Home loan tips

The Best Home Loan Tips

Rates and Fees verified correct on December 11th, 2016

Whether you're on the last leg of your mortgage or are just starting your property search, here are some top tips you can use during the life of your loan

Home loans are rarely easy to pay off, so at every stage of your loan's life you could stand to hear a few tips that could help you save money or just make your loan a little less complicated. The team at finder.com.au has put together our definitive top tips for home loans that are all designed to make your life easier with your loan.

Top tips for first home buyers

  • Budget, budget, budget. It's important to find a property you love, but don't get carried away and settle on a property you can't afford. You need to plan out a workable budget and stick to it. Knowing how much you can afford each week is key to planning your repayments and finding a property in your price range.
  • Live in the moment. Buy a property you can afford now, not what you think you will be able to afford later. To be eligible for the First Home Owner's Grant you only need to occupy the property for a year, giving you plenty of time to upgrade should your circumstances change.
  • Think big. Take some time and save the biggest deposit you can. This shows the lender how financially able you are and the bigger deposit you have the more equity you have in your property from the start, meaning less interest. You will also avoid Lender's Mortgage Insurance if you have a deposit of 20% of the loan amount or more.
  • The early bird gets the loan. Apply for your First Home Owner's Grant as early as possible, the best time being when you apply for your home loan. You can lodge your application through most lenders and if they are an authorised agent you will be able to receive it through them. This way is quicker than sending your application to your State or Territory Revenue office.
  • Get rid of your excess baggage. You may want to get into your first home as soon as possible, but reconsider applying if you have a lot of debt. Try and consolidate any existing debt you have on your credit cards, car payments or other loans and pay it off before you apply for a loan. Your home loan needs to be your top priority and debt can seriously weigh you down.
  • Be smart. Don't be fooled by the lender or real estate agent's jargon. Remember, you are a customer and they are looking to make money off you, so be sure you be a savvy shopper. Don't believe everything you are told and do thorough research by comparing loans and properties online. You can start by comparing first home buyer loans below.

