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How do home loan top-ups work?

If you've built up equity in your home, you may be able to draw out cash using a home loan top-up.

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Topping up or increasing your home loan can help you draw out funds for large purchases at a lower interest rate than some other finance options. It can leverage the equity in your home and provide you with a single, easy-to-manage repayment rather than multiple credit accounts.

What is a home loan top-up?

A home loan top-up is an increase to your existing home loan. It allows you to borrow more by using the equity in your home, or the difference between your remaining home loan and the current value of your property.

Here's how it works:

Let's say you purchased your property for $700,000 with a 20% deposit, meaning your original home loan was $560,000. After a few years, you've paid this amount down to $480,000. Meanwhile, your property has increased in value and is now worth $800,000. You would have built up $240,000 in equity.

A home loan top-up will increase the amount of your home loan to draw on this equity. In general, lenders will only increase your home loan up to 80% of the value of your home. In the example above, that means your home loan would increase from $480,000 to $640,000, giving you $160,000 to draw out in cash.

The money you access through a home loan top-up can be used for any purpose. You could use it as a deposit for an investment property, to buy a car, to pay off debt or to do non-structural renovations (structural renovations usually require a construction loan). You'll only be charged interest on the amount you use.

Keep in mind that increasing your home loan can increase your repayments and the amount of time it takes to pay off your mortgage. This means you'll be paying more interest in the long term.

How do I get a home loan top-up?

  1. You need to determine if your home loan is eligible for a top-up. Many fixed rate home loans don't allow increases. Speak to your lender to determine if you're eligible.
  2. Then your lender will assess your serviceability, or your ability to meet the larger repayments. They'll also perform a valuation on your home to determine its current value. This will determine your current loan-to-value ratio (LVR).
  3. You'll likely have to go through an application process to increase your home loan, even though the loan account will remain the same. Some lenders charge an establishment fee for home loan top-ups, so be sure to ask your lender about any fees involved.
  4. If you apply and are approved, you'll be given access to the additional funds through a redraw facility which allows you to withdraw the extra cash as you need it. You may even have the option of using a split facility to place the extra funds in a separate loan account so you can better keep track of the new debt.

What are the benefits?

Using a home loan top-up can be a more efficient way to finance purchases than applying for a personal loan, car loan or credit card. Home loans have lower interest rates than most other finance options. Moreover, a home loan top-up will keep all your debt in one account with one repayment, which can make it much easier to manage. Finally, as mentioned above, you'll only be charged interest on the funds you choose to use.

What are the risks?

Increasing your home loan amount means you'll also be increasing your monthly repayments. You'll need to reassess your budget to make sure you can manage the new repayment amount.

Increasing your mortgage can also lengthen your loan term. By taking longer to repay your home loan, you'll be increasing the amount of interest you pay.

And, while the majority of home loans carry lower interest rates than car loans or personal loans, carrying the debt over a longer term means you'll end up paying more in interest. It's wise to try to pay down the extra debt as quickly as possible.

What are the alternatives to a home loan top-up?

The alternatives to a home loan top-up will depend on what you're using the funds for. You could:

  • Apply for a personal loan or car loan instead. While these carry higher interest rates, they also come with shorter loan terms, meaning you'll pay less in interest overall.
  • Consider a line of credit or home equity loan. This functions much like a home loan increase, giving you access to funds based on the equity in your home. A line of credit differs in that it's a separate loan account, requiring a separate repayment.
  • Depending on the size of your purchase you could also apply for a credit card. However, credit cards generally carry very high interest rates relative to home loans, and, depending on your credit limit, may offer a lower amount of funds for your purchase. If you choose to use a credit card for a major purchase, you'll need to ensure you're disciplined to pay it off as quickly as possible.

