Mortgage fees and costs

Last updated: June 2024 | 3 min read

There are many types of costs associated with mortgages. Knowing these fees will shape your financial planning, affect your budgeting and perhaps even your monthly expenses and future commitments. Here's an overview of the costs to help you plan wisely.

When you begin your home-buying journey, you will need to consider which type of mortgage deal best suits your circumstances from the many types of mortgages available in the UK.

When starting a mortgage process, you must provide a deposit. In the UK, this is usually between 5% and 25% of the property's price. A higher deposit means a lower loan amount, which can reduce your long-term borrowing expenses.

Read on to learn more about the fees and costs.

What are the typical mortgage fees?

Mortgage fees include a range of charges set by mortgage lenders. These can include an arrangement fee, a booking fee, a valuation fee, and a host of others that contribute to the overall cost of a mortgage.

Each one serves a specific purpose in finalising the mortgage deal, which will facilitate your home-buying process.

How can fees impact your mortgage deal?

Fees can significantly influence the affordability and attractiveness of a mortgage deal.

Higher upfront costs might be offset by a lower interest rate, while a low-fee offer may carry higher interest rates.

Evaluating the balance between these fees and the interest charged determines the true cost of a mortgage.

Breaking down mortgage fees

Mortgage arrangement fee

Mortgage providers charge an arrangement fee to set up your mortgage.

This fee varies by lender and can often be added to your mortgage balance, but this means you'll pay interest on it over the mortgage term.

The amount can be anything between £500 and £1,500.

Paying upfront saves money long-term but requires more cash initially.

Mortgage booking fee

A booking fee is a charge from the mortgage lender for securing a fixed-rate, tracker, or discount deal.

It's separate from the arrangement fee and is typically non-refundable, even if the mortgage falls through or you decide against the deal.

Mortgage valuation fee

The mortgage valuation fee covers the lender's assessment of the property's worth to ensure it's worth the purchase price. Your mortgage provider will check the house value to make sure it aligns with your loan terms.

This is not an extensive survey but a basic check to satisfy the mortgage lender that your desired property can secure the mortgage loan.

Valuation fees can increase with the property value. The valuation fee may vary from £500 to £1,500.

Mortgage providers often tier these fees; higher-priced properties command higher fees. Opting for your own property survey can sometimes prevent redundant costs if issues are identified early on.

Mortgage account fee

Some mortgage lenders charge an account fee to cover the administration costs of setting up, maintaining, and closing your mortgage account. This fee can be combined with other charges, so compare mortgage fees to ensure no overlap occurs.

Do you need to pay a mortgage broker fee?

Mortgage brokers may charge a fee for finding mortgage deals and providing advice. Fees vary; some brokers are paid via commission from the lender instead.

Compare the services of fee-free mortgage brokers and those who charge to determine the best value.

So, when do you pay this fee? The timing of mortgage broker fees depends on their terms. Some request payment upon application, while others charge only once you accept a mortgage offer. Discuss payment terms with your mortgage broker before engaging their services.

Upfront costs and initial charges

Mortgage application fee

Mortgage application fees cover the lender's cost of processing your mortgage request. These fees vary widely, with some lenders not charging at all, while others may charge a few hundred pounds.

Paying this fee does not guarantee mortgage approval, and it's generally non-refundable. It can be anything between £100 to £200.

Upfront mortgage costs deposit

The deposit is the cornerstone of purchasing a property, usually representing a percentage of the home's value.

For most mortgage providers, the minimum deposit starts at 5% of the property value. A larger deposit may secure a lower interest rate, saving money over the term of the loan.

Keep in mind that for any costs there may be a telegraphic transfer fee if you choose this option.

Additional upfront fees to consider

Apart from the valuation fee, charged by lenders to assess the property's value, legal fees pay for the solicitor's services in the conveyancing process. Also, a survey fee for checking the property's condition is common, and the cost depends on the survey's thoroughness. Read more about the costs of various types of surveys.

Costs incurred during the mortgage term

What is an early repayment charge?

An early repayment charge is a fee you might face if you repay your mortgage earlier than agreed.

It compensates the lender for the interest they lose. This charge can be a percentage of the mortgage amount and typically decreases the longer you have had the mortgage.

How to calculate early repayment charges?

Calculating this charge involves understanding the lender's rules, which can include a percentage of the outstanding loan amount or a set number of months' interest.

Check your mortgage terms to see how your lender applies this charge.

Consequences of missed payments on your mortgage

Missed payments can lead to additional fees and impact your credit score.

Mortgage providers may charge a late payment fee and higher interest rates on overdue amounts. Consistently missed payments risk mortgage default and may lead to property repossession.

Finalising your mortgage

What is a mortgage exit fee?

A mortgage exit fee comes into play when you pay off your mortgage in full. Some mortgage providers charge this fee to cover administrative costs associated with closing your mortgage account.

These costs vary by provider and sometimes depend on the terms agreed upon at the beginning of the mortgage. It's wise to check your mortgage documentation to understand the specifics of any exit fees you may incur.

Is a mortgage exit fee always applicable?

Not every mortgage account is subject to an exit fee. Whether you'll need to pay this fee depends on your lender and the mortgage product you selected.

Certain mortgage products offer the advantage of no exit fees as an incentive.

If you're considering switching to a new product or transferring your mortgage to a different lender, you should ascertain whether an exit fee will be a factor in your decision.

Handling the mortgage completion fee

At the end of your home-buying process, a mortgage completion fee may be due. This one-off payment is different from an exit fee; it's the charge for finalising your mortgage lending.

While not all lenders charge a completion fee, those that do will require it to be paid either upfront or added to your mortgage costs, which could affect your monthly repayments.

When budgeting effectively for your mortgage, consider this fee, as it can make a significant difference in the overall amount you'll need to pay.

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