How long does a remortgage take?

If you are remortgaging to a new lender, it can take between 2-3 weeks to receive a mortgage offer. It can then take another 4 weeks to complete the legal work required to set up the switch.

Switching to a new deal with your existing lender is called a 'product transfer'. A mortgage broker can secure this for you immediately. No new legal work is required.

Now let's explain what you can do to support both remortaging routes.

Key takeaways

Switching to a New Lender:

  1. Timeframe: About 2-3 weeks for a mortgage offer, plus up to 4 weeks for legal work.

  2. Preparation: Start 6 months before your deal ends. Improve your credit score. Use a mortgage comparison tool.

  3. Application Process: Involves submitting documents, income records, credit checks, and property valuation.

Product Transfer with Current Lender:

  1. Timeframe: Immediate. Product transfers need no new legal work.

  2. Ease of Process: Faster with fewer document checks, less paperwork, and no legal fees.

  3. Considerations: Limited mortgage options; quicker but potentially not the lowest rate.

Preparing to remortgage with a new lender

You can usually remortgage up to six months before your existing rate expires without having to pay an early repayment charge (ERC). This does depend on the terms of your deal.

So, we recommend preparing for a remortgage at least six months before your current rate deal expires.

Some mortgage lenders also allow borrowers to secure a mortgage offer for up to six months. This can be helpful in the current mortgage climate, with rates on a downward trend. Locking in earlier protects you from potential rate increases.

Here are some key things to think about when you're in this preparation stage.

Have a good credit score

It may seem obvious, but make sure your credit score is as good as it can be. There are several steps you can take to do this and leave a positive impression on lenders:

  • Verify the accuracy of the information on your credit report.

  • Make timely payments on any bills.

  • Consider overpaying to reduce any outstanding balances on your credit cards.

  • Maintain a stable income to showcase your ability to make mortgage repayments.

Always always always compare

When it comes to remortgaging, comparison is key. It allows you to check the rates, fees, and terms offered by different mortgage lenders. This helps you save money.

When comparing rates, always consider the following:

  • Interest rates

  • Associated mortgage product costs (such as fees)

  • Mortgage conditions (such as how much you can overpay by)

Use our mortgage comparison tool to get started.

If you need support comparing mortgages, give us a call. This is where speaking to a mortgage broker can help.

Factors affecting duration

Several factors can affect the length of your remortgage timeline. Bear these in mind if you're leaving remortgaging to the last minute.

  1. Lenders may require extra time to ensure you're financially stable if there are any changes to your income.

  2. Your property valuation can impact your:

    1. Loan-to-value ratio, which can impact the mortgage rates available to you.

    2. How much money you can borrow through remortgaging.

    3. The duration of your mortgage term.

  3. Any rules imposed by your existing lender, such as owning your home for at least six months, that determine when you're eligible to remortgage.

Consulting with a mortgage broker

A mortgage broker is your guide through the mortgage jungle. They provide personlised advice and have access to a huge amount of different mortgabe products.

A mortgage broker can also speed up the mortgage process by:

  • Using their expertise to handle the application.

  • Overseeing the entire application process, from document submission to application tracking.

  • Providing expert guidance throughout the process.

Application submission

Remortgaging to a new lender involves submitting:

  • Important documents, including your identification and proof of address

  • Records of regular expenses and any bonus or commission income.

The lender will then:

  • Conduct a credit check to determine your affordability and risk level.

  • Carry out a property valuation procedure to establish the current market value of your home.

Mortgage offer and legalities

After your remortgage evaluation, you'll recieve an offer within 1-2 weeks. Review the offer and consult with your broker to understand the terms outlined.

The validity of the mortgage offer typically ranges from 3-6 months. However, this timeframe can vary depending on specific completion deadlines or other factors related to when you applied for it. 

The final step when remortgaging to a new lender involves completing legal work, such as verifying your identity and property ownership. This stage is usually handled by a solicitor or conveyancer and can take up to 4 weeks to complete.

The most common question we get asked as an online mortgage broker is: when is the best time to remortgage? The 'right' time is when you feel comfortable with where rates are and you are within that six-month window. You can spot rates offered to people with similar loan-to-values as you using our Rate Watch product.

