How to Find the Best Refinancing Deals*

Rates and Fees verified correct on January 23rd, 2017

The secret to getting a good deal when refinancing your home loan

refinance home loanLike any other financial decision you make, the decision to refinance is one that needs careful thought, research and strategy. As it can be a costly process, you need to ensure that refinancing your home loan will benefit you financially.

This is why it's important to research available products on the market, speak with professionals and crunch the numbers to ensure that the refinanced mortgage will lead to cost savings.

It's also worth noting that many customers refinance with their existing lender if it's simply a lower rate that they're seeking. However, if you're after different features or better customer service, then it may be time to start comparing new lenders on the market.

The term ‘the best refinance deal’ is relative. There are many factors you should consider before switching such as the interest rate, mortgage features and customer service offered by the refinance lender.

Here's some advice about how to make an informed decision when refinancing, and how to get a good deal that satisfies your lifestyle and financial needs.


What's the ‘best’ refinance deal*?

The best refinance deal is one that suits your home loan needs while not raising your expenses. Ideally, a good refinance deal will lower your ongoing expenses and periodic repayments by offering a lower interest rate and more suitable features, such as an offset account and a redraw.

As a result, the best refinance deal depends on your unique situation and needs, so it's best to speak to a mortgage broker to help you find a suitable mortgage.

Before doing your research, you should ask yourself the following:

  • What type of loan do I want? You might want to switch from a variable rate to a fixed rate or vice versa, or you might want to refinance to a home loan which allows you to make unlimited additional repayments on your home loan when you have extra cash. During this stage, you should think about your lifestyle and how this may influence the type of loan that you need. For instance, if you're thinking of starting a family in the near future, you may want to consider a fixed-rate or split-rate loan to provide you with greater certainty of what your repayments will be. Ideally, you should have a list of features and specifications you want in your home loan before starting a comparison.
  • What are the savings? Savings are one of the most important considerations when refinancing. While it’s good to opt for lower interest rates, make sure that the cost savings outweigh the costs of refinancing or switching lenders. Ask your existing lender for details about any discharge fees or government charges that may apply when you exit your current home loan and consider any upfront costs charged by the new lender. Use our refinancing cost calculator to estimate your switching costs.
  • What is the loan term? The length of the loan term can determine the cost savings that result from the refinance. For instance, if you have your mortgage refinanced after paying it off for 15 years and have the balance spread out over another 30 year period, you may actually pay more over the total 45-year duration despite the lower interest rate.

How to compare the best refinance deals*

refinance home loan

  • Interest rates. The interest rate provided by different lenders will be high in your list of considerations when looking for the best refinance deal. Decide on whether you want a fixed, variable or split rate and if you're selecting a fixed rate, decide how long you want to fix for. Always consider the comparison rate and its impact on your repayments, as this will factor in important fees you'll have to pay.
  • Fees. Compare the fees that apply to different lenders. Some of the common home loan fees include application or establishment fees, valuation fees, ongoing fees, monthly and annual fees and others upfront and ongoing costs. Take your time and compare the fees that apply to your new loan and their long-term impact on your mortgage costs.
  • Features. Consider the features that you'd like from your new home loan and how these will match the purpose of your refinance. For instance, if you're looking to minimise your account-keeping costs you may want to compare home loans with no ongoing fees or if you've received a pay rise you may want to think about opting for a mortgage that allows you make unlimited extra repayments without penalty.
  • Customer service. Another important feature to consider when refinancing is the service that you'll receive from the new lender. Are you satisfied with the product information that they've offered you? Have they clearly discussed the product fees? Is there a direct debit or BPAY option to help you manage your repayments? Are there any package discounts available?

Refinancing home loans comparison

Rates last updated January 23rd, 2017.

ME Flexible Home Loan With Member Package - LVR <=80% $400k up to $699,999 (Owner Occupier)

Comparative rate increases by 0.10% | Interest rate increases by 0.10%

January 4th, 2017

Bank of Queensland Fixed Rate Home Loan - 3 Year Fixed Rate Discount Rate $150k+ <80% LVR (Owner Occupier)

Comparative rate increases by 0.30% | Interest rate increases by 0.20%

January 6th, 2017

NAB Choice Package Home Loan - 2 Year Fixed (Owner Occupier)

