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Less than one in 10 offset their mortgage

Robyn Hall

September 3, 2012

The main reason people make trade offs is to make the most of their money (35%) with a further quarter saying it just makes sense. Some 23% said it helps them enjoy their life more.

first direct has calculated that 40% tax payers, with an average £183,532 mortgage and typical cash savings of £36,706, could save nearly £36,600 each in interest costs if they used the tax efficient benefits of an offset mortgage rather than a repayment style mortgage.

The most popular personal finance offset is cutting back on spending now to save more for the future (30%).

When choosing where they bank, 24% of people go for good customer service despite not necessarily always getting the best rates, while 12% make the opposite compromise – going for better rates but often getting poor customer service. Some 9% of people overpay on their mortgage, giving up access to their money in favour of paying down debt.

In terms of property trade-offs, it would appear that location is everything as 1 in 5 (18%) said they would live in a smaller property if it was in a nicer area, which is three times as many as would live in a big house in a less desirable area (6%). Some 7% said they live in the countryside even though it means they spend more money on commuting.

Davnet Reid, head of customer marketing at first direct, said: “While offset mortgages-holders are still in the minority, and many people may not even know what an offset mortgage is, it appears that the vast majority of people enact some form of offset in their everyday lives.

“They may not even be conscious that they are doing it, but they are instinctively weighing up their options and making a trade off that gets them the best deal and makes their money work hardest for them.

“Those people who have already made the trade off of reducing their current expenditure in order to save money for the future may find that their money works even harder if it is offset against their mortgage, foregoing interest on their savings to reduce the size of their loan they have to pay interest on.”

Perhaps as they have less money, young people are much more likely to offset in almost all aspects of their lives as they try to make the money they have work harder for them.

Almost eight in 10 said they offset (78%) compared with a low of 64% in the over 55s. It would seem that money is the defining factor in this as 50% of under 24s said they trade off to save money, compared with just 29% of over 55s.

Mindful of future expenses, the youngest age group are most likely to be cutting back on expenditure now in order to have more savings in the future (36%).


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