Do you know how well your current home loan stacks up?

Things change, and chances are since you got your home loan, interest rates may have moved, and life has too.

Has the official cash rate changed since your current loan settled? Has the rate your lender is charging you changed? What about the fees and charges? Chances are the market has changed too. New products designed to attract borrowers are always being introduced, and lending appetites are an ever-moving feast.

Let’s not forget that things have probably changed in your life too since you took out the mortgage. Your income may have changed, and your expenses probably have too – your financial goals could also be different.

Even though most loans are around 30 years in length, you may be surprised to hear that Australians often change their home loan every 4-5 years as they refinance.

Refinancing is a chance to look at what’s out there and to check to see whether your current loan is still the right one for you. If it’s not, it may be time to refinance.

If you are looking to switch, this guide contains some of the key things you may want to consider.

Why is this the smart way to go?

  • We provide real choice, looking to find you the right deal.
  • work with multiple lenders, not just one – keeping competition alive.
  • may negotiate a better outcome.
  • And, help at a time and place that suits you, doing the legwork for you.

Our aim is to save you time and stress, and get things moving as quickly as possible.

Why should you refinance?

Reviewing your home loan every year or two is a very good habit to get into.

As the market and your circumstances change, the home loan that was just right for you then, may no longer be one that suits you now. You may be looking to save a bit of money, consolidating your debt or looking to unlock some equity you’ve built up in your home. Whatever the reasons, it’s a good idea to see what’s out there on a regular basis. But you should also bear in mind the long-term costs of increasing your borrowings.

Lower Rates and Fees

Obviously the first question to ask is could you be paying less? A loan with a lower interest rate or less fees can be the simplest way to reduce your repayments. It means you can unlock a little more spending money, or better still, pay off more of your principal to pay the loan back sooner.

More Features

But it’s not all about interest rates. Sometimes the loans with the lowest rates also sacrifice features that are not only handy, but also save you money in the long run. For example:

  • Offset account. This is a separate account that lets you use the balance to offset the principal on which your interest is calculated. Simply having your pay packet deposited into this account can take time off your loan.
  • Flexible payments. Paying some more money into the loan if you have it is a great way to shorten your loan and save more in the long run.
  • Redraw. This lets you easily access any extra funds you’ve deposited into your loan.
  • Flexible rates. Depending on what you think rates are going to do (go up, down, or stay the same), you can choose the type of loan that could save you money when they go down, or protect you if they rise.

Of course, each lender will have its own terms and conditions, and it is important to consider the effects of these rules when choosing a loan.

Know the costs of refinancing

One of the main reasons to refinance is to improve your financial position.

So, you’ll need to know what other costs are involved in ending one loan and moving to another. Only then can you weigh up the benefits of switching loans. The best way to do this is to speak to your broker, but here are some of the fees and costs that some lenders may charge:

  1. Discharge fee: A lender may charge you a termination fee.
  2. Break cost: If you have a fixed rate loan you could be charged a break cost.
  3. Application fee: This is often charged on settlement of the loan.
  4. Valuation fee: A lender can charge this fee to have your property independently valued.
  5. Early exit fees: May be payable if you’ve had your loan for less than a specified period (e.g. five years).
  6. Settlement fee: A fee charged once the loan is settled.
  7. Registration fee: Charged when you switch your mortgage to a new lender. This amount varies from state to state.
  8. Lender’s Mortgage Insurance (LMI): If your new loan is worth more than 80% of your home’s value, a lender will ask you to pay this to protect them from defaults.

Most lenders will only charge you some of these, not all. When talking through your situation with us, we can help you understand what it will cost to end your current loan, and begin the new one.

If there’s something you don’t understand or need more of an explanation, please just pick up the phone or email today.  

Phone:    02 4732 3844

Shop location:

Suite 7/ 488 High Street Penrith NSW 2750

ABN: 84 099 969 641

Australian Credit Licence: 385490                                                    

Judge Lending is a trading name of The Australian Loan Pty Ltd

This guide has been written for general informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. However, for your personal situation, please do not hesitate to contact our professional accountants.