How to find the cheapest home loan rate

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A cheaper home loan can save you thousands. Learn how to find the cheapest home loan for you.

Finding a cheap home loan can save you thousands of dollars over the life of the loan.

This guide will give you expert advice on finding the cheapest loan by looking at interest rates, fees, features and loan periods. Or you can start comparing loans in the table below.

Home Loan Offer

Reduce Home Loans Rate Buster 100% Offset Variable Home Loan - Up to $750k (LVR <=80%)

3.54 % p.a.

variable rate

3.54 % p.a.

comparison rate

Home Loan Offer

With the Reduce Home Loans Rate Buster enjoy a home loan with 100% offset account and no ongoing fees as well as a competitive interest rate. Borrow up to 80% of the property's value.

  • Interest rate of 3.54% p.a.
  • Comparison rate of 3.54% p.a.
  • Application fee of $440
  • Maximum LVR: 80%
  • Minimum borrowing: $50,000
  • Max borrowing: $750,000
Enquire now

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How can I find the cheapest home loan?

The cheapest or lowest home loan rate for you may not be the cheapest home loan for someone else. Everyone is different, so you need to determine which home loan is the cheapest based on your borrowing capacity, your deposit, the features you need and how soon you plan to repay your loan.

The key features to focus on are finding a loan with:

  • A low interest rate
  • Low fees
  • A shorter term
  • Added features

Low interest-rate loans

This is probably what most people have in mind when they they think about finding the cheapest home loan. A low interest rate makes a massive difference to the overall expense of a home loan. Just look below to see how much of a difference it can make in the hypothetical situation below, all things being equal.Cheapest home loans

Typically, low interest rates are offered on basic home loans, or loans from lenders who have been able to reduce their costs, such as online lenders. Sometimes lenders will also offer very low fixed rates as promotions to secure new business. Once the fixed period ends, the rate can revert to a less competitive variable rate, so be sure to ask lenders what their revert rate will potentially be.

Different types of interest rate

It’s also important to consider the different types of rates on offer:

Standard Variable Rate

This is the standard headline rate on offer from the lender. It can change at any time, based on moves by the Reserve Bank of Australia, the lender’s cost of funds or regulatory change. Have a look at some of the reasons lenders change their rates.finding the cheapest home loan rates

Ongoing Discount Rate

This is a discount off a lender’s headline rate offered to entice borrowers, and can be dependent on factors such as special promotions, the borrower’s credit history and the loan-to-value ratio.

Package loans can also offer discounts in exchange for opening transaction accounts and credit cards with the lender. Bear in mind that they also usually charge an annual fee, so be sure that the discounts outweigh this fee. Some package loans also offer discounted insurance products and fee waivers for other products.

Fixed Rate

These rates remain locked in for a predetermined period, usually one, three or five years. While borrowers can secure some certainty that their home loan repayment won’t rise for the fixed term, fixed rate loans also mean they won’t see the benefit from any downward move on rates.

How can a loan with low fees save me money?

It’s important to look beyond the headline rate when considering a loan. Most loans have upfront fees, ongoing fees and discharge fees associated with them that can cost thousands.

When comparing loans it's a good idea to look at fees and rates together. Some loans may have low interest rates but high ongoing fees, as is the case with most package loans. These home loans charge an annual fee of $200 - $400 per year but offer discounted interest rates and upfront fee waivers.

A great way to understand these costs is to look at the comparison rate.

What’s a comparison rate?

A comparison rate gives borrowers an idea of the true cost of a loan. It takes into account both the loan’s interest rate and any associated fees and charges, and expresses this as a single percentage figure. Remember, a low advertised rate might not seem so low when fees and charges are taken into account.

Watch this video to learn more about comparison rates

How can a shorter loan period give me a cheaper loan?

It's simple: the faster you pay off a home loan, the less interest you pay over time. So even though the repayments for a 25 year home loan might look high compared to those of an identical 30 year home loan, the savings would be higher.

Check out the difference in the total cost of two loans below:Cheapest home loan - 25 vs 30 years example

Why does this happen? With a longer loan term a borrower will be paying interest for longer. This makes the total cost of a loan much higher.

A 20 year home loan vs a 30 year home loan

$400,000 loan with an interest rate of 5%

30-year loan
  • Repayments. $2,147.29 per month
  • Total interest payable over 30 years. $373,023.14
20-year loan
  • Repayments. $2,639.82 per month
  • Total interest payable over 20 years. $233,557.51

As you can see, in this example, repayments on a shorter term loan would be just under $500 more each month, but would save $139,465.63 in interest payable over that time.

See how much you could save by shortening your loan term

How can a loan's extra features make my mortgage cheaper?

