Category: House & Home
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Sub category: Loan
7 September 2017

Finding the right home loan for you

Looking for a home loan can seem overwhelming – there are a lot of choices out there and it’s hard to know where to start.

With a little research and homework, finding the right home loan is actually more straightforward than you might think. Whether you’re buying a home or investment property, it’s just a matter of choosing a home loan that works with your lifestyle and financial goals. When it comes to your finances, you’re the expert, and you should feel confident to make the right choice.

To help you on your way, here’s a few things to keep in mind when you’re identifying what home loan works for you.

Are you looking for a fixed rate home loan?

 Have a think about what type of loan would work best for you between fixed and variable rate loans. Fixed rate home loans have an interest rate that is set for a certain period of time. This will allow you to protect yourself from interest rate rises and enjoy the certainty of knowing exactly what your repayments will be for the set period.

Or a variable rate home loan?

Variable rate home loans will move with the changes in the market interest rates and other factors. Some variable products offer more features for the customer, and you can benefit from falls in interest rates.

Or something in between?

Some banks offer combination loans that merge elements of fixed rate and variable rate loans. Depending on your goals you may want to split your loan part variable & part fixed, so you get the flexibility of a variable rate loan & the certainty of a fixed rate loan.

Find flexibility

Aim for a loan with a lot of flexibility, which may help suit your lifestyle. For example, some products have additional repayments at no extra cost and the ability to make repayments via direct debit, internet and phone banking services. At ING for instance, additional repayments are unlimited on Mortgage Simplifier and Orange Advantage variable rate products. What’s more, direct debit payments are a part of the deal.

Think about offsetting your interest payments

 Look into the possibility of setting up an offset account, which can save you a lot of money on interest. With offset accounts, the balance in your offset account is “offset” daily against your loan balance, and the lender generally only charges you interest on the difference between the amount in your offset account and your loan balance. (Some lenders may take into account only some of the funds in an offset account when calculating interest on your home loan.)

Consider insurance

Financial institutions may require a 20 per cent deposit when purchasing a home. If you don’t think you can achieve this by the time you want to purchase, Lender’s Mortgage Insurance (LMI) could be an option for you depending on the lender. LMI may mean that lenders can let you borrow a higher proportion of the purchase price, allowing you to purchase a property with a smaller deposit than expected. With LMI, the lender is protected if you aren’t able to afford loan repayments. There are calculators available that can help you see the estimated cost of LMI for your loan.

Make sure your potential lender is transparent

Ask your potential lender about how pre and post-settlement issues are handled. For instance, does the lender have a call center readily available for these matters?

Talk to them about all fees, not just exit fees (if any). The home loan may also involve other fees such as discharge, break or settlement fees. There is also normally a fee associated with locking in a fixed rate.

And keep in mind, what a lender offers you the first time isn’t always their best offer.

Questions to ask yourself before you proceed

There are several questions you will need to ask yourself before making the decision.

Question to ask
  • Do I want to pay more than the minimum repayment?
  • Is there a chance I'll need to redraw?
  • Does my income allow for fluctuating interest rates? Or would I sleep easier with a fixed interest rate?
  • Do I want to pay account keeping, monthly or application fees?
  • Do I want to make additional repayments?
  • Would I like a revolving line of credit with my home loan?

When it gets down to it, the person who knows your needs best is you. The key is doing your research. Check out ING’s home loan comparison tool to see if you’re getting the best possible deal. When you’re ready to go, you can apply for a loan at ING yourself online, it’s simple and can take less than 10 minutes. Alternatively you can always speak to a home loan specialist by calling 1800 100 258.

The information is current as at publication. Any advice on this website does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs and you should consider whether it is appropriate for you. Deposit products, savings products, credit card and home loan products are issued by ING, a business name of ING Bank (Australia) Limited ABN 24 000 893 292, AFSL and Australian Credit Licence 229823. ING Living Super (which is part of the ING Superannuation Fund ABN 13 355 603 448) is issued by Diversa Trustees Limited ABN 49 006 421 638, AFSL 235153 RSE L0000635. The insurance cover offered by ING Living Super is provided by Metlife Insurance Limited ABN 75 004 274 882, AFSL 238096. ING Home and Contents Insurance is issued by Auto & General Insurance Company Limited (AGIC) ABN 42 111 586 353 AFSL Licence No 285571 as insurer. It is distributed by Auto & General Services Pty Ltd (AGS) ABN 61 003 617 909 AFSL 241411 and by ING as an Authorised Representative AR 1247634 of AGS. All applications for credit are subject to ING's credit approval criteria, and fees and charges apply. You should consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement, Terms and Conditions, Fees and Limits Schedule, Financial Services Guide, Key Facts Sheet and Credit Guide available at ing.com.au when deciding whether to acquire, or to continue to hold, a product. Before interacting with us via our social media platforms, please take a minute to familiarise yourself with our Social Media User Terms https://www.ing.com.au/pdf/Social_Media_User_Terms.pdf.

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