Switching your mortgage can help you save a significant amount of money if done correctly, especially if you have a standard variable rate (rate charged when your fixed interest rate ends). You should shop around for the best deal and talk to different mortgage brokers and banks. You should find out off your bank what your current interest rate is.
New Mortgage Measures
Since 1 January 2019, the Central Bank of Ireland has put new measures in place to make it easier to switch your mortgage. Lenders have to let you know 60 days before your fixed rate ends and they must inform you about the new rate you will have. If there are other options available, they also need to let you know about those. Your bank also should let you know every year if there are cheaper interest rates available. If you are on a tracker or fixed rate mortgage, switching your mortgage may not be able to save you much to be of benefit.
One of the best things I experienced was the personal touch. It can be daunting dealing with solicitors and I never felt like a hindrance. Gary was always available on the phone and email for me and always responded very quickly. I know of an elderly person dealing with Gary who really appreciated being able to meet face to face in a place where she felt comfortable. I think both types of meetings are great as clients have various needs which were met very easily in the way SOS operates.
Friendly, easy to talk to, professional support from start to finish. The service was exceptional, communication was timely and never overbearing. Everything was explained clearly along with expected timelines for completion. The team went above and beyond to sort out any issues that may have arisen during the process. Overall, very satisfied with the service.
What we found best was the professionalism of the service overall, the confidentiality, empathy and understanding. Communication was always clear in both e-mail and in person. Response times to e-mails, and meetings, was very good. I believe your fees are very competitive, and good value for your service.
Mortgage Fees & Considerations
If switching your mortgage, beware of the possible fees that may come along with it, and bear in mind that switching from one your current bank to another will be more work than switching within your same bank. Other items of consideration include;
- Loan-to-value ratio – how much you owe on your mortgage in relation to how much your house is worth
- Outstanding balance – if you have a small outstanding balance on your mortgage you may find it difficult to switch as lenders may have a minimum amount they are willing to lend
- Negative equity – lenders may not be willing to take you on as a mortgage customer if you are in negative equity
- Mortgage term – minimum or maximum loan terms may apply when you are switching
- Repayment history – Lenders will examine your credit history as part of this
- Fixed Term – If you are on a fixed rate and want to break out of it early, you may have to pay a fee called a redemption charge
- Mortgage Protection Insurance – You should ask other lenders if they have a group policy you can join and what the criteria is for joining. If they don’t have a group policy you may need to take out an individual policy and this can be difficult if you have had a serious illness or a new policy could be more expensive than your previous policy as you are now older.
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