There is a lot of ‘jargon’ used in the mortgage industry. We have tried to provide you with a comprehensive explanation of all the terminology that you may come across during the mortgage process
APR is the commonly used acronym for the Annual Percentage Rate of the total charge for credit: this is the standard way (as laid down by the Consumer Credit Act 1974 and the Financial Conduct Authority) of working out the true interest rate.
All lenders are legally obliged to show the APR alongside quoted interest rates for each mortgage term, this enables you the potential borrower to accurately compare mortgages from different lenders to work out exactly how much you will repay on your loan each month.
These are usually charged by the lender when arranging a loan on certain products.
Bank of England Base Rate
The Bank of England Base Rate determines how much other banks and building societies pay for the loans that they take out from the Bank of England. These base rates will in turn affect the interest rate paid for loans including the loan on your mortgage.
This is a temporary loan which enables you to complete the purchase of your property before completing the sale of your existing house. A typical example of when you may need one would be if you wanted to buy a second property before you’d sold your first.
These are usually charged by the lender when arranging a loan on certain products.
Buy To Let
This is a type of mortgage used to buy property that will be used solely for the purposes of renting to a third party i.e. you as the owner never intend to live there.
Capital and Interest
This is simply another term for capital repayment
There are two ways of repaying a mortgage either by the capital repayment or interest only route. With a capital repayment mortgage, the capital and interest elements of the loan are paid off with each monthly instalment, with the balance reducing over the length of the loan.
Therefore by the end of the mortgage term, assuming all mortgage payments are made, you have paid off the balance in full and you therefore own your property outright.
Capped Rate Mortgage
This is a type of loan where a maximum rate of interest is set at the start of the mortgage term. During the capped rate period the interest rate can fall below the capped rate but will never rise above it.
What this means for you the borrower is that you know how high the mortgage payments could rise but are guaranteed the rate will not go any higher, therefore making home loan budgeting easier.
This is a mortgage used by businesses for the purpose of purchasing their own business premises or for financing for investment purposes.
For example, you would need to apply for a commercial mortgage when investing in commercial property or purchase commercial property for investment purposes.
This is the point at which the money to buy your new property is released to the seller, ownership is then transferred to you and you become a proud home owner!
This is the legal process involved when buying or selling property. Most people use a solicitor or a licensed conveyancer when buying or selling a property because there’s quite a lot of detailed work to do when transferring ownership of a property. If you are obtaining a mortgage your lender will insist that you use a solicitor.
These are mortgages specifically designed for those borrowers who have a history of adverse credit e.g CCJs, Defaults, Mortgage Arrears, Repossessions and bankruptcy.
Decreasing Term Assurance
Decreasing Term Life Insurance (sometimes called mortgage protection assurance) is where the sum assured decreases over the term of the policy. This type of policy is typically purchased by people who want to protect their repayment mortgage in the event of death.
As the outstanding mortgage balance reduces every year, so does the level of insurance. The purpose of this type of plan is to repay any capital you owe if you died.
These are the fees your solicitor has to pay on your behalf (e.g. Stamp Duty, Land Registry fees and search fees) which will be added to your conveyancing bill from the solicitor on completion of the buying or selling of a property.
A discounted rate mortgage offers you reduced repayments for a given term. This interest rate is discounted from the published lender standard variable rate, for an agreed period from the start of the mortgage.
What this means for you the borrower is that you are guaranteed to pay a set amount below the standard variable rate for the period of the discount. The standard rate can go up and down, but the discount amount remains fixed during the agreed period.
Early Redemption Charge
If you pay off your mortgage in full or make overpayments in excess of the amount agreed by your lender at the outset you may be asked to pay an early repayment charge by your lender.
This charge is raised in order to recover any losses or costs incurred by your lender as a result of your early payment.
An endowment mortgage is a type of interest only mortgage designed to repay the mortgage, subject to investment returns. They usually have two elements, the first is a monthly interest payment to the mortgage lender and the second, a monthly payment into an endowment policy that is mainly invested in stocks and shares.
What this means is that you are only paying off the interest on the loan during the term on the mortgage so the balance of your mortgage never changes. The mortgage is designed to be repaid at the end of the term with the proceeds of the endowment policy, subject to investment returns
This is the positive difference between the value of your property and the amount of any outstanding loans secured against it.
For example if your home was worth £300,000 and the mortgage on your property was £100,000 your equity would be £200,000.
Exchange of Contracts
This is the stage in England, Wales and Northern Ireland when both the buyer and seller have legally committed themselves to the sale and purchase of a property and are legally bound to complete the transfer.
First Time Buyer Mortage
There are mortgages available exclusively for first time buyers and can have some special features such as; assistance towards legal fees, cash backs and free valuations.
First Time Buyer
This is the term for a person taking out their very first mortgage.
This is a mortgage rate where the interest rate is agreed at the start of the mortgage and will not change during the term of the fixed rate.
this will ensure you know exactly how much your monthly payment will be during the fixed rate period.
