What’s the deal?
TSB's new Fix and Flex mortgage will freeze the rate you pay for 10 years but only has early repayment charges for the first five.
It also has no arrangement fee. Happy days!
As with all mortgages, the rate you are offered with Flex and Fix will depend on your level of deposit (or equity if you already have a home). The more you can put down, the cheaper your rate will be. If you have a 40% deposit, for example, TSB has recently reduced its Fix and Flex rate to just 3.14% (from 3.44%) if you are buying or moving home, or to 3.19% (from 3.49%) if you are remortgaging.
The Fix and Flex deal has now been extended to first-time buyers with just a 5% deposit - but at pay rate of 5.69%.
Whatever deposit you have, the deal comes with the following early redemption charges (ERCs) if you pay the loan off early:
- 5% (of the outstanding debt) in the first year
- 4% in the second and third years
- 3% in the fourth year, and
- 1% in the fifth.
There are no ERCs after the first five years, meaning you can switch to a new deal totally free of charge if you want to - or just stay put at your fixed rate for five years more.
Remortgagers who also hold a TSB current account, will also get a £500 cashback bonus with the mortgage.
Who is it good for?
A Fix & Flex mortgage could be the perfect for you if:
-You want the security of a 10-year deal but can only plan for the next five
- You are worried about future interest rate rises
- You are on a budget and will find fixed mortgage payments useful
- You don't want to pay upfront arrangement fees or add them to the loan
Even though you can escape this 10-year mortgage with no charges halfway through, that still means sticking with it for five years. And if you want to leave within this time, the early repayment charges of as much as 5% are expensive, although they are at least tiered so you will pay less to get out as the years go by.
Neverthelss, don't opt for the Fix and Flex if you are unsure of your movements over the next five years.
What’s the verdict?
The Fix and Flex deal offers the best of both worlds for anyone unsure of whether to fix their mortgage for five or 10 years.
- Your interest rate will stay the same for the next 10 years – even if rates go shooting up
- BUT you can get out after five years if rates fall or you need to sell up due to a change in your circumstances.
But, with an increasing certainty that interest rates won't be rising any time soon, lenders have been slashing mortgage costs even further in recent weeks - including those on 10-year terms.
Nationwide has just (March 3, 2015) reduced the rate on its 10-year fixed rate mortgage to an absolutely cracking 2.89% (for a 40% deposit). And if you're already a customer, it's even cheaper at 2.79%. These rates are lower than even the recently-reduced 3.14% Fix and Flex deal from TSB.
BUT...Nationwide's deal comes with a £999 arrangement fee and tie-ins for the FULL 10-year term. And you'll have to be super-certain you can stick with it too as the ERCs are unforgiving. You'll pay a whacking 7% of the outstanding loan in years 1 to 4; 6% in year 5, tapering down 1% each year until year 10 when it will cost you 1% to get out early.
Over FIVE YEARS, as you would expect, the cost of fixed rate mortgages are considerably lower, while ERCs will also apply for the term.
HSBC is offering a five-year fixed rate deal a recently-reduced 2.39% if you have a 40% deposit. BUT it carries a £1,499 fee.
The Post Office is offering a five-year fixed rate deal at 2.55% also for a 40% deposit. BUT it carries a £1,495 fee.
You can apply for TSB Fix and Flex mortgage via MoneySuperMarket by calling 0330 333 3799.
Please note: any rates or deals mentioned in this article were available at the time of writing. Click on a highlighted product and apply direct.