Interest rate increases by 0.23%

January 16th, 2017

View latest updates

Jodie Humphries Jodie
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% p.a.
Offset account
Split account
Loan type
Your filter criteria do not match any product
Interest Rate (p.a.) Comp Rate^ (p.a.) Application Fee Ongoing Fees Maximum LVR Amount Saved
NAB Choice Package Home Loan - 2 Year Fixed (Owner Occupier)
A fixed rate package loan with flexible repayments options.
3.98% 4.92% $0 $395 p.a. 95% Go to site More info
Greater Bank Ultimate Home Loan - Discounted 1 Year Fixed ($150K+ Owner Occupier)
Discount off an already competitive interest rate for loans over $150k. NSW, QLD and ACT residents only.
3.59% 4.42% $0 $375 p.a. 80% Go to site More info
IMB Accelerator Home Loan  - LVR <=80% $300k+ (Owner Occupier)
A two year discounted rate which reverts to an ongoing life of loan discount afterwards.
3.64% 4.39% $445 $0 p.a. 80% Go to site More info
ME Flexible Home Loan With Member Package - LVR <=80% $400k up to $699,999 (Owner Occupier)
Enjoy a discount of a competitive interest rate and 100% offset account.
3.94% 4.35% $0 $395 p.a. 80% Go to site More info
Newcastle Permanent Building Society Premium Plus Package Home Loan - New Customer Offer ($150,000+ Owner Occupier)
Apply for a new owner occupier loan or refinance from another lender and receive this discounted rate.
3.74% 4.12% $0 $395 p.a. 90% Go to site More info
Online Home Loans Horizon - Variable (Owner occupier)
Pay off your loan sooner with a 100% offset account.
3.64% 3.96% $275 $299 p.a. 80% Go to site More info
CUA Fixed Rate Home Loan - 2 Year Fixed (Owner Occupier)
A fixed home loan with no ongoing fees and flexible repayments options.
3.84% 4.59% $600 $0 p.a. 80% Go to site More info
IMB Budget Home Loan - LVR <=90% (Owner Occupier)
A competitive budget rate without any unwanted bells and whistles.
3.87% 3.92% $445 $0 p.a. 80% Go to site More info
Australian Unity Kick Starter Home Loan
$0 ongoing service fees, maximum 80% LVR and a linked transaction account.
3.79% 3.82% $600 $0 p.a. 80% Go to site More info
Online Home Loans Standard Variable - Owner occupier
A variable rate home loan for owner occupiers with a 100% offset account.
3.74% 3.75% $275 $0 p.a. 80% Go to site More info
Beyond Bank Low Rate Special Home Loan
A special low variable rate for Owner Occupier with 100% offset account and no application or ongoing fees.
3.73% 3.73% $0 $0 p.a. 70% Go to site More info
Bank Of Queensland Economy Home Loan - Variable (Owner Occupier)
A basic home loan with additional repayment options.
3.89% 4.04% $300 $10 monthly ($120 p.a.) 80% Go to site More info
Switzer Home Loan
No upfront or ongoing fees and a competitive variable rate for owner occupiers.
3.89% 3.89% $0 $0 p.a. 80% Go to site More info
ME Flexible Home Loan Fixed - 3 Year Fixed Rate (Owner Occupier)
A competitive 3 year fixed rate with a redraw facility and split loan options, plus no application fee.
3.99% 4.77% $0 $0 p.a. 80% Go to site More info
ME Basic Home Loan - LVR <=80% Owner Occupier
A low variable rate loan with no application or ongoing fees.
4.09% 4.11% $0 $0 p.a. 80% Go to site More info
Greater Bank Great Rate Home Loan - Discounted Variable ($150K+ Owner Occupier)
A competitive rate with redraw facility. NSW, QLD and ACT residents only.
3.89% 3.89% $0 $0 p.a. 80% Go to site More info
Newcastle Permanent Building Society Fixed Rate Home Loan - 2 Years Fixed (Owner Occupier)
Enjoy a low interest rate and borrow up to 95% (with LMI) of your home value.
4.24% 4.86% $0 $0 p.a. 80% Go to site More info
AMP Essential Home Loan  -  $40,000 to $99,999 (Owner Occupier)
Take advantage of a redraw facility, competitive variable rate and no application or settlement fees for a limited time.
4.55% 4.57% $350 $0 p.a. 80% Go to site More info
Bank of Queensland Fixed Rate Home Loan - 3 Year Fixed Rate Discount Rate $150k+ <80% LVR (Owner Occupier)
Special offer for new lending of $150k or more & under 80% LVR, this offer has been extended.
3.99% 4.49% $300 $10 monthly ($120 p.a.) 80% Go to site More info
Switzer Fixed Rate Home Loans - 2 Years Fixed Rate
A competitive 2 year fixed rate with your very own lending service manager.
3.97% 3.99% $0 $0 p.a. 80% Go to site More info
Australian Unity Health, Wealth and Happiness Package - (Owner Occupier)
Get a 0.60% discount on your rate, a 100% offset account and no ongoing fees.
3.99% 4.02% $600 $0 p.a. 80% Go to site More info
Newcastle Permanent Building Society Fixed Rate Home Loan - 1 Year Fixed (Owner Occupier)
Get a short term fixed rate for that investment property with no application or ongoing fees.
4.24% 4.92% $0 $0 p.a. 80% Go to site More info
Switzer Investment Loan
An investment loan with no application or ongoing fees, and your very own lending service manager.
4.09% 4.09% $0 $0 p.a. 80% Go to site More info
ME Flexible Home Loan Fixed - 2 Year Fixed Rate (Owner Occupier)
No application or ongoing fees and a competitive 2 year fixed rate.
3.94% 4.85% $0 $0 p.a. 80% Go to site More info
IMB Essential Home Loan - LVR < 80% (Owner Occupier)
100% offset account, unrestricted additional repayments and no monthly account keeping fees
4.09% 4.09% $0 $0 p.a. 80% Go to site More info
NAB Base Variable Rate Home Loan - Owner Occupier (P&I)
A competitive no frills home loan with no application fees for a limited time.
4.10% 4.14% $600 $0 p.a. 80% Go to site More info
Commonwealth Bank Wealth Package Fixed Home Loan - 2 Year Fixed (Owner Occupier) P&I
A package home loan with fee free extra repayments available during the fixed term.
3.99% 5.00% $0 $395 p.a. 80% More info
St.George Fixed Rate Advantage Package -  2 Year Fixed Rate (Owner Occupier, P&I)
A discounted package rate for owner occupiers with the ability to package a Qantas rewards earning Amplify credit card. $1,500 cash back available for refinancers, conditions apply.
3.99% 5.04% $0 $395 p.a. 80% More info
Westpac Fixed Options Home Loan Premier Advantage Package - 2 Years
A low interest rate home loan and competitive two year fixed rate.
4.19% 5.32% $0 $395 p.a. 80% More info
St.George Basic Home Loan - Promotional Rate (Owner Occupier, P&I)
A no frills loan with a competitive rate and a maximum LVR of 95%.
4.08% 4.09% $0 $0 p.a. 80% More info
Westpac Flexi First Option Home Loan - 3 Years Introductory Special Offer (New Owner Occupier, P&I)
A limited time deal for new owner occupiers. Advertised rate includes 1.03%p.a. discount for the first two years.
3.99% 4.37% $0 $0 p.a. 80% More info

