Remortgage guide

Free PDF guide to remortgaging

Interest rates on mortgages are expensive right now compared to years past. So if you want to change your current mortgage then getting it right is really important. Our 58-page guide has tips on when you should and shouldn't remortgage, different mortgage types, and how to get the best out of the deals that are available. Our free, detailed PDF guide takes you through it all – to seek out the best mortgage for you.

Who's the guide for?

This guide is for anyone who already has a mortgage on their home. A remortgage can be for many reasons – maybe you're coming to the end of your current deal, or your deal's no longer right for you. Or maybe you want to try to cut costs, or bring all your debts together in one place?

If you're a first-time buyer, see our First-time buyers' mortgage guide instead.

What's in the guide?

If you want a sneak peek before getting the whole thing, here's a quick breakdown and intro for each section of the guide. But before you start, here's our big message:

"If your mortgage is your single biggest expenditure, cutting its cost is likely to be your biggest single MoneySaver."

Chapter 1: Consider if remortgaging is right for you – there are several reasons to do it

The biggest reason is to save yourself money, but it's not the only one. And remember, it's not about the best deal out there – it's about the best deal for you. Our Remortgage guide covers the full list of reasons why you might want to remortgage, which includes:

  • Saving money, for instance if you're on your lender's standard variable rate but there are cheaper deals available.
  • Your mortgage doesn't fit any more. Maybe you want one that lets you overpay by more, or sometimes miss payments.
  • You want to borrow more but your current lender won't let you.

If you've decided to remortgage, you'll need to make sure you're a good candidate. Our Remortgage guide talks you through the importance of having decent equity, a good credit score and being able to prove you can afford repayments if mortgage rates shot up.

Remember you don't have to switch lender in order to get a new mortgage deal. Alternatively you could get a new deal from your current lender instead. This is called a 'product transfer' and – while not technically a remortgage – can work out. See how to Compare product transfers and remortgaging.

Chapter 2: Remortgaging won't be right for everyone

While remortgaging can normally cut your costs, it's not right for everyone – depending on your situation, it might not even be possible. Our Remortgage guide lists the reasons it might not be the best time to remortgage, including:

  • When you're already on a good deal (relevant for many people right now as interest rates are much higher than they were two or three years ago).
  • If remortgaging means paying expensive early repayment charges.
  • Where you need to borrow more than 90% of the value of your property, meaning the deals available are fewer and more expensive.
  • If your circumstances have changed (for example, your income has reduced).
  • If you currently have a bad credit score (see our Improve your credit score guide).

Chapter 3: How to prepare yourself for remortgaging

Before you start looking to remortgage, there are THREE checks you need to make on your current mortgage. Our Remortgage guide talks through these checks in detail, but in brief you need to consider the following: 

  • Will you be paying an early repayment charge? These can cost £1,000s and are charged if you leave an introductory deal (such as a five-year fix) early.
  • Will you be paying an exit fee? Expect to pay between £50 and £200.
  • How much do you owe to your current lender? You need the exact figures.

This chapter also discusses working out how much lenders are likely to let you borrow, how much equity you'll need in your home to get the top deals, and tips on how to lower your loan-to-value. See our How much can I borrow? guide for a quick explainer on why a smaller loan-to-value means cheaper mortgage rates.

Chapter 4: Do all you can to boost your chances of mortgage acceptance

Getting any type of mortgage is tough these days, and it's not been made any easier by the cost of living crisis. You can't rest on your laurels just because you've managed to get a mortgage from a lender before. Our Remortgage guide details what you can do to improve your attractiveness to lenders, which includes:

  • Getting your credit score in good shape – by getting on the electoral roll, financially 'delinking' from exes, not missing due payments, and more. See also: Improve your credit score.
  • Proving you can afford it, by gathering proof of your income and doing a money makeover (want to know how to do a money makeover?).
  • Trying our other top tips, such as putting down an extra £100 on top of your current equity, closing unused credit cards and staying out of your overdraft.