There's a reason why banks advertise home loan features like offset accounts, interest only payments and loan portability. This is because they're popular features which can save savvy borrowers money. Here are a few common features offered on home loans:

  • Offset accounts. An offset account is a transaction account linked to the home loan which reduces the amount of interest payable. For example, if you have a $200,000 loan and $10,000 in a 100% offset account, you will only pay interest on $190,000. You can use the offset account funds if you need to spend them, but then you'll have to pay interest on the full amount. Look out for monthly offset account fees, although most lenders don't charge them.
  • Loan portability. This feature lets you move your loan to a new property without the high costs of exiting a loan and taking out a new one.
  • Interest only payments. This can reduce your repayments because you only have to pay off the interest of the loan and not the principal. The downside of this is it can extend the loan term, potentially making the loan more expensive in the long run.
  • Unlimited extra repayments. Some lenders charge penalty fees when you make extra repayments. But the most affordable home loan could be the one that lets you pay it off in your own way, so watch out for repayment fees. Note that while most lenders allow you to pay variable rate home loans off early with no problem, fixed loans will charge a penalty fee known as break costs.

How can I compare the cheapest home loans to get a better deal on my mortgage?

Cheapest doesn't always mean best. And your personal circumstances and goals matter just as much as the loan itself. These are the things you need to look for when comparing cheap home loans.

  • Know your needs. Before making any decisions you really need to look at how much you can afford to borrow and repay, what kind of purchase you're making and what kind of features or rate types will benefit you. You might value the stability of a fixed interest rate, for example. Or you might benefit from a shorter loan with flexible, no-fee repayments.
  • Read your key facts sheets. Every lender must supply you with a key facts sheet. You can easily generate your own on a lender's website. The key facts sheet gives you a clear breakdown of your fees, charges and estimated costs over the course of the loan.
  • Compare, compare, compare. The home loan market is highly competitive. And a home loan is probably the largest amount of money you'll ever borrow. Do your homework and compare as many loans as you can.

Try out all our mortgage calculators here

I have a few more questions about getting the cheapest home loan

Online lenders traditionally have the lowest home loan rates. They have lower costs because they don't operate branch networks. But today many traditional banks can match or even exceed the competitive home loans offered by these cheaper home loan providers, so it pays to look at all lenders when seeking a cheap loan.

Compare online lenders now

Some lenders offer special loans tailored for first home buyers that are worth checking out. You can learn more about getting a loan as a first home buyer with our comprehensive guide.

And don't forget about first home buyers grants offered by many state and territory governments.

Find out about first home owners grants in your state

Saving up your home loan deposit is a serious challenge for everyone. But there are ways to trim your expenses, build your deposit and find home loans that don't need large deposits. To master the art of home loan deposit saving you should look at our in-depth, six-part guide to home loan deposits.

The ultimate guide to home loan deposits

Pensioners can face challenges finding a home loan but there are plenty of options out there. You may face stricter lending criteria and need to provide extra documentation when applying for a loan.

Read our full guide on home loans for pensioners

You should always be comfortable with the lender you're planning on going with. If you're not aware of a lender, try calling them up to find out about them and their service level before lodging an application. Speak to previous customers or read customer reviews on sites like Product Review.

Keep in mind that little-known lenders might be funded by a larger bank, as is the case with NAB backing UBank, or Firstmac backing loans.com.au.

This depend on the specific loan. The major cost difference between a fixed and variable loan is the possibility of having to pay break costs if you try to leave a fixed rate loan before the term ends. If you don't leave a fixed rate home loan early this won't be a factor to consider.

Another difference between the two loans is that variable rates can fluctuate, meaning they could go lower or higher than a fixed rate depending on the economic factors.

Read more about fixed vs variable rates

The latest home loan and property market news for today

* The offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of products finder.com.au has access to track details from and is not representative of all the products available in the market. Products are displayed in no particular order or ranking. The use of terms "Cheapest", "Cheap", "Best" and "Top" are not product ratings and are subject to our disclaimer. You should consider seeking independent financial advice and consider your personal financial circumstances when comparing products.

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53 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    May 31, 2017

    cheapest interest on reverse mortgage loan ?

    • Staff
      JonathanMay 31, 2017Staff

      Hi Peter!

      Thanks for the comment.

      You may use this comparison page that we have for Reverse Mortgage to shop around with the rates from different lenders.

      Just click “More Info” green button if you wish to proceed with a specific lender.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Jonathan

  2. Default Gravatar
    JOHNMay 14, 2017

    Looking to refinance a investment unit and pay to off in 4/5 years.
    Pay fortnightly $1300 . Looking for a home loan to achieve this,

    • Staff
      AnndyMay 14, 2017Staff

      Hi John,

      Thanks for your question.

      If you are looking for a refinancing home loan for investment properties, you may compare your options on this page.

      Cheers,
      Anndy

  3. Default Gravatar
    ElaineMay 11, 2017

    If you are on a pension and own 90 percent of your home is a loan permitted

    • Staff
      ArnoldMay 11, 2017Staff

      Hi Elaine,

      Thanks for your inquiry.

      Yes, pensioners are able to apply for home loans. The image below shows what options are available for you.