When you have the freehold on a property this means that you solely own the property and the land it is situated on.
This rather unfortunate state of affairs occurs when another potential buyer puts in a higher offer for a property after your offer on the same property has been accepted.
This means that your offer is then rejected. This can happen because under English law, the seller is not legally committed to go ahead with the sale until the point at which contracts are exchanged.
Higher Lending Charges
This is the term used for the lenders’ insurance against you defaulting on your payments when your property is worth less than the loan or in some cases this charge is payable when you are only able to pay a small deposit. There are many mortgages that do not carry this charge and based on your situation it is possible that this type of charge can be avoided altogether.
These are the charges made on a loan, calculated as a percentage of the total amount that you borrowed on your mortgage.
There are two types of mortgage, interest only or capital repayment. With an interest only mortgage the balance of your mortgage stays the same throughout the mortgage term.
Interest and sometimes a premium in a suitable investment vehicle are paid monthly. At the end of the term, the proceeds from the investment are intended to repay the mortgage. This amount will depend on the performance of the investment vehicle.
If you do choose an interest only mortgage you are responsible for ensuring that you have sufficient funds available to repay your mortgage at the end of the term.
This is a system used mainly in England where you own the property for a set period before handing back ownership to the freeholder. When you hold a lease on a property, it remains the property of the freeholder.
A leasehold will set out the details of leaseholder obligations regarding repairs and maintenance of the property.
These are the fees charged by a solicitor or other qualified individual to carry out the legal work associated with buying a property.
Level Term Assurance
This is a life assurance policy which will repay your mortgage should you die during the term of the loan. The amount repaid is set as the balance of your mortgage at the start of your loan; this doesn’t change during the term of the mortgage.
It is very important to understand the concept that if you are to live until the end of the term, your policy will expire and no payment will be made.
This is the interest rate on a mortgage loan.
This is the term used for the type of loan used to buy a property.
This is the creditor or lender i.e. your bank or building society, that lends you the money for your mortgage.
This is the person who borrows money, usually to buy a property.
This situation occurs when a mortgage is greater than the actual value of the property. This can occur due to a decline in the value of the property after it is purchased.
For example, if the mortgage on the property is £300,000 but the value of the property is only £270,000 then a negative equity situation has occurred.
Offer to Loan
This is the formal document approving the mortgage you have requested. This document details the terms and conditions that will apply during the whole term of your mortgage.
This is the term used when moving your mortgage from one lender to another without actually moving house. You may do this to save money.
This might be possible by switching to another mortgage product with the same lender or by switching your mortgage to a competitor. Before making your decision remember, if you move lenders, the saving you make on the interest rate you pay may be partially or wholly eaten up by the transaction charges associated with moving your loan.
If you are thinking about remortgaging it is advisable to do your sums carefully and take good advice from a mortgage adviser. If you don’t do your homework properly you could face the equivalent of several months’ mortgage payments which would effectively wipe out any of the benefits of remortgaging
Right to Buy Mortgages
These are mortgages specifically tailored for public sector tenants who qualify to buy their home under the Government’s Right-to-Buy scheme. You may be eligible to qualify to buy your council home if you are a secure tenant of either; a London Borough council, a district council, a non-charitable housing association, or a housing action trust.
Discounted rates are usually offered to council tenants for their homes. So if you are a council tenant wanting to buy your home, the rate you will pay will depend upon how long you have lived there. The amount of discount you will receive is roughly in proportion to the number of years you have been paying rent.
These are the enquiries made, usually by your solicitor, at the Land Registry, the Land Charges Register and Local Authorities to ensure there is nothing to cause concern about the title to the land and the property you intend to buy.
Self Build Scheme
This is a package for people looking to build their home themselves.
This is a charge levied by the government on house purchases. There is a sliding scale of stamp duty depending upon the value of the property you are buying. Your mortgage broker can provide more information on the amount you will have to pay when purchasing your property.
Subject to Contract Survey
This is an evaluation of the condition and value of a property, carried out by an approved surveyor and paid for by the buyer.
This is the length of time over which your mortgage loan is repaid.
This is the legal right to the ownership of your property.
These are the legal documents showing the ownership of your property.
This is a variable rate mortgage where the interest rate is linked directly to the Bank of England Base Rate. Therefore when the Base Rate changes, the rate on your tracker mortgage changes by the same amount. For example, if the Base Rate increases by 0.25% then your mortgage payments will increase by the same amount.
This is the legal document which transfers ownership of registered land from the seller to the buyer.
This is an independent assessment of the value of a property carried out by an approved surveyor and paid for by you the customer. All lenders insist that a valuation is carried out on a property. The valuation is used by the bank or building society to decide how much they are willing to lend you.
This rate can go down as well as up during the course of your mortgage and is usually based on The Bank of England Base Rate, but can also be based on the lender’s own standard variable rate that they can determine.