If a home loan top-up isn't right for you, consider switching to a new lender to get a better deal

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Name Product Interest Rate (p.a.) Comp Rate^ (p.a.) Application Fee Ongoing Fees Maximum Insured LVR Amount Saved Short Description
St.George Basic Home Loan - LVR 60% to 80% (Owner Occupier, P&I)
2.64%
2.66%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Up to $4,000 refinance cashback.
A competitive variable rate loan from St.George. Refinancers borrowing $250,000 or more can get up $4,000 cashback for their first application (Other terms, conditions and exclusions apply).
UBank UHomeLoan Variable Rate - Discount Offer for Owner Occupiers, Variable P&I Rate
2.49%
2.49%
$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.
Athena Celebrate Home Loan - 60% LVR  Owner Occupier, P&I
2.39%
2.39%
$0
$0 p.a.
60%
A very low variable rate for home buyers with 40% deposits or equity. This rate takes effect from 30 September for new and existing customers. You can get this rate if you apply today.
Suncorp Back to Basics Home Loan - Better Together Special Offer $150k+ LVR ≤ 80% (Owner Occupier, P&I)
2.68%
2.69%
$600
$0 p.a.
80%
$2,000 to $3,000 refinance cashback
Get a competitive variable interest rate with no application fee or ongoing fees. Refinance to an eligible Suncorp loan and get a cashback of $2,000 or $3,000, depending on your loan amount. Other conditions apply.
HSBC Home Value Loan - Promotional Offer (Owner Occupier P&I)
2.59%
2.60%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Get a low interest rate loan with no ongoing fees. Plus you can make extra repayments and free redraw online.
homeloans.com.au Low Rate Home Loan with Offset - LVR Under 60% (Owner Occupier, P&I)
2.44%
2.46%
$0
$0 p.a.
60%
A competitive rate with no application or ongoing fee. This loan is not available for construction.
Yard Variable Home Loan - LVR 80% Special (Owner Occupier, P&I)
2.39%
2.42%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
A very low variable rate loan for home buyers with an optional offset account ($10 monthly fee). 20% deposit required.
Well Home Loans Balanced Variable - LVR 80% Special Offer (Owner occupier, P&I)
2.17%
2.20%
$250
$0 p.a.
80%
A very low interest rate for home buyers with 20% deposits saved. Add an offset account for a small fee. This special discount rate is available for new borrowers who apply and get approved by 30 November 2020. Not available for construction purposes.
Virgin Money Reward Me Variable Home Loan - LVR ≤ 60% ($750k+ Owner Occupier, P&I)
2.60%
2.77%
$300
$10 monthly ($120 p.a.)
60%
$2,500 refinance cashback
Buy your home and lock in a low rate for the first two years. Get a $2,500 cashback when you switch to Virgin Money with a loan amount of $300,000 or more with an LVR up to 80%. You must apply by 28 August and settle by 30 October 2020.
IMB Budget Home Loan - LVR ≤80% (Owner Occupier, P&I, NSW and ACT borrowers only)
2.61%
2.67%
$449
$0 p.a.
80%
A competitive variable rate for borrowers with 20% deposits saved. Available for NSW and ACT borrowers only.
Athena Evaporate Home Loan - 60% to 70% LVR  Owner Occupier, P&I
2.49%
2.43%
$0
$0 p.a.
70%
A low variable rate for owner occupiers with 30% deposits. This rate takes effect from 30 September for new and existing customers. You can get this rate if you apply today.
AMP Bank Professional Package Variable Rate Home Loan - $100,000 and above, LVR ≤ 80% incl. LMI (Owner Occupier, P&I)
2.59%
3.00%
$0
$349 p.a.
80%
Get a sharp rate with no application or settlement fee, a redraw facility and 100% offset account. Other fees and charges apply.
Athena Liberate Home Loan - 70% to 80% LVR Owner Occupier, P&I (*now 2.59%, drops to 2.54% on 30 Sep)
