By replacing your existing loan with a new one, you could quite possibly take advantage of a better deal.
Even if you secured a competitive package when you first took out your home loan, it’s worth reviewing each year to ensure the interest rates, fees and features continue to meet your needs.
With interest rates currently at an all-time low in Australia, now may be an opportune time to refinance as you may be able to pay off your home loan sooner rather than later.
Refinancing is where you replace your existing home loan with a new one that’s ideally more cost-effective and flexible. It may involve changing your home loan product with your current provider, but often it will mean switching to a different lender who can offer you a better deal.
Some of the reasons you may look to refinance include:
1. You want to pay less
If you can find a lower interest rate, you could save money and reduce your repayments. Even a 0.5% reduction on your interest rate could save tens of thousands of dollars over the life of your loan.
2. You want a shorter loan term
When interest rates are down, you may be able to reduce the term of your loan—from 30 to 25 years for instance—without too much change to your repayments, meaning you may be able to pay off your home loan sooner.
3. You want access to better features
You may be looking for further cost savings and greater flexibility with the help of added features, such as unlimited additional repayments, redraw facilities, an offset account or the ability to tap into your home equity.
4. You want a better deal, more flexibility or security
Converting to a fixed, variable or split-rate interest loan may provide you with these things.
5. You want access to your home equity
Equity can be used to secure finance for big ticket items such as an investment property, renovations or your children’s education. This can be risky though because if you don’t make the repayments, you could lose your home as a result.
6. You want to consolidate existing debts
If you have multiple debts, it could make sense to roll these into your home loan if you’re diligent with your repayments. This is because interest rates associated with home loans are generally lower than other forms of borrowing.
Do you know what you want?
If you’re looking to refinance, do you know what it is you’re after—a lower interest rate, added features, greater flexibility, better customer service or all of the above? It’s important to determine these things so when you’re researching other loans, you know exactly what you’re after.
Do the financial benefits outweigh the costs?
You might be able to save money over the long term by refinancing, but the upfront costs can still be expensive. For this reason, it’s a good idea to investigate where costs may apply, or be negotiable—think discharge fees, registration of mortgage fees and break costs if you have a fixed-rate loan.
Also think about application costs if you swap lenders—establishment fees, legal fees, valuation fees, stamp duty, and lender’s mortgage insurance if you borrow more than 80% of the property’s value.
Have you spoken to your current lender?
Before you jump ship, it may be worth a chat with your current lender as they might be willing to renegotiate your package to retain you as a customer.
Has there been any change to your personal situation?
An application process if you want to refinance will apply. This means your lender will take into account things like your employment situation, additional debts you’ve taken on, or if you’ve got a growing family as all these things can impact your borrowing potential.
For more information
Refinancing can be a wise move if it can save you money, get your debt under control or give you more flexibility in achieving your goals. It’s important to evaluate the pros and cons if you are considering refinancing.
These can be complex so you may wish to start a conversation with us about your options.
You need to consider with your financial planner (or adviser), your objectives, financial situation and your particular needs prior to making an investment decision. Sensibly Pty Ltd and its authorised representatives (or credit representatives) do not accept liability for any errors or omissions of information supplied on this website
Nick Shanley, Steve May, Luke Styles and Shanley Financial Planning T/A Steve May Financial Services are Authorised Representatives / Corporate Authorised Representative of Sensibly Pty Ltd, AFSL 533923. Please refer to our website at www.stevemayfs.com.au to reference our Financial Services Guides.
Shanley Financial Planning Pty Ltd trading as Steve May Financial Services (ABN 19 612 825 180) is a Corporate Authorised Representative of (1265706) of Sensibly Pty Ltd (AFSL 533923)
Nick Shanley, Steve May and Luke Styles are Authorised Representatives of Sensibly Pty Ltd (AFSL 533923)