Preparing to remortgage with your current lender (product transfer mortgages)

One option for remortgaging is a product transfer: switching to a new mortgage deal with your current lender. This can be the quickest route thanks to an established relationship with the lender.

Try not to let the convenience overshadow potential better deals available elsewhere. Comparing rates from different lenders is crucial in finding the best offer during the remortgage process. Failing to shop around before opting for a product transfer could result in missing out on more favourable rates elsehwere.

Product transfer pros

  • Quickly secure a new rate.

  • Fewer document checks.

  • Less paperwork and no legal fees.

  • You do not need to go through another mortgage valuation, which can save time and hassle.

  • Product transfers typically do not have an impact on your credit score.

Product transfer cons

  • There's never a guarantee you'll be on the lowest rate across the entire market.

  • If you want to change your mortgage term (such as adding to the term length) then you will still have to go through affordability checks

  • Limited choice in mortgage options

  • You can't add or remove names from the mortgage

If you're keen to remortgage quickly, and are happy with your current lender, product transfers are an excellent option. If you want to reduce your monthly payments as much as possible, however, then consider shopping around.

Potential delays with product transfers

A lender allows people to remortgage via product transfer based on the assumption their financial situation hasn't changed. This is why they're quick. As such, if your situation hasn't changed, you're happy with your lender and you're happy with the rate they offer you, then the process will be quick.

Yet, delays can happen if there are differences in property valuations between you and your lender. This can happen, for example, if you add value via an extension.

Adding value to the property usually means you will have increased your level of equity in your home. This may, as a result, qualify you for more favourable rates. This is when you would want to compare rates and shop around as opposed to opting for a product transfer.

If you run into any property valuation challenges, work closely with your lender to address them. Good communication can speed up the remortgage process.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the stages of a remortgage?

A remortgage process typically includes a thorough evaluation of income, affordability, credit score assessment and property valuation conducted by the lender. These stages are essential to ensure that the mortgage is feasible for the borrower and accurately reflects the value of their property.

Why does remortgaging take so long?

The process of remortgaging is lengthy due to the thorough assessment conducted by lenders on your mortgage application. This includes going through supporting documents, your credit score and property valuation. This follows a similar protocol to that of obtaining a new mortgage.

How long does it take to remortgage and release equity?

The processing time for an equity release application ranges from four to eight weeks, depending on individual circumstances. To ensure enough time is allowed for any potential delays, it is recommended that applications be submitted at least eight weeks in advance.

Although the timeframe may vary, it takes approximately one to two months before funds are received through an equity release plan. It’s important to consider this timeline and apply well in advance to avoid any unexpected delays or complications with the process.

Is remortgaging as hard as getting a mortgage?

Remortgaging is typically a less complicated and time-consuming process than obtaining a mortgage. It may be worthwhile to first explore potential deals with your current lender before looking into alternative options. This can save you the effort of switching lenders entirely for potentially similar or better rates on your mortgage.

How can I speed up the remortgage process?

To expedite the remortgage process, it is important to make sure that your application is precise and provide timely responses to any requests for documentation. Another helpful step would be enlisting the help of a mortgage broker who can offer assistance throughout the process.

Working with a mortgage broker not only simplifies things, but also helps prevent delays in getting approved for your new mortgage. By following these tips, you can efficiently navigate through the system.

Important info & marketing claims

You may have to pay an early repayment charge to your existing lender if you remortgage. Your savings will depend on personal circumstances.

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

*The savings figure of £406 is based on Better.co.uk remortgage customers in February 2024. Read more on our marketing claims page.

We can't always guarantee we will be able to help you with your mortgage application depending on your credit history and circumstances.

Average mortgage decision and approval times are based on Better.co.uk's historic data for lenders we submit applications to.

Tracker rates are identified after comparing over 12,000 mortgage products from over 100 mortgage lenders.

As of January 2023, Better.co.uk has access to over 100 lenders. This number is subject to change.

For buy-to-let landlords, there's no guarantee that it will be possible to arrange continuous letting of a property, nor that rental income will be sufficient to meet the cost of the mortgage.