How long should my home loan be?

Your home loan repayment term will impact the amount of interest you pay over time.

The longer the term is, the lower your repayments will be over time, but the more interest you'll pay. A few years can make a significant difference in the overall cost of your home loan.

Length of mortgage comparison

Let's compare a 25 and 30 year mortgage.

Loan details25 Years30 Years
Loan amount$300,000$300,000
Interest rate6.70% p.a.6.70% p.a.
Monthly repayment$2,063$1,936
Total interest payable$318,982$396,900
Interest saving$77,918

* based on monthly, principal and interest repayments

In this example, the choice of a 25 year home loan length does cost the borrower an extra $127 per month compared with a 30 year loan, but it also saves the borrower a staggering $78,000 over the life of the loan.

On the other hand, a 30 year loan term has lower repayments, as you now have five additional years to pay off the same loan amount. However, you'll also be paying interest for an additional five years.

Generally speaking, home loan terms can include 10, 15, 25, 30 or even 40 year loan terms. 25 and 30 year loan terms are the most common, with 10 and 15 year loan terms generally being confined to interest-only repayments and 40 year loan terms only offered by a small number of lenders.

Choosing to take out a home loan with a 40 year term will have even lower repayments than a 30 year loan term—$1,805.20 on $350,000 loan with a rate of 5.50% compared to $1,987.26 with a 30 year loan term, or $2,149.31 on a 25 year loan term. It’ll also come with a much larger interest bill—$516,496 vs $365,413.60 on a 30 year loan.

Even if you have a longer loan term, you may be able to make additional repayments or make use of repayment strategies which decrease your loan term. Making additional repayments or lump sum payments, or splitting your monthly loan repayment into fortnightly payments can see you pay your loan off in a shorter time period.

Refinancing mistake: refinancing to a lower interest rate and not adjusting your loan length

One mistake to avoid is refinancing to a cheaper interest rate and taking out a new 30 year term. This can erode your refinancing savings, as you can see below.

Original loanRefinance after 5 years
loan term30 years30 years (which means a real overall loan term of 35 years)
loan amount$300,000$281,470
interest rate6.70% p.a.5.70% p.a.
monthly payment$1,936$1,634
total interest payable$396,900$404,266 ($306,645 in interest from the point of refinancing)
interest saving$7,365

* based on monthly, principal and interest repayments

Compare refinance home loans today

Rates last updated November 17th, 2018
$
Loan purpose
Offset account
Loan type
Repayment type
Your filter criteria do not match any product
Name Product Interest Rate (p.a.) Comp Rate^ (p.a.) Application Fee Ongoing Fees Max LVR Monthly Payment Short Description
3.59%
3.59%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Enjoy flexible repayments, a redraw facility and the ability to split your loan. Plus, pay no application or ongoing fees.
3.59%
3.61%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
Get a low interest rate loan with no ongoing fees. Plus you can make extra repayments and free redraw online. Available with just a 10% deposit.
3.64%
3.66%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
A simple mortgage with a competitive interest rate and no application or monthly fees. Borrow up to $2000000 from a convenient online lender.
3.57%
3.58%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Get a very low interest rate and avoid big fees. Apply online for full approval in under 30 minutes and add a 100% offset account for $10 a month.
3.87%
3.91%
$600
$0 p.a.
95%
A home loan with no ongoing fee and a redraw facility that you can borrow up to 95% LVR.
3.54%
3.57%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
A competitive variable essentials interest rate product aimed at refinancers looking to switch to a lower rate.
3.68%
3.70%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
This loan offers a competitive variable rate and a 100% offset account to help save you on interest repayments.
3.64%
3.64%
$0
$0 p.a.
70%
A low interest rate home loan with no application or ongoing fees.
3.74%
3.74%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
A basic owner-occupier home loan with a low variable rate that requires a 20% deposit.
3.49%
3.53%
$250
$0 p.a.
80%
A very low variable interest rate for borrowers with a 20% deposit. Add a 100% offset account for $10 a month.

Compare up to 4 providers

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Marc Terrano

Marc Terrano is a Lead Publisher at finder. He's been writing and publishing personal finance content for over five years and loves to help Australians get a better deal.

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UBank UHomeLoan Variable Rate - Discount offer for Owner Occupiers, P&I Borrowing over $200,000

Take advantage of a low-fee mortgage with a special interest rate of just 3.59% p.a. and a 3.59% p.a. comparison rate.

loans.com.au Essentials - Variable (Owner Occupier, P&I)

A competitive interest rate home loan with interest only options. Interest rate 3.64% p.a.
comp rate of 3.66% p.a.

Tic:Toc Live in Loan Variable Rate - Principal & Interest

Get a very low interest rate and avoid big fees. Apply online for full approval in under 30 minutes and add a 100% offset account for $10 a month.

HSBC Home Value Loan - (Owner Occupier P&I)

Get a low interest rate loan with no ongoing fees. Plus you can make extra repayments and free redraw online. Available with just a 10% deposit.

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