Ask the expert: What mortgage term should I take?
Welcome to our first in a series of ask the expert Q&As with Paul McGerrigan, CEO of Loan.co.uk. In each of this series, we will cover a frequently asked question (FAQ) from our customers and answer it in under 200 words.
The aim of the series will be to educate consumers, allowing them to make informed choices on their spending decisions.
Q: I’m looking to buy my first house. What mortgage term should I take?
A: Many looking for a mortgage don’t realise there are options other than the ‘standard’ 25 year term. In fact, very often this is the ‘go to’ term for many mortgage providers when discussing options with potential customers.
While for many people this term is suitable because it allows buyers to pay off their mortgage before retirement and sets the monthly contractual payment to an affordable amount, you can choose whatever term you want, usually up to 30 or 35 years.
To put it simply, the choice you make is all about affordability. In order to get a mortgage approved you will need to ‘fit’ within the mortgage lenders affordability requirements but just as importantly, you also need to be comfortable that you can afford the payments now and in the future. If you can afford to pay a bit more each month and the higher contractual payment over a shorter payment still means that the case ‘fits’ it’s worth comparing mortgage terms maybe 25, 20, and even 15, years.
While the payments will be larger with a shorter term, you’ll save considerably more money in the long run in terms of interest and the total amount you will ultimately pay back (usually tens of thousands of pounds) if the shorter period works for your budget.
Ultimately, the decision is up to you, what you can afford each month and how you want to run your monthly budget now and in the future. Remember to shop around to make sure you get the best deal you can for the type of mortgage you want and make sure you at least take the time to compare terms of different terms before you make your decision.