The Times (Bricks & Mortar)
The advice for borrowers approaching the end of a fixed rate period is to plan ahead well in advance. You should start looking for a new deal at least three to six months in advance. It is possible to “reserve” a rate with some lenders for up to six months in advance. If you can’t find, or are simply not eligible for a competitive rate loan elsewhere then staying with your current lender and moving to their SVR may not be the end of the world. Some SVRs are looking quite competitive in the current market, in comparison to some fixed rates.
Remember also that the SVR is not a forgone conclusion. Talk to your current lender; they may play ball and put you onto another competitive rate - rather than lose your custom. Above all, don’t panic; there are no penalties for switching away from your mortgage once you’ve exited the fixed “honeymoon” period, so you can always remortgage later when conditions are more favourable. Having just said that - watch out for mortgages that tie you into an Early Redemption Charge (ERC) after the fixed rate has finished. An example of this underhand trick is the Norwich & Peterborough Building Society who are now trying to tie you in for a couple of extra years after the discount period. Move early and face a penalty of 5% of the outstanding balance.
If you have savings, it could be an option to use them to create more equity in your property by paying off a chunk of the current home loan. This will give you a better loan-to-value ratio and increase the number of mortgage products available at more competitive rates.