Mortgage Broker Q&A; Interest only vs a repayment mortgage?
Author: Andy Bedford » Publish Date: 2 October 2009
In Q&A, we take a look at some of the questions mortgage advisers deal with regularly.
Question; what are the pitfalls and benefits of an interest-only mortgage?
They say life is all about risk; this question is a prime example.
If you want the certainty that your mortgage is repaid in full (providing you keep up your payments), then you should take a repayment mortgage.
However, if the cost is too high in the short term, you could take an interest-only mortgage and move to a repayment mortgage later, although you should be aware that the interest paid will be dead money and not reduce your debt.
If you take an interest-only mortgage in the long term, you are gambling that by investing wisely, you can outperform mortgage interest rates with your investments, producing a surplus by the end of the mortgage.
However, if your investment does not perform as planned, there will be a shortfall which you will have to find elsewhere at the end of the term.
But your investment must also outperform mortgage interest rates over the full loan balance; and the entire term.
Whereas if you take a repayment mortgage, the capital part of your payment would gradually reduce the interest element, so like for like, you will repay more interest over the term on an interest-only basis too.
Also, income earned from investments may be subject to further taxation, which increases the risks of shortfalls attached to interest-only loans.
That means interest-only lending on people’s primary residence is considered high risk and is harder to arrange.
On buy-to-let loans, interest only is commonplace. The reduced monthly payments give landlords more breathing space if a tenant fails to pay; allowing for the faster accrual of additional funds for other purchases.