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HSBC offers help for struggling homeowners

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Dan Plant
Dan Plant
Editor
10 April 2008

From Monday 14 April, HSBC is launching its 'RateMatcher' deal, offering to match some borrowers' soon-to-end low mortgage rates. The global financial uncertainty has caused many lenders to withdraw cheap mortgage deals, a nightmare situation for anyone approaching the end of their current rate. HSBC's deal may be great news if you're in this situation; yet it depends on how the numbers crunch.

Homeowners whose fixed rate mortgage ends before 30 June, and are borrowing less than 80% of the value of their property can apply for a mortgage of up to £250,000 at the rate they're currently paying for a further two years (though the cheapest HSBC will go is 4.54%). The key to whether the deal's worth it hinges on the size of the application fee; HSBC says nearly three-quarters of customers will pay £999 or less, a fairly typical charge. Yet the very cheapest deals will involve fees topping £4,000. From next Monday, a calculator at www.hsbc.co.uk will detail exactly what you'd pay to clinch the rate you're after, and full details will be included in MoneySavingExpert's free weekly e-mail.

Existing HSBC mortgage-holders could potentially get an even better deal; the bank is offering them the opportunity to fix their existing rate for up to five years, and in general they will pay lower fees to do so; the majority will pay less than £500

Though this could work out very cheap, it's vital to check elsewhere to see how good a deal it really is for you. Use a fees-free, 'whole of market' broker to scour all UK mortgages for any better deals for you - read www.moneysavingexpert.com/mortgages/best-mortgages-cashback/, and the free Remortgage Guide for loads of information on getting the right deal www.moneysavingexpert.com/mortgages/remortgage-guide

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