Compare loans for first home buyers

Rates last updated December 11th, 2016
$
Loan purpose
Offset account
Loan type
Your filter criteria do not match any product
Interest Rate (p.a.) Comp Rate^ (p.a.) Application Fee Ongoing Fees Max LVR Monthly Payment
HSBC Home Value Loan - Resident Owner Occupier only
Enjoy the low variable rate with $0 ongoing fee and borrow up to 90% LVR.
3.55% 3.57% $0 $0 p.a. 90% Go to site More info
3.74% 3.74% $0 $0 p.a. 80% Go to site More info
loans.com.au Essentials - New Purchases Only Up to 80% LVR (Owner Occupier, P&I)
Special offer ends 15 December. A low variable rate for new purchases as well as no application or ongoing fees.
3.39% 3.41% $0 $0 p.a. 80% Go to site More info
State Custodians Standard Variable Spring Special - LVR 80% (Owner Occupier)
Special Owner Occupier Rate. Free Offset Account.
3.59% 3.92% $0 $299 p.a. 80% Go to site More info
3.94% 4.33% $0 $395 p.a. 90% Go to site More info
ClickLoans The Online Home Loan - Owner Occupier ≤ 80% LVR
Enjoy a competitive interest rate when you have a deposit of at least 20%.
3.69% 3.69% $0 $0 p.a. 80% Go to site More info
ANZ Breakfree Package Home Loan - 2 Year Fixed (Owner Occupier) $150k+
This 2 year fixed ANZ Breakfree Package rate comes with package discount and product bundle. Terms and conditions, package fee and fees, charges & eligibility criteria apply.
3.75% 4.62% $0 $395 p.a. 95% 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. 95% Go to site More info
CUA Kick Start Variable Home Loan - 2 Years Introductory (Owner Occupier)
Borrow up to 90% LVR and enjoy an introductory rate for the first 2 years.
3.69% 3.87% $600 $0 p.a. 90% 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. 85% Go to site More info
loans.com.au Offset Variable - New Purchases Only Up to 80% LVR (Owner Occupier, P&I)
Special offer ends 15 December. No application or annual fees, and access to a 100% offset account.
3.49% 3.51% $0 $0 p.a. 80% Go to site More info
ME Bank 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.
3.84% 4.66% $0 $0 p.a. 95% Go to site More info
State Custodians Standard Variable Spring Special - LVR 90% (Owner Occupier)
Special Owner Occupier Rate. Free Offset Account.
3.69% 4.02% $0 $299 p.a. 90% 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.
3.99% 4.81% $0 $0 p.a. 95% 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. 250,000 Velocity Frequent Flyer point offer, conditions apply.
4.10% 4.14% $0 $0 p.a. 95% Go to site More info
AMP Essential Home Loan  -  Owner Occupier
Take advantage of a redraw facility, competitive variable rate and no application or settlement fees for a limited time.
3.98% 4.00% $350 $0 p.a. 90% 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.
3.99% 4.90% $0 $0 p.a. 95% 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. 90% Go to site More info
Bank Australia Basic Home Loan - Variable (Owner Occupier)
A competitive variable that allows borrowers to borrow from a minimum of $100,000 and $0 ongoing fee.
3.59% 3.60% $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. 90% Go to site More info
Newcastle Permanent Building Society Fixed Rate Home Loan - 3 Years Fixed (Owner Occupier)
Split your loan for free with one of the lowest fixed home loan rates.
3.99% 4.73% $0 $0 p.a. 95% Go to site More info
IMB Essential Home Loan - LVR < 80% (Owner Occupier)
Get a discount on your rate and flexible repayment options with this loan.
4.09% 4.09% $0 $0 p.a. 80% Go to site More info
NAB Choice Package Variable Rate - $250k to $749,999 P&I (Owner Occupier)
A great variable package from NAB which includes offset and redraw features. No application fee.
4.40% 4.79% $0 $395 p.a. 95% Go to site More info
NAB Choice Package Home Loan - 2 Year Fixed (Owner Occupier)
A fixed rate package loan with flexible repayments options. 250,000 Velocity Frequent Flyer point offer, conditions apply.
3.75% 4.87% $0 $395 p.a. 95% Go to site 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. 95% 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. 95% More info

information on first Home buyer home loans

Top tips for negotiating

  • Know what you can afford. Work out your budget, know how much you can afford and don't settle on a loan or property that isn't in line with the number in your head.
  • Put on your poker face. Once you decide on your budget, don't let a real estate agent know your maximum price. A good way to keep this number under wraps is by decreasing it and telling them the reduced number. Also, when looking at properties, don't let them know if you fall in love with it. If anything, point out a few flaws that might be a case to bring the price down.
  • Do your research. When it comes to buying a property or settling on a home loan, it pays to have done your homework. Finding out as much as you can about what you're negotiating for could give you the upper hand and result in some serious savings.
  • Go in low. When you're negotiating for real estate, don't be afraid to play hardball. Even though your lower offer might be rejected, it still might help towards establishing your position and may help reduce the price. The industry standard is to knock off between 10-20% of the asking price when making a counteroffer.
  • Don't be bullied. In real estate, you and the seller both want the best price, but it is a negotiation and you should feel free to negotiate. Don't believe everything the seller says about other people putting in offers or not being able to reduce the price and stand your ground.

Top tips on how to get approved for a home loan when you don't meet the criteria

  • Know your options. Whether you're self-employed, have bad credit or don't earn a regular income, you should compare your options to see what's available. You should take a look at the eligibility criteria set by different lenders to see what loans you may be able to get. Compare rates and fees for these loans because they tend to be higher than regular loans.
  • Go low doc. If you are self-employed or do not earn a regular income you may be eligible to apply for a low doc home loan, which is where a lender requires less financial documentation that other full doc home loans require. These loans are also a good option for people have their assets tied up in investments and therefore find it difficult to prove an income.
  • Work within your limits. If you have bad credit and would still like to get a home loan, there are some lenders who offer bad credit home loans. Non-conforming home loans can accommodate people who have been previously declared bankrupt or have negative marks on their credit file.

