Mortgage prisoners may finally be released from their more expensive deals.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has announced that lenders can now carry out a modified affordability assessment for home owners who are up to date with their payments but have previously been unable to switch.

There have been concerns about the emergence of mortgage prisoners since tougher applications rules were introduced in the aftermath of the financial crisis.

Lenders have been more strict on checking income and affordability which has made it harder for those on older deals to subsequently move and pass the tougher standards of a new application.

This meant many borrowers have been moved onto more expensive standard variable rates and haven’t been able to move to better deals even if they have a track record of keeping up with repayments.

The City watchdog has been looking into this and concluded that consumers in this position, or who could be in this position in the future, are suffering harm, as they are paying higher than necessary mortgage payments.

It has given lenders permission to alter their application processes for these sorts of borrowers.

They will also be able to finance intermediary fees, as well as product or arrangement fees, through the new mortgage.

Usually the regulator gives a long start date for changes but lenders have been told to start doing this immediately so people can quickly get the help they need to move to more affordable rates.

Speak to your mortgage broker about finding the most suitable deal for you.