How to refinance your mortgage the right way and save

Rates and Fees verified correct on May 23rd, 2017

Staying with your current lender could be costing you thousands. Find out if you could save in the table below.

Being loyal to your home loan lender could be costing you thousands of dollars over the course of your loan term. The mortgage market today is competitive, with plenty of lenders offering great deals to all types of borrowers. Refinance home loans and you could end up with a cheaper home loan which better suits your needs.

Scroll down to compare some of today's refinancing deals in the table below. You can also read on further to learn how the refinancing process works and some tips for a more successful switch.

Refinancing Home Loan Offer

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

3.64 % p.a.

variable rate

3.66 % p.a.

comparison rate

Refinancing Home Loan Offer

With the loans.com.au Essentials Variable Home Loan enjoy a home loan with no application or ongoing fees as well as a competitive interest rate. Borrow up to 80% of the property's value. For owner occupiers and principal and interest repayments only.

  • Interest rate of 3.64% p.a.
  • Comparison rate of 3.66% p.a.
  • Application fee of $0
  • Maximum LVR: 80%
  • Minimum borrowing: $50,000
  • Max borrowing: $1,000,000
Go to site

 

$
% p.a.
Offset account
Split account
Loan type
Your filter criteria do not match any product
Interest Rate (p.a.) Comp Rate^ (p.a.) Rates (p.a) Application Fee Ongoing Fees Maximum LVR Amount Saved
loans.com.au Essentials - Variable (Owner Occupier, P&I)
A low-interest rate loan suited for purchases and refinances with no application or ongoing fees.
3.64% 3.66% Interest rate:
3.64%


Comp rate:
3.66%
$0 $0 p.a. 80% Go to site More info
3.74% 3.74% Interest rate:
3.74%


Comp rate:
3.74%
$0 $0 p.a. 80% Go to site More info
HSBC Home Value Loan - Resident Owner Occupier only
Enjoy the low variable rate with $0 ongoing fee and borrow up to 90% LVR.
3.75% 3.77% Interest rate:
3.75%


Comp rate:
3.77%
$0 $0 p.a. 80% Go to site More info
Greater Bank Ultimate Home Loan - Discounted 1 Year Fixed LVR ≤85% ($150K+ Owner Occupier)
Discount off an already competitive interest rate for loans over $150k. NSW, QLD and ACT residents only.
3.59% 4.48% Interest rate:
3.59%


Comp rate:
4.48%
$0 $375 p.a. 85% Go to site More info
loans.com.au Offset Variable - Up to 80% LVR (Owner Occupier P&I)
Take advantage a 100% offset account along with no annual or application fee.
3.72% 3.74% Interest rate:
3.72%


Comp rate:
3.74%
$0 $0 p.a. 80% Go to site More info
Newcastle Permanent Building Society Fixed Rate Home Loan - 2 Year Fixed (Owner Occupier Special Rate, P&I)
A limited time 2 year fixed rate for owner occupiers. Conditions apply.
3.64% 4.83% Interest rate:
3.64%


Comp rate:
4.83%
$0 $0 p.a. 80% Go to site More info
3.69% 3.72% Interest rate:
3.69%


Comp rate:
3.72%
$0 $0 p.a. 80% Go to site More info
Bank Australia Premium Home Loan Package - LVR<=80% $700k + (Owner Occupier)
Enjoy the discounted interest rate with redraw facility and no ongoing fees.
3.82% 4.17% Interest rate:
3.82%


Comp rate:
4.17%
$0 $350 p.a. 80% Go to site More info
IMB Budget Home Loan - Special LVR <=80% (Owner Occupier and Principal & Interest only)
A special limited time offer for owner occupiers. An IMB Transaction Account must be opened with this loan.
3.84% 3.89% Interest rate:
3.84%


Comp rate:
3.89%
$445 $0 p.a. 80% Go to site More info
Beyond Bank Low Rate Special Home Loan
A special low variable rate for owner occupiers with 100% offset account and no application or ongoing fees.
3.83% 3.83% Interest rate:
3.83%


Comp rate:
3.83%
$0 $0 p.a. 70% Go to site More info
Newcastle Permanent Building Society Premium Plus Package Home Loan - New Customer Offer ($150,000+ Owner Occupier, P&I)
Apply for a new owner occupier loan or refinance from another lender and receive this discounted rate.
3.84% 4.22% Interest rate:
3.84%


