How to Compare Mortgage Lenders in the UK
Although these days you can easily compare mortgage lenders online, letting a website do all the work for you, it's still important that you know what to consider before making a final decision. Also, you should make sure that you compare lenders who are offering the same type of deal and stipulating similar conditions, otherwise you might compare apples and oranges.
What to Look At In the Mortgage
When you compare mortgage lenders in order to find the best rate mortgages for your situation you must look at the interest rate, points, closing costs, loan features (i.e. maximum LTV, qualifying ratios, and insurance payments), and lock-in period. The lock-in period deserves special attention because it represents the period during which the mortgage rate is secured. When you compare mortgage lenders, the longer the lock-in period offered, the better
Comparing Similar Products
If you want to compare mortgages effectively then you should look at products that are essentially the same, even if they come from different lenders. For example, compare a 10-year fixed with a 10-year fixed, not a 10-year adjustable with a 25-year adjustable. To make no mistake, first find mortgages provided by different lenders that have the same interest rate. Second, check that the lock-in period is the same in both offers. Third, compare the fees.
Lenders and Reputation
A lender's name should not influence too much your final choice, provided that the lender is established, i.e. has all the authorisations required to operate and a good number of clients. Being under the scrutiny of financial authorities, lenders are obliged to stick to their promises. Problems between debtors and lenders rarely appear. If problems do occur it’s usually not because the lenders try to deceive their customers; more frequently, debtors fail to understand all the terms of the agreement they have signed and are surprised when the interest rate changes suddenly or extra fees are charged.