Building societies Coventry, Principality and Yorkshire are among the best mortgage lenders in our independent ratings. These were the three mortgage lenders to top our league table for customer service, according to independent research compiled by Fairer Finance. When you compare mortgages, it’s not just the fees and interest rates that you should factor in, because the quality of a lender’s customer service is also important. We can help you choose a lender that has happy customers, climbing the property ladder. In this article, we explain why these lenders are the best.
Top four mortgage lenders
Coventry Building Society
Best for: Customer experience
Why we rate it: Coventry puts the customer at the heart of everything it does.
It has been in the top three of Fairer Finance’s mortgage tables since they were first created in 2014 and has the highest transparency score in the sector. This means it’s clearest with its customers about all the costs involved with taking out its mortgages.
And it’s also got the best track record on complaints – with the Financial Ombudsman Service only overturning its decisions once in every 20 cases.
- Apply for a Loan Now: Your Ultimate Guide to Hassle-Free Borrowing
- Mastering Your Finances: The Power of a Mortgage Calculator
- Yorkshire Building Society: Providing Exceptional All-Round Service
- Coventry Building Society: Best for Customer Experience
Best for: Customer happiness
Why we rate it: While it sits in second place overall in our customer experience tables, Principality comfortably wins the mantle of happiest customers in the mortgage sector.
This Cardiff-based building society is part of the fabric in Wales – but you don’t have to live in Wales to benefit from its great customer service. Like Coventry, it also has an excellent track record on complaints.
Yorkshire Building Society
Best for: All round service
Why we rate it: Yorkshire is one of the UK’s largest building societies, with branches up and down the country.
It’s always been at the top end of our mortgage tables, and is a solid performer across all four elements of our customer experience ratings.
As well as having applied for your mortgage online or over the phone, you can also make a face to face appointment in branch (in pandemic-free times).
Best for: Customer trust
Why we rate it: First Direct has been leading the way in customer ratings for most of the past 20 years.
The online bank, which is part of the HSBC group, is always in the top tier of our customer experience – not just in mortgages, but in bank accounts and credit cards as well.
It’s earned it the title of most trusted mortgage lender. You won’t get a First Direct mortgage through a broker. As the name suggests, you’ll need to call them directly.
Find mortgage deals
- Search and compare mortgage deals
- It only takes a couple of minutes and no personal details are required to search
- Speak with a mortgage broker when you’re ready
Different types of mortgages
We outline the common types below but you can find out more on the pros and cons of different types of mortgages here.
Fixed rate mortgages
- This is where borrowers are locked in to paying the same interest rate for a number of years
- Your monthly repayments will stay the same during that deal
- Most homeowners will choose to fix the interest rate for two to five years
- Only a handful of lenders offer mortgage deals that can be fixed for 10 years or longer
- The interest rate on this type of mortgage moves in line with the Bank of England’s official interest rate, which means the repayments on your mortgage could fluctuate
- For example, if your mortgage has a rate of 2.25%, and the Bank of England rate increases by 0.25%, the rate you pay jumps to 2.5%
- You can usually get a tracker mortgage that runs for two to five years, but you can find lifetime tracker mortgages that move in line with the Bank of England rate for the entire mortgage term
Standard variable rate
- Once your fixed term has expired, you will usually roll onto your lender’s standard variable rate (SVR) unless you move onto another mortgage deal
- An SVR mortgage isn’t typically one that you will sign up to from the outset, but is one that you move onto automatically if you don’t remortgage
- Each lender will have its own SVR and they are usually far more expensive than fixed or tracker deals
- Monthly repayments will also fluctuate
- This is a kind of variable rate mortgage that tracks the lender’s SVR
- However, they are cheaper than an SVR because the lender will offer a fixed discount for a certain number of years
- For example, if your lender’s SVR is 4.5% and your mortgage has a 1.5% discount, you will pay 3%
Interest only mortgages
- This product means that you only pay the interest rather than the loan
- As you are not paying off the loan, your payments will be lower than a repayment mortgage
- Bear in mind that if you opt for one of these, you will still have a large loan to pay off at the end of the term