Mortgage: How fit are your finances?Posted on: 20 June 2012 by Gareth Hargreaves
Ronan Marrion says assessing your finances needn't be daunting. Mortgage, investments, pension scheme and credit cards should all get a budget health check.
Olympic excitement is building and the whole nation is looking forward to the 27th July and the opening ceremony of the 2012 games. Britain's hosting of the games is (almost) a once-in-a-lifetime event; the games themselves happen only once every four years; keeping yourself and your finances in top shape, however, should ideally be a much more regular event. Whether or not you're a sports fan, or even an Olympics fan, how about taking the opportunity to check out the fitness of your finances?
Like the staging of an international sporting event, an assessment of all your finances can be a bit daunting, maybe even a bit like finding yourself facing the 100m hurdle. It can seem like there are a lot of barriers to doing this - time, opportunity, knowing what to do even. If that's the case, why not take it one step at a time and seek out some assistance. Most of us have a whole range of financial commitments and products, such as a mortgage, investments, a pension scheme, credit card and so on. Instead of wrestling with all of them at once, take it steadily and tackle one at a time.
If you have one, your mortgage is likely to be the biggest of your financial commitments, and the one it's most important to get right. Having a mortgage health-check could make your bank account a lot healthier and subsequently help all your finances become more flexible. Whatever type of mortgage you have, with whatever lender, make your first step a chat with an independent mortgage broker.
An independent mortgage broker can help get your mortgage into the right shape, making sure it's a personal best and that it's performing at the top of its game. Sporting clichés aside, however, a little bit of action from you could lead to a world-class improvement in your mortgage. For example, if you've been in a fixed-rate period which is about to come to an end, this could be a particularly good time to review your mortgage options.
With interest rates low at the moment, as the Bank of England have held them at 0.5% for another month, moving to a tracker rate could appeal to you. Alternatively, you may have found that moving to your lender's Standard Variable Rate (SVR) benefitted you at first by putting you on a lower interest rate, but recent rate rises by various banks and building societies could have meant you lost out, making now a good time to review.
On the other hand, you might feel that you prefer to continue with a fixed rate of interest, to have the security of knowing that whatever happens to interest rates, you'll pay the same amount each month. Your mortgage broker can review your current financial position and make sure you've got the best deal to suit your personal circumstances. A mortgage should be tailored to fit you; all good independent mortgage brokers will help you make sure this is the case.
For a few people, it may even be worth your while leaving your fixed-rate period early and paying any applicable penalty charges if you are likely to make substantial savings by moving to a tracker rate or a SVR. Again, your broker will help you decide this by talking you through all your options and researching whether this will be the most cost-effective option for you.
If you don't have a mortgage, but it's something that is on the horizon, make an independent mortgage broker your first call before you even get off the blocks. A broker will review your circumstances with you, find out exactly what you want to achieve and will then search for the number one mortgage for you. They will also be alongside you for the whole process, from start to the finishing line, and even beyond if you need them to be. So to get on the right track (we couldn't resist one final pun) all you need to do is take that first step and you'll be on your way.
Your house may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage or any other loan secured on it.
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