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Cash out refinancing

Using the equity in your home you can increase your loan value and take out the difference in cash. Here’s how it works.

What is cash out refinancing?

Cash out refinancing is where you access the equity you've built in your home to refinance to a higher loan amount and then you take out the difference in cash.

Unlike in a standard refinance, you wouldn't apply for a loan to cover the amount remaining on your loan balance. You would apply for a new loan of a higher amount, which covers not only the cost of your existing loan but allows you to take out the rest in cash.

The amount you can apply for depends on the amount of equity you've built up, but your LVR would need to be below 80%.

Example: What does cash out refinance look like?

Harrison buys an $800,000 property. Luckily, he has 20% of the property value - or $160,000 - available as a deposit, so his loan amount is $640,000.

Over the next few years he pays off another 20% of the loan. This means the equity he has in the property is now $320,000.

Let's say Harrison needs some money to put a deposit down on another property, he can apply to refinance his loan back to the higher amount of $640,000. The remaining balance of $480,000 which he had left on his existing loan is paid off, and he gets $160,000 paid to him in cash.

* This is a fictional, but realistic, example.

Pros and cons of cash out refinancing


  • It allows you access to larger sums of money which otherwise may take too long to save
  • You can also refinance to better interest rates and features
  • You can borrow the money without taking out any additional loans


  • You may end up paying a higher interest rate
  • Increasing your home loan debt will increase your monthly repayments and total amount you pay
  • Refinancing can come with costs to close out your existing loan and/or take out a new loan

What to consider before cash out refinancing

The biggest thing to consider with cash out refinancing is how you effectively go back to the beginning of repaying your home loan. After bringing down your home loan value, taking out the cash means you'll own less of the property and still have more to repay.

Refinancing in any form can also come with additional costs. Exiting loans and opening new loans can come with fees.

Although you have the potential to refinance to a better loan, you could also end up on a loan with a less competitive rate.

What are the alternatives to cash out refinancing?

Equity loan (line of credit) - a separate loan which uses your equity as collateral and is added on to your existing home loan rather than a larger loan paying off your loan.

Loan increase - this increases the balance of your existing home loan. Your loan term stays the same, so your monthly payments will increase.

What is the difference between cash out refinancing and equity finance?

Cash out refinance

  • Your equity is used to increase your loan value rather than taking out another loan
  • Your loan term remains the same, so your monthly repayments increase

Equity finance

  • Your equity is used as collateral for another loan
  • You usually don't have to repay immediately

Who would use cash out refinancing?

Cash out refinancing is better used if you need larger sums of money. Withdrawing from an offset account or extra repayments would be better for a smaller amount.

You can use cash out refinancing for:

  • A deposit on another property
  • Home renovation
  • Large medical expenses
  • Paying off high interest debts

If you're looking to refinance your home loan, start comparing loan options now.

Frequently asked questions

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