Comp rate:
4.22%
$0 $395 p.a. 90% Go to site More info
State Custodians Low Rate LOC - LVR up to 80% (Owner Occupier)
No application fee and competitive interest rate to access the equity in your home.
3.69% 3.72% Interest rate:
3.69%


Comp rate:
3.72%
$0 $0 p.a. 80% Go to site More info
Easy Street Fixed Home Loan - 3 Years Fixed Owner Occupier special offer (New Loans only), P&I
A low interest rate, no service fee and borrow up to 95% LVR with 100% offset account.
3.59% 4.03% Interest rate:
3.59%


Comp rate:
4.03%
$500 $0 p.a. 80% Go to site More info
Community First Fixed Home Loan - 3 Years Fixed Owner Occupier special offer (New Loans only)
A limited time fixed rate special with no monthly or annual fees plus a 100% offset account.
3.69% 4.93% Interest rate:
3.69%


Comp rate:
4.93%
$600 $0 p.a. 80% Go to site More info
CUA Fixed Rate Home Loan - 2 Year Fixed (Owner Occupier)
A fixed home loan with no ongoing fees and flexible repayments options.
3.84% 4.71% Interest rate:
3.84%


Comp rate:
4.71%
$600 $0 p.a. 80% Go to site More info
Bank Australia Basic Home Loan - Variable (Owner Occupier)
A competitive variable that allows borrowers to borrow a minimum of $100,000 with a $0 ongoing fee.
3.86% 3.90% Interest rate:
3.86%


Comp rate:
3.90%
$595 $0 p.a. 80% Go to site More info
IMB Budget Home Loan - LVR <=90% (Owner Occupier)
A competitive budget rate without any unwanted bells and whistles.
3.97% 4.02% Interest rate:
3.97%


Comp rate:
4.02%
$445 $0 p.a. 90% Go to site More info
State Custodians Low Rate LOC - LVR 80% to 90% (Owner Occupier)
Borrow up to 90% property value and pay no application fee.
3.79% 3.82% Interest rate:
3.79%


Comp rate:
3.82%
$0 $0 p.a. 80% Go to site More info
Greater Bank Great Rate Discount Variable with Family Pledge Home Loan - Up to 110% LVR
Discounted rate available with family pledge loans. Family pledge loans require no LMI and no deposit. NSW, Qld and ACT only.
3.89% 3.89% Interest rate:
3.89%


Comp rate:
3.89%
$0 $0 p.a. 110% Go to site More info
SCU Basic Variable Rate Home Loan
A basic home loan with a low interest rate and a redraw facility available. Take out a new SCU loan and enjoy $500 cash back on loans above $150k, terms and conditions apply.
3.77% 3.81% Interest rate:
3.77%


Comp rate:
3.81%
$200 $0 p.a. 80% Go to site More info
Bank Of Queensland Economy Home Loan - Variable (Owner Occupier)
A basic home loan with additional repayment options.
3.89% 4.04% Interest rate:
3.89%


Comp rate:
4.04%
$300 $10 monthly ($120 p.a.) 80% Go to site More info
Bank Australia Premium Home Loan Package - 2 Year Fixed (Owner Occupier) LVR < 80%
A discounted 2 year fixed rate loan with high maximum LVR and no application fee.
3.94% 4.35% Interest rate:
3.94%


Comp rate:
4.35%
$0 $350 p.a. 80% Go to site More info
QT Mutual Bank Mortgage Saver Home Loan
A low rate home loan with no application or ongoing fees. Note that to be eligible for this loan you must be QLD resident.
3.95% 3.95% Interest rate:
3.95%


Comp rate:
3.95%
$0 $0 p.a. 80% Go to site More info
SCU My Life Fixed Rate Home Loan Package - 3 Years
Enjoy the same interest rate for 3 years fixed and borrow up to 95% LVR. Enjoy $500 cash back on new loans above $150k, terms and conditions apply.
3.69% 4.00% Interest rate:
3.69%


Comp rate:
4.00%
$0 $350 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. NAB Rewards Points offer available, terms and conditions apply.
3.88% 4.95% Interest rate:
3.88%


Comp rate:
4.95%
$0 $395 p.a. 95% Go to site More info
CUA Fresh Start Basic Variable Home Loan - Owner Occupier
A basic mortgage with flexible repayments options.
3.99% 4.04% Interest rate:
3.99%


Comp rate:
4.04%
$795 $0 p.a. 80% Go to site More info
Heritage Bank Discount Variable Home Loan - Special Rate Offer (Owner Occupier) New Customers Only
A great interest rate home loan offer with unlimited redraw and unlimited extra payments.
3.99% 4.04% Interest rate:
3.99%


