Why borrowers need instant access to their mortgages

Want to know the balance of your bank account? Just go online or open the app on your phone. Simple, isn’t it?

But it can be a completely different story when it comes to your mortgage.

A mortgage is probably your biggest debt, yet some lenders don’t give you instant access to your account.

It means there’s no quick and easy way of knowing whether you’ve missed a payment or if your mortgage deal is coming to an end.

Now that you can book a flight in minutes, and order a cab at the tap of a button, you’d expect a certain level of convenience from your mortgage lender.

It would help you make better financial decisions based on real-time data.

But not having instant access to your mortgage account is just part of the problem.

Lenders need to communicate better

Another is poor communication.

If you don’t switch mortgages when your initial deal ends it’s likely that your lender will automatically move your mortgage onto their Standard Variable Rate (SVR), which is usually higher than your expiring rate. This means your repayments could increase significantly overnight.

You might not realise that your deal is ending and lenders in the UK are under no obligation to warn you.

Mortgages should be more transparent

There’s a huge demand by borrowers for more transparency, according to research by Trussle, the online mortgage broker.

Their 2018 Mortgage Saver Review found that three quarters (73%) of borrowers thought that mortgage providers should be legally required to make outstanding balances accessible online.

And that wasn’t all – 70% wanted the same transparency for mortgage statements and two thirds (67%) for the time left on their mortgage deal.

Citizens Advice’s Improving the Mortgage Market report, published in August 2018, stated: “Most consumers fail to switch [mortgages] not because of a lack of tools but because of misplaced trust in their lender.”

What needs to be done

Lenders and policymakers should work together to implement the Mortgage Switch Guarantee and stop unfairness for borrowers.

The Guarantee, proposed by Trussle, calls on mortgage lenders to commit to greater transparency.

Having online access to key information about your mortgage, or being able to text your lender, would help you manage your finances.

And if your lender gets in touch with you electronically, and by post, three months before your mortgage deal ends you’ll have time to find a new deal before they move you onto their more expensive SVR.

Help get instant access to your mortgage

Are you paying much more for your mortgage than you should? It’s time to take action. Support the Mortgage Switch Guarantee.

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