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Can I extend my mortgage term?

The key questions here are ‘can a mortgage term be extended?’ and if so, how do you do this?

A photo of Dom Limberg, the author

By Dom Limberg

Published on: 17 July 2022

4 min read

Can I extend my mortgage term?

It is common for mortgage borrowers to review and extend their mortgage term which is the amount of time you take to repay your mortgage. There are several reasons for this and the most popular is to reduce your monthly mortgage payments to help with affordability.

The main questions are, can a mortgage term be extended? and if so, how do you do it?

There are lots of things to think about before you extend your mortgage term, the most important point is the cost of interest for your loan. Extending your mortgage term will automatically incur additional costs and you’ll pay more for borrowing.

What is a mortgage term?

When applying for a mortgage, you will agree to a set amount of time in which the mortgage amount will be repaid. This period of time is known as your mortgage term. There are various options for repayment timescales depending on the lender and type of mortgage product you choose.

Common mortgage term options include:

  • 10 years
  • 15 years
  • 25 years
  • 30 years
  • 35 years
  • 40 years

If you have a repayment mortgage, you will have repaid the amount you’ve borrowed by the end of this term. You will pay back some of the amount you have borrowed plus interest each month.

If you have an interest only mortgage, you will only pay back the interest on your loan each month. You will be expected to repay the full mortgage amount at the end of the mortgage term.

For more on this:

MPO – What is a mortgage?

Can you extend your mortgage term?

Yes, most lenders will allow you to extend your mortgage term if you wish to. There are a few things you will want to think about before doing this.

  • You will benefit from lower monthly repayments – but will pay more overall in interest due to repaying over more years.
  • You can apply for a mortgage extension with your current lender or switch to a new one (remortgage) depending on what suits you best.
  • If choosing to remortgage to a new lender, be aware you may face fees from your current lender such as early repayment charges or exit fees
  • Your age will play a part in if you can extend your mortgage. Many lenders have a set maximum age that mortgages must be repaid by and won’t approve an extension past this age.
  • If your mortgage already has a longer term (e.g. 35 – 40 years) mortgage lenders may not approve extending it any further.

Note: An independent mortgage broker can offer help and advice, if you need to extend your mortgage but are not sure what your best option is.

More about how to adjust mortgages:

MPO – Can you remortgage early?

Can you extend mortgage term during fixed rate period?

You can apply to extend (or reduce) how long your mortgage term is at any point. Many lenders will allow you to adjust your mortgage or remortgage even if on a fixed rate. You may end up having to pay fees such as early repayment charges to do so though (if remortgaging to a new deal).

Nationwide for example state on their website that you can apply for an extension and have your mortgage term changed within 10 working days of approval.

Other lenders can have slightly different processes. The best thing to do would be to contact your lender and ask them how changing your mortgage term will affect your repayments and if it is possible with your mortgage.

Nationwide – Change your mortgage term

MPO – Everything you need to know about fixed rate mortgages

Can I extend my interest only mortgage term?

Interest only mortgages can be a great option for some people. As you only repay the interest each month, your repayments will be far lower than with a capital and repayment mortgage.

The main drawback of an interest only mortgage is that you will need to repay the full amount borrowed at the end of the mortgage term – and you may not have enough saved when this time comes!

Should I extend my mortgage term?

This is completely up to you. There are a few pros and cons to extending your mortgage term that we have covered in this page.

While your monthly repayments will be lower, you will end up paying more overall for your mortgage as you will pay more interest. It is best to weigh up whether short term savings are worth paying more overall.

For more advice, you can speak to a qualified mortgage broker. They will be able to help you assess your current mortgage and work out whether extending it is the best choice for you.

Resources

Financial Conduct Authority – Mortgage lending statistics – March 2023

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