In Q & A we look at some of the questions mortgage advisers answer on a day to day basis.
Question; Whats an Offset Mortgage and how can they save me money?
Offset Mortgages have lessened in number thanks to the credit crunch but for some people they could still represent a very effective way to save money on mortgage repayments.
In an offset mortgage a savings account is held with the lender and any balance held in the savings account will be offset against the outstanding loan amount and no interest is paid on the equivalent balance of the loan. The benefit of this is that Mortgage Interest rates are generally above savings interest rates as this difference is the premium or margin the lender will make on the loan.
You are also taxed at either 20% or 40% on your savings interest (unless you don’t pay tax but let’s assume you do if you have a mortgage). This means that if you could get a savings rate of 3.5% gross and your mortgage was 4.5% for example then the real return on your savings would be either 2.8% or 2.1% after tax. That would mean that for every £1000 in the offset account you would be better off by either £17 or £24 a year in this scenario and your mortgage payments could be reduced by £45 per £1000.
But it doesn’t end there, you can usually either use the offset to reduce the term of your mortgage or your monthly repayments. If you reduce the payments but deposit the savings into the offset the balance will increase accelerating the reduction of your interest payments and increasing savings month on month but it also can be used as a way of effectively paying lump sums off a mortgage with the added benefit that these can be easily accessed should you have a rainy day!
For more information on Offset Mortgages call a mortgage advisor on 0845 4594490 for advice.