Mortgage blog: 10th birthday celebrations for the mortgage that can save you money

Date:

Wednesday 7th March 2012

Offset mortgages were introduced in the UK ten years ago

Do you want to pay your mortgage off more quickly? Do you want to pay less interest on your borrowing? And do you want a better and more flexible way to manage your money? If you do, an offset mortgage could be the answer. And offset mortgages through building societies are celebrating their 10th birthday in the UK in 2012. They have helped thousands of borrowers save money and pay off their mortgage faster since they were introduced by the Yorkshire Building Society in 2002. But how do they work? And what are their main benefits?

How an offset mortgage works

The main idea of an offset mortgage is that your mortgage account is linked to one or more savings accounts. The money in your savings accounts is used to cancel out part or all of your mortgage debt. For example, if you had an offset mortgage of £150,000 and £10,000 in your savings account, you'd only pay interest on £140,000.

With interest only paid on the balance between your savings and mortgage debt, you achieve the same effect as overpaying on your mortgage. However, you can get the money back if you need it. You will avoid paying tax on interest that your deposits would otherwise have earned. In addition, you'll reduce the cost of your borrowing as offset mortgage lenders calculate interest on a daily basis.

Three main benefits of an offset mortgage

Offset mortgages offer a range of benefits to borrowers. Here are the top three:

  • Pay less interest - When you offset your savings interest against your mortgage balance you are effectively reducing your outstanding mortgage debt. So, if you owe less money to your lender, you'll pay less interest;
  • Pay your mortgage off more quickly - If you offset your savings against your mortgage but continue to pay the same mortgage payment, more of your payment goes towards paying off the money you owe. So, over time, you will clear your mortgage more quickly;
  • Retain access to your savings - With a traditional mortgage it can be difficult to ‘re-borrow' any lump sum repayment you make. However, with an offset mortgage you always retain access to your savings.

Jemma Smith from the Yorkshire Building Society, who pioneered this type of lending in 2002, says: "As the first building society to offer offset to customers, we truly believe offset provides a genuine opportunity for consumers to save thousands of pounds on their mortgage. Now really is the time for offset. Due to low savings rates you can get the best overall return on your mortgage and savings accounts, whilst maintaining full flexibility."

Click here to find out more about how whathouse.co.uk can help you find the right mortgage.

 

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