New Page 1

When you come to the end of your special deal period, it's well worth while looking to the market to see what else is on offer.

Remortgaging is a good way to escape high variable or fixed interest rates and take advantage of some of the current fixed-rate, tracker or discount mortgages which have much lower rates.

It is also a way to raise funds for an expensive purchase. If you have owned your property for a few years, it could be worth much more than your outstanding debt. By taking out a new, larger mortgage you can release money to spend as you choose.

Remortgaging may also appeal if you are on a variable rate and believe interest rates are about to rise. You can move to a fixed-rate deal before this happens.

The costs

Remortgaging costs money, and before applying for a new deal you should find out just how expensive it is going to be. Common expenses are:

Five point plan

1. Write to your existing lender and ask for a written redemption statement. This will indicate the exact outstanding balance of your loan and will show any penalties or fees you will be charged for redeeming your mortgage.

2. Calculate what the legal fees involved will be. These will vary according to the value of the property and the solicitor used.

3. Look at the new mortgage offer, including the small print, and ask for a written statement of what your new repayments will be, showing any discounts and all the costs that will be incurred, such as the HLC and any arrangement fees.

4. Work out how much you will save each month by taking the repayment for the new loan away from the old repayment - don't forget to take the standard variable rate (SVR) that the new loan will revert to into consideration as well, particularly if the discounted tracker or fixed rate is only for a brief period of time.

5. To judge whether or not remortgaging is worthwhile, compare the costs with the savings - but don't forget that the costs will be payable upfront while the savings will accrue over a period of time.