Comp rate:
4.04%
$600 $0 p.a. 80% Go to site More info
loans.com.au Essentials - Smart Loan Package P&I
This competitive rate is only available if you package your investment loan with your owner occupier loan.
3.64% 3.66% Interest rate:
3.64%


Comp rate:
3.66%
$0 $0 p.a. 80% Go to site More info
Newcastle Permanent Building Society Fixed Rate Home Loan - 3 Year Fixed (Owner Occupier Special Rate, P&I)
A limited time fixed rate home loan with extra repayment abilities. Conditions apply.
3.74% 4.74% Interest rate:
3.74%


Comp rate:
4.74%
$0 $0 p.a. 80% Go to site More info
Greater Bank Great Rate Home Loan - Discounted Variable ($150K+ Owner Occupier)
A competitive rate with redraw facility. NSW, QLD and ACT residents only.
3.99% 3.99% Interest rate:
3.99%


Comp rate:
3.99%
$0 $0 p.a. 85% Go to site More info
Bank of Queensland Fixed Rate Home Loan - 3 Year Fixed Rate Discount Rate $150k+ <80% LVR (Owner Occupier, P&I)
Special offer for new lending of $150k or more & under 80% LVR, this offer has been extended.
3.99% 4.49% Interest rate:
3.99%


Comp rate:
4.49%
$300 $10 monthly ($120 p.a.) 80% Go to site More info
4.09% 4.09% Interest rate:
4.09%


Comp rate:
4.09%
$0 $0 p.a. 80% Go to site More info
ME Basic Home Loan - LVR <=80% Owner Occupier
A low variable rate loan with no application or ongoing fees.
4.09% 4.11% Interest rate:
4.09%


Comp rate:
4.11%
$0 $0 p.a. 80% Go to site More info
UBank UHomeLoan - 3 Year Fixed Rate (Investor)
Pay no ongoing fees on this investment loan fixed for 3 years.
4.09% 4.46% Interest rate:
4.09%


Comp rate:
4.46%
$395 $0 p.a. 80% Go to site More info
UBank UHomeLoan Variable Rate - Real Reward Offer (Owner Occupier Interest Only)
A home loan with a competitive variable rate and no bank fees.
4.13% 4.13% Interest rate:
4.13%


Comp rate:
4.13%
$0 $0 p.a. 80% 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. NAB Rewards Points offer available, terms and conditions apply.
4.17% 4.21% Interest rate:
4.17%


Comp rate:
4.21%
$600 $0 p.a. 80% Go to site More info
IMB Essential Home Loan - LVR <=90% (Owner Occupier)
100% offset account, unrestricted additional repayments and no monthly account keeping fees
4.19% 4.19% Interest rate:
4.19%


Comp rate:
4.19%
$0 $0 p.a. 90% Go to site More info
ME 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.
4.19% 4.82% Interest rate:
4.19%


Comp rate:
4.82%
$0 $0 p.a. 80% 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 home value.
4.34% 4.96% Interest rate:
4.34%


Comp rate:
4.96%
$0 $0 p.a. 80% Go to site More info
Newcastle Permanent Building Society Fixed Rate Home Loan - 1 Year Fixed (Standard Rate, P&I)
Get a short term fixed rate for that investment property with no application or ongoing fees.
4.34% 5.02% Interest rate:
4.34%


Comp rate:
5.02%
$0 $0 p.a. 80% Go to site More info
ANZ Simplicity PLUS Home Loan - Special Offer (Owner Occupier, P&I)
Enjoy a home loan with no application fee or ongoing fee.
4.03% 4.07% Interest rate:
4.03%


Comp rate:
4.07%
$0 $0 p.a. 80% Enquire now More info
3.88% 3.89% Interest rate:
3.88%


Comp rate:
3.89%
$600 $0 p.a. 90% Enquire now 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%.
3.88% 3.89% Interest rate:
3.88%


Comp rate:
3.89%
$0 $0 p.a. 80% Enquire now More info
Commonwealth Bank Wealth Package Fixed Home Loan - 2 Year Fixed (Owner Occupier) P&I
A package home loan with fee free extra repayments available during the fixed term.
3.99% 5.01% Interest rate:
3.99%


Comp rate:
5.01%
$0 $395 p.a. 80% Enquire now More info
St.George Fixed Rate Advantage Package -  2 Year Fixed Rate (Owner Occupier, P&I)
A discounted package rate for owner occupiers with the ability to package a Qantas rewards earning Amplify credit card. $1,500 cash back available for refinancers, conditions apply.
3.99% 5.04% Interest rate:
3.99%


