He explains: “I was recommended an offset mortgage by a friend and instantly saw how the flexibility and benefits could really work for me.
“I had reasonable savings which I didn’t want to invest in a property – having a daughter at university and a son about to leave school – so I really wanted the flexibility that an offset could offer. If I had put all of my savings into my property I couldn’t get them back.
“I am also self-employed, so using my Offset Saver Account to save cash for my tax bill really works for me. Having the flexibility of access to my savings 24/7 whilst earning a decent interest rate on them is really appealing to me.”
Richard initially deposited a large amount in his savings account to offset against his mortgage but over the years he has withdrawn some as and when he needed it, helping his children to buy property and funding a holiday home.
When he initially took out the mortgage Richard used the lender’s online calculator to help him see the impact of putting money into his savings and withdrawing it, as well as helping him to decide which benefit of offsetting to take – a reduced term or reduced payment.
“I used the Offset Calculator to see how much I could save off my monthly payment or cut my term by. I opted for a reduced payment, as my term was only for 10 years anyway. When I was looking to withdraw some of my savings, I used the tool again and worked out by how much my monthly mortgage payments would increase.”
Richard also found that Scottish Widows Bank’s approach to underwriting was ideal for him as a self-employed borrower. He explains: “SWBs interest rates are competitive, but for me it was their bespoke underwriting that appealed. Being self-employed, some lenders struggle with company accounts and SA302s. Initially I had a two-year fixed rate. When this expired I was happy to move onto a three-year fixed rate, still with SWB, to give me longer term security.”
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