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‘Mortgage prisoners’ will be given access to lower rates

People who've been making payments on time but took out their mortgages before the crash are getting a worse deal than new customers

People who got mortgages before the crisis have been paying higher rates than people who got them after, because of a change in regulation. That's going to end this year.

What it means: Okay, stay with us. Before the crisis, it wasn't too difficult to get a mortgage (which is part of the story of why the crisis happened – people were given loans they couldn't afford).

Since then, the rules have got stricter. You need more wealth to get a mortgage, but the rate you pay on that mortgage is also lower.

That means there are people who got mortgages before the crisis but a) wouldn't be eligible if they applied for one now, and b) are paying higher rates than people taking out new mortgages.

Until now, those 10,000 people couldn't change to the lower rates everyone else is getting now, despite the fact that they've been making repayments on time and with a lower threshold of wealth than you'd need to even be eligible today.

That's going to change: by the end of this year, people whose lenders are now offering lower rates to new customers will write to their old customers and let them switch to the lower rates.

High five, guys. We made it through a mortgage story alive.

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