Comp rate:
5.04%
$0 $395 p.a. 80% Enquire now More info
Westpac Fixed Options Home Loan Premier Advantage Package - 2 Years, P&I
A low interest rate home loan and competitive two year fixed rate.
3.88% 4.94% Interest rate:
3.88%


Comp rate:
4.94%
$0 $395 p.a. 80% Enquire now More info
Virgin Reward Me Variable Home Loan - LVR <= 80% ($750k+ Owner Occupier)
A variable rate home loan with competitive interest rate and flexible product features that can earn Velocity points.
3.79% 3.92% Interest rate:
3.79%


Comp rate:
3.92%
$0 $10 monthly ($120 p.a.) 80% Enquire now More info

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Refinance home loan rates comparison for May 2017

Loan Interest Rate (p.a.) Comp Rate^ (p.a.) Ongoing Fees
loans.com.au Essentials - Variable (Owner Occupier, P&I) 3.64% 3.66% $0 p.a.
UBank UHomeLoan Variable Rate - Standard Variable Rate Value Offer (Owner Occupier P&I) 3.74% 3.74% $0 p.a.
HSBC Home Value Loan - Resident Owner Occupier only 3.75% 3.77% $0 p.a.
Greater Bank Ultimate Home Loan - Discounted 1 Year Fixed LVR ≤85% ($150K+ Owner Occupier) 3.59% 4.48% $375 p.a.
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What is refinancing?

Refinancing is the act of switching home loans. This can be by moving your loan to a new lender, or just by changing the type of home loan you have with your existing lender.

Usually, refinancing is done to get a lower rate or a loan suitable for pursuits such as renovations.

More often it's done by switching to a new lender that may offer an interest rate or features that better suit your situation.

Why should I consider refinancing my home loan?

As we mentioned above, refinancing is usually done to reduce costs or to better suit your life.

In reality there are a range of reasons why you might want to say goodbye to your existing lender and look for a new one.

Let's have a look at the various reasons below:

1. For a better interest rate

It's always a good idea to approach your existing lender first to ask for a better interest rate. Make sure you do your research beforehand and show them the existing deals in the market and ask if they can match it. Staying with your existing lender could mean that you save on discharge or exit fees plus application fees of your new loan, not to mention the amount of paperwork you've saved. If your lender is unwilling to help, then it might time to move on.

2. To access and use equity

If you've built a significant amount of equity in your home and you'd like to use as a line of credit, you could opt for an equity line home loan. You can use this equity to purchase other properties or assets, such as funding a renovation for your home or purchasing a new car. One of the advantages to this is that you can purchase an item with the same interest rate as your home loan, rather than committing to an interest rate offered on a personal loan or credit card. However, one of the risks of accessing this equity is that it might take a bit longer to pay off your mortgage. Your interest is calculated on the remaining balance of the account, so the longer you hold your income, the less interest you can pay.

3. To get new features

Again, it's a great idea to approach your lender first if you want more features. Features like additional repayments, portability and offset accounts can help you save on interest repayments. If you existing home loan doesn't have these features and you feel as though you have the financial capacity to make additional repayments and leave money in your offset account, then it might be the time to switch. Also,

Also, a redraw facility is usually available if you opt for additional repayments so you can access the extra money in an emergency. For example, for those who have built equity in their home, you may be looking for a line of credit and for investors, you may be looking for interest-only repayments.

4. To pay less in fees

Fees should always feature in a home loan comparison. Compare the application or establishment fees, ongoing fees, valuation fees, monthly or annual fees, and any other fees for using features such redraw facilities or 100% offset accounts. Just because a home loan has an annual fee or application fee it doesn’t mean it should be avoided. Take the time to look at it in depth and find out whether the fees are worth it for the benefits.

5. To get a loan that better suits your life

Different home loans suit different life stages, look below to see what kind of loans or characteristics may suit you.

First home buyers
  • Low rate and low fees
  • Ability to make extra repayments
  • Introductory rate or basic home loans may suit these borrowers
Young professional or family
  • Portability
  • Redraw facility
  • Standard variable or fixed rate loans may suit these borrowers
Middle aged professional
  • Redraw and offset facilities, packages with linked products
  • Convenient and flexible product
  • Package home loan or line of credit loan may suit these borrowers
Preparing for retirement
  • Low rates and fees
  • Ability to access home equity
  • Line of credit home loan or basic home loan
55 and over/retired
  • Redraw facilities and option to access equity
  • Line of credit home loans or reverse mortgages may suit these borrowers

ALSO READ: Learn about home loan fees from application to exit.

