Finding a mortgage

Buying your own home is likely to be one of the biggest purchases you'll ever make, and most people borrow to make it possible. Ten years ago, your mortgage would nearly always have come from a building society but today only around 60 per cent come from building societies; the rest are from High Street banks and other new lenders, such as foreign banks, insurance companies and specialist mortgage companies. And gone are the days when you had to be an existing saver in order to qualify for a loan. The mortgage market is very competitive and it pays to shop around for the mortgage which suits you best.

TIP - If you're getting a mortgage for the first time, ask two or three lenders what they can offer you before you make a choice. If you've had a mortgage before, don't feel you have to stay with your previous lender - see what other lenders can offer.

WARNING Many estate agents have links with lenders. But remember that what you gain in convenience might be outweighed by the lender or loan not being the most suitable for you.

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Ways of Borrowing

The difficulty in life is the choice. Nelson Mandela

There are literally dozens of different ways to borrow. Mortgages, credit cards and bank loans are perhaps the most familiar, though even with these the number of variations can be surprising, and they are certainly not the only choices. The following webpages outline the main types of borrowing, suggesting when they are suitable, and tell you which types to avoid altogether.

Borrowing can be grouped into three broad categories: loans to help you buy a home, other ways of borrowing against property, and other types of loans... see: Ways of Borrowing

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