Frequently asked questions

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Frequently asked questions

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Here you'll find our most commonly asked questions about mortgages

Icon expand Can I get a mortgage offer before I find my property?

You can choose the mortgage that suits you best and get an 'agreement in principle' from a lender. However, your lender won't make a formal mortgage offer until a valuation has been carried out on the property you wish to buy or remortgage. 


Icon expand Do I have to repay my mortgage by a certain age?

Typically, a mortgage needs to be repaid no later than your retirement age. We may consider extending the term up to the age of 70, if you are able to evidence that you have sufficient income, post retirement. If your retirement age is greater than 65, we will also assess income post 65. 


Icon expand What does APR mean?

APR stands for Annual Percentage Rate. It is there to help you compare the cost of different mortgage deals. It takes into account the amount of interest you will pay, the term of the mortgage and certain other charges, such as product and valuation fee.


Icon expand Do I always need life insurance?

Life insurance is not always mandatory when taking out a mortgage. However, having the right protection in place gives you and your family peace of mind knowing that financial help will be available if you are no longer able to provide that security. Don’t forget that as well as covering any mortgage borrowing you may also wish to make provisions for ongoing household costs. In addition many policies offer optional critical illness cover which can cover events such as heart attacks and long term illness. Find out more about life insurance.


Icon expand What other costs might I incur in taking out a mortgage?

When you take out a mortgage you should be aware that, on top of the mortgage cost, you will also have to pay a valuation fee. The amount of this will depend on the type of valuation carried out. You may need to pay a product fee for your selected mortgage, plus legal fees which will include search fees, and land registry charges. You will also have to pay stamp duty on properties over £125,000

Once you exchange contracts, your lender will insist that you take out adequate buildings insurance and it is advisable, but not compulsory, to take out contents insurance. Find out more about insuring your property.

Some mortgages offer a free valuation, or a refund on or after completion, whilst others include cashback sums that you can use to offset your costs. If you are remortgaging your property, you may also find that your new lender will offer to pay some or all of the legal costs.


Icon expand What is the difference between a Standard Variable Rate (SVR) and a tracker rate?

The SVR of each lender is set by that lender and they can vary it at any time.

With a tracker rate, the mortgage tracks an independently set interest rate.

RBS tracker mortgages track the Bank of England base rate which means your interest rate will fluctuate inline with any Bank of England base rate changes.

The Bank of England Base Rate can move up or down and this decision is announced once a month by the Monetary Policy Committee.


Icon expand What is a Higher Lending Charge (HLC)?

The Higher Lending Charge is a fee that reflects the increased risk to the lender when the loan is a large percentage of the value of the property. (The lender may agree that you can add the Higher Lending Charge to your mortgage, although this means that you will pay interest on it). For RBS, the Higher Lending Charge rate is only applicable for loans over 90.01% Loan to Value (LTV). We will discuss this with you as part of the mortgage appointment if applicable.

An HLC is not applicable to MI New Home mortgages. 


Icon expand What is the Early Repayment Charge for my mortgage?

Early repayment charges are normally only payable if you are looking to repay your mortgage in full and you are still within your initial deal period. You are typically permitted to repay 10% of the outstanding mortgage balance each year without extra charge. Details of any specific Early Repayment Charge, specific to your mortgage, will be explained on your Mortgage Offer Document.

Your Offer letter will detail when an Early Repayment Charge is payable and how it is calculated.


Icon expand What if I want to rent out my property?

You'll need to ask our permission. If we agree to the request we will issue a letter of consent and charge an administration fee of £100. You can remain on your existing deal until that ends. When you take a new deal, if you are renting the property out, you could select a rate from our attractive range of buy to let products. 


Icon expand What if I lose my job?

You must tell us immediately of any change in your circumstances that could affect your ability to meet your mortgage repayments. 


Icon expand What if I am having trouble paying my mortgage?

We understand worrying about paying your mortgage either now or in the future can cause a great deal of stress, but it’s important to talk to us now, so please do get in touch.

You will find our contact details and lots of helpful information on our dedicated ‘Trouble paying your mortgage’ page.


Icon expand Do you offer mortgages for overseas properties?

No, we only offer mortgages on properties in England, Scotland and Wales. 


Icon expand Do you offer shared ownership or shared equity mortgages?

We offer shared equity mortgages provided you're buying your home through a Government-backed shared equity scheme. Unfortunately we do not offer shared ownership mortgages at this time. 


Icon expand What's the minimum and maximum mortgage term?

The minimum term is dependent on the product you have but is normally not less than 3 years. The maximum term is normally up to age 65. We may consider extending the term up to the age of 70, if you are able to evidence that you have sufficient income post retirement. If your retirement age is greater than 65, we will also assess income post 65. 


Icon expand What does Bank of England base rate mean?

The official bank rate (also called the Bank of England base rate or BOEBR) is the interest rate that the Bank of England charges banks for secured overnight lending. It is the Government's key interest rate for managing monetary policy. 


Icon expand What is a fixed rate mortgage?

It's a mortgage where the rate of interest you pay is fixed for an agreed term. So you always know how much your mortgage payments will be during that term even if interest rates go up or down. At the end of the fixed rate term you'll usually revert to the Standard Variable Rate. 


Icon expand What is a tracker mortgage?

With this type of mortgage the rate of interest you pay is normally the Bank of England base rate plus a set percentage. If the base rate rises or falls, so will your monthly mortgage payments. Tracker rate mortgages usually have a minimum interest rate. At the end of the tracker term you'll usually revert to the Standard Variable Rate.


We've won more awards

RBS have been awarded ‘Best Mortgage Lender Scotland’ in the 2013/14 Your Mortgage Awards.

In addition we’ve also been awarded ‘Best National Bank’ for the second year in a row in the 2013 ‘What Mortgage’ awards and for the first time we’ve been awarded ‘Best Lender Customer Service’.

Your Mortgage

Best Mortgage Lender Scotland


What Mortgage

Best National Bank


What Mortgage

Best Lender
Customer Service


See more about our award-winning service

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Protecting your money

With our account monitoring and online fraud protection promise, it's no wonder our customers voted us the UKs most trusted big bank for 2013

We are a member of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). The Scheme can pay compensation to customers if they are eligible and the Bank is unable to pay claims against it. Compensation limits for Mortgage advice and arranging (for business conducted on or after 31 October 2004) - maximum £50,000 i.e. 100% of first £50,000 per person

Further information is available here or visit www.fscs.org.uk.

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