Looking to remortgage your home? It’s best to start searching for your new deal as soon as possible.
Here’s our guide to how long it takes to remortgage the average home — and what to do if you’ve left it to the last minute.
If it’s time to find a new mortgage deal, you’re probably wondering how long remortgaging takes — and maybe even how to remortgage.
It’s sensible to give yourself plenty of time to secure the best possible rate and allow for any unexpected complications with your application.
If you don’t, you could be moved to your provider’s standard variable rate — which can be much higher than the interest rate you’d previously committed to.
Here’s your guide to how long it takes to remortgage your home.
How long does a remortgage application take?
If you’re moving to a new lender, you can expect the remortgage application to take around two to three months.
The process is similar to the initial mortgage application if you’re moving to a different lender, as you’ll need to provide documents, have your house valued and have your credit score checked.
Your mortgage company may also instruct a surveyor to check the house for anything that could prevent them offering you a loan.
If you’re borrowing more than the value of your house for a renovation or debt consolidation, your lender may ask for additional documents.
Typically, your lender will offer you a mortgage within four weeks — but the process can be longer if there are additional factors to consider.
Once you accept, your conveyancer will carry out the legal work and make sure your previous lender gets the funds to pay off what you borrowed. Again, this process can take up to four weeks.
When should I look to remortgage?
You can start exploring your remortgage options six months before your current deal comes to an end.
Most mortgage offers are valid for three to six months. Finding a new lender or deal early will allow you to move straight to your new rate once your current one ends.
It’s also sensible to start looking at your remortgage options as soon as possible to stop you getting a financial shock.
If you’re looking at a very different market, with vastly higher interest rates, it’s wise to re-evaluate your household budget first.
Understanding how much of a monthly increase you can afford, and setting an upper threshold, will stop you blindly committing to a new rate that’s not manageable.
How much does remortgaging cost?
If you’re switching before your current deal has come to an end, you may have to pay an early repayment charge – typically between 1 per cent and 5 per cent of your outstanding mortgage balance.
So, if you’ve got £300,000 left to pay on your mortgage and want to switch early, you could be charged between £3,000 and £15,000.
If it’s time to switch to a new deal, the costs will be much lower. Typically you’ll have to pay conveyancing fees to the solicitor who completes your documents, which range from around £300 to £500+.
If you use a broker to find a new mortgage deal, you may also have to pay them a fee (around £500 on average), unless they take commission from the products they sell.
How can I speed up the remortgage process?
Some parts of the remortgage process are out of your hands, but you can still play your part to prevent delays.
Gather your documents early – Check which documents you’ll need to provide early, particularly if you’re self-employed, so you have time to locate any missing information. Save physical and digital copies so they’re ready to send as soon as your lender requests
Work with a broker – A broker can help you handle the admin of the remortgage process and find you a suitable deal. With dedicated software and a team to help process the paperwork and chase up lenders, brokers can help you secure a deal quickly
Check your credit report – Seemingly minor issues like an incorrect address or a mistaken missed payment can impact how lenders see you. If you spot a mistake, contact the relevant credit reference agency to correct it as soon as possible
Avoid changing jobs – While it can’t always be avoided, changing jobs can make remortgaging more difficult. Some lenders may turn you down if you’re in a probationary period at work, or if you’ve recently gone self-employed. So if you can, postpone that life change until after you’ve locked in a new mortgage deal
The quickest way to remortgage
Getting a new mortgage deal with your current lender is the fastest remortgage option.
Known as a product transfer, the process can be completed in as little as a week.
Because you’re with the same provider, you won’t need a mortgage valuation or for the transfer to be processed by a conveyancing solicitor.
You also won’t need to provide as many documents, as your lender already has proof of factors like your affordability.
With product transfers, you’ll typically switch to your new rate when your mortgage rate ends.
Some lenders will let you move to a new rate immediately, even if you’re still in a fixed-rate term. It’s always worth asking, particularly if your new rate is lower.
Before committing to another deal with your lender, make sure you explore the market for better deals first.
Even though it’s convenient, staying with the same provider could cost you hundreds of extra pounds per month if their rate is much higher than competitors’.
Finding the right remortgage deal
Remortgaging can be a stressful process, particularly if you’re trying to navigate a very different market or have had a change in personal circumstances.
And for those trying to remortgage to raise funds for a renovation or significant life event, it can be even more complicated.
The right mortgage adviser will make the application process simple by telling you exactly what you need to provide to whom, and when you need to do it.
Find a mortgage adviser near you with Unbiased.