"Don't dismiss" offset mortgages

10 March 2006
Choosing an offset mortgage could allow you to pay off your debt years earlier with less interest, according to a new report.

Moneyfacts is also advising less affluent homebuyers just joining the ladder to bear them in mind for the future.

"Although your current financial circumstances may prevent you from taking advantage of offset or current account mortgages, don't dismiss them completely," said mortgage analyst, Rachel McKay.

Offset mortgages take into account your bank balance, with borrowers only paying interest on the difference between the value of the mortgage and any savings stored up in current or savings accounts.

They are therefore most useful for people with a high level of savings, particularly as they tend to have higher interest rates than standard mortgages, Ms McKay explained.

As a result the offset facility needs to be used to the full to maximise the benefits, she continued, explaining the mortgages are "best used as part of a long term financial plan".

Moneyfacts calculates that by taking out a 25-year £100,000 offset mortgage, borrowers could pay off their loan three years and one month sooner by using £5,000 of accumulated savings and an extra £50 a month.

Although the interest rate is a relatively high 5.24 per cent, Moneyfacts also calculates an overall saving of £22,689 in the interest paid.

By 2009 offsets are expected to account for some 30 per cent of the mortgage market.

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