Choosing the right mortgage provider is a big decision whether you’re climbing onto the property ladder for the first time, changing to a new deal, switching providers, or remortgaging.
Coventry Building Society is an award-winning building society, which offers a wide range of mortgage options to meet your individual needs. In 2018, Coventry BS provided its customers with loans totalling more than £9bn, around 3% of all mortgage deals in the UK, making them one of the nation’s largest providers.
As the UK’s second-largest building society, Coventry BS offers a range of mortgage and savings products. Since its inception, and its very first deposit of one pound, two shillings, and sixpence, Coventry Building Society has grown into a national organisation with nearly two million customers.
Coventry BS has won many awards over the years, including the Best Remortgage Provider in the Moneyfacts Awards in 2020.
Transparent fees – as part of the mortgage industry’s initiative with UK Finance and Which? to make fees and charges easy to understand
Free standard valuations (a valuation of your property to estimate its worth) on certain mortgages – included on properties worth up to £1million
Easy mortgage management – using online banking services
Excellent customer experience – according to Fairer Finance, an independent consumer group that ranks providers on trust, complaints, transparency, and happiness
Free UK-based customer service
As a large mortgage provider, Coventry BS offers a vast range of mortgage products, with fixed-rate, variable, interest-only, offset, and repayment mortgages among those available. You can also choose a buy-to-let mortgage if you’re planning on becoming a landlord or expanding your property portfolio.
If you’re new to the world of mortgages, it’s a good idea to read about the different types available, so you can work out what’s best for you. Let’s look at the options from Coventry Building Society in a little more detail.
With an interest-only mortgage, you only pay back the interest, not the loan itself, until the very end of the mortgage term. This makes your monthly repayments smaller than those on a traditional repayment plan. Still, you will need to repay the total amount when your time comes to an end.
When it comes to repaying your Coventry BS interest-only mortgage, your options include:
Starting a repayment plan – such as an endowment policy, a pension or investment plan
Changing from interest‐only to a repayment mortgage – if you can afford to
With an interest-only mortgage, it’s your responsibility to ensure you can repay the balance at the end of the term. Remember, the entire loan amount must still be paid back.
If you’re planning to purchase a property to rent out as a source of income, you’ll likely need a buy-to-let mortgage. Buy-to-let mortgages are designed for buyers looking to invest in a property and become landlords rather than live there.
Typically, you’ll need a large deposit to secure a buy-to-let mortgage, and the interest rates may be slightly higher than traditional mortgages. Coventry Building Society offers buy-to-let mortgages subject to status and meeting their lending criteria. This includes:
Applicants aged between 18 and 85
You must have owned a property before – Coventry BS buy to Let loans are not available to first-time buyers
County Court Judgements (CCJs) against you may affect your application
No bankruptcy or IVA registered in your name
If you meet these criteria, Coventry BS buy-to-let mortgages come with the following benefits:
A choice of product fees
A standard valuation included – up to £700
The legal work for remortgages included
It’s worth noting that you can have up to five buy-to-let properties mortgaged with Coventry BS and a total of 10 or more in your portfolio.
Coventry BS also offers offset mortgages. An offset mortgage links your savings account to your mortgage, as long as they are with the same lender. The cash savings in this account are then used to reduce or ‘offset’ the size of the outstanding home loan on which you pay interest.
When used correctly, offset mortgages can help you reduce the amount of interest you pay and help you pay off your mortgage early. Still, they’re not for everyone. Offset mortgages are best suited to higher-rate taxpayers, the self-employed, those with large amounts in savings, or those who receive much of their income in lump sums.
The higher the balance in your current or savings account, the lower your debt. The credit in your account offsets your mortgage, and you only pay interest on the difference.
At Coventry BS, your offset savings account is linked to your offset mortgage to reduce the amount of mortgage interest you’re charged. Your saved interest is called the offset benefit. Coventry BS offset mortgages come as both repayment and interest-only products. You can also transfer (or port) your product to another property if you move or buy a new home. We’ll have more on moving home and porting your mortgage below.
Remortgaging is the process of getting a new mortgage on your existing property either with your current or a new lender. More often than not, the main reason for remortgaging is to save some money. Other causes could include:
Your current deal is about to end or has ended
To release some of the equity in your home
To pay off your mortgage earlier
The value of your property has increased
You want to switch from an interest-only mortgage to a repayment mortgage
Remortgaging differs from changing to a new deal, which is simply switching mortgage products with your current lender to secure a new fixed or variable rate.
Coventry Building Society offers a range of repayment and Interest-only products, so you might want to think about remortgaging to them. The average time from an application to an offer is 14 working days. Your mortgage offer is valid for up to 6 months from the date of application.
The amount Coventry BS will offer to loan you will depend on your income, outgoings, and your ability to pay back the amount you’re borrowing. It also depends on the mortgage product you want to apply for.
Use our independent affordability calculator to help you work out what you may be able to borrow based on your income and outgoings.
How much any lender is prepared to give will depend on your loan-to-value (LTV) ratio. This is the percentage of your property’s worth that a mortgage or bank will loan you. In September 2020, Coventry BS offered first-time buyers, home movers and remortgagers at 65%, 75%, and 85% loan-to-value, respectively.