How to get a good refinance deal

Title
  • Speak to your current lender: Ask your lender if this is the best deal you can get. Lenders will usually have a number of incentives to retain customers thinking of refinancing, including discounted interest rates and waived fees.
  • Shop around: If your current lender isn't willing to negotiate or you'd simply like to refinance with a new lender, then you need to shop around. There can be a big difference in the rates, terms and features offered on different loans, which makes it important for you to compare different products before making a decision. Rates may vary by a very small percentage but even a 0.5% rate difference could translate into thousands of dollars saved over the loan term.
  • Check eligibility: When comparing different home loans, check out the eligibility requirements the lender has set before you can apply. The eligibility requirements are usually similar to those that you went through when you first applied for your mortgage. Lenders will consider the value of your property, your income, assets, loan amount and much more. Your loan-to-value ratio (LVR ratio) needs to be within their guidelines.
  • Get professional advice: You might need to speak to a mortgage broker to get personalized advice on what your best options are. This is especially important if your do not have the time to conduct proper comparisons yourself. A broker will compare loans from a panel of lenders to find the right one for you and they can even negotiate for a better rate or terms on your behalf.
  • Calculate the costs: You will need to calculate the expected costs with a refinancing calculator. This will help you identify the gains that you will make over the term of the loan. Remember to factor in discharge fees charged by your current lender as well as upfront fees applicable with your new mortgage.
  • Check your credit history: Review your credit file to ensure that it’s in good standing as it will help support your refinance negotiations. Also, keep in mind that applying for several refinance loans at one time can put enquiries against your credit file so it's best to do your research and only apply with lenders that you think are suitable. This will ensure that your credit history remains in tact.

Next steps

Switching home loans could help you save a lot on your mortgage repayments over the life of your loan. If you decide to move to a new lender, make sure that you make the best choice by conducting sound comparisons of the costs involved.

Have clear goals from the outset so you know exactly why you're refinancing. Whether you're looking to improve your home, free up some funds or save on your repayments, it helps to seek advice from an experienced mortgage broker so that you fully understand your options.

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Marc Terrano

A passionate publisher who loves to tell a story. Learning and teaching personal finance is his main lot at finder.com.au. Talk to him to find out more about home loans.

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Related Posts

ME Basic Home Loan - LVR <=80% Owner Occupier

A low variable rate loan with no application or ongoing fees.

NAB Choice Package Home Loan - 3 Year Fixed (Owner Occupier)

Receive discounts on interest rates with the Choice Package.

Newcastle Permanent Building Society Premium Plus Package Home Loan - New Customer Offer ($150,000+ Owner Occupier)

Apply for a new owner occupier loan or refinance from another lender and receive this discounted rate.

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2 Responses to How to Find the Best Refinancing Deals*

    Default Gravatar
    Pauline | February 8, 2015

    I am wanting to refinance my loan I am owing $135000
    I want the best interest rate at the moment mine is 5.20%
    Want less
    Regards
    pauline

      Staff
      Shirley | February 9, 2015

      Hi Pauline,

      Thanks for your question.

      There are a number of loans in our comparison that meet this requirement. Please refer to our blue comparison table above this page, if you click on ‘interest rate (p.a.)’ it will automatically sort the rates in ascending order.

      Cheers,
      Shirley

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