6. To take advantage of a cashback

Many home loans will offer refinancing cash incentives or sign-up bonuses all year around, with the most offers happening during ‘mortgage season’ which is usually around Spring. These are usually around the $1,000 mark, but can be as high as $2,000. These can be a great way to minimise the costs of refinancing, but be sure that the loan you’re applying for still has a competitive rate, fees and features so that once the cash back is gone you’re not left with an uncompetitive loan.

7. To consolidate debts

Juggling a few debts can be hard - this is where a debt consolidation loan could help. It can roll all your existing debts into manageable loan. If done correctly, you can save on fees and reduce the amount of interest payable by paying it all off with one repayment at a competitive interest rate.

It's important to work closely with your lender during this period to ensure that you actually save money in the process. There's the risk of increasing the loan terms on some of your short term debts (such as a credit card) and you may end up paying more.

  • Can I refinance my home loan and consolidate my credit card debt? It's definitely possible to refinance and consolidate your debit card debit. Your lender will assess your current income and entire loan amount. You'll also need to take into account lenders mortgage insurance and refinancing costs - be sure that the amount you'd like to refinance is less than 80% LVR.

8. To get better customer service

Not all banks are equal, and this is the most difficult consideration to measure. You need to be happy with their lending and reputation. Too many people refinance on a yearly basis and this could end up costing you money, rather than saving. You shouldn't be too refinancing too often, as it could become a distraction to your bigger goals, which is to own your own home sooner. Make sure that you ask the following questions and that the lender meets up to your expectations:

  • How much guidance and support are you going to provide?
  • Does the support align with my needs?
  • Is it you that I'll speaking to the whole time?

Having one person dedicated to your home loan application and needs is a lot easier and convenient than speaking to multiple departments. What sort of guidance will you be providing through this process? The amount of support they're willing to offer generally reflects the standard of their customer service.

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The refinancing process

Refinancing involves first speaking to your lender to see if they can give you a discount or offer a better loan. Presuming this doesn't solve things, you'll then compare other loans and apply for one you're interested in.

The diagram below explains the process visually.

Refinance home loans

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What are the advantages and disadvantages of refinancing?

  • You could potentially get a lower rate
  • You could potentially save on fees
  • Your loan might suit you better in terms of interest rate type and features
  • Your new lender might offer better service
  • You'll have to pay a discharge fee to get out of your old loan
  • You'll usually have to pay upfront fees for your new loan
  • You might have to pay expensive break fees for your old loan when you leave if it's a fixed rate
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When does it make sense to refinance?

Refinancing should be done when you can get a home loan which costs less (either in fees and rates) and still suits your needs, or suits them better than your previous loan.

Other reasons for refinancing include:

  • To renovate your home
  • To consolidate debts
  • To buy a new home

You can read in depth about good reasons to consider refinancing in our guide.

Former Aussie Home Loans General Manager of Marketing Stuart Tucker neatly sums up when you should consider refinancing:

When does it not make sense to refinance?

  • You have a fixed rate home loan with a very high exit cost and the cost of fees could outweigh the benefits of refinancing until the fixed rate period is over
  • You think you’ll probably sell your property in the near future and you won't keep the loan long enough to make any decent savings
  • Your loan amount is small; in this case the savings you’ll get by refinancing might not be worth the interest you’ll pay
  • You've been with a lender for quite some time, enjoy the service you receive and have other products with them (you might be better off asking your lender for a discount)
  • Your property value has fallen or your LVR is still over 80%, this could see you pay lender’s mortgage insurance again
  • You need to refinance to a longer term, but this could result in more interest paid

Read our guide to better understand if there is any value in refinancing your home loan.

How much will it cost me to refinance?

Exit costs of old loan

  • Discharge fees. $200 - $400. These are usually charged by your old lender to give you back your title deeds.
  • Exit fees. $varies. If your loan was entered into before 1 July 2011 you may still have to pay mortgage exit fees, even on a variable rate home loan. These can be quite expensive, but you might be able to get a discount from your lender. If you have a fixed rate home loan, you’ll still have to pay exit fees as your lender could be losing out by letting you leave your loan.