      Types of Loans

      For information on eligibility, requirements, and application process. You can visit this page. – https://www.finder.com.au/home-loans-for-pensioners -

      If you have further concerns you may want to Reach out to a Broker which can give you a professional assessment and will guide you through the application.

      Hope this information helped.

      Cheers,
      Arnold

  4. Default Gravatar
    KateApril 20, 2017

    Hi I’d like to know if there are home loans available for people who are unable to work but plan to return to work in the foreseeable future? Thanks

    • Staff
      AnndyApril 20, 2017Staff

      Hi Kate,

      Thanks for your question.

      If you are currently unemployed, the lenders on this page may consider you for a home loan.

      Alternatively, if you are self-employed, you may compare home loan products here.

      If you need assistance in finding a suitable home loan option, you may also get in touch with a mortgage broker.

      Cheers,
      Anndy

  5. Default Gravatar
    PremFebruary 4, 2017

    Will this interest rate go up and down with the interest rate raise and fall or is it a honey moon rate which will go back up over 4% when the honey moon period finish

    • Staff
      MayFebruary 5, 2017Staff

      Hi Prem,

      Thank you for your question and for contacting finder.com.au we are a financial comparison website and general information service we are not mortgage specialists so can only offer general advice.

      The home loan rates will depend on its type either “variable” or “fixed” rate. If it’s “variable rate home loan” this product has an interest rate which fluctuates up or down over time as your lender sees fit. Your repayments for this type of home loan will also change if the interest rate will change.

      Whilst with “fixed rate home loan”, the interest on your home loan will remain unchanged for the length of your loan term. This means that you’ll know what your repayments will be.

      Cheers,
      May

  6. Default Gravatar
    CuriousDecember 18, 2016

    I was wondering where online banking institutions such as UBank and ING Direct are based and if they are required to follow Australian banking regulations/laws.

    As someone who has always done business with the traditional banks I need to be sure these online banks are reliable and safe.

    • Staff
      MayDecember 18, 2016Staff

      Hi Curious,

      Thanks for your question.

      Yes, UBank and ING Direct are both registered and are required to follow Australian banking regulations and laws. UBank is an online bank and a division of a division of National Australia Bank Limited (NAB). It has the same credit licence as NAB, which means the loans are underwritten by NAB too. Deposits held within UBank are guaranteed under the Government Financial Claims Scheme and UBank adheres to the Code of banking Practice. The home loan products they offer are listed on this page.

      Whilst ING Direct is wholly owned by ING Group and headquartered in Sydney. They are also regulated by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA), like all banks. Their combined savings balances of up to $250,000 per customer are guaranteed by the Australian Government. If you’d like to compare their home loan products, please click this link.

      Cheers,
      May

  7. Default Gravatar
    enlightenedAugust 17, 2016

    Why dont you list the money magazines best home loan winner for 2016. With loan rate of 3.35 Reduce home loans is the clear winner and not even a mention?

    • Staff
      JodieAugust 30, 2016Staff

      Hi there,

      Thank you for contacting finder.com.au we are a financial comparison website and general information service.

      We appreciate your feedback and will take it on board, however, we list a selection of loans on this page and it is by no means comprehensive if you would like to find out more about how we operate please read our disclaimer.

      With regards to the Reduce Home Loans Rate Buster home loan, it is only suitable for borrowers who have a loan-to-value ratio of under 80% or a minimum deposit of 20% as well as a loan amount below $500,000, whereas we have a range of loans to suit a large selection of customers on this page.

      Thanks again for your feedback we do always like to hear from our users.

      Regards
      Jodie

  8. Default Gravatar
    EwenAugust 3, 2016

    Is U Bank part of NAB and if so why can’t NAB give me the same competitive interests rate with no fees.

    • Staff
      MayAugust 3, 2016Staff

      Hi Ewen,

      Thanks for your question. You’ve come through to finder.com.au we are an Australian financial comparison website and general information service, not actually NAB.

      Yes, UBank is an online lender that is backed by NAB. Though the two offer home loan products, they differ in the interest rates for their products, where UBank offers more competitive rates and products as they don’t have physical branches like NAB. NAB is a big bank and offers a wide variety of financial products than UBank. For more information, you may also like to read our article on how home loan lenders differ from each other.

      Hope that helps.

      Cheers,
      May

  9. Default Gravatar
    FlapjackswimmingMay 31, 2016

    whilst all these low rates are enticing, I am looking for a line of credit (portfolio loan). This feature has been great but it isn’t clear when looking at other options if this is available. Could you point me in the right direction?
    Regards
    john

    • Staff
      MarcJune 2, 2016Staff

      Hi John,
      thanks for the question.

      You can compare line of credit loans here to get an idea of the rates available for these types of loans.

      I hope this helps,
      Marc.

  10. Default Gravatar
    MohammedMay 9, 2016

    We have migrated to Sydney with 457 skilled migration 4 year visa and my wife working as a GP with 5 year contract.

    please need to find what kind of and how much with LTV we can borrow for a mortgage.

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