A fixed rate mortgage has an interest rate that is fixed for a set period of time, which is typically between 2 and 5 years, although some lenders may offer longer terms. Fixed rate mortgages protect you against interest rate increases for the duration of the fixed term, meaning that your monthly mortgage payments remain the same throughout, even if the Bank of England base rate goes up. Compare our best fixed mortgages, or read our guide on fixed rate mortgages to learn more.
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A fixed rate mortgage is a home loan that charges a fixed level of interest for a certain period. Fixed rate mortgages usually last for 2, 5 or 10 years.
This means your monthly repayments are guaranteed to stay the same during that time, regardless of changes to the Bank of England base rate.
Fixed rate mortgages give you more financial security than variable mortgages. Because you know that your monthly repayments will always be the same, you can plan your finances more easily.
Fixed mortgages are usually a little more expensive than a variable discount mortgage or a tracker mortgage.
In general, the best fixed rate mortgage is the one with the lowest interest rate and set-up fee.
To find the cheapest fixed rate mortgage, you should compare the total cost of the mortgage over the complete fixed term. A mortgage with the lowest interest rate may not be the cheapest option if it comes with a large set-up fee.
If you're looking for a specific fixed rate mortgage duration, use these pages to compare the best fixed rate mortgages:
The alternative to a fixed rate mortgage is a variable rate mortgage. With variable mortgages, the interest rate – and thus your monthly repayments – could go up or down every month. Here are the most common types of variable rate mortgage:
You can use a mortgage comparison tool to compare fixed and variable rate mortgages. The cheapest discount rate variable mortgages can offer lower interest rates than the cheapest fixed rate mortgages.
There are advantages and disadvantages of fixed rate mortgages, so it’s important to consider both before deciding whether a fixed rate mortgage is the best option for you.
Think about how long you plan to stay in the property and whether you need the option to move before the end of any fixed term. This is important as if you don't have a portable mortgage, you can be charged hefty exit fees if you move house, but the trade-off is that if you try to remortgage before the end of the fixed rate period, you will likely be hit by an early repayment charge that can cost thousands of pounds.
Mortgage fixed rates provide certainty Most first time buyers opt for fixed rate mortgages because it provides security and peace of mind. When you take out a fixed rate mortgage, you know the exact payment amount that you will make every month for the duration of the mortgage term. This can help with budgeting and managing your finances.
Long term fixed mortgage rates can protect from economic upheaval Most often, lenders will offer 2, 3, and 5 year fixed terms although occasionally, select lenders may offer fixed rate mortgages for a maximum of 10 years.
Long term fixed rates can be costly The longer the fixed rate mortgage term, the higher the interest rate will be. This means that monthly mortgage repayments will be less with a 2 year fix than with a 5 year fix.
Fixed rate mortgages can be inflexible When you take out a fixed rate mortgage, you’re essentially locked into the deal for the fixed period. If the base rate drops, you’re stuck paying the same rate and you might end up paying a lot more than you would have done on a tracker mortgage or a discounted mortgage.
If you’re looking for a fixed rate mortgage, make sure you fully educate yourself, and try to think long-term when making your decision: will your personal and financial situations be the same 2 or 5 years from now?
Consider how much flexibility the mortgage offers, for example, some fixed rate mortgages let you overpay a certain amount each year (usually up to 10%) without an early repayment charge, but most providers will penalise you for overpaying too much.
You’re automatically moved to the lender’s SVR, which will likely be a lot higher than your fixed rate (currently around 5%). Your monthly repayments will increase accordingly.
You can, but be sure to check the details of your mortgage: most lenders will levy an early repayment charge (ERC) if you switch to another lender during your fixed rate period. The ERC can be thousands of pounds on a big mortgage.
Yes, you can take your mortgage with you when you move house - but only if you have a portable mortgage. Most mortgages today are portable mortgages. You may still have to pay valuation, conveyancy and home survey fees - but you won't have to pay an early repayment charge (ERC) which can be very expensive.
The mortgage term is the total amount of time that it will take to repay the complete mortgage debt. After the mortgage term you will own your property outright. The mortgage term is usually between 25 and 40 years.
The product term, also known as the promotional period or fixed term, is a shorter period of time where the mortgage lender usually offers you a reduced introductory interest rate. Most mortgages have a product term of between 2 and 5 years.
At the end of the product term, you can remortgage to a new deal to keep your interest rate low.
No. The interest rate is the most important factor when working out the cost of a mortgage, but there are other costs that you must consider. Arrangement, booking, and setup fees can cost thousands of pounds. Do the maths and work out whether a lower interest rate is really cheaper after you include all the fees.
If you regularly remortgage every couple of years, those fees can become a significant cost, especially if you add them onto your mortgage debt and start paying interest on them.
To find the best fixed rate mortgage option for you, you can use a mortgage comparison table.
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Last updated: 7 January, 2022