FAQs

Albany Park

How can Albany Park help me?

We care for our customers. We are one of the UK’s leading protection and mortgage specialists working with top insurers and mortgage lenders to find our customers the right deal for the them.

Which financial products can you advise me about?

Our team can advise you about Mortgages, Protection Insurance (including Life Insurance and Income Protection) and Business Protection. Call us on 0203 540 5800 or request a quote to speak to our expert advisors.

How can I get in touch with you?

You can send us a message via our contact page, or give us a call on 0203 540 5800. Alternatively, you can send us a letter to Albany Park Finance, Inchora House, Building X92, Cody Technology Park, Farnborough, Hants, GU14 0LX.

How many customers have Albany Park helped?

Our protection team have helped over 3,000 customers protect their tomorrow by finding the right cover for their needs. Our mortgage advisors have arranged approximately 2,000 mortgages helping our customers to purchase their dream home.

Mortgages

How does remortgaging work?

When you remortgage your property, you are replacing your existing mortgage with a new deal. This can either be for the same amount that is outstanding on your current mortgage, or for a lower or higher amount.
There are lots of different remortgage deals to choose from so it’s a good idea to compare several before choosing. Once you’ve found a competitive remortgage deal, you should also check whether you can remortgage without having to pay any early repayment charges on your current mortgage. Once you know which deal you want to move to, you must submit your application, providing proof of income, identification and details of any outgoings. The lender will check this information and, provided they are satisfied that you can afford the mortgage, they’ll then provide you with an offer.

When should I remortgage?

You can start to think about remortgaging before your current mortgage deal ends – many mortgage offers are valid for 3 to 6 months from when they are issued. One benefit is that getting a new deal in place can avoid you paying an expensive standard variable rate.

How much deposit do I need to buy my new home?

Generally, it is advisable to save at least 5% to 20% of the cost of the home you would ideally like. For example, if you were to buy a home costing £200,000, you would need to save at least £10,000 (5%). If you save more it generally gives you access to a wider range of sometimes cheaper mortgages and the more you save the less you borrow meaning your monthly payments will be lower.

What can I do if I need some financial help buying my first home?

Several government-backed schemes aim to give home buyers a helping hand onto the property ladder, talk to one of our advisors to find out your options.
If you’re struggling to get a mortgage agreed to buy your first home, you may want to consider a guarantor mortgage. This means another person agrees to be responsible for paying the mortgage if you are unable to, normally a parent, guardian or close relative. Guarantor mortgages are legally binding arrangements and should not be entered into lightly by either party. A mortgage broker can help you to find which lenders offer guarantor mortgages.

What are the costs of buying a home?

Apart from your monthly mortgage payments, there are others costs when buying a home that you should consider. These could include;

  • Mortgage arrangement and valuation fees
  • Stamp Duty (Land and buildings Transaction Tax in Scotland, or Land Transaction Tax in Wales)
  • Survey costs
  • Solicitor’s fee
  • Buildings and contents insurance
  • Removal costs

What government schemes are available?

  • Help to buy ISA
    For first time buyers, the government will boost your savings by 25% up to a maximum of £3,000 bonus per individual.
  • Help to buy scheme 2013
    With a minimum deposit of 5% of the purchase price the government will assist with an interest free loan of up to 20% of the purchase price for the first 5 years.
  • Forces help to buy
    To enable members of the armed forces to borrow up to 50% of their annual salary to a maximum of £25,000 interest free to assist with a property purchase.
  • Shared ownership
    A scheme to allow people to buy only part of their property and rent the remainder, with the opportunity to buy more later.
  • Older peoples shared ownership
    Designed to assist people over the age of 55 buy a part of their property.
  • Home ownership for people with long-term disabilities (HOLD)
    Similar to shared ownership mortgages but adapted to cater for specific needs.

What's difference between a buy to let mortgage and a residential mortgage?

Both of these mortgages involve you borrowing to fund a property purchase. However, there are some important differences.

Rates on buy to let mortgages are usually higher than on residential mortgages and you will need to put down a larger deposit.

Another big difference is that buy to let mortgages are usually interest only, rather than repayment, so you don’t pay back any of the capital you owe until the end of the mortgage term. The advantage of this is that your monthly payments will be lower. The downside is that if property prices fall while you own the property, there is a risk that when you come to sell it, you might not end up with enough to pay off the mortgage.

How much deposit do I need for a buy to let mortgage?

You’ll usually have to come up with at least 25% of the property value for a buy to let mortgage if you’re looking to secure a buy to let mortgage.

