Approvals of home loans in January 2005 fell to their lowest level since January 1999. Only 126,300 mortgage loans were approved throughout the month, representing a 28% year-on-year drop in mortgage loan approvals. With competition between lenders in the home loans market remaining strong, and fewer mortgage applications to go round, now is a good time to take stock of your mortgage with a view to moving your home loan to a more competitive home loans provider.

Are you paying too much for your mortgage?

Many home owners across the UK do not realise that they are paying too much for their mortgage. A recent survey conducted on behalf of one of the major high street lenders who have a presence on the Internet concluded that at least a third of home owners are paying as much as 2% more for their home loans than they should be. If you’re on a standard variable mortgage rate or have been on a discounted loans product or fixed rate loans product where the preferential rates period has expired, then you too could be paying more than you need to for your home loan.

How to get the best deal on home loans.

To see if you are paying over the odds for your mortgage you’ll need to dig out your last mortgage statement. On the statement it will quote the interest rate you are paying and will most likely quote the loans product that you are signed up to. To see if you can get a better deal all you need do is search the Internet for UK mortgage loans and take a look at the products on offer.

Some of the best loans can currently be found in fixed rate mortgages. Interest rates are as low as 4.44% in some instances, fixed for 3 years or more. Even a five-year fixed home loan may be taken out with some lenders for around 5%.

Some important points!

Before transferring your home loan to another provider it is important to consider the following points�

1) Restrictions on current mortgage loans – do you have any penalty clauses in your home loan that would be charged if you were to swap mortgage provider? Penalty clauses are common on discounted home loan products and fixed rate mortgage loans, tying you in to that product for a set period of time.

2) Arrangement fees – Many loans providers who offer low interest rates to their customers compensate for their loss by increasing their credit arrangement fees and other additional charges such as valuation fees. It is a good idea to look out for loans companies that are running offers of reduced arrangement fees and/or free valuations, enabling you to get the best deal.

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