Upfront costs of new loan

  • Application/establishment fees. $200 - $600. These fees cover the initial costs of setting up your home loan.
  • Valuation fees. $100 - $300. Your new lender will want to have your property valued to decide how much to lend you. This fee covers the cost of an independent valuer.
  • Settlement fees. $100 - $300. This fee covers the cost of your lender arranging your funds.
  • Legal fees. $75 - $150. These fees cover the cost of your lender's solicitors which arises out of your application.
  • Stamp duty. $varies. You may have to pay stamp duty when refinancing, which is charged by the state. We have a stamp duty calculator you can use to get an estimate of how much you might pay.
  • Lender’s Mortgage Insurance (LMI). $varies. If you’re borrowing over 80% of the property value you could have to pay LMI premiums. This can cost well into the thousands, and depends on how large your loan is and how much equity you have.
  • Ongoing costs. $varies. A home loan might keep charging you fees even once you’ve settled. Things like redraw fees, monthly fees or annual fees should be taken into account.

Want to compare the expenses of two loans? Use our loan switching calculator

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Are there any tax implications when refinancing?

There might be tax implications for you depending on your situation and whether the property is an investment or not. It’s always wise to speak to an accountant first.

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Should I review my home and contents insurance too?

If your looking to review your current home loan for a better rate, it could also be a good time to review your current insurance polices to ensure you have an adequate level of cover in place at a competitive price. Many lenders will require that you have at least home insurance to protect the property. Most insurance consultants will recommend you review your life insurance policy annually to ensure it still measures up to your financial obligations. It could be worth making a free enquiry with a consultant to find out what else is available and if your better off refinancing. Protect your loved ones and loved possessions with home insurance.

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What documents do I need to supply?

Generally you’ll need to provide proof of your salary and other income, government payments, home loan statements and a copy of your council rates notice. Statements for any liabilities and either your drivers licence or passport. Once your information has been reviewed, your lender can normally give you a response fairly quickly. The verification, valuation and assessments, approval and settlement can take up to a month or more to complete depending on your financial situation.

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Frequently asked questions about refinancing

It’s always best to contact your lender before refinancing, as they may be able to help you temporarily if you’re experiencing financial difficulties. You can also get into contact with a free financial counsellor to get help managing your difficulties. Also, if you're already in arrears on your mortgage, know that some lenders will still consider your application.
You should always seek the advice of an accountant or financial advisor before considering refinancing and adding in other debts to your home loan. While it may seem like a good idea to roll other high interest debts into your home loan and pay a lower interest rate, you should be aware that these debts will take much longer to pay off because a home loan is generally taken over much longer periods of time. This means what was once a small debt could become much bigger due to interest.
Some lenders will accept bad credit borrowers, but might charge higher interest rates and fees. It’s a good idea to get a copy of your credit file before making any applications. Also note that some services like those of a credit repair company, can in some cases help to remove some negative listings on your file.
If you’d like to refinance but don’t have the time, you could consider the services of a mortgage broker. They can help find you a loan which suits you and your financial status.
Equity refers to the amount of your property that you own outright. As you pay your loan down, and your property increases in value this amount can increase. Refinancing at its core is leaving your new home loan and applying for a new one, meaning that regular equity requirements will still apply. This means you'll need a minimum of 20% equity in your home, but in some cases this will be as little as 5%.
Based on current economic conditions and interest rates, a loan of $76,000 or less may not be worth refinancing. However, this figure is a ballpark figure and does not take into consideration your personal circumstances. 
This decision is ultimately up to you, but here are some considerations: A fixed interest rate means that your rate won't change for a set term, so it's a useful tool if you think interest rats are going to rise, to keep your repayments low. A variable rate will mean that your rate will fluctuate according to the official cash rate, so this is useful if you think rates are going to be cut, so if your lender passes on the cut your repayments will lower.
The new ban on exit fees applies to fees charged for leaving a loan early (within the first four years). Discharge fees are charged by all lenders in the normal course of terminating a loan, refinancing or selling the security used for the loan.
Generally refinancing is not required depending on the legal agreement, but you will need to fill in some paperwork to be submitted to the relevant Government body. Your lender and solicitor can assist you with this. If you would only like to attached to account, there is a signatory authority options which means that you’ll be able to use and deposit into the offset account, but it might not mean that you’re added added to the title of the property.
Generally the lender will still require a valuation, as your bank will ned to have an up-to-date idea on the property value. When negotiating, it may be possible to have this fee waived.
In most cases topping up your loan is easier and cheaper. You'll need to approach your existing lender and they will reassess your situation. Refinancing will require that you go through the whole home loan application process again, and can be more expensive as there are more fees involved.
If your account has already been settled there shouldn’t be any reason why your bank wouldn’t cooperate with the lender you’re refinancing to. If this is occurring you can submit an official complaint to your lender and if you're unhappy with the resolution, you can contact the office of fair trading for your state, and inform them of the situation.
If you haven't gained any equity on your home loan, it may be difficult to find a home loan because of the high LVR. You may want to speak to a mortgage broker about your options, or wait until you've gained enough equity. You can see this page for more information about refinancing without equity.
A good mortgage broker will be able to help you find a personal loan as well.

