Porting mortgage

Last updated: March 2024 | 3 min read

Planning to move but wish to keep your current mortgage? Explore mortgage porting, a practical solution for homeowners. Understand its role in situations like negative equity or when pondering a mortgage holiday. This guide demystifies the process, equipping you for a smooth property transition.

What exactly is a porting mortgage?

Understanding the concept of mortgage porting

Mortgage porting allows you to transfer your existing mortgage deal to a new property. This process enables you to keep your current mortgage rate, terms, and conditions while moving homes.

If you're considering a move and have a favourable deal with your lender, mortgage porting can be an attractive option. It often involves affordability checks and may depend on your lender's criteria.

Is porting your mortgage the same as refinancing?

Porting a mortgage differs significantly from refinancing. When you port your mortgage, you're essentially transferring your existing mortgage deal - including the interest rate and terms - to a new property.

In contrast, refinancing means ending your current mortgage and starting a new one, potentially with different terms and rates. Understanding this difference is crucial for homeowners weighing their financial options while moving to a new property.

Assessing the feasibility of porting your existing mortgage deal

Eligibility criteria for mortgage porting

How does your credit rating affect eligibility?

Your credit rating plays a significant role in determining your eligibility for porting a mortgage. Most lenders review your credit history to assess risk. A strong credit score often means better chances of approval. On the other hand, a lower score could limit your options or lead to less favorable terms.

Impact of changes in household income

Changes in your household income directly affect mortgage porting eligibility. Lenders evaluate your income to ensure you can sustain mortgage payments. A higher income might ease the process, while a reduced income could necessitate additional financial scrutiny.

Meeting the lending criteria of your existing lender

How your current property influences eligibility

Your current property's value and condition influence lender's decisions. A well-maintained property in a favorable location might make porting easier. Conversely, issues like decreased property value could complicate the process.

Comparing terms with new mortgage offers

When considering mortgage porting, compare your existing deal's terms with new mortgage offers. This comparison helps in understanding whether porting offers the best financial advantage. Consider factors like interest rates, fees, and loan terms.

Pros and cons of porting your current mortgage deal

Advantages of maintaining your existing mortgage

Saving on early repayment charges

When you port your mortgage, you transfer your current mortgage deal to a new property. This move often spares you from incurring early repayment charges. These charges apply when you pay off a mortgage before the end of its term.

Early repayment fees can be a significant financial burden, sometimes amounting to thousands of pounds, depending on the size of your loan and the terms of your mortgage deal.

By choosing to port your mortgage, you continue with your existing mortgage terms and avoid these hefty fees, which is particularly beneficial if you are in the middle of a fixed-term deal where such charges are common.

Retaining favourable interest rates

Porting your mortgage allows you to maintain your current interest rate, which can be a major financial advantage. Interest rates fluctuate based on economic conditions and market trends.

If you secured your current mortgage at a time when interest rates were particularly low, it's likely that the rate you are paying is more favourable compared to current market rates.

By porting your mortgage, you carry this beneficial rate over to your new property. This continuation can lead to considerable savings over the life of the mortgage, especially if you have a significant amount of time left on a fixed-rate deal.

Limitations and drawbacks of mortgage porting

Potential for higher valuation and legal fees

Despite its advantages, porting a mortgage can lead to additional expenses in the form of valuation and legal fees. When you move to a new property, your mortgage lender will require a valuation of the new property to ensure it provides sufficient security for the loan.

This valuation process comes with its own costs. Additionally, there are legal fees involved in the transfer of your mortgage from one property to another.

These expenses, which vary depending on the property and the complexity of the transaction, can add up and should be considered when deciding whether porting your mortgage is financially sensible.

Constraints of the same lending terms

Porting your mortgage means you are bound by the terms of your current mortgage deal. These terms, which may have been suitable for your original property and financial situation, might not align with your new circumstances.

For instance, if your income has changed, or if you're moving to a more expensive property, the borrowing limits of your current deal may no longer be adequate. Additionally, being tied to the same lender restricts your ability to explore potentially more favourable or suitable mortgage deals available in the market.

This limitation can be particularly constraining if your financial situation or the property market has changed significantly since you first secured your mortgage.

Steps involved in porting a mortgage

Starting the process: When and how to initiate

Initiating the mortgage porting process requires timely action and clear communication with your lender. As you consider moving to a new property, it's important to engage with your lender at the earliest opportunity.

This early engagement allows you to understand whether your current mortgage is eligible for porting. Lenders have different policies and timelines for porting mortgages, which can be affected by factors like bank holidays.

It's also a good opportunity to discuss any potential changes in your mortgage rate or terms. Understanding these details early in the process helps in making an informed decision about whether porting your mortgage is the best option for your situation.

Application and approval: What to expect

During the application phase, your lender will reassess your financial circumstances, which is akin to reapplying for a mortgage. This reassessment is crucial for the lender to ensure that you still meet their borrowing criteria. Be prepared for a comprehensive evaluation of your current income, outgoings, and any other financial commitments.

The lender will also conduct a credit check to assess your creditworthiness. It's important to be transparent and provide accurate information to facilitate a smooth process.

Navigating credit checks and affordability assessments

The credit check and affordability assessment are critical in determining your eligibility to port your mortgage. These checks are intended to confirm that you remain a reliable borrower and can continue to meet your mortgage repayments.

An improvement in your financial situation since the original mortgage agreement, such as an increased income or a better credit score, can positively influence this assessment. Conversely, if your financial situation has worsened, this could pose challenges in the porting process. It's advisable to obtain a copy of your credit report in advance and address any discrepancies or issues.

Dealing with valuation fees and arrangement fees

When porting a mortgage, expect additional costs such as valuation fees and arrangement fees. The valuation fee is charged for the lender's assessment of the new property's market value, which is crucial for determining the amount of mortgage that can be ported. The arrangement fee, if applicable, is charged for transferring your mortgage to the new property.

These fees vary between lenders and can sometimes be significant. It's essential to discuss these fees with your lender or mortgage broker upfront. Being aware of these costs early on can help you budget accordingly and avoid any unexpected financial strain during the mortgage porting process.

By understanding these steps and considerations, you'll be better equipped to navigate the mortgage porting process, making it a smoother and more predictable experience.

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