Everything you need for your mortgage application
Our mortgage calculator lets you easily compare interest rates, offers and cashback incentives from all of Ireland’s mortgage lenders.
So whether you’re a first-time buyer, home mover or looking to switch mortgage, we’ll take the hard work out of finding the best mortgage deal for you.
And when it’s time to take out mortgage protection insurance, we can help too! Our mortgage protection comparison service lets you easily compare prices from Ireland’s main insurance providers and will produce a quote for you in just seconds.Compare mortgage protection insurance
How do I find the best mortgage rate?
What is a mortgage?
A mortgage is a loan that’s used to purchase a property. Mortgage terms generally range from five to 35 years.
Unlike most other loans, a mortgage is what’s called secured lending. This means your lender takes your property as security against the loan. In other words your lender will legally own your property until the mortgage that you took out to buy it has been fully repaid.
How do I compare mortgages?
Comparing mortgages is easy with bonkers.ie. Just use our mortgage calculator to quickly compare the different interest rates, offers and cashback incentives from all of Ireland’s mortgage lenders and see what your monthly repayments would be.
And remember once you’ve got your mortgage sorted you’ll also need to take out mortgage protection insurance. But the good news is that you can compare mortgage protection quotes and buy insurance quickly and easily on bonkers.ie too!
How much can I borrow for a mortgage?
The Central Bank’s mortgage lending rules state that a prospective home buyer can borrow up to 3.5 times their annual income though in some cases banks can provide an exemption to this limit and loan you more.
To get an exemption you generally need to be earning at least €40,000 to €50,000 as a single person and around €70,000 as a couple.
What size deposit do I need for a mortgage?
Current Central Bank rules state that first-time buyers need a cash deposit of 10% of the value of their property while second-time and subsequent buyers need a deposit of 20%. However banks are allowed provide exemptions to this rule. In any one calendar year, 5% of mortgages to first-time buyers can have a deposit below 10% and 20% of mortgages to second-time and subsequent buyers can have a deposit below 20%.
How do I get a mortgage in Ireland?
To qualify for a mortgage in Ireland you need to meet certain criteria. In general these are:
- You need to be in secure employment and have a source of income that can sustain the mortgage.
- You need to prove that you can afford your repayments, even if interest rates rise.
- You have to have at least a 10% cash deposit if you’re a first-time buyer and a 20% deposit if you’re a second-time or subsequent buyer.
- You need to have a good credit history, which means well-managed finances and not too much existing debt.
Can I switch my mortgage to another bank?
You can switch your mortgage providing you meet certain criteria. Each bank has its own set of criteria, and if your financial circumstances have changed for the worse since you qualified for your initial mortgage, you may have problems switching. In general you must consider factors such as:
- The outstanding balance on your mortgage: The average minimum mortgage accepted by Irish banks for someone switching is around €30,000 to €40,000.
- Whether you have a fixed-rate contract with your current lender: You may be charged penalty fees for switching out of a fixed-rate contract early.
- Your credit rating: You must still have a good credit rating. A credit check will be carried out by the lender you’re trying to switch to and if you’ve taken out loans or used credit cards and had difficulties repaying these, you may have problems switching.
- How much equity is in your house: You won’t be able to switch if you are in negative equity and most lenders will want you to have at least 20% equity in your home.
- The term remaining on your mortgage: You may not be able to switch if you only have a few years remaining on your mortgage.
How do I switch my mortgage?
Firstly compare mortgage rates for switchers on bonkers.ie to find out who's offering the best rates and whether it makes financial sense to switch. Our mortgage calculator lets you easily compare interest rates, offers and cashback incentives from all of Ireland’s mortgage lenders and will quickly show you what your new monthly repayments would be and how much you could save by switching.
Next step is to start the switch. You can request a callback from your new lender through bonkers.ie or else choose to be put in touch with one of our experienced brokers who’ll guide you along the way.
Once you've chosen your new lender they'll issue you with a mortgage switching pack which you'll need to fill out.
You'll also need to get an up-to-date professional valuation of your home. This is so that your new lender knows how big your mortgage is in relation to the value of your home and therefore how much equity you have. The more equity the better. The fee will be around €150 and the lender you're looking to switch to will give you the name of an approved valuer to use.
Which lender has the lowest mortgage rates?
There isn’t one answer to this question. Different lenders offer different rates based on how big a deposit a prospective borrower has i.e. their loan-to-value ratio. In general the bigger the deposit you have saved in relation to the size of your mortgage, the lower your interest rate will be. Some lenders also charge lower rates depending on the BER of your new home with more energy efficient homes attracting lower rates.
The best way to find out which lender has the lowest mortgage rates for your individual circumstances is to compare your options using our mortgage calculator.
What is APRC?
APRC stands for annual percentage rate of charge. Unlike the interest rate, it includes any additional fees or levies which you might be charged by your lender and is calculated as if you kept your mortgage with the same lender for the entire term without making any changes.
Because some mortgages, like a fixed-rate mortgage for example, can offer a lower rate of interest for the first few years, then roll over onto a higher standard variable rate for the remainder of the term unless you switch or choose another fixed rate, the way the APRC is calculated reflects this and allows you to compare the total cost of your mortgage over the entire term easily across different providers.
Should I choose a mortgage that offers cashback?
With so many banks now offering cashback with their mortgages, it's no surprise that customers and especially first-time buyers are being tempted by these often sizeable lump sums of cash.
In short there's nothing wrong with cashback offers per se - just don't get blindsided by them. The key is to always consider the interest rate and overall cost of credit over the lifetime of the loan, as quite often the banks that offer the best cashback deals also charge some of the highest interest rates.