2.54%
2.46%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
A competitive variable rate mortgage for owner occupiers $0 application and $0 ongoing fees. This interest rate falls over time as you pay off the loan. This rate will drop to 2.54% p.a on 30 September 2020 for new and existing customers. You can get this rate if you apply today.
homeloans.com.au Low Rate Home Loan with Offset - LVR 60% to 80% (Owner Occupier, P&I)
2.54%
2.56%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
This loan offers a competitive variable rate and a 100% offset account to help save you on interest repayments. This loan is not available for construction.
Virgin Money Reward Me Fixed Rate Home Loan - 2 Year $300k+ Special offer (Owner Occupier, P&I)
2.29%
2.91%
$300
$10 monthly ($120 p.a.)
80%
$2,500 refinance cashback
Buy your home and lock in a low rate for the first two years. Get a $2,500 cashback when you switch to Virgin Money with a loan amount of $300,000 or more with an LVR up to 80%. You must apply by 28 August and settle by 30 October 2020.
IMB Budget Home Loan - Special LVR  ≤90% (Owner Occupier, P&I, NSW and ACT borrowers only)
2.78%
2.84%
$449
$0 p.a.
90%
NSW and ACT customers only. You can get an interest rate discount for a limited time with this competitive variable mortgage.
homeloans.com.au Low Rate Home Loan with Offset - LVR 80% to 90% (Owner Occupier, P&I)
2.74%
2.76%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
Save on interest with a free 100% offset account and buy your property with just a 10% deposit. This loan is not available for construction.
Greater Bank Great Rate Discount Variable with Family Pledge Home Loan - Up to 110% LVR
2.68%
2.69%
$0
$0 p.a.
110%
Pay no deposit or LMI and get a discounted rate with this family pledge loan. Requires a family member to act as guarantor. NSW, QLD and ACT only.
Well Home Loans Balanced Fixed Home Loan - 2 Year (Owner occupier, P&I)
2.22%
2.21%
$250
$0 p.a.
90%
A low fixed mortgage with an optional 100% offset account. Not available for construction purposes.
G&C Mutual Bank Momentum Home Loan - LVR <50% (Owner Occupier, P&I)
2.55%
2.57%
$0
$0 p.a.
A variable rate loan for owner-occupiers looking to refinance. This loan has low fees and a 100% offset account.
Bank of Melbourne Basic Home Loan - Special Offer (Owner Occupiers, P&I) LVR above 60% up to 80%
2.64%
2.66%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Up to $4,000 refinance cashback
A competitive variable rate loan from Bank of Melbourne. Refinancers borrowing $250,000 or more can get up $4,000 cashback for their first application (Other terms, conditions and exclusions apply).
Well Home Loans Balanced Variable - LVR 90% (Owner occupier, P&I)
2.52%
2.55%
$250
$0 p.a.
90%
A very low variable interest rate for borrowers with a 10% deposit. Add a 100% offset account for $10 a month. Not available for construction purposes.
Bankwest Complete Home Loan Package Variable - $200k to <$750k LVR ≤80% (Owner Occupier, P&I)
2.73%
3.18%
$0
$395 p.a.
80%
A low variable rate loan with a 100% offset account and package discounts.
HSBC Home Value Loan - Promotional Offer LVR 90% (Owner Occupier, P&I)
2.69%
2.70%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
A competitive value home loan with no ongoing fee.
Well Home Loans Balanced Fixed Home Loan - 3 Year (Owner Occupier, P&I)
2.27%
2.23%
$250
$0 p.a.
90%
A low 3 year fixed rate for home buyers. Add a 100% offset account with a $10 monthly fee. Not available for construction purposes.
UBank UHomeLoan - 1 Year Fixed Rate (Owner Occupier, P&I)
2.14%
2.46%
$395
$0 p.a.
80%
Fix your mortgage for 1 year with a very competitive rate and no ongoing fees.
Heritage Bank Fixed Rate Home Loan - 2 Year Fixed Rate (Owner Occupier, P&I) New Customers Only