Chapter 5: Be prepared for extra scrutiny if you're self-employed or a contractor

The self-employed have always had it extra tough when it comes to getting a mortgage. Our Remortgage guide tells you what to expect if you're applying for a mortgage, including how many tax returns and business accounts you'll be required to provide.

Also see our Self-employed mortgages guide for extra information.

Chapter 6: Decide what type of mortgage you want – fix, variable, tracker, or other...

Once you're confident that a lender will lend to you, you'll need to consider what kind of mortgage you actually want. Our full guide explains exactly what a mortgage is (if you've forgotten), how it's 'secured' on your home, and lays out the pros and cons of different mortgage types, including:

  • Repayment and interest-only mortgages.
  • Fixed-rate and variable-rate mortgages.
  • Offset mortgages.
  • Portable mortgages.

Chapter 7: If you're moving home then you won't actually be remortgaging...

If you're moving home, it's not a remortgage you need – though this doesn't automatically mean you need a new mortgage either. In the first instance, you might be able to take your current mortgage with you if it's 'portable'. If it's not – and you don't have to port even if you're able to – you'll need to apply for a new mortgage instead, just like you would if you were a first-time buyer.

Our Remortgage guide explains these options in more detail. Also see our Porting a mortgage guide. 

Chapter 8: Don't forget to factor in other costs, including mortgage fees

Doing your sums is really important when remortgaging, as there are likely to be fees for the new mortgage and maybe even some for leaving your current mortgage. Our Remortgage guide runs through which fees you should expect, but in brief you'll likely pay:

  • Arrangement fee. Charged by the lender for taking out the mortgage itself, which can set you back about £1,000. 
  • Booking fee. A few lenders charge a separate fee to reserve the deal, although it's increasingly rare. If it does, it'll cost between £100 and £200.

The good news is that valuation fees and legal fees are usually free with a remortgage. However, it's still important that you compare the cost of your current mortgage with your potential new one. Our Compare two mortgages calculator helps you do this.

Chapter 9: How to get a remortgage deal step-by-step– including going solo or via a broker 

You've got two main options when applying for a remortgage deal: doing it solo by going direct to a lender, or applying via a broker.

Our full Remortgage guide sets out in detail how both options work, though using a broker is often best as they can whittle down the top deals quickly, often have special deals only available via a broker and also know what type of mortgages would best suit your personal circumstances. This chapter includes info on:

  • How different brokers work and which deals they search.
  • Which brokers are free and what questions to ask them.
  • How to compare the widest range of mortgages if going solo.

Chapter 10: Watch out for the hard sell on insurance

To compensate for lower profits on headline mortgage rates, some lenders up prices on associated insurance products. This chapter tells you the insurance policies you may face the hard sell on, what you should expect to pay and how to find the cheapest products. The kind of insurance to consider includes:

  • Mortgage payment protection insurance.
  • Buildings and contents insurance.
  • Life cover.

Chapter 11: Quick remortgage Q&A

This chapter covers a few commonly asked questions, such as "What is the mortgage 'annual percentage rate' for?' and "Can I let out my home?"

If you're ready to hunt for a top remortgage deal, head straight for our Mortgage best buys tool, where you can compare the top rates and click through to a lender or broker to get your deal.

How come it's free?

The guide is sponsored by fee-free mortgage broker London & Country (L&C). Don't worry – it's had nothing to do with the content, which purely depends on our view of the best way to save money while remortgaging. The guide is written with complete editorial independence and is focused solely on finding you the best deal, and this is enshrined in the contract with L&C.

Having said that, L&C isn't stupid. We've been independently listing it as one of the top brokers for several years now (see our Cheap mortgage finding guide), so it had a pretty good idea it wouldn't come out too badly.

L&C sponsors the guide because it gets a one-time chance to include its own message promoting its service. Just to assure you, you won't be sent any follow-up advertising, marketing or any of that malarkey.

In the trade, this is known as a payment for 'lead generation'. In this case, that means L&C pays for the guide's production and a small fee to help this site. See more about this site's ethical financial stance.

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