First direct enhances product range

Amanda Jarvis

April 11, 2006

At the end of the two-year term, borrowers will switch to first direct’s standard variable rate, currently 5.50 per cent.

Richard Kimber, chief executive at first direct, said: “Last year, over 60 per cent of UK mortgage borrowers opted for a fixed rate. This shows that most people like the comfort of knowing exactly how much they’ll be paying for their mortgage every month. That’s why we’ve launched this latest edition of our popular fixed rate, but it’s a limited offer so you’ll need to be quick off the mark to take advantage.”

Borrowers who prefer a variable rate can opt for first direct’s three-year tracker mortgage at 5.00 per cent, which will track the Bank of England Base rate plus 0.50 per cent until 2009 when it reverts to first direct’s standard variable rate. The lender also offers an offset mortgage, which links day-to-day savings and current account balances to the mortgage, so customers only pay interest on the difference. This reduces the total amount owed, meaning that less interest is paid for borrowers who are committed to saving.

The first direct fixed rate mortgage gives borrowers:

– fixed rate of 4.99 per cent for two years (equivalent to 5.6 per cent APR);
– reversion to standard variable rate (SVR) – currently 5.50 per cent – at the end of the fixed rate term;
– maximum LTV is 95 per cent;
– minimum loan size is £15,000, maximum £5 million (requests above will be considered on a case by case basis);
– reassurance of monthly repayment certainty;
– the flexibility to make unlimited overpayments in either lump sums or regular payments;
– borrowers are not tied to the SVR at the end of the term. They are free to opt for another fixed rate;
– a valuation fee applies and is based on value of the property;
– early repayment charges apply during the fixed rate period;
– booking fee of £399;
– exit fee of £149.

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