Your home loan is most likely your largest financial commitment over the period of your working life. Given the ever-increasing variety and complexity of products, it makes sense to review your mortgage every couple of years. Considering the suitability your mortgage regularly will ensure that your home loan keeps up to date with your changing needs and priorities.
Examining your home loan regularly is a sensible practice which could potentially save you a significant amount of money through reduced interest rates and loan fees, or by obtaining an improved loan product which offers the benefits of offset accounts and greater flexibility.
Refinancing your home loan to consolidate personal loans and credit card debt, may also free up your cash flow by accessing a lower interest rate. If you are looking to renovate your home, or borrowing to invest, you could also consider unlocking some of the equity in your home by refinancing.
If your existing home loan has not been reviewed for some time, your current interest rate may be much higher than the competitive rates offered by other providers. If your loan was previously at a fixed rate, it may have defaulted to a much higher variable rate on the expiry of the fixed rate period.
In the event that your financial situation has improved, or if your credit score has increased since you had applied for your home loan, you may be eligible for more favourable terms, or improved features with another loan.
Alternatively, you may have signed for your loan on an ‘introductory’ or ‘honeymoon’ rate. These reduced rates typically revert to a higher rate at the end of the discount period, and may include termination fees, should you decide to switch lenders.
As we have been in a record low-interest rate environment for some time, rates are more likely to increase over the longer term. We have noticed in recent months that some banks are increasing interest rates outside of the Reserve Bank of Australia’s cycles. If you are concerned about interest rate increases, you may wish to ‘lock in’ a fixed rate on all, or part of your home loan.
In addition to offset accounts, which will reduce your interest payments, many providers also offer the ability to make additional payments without any penalties. A handy feature to consider on your loan is the ability to be able to withdraw extra payments that you have made. A redraw facility may be beneficial if you need to access funds for one of life’s many surprises. Having a home loan with flexibility should your circumstances change, can provide the ability to access funds as required, or repay your loan much faster.
Before deciding on refinancing, consider the following:
• Are there any penalties or break costs when refinancing your home loan?
• What are the legal and administrative fees to discharge your current loan?
• What are the establishment fees and ongoing costs with a new loan?
• Should I apply for a variable rate, or fix all, or part of my loan?
At The Investment Collective, our mortgage broking team is able to compare home loan providers and determine the costs and benefits of reviewing your home loan. If you, or someone you know, would like to discuss lending needs, or review their current home loan, please do not hesitate to contact one of our lending specialists for a free, no obligation consultation.
Please note that the above information has been prepared as general advice only. It has not taken into account your personal financial situation or financing needs. In order to get tailored advice, specific to your circumstances and financial needs, please contact either office to set up an appointment.