2.59%
4.26%
$600
$8 monthly ($96 p.a.)
95%
Get a partial offset account and the option to make interest-only repayments.
Bluestone Prime Direct (Owner Occupier, P&I)
2.49%
2.51%
$0
$0 p.a.
70%
Bluestone's Prime Direct is a competitive variable rate home loan for borrowers with 30% deposits.
Newcastle Permanent Building Society Real Deal Home Loan - Special Offer 1 (Owner Occupier, P&I)
2.59%
2.63%
$595
$0 p.a.
80%
$2,000 refinance cashback
$2,000 cashback for eligible refinancers borrowing $250,000 or more.
BankSA Basic Home Loan - Owner Occupier, P&I
2.64%
2.66%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Up to $4,000 refinance cashback
A competitive variable rate loan from BankSA. Refinancers borrowing $200,000 or more can get up $4,000 cashback for their first application (Other terms, conditions and exclusions apply).
Newcastle Permanent Building Society Fixed Rate Home Loan - 1 Year Fixed (Owner Occupier, P&I)
2.49%
4.12%
$595
$0 p.a.
90%
$2,000 refinance cashback
Investors can take advantage of a short term fixed rate with no ongoing fees. $2,000 cashback for eligible refinancers borrowing $250,000 or more.
ME Flexible Home Loan With Member Package - LVR ≤80% $400k up to $699,999 (Owner Occupier, P&I)
2.84%
3.29%
$0
$395 p.a.
80%
Unlock a range of savings with this competitive package home loan offer. Offset account and redraw facility included.
Heritage Bank Discount Variable Home Loan - LVR ≤ 80% (Owner Occupier, P&I) New Customers Only
2.78%
2.80%
$600
$0 p.a.
80%
Family guarantee option available. Enjoy flexible repayments and a low minimum loan amount.
ME Flexible Home Loan Fixed - 3 Year Fixed Rate LVR ≤ 80% (Owner Occupier, P&I)
2.34%
3.82%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Pay no application fees and access a fee-free redraw facility with this fixed rate loan.
Newcastle Permanent Building Society  Premium Plus Package Fixed Rate - 2 Year Fixed (Owner Occupier, P&I)
2.44%
3.76%
$0
$395 p.a.
95%
$2,000 refinance cashback
Enjoy a discounted fixed rate and the ability to package the loan with other financial products. $2,000 cashback for eligible refinancers borrowing $250,000 or more.
UBank UHomeLoan - 1 Year Fixed Rate (Investor, P&I)
2.29%
2.84%
$395
$0 p.a.
80%
Investors can enjoy flexible repayments and an easy application process with this pioneering online lender.
Greater Bank Great Rate Home Loan - Discounted 1 Year Fixed with Family Pledge Home Loan - Up to 110% LVR (Owner Occupier)
1.99%
3.52%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Requires a family member to act as guarantor.
Get one of the lowest rates on the market with this fixed rate mortgage and borrow more with help from a family guarantor. NSW, QLD and ACT residents only.
Heritage Bank Advantage Package - 1 Year Fixed (Owner Occupier, P&I) New Customers Only
2.59%
3.32%
$0
$350 p.a.
95%
Get a partial offset account and flexible repayments with this package loan.
UBank UHomeLoan - 1 Year Fixed Rate (Owner Occupier, IO)
2.29%
2.47%
$395
$0 p.a.
80%
A one year fixed rate offer with no ongoing bank fees.
Virgin Money Reward Me Variable Home Loan - LVR ≤ 80% ($500k to $750k Owner Occupier, P&I)
2.74%
2.91%
$300
$10 monthly ($120 p.a.)
80%
This flexible, competitive variable rate mortgage comes with a 100% offset account and redraw facility.
UBank UHomeLoan - 3 Year Fixed Rate (Owner Occupier, P&I)
2.14%
2.41%
$395
$0 p.a.
80%
A competitive fixed interest rate loan with no ongoing fees. Requires a 20% deposit.
Athena Variable Home Loan - Owner Occupier, IO (*now 3.09%, drops to 3.04% on 30 Sep)
3.04%