This page was last modified on 22 May 2017 at 4:21pm.

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53 Responses to How to refinance your mortgage the right way and save

  1. Default Gravatar
    Phil | January 18, 2017

    If I have two St George loans with a mate of mine…(both our names on both…he pays one and I pay the other) what is the best way of getting out of having two loans and having only one with my name and one with his name on it?

    Phil.

    • Staff
      Anndy | January 19, 2017

      Hi Phil,

      Thanks for your question.

      It is possible to refinance a joint personal loan to an individual loan and get a better rate through any of the refinancing loans on this page. Please note that you should meet certain eligibility criteria to get approved. Please click the name of the loan product on our page so you’ll see the details how to qualify. The ‘go to site’ button is for submitting your application.

      Cheers,
      Anndy

  2. Default Gravatar
    Senita | October 12, 2016

    How to refinance the exsiting mortgage for low interesr rate

    • Staff
      Anndy | October 13, 2016

      Hi Senita,

      Thanks for your question.

      If you are looking to refinance your existing mortgage, the step-by-step refinancing process is explained in the above infographic.

      Cheers,
      Anndy

  3. Default Gravatar
    Richard | June 10, 2016

    I have a rented unit in Sydney that I would like to refinance to buy land in NZ where I now live. I have contacted a broker who came back with 75% LVR (thats OK), but with a whopping 7.35% interest.

    What other options are open to me?

    • Staff
      Marc | June 14, 2016

      Hi Richard,
      thanks for the question.

      You’ve come through to finder.com.au, a comparison service. Unfortunately by law we’re unable to suggest specific home loan rates and fees which you could apply for. It might be a good idea to contact a number of lenders that you’re interested in or alternatively speak to another broker to get another recommendation.

      Cheers,
      Marc.

  4. Default Gravatar
    Ros | April 3, 2016

    Do you know if any of the lenders will re-finance pensioners? Both aged 60, and still have 15 years left on current mortgage

    • Staff
      Marc | April 4, 2016

      Hi Ros,
      thanks for the question.

      While I can’t by law suggest specific lenders to try to refinance to, a good mortgage broker will be able to give you a personalised suggestion of which lenders to speak to.

      I hope this helps,
      Marc.

    • Staff
      Belinda | April 4, 2016

      Hi Ros,

      Thanks for reaching out.

      It may be difficult to qualify for a refinance if you are pensioners as most lenders will review you as high-risk borrowers. However, your best course of action would be to speak to a licensed mortgage broker to discuss your refinance options. A broker can help you understand your borrowing capacity and they can draw upon a panel of lenders, including specialist or non-bank lenders, that may have more lenient eligibility criteria.

      Ultimately, a broker will determine your propensity to repay the refinanced loan by taking into account your income sources, assets, credit history and any existing debts that you have. This type of application will be treated on a case-by-case basis.

      We have a page about refinancing after retirement which you might find useful.

      All the best,
      Belinda

  5. Default Gravatar
    Terry | March 21, 2016

    I have A mortgage in New Zealand and I wondered if I could refinance that mortgage in Australia. I live and work in Australia now and it costs money to transfer to and from New Zealand. Or is there a way I could get part of a loan, say 100000 to pay part of that mortgage off and pay it in Australia? Thanks

    • Staff
      Belinda | March 22, 2016

      Hi Terry,

      Thanks for reaching out.

      Most Australian lenders prefer that the security for the home loan is based in Australia, so it may be difficult for you to refinance the mortgage in this case. However, your best course of action would be to speak to a licensed mortgage broker as they’ll be able to help you understand your refinancing and borrowing options.

      To minimise the cost of transferring funds to and from New Zealand, you can compare a range of global money transfer providers to find one with competitive terms.

