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17 Jul 2018

Posted in:  Mortgage

When you first start applying for a mortgage, it can be a bit like studying for your Leaving Cert all over again. Your eyes are swimming, you’re sweating with the pressure, and there are all these terms that you’ve heard somewhere, but you haven’t a breeze what they mean.

Variable rate. Fixed rate. APR. AIP. You don’t know your LTV from your elbow, and who could blame you? There’s so much financial jargon out there.

It’d nearly make you crack open a thesaurus and then chuck it at the wall in defeat – but fear not! We’re going to explain the financial jargon that might otherwise tie you up in knots. Luckily, our EBS Mortgage Masters have been bringing mortgages home well before LTV was in the dictionary. Well, since 1935 to be exact.

We eat, sleep and breathe mortgages, and our priority hasn’t changed in eight decades – we just want to help you find your dream home. For an Irish buyer starting off on their journey, we’ve explained the mortgage lingo below.

Mortgage phrases explained

Those three letter acronyms, in easy to understand terms.

Agreement in principle

AIP is a document you get from your lender that confirms you’ll be able to borrow up to a certain amount. AIP, while not an official mortgage offer, shows the seller that you can afford to buy the property you’ve got your eye on.


Annual percentage rate: the cost of a mortgage including the interest and fees. It looks at the costs across the entire term of the mortgage.


One of the ‘uh-oh’ words of finance! Going into arrears means you missed your mortgage payment at least once. If you think it might happen, get in touch with your lender as soon as you can, as they may be able to help.


The amount of money you borrow to buy a house.

Cashback mortgage

A type of mortgage where you get a certain amount of cash on completion or at specific stages during the process. A good example of a cashback mortgage is our 2% Back in Cash Offer. You can use the cash to buy exciting things like curtains or a sofa – whatever you’d like.


The legal process you go through when you buy or sell a property. You’ll usually do this with the help of a solicitor or licenced conveyancer.


The amount you’re required to pay towards the cost of a property. For first time buyers, you’re looking at 10 percent of the cost of the property. For next time buyers, it’s 20 percent of the price of the property.


The amount of the property you own outright: this amounts to your deposit and also what you’ve paid off your mortgage.

Fixed rate mortgage

In the small text on most mortgage ads or information online, you’ll see a line that says that your rates may go up as well as down. With fixed-rate mortgages, the interest rate stays the same for the initial period of the deal.

Help to Buy Scheme

A scheme from the government introduced to help first time buyers and builders to get on the property ladder. It works as a tax rebate and offers up to €20,000. Read more about the help to buy scheme here.

Joint mortgage

A mortgage taken out by two or more people, usually a couple. It means much the same as joint tenancy, where you own the property together.

Land registry

The official body responsible for maintaining details of property ownership in Ireland.

Loan to value (LTV)

The size of your mortgage as a percentage of the value of the property you’re buying. So if you’re buying a property and will be paying a 10 percent deposit, the LTV will be 90 percent.

Monthly repayment

This is the sum you’ll pay your mortgage lender every month. Generally, this covers a percentage of your mortgage and the interest.

Mortgage deed

A very serious contract that outlines the legal obligations of the borrower and the rights the lender has if the borrower misses a repayment. Read it carefully.

Mortgage Master

An EBS mortgage advisor with complete knowledge or skill in their trade. Essentially, they’ll be your biggest help in the mortgage process.

Mortgage term

How long you’re taking out the mortgage for: 25, 30, or 35 years.

Negative equity

Another of the dreaded mortgage phrases that no one wants to have to contend with. You can get into negative equity when the value of your home falls below the amount remaining on your mortgage. However, being in negative equity doesn’t mean that you can’t get another mortgage. Help exists!


When you stay in the same home but change the terms of your mortgage, often to save money.

Stamp duty

For residential properties in Ireland, stamp duty is a fee you pay on the selling price of a property. It’s 1 percent up to €1,000,000, and 2 percent on amounts above €1,000,000.

Stress test

A percentage taken into account on your mortgage repayment amount to allow for increases in interest rates e.g. how much you can afford including the additional percentage so that you can keep living your life while making your repayments.

Sub-prime mortgage

More popular before the recession. A sub-prime mortgage is usually aimed at people who have bad credit. Do note, the terms offered may be different.

Valuation survey

A report carried out on a property to make sure it’s roughly worth what you’re paying for it. This shouldn’t be confused with the surveyor’s fee, where a professional comes to your house to check for structural issues or other problems with the house.

Variable rate mortgage

A mortgage where the interest rate may go up or down.

There you go! Swot up and get to grips with these terms and you’ll be ready to get on your mortgage journey in no time.

Want to chat to your local EBS Mortgage Master?

If you’re thinking of your own home, you can get some free Mortgage Master wisdom in your local area. Book a mortgage meeting to suit you with one of our mortgage experts,  try out our mortgage calculator or get the ball rolling with our First Time Buyer guide.

Don’t forget to visit our Facebook page for the latest home inspiration, news and great competitions.

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