BOE: Higher rates pushing people towards longer mortgage deals

Couple looking at their mortgage deal 

The past couple of years have tested people’s resilience in the face of soaring inflation, higher interest rates and, for many, a cost-of-living squeeze on incomes. 

In a recent Financial Policy Summary, the Bank of England (BoE) noted that many homeowners are still feeling the effects of higher interest rates – and many are dealing with them by increasing borrowing. 

Longer mortgage deals 

One result of these higher rates has been that some households have extended the length of their mortgage term. According to the report, there has been ‘a notable increase in the proportion of borrowers taking out mortgages with 35 year or above terms.’ 

Indeed, the proportion of mortgages lasting 35 years or more rose from 4% in the first three months of 2023 to12% in the second quarter1. 

The BoE explained that, while taking out a longer mortgage term does offer short-term relief, there were risks involved, notably the fact that ‘it could result in higher debt burdens in the future.’ 

Credit card use on the rise  

Likewise, the BoE expressed concern that people feeling the pinch could start borrowing larger amounts on credit cards. So far, the annual rate of credit card spending growth has stayed relatively stable at 11.8%, though the BoE warned that the trend ‘could lead to greater debt vulnerability for households in the near term’. 

1BoE, 2023 

It is important to take professional advice before making any decision relating to your personal finances. Information within this article is based on our current understanding and can be subject to change without notice and the accuracy and completeness of the information cannot be guaranteed. It does not provide individual tailored investment advice and is for guidance only. Some rules may vary in different parts of the UK.