According to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), two-thirds of first-time buyers are entering into mortgage deals that have terms of over 25 years, compared with just one-third in 2006.
Taking out a mortgage over a longer period can cut monthly repayments. This might sound appealing in the short term, but you will end up paying more interest over the long term.
How many years is a mortgage?
Minimum and maximum mortgage terms can vary between lenders. In the UK, they usually range from 5 years to 40 years.
What is the average mortgage length?
According to MoneyHelper (previously known as Money Advice Service), most buyers used to opt for a 25-year mortgage. However, in more recent years, 30 and 35-year mortgages have grown in popularity, pushing the average term up. The FCA state that 41% of all mortgage sales have terms over 25 years, which is 14% higher than in 2006.
What is the maximum age for getting a mortgage?
There’s no set maximum age for getting a mortgage, and each lender uses their own guidelines. As a rule of thumb though, you should look to apply before the age of 65.
Age will be a factor when it comes to your mortgage length too. Most lenders require you to finish paying off your mortgage by the time you reach 70 to 85 years old – or sooner. The older you are, the more likely you are to be offered a shorter mortgage term.
A shorter term may mean you make higher monthly repayments, but you should pay less interest overall. Before you apply, make sure you can afford the repayments both now and, in the future. Especially if your income is due to change or you're due to retire soon.
Can I get a 35-year mortgage at 40?
Yes, you may be able to take out a 35-year mortgage as long as you can prove you can afford the repayments for the full term. Though you may have a better chance of getting accepted if you choose a shorter mortgage term and plan to pay the mortgage back before you retire. Ultimately, whether you’re approved depends on the lender’s criteria and your individual circumstances.
Is a 35-year mortgage a good idea?
There are advantages and disadvantages to getting a 35-year mortgage, so it’s important to think carefully about your options. Remember, if you were to fall behind on your repayments, your home could be put at risk.
Advantages of a 35-year mortgage
- Lower monthly mortgage repayments - spreading repayments makes your mortgage more affordable month-to-month, compared to paying the same amount over a shorter period.
- Helps you get on the property ladder sooner – this could be helpful if you can’t afford a mortgage with a shorter term and higher monthly repayments.
Disadvantages of a 35-year mortgage
- Longer to get mortgage-free - you may need to retire later than you’d hoped or prove to the lender that you can cover the repayments after you retire.
- Costs you more in interest – it’s likely you’ll end up paying more interest in total, compared to borrowing the same amount over a shorter term
Tip: Speak to a qualified mortgage adviser to receive expert advice tailored to your financial situation.
What other factors do mortgage providers consider?
Eligibility criteria varies from one lender to another. But there are some common factors that mortgage providers consider (besides age). These include your:
- Credit history - mortgage lenders check your credit report to see how responsible you are as a borrower, based on how well you’ve managed money in the past.
- Affordability – you’ll need to provide proof of your income and outgoings to show you have room in your budget to pay for a mortgage (both now and going forwards).
- Stability – mortgage providers will want to see a record of your employment history and address history. If you appear on the electoral roll, this should work in your favour, as you’ll appear more stable and reliable.
- Credit utilisation rate – is the percentage of credit you’ve used vs the amount of credit available to you across your credit cards and overdrafts (not loans). Reducing your spending to 25% or less than your credit limit will boost your credit score.
- Debt-to-income ratio – the lower your monthly debt repayments are in comparison to your monthly income, the better.
- Application history – if you’ve made lots of credit applications within a short space of time, this may put the lender off.
- Deposit – your mortgage provider will also request evidence to support your deposit. The bigger it is, the less risky you’ll appear.
- House valuation – the lower your mortgage is in comparison to the cost of your new property, the better your chances of approval.
Read on to find out what paperwork you may be asked to provide when you apply for a mortgage.
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