Home loan tips

The Best Home Loan Tips

Rates and fees last updated on

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 September 20th, 2017
$
Loan purpose
Offset account
Loan 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
3.64%
3.66%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
A basic home loan with a competitive rate and low fees.
3.69%
4.86%
$0
$395 p.a.
90%
A special rate for first home buyers buying residential property and borrowing over $150K. 350K NAB Rewards Points offer available. Terms and conditions apply.
3.74%
3.74%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Combine a low variable interest rate and free redraw with no application or ongoing fees.
3.65%
3.66%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
Enjoy a low variable rate with no ongoing fees and borrow up to 90% of the value of the property.
3.96%
3.98%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
Take advantage of a redraw facility, competitive variable rate and no application or settlement fees for a limited time.
3.69%
3.72%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
A low rate home loan with no ongoing fees.
3.64%
4.03%
$0
$395 p.a.
80%
Apply for a new owner occupier loan or refinance from another lender and receive this discounted rate.
3.49%
4.47%
$0
$375 p.a.
90%
Discount off an already competitive interest rate for loans over $150k. NSW, QLD and ACT residents only.
3.86%
3.87%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Pay no ongoing fees on a competitive variable rate home loan.
3.99%
4.77%
$0
$0 p.a.
95%
A competitive 3 year fixed rate with a redraw facility and split loan options, plus no application fee.
3.74%
4.85%
$0
$0 p.a.
95%
Enjoy a low interest rate and borrow up to 95% (with LMI) of your property's value.
4.17%
4.21%
$600
$0 p.a.
95%
A competitive no frills home loan. 350K NAB Rewards Points offer available. Terms and conditions apply.
3.97%
4.02%
$445
$0 p.a.
90%
Get a competitive rate without features you may not use.
3.74%
4.96%
$0
$0 p.a.
95%
Investors can take advantage of a short term fixed rate with no application or ongoing fees.
3.99%
4.02%
$600
$0 p.a.
90%
Take advantage of a 0.60% discount on your rate, a 100% offset account and no ongoing fees.
3.79%
4.75%
$0
$0 p.a.
95%
A low 3-year fixed rate with the option to split your loan for free.
4.19%
4.19%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
Get access to a redraw facility and offset account without the annual fee.
4.39%
4.78%
$0
$395 p.a.
95%
Package your home loan to get discounts on your interest rate and other financial products.
3.80%
3.81%
$0
$0 p.a.
95%
A no frills loan with a competitive rate and a maximum LVR of 95%.

Have we missed anything in the comparison table? Tell us

Compare up to 4 providers

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 September 20th, 2017
$
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 (Low Doc) - LVR 80%
A competitive rate for low doc borrowers. Comes with offset account and no monthly or annual fees.
4.74% 4.74% $0 $0 p.a. 80% Go to site More info
Homeloans MoniPower Alt Doc Fixed Home Loan - 1 Year (Owner Occupier)
Fix a competitive rate for one year with Homeloans.com.au.
5.41% 5.75% $0 $0 p.a. 80% Enquire now 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% Enquire now More info
Bank Of Queensland Low Doc Home Loan - Variable (Owner Occupier, P&I)
Self-employed? Get a home loan to suit your needs.
6.86% 7.05% $995 $10 monthly ($120 p.a.) 80% Enquire now More info
Pepper Money Easy Alt Doc Home Loan - LVR Up to 55%
Apply even with defaults, judgements and writs registered on your file greater than 36 months ago.
5.69% 6.06% $995 $15 monthly ($180 p.a.) 55% Enquire now More info
Homeloans MoniPower Alt Doc- Variable (Owner Occupier)
A low doc home loan with a 100% offset account and flexible repayment options.
5.74% 5.78% $0 $0 p.a. 80% Enquire now More info
Pepper Money Advantage Alt Doc Home Loan - Standard LVR 70% to 75%
A competitive rate offered to those who are self-employed.
6.95% 7.42% $995 $15 monthly ($180 p.a.) 75% Enquire now More info
Adelaide Bank SmartDoc Fix Home Loan - 1 Year Fixed Rate (Owner Occupier, P&I)
A low doc loan with a fixed rate for one year and 100% offset account.
5.17% 5.45% $375 $15 monthly ($180 p.a.) 80% Enquire now 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% Enquire now More info
Adelaide Bank SmartDoc Plus Home Loan - Owner Occupier
A low doc home loan with 100% offset account and redraw facility.
5.39% 5.60% $375 $15 monthly ($180 p.a.) 70% Enquire now More info
Commonwealth Bank Standard Variable Home Loan - Owner Occupier (P&I)
Standard variable home loan with a low doc option for self-employed borrowers.
5.22% 5.36% $600 $8 monthly ($96 p.a.) 80% Enquire now More info
Adelaide Bank SmartDoc Home Loan - Owner Occupier
Enjoy a low doc variable rate home loan with offset account.
5.25% 5.46% $375 $15 monthly ($180 p.a.) 80% Enquire now 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 September 20th, 2017
$
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% Enquire now More info
NAB Choice Package Home Loan - 5 Year Fixed (Owner Occupier P&I)
A competitive loan with flexible features. 350K NAB Rewards Points offer available. Terms and conditions apply.
4.59% 5.01% $0 $395 p.a. 95% Go to site More info
Newcastle Permanent Building Society Fixed Rate Home Loan - 2 Years Fixed (Standard Rate, P&I)
Enjoy a low interest rate and borrow up to 95% (with LMI) of your property's value.
3.74% 4.85% $0 $0 p.a. 95% 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% Enquire now 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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Greater Bank Ultimate Home Loan - Discounted 1 Year Fixed LVR ≤90% ($150K+ Owner Occupier)

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Get a competitive rate without features you may not use.

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