Compare loans with flexible eligibility criteria

Details
Loan Market Home Loans Details and Application
Fox Symes Bad Credit Home Loan

Fox Symes Bad credit Home Loans offers a refinance option for borrowers who may have an adverse credit history, existing home loan arrears or been declined by another lender. Free no obligation assessment.


information on bad credit home loans

Comparison of Low Doc Home Loans

Rates last updated December 11th, 2016
$
Loan purpose
Offset account
Loan type
Your filter criteria do not match any product
Interest Rate (p.a.) Comp Rate^ (p.a.) Application Fee Ongoing Fees Max LVR Monthly Payment
ClickLoans The Online Home Loan - Owner Occupier ≤ 80% LVR
Enjoy a competitive interest rate when you have a deposit of at least 20%.
3.69% 3.69% $0 $0 p.a. 80% Go to site More info
State Custodians Self Employed Home Loan - LVR 70%
A Special Offer For Self Employed. Low Doc OK!
4.92% 4.95% $0 $0 p.a. 70% Go to site More info
ClickLoans The Online Construction Loan - Variable
A loan built for the construction of a new home with a fee-free redraw and can be used for investment purposes.
4.02% 4.02% $0 $0 p.a. 80% Go to site More info
State Custodians Self Employed Flexi Home Loan - LVR 90%
Take out a loan even if you've only had an ABN for six months.
6.91% 7.05% $0 $0 p.a. 90% Go to site More info
5.42% 5.50% $0 $0 p.a. 80% More info
Westpac Low Doc  Rocket Repay Home Loan
Great option for self-employed borrowers including the option to link a 100% offset account.
5.68% 6.06% $600 $96 p.a. 80% More info
Bank Of Queensland Low Doc Home Loan - Variable (Owner Occupier)
Buy your home even if you're self employed.
6.71% 6.90% $995 $10 monthly ($120 p.a.) 80% More info
Pepper Money Easy Alt Doc Home Loan - LVR 65% to 70%
A competitive rate offered to low doc borrowers.
5.84% 6.25% $995 $15 monthly ($180 p.a.) 70% More info
Pepper Money Easy Alt Doc Home Loan - LVR Up to 60%
Apply even with defaults, judgements and writs registered on your file greater than 36 months ago.
5.79% 6.17% $995 $15 monthly ($180 p.a.) 60% More info
St.George Low Doc Home Loan - 3 Year Fixed (Owner Occupier)
A low doc home loan with redraw facility.
4.24% 5.35% $750 $12 monthly ($144 p.a.) 80% More info
Pepper Money Advantage Alt Doc Home Loan - Standard LVR 70% to 75%
A competitive rate offered to those who are self-employed.
6.80% 7.27% $995 $15 monthly ($180 p.a.) 75% More info
Adelaide Bank SmartDoc Fix Home Loan - 1 Year Fixed Rate (Owner Occupier)
A low doc loan with a fixed rate for one year and 100% offset account.
4.99% 5.34% $375 $15 monthly ($180 p.a.) 80% More info
Pepper Money Easy Alt Doc Home Loan - LVR 70% to 75%
This loan accepts low doc borrowers who have defaults, judgements and writs on their credit file as long as they were lodged greater than 36 months ago.
6.05% 6.48% $995 $15 monthly ($180 p.a.) 75% More info
Commonwealth Bank Standard Variable Home Loan - Owner Occupier
Standard variable home loan with a low doc option for self-employed borrowers.
5.22% 5.37% $600 $8 monthly ($96 p.a.) 80% More info
St.George Low Doc Home Loan - Variable Rate (Owner Occupier, P&I)
A competitive home loan product ideal for small business owners and self-employed borrowers features include redraw, full interest offset or partial interest offset, Deposit Protect Bond and more!
5.45% 5.65% $750 $12 monthly ($144 p.a.) 80% More info
Adelaide Bank SmartDoc Plus Home Loan - Owner Occupier
A low doc home loan with 100% offset account and redraw facility.
5.29% 5.50% $375 $15 monthly ($180 p.a.) 70% More info
Adelaide Bank SmartDoc Home Loan - Owner Occupier
Enjoy a low doc variable rate home loan with offset account.
5.15% 5.36% $375 $15 monthly ($180 p.a.) 80% More info
4.59% 5.22% $355 $395 p.a. 82% More info

