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Top-up Loans Advice
By Peter J Kenny
If you have a mortgage and are in of more money to help you pay off debts or finance home improvements, then you should consider getting a top-up loan. A top-up loan can help you to put your finances back on track without having to pay vast amounts of interest. If you are unsure about top-up and how they can help you, then here is some information to help with your decision.

What are top-up loans?

If you have a mortgage loan, then it is likely you can apply for a top-up loan. A top-up loan is in essence a loan given to you at the same rate as your mortgage. It is not a remortgage, but rather a ‘top-up’ of the amount you borrowed. This amount can be used for a variety of purposes, including debt consolidation or home improvements.

How much can I borrow?

The amount you can borrow varies depending on the value of your property and how long you have been paying back your mortgage. If you have been repaying your mortgage for less than one year, it is unlikely that you will be eligible for a top up loan. Usually after one year of repayments you can borrow an amount around 10-20% of your mortgage value, and then after two years this might go up to 30%. A top-up loan of 30% is often the highest you can possibly get.

You can borrow more for less

The primary advantage of a top-up loan is that you can borrow more money than you would be able to with an unsecured loan, but at a much lower cost. You will only be paying the same interest rate as that of your mortgage, meaning your repayments will remain low. If you need to borrow a large amount of cash, then a top-up loan is one of the cheapest ways to do this.

No tax benefits

Although the interest rate is low like a mortgage, the loan is treated as a personal one, and therefore does not have the same tax benefits as a mortgage. There are no tax benefits on the interest of a top-up loan, so you cannot save money this way as you could with a remortgage. However, a top-up loan does not have the same costs associated with a remortgage, so it is cheaper and quicker to set up.

Risking your home

Although top-up are treated like personal in terms of tax, they are still secured using your mortgage and home, and so there is a chance you will


lose your home if you do not keep up with repayments. Make sure you can keep up with the repayments even when times are tough, and only borrow what you really need.

Are top-up worthwhile?

Top-up are very worthwhile for homeowners who want to borrow a large amount of cash at a low price without having to remortgage. They are especially good for home improvements, as you can make back the cost of the loan by adding to your property value. However, if you are looking to borrow a smaller amount over a shorter time, then getting a personal loan might be cheaper and less risky.


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This page was updated on Nov 2009 and is Copyright © 2003 by Global Com Consulting Inc.