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Mortgage Interest

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When you plan to buy a home you take out a mortgage. A mortgage is a loan to finance your home. You pay interest on this loan. This is called mortgage interest. The mortgage costs consist, depending on your type of mortgage, of a part repayment and a part mortgage interest. The level of mortgage interest is determined, among other things, by the money market (for short fixed-interest periods) and the capital market (for long fixed-interest periods). The interest rates on these financial markets largely determine the level of mortgage interest rates. The financial markets in turn are influenced by the policy of the European Central Bank (ECB).

What is mortgage interest?

Mortgage interest is the interest you pay on your mortgage. In exchange for providing a loan, you pay the bank a fee in the form of interest. How much interest you pay is indicated by an interest rate. Each month, you pay the bank interest on the mortgage debt you have left. If you have a type of mortgage where you make monthly repayments, your residual debt gets smaller and smaller. The smaller the residual debt, the less interest you pay. When you take out a mortgage, you can choose between a fixed mortgage rate and a variable mortgage rate. Sometimes it is also possible to divide a mortgage and choose a part fixed interest rate and a part variable interest rate. If you choose a fixed rate, you immediately choose the fixed rate period. The fixed rate period is the period that the interest rate is fixed This can be, for example, 5, 10, 20 or 30 years.

Mortgage rates vary by bank. At you will find an overview of all mortgage interest rates. Often people look directly at the bank with the lowest mortgage interest rate. However, this is not necessarily the best choice. Each mortgage lender sets different conditions for a mortgage, which may not suit your personal situation or needs. Therefore, look not only at the mortgage rate, but also at your personal situation and the conditions set by a mortgage lender.


Variable interest is interest that can rise or fall each month. This is because the interest rate is linked to the interest rate in the market. This means that your monthly expenses can also change all the time, because your interest rate can go up or down depending on what the interest rate in the market is doing. Variable interest rates can therefore change every month. No one can predict exactly how interest rates will develop. The amount of variable interest depends, among other things, on the Euribor interest rate. This is the interest rate at which European banks lend money to each other. It varies per mortgage lender how often the interest rate is changed.


Fixed rate is the interest rate specified in your mortgage offer. If you choose a fixed rate, this interest rate will remain the same during the fixed-rate period. The interest rate is fixed for 5, 10, 20 or 30 years. The advantage of this is that you know exactly what you will pay in monthly costs during these years. An increase in the market interest rate does not affect your monthly costs and you do not have to keep an eye on the interest rate. This gives you security. A disadvantage of fixed mortgage rates is that a decrease in the market interest rate does not affect your interest rate. You will continue to pay the higher rate of mortgage interest.

Fix mortgage interest rates; to fix or not to fix?

When you take out a mortgage, you choose an interest rate fixed period. The fixed-rate period is the period during which your mortgage interest rate is fixed and therefore remains the same. When mortgage rates are low, many people choose to fix the mortgage rate for a longer period of time, such as 20 or 30 years. By locking in the mortgage rate for a longer period, you know what your monthly costs will be for the next few years. This gives you more security and you will not be faced with unpleasant surprises.

When mortgage rates are high, people more often choose to fix the interest rate for a short period of time. One advantage of this is that there is a chance that the mortgage interest rate will be lower when your fixed-rate period expires. This allows you to lock in a new contract with a lower mortgage interest rate at the end of your fixed-rate period. Moreover, interest rates for short fixed-interest periods are often lower than for longer fixed-interest periods. As a result, your monthly expenses are already slightly lower right away. However, a shorter fixed-interest period does mean that you have less certainty about your monthly expenses in the future.

Whether it is wise to fix the mortgage interest rate for a longer or shorter period depends on various factors, such as the current level of mortgage interest, your personal situation and your wishes. Always get proper advice from a mortgage consultant.

Why do mortgage rates rise or fall?

Mortgage rates do not always stay the same. In fact, mortgage interest rates can rise or fall. The most important factor in this is the capital market interest rate. The capital market interest rate is interest for long-term credit, with a term of two years or longer. In the capital market, those long-term credits are traded, such as stocks and government bonds. The less inflation, the more is traded. As more is traded, supply increases and interest rates fall. So the less inflation, the lower the supply resulting in lower mortgage rates. Factors such as monetary policy and international developments also affect capital market interest rates.

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