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FAQs

What does refinancing a loan do?

Refinancing your home loan means swapping your current home loan for something more suited to your situation. Many choose to refinance to secure a more competitive interest rate or more useful added features. In many cases, it can also save you money.

Learn more about how to save time and money off your home loan.

How do I compare home loan interest rates?

It’s easy to compare your interest rate to others on the market. Simply use our comparison tool to explore other home loan products that may offer better value for your needs.

How do I compare mortgage fees and features?

The total value of a home loan is based on its interest rate, fees and added features. Suitable home loans should be compared based on these aspects, with the overall decision centred on the needs of the borrower.

What is a comparison rate?

A comparison rate is a way of determining the true value of a home loan product. For example, a mortgage product may offer an interest rate of 2.60% p.a. but have a 3.10% p.a. comparison rate. This usually means there are extra fees and charges that effect its true value.

Features

Mortgage features are the bells and whistles’ that set home loan products apart and can be useful to some borrowers. These features could include access to a redraw facility or offset account.

Offset account

An offset account is a home loan feature that allows you to better manage the interest payable on your home loan. It is an everyday bank account that’s linked to your home loan. You can deposit your salary and savings into the account and the balance is then offset against the amount owing on your home loan.

Extra repayments

An added feature that allows you to make extra repayments towards your home loan. These are usually capped at a certain amount but can help you to take greater strides towards paying off your mortgage.

Redraw facility

A redraw facility can give you access to extra repayments you may have made towards your principal loan amount. This can come in handy if you face any unexpected future expenses or need extra funds to cover renovation costs.

Portability

Loan portability is a feature that can allow you to take your home loan with you when you move, bypassing the need to close your current home loan and apply for a new one. Learn more with our Loan Portability guide.

Split home loan

Allows you to split your home loan into two parts, where part of the loan may be under a variable interest rate and the other a fixed rate.

What is a Loan-to-value ratio (LVR)?

The loan-to-value ratio (LVR) is a comparison between the amount you would need to borrow versus the value of the property. For example, if a property was valued at $600,000 and you had the standard 20% deposit of $120,000, your LVR would be 80%.

What refinancing fees could I get?

The cost of refinancing can vary on a case-by-case basis and depends on the terms of the current loan as well as the cost of opening the new loan. In some cases, this can be offset by cashback offers, which some lenders use to attract new business.

Learn more about the types of fees you could get.

Do I want a fixed rate or a variable rate?

There are advantages to both variable and fixed rate home loans and the decision should be made based on the needs of the borrower.

  • Variable rate home loans: A variable rate home loan means your interest rate is open to the fluctuations of the market. Depending on market conditions, the value of your regular mortgage repayments may increase or decrease.
  • Fixed rate home loans: A fixed rate home loan means your interest rate will remain the same for the specified period (usually 1 to 5 years). The value of your regular repayments will remain locked, regardless of market conditions.

Which home loan repayment type do I need?

There are two types of repayments interest only and principal and interest. Interest only repayments address only the interest accrued on your loan, and do not contribute to paying back the principal loan amount. Principal and interest repayments, however, both contribute to paying off the loan as well as accrued interest.

Why do some borrowers choose interest only loans?

There are many reasons a borrower may choose an interest only loan. For example, the loan may be a short-term solution while the borrower waits for another property to be sold. They can also be an attractive option for investors who may be able to claim their interest only repayments as deductions on their tax return.