Category: House & Home
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Sub category: Loan
26 July 2021

Thinking of refinancing your home loan? Here’s the 101

Back in the day, taking out a home loan meant keeping that loan for the next 25 to 30 years. But times have changed. So now that refinancing is more and more common,  what’s it all about – and why are so many people doing it?

Basically, refinancing is taking your existing home loan and replacing it with a new, and different loan, all with the aim of getting a better deal than the one you have. It could also be a savvy response to life’s changes, like an updated relationship status, a decision to consolidate debt, or even the choice to use the equity in your home for another of your goals.

Why and when would I want to refinance my home loan?

Every two to three years or so, it could be a good idea to check in on your loan. After all, your financial needs and goals may have changed during this time and there could be a better rate out there to help you reach them. By potentially saving on repayments, and getting ahead with better money management, you could be a step closer to reaching those dreams.

Be clear about why your current home loan isn’t working and think about what you want from your new loan. As much as refinancing might seem like a must-do, you need to see if it will actually save you money or cost you in the long run.

What am I looking for when I’m comparing loans?

Look at the rates, costs and features of your current home loan. Check what your exit costs would be if you decided to make a change. But before you do, look at other options your current lender can offer you. Often, your lender will be keen to keep you as a customer and help you refinance with them.

Whether or not your current lender comes to the party with other options for you, you should look around and compare home loans from other lenders too. When you do, it’s important to look at more than interest rates. Suss out things like application fees, ongoing fees and charges, and check whether the loan has the features you want – whether that’s redraw, additional repayments or an offset function. Make sure that you won’t be getting, or paying for, any features that you won’t use. Keep a lookout for so-called honeymoon rates that some lenders use to attract customers that quickly revert to a higher than normal rate after a certain period.

Another watch-out: avoid sending home loan applications to lots of lenders. It could affect your credit history because unfulfilled applications may show up as a credit enquiry with an unknown decision. What it boils down to is choosing a lender – whether it’s your current one or a new one – that meets your needs and going with them.

Are there any fees or other costs I need to consider?

Refinancing could save you money over the long-term, but there are upfront costs and fees to keep in mind first. Weigh up these costs against your future savings and find out where your break-even point is – that is, how many years until the savings you make cover these upfront costs. You need to know you’ll be keeping the home loan long enough to strike that balance, or even get ahead.

Here are some of the fees and costs to keep an eye out for:

  • Break costs of an existing fixed rate loan
  • Discharge fees
  • Loan establishment and application fees for the new loan
  • Settlement and handling fees, including legal fees
  • Valuation costs
  • Mortgage registration (to let your state’s Titles Office know you’ve changed your home loan provider or type of home loan)
  • The time costs and inconvenience of changing lenders

However these are only some of the fees and costs that could apply. For a more accurate picture of the fees and costs that might apply to your refinance, take a good read of the product terms and conditions and fee schedules.

Ready to find out more about refinancing?

Our home loan specialists are here to help. Whether you’re new to ING or a current customer, we can talk you through your options – obligation free. If you’re currently comparing loans we offer loans with competitive rates and a variety of features.

To talk to an ING home loan specialist simply call 1800 100 258, 8am – 8pm AEST on Monday to Friday or 9am – 5pm AEST on Saturday.

 

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 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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