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I recently purchased a house and wanted a good deal on my mortgage. I wanted everything - a discounted rate, cashback and also no tie-in period. The tie-in period was very important to me as I had to leave my previous mortgage lender (the Leeds & Holbeck) and they charged me over £3000 to do this because I was still within my 5 year tie-in period. I could have stayed with the Leeds & Holbeck to avoid paying this huge fee but Leeds & Holbeck would not lend me the extra money (I needed £120,000) for my new house. I decided to go to Intelligent Finance and I was very pleased to hear that they would lend me up to £140,000 - more than enough for what I needed!
The deal I got from IF was 6% base rate which is lower than any other lender that I had checked up on at the time. There was a discount of 1.5% for the first 6 months. I have seen bigger discounts for longer periods but the base rates for others were higher. Also, they will refund the valuation fee upon completion and give you £200 cashback. Best of all, there is no tie-in period which means I can leave them for another lender without penalty!
The service I got from IF was nothing short of excellent. Everything was done in a simple and efficient manner and the staff were friendly. The only gripe I did have was that they were still sending correspondence to my old address???!!
There is another feature of IF's mortgage which is definitely worth mentioning. This feature is called a "smart mortgage" and is a clever way of reducing mortgage payments and earning more interest at the same time! There are two features of this "smart mortgage" and they are:-
1. You can pay extra into the mortgage therbey reducing the debt quicker. 2. Any money you have in their current or savings account is offset by the amount of loan for the mortgage.
The second point above requires further explanation. If you have some money in a current or savings account with IF then that amount will accrue zero interest but your loan will be reduced by the amount you have in current or savings account thereby reducing the amount of interest of the loan. For example, if you have £20,000 in total in your current and savings account and the mortgage is for £80,000 then instead of paying 6% interest of your £80,000 loan and gaining 3% interest of the current and savings account then a better way is that the loan is reduced by the amount in your accounts to £80,000 - £20,000 which is £60,000. This means you only pay 6% interest on £60,000 and NOT £80,000. This is a huge saving because you're payments are reduced drastically. You will get NO interest on the current and savings account but the savings made on the loan far outweighs any interest that would have accrued. There is one more feature about the "smart mortgage". As you don't pay interest on you current and savings account you do not pay any tax at all!!
To sum up, IF offers a very attractive deal with low rates, cash back and no tie-in period. Your mortgage is reduced by the amount you have in current and savings. You pay no tax because you don't receive interest. I can certainly recommend IF. You can have your cake and eat it!!
OK, I've come to bug you again about your Intelligent Choice (IF) after my last comment I have tried calling IF with a waiting time of 20 mins, and when I finally get through -to dicuss the finer points of my mortgage application (which is provisonally approved) I get thru to some dumb girl who doesnt know a thing about mortgages and every question I ask she has to leave me on hold to ask a colleague! Firstly although she can see my application form on her screen -she cant read i.e. see what is required I dont have send any name, or address verification, only income and bank statemnts but as I bank on the internet I get no statements, so when I asked the IF girl, can I print off my bank internet statement she said no they dont accept it, only paper statements! so what can I do? if the whole idea of internet bank acounts is that I get no paper statements! IF's standard variable rate is 4.85% (4.94% apr) so now I have worked out that I will be financialy better off with a rate of 4.75% standard variable with First Direct or EGG at 4.74% as the overall amount I will repay is at least £3000 less compared to IF's fancy discount of 3 or 6 months off base rate! so IF is a good choice if you dont work out the overall amount you repay and provided you dont have any queries wth your mortgage application, as if you do..! the level of knowldege of the call centre staff at IF is appalling, but top marks to the IF director who set the scheme up, he knows what he is doing, a top market product!! -CH (oh!! sorry for yet another long comment! maybe I should write my own opinion of IF...?! titled "IF only...")
Connoisseur_Haggler1 23.04.2002 14:32
An INTELLIGENT Choice Manics!! I myself am doing exactly this and was checking Cioa fisrt to see if Intelligent Finance was a separate product category or was part of Halifax, Luckily its separate as most consumers are familiar with Intelligent Finance's [IF] marketing name. The rates just get better and better dont they?! at present the base rate is 4.9% and as IF are so popular now, they are only doing the discount for 3 months not 6 months as you had it. (I am in one of those damned 5yr fixed rates and will incur 4% penalty for changing! the sad thing is Iv completed 4yrs 1 month and the mortgage lender wont waiver or reduce the penalty on terms taken out almost 5 yrs ago! The NO TIE is very important for a mortage these days, flexibility, portable and a real discounted rate with NO-frills (like cash back) is what I am looking for! Super opinion! -CH (P.S. I've been reading your opinions for many monhs now and find them very useful, didnt realise I had not added you to my CoT, thats rectified now!)