As with residential mortgages, the bigger the deposit you can afford to put down, the better the buy to let mortgage deals you will have access to, with the best buy to let rates typically offered to those with a deposit of 40% or more.

What buy to let mortgage deals are available?

There are lots of different buy to let mortgage deals available.

Some of the lowest rates are tracker deals, which track the Bank of England base rate including a set percentage. The downside of a tracker deal is that the rate is variable and will go up and down at the same time as the base rate.

Other types of variable mortgage deals include discounted buy to let mortgages where the lender offers a discount off its standard variable rate, or capped mortgage rates, where again payment can fluctuate but will never exceed a certain limit, or cap.

You may prefer to opt for a fixed rate buy to let deal if you are worried about interest rates rising.

Insurance

Do I need Income Protection?

If you think you would struggle with your financial commitments if you were unable to work, then you may need to consider some form of Income Protection.

Income Protection pays out up to 70% of your pre-tax pay if you’re unable to work due to being sick or disabled. This could be huge weight off your mind when you cannot work, as it would cover essential outgoings.

How long will an Income Protection policy pay out for?

This depends on which policy you take out. The most comprehensive Income Protection policies will pay out continuously until your chosen retirement age if you are unable to work. There are, however, limited benefit options that will only pay out for one or two years in the event of a claim.

How much does Income Protection cost?

Your premium will depend on many factors including:

    • Age
    • Medical history
    • Occupation
    • Monthly benefit amount
    • Deferred Period (how soon the policy starts to pay out)

What is life insurance?

Life cover pays a cash sum out if you die. Policies are generally designed to help families cope with the financial pressure of losing the household’s main earner. There are many different varieties of life cover including:

      • Cover to last for a defined period or for the rest of your life
      • CCover just for you or for you and your partner
      • CCover that stays at the same level or increases with inflation
      • CCover that pays out as a lump sum or as an income

Is a Life Insurance pay-out taxable?

In short, no. A life insurance pay-out will not be subject to Income Tax or Capital Gains Tax. The only tax implications of a life insurance policy would be an Inheritance Tax liability, however, this is easily avoided by writing your policy into Trust.

What types of Life Insurance are there?

There’s different types of Life Insurance; they all aim to offer financial protection for when the policy holder dies and offer slightly different types of cover.

      • Level term – The payout and cover with a level term policy stays the same throughout the amount of time you are insured for. Put simply, you decide the amount of cover to take out and that’s what the policy pays. This is often taken out for families, who want to cover for costs such as protecting their families lifestyle or child care costs as well as monthly outgoings such as a mortgage.
      • Decreasing term – This means the cover amount decreases each year to pay off an outstanding mortgage or loan by the end of the term based on an interest rate of 8%. This is because your debt should be decreasing as you repay it over time.
      • Increasing term – Increasing term policies, as the name suggests, increases the payout the longer the policy runs. The cover amount increases each year by 3% and your premiums increase by 3.75% each year to pay for the increased cover and age. The increasing option helps to provide some degree of protection against the risk of inflation.
      • Family Income Benefit – provides a monthly or yearly amount to your dependants in the event of death for the remainder of the policy term. This could be used to cover school fees, for example.
      • Whole of Life Insurance – provides a fixed lump sum that will pay out in the event of death at any stage in your life, so there no policy “term”. It’s designed to cover funeral costs or mitigate against an Inheritance Tax liability.

Do I need Critical Illness Cover?

Critical Illness Cover can prove invaluable if you are unfortunate enough to be diagnosed with one of the specified serious illnesses listed on your policy. It offers the reassurance that in these circumstances you will receive a lump sum which could then be used to pay off the mortgage or to meet your family’s monthly outgoings while you concentrate on getting better.
If you have a partner, children or other dependents should be to take out Life Insurance. However, because this only pays out if you die it is important that you should also have either Critical Illness Cover or Income Protection.

What types of Critical Illness Cover are there?

Critical illness cover can be bought either as a standalone product or in combination with life insurance.
Although critical illness policies are all designed to do a similar job, there can be some variations between different policies. They commonly cover at least 40 conditions however but there can be some serious conditions that aren’t covered like certain forms of cancer. This means it is important to compare the details of different policies, to make sure you take out a policy that suits you – our team of experts can help you decide.

What illnesses does Critical Illness Cover?

Critical Illness Cover protects against specific illnesses that have a severe impact on your life.
All Critical Illness Cover includes the main critical illnesses people suffer from in the UK including coronary artery bypass, major heart attack, kidney failure, major organ transplant, multiple sclerosis, stroke and a defined set of specific cancers. It’s important to the specific conditions with your cover provider.
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