Top tips on how to make your mortgage repayments and pay your loan back sooner

  • Focus on your savings. It's tempting to put all of your savings towards your mortgage by making extra repayments, but it's important to keep some of it as savings. This way you are safeguarding yourself if you become unable to make your repayments. A good option is an offset account, which will allow you to reduce the interest off your mortgage as well as give you complete access to that money.
  • Keep talking. If you are having a loan-related problem, you should alert your lender immediately. Keeping them in the dark will make them untrustworthy of you and unlikely to go the extra mile to help you out. The last thing lenders want to do is for you to default on your loan and as such they might be the best people to give you assistance.
  • Change it up. If you are having problems making your repayments or know you will be under financial stress for a short while, see if your lender will allow you to make 'interest-only' repayments or even take a repayment holiday. These options are there to help you out in times of need, so if you need them, take advantage of them.
Home Loan Tip

Top tips for switching home loans and lenders

  • Consider the costs. If you are looking for a better deal, make sure you take into account all of the extra costs that come with refinancing. These include break costs and other fees which can seriously damper the value you may get from switching your loan.
  • Weigh up your options. The best way to determine the value of switching your home loan or lender is by comparing your options online and calculating your savings. You should look at all of the features available, such as offset accounts, redraw facilities or rate discounts and see what you'd like your new loan to have. Then decide how much you're willing to pay for it.
  • Keep forward thinking. Because the costs of refinancing may be considerable, make sure you consider the type of loan you want now and the type of loan you want later in life so you don't need to switch again.

Compare loans for refinancing

Rates last updated December 11th, 2016
$
Loan purpose
Offset account
Loan type
Your filter criteria do not match any product
Interest Rate (p.a.) Comp Rate^ (p.a.) Application Fee Ongoing Fees Max LVR Monthly Payment
$500 $0 p.a. 95% More info
NAB Choice Package Home Loan - 5 Year Fixed (Owner Occupier)
A competitive loan with flexible features. 250,000 Velocity Frequent Flyer point offer, conditions apply.
4.59% 5.02% $0 $395 p.a. 95% 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.
3.99% 4.81% $0 $0 p.a. 95% Go to site More info
IMB Fixed Rate Home Loan - 1 Year Fixed (LVR < 90% Owner Occupier)
Lock in a rate for one year and get the ability to make additional repayments for 12 months without penalty.
4.29% 4.75% $445 $6 monthly ($72 p.a.) 90% Go to site More info
HSBC Premier Home Loan
Apply for a new owner occupier home loan before 31 December and receive a discount on your rate for the life of your loan with HSBC Premier
$0 $35 monthly ($420 p.a.) 90% More info

information on home loans refinancing

Your home loan will be with you for a long time, so it’s never too early or late to put these tips into action. By comparing your mortgage options online and being aware of the benefits offered by lenders, you can work towards managing your repayments and maybe even paying off your home loan sooner than you expected.


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

HSBC Home Value Loan - Resident Owner Occupier only

Enjoy the low variable rate with $0 ongoing fee and borrow up to 90% LVR.

ME Bank 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. 250,000 Velocity Frequent Flyer point offer, conditions apply.

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