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Take a mortgage holiday in 2003

28 Jan 2003

Research from first direct has shown that the average amount spent on Christmas in 2002 was over £700 per person. As a result, many people could now be suffering from a New Year financial hangover if they didn't plan ahead for their seasonal splurge.

One of the many benefits with a first direct smartmortgage, on repayment terms, is that borrowers can take a 'mortgage holiday' to help repay their Christmas excesses. A 'mortgage holiday' enables borrowers to reduce their monthly mortgage payment to interest only, freeing up funds to pay off credit cards or overdrafts.

The first direct smartmortgage has a very competitive variable interest rate of 4.75% (4.9% APR) and works by off-setting any credit balances against the debit balance of the mortgage - saving the customer money and possibly reducing the term of the loan. first direct also offers its smartmortgage customers a 'life of the mortgage' guarantee - promising never to charge more than 1% above the Bank of England base rate.

Alan Hughes, first direct 's Chief Executive, said: "At first direct we appreciate that Christmas can be expensive and that many of us started the New Year with bills to pay.

The first direct smartmortgage offers the flexibility to reduce your monthly repayments, enabling borrowers to pay off their additional seasonal spending without worry".


Notes to editors:

For a range of smartmortgage case studies, please call Emma Radcliffe on 0113 276 6887.

Key features of first direct 's smartmortgage:

  • smartmortgage currently has a 4.75% (4.9% APR) variable interest rate. first direct guarantees that the smartmortgage rate will not be more than 1% above Bank of England base rate, guaranteed for the life of the loan. This applies to all smartmortgages opened before 1st January 2004.
  • Launched in July 2001, smartmortgage applications have now reached a total of £2.1 billion.
  • first direct is an award-winning mortgage lender:
    • What Mortgage - Best National Lender over 10 years for three years running, in 2000, 2001 and 2002.
  • There are no redemption penalties or Mortgage Indemnity Guarantee (MIG) charges on smartmortgage.
  • Interest is calculated daily.
  • Facility to make overpayments (free of charge).
  • Facility to release equity in the property through 'borrow back' option (free of charge).
  • Capital repayment breaks and/or underpayments permitted (free of charge).
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