Thinking of switching mortgage? Here’s what you need to know

Ulster Bank mortgage manager, Debbie Boyle discusses switching mortgages, the benefits of switching and explains how to do it with ease

Ulster Bank

Our dedicated mortgage advisors are here to help: we have dedicated advisors who will hand-hold our customers throughout the process from application to drawdown. Photograph: iStock


Why would someone consider switching their mortgage?

Customers’ needs change over time and their family circumstances evolve. Mortgage holders need to find a mortgage that suits their current needs. Some people may look to pay their mortgage off more quickly; by reducing the rate on their mortgage and keeping their repayments the same, they can reduce the term of the mortgage. By reducing your rate you can reduce your monthly loan repayment, saving money that might be required elsewhere. We will present the customer with a number of options and they can choose one which suits their needs best in order to proceed.

Debbie Boyle, Ulster Bank mortgage manager
Debbie Boyle, Ulster Bank mortgage manager

What is involved in switching?

Switching your mortgage isn’t as painful as it might seem. When you are thinking about switching, reviewing your current mortgage offering is the best place to begin. If you are on a fixed rate your current mortgage lender could charge you a breakage fee. Contact your current lender to understand 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.

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.

Ulster Bank has a range of options available to new and existing customers to discuss switching their mortgage. Our dedicated mortgage advisors are here to help, our branch and Mobile Mortgage Manager team are available to meet customers and will run through their details in order to outline their options and progress if the customer wishes. 

Once you have submitted your documents we will assess your application in line with our credit criteria and carry out the relevant credit checks. After this is complete we will arrange for the valuation of your property and Ulster Bank will pay the valuation fee.

Can you tell us a little bit about the issues that might stop a customer from switching?

Some people might be put off by the thought of going through the mortgage process again. They went through the process when purchasing their property initially and for one reason or another they could have experienced delays in closing on a property purchase and got frustrated by the process.

How can Ulster Bank help with that?

Sitting down with one of our dedicated mortgage advisors could be time well spent.  It’s free, it’s less than an hour of your time and it could save you money. 

It is a big shift but is it one worth taking?

Absolutely. At Ulster Bank we offer a very competitive fixed-rate mortgage  to new and existing customers.  Many of our customers, who have recently gone through the process, reduced their interest rate, saved themselves money and have deemed the process worthwhile. 

What is your experience of working with customers when switching?

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.

What are they most afraid of?

Buying a home or switching a mortgage is one of the most significant financial decisions our customers will ever make. It’s important to take your time with the process and to talk it through with your mortgage advisor to make sure you understand it fully. 

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

The mortgage process and document requirement is broadly similar across all lenders, and at Ulster Bank we will do our best to ensure that the mortgage process is as streamlined as possible. 

Another worry that customers have is in relation to the legal fees associated with switching their mortgage, but at Ulster Bank we offer €1,500 towards your legal fees.

Why does the very personal experience of working with Ulster Bank staff make the process easier?

I’m here to help customers through the mortgage process. It’s one of the most important and exciting decisions anyone will ever make, so it’s my job to make sure we are providing help for what matters throughout the process.

Our customers lead busy lives and I know from talking to them that flexible, early morning and late-evening appointments make their life easier. So that’s why I’m available to meet at a time and place convenient to them. Getting a mortgage is a journey and it’s important that I simplify that for customers, where possible, and that I make sure they are kept fully informed and up to date along the way.

Our Mobile Mortgage Manager team also provides help for customers, with video chat technology. That means customers can chat to one of the team on their mobile phone, tablet or PC using specially designed, secure technology called TokBox.

For more, see ulsterbank.ie

For Ulster Bank 4 year fixed rate - Maximum loan to value is 80% - varies by buyer type. Minimum mortgage amount is €200,000. Standard Variable Rate applies after the fixed term, currently 4.3%. Security and insurance required. Product fees may apply. Over 18s only. Excludes Buy to Let mortgages and Mortgages in Arrears. 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.

Ulster Bank Ireland DAC is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

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.