If you have a mortgage, consider an offset account
An offset account could save you thousands and shave years off your mortgage.
Offset mortgages are often used as a way to save money. They are used to help reduce your monthly payments or shorten the term to enable you to be mortgage-free sooner.
Compare 100% offset account mortgages
Offset accounts could potentially save you thousands in mortgage repayments over the life of your mortgage.
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How do offset accounts work?
An offset account is a transaction account attached to a mortgage. The balance of a 100% offset account is taken away from the principal remaining on the mortgage for interest calculation.
In this hypothetical situation, interest is applied to £230,000 instead of the full £250,000 owed. As savings grow, the amount saved on interest also grows. Effectively, this reduces the amount of interest charged over the life of the mortgage.
Why should I consider an offset account?
An offset account may save you interest and cut the length of a mortgage. It will work best for people who can maintain a decent balance in their offset account and contribute further to it over time. It is worth shopping around, as offset accounts can differ in inclusions and fees.
Will a mortgage with an offset account cost me more than a standard mortgage?
Traditionally, mortgages with offset accounts would either attract a higher interest rate or higher fees and sometimes both. However, with the emergence of smaller online lenders, many mortgages are feature-packed with market leading rates. Major lenders still tend to charge a premium for offset accounts, so it is worth shopping around.
Are there different types of offset accounts?
Yes, there are 100% offset accounts and partial offset accounts:
- 100% offset accounts are the most common form. As explained in the above table, the balance of the offset account is deducted from the outstanding principal before interest is calculated. The balance of this offset account doesn’t earn interest.
- Partial offset accounts can be explained as an online savings account where the interest which would be generated by the balance pays off the principal of the mortgage, without the borrower having to pay tax on the interest. A 100% offset account can be a far more effective tool for reducing the interest paid on a mortgage.
How much interest can I save by using an offset account?
Below is a hypothetical mortgage scenario comparing the same mortgage with and without a 100% offset account.
From this example, taking the mortgage with an offset account saves a whopping £136,000 over the life of the mortgage. It also reduces the term of the mortgage from 25 years to 19 years and 8 months. Owning a home outright, debt free, is a goal that is well worth fast-tracking. Especially as first-time buyers are waiting longer to plunge into the property market.
What fees do I need to be aware of?
Some offset accounts charge fees on standard transactions. It is well worth putting the research in as to whether the mortgage you’re applying for has a transaction account that will end up costing you money.
Build up your offset savings account by making regular deposits using your income, rental earnings or any other money you accumulate.
- Long-term benefits of offset accounts
If you move into a new house but hold on to your previous property then you can turn your mortgage into an investment loan if you rent your property out to new tenants.
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