An insight into different mortgage options.

For people who are just starting out on the property ladder, various technical terms or ‘jargon’ relating to mortgages can be confusing and off-putting. This is why we have compiled a selection of the more frequently asked questions regarding mortgages.

What does APR mean?

APR is the standard cost of borrowing, giving you a simplified method for using the market to compare mortgages, loans and credit cards on a like for like basis. The APR will include the interest rate on the loan together with any charges for setting up the mortgage.

Do I have to have life insurance to become eligible for a mortgage?

Life insurance is not required to be able to obtain a mortgage, but it is an important consideration when you are taking on the commitment of a mortgage - especially if you have dependents.

I have been made bankrupt – can I still take out a mortgage?

The lender will judge customers with previous or existing adverse credit in a flexible manner and every case will be judged on its individual merits. Along with the customer's ability to keep up repayments on the mortgage, taking into account his/her existing liabilities. However, your bankruptcy will have needed to be discharged.

Is there a charge for paying my mortgage off early?

Usually there is a fee of £25 to £200 depending on the lender. The fee is applicable as you will be mortgage free or could be moving to a different lender to pay it off. Also, if you have any special interest rates arranged with your lender, they will charge you additionally depending on the type of contract you have arranged. You should consult your lender regarding rates such as this.

How much can I borrow?

To work out how much you can borrow, first of all deduct any payments to credit commitments from your salary. Then for an approximation, multiply the figure by 4 for a single income or 3 for a joint income. Your credit status may increase or reduce the multiple.

I have changed jobs and have a probationary period, can I get a mortgage?

Most lenders will insist that you have passed a probationary period, but we know some that are very competitive and will not concern themselves with a probationary period most of the time.

What is the oldest age at which I can apply?

This will vary with each lender. Lenders will want to know whether you can afford to pay your mortgage into your retirement, in which case they will need to know whether you will have sufficient income to continue payment.