Mortgages: A Loans Guidebook Introduction
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Mortgages: Different Ways of Buying Your Home

Mortgages involve two main choices

Mortgages Explained

Mortgages are particular types of secured loans. There are different types of mortgages, the differences mostly being about the choices you have over:

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Mortgages and repaying what you borrow

Endowment You invest monthly in an endowment policy, and get an (unknown) lump sum at the end of the loan period.
Repayment You pay off repayment mortgages bit by bit, every month.
Interest Only You don't pay anything back until the loan expires, when you have to find the money by other means (eg: by selling your house).
ISA You invest monthly in an ISA, and get an (unknown) lump sum at the end of the loan period.
Pension You invest monthly in a pension, and get a proportion of the fund as an (unknown) lump sum at the end, the remainder of the fund being used to pay you a pension.

Mortgages and different ways of calculating interest

Tracker Monthly payments automatically track general interest rates. That is, when general interest rates change, your monthly payment changes accordingly.
Variable Rate Monthly payments move according to the rates set by your lender. They might be changed monthly, or as infrequently as once a year.
Fixed Rate Monthly payments stay the same for the first few years.
Discount Your monthly payments can changed, but they are discounted for the first few years.
Capped Your monthly payments change in response to interest rates, but never go above a pre-determined level.

Other features

Cashback You receive a lump sum at the start, eg: to buy furnishings
Flexible You can vary your monthly payments, eg: to pay off the loan early or take payment holidays. In some mortgages you may also have other flexibilities, such as the ability to offset your savings and mortgage, to save money.
Penalties There are sometimes penalties if you decide to switch mortgages to another lender or pay them off early; you have to pay the lender a cash sum.
Self-certification If you are unable to provide proof of income, some lenders will trust the borrower to declare their own income. Self-certification mortgages are usually the most expensive of all mortgages.

More information

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