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Offset Mortgages, How They Work and Their Benefits

Let's face it, you'd probably prefer watching paint dry than think about mortgages, right?


Yet, here's a twist: offset mortgages. This nifty financial tool links your mortgage to your savings and, in a way, lets your savings 'work' for you. You're essentially reducing the interest you pay on your mortgage by the amount of savings you have.

Offset mortgage

You're likely wondering, what exactly is an offset mortgage? Well, it's a type of home loan that lets you use your savings to reduce the amount of interest you pay. Instead of earning interest on your savings, you're offsetting the interest on your mortgage. Here's how it works.


Imagine you've got a mortgage of £200,000 and savings of £50,000. In a traditional setting, you'd pay interest on the full £200,000. But with an offset mortgage, you're only charged interest on £150,000. That's the mortgage amount minus your savings.


Now, you're probably thinking, 'What happens to my savings?' Don't worry, they're still there. You can access them whenever you want. But remember, the more you dip into your savings, the less you'll offset your mortgage. So, it's best to keep as much money in your offset account as possible to maximize the benefits.

Offset Mortgage Benefits

With an offset mortgage, you'll enjoy several key benefits, such as potential savings on interest payments and faster mortgage payoff. You see, your savings are used to 'offset' your mortgage debt, meaning you're only charged interest on the difference between the two. This can drastically cut your interest costs over time, saving you a significant amount of money.


Perhaps one of the greatest benefits is the flexibility it offers. If you're disciplined, you can pay off your mortgage much faster without increasing your regular payments. Plus, you can still access your savings if you need them in an emergency.


Lastly, for higher-rate taxpayers, offset mortgages can be more tax-efficient than saving in a traditional savings account.


All in all, offset mortgages can be a financially smart choice.

Your Home (or property) may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage or any other debts secured on it.

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Reduce Mortgage Term

By offsetting your savings against your mortgage balance, you can reduce the amount of interest you pay and therefore reduce your mortgage term. This is because the interest saved is applied to the principal balance, which reduces the amount of time it takes to pay off the mortgage.

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Reduce Payment Now

With this option, you client will be using your Offset savings to lower your current monthly mortgage payment. It is worth noting with this option your mortgage term will remain unchanged and will not be repaid any earlier.

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Reduce Payment Future

Here your Offset savings are used to lower your monthly payments each year going forwards but you also won’t pay off your mortgage any sooner. Every year your new payment is recalculated, based on your reduced mortgage balance and the remaining mortgage term.

What will this mean for my interest payable


Under an offset mortgage, your interest payable shrinks significantly as your savings effectively reduce the amount of mortgage debt subject to interest. This means you're not paying interest on the full mortgage amount, but rather on the difference between your mortgage balance and your savings. The more savings you have, the less interest you'll pay.

But remember, your savings won't earn any interest themselves.


For example, if you have a mortgage of £1500,000 and savings of £20,000, you'll only pay interest on £130,000. So, you'll save on interest and potentially pay off your mortgage faster.


Offset mortgages offer a smart way to leverage your savings. It's a win-win for you – less interest to pay and a quicker route to becoming mortgage-free.

Offset mortgage rates

You'll find that offset mortgage rates can significantly impact your loan repayments, making it essential to understand how they're determined. These rates are influenced by various factors, including the Bank of England base rate, the lender's individual policy, and the overall economic climate.


Offset mortgage rates are usually variable, though not always and there are fixed options too, meaning they can increase or decrease over the term of your loan. If the rates go up, you'll end up paying more each month. However, if they decrease, you'll benefit from lower repayments. 


Despite the risk, offset mortgages can offer substantial savings, particularly for higher-rate taxpayers or those with sizeable savings. The reason is simple: instead of earning interest on your savings, you're reducing the amount of mortgage interest you're charged. This can often result in a higher 'return' than you'd get from a savings account.

Offset fixed rate mortgage

While variable rates characterise the typical offset mortgage, there's an alternative option to consider: the offset fixed rate mortgage. This type of mortgage allows you to enjoy the benefits of an offset mortgage while having the certainty of a fixed interest rate.


Imagine knowing exactly what your mortgage repayments will be each month. No surprises, no stress over potential rate increases. That's the security an offset fixed rate mortgage offers. You still have the opportunity to offset your savings against your mortgage balance, reducing the interest you pay.


But how does it work? Just like a standard offset mortgage, you link your savings account to your mortgage account. The difference? The interest rate remains the same for a set period, regardless of changes in the market.


An offset fixed rate mortgage can offer a balance of security and potential savings. It's certainly worth considering if you want to make your money work smarter.

Offset tracker rate mortgage

Shifting gears, let's delve into the concept of an offset tracker rate mortgage, a unique form of mortgage where the interest rate tracks a specific benchmark, typically the Bank of England base rate. In essence, your mortgage rates adjust in line with this benchmark, often plus a certain percentage.


Now, you might be wondering why you'd opt for this type of mortgage. The key benefit lies in its potential for savings. If the base rate falls, your interest payments decrease too. This flexibility can make an offset tracker mortgage quite appealing, especially in a low rate environment.


But here's the catch. When rates rise, your mortgage payments will increase correspondingly. It's unpredictable, so you need to be prepared for fluctuations in your monthly outgoings.


Pros and cons of an offset mortgage

Now, let's weigh the advantages and disadvantages of an offset mortgage to help you better understand its potential impact on your financial situation.


On the plus side, an offset mortgage can save you a substantial amount in interest payments. It's simple - the more savings you offset against your mortgage, the less interest you'll pay. Additionally, you'll likely pay off your mortgage sooner as you're effectively overpaying each month. You also still have access to your savings if you need them, providing a great deal of financial flexibility.


However, it's not all sunshine and roses. Offset mortgages often come with higher interest rates compared to standard mortgages, so you'll need a sizable amount of savings to make it worth your while. They're also more complex than standard mortgages, which might be off-putting if you prefer simplicity. Some banks impose a minimum amount you must offset, so you'll need to ensure you can meet this requirement.

Award Winning Mortgage Broker, Carlisle & Dumfries.

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