Advantages Good service, flexible mortgage, flexible borrowing
Disadvantages None I can call to mind!
We remortgaged with the Woolwich a couple of years ago to finance improvements on our house. The packaged offered was an Offset Mortgage which sounded perfect, and so far to date has been very flexible and I would recomend this package.The Offset mortgage package basically takes into account any savings that are in your Woolwich current account or savings "pots" and adds them up, and you only pay interest on your mortgage balance, less the total ammount of your savings. So say your mortgage is for £50,000 and you have £5000 in savings with the Woolwich, you only pay interest on £45,000. Brilliant!
The other feature we liked was the ability to make overpayments on our mortgage, without incurring redemtion charges for paying the mortgage off early. In two and a half years, by making over payments, we reduced the term from 22 years to 14!! Obviously this depends on how much you can afford to pay as an overpayment, but if you can afford it then it is well worthwhile!Another great feature is the reserve account. The Woolwich basically allow a reserve ammount which is available at any time for the account holder to borrow (at the same rate as the mortgage) and arrange to make repayments over a period to suit your budget. So you can borrow at the mortgage rate compared to the high street borrowing rates, without making a loan application. The money can be made available by making a phone call. The amount available in the first instance depends on how much you are borrowing compared to the equity in your property. Also, as your mortgage is repayed and thus the equity increases, the reserve ammount available also increases!
Seems to good to be true I know, which is why we tried it out and for us at least has been the most flexible package. You can even adjust your mortgage term to suit your circumstances to reduce your outgoings - for instance during maternity leave when your sallary is reduced.If you are looking to change provider, I would certainly check them out.
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