2.68%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Owner occupiers can refinance to one of the most competitive interest-only rates in the market. No application fee and no ongoing fees. This rate will drop to 3.04% p.a on 30 September 2020 for new and existing customers. You can get this rate if you apply today.
ME Basic Home Loan - LVR ≤80% $150,000 or more (Owner Occupier, P&I)
2.58%
2.60%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
This variable rate loan keeps the features simple and fees low. This loan is offered by a 100% online lender.
Suncorp Home Package Plus Fixed - 2 Year Fixed Rate Special Offer $150k+ LVR ≤90% (Owner Occupier, P&I)
2.29%
3.28%
$0
$375 p.a.
90%
A low fixed rate loan available for borrowers with 10% deposits. Refinance to an eligible Suncorp loan and get a cashback of $2,000 or $3,000, depending on your loan amount. Other conditions apply.
UBank UHomeLoan - 1 Year Fixed Rate (Investor, IO)
2.44%
2.85%
$395
$0 p.a.
80%
Investors can enjoy flexible repayments and an easy application process with this pioneering online lender.
Newcastle Permanent Building Society Premium Plus Package Home Loan - New Customer Offer Discount 1 ($150k+ Owner Occupier, P&I)
2.94%
3.34%
$0
$395 p.a.
95%
$2,000 refinance cashback
New borrowers or refinancers can get a discounted rate with this package loan. $2,000 cashback for eligible refinancers borrowing $250,000 or more.
Virgin Money Reward Me Fixed Rate Home Loan - 3 Year $300k+ Special offer (Owner Occupier, P&I)
2.29%
2.87%
$300
$10 monthly ($120 p.a.)
80%
A competitive fixed rate mortgage available with a 10% deposit.
UBank UHomeLoan - 3 Year Fixed Rate (Owner Occupier, IO)
2.29%
2.44%
$395
$0 p.a.
80%
A competitive 3 year fixed rate with no ongoing bank fees.
ME Flexible Home Loan Fixed - 2 Year Fixed Rate LVR ≤ 80% (Owner Occupier, P&I)
2.34%
3.98%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Get a low fixed rate and pay no application or ongoing fees.
Newcastle Permanent Building Society Fixed Rate Home Loan - 2 Year Fixed (Owner Occupier, P&I)
2.54%
3.98%
$595
$0 p.a.
95%
$2,000 refinance cashback
Borrow up to 95% LVR of the value of the property you're buying and pay no ongoing fees. $2,000 cashback for eligible refinancers borrowing $250,000 or more.
Virgin Money Reward Me Variable Home Loan - LVR ≤ 80% ($750k+ Owner Occupier, P&I)
2.74%
2.91%
$300
$10 monthly ($120 p.a.)
80%
Get this loan with a 20% deposit and access a 100% offset account to save on interest.
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Logo for Athena Liberate Home Loan - 70% to 80% LVR Owner Occupier, P&I (*now 2.59%, drops to 2.54% on 30 Sep)
Athena Liberate Home Loan - 70% to 80% LVR Owner Occupier, P&I (*now 2.59%, drops to 2.54% on 30 Sep)

A competitive variable rate mortgage for owner occupiers $0 application and $0 ongoing fees. This interest rate falls over time as you pay off the loan. This rate will drop to 2.54% p.a on 30 September 2020 for new and existing customers. You can get this rate if you apply today.

Logo for UBank UHomeLoan Variable Rate - Discount Offer for Owner Occupiers, Variable P&I Rate
UBank UHomeLoan Variable Rate - Discount Offer for Owner Occupiers, Variable P&I Rate

Take advantage of a low-fee mortgage with a special interest rate of just 2.49% p.a. and a 2.49% p.a. comparison rate.

Logo for HSBC Home Value Loan - Promotional Offer (Owner Occupier P&I)
HSBC Home Value Loan - Promotional Offer (Owner Occupier P&I)

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

Logo for ME Flexible Home Loan Fixed with Members Package - 2 Year Fixed Rate LVR ≤ 80% (Owner Occupier, P&I)
ME Flexible Home Loan Fixed with Members Package - 2 Year Fixed Rate LVR ≤ 80% (Owner Occupier, P&I)

Lock in a competitive rate for owner occupiers for two years. Comes with a 100% offset account.

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