      All the best,
      Belinda

  6. Default Gravatar
    Shawn | March 8, 2016

    Hello,
    My apologies up front for the length and amount of questions involved but I’m at the desperate stage. I am on the dsp, my husband is my career and on the carer’s pension and allowance. This is our only income. We would like to borrow $25000 for debt consolidation, home renovations and the purchase of a small second hand car. We owe approximately $155000 on our home loan and have had our home appraised by three separate agents as it is at $35000 – $36000. Our present home loan is with BankWest at 4.29% variable. The bank has given us this year at an interest only rate, but is unwilling to allow us to refinance because we are on pensions. Is there any financial institution that will either assist us in refinancing or give us a personal loan for $25000? We are wanting to do the renovations preparatory to hopefully putting our house on the market by November/December this year? We have already been turned down by Society One and NAB because our income is only from Centrelink pensions. I am at a loss to know where to turn now and would be very grateful for any assistance that could be provided? One other item to consider is that our VEDA credit scores are in the 700′s and 800′s respectively.
    Thank you, very much
    Shawn

    • Staff
      Belinda | March 10, 2016

      Hi Shawn,

      Thanks for your enquiry.

      Unfortunately it may be difficult for you to refinance your home loan if you don’t have a secondary source of income to supplement your DSP.

      You might be interested to read our page about refinancing while unemployed which provides some useful tips about how you can improve your chance of being approved for a refinance application. You may want to consider requesting a copy of your credit file, clearing your existing debt (e.g. other personal loans or credit cards) and considering niche or non-bank lenders that may have more lenient eligibility criteria.

      We also have an article about how to refinance your home loan to consolidate debt and what to do if your application is rejected.

      On this page, you can learn more about home loans for Centrelink recipients and enquire with a mortgage broker to discuss your options. Be careful about over-applying for different home loans as this can negatively impact your credit file.

      You can compare some personal loans here.

      I wish you all the best.

      Thanks,
      Belinda

  7. Default Gravatar
    brad | September 7, 2015

    hi i have a investment property with a interest only loan but want to move into that property change the the loan as owner/occupy variable to pay the house off quicker i owe $247000 and is value at $310000 also would like to borrow $10000 to do go on a holiday what should i do

    • Staff
      Marc | September 8, 2015

      Hi Brad,
      thanks for the question.

      I would recommend contacting your lender and tell them about your plans to see what options they can offer you. Alternatively, you can compare home loans from new lenders and contact them to refinance.

      I hope this helps,
      Marc.

  8. Default Gravatar
    Moggy | August 29, 2015

    Can a bridging loan be refinanced if a person has no job?

    • Staff
      Marc | August 31, 2015

      Hi Moggy,
      thanks for the question.

      Unfortunately, most lenders will want to see borrowers with a steady income source in order to approve a refinance or any other type of loan.

      I hope this helps,
      Marc.

  9. Default Gravatar
    Choo | July 29, 2015

    We have quite a few investment properties though all mortgaged. We are self employed and have made payments without any problem as rent received is enough to pay expenses. However, recently we tried to increase our loan but came across brick wall after brick wall with the big Banks. Apparently they do not favour anyone over 70 years and 60 years although we have no problems with our payments. This is age discrimination and certainly not caring for existing customers. Are there any lenders out there who will give us a loan?

    • Staff
      Marc | July 30, 2015

      Hi Choo,
      thanks for the question – it can be frustrating to run across these kinds of obstacles when looking for a home loan.

      There are lenders which will consider applications from borrowers of your age, although unfortunately the banks keep this kind of criteria fairly under wraps from the average consumer. For this reason I recommend contacting a mortgage broker, who will have more experience dealing with lenders and will know which one will be appropriate for your age and other circumstances.

      You can find a mortgage broker by looking at our comparison table. Note that most mortgage brokers are free to you, they earn a commission from the lender you choose to go with.

      I hope this helps,
      Marc.

  10. Default Gravatar
    Sullivan | July 28, 2015

    My partner owns land with a mortgage of $400,000.
    WE want to demo the home and build on that land!
    I have $200,000 to use towards our build but will need another $250,000 to complete the home .
    What are our options? Refinance in both names ? Or mortgage the build costs in my name only?
    Can we avoid paying stamp duty again?

    • Staff
      Belinda | July 31, 2015

      Hi Sullivan,

      Thanks for your enquiry.

      finder.com.au is an online comparison and general information provider so we can’t offer advice about your refinancing options.

      You can, however, read more about construction loans on this page and you can compare different fixed rate construction home loans here.

      Additionally, you can read about the process of changing the property ownership and adding your name to the title deeds on this page which discusses stamp duty implications. In some cases, you may not have to pay stamp duty when adding a partner’s name to the property title, but you’ll need to check this with your state office of revenue.

      Thanks,
      Belinda

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