Switching mortgage provider could save you thousands – but what’s involved?

Research from the Central Bank of Ireland* suggests that one-in-five Irish households could save by switching mortgage provider

Ulster Bank

Rates are very competitive across the market at the moment, so there could be an opportunity to save money on your monthly mortgage repayments. Photograph: iStock


For most people with mortgages, paying the monthly amount is the priority and they don’t often think about looking for a better deal or interest rate. But what many homeowners with a mortgage don’t consider is the fact that even a minor difference in the interest rate you pay could save you thousands over the course of your mortgage.

Research from the Central Bank of Ireland* shows that many mortgage holders are paying more than they need to. In fact one-in-five could save by switching their mortgage, it reveals.

For that reason, switching mortgages to another provider might be an option worth considering.

Rates are very competitive across the market at the moment, so there could be an opportunity to save money on your monthly mortgage repayments, or the total amount paid over the term of your mortgage. However, Ulster Bank is currently offering the lowest fixed-rate mortgage on the market to new and existing customers.

House prices have increased over the last couple of years and so you could fall into a lower loan-to-value (LTV) bracket and therefore benefit from a lower interest rate. Lenders can also offer lower rates to customers with lower loan to values. 

Before you do decide to switch, there are a number of considerations:

You should review your current mortgage facility - what rate are you paying and is there a better rate available in the market? If you are on a fixed rate your current mortgage lender could charge you a breakage fee, so you should contact them to get a better understanding of how much this will be. 

Have a rough idea of the current value of your property. Recent sale prices in your area might be available on the property price register or you could get a valuation from an estate agent.

Next you should get in contact with the bank, in order to discuss your mortgage options. With Ulster Bank you can visit your local branch or they can arrange for one of their local Mobile Mortgage Managers to visit you and take you through your mortgage options. This will give you an understanding of how much you could save.

Ulster Bank currently has some great mortgage rates and they also offer their best rates to existing customers, not just new ones. So if there’s a better rate available, it’s offered to everyone. They also offer €1,500 towards your legal fees as well as accessibility to suit the customer in terms of opening hours - mortgage managers will come to you or will conduct a video chat if that suits better.

We have dedicated advisors who will help our customers throughout the process from application to drawdown

It should be noted that switching is not easy but the mortgage process and document requirement is broadly similar across all lenders, and Ulster Bank will do its best to ensure the mortgage process is as streamlined as possible. They have dedicated advisors who will “hand-hold” their customers throughout the process, from application to drawdown. “Many of our customers, who have recently gone through the process, reduced their interest rate, saved themselves money and have deemed the process worthwhile,” a spokesperson for Ulster Bank said.

Customers are delighted with the opportunity to save themselves money and, on completion of the process, customer feedback has told us that they believe it was well worth their time and effort.”

If you are looking for a better deal on the interest rate you are currently paying and in order to find out if you are eligible to switch, it is worth making contact with an Ulster Bank mortgage advisor to discuss your options. All applications are underwritten in line with their credit policy and the Central Bank's macro prudential policy.

While there is a lot of paper work involved, switchers don’t have the added stress of buying a house tied up in the process of securing a new mortgage.

“We do our best to ensure the mortgage process is as streamlined as possible. All banks require some easily-accessible documents to support a mortgage application such as payslips and bank statements. At the start of the customer’s mortgage journey, we compile a list of those documents and talk people through why they’re needed. This saves valuable time for customers in the long run. The best advice we can give is to get in touch with us. Our dedicated mortgage advisors are here to help and our Mobile Mortgage Manager team travel all around the country offering meaningful support. We have dedicated advisors who will help our customers throughout the process from application to drawdown,” a bank spokesperson said.

*Source: Switch and Save in the Irish Mortgage Market? Kenneth Devine, Sarah Frost and Rory McElligott. Published by the Central Bank of Ireland, July 2015.

For more see ulsterbank.ie

Maximum loan to value is 90% - varies by buyer type. Security and insurance required. Product fees may apply. Over  18s only. Lending criteria, terms and conditions apply. Credit facilities subject to repayment capacity and financial status.

Legal Fees Offer – includes Buy to Let. Minimum mortgage amount €40,000. Apply by 30th June 2018. Following mortgage drawdown €1,500 will be transferred into the customer’s current account from which the mortgage payment is made within two months. Payment will not be made if mortgage is not drawn down. Offer runs from 13th March 2015 to 30th June 2018 and can be withdrawn or extended at any stage at sole discretion of Ulster Bank. Mortgage Application must be submitted within this period to be eligible. €1,500 payment is a contribution towards the customer’s legal fees. Where legal fees have already been paid by the customer, the €1,500 is a reimbursement of fees incurred.

WARNING: You may have to pay charges if you pay off a fixed-rate loan early.

WARNING: If you do not meet the repayments on your loan, your account will go into arrears. This may affect your credit rating, which may limit your ability to access credit in the future.

WARNING: Your home is at risk if you do not keep up repayments on a mortgage or any other loan secured on it.