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Published 23 November 2023
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Porting a Mortgage Explained

Porting a mortgage is when you transfer your existing mortgage deal when you move to a new home, instead of taking out a new mortgage. Here’s how mortgage porting works and what to consider.

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Finding a new home doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to give up your current mortgage deal. By porting your mortgage, you could take your interest rate and the same mortgage terms with you to your new property.

Read on to find out more about the mortgage porting process and whether it could be right for you.

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What is porting a mortgage?

When you move, you may have the option to port your mortgage. This lets you transfer the mortgage deal you currently have to your new property, taking your current interest rate and other terms of the mortgage with you.

Instead of taking out a completely new mortgage, you use the money raised from the sale of your property to pay off your existing mortgage and take out a new mortgage on the same terms with your existing provider to cover the cost of buying your new home.

How does porting a mortgage work?

Porting a mortgage means you transfer the terms of your mortgage to a new property.

That means keeping the same interest rate, fixed-rate period and fees. However, depending on the lender you may be able to change the terms of your mortgage ‒ for example, extending it from 25 years to 30 years or switching from a joint mortgage to a single person mortgage.

Many lenders will highlight that their products can be ported to a new property, but it’s important to remember that this is not guaranteed. For example, the lender can turn down your request to port the mortgage loan.

» MORE: Is it worth overpaying a mortgage?

How to port a mortgage

First, check the terms and conditions of your existing mortgage. This will clarify whether porting your rate is possible or right for your circumstances.

While you won’t be applying for a new mortgage from your lender, you do still have to formally apply to port it over to your new property.

Your lender will then carry out certain checks before making a decision. For example, they will want to make sure that you can still afford the mortgage and that you meet their current eligibility criteria. As a result, if your circumstances have changed, such as a drop in income, or if the lender’s criteria has changed, your application may be turned down.

The lender will also get a valuation of the property you want to buy through a mortgage valuation survey, to check that it meets its terms.

Is it a good idea to port a mortgage?

Porting a mortgage is a good option to consider but you’ll need to check if your lender will allow it first. If it does, there are still a few things to bear in mind before deciding. If you’re in any way unsure, you should talk to your lender or get mortgage advice.

Benefits of mortgage porting

These include:

  • Keeping your current rate. If you’ve managed to secure a particularly low interest rate and rates across the market have since risen, porting can let you keep that great rate.
  • Avoiding exit fees. Leaving a mortgage deal before a fixed or discounted period has ended can cost thousands in early repayment charges. By porting you don’t have to pay those fees, as you are keeping the same mortgage terms.

Drawbacks of mortgage porting

There are some potential downsides to bear in mind too, including:

  • You may not get the most competitive rate. If you don’t shop around to see how your current rate compares, you won’t have the possibility of remortgaging to a better rate and potentially, a reduced monthly mortgage bill.
  • If you are porting a mortgage to a higher value property. Things can also get complicated if you are buying a more expensive property and need to borrow more. Any additional lending may be on less favourable terms than your current deal, or than if you had shopped around.

» MORE: See the latest mortgage rates

Can you port a mortgage?

This will come down to your lender. When porting a mortgage, the lender will carry out affordability checks to ensure that you can still afford the loan. 

Can you port a mortgage with bad credit?

If you had a perfect credit record when you took out the initial loan but your score has taken a hit since then, the lender will be more wary about approving your application.

If you already had a less-than-perfect credit score when you took out the mortgage, still having an imperfect score may not prove a barrier to porting your home loan. Talk to your lender if you’re concerned about your credit score.

» MORE: Ways to improve your credit score

Does it cost money to port a mortgage?

There may be some fees and charges to pay when porting a mortgage, such as valuation fees and legal fees related to the property you’re buying. Always check with your lender first.

Can you port a mortgage and borrow more? 

If you’re buying a more expensive home, it may be possible to port your mortgage and borrow more, up to the maximum mortgage amount you’re allowed. 

If you can borrow additional funds, you may find that this ‘top up’ is arranged as a separate mortgage deal, alongside the mortgage you port. This could mean it has a different and potentially higher interest rate, and may involve having to pay an arrangement fee for the deal. You will also effectively have two mortgages to manage, most likely ending at different times. 

Can I port my mortgage to a cheaper property?

If you have found a cheaper home to buy than your current property – perhaps through downsizing or moving to a different area – you may need a smaller mortgage. This does not mean that porting your mortgage is impossible.

However, if your mortgage has early repayment charges, you may have to pay this fee on the difference between your current mortgage and the size of the borrowing you need for the new property.

For example, if you have a £200,000 mortgage and only need £150,000 for the new property you may have to pay an early repayment charge. If this was 3%, you would have to pay that on the £50,000 difference, which would come to £1,500.

However, some lenders allow you to use your overpayment allowance before early repayment charges kick in. This can sometimes be up to 10% of the mortgage balance. If in any doubt, check this with your lender. 

» MORE: Best mortgage lenders   

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