Mortgage rates are the amount of interest you’ll pay on top of your monthly loan repayments. In 2020, Coventry BS offered 14 fixed-rate products, with an average rate of 2.47% on a two-year fixed-rate mortgage. But these rates are always subject to change.
Still, Coventry Building Society is often praised for competitive rates according to the Which? 2020 mortgage provider survey.
If you’re an existing customer thinking of buying a new property, you may be able to take your mortgage with you. This is called ‘porting’ – transferring your existing mortgage to your new home. It can only be used when you buy a new property, not to remortgage a property you already own.
If you’re moving home, porting your mortgage means one less thing to worry about since your loan terms will stay the same. You may also be able to borrow up to £5,000 more (subject to their lending criteria and the maximum loan-to-value in the terms and conditions of your mortgage product). However, it’s not as easy as just changing your address – you’ll need to go through the same telephone application as if you were applying for a new mortgage.
As of March 2021, Coventry BS offers full and partial mortgage payment holidays if you’re currently experiencing financial difficulties. You can give them a call to discuss their criteria or apply online, even if your mortgage doesn’t usually have a payment holiday feature.
Applying for a Coventry Building Society mortgage holiday won’t affect your credit rating, but it’s important to remember:
Payments and interest not paid during the holiday period will be added to the mortgage balance – you’ll need to pay these back in the future
Your future monthly payments and the amount you pay back will increase because of interest
Payment holidays can be granted for up to 3 months at a time – you can apply for an extension if you need to when your first one expires
Payment holidays and extensions will not be available after 31 July 2021
Overpayments are when you choose to pay more than your agreed monthly payment to reduce the balance of your mortgage, which in turn will reduce the interest you’re charged.
Coventry BS typically allows you to pay up to 10% of the mortgage balance each year. However, this varies among different products. How much you want to pay over your standard monthly repayments will determine whether it’s treated as a capital repayment or an overpayment. It’s best to speak Coventry BS directly if you want to overpay.
You can apply for a Coventry BS mortgage by calling and speaking to one of their trained mortgage advisors over the phone. Set aside 45 minutes to 1 hour for the call, as you’ll need to answer questions about your income and financial commitments as part of the process.
Coventry BS advisors will talk you through all their products to decide the right mortgage for you. Alternatively, you could also go through a financial advisor or mortgage broker. In this case, an expert can apply to Coventry Building Society, or any lender, on your behalf.
An agreement in principle (AIP) is a written statement from a mortgage lender saying how much they might lend you to buy a property. It is not the same as a formal mortgage offer and isn’t a binding agreement. Still, having one will make estate agents and sellers see you as a serious buyer.
You need an AIP before you can apply for a mortgage. In fact, it’s helpful to have one even before you’ve found the house you want to buy. This document can also be called a mortgage in principle or a decision in principle.
You usually need an AIP before you make an offer on a property, and estate agents may not take you seriously without one. A Coventry Building Society AIP is valid for 28 days from the date it’s issued. If you’re happy with the AIP, you can proceed with a complete application. It’s also worth noting that you do not have to apply for a mortgage from the same lender that gives you your AIP.
When you’re ready to apply for a mortgage with Coventry BS, you’ll need to provide the following information:
IDs – like a valid UK passport or UK photocard driving licence
Your current address – and for the previous three years
Proof of address – like a UK utility bill
Proof of income – this will differ depending on whether you’re in permanent employment or self-employed
Details of any financial commitments – including secured and unsecured loans, credit card bills or overdrafts, your credit limits, and how much you currently owe
Other outgoings – including pension contributions, maintenance payments, school fees, etc
Details of insurance policies – like home insurance or life insurance
Details of the home you want to buy – including the building type, if it’s a leasehold or freehold, its address, and its value
Your solicitor’s contact details
Bank account details – of the account mortgage repayments will come from
You may need to provide additional documentation if you’re applying for a remortgage, a buy-to-let mortgage, or an interest-only mortgage. Your mortgage advisor should be able to tell you exactly what it is they’ll need.
The national average time for buying a house in the UK is 15 weeks from the point your offer has been accepted on a property. However, if you’re part of a chain, this process could take up to 6 months or longer. Ultimately, every property purchase is different, and many variables can affect your timetable.
When you apply for a mortgage with Coventry BS, the average time from application to offer is 14 working days. Your offer is valid for up to 6 months from the date of application.
In Which?’s 2020 survey of the best UK mortgage providers, Coventry Building Society ranked 6th out of 23 lenders. The guide described them as a seriously impressive provider with very competitive rates. The survey was based on honest customer feedback and saw Coventry BS score 4 out of 5 in most categories, including customer service and online access, and 5 out of 5 for transparency of charges.
Coventry Building Society also had one of the lowest complaint rates among the major mortgage lenders, with just 0.1% of complaints upheld by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), according to a study from 2018.
Coventry BS is an award-winning mortgage provider with a range of products for first-time buyers, remortgagers, landlords, and every kind of homebuyer in between.
It’s always sensible to shop around and compare mortgages from various providers to find the best one to suit your needs. Coventry Building Society offers a wide range of mortgages. Still, there is no single best mortgage product or provider, simply the right one for your individual circumstances.