How Long Should I Fix My Mortgage For?

Picture of Ian Leyden

Ian Leyden

Ian is the Founder Director of Argyll Drummond

fixed rate mortgage

Updated as of November 2023

At the beginning of November, the Bank of England decided to maintain the base rate at 5.25%, sparking optimism that we may be approaching the conclusion of interest rate hikes. This development prompts the question: Is now the right time to fix my mortgage and perhaps more importantly, how long should I fix it for?

Many of the currently available five and ten-year fixed-rate mortgages appear competitive compared to shorter-term options. However, is it wise to commit to significantly extended mortgage durations?

This guide will help you navigate the key factors you should consider when determining the ideal duration for fixing your mortgage rate.

Your Unique Financial Circumstances

Selecting the right mortgage term is not a one-size-fits-all decision. It hinges on your unique financial situation, not just the interest rate.

Consider the following: 

How long do you plan to stay in your property?: Begin by thinking about how long you are likely to stay in your current property. If you have a clear idea of how long you intend to reside there, locking in your mortgage rate could prove to be a prudent decision. It eliminates the need to worry about remortgaging or incurring fees to transfer the mortgage to another property.

Risk Tolerance: We are all very different when it comes to financial risk. Some will embrace financial risks if there’s a chance for greater returns, while others prefer a more cautious approach and seek financial security. Before making your decision, consider how financial uncertainty affects your peace of mind.

Mortgage Rate Trends: Take into account the current state of mortgage rates. The Bank of England’s base rate experienced a significant increase throughout 2023, following a decade of historically low interest rates. In response, many mortgage lenders adjusted their fixed-rate offerings to levels of 5% to 6%. Although interest rates have started to decline since August 2023, they remain above the typical 4-5% range.

If you have limited extra funds to handle potential rate increases and value budgeting predictability, a fixed-rate mortgage, particularly a longer-term one, may be appealing. Do keep in mind that committing to a lengthy fixed term could result in early repayment charges should you need to change your mortgage during that period.

Consulting a mortgage broker is a wise step to evaluate which mortgage term aligns best with your specific situation and goals.

What is a Fixed-Rate Mortgage?

A fixed-rate mortgage offers stability with a constant interest rate for a specified period, often ranging from 2 to 10 years or more. Monthly payments remain consistent, shielding borrowers from rate fluctuations.

Pros and Cons of a Long-Term Fixed Rate Mortgage


Predictable Repayments: Opting for a longer-term fixed-rate mortgage provides predictable monthly payments throughout the deal’s duration, shielding you from market fluctuations. However, if interest rates decrease during your fixed term, your mortgage might become less competitive compared to newer deals.

Saves Time: Longer-term mortgage deals save time. With shorter-term deals, you’d need to shop around and switch every few years, a time-consuming process involving market research, broker consultations and extensive documentation. 

Savings on Fees: Locking into a long-term mortgage can result in savings on lender fees. Most mortgage deals come with product charges, which accumulate if you switch frequently. Opting for a long-term fixed-rate mortgage helps you avoid these extra costs. Be sure to consider product transfers with your current lender to potentially save on fees compared to switching to a new one.


Potential Overpayment: Committing to a long-term fixed-rate mortgage when rates are high may result in overpayment. If rates decrease during your fixed term, you could pay more than the market average until your deal expires. Shorter-term deals offer flexibility to benefit from lower rates sooner.

Age Restrictions: Some banks impose age limits on long-term mortgages to mitigate risks. Many banks set a maximum age limit, typically around 70 for borrowers. Be aware of these limits, especially if considering a long-term mortgage later in life.

Exit Fees: Be cautious of hefty penalties associated with certain long-term fixed-rate mortgages if you decide to switch before the term ends. While some lenders do not charge exit fees, understand potential costs if you exit your deal prematurely.

When Will Mortgage Rates Go Down?

In November, the Bank of England maintained the base rate at 5.25%, indicating that the ongoing interest rate hikes may be nearing their conclusion. For homeowners with mortgages, this announcement offers some relief. While mortgage rates remain notably higher than they were two years ago, there has been a gradual decline in rates. However, the key question is: How much further can we expect them to decrease?

While the future of interest rates remains uncertain, it’s improbable that the Bank of England will lower the base rate while inflation remains elevated at its current level of 6.7%. The bank’s cautious approach is driven by its desire to prevent excessive spending that could further fuel inflation.


Deciding on whether to lock in your mortgage rate now or adopt a ‘wait and see’ approach depends on your risk tolerance, financial situation, and outlook on interest rates.

Key Takeaways:

  • Assess your housing plans, risk tolerance, and current mortgage rates.
  • Consult a mortgage professional for personalised guidance.
  • Consider your long-term financial goals and how your mortgage choice aligns with them.

Navigating the complexities of a fluctuating mortgage market can be a daunting task when done independently. Seeking guidance from an experienced mortgage broker is a wise step. 

At Argyll Drummond, we tailor the available options to your needs. We seek out potential avenues for securing lower interest rates through specialised schemes and assess how market dynamics might impact your situation.

Get in touch for a friendly, no-obligation chat and take the first step towards your mortgage journey with us today.

Scroll to Top