5 ways to find more flexibility with your home loan in 2023
Mortgages are about more than just buying houses. Find out how you can use yours more effectively.
Sponsored by Bankwest. If you're getting ready to buy your next home, check out the range of Bankwest home loans that offer the flexibility to add useful extras – like multiple offset accounts and an eligible credit card. T&Cs apply.
Home loans are more than just a way to purchase a house.
When they're used correctly, they can be a great tool for increasing your financial flexibility and freedom.
So whether you've had your current mortgage for years or are on the hunt for a new one, here's a primer on how you can leverage your home loan more effectively.
1. Use your loan features more effectively
Many borrowers think of their home loan in a relatively straightforward manner. The lender provides you with a sum of money – and once you've paid it back, the house is yours, right?
Well, not exactly. An effective home loan these days will generally offer a bit more. Here are two you should be watching out for:
- Credit cards – These often come with bonuses like low interest rates, reward points or cashback offers of their own
- Offset accounts – This account allows you offset the amount you need to repay in interest repayments by sitting adjacent to the loan, helping you pay back the principal more rapidly.
There are other features available too. For example, Bankwest Home Loans also provide you with unlimited free property reports. So when you're shopping for a new home, you'll be able to do so with confidence.
Additionally, some Bankwest loans don't require an application fee – something that could save you hundreds of dollars when you're looking to purchase your next place or refinance.
Bankwest recently launched the Bankwest Simple Home Loan. It offers lower fees and pick-and-mix options, allowing you to create a home loan that lets you just pay for the features you need.
2. Leverage repayment flexibility
The days of restrictive repayment terms are long gone.
If you're looking for a new home and a lender is suggesting penalties for things as basic as extra repayments or inflexible repayment schedules – well, it's time to look elsewhere.
For example, Bankwest offers a range of home loans with flexible home loan terms that allow you to make repayments monthly, fortnightly or weekly, depending on your preference.
Now, you might be happy with your current repayment arrangements. But it's good to have flexible terms handy in case you do ever need them.
And if you do already have flexible repayment terms, it doesn't hurt to look at ways to use them better.
This will likely look different for everyone.
It may involve making more regular repayments to shorten the term of your loan, or simply shifting from weekly to monthly to better suit your payment schedule.
Whatever the specifics, it's important that you arrange them to best suit your individual needs.
3. Save for different goals with multiple offset accounts
Offset accounts are a great way to keep the interest on your loan down. But did you know that some home loans actually come with multiple offset accounts?
Bankwest is one lender that offers this feature, with its Complete Home Loan Package – allowing up to 9 offset accounts.
This way, you can split your money into different buckets for different savings goals.
For example, you might be saving for a new car with one, stashing cash for the perfect kitchen in another and planning for your dream decor in a third.
You'll have a clear picture of your finances at a glance, while still being able to minimise interest on your mortgage at the same time.
4. Use your redraw capabilities
Redraw can be a useful feature for a range of reasons. Whether you've had emergency expenses or you're saving for a specific goal, having redraw available is extremely useful.
In some instances, it can even be a great form of collateral for future home loans too. Offset accounts can be an effective way to demonstrate clear savings patterns, while still having the ability to draw on it for deposits.
Just make sure you carefully check redraw limits when you're signing up for a new home loan – you want to make sure that you're still staying ahead overall.