623 a month and £38,151 over five years, including a £745 mortgage fee.
Sainsbury’s deal is also the cheapest on a £300,000 mortgage.
For borrowers with a 10 per cent deposit, the lowest five-year rate is Atom Bank’s 2.45 per cent. It costs £669 a month and £41,049 overall, including the £900 fee.
Atom’s 2.49 per cent deal is cheaper, though, as it doesn’t have any fees. On a £150,000 mortgage it costs £672 a month and £40,330 — £719 less than Atom’s 2.45 pc deal.
If you have a £300,000 mortgage, Atom’s 2.45 per cent deal costs £1,338 a month and £81,199 overall.
Atom Bank’s slightly higher rate of 2.49 per cent costs £80,660 overall — £539 less than Atom’s 2.45 per cent deal.
Shop around through an independent broker who can scour the market for the best deals. Find a local broker by visiting unbiased.co.uk or by calling 0800 023 6868.
True cost mortgage calculator
This mortgage payment calculator will allow you to see the effect of sneaky arrangement fees on your repayments. Use the second part of the calculator to compare deals.