Last Updated on 28th August 2020
Circumstances in life often change and when a mortgage or property is concerned, it may involve having to transfer a mortgage. Transferring a mortgage can include adding, removing or replacing a person on a mortgage. A transfer can take place during an existing mortgage term or during a remortgage.
The process of a mortgage transfer may seem complex, but with the right support and expertise, it can be a straightforward process. Our specialist advisors have helped many homeowners in these circumstances. Whilst there are a number of situations that may warrant a transfer, this guide aims to cover each angle. You can also make an enquiry below to speak to an expert.
What is a mortgage transfer?
A mortgage transfer is where a person is added, removed or replaced on an existing mortgage. This process is in fact called a ‘transfer of equity’. A transfer of equity may be used in:
- Adding a person to a mortgage
- Removing a person from a mortgage
- Replacing an existing person on the mortgage with somebody else
A transfer of equity is common in the following scenarios:
- Adding or removing a family member from a mortgage
- Adding or removing a partner from a mortgage
- Family mortgage transfers
- Adding a child to the deeds of a property
- Couples that just want a single mortgage as opposed to a joint mortgage
Certain lenders are more open to equity transfers than others. This is why an advisor can give you a more tailored answer and provide you with the right guidance based on your circumstances.
Please note, if you wish to transfer your mortgage to a different property, this is known as mortgage porting. Read our article on porting your mortgage here.
Important things to consider during a mortgage transfer
A mortgage is a huge financial commitment that can span over decades. As a result, there are a few important points to consider before you commit to transferring. Your lender and broker alike will of course check that you meet the criteria involved with the transfer.
Points that you should personally consider, along with the criteria that lenders will check for are as follows:
- Affordability – can you afford the proposed mortgage?
- Equity in your existing mortgage
- Credit history
- The property itself (construction type and condition)
- Employment situation
- Reasons for transferring a mortgage
- Costs involved
- Stamp duty (where applicable)
- Early repayment charges
- Independent legal advice (for each party concerned)
There are other points to consider such as your personal circumstances. For instance, you may have become recently self-employed or heading into maternity leave. Each of these factors can have a bearing on the suitability of certain lenders so it’s always a good idea to speak to an advisor to see what your options are.
How do I add someone to my mortgage?
Adding someone to a mortgage is probably the most common reason for transferring a mortgage. Couples may be moving in together and want to share the financial costs. Typically, adding a partner to a mortgage involves changing a single mortgage into a joint mortgage.
From a lender’s perspective, having another person’s name on a mortgage can offer them more security. Nonetheless, lenders will still carry out their usual checks to make sure that the mortgage is affordable for the new homeowner. You may also be charged stamp duty. This is because the new homeowner is technically purchasing part of your property. Adding a partner to a mortgage also involves making legal changes to the property deeds.
Although a transfer can be carried out at any time, you may be subject to early redemption charges. This is likely to happen if you carry out a transfer during your existing mortgage term. If this is the case, it’s best advised to add your partner when it’s time to remortgage. Not only will it save having to pay any early repayment charges, but you can then take out a new joint mortgage together, rather than making a transfer of equity.
Can I buy my partner out of a joint mortgage?
Couples that have separated and have moved out no longer want to pay a mortgage on a property they no longer live in. The options left are to either sell the property together or one partner can buy the other partner out. In theory, a person is removed from the mortgage and from the property title.
This can be quite simple, especially if both partners remain amicable. A transfer of equity can usually be carried out; however lenders would still check that the remaining homeowner can afford to repay the mortgage on their own. Furthermore, the remaining homeowner would need to buy their partner’s share of the property. Once a partner’s name has been removed from the mortgage, the majority of lenders insist that they also move out of the property.
Removing a partner from a mortgage is based largely around affordability, however other criteria is still checked. This can involve details of employment, income and credit checks.
It’s also important to note that marriage has no bearing on removing partners from a mortgage. Lenders will treat married applicants and cohabiting couples exactly the same in circumstances such as these. From a lender’s perspective, anyone that is named on the mortgage is responsible for repaying it, irrespective of their marital status.
Read more: How to buy your partner out from a mortgage.
Can I replace one person on the mortgage with somebody else?
Replacing one person on your mortgage with another is certainly possible. This primarily entails removing a person from a mortgage and then secondly, adding the new homeowner. This can all be done during the transfer of equity.
Replacing one homeowner with another can be pretty straightforward, especially if the new homeowner meets the affordability criteria of the lender. Removing a person from a mortgage can place an additional cost on the remaining owner as their share of the repayment amount will increase. That said, having a replacement has the opposite effect, as it can provide additional capital to buy the previous owner out.
If you’ve inherited a property, you may want to put the existing mortgage in your own name. Read more about probate and mortgages here.
How do I transfer my mortgage to somebody else?
If you simply want to transfer your own mortgage to another person, it is possible, but there are a few strings attached. This is known as gifting a property. Lenders will only entertain this once the original mortgage has been cleared. Typically, you’re removing yourself from the mortgage by repaying the loan in full. The new homeowner will then take out a new mortgage on the property. Some lenders may entertain this arrangement when it’s time to remortgage.
Other scenarios involve parents adding their children to the deeds of a property. This can provide children with financial security. Again, this can be done using a transfer of equity. Some families will also do this for reasons involving inheritance tax. We’re not tax specialists, so please do seek advice from a tax specialist prior to a transfer.
Can I transfer a mortgage if it involves bad credit?
Whether you’re adding or removing a person from a mortgage, lenders will still carry out their usual checks as a standard procedure. This does involve carrying out credit checks on the person that the mortgage is being transferred to. Lenders do this so that they can check the financial conduct of the new or existing homeowner.
Often enough, break-ups between couples can sometimes lead to one or both partners ending up with credit issues. It’s a common scenario where a divorce or a split has left one or both partners with either CCJs, defaults or a combination of credit issues. If bad credit is involved, then it does become hard to transfer. Nonetheless, transferring a mortgage with bad credit is still possible.
Lenders will usually check the severity of the credit issues along with how recent they were. There really is a multitude of possibilities when it comes to bad credit, so it’s almost impossible to provide you with a tailored answer without speaking to you. You can make an enquiry at any time to see whether or not a transfer will be eligible.
Consult a specialist with experience in this field
Transferring a mortgage can be simple when the advice you receive is right. Often enough, a lack of experience or approaching an unsuitable lender can result in mortgage applications to fail. Mortgage transfers are second nature to our specialists who deal with them on a daily basis and have been doing so for a number of years.
We understand that not all cases are the same. We’d love to hear from you. It gives you a chance to explain your situation and exactly what you’d want from the transfer. Whether you’re adding, removing or replacing someone on the mortgage, our advisors can guide you through the process.