Offset accounts

What are home loan offset accounts and how do they work?

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An offset account is a bank account attached to your home loan. Every dollar saved in an offset account reduces the amount of interest you're charged. If you had $200,000 left to repay on your mortgage but saved $15,000 in your offset account, your interest charges would be calculated based on $185,000.

You pay less interest and repay the loan faster. Read on to learn more about how offsets work and compare mortgages that offer this useful feature.

Compare home loans with offset accounts

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Virgin Reward Me Variable Home Loan - LVR <= 80% ($500k to $750k Owner Occupier, P&I)
$10 monthly ($120 p.a.)
This flexible, competitive variable rate mortgage comes with a 100% offset account and redraw facility.
Virgin Reward Me Variable Home Loan - LVR <= 80% ($750k+ Owner Occupier, P&I)
$10 monthly ($120 p.a.)
Get this loan with a 20% deposit and access a 100% offset account to save on interest.
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How do offset accounts work?

This diagram explains how Offset accounts workYou can put any savings into an offset account like a normal bank account, but you won't gain any interest. Instead, the money will temporarily reduce (or offset) your loan principal (the amount of money you owe on your home loan).

By offsetting your loan principal you pay less interest. Your monthly repayments won't change but you'll be paying off more principal and less interest.

Putting money into an offset account is like making extra mortgage repayments, except you can withdraw the money and spend it when you need to.

Offset account example

  • Your owe $150,000 on a 30-year mortgage.
  • Your interest rate is 3.00% and your monthly repayments cost $632.
  • Five years into your mortgage put $20,000 in the offset account.
  • Now your lender charges you interest on $130,000.
  • Your monthly repayment is still $632, but you'll repay the loan two and a half years faster.
  • This will save you $19,163 in interest over the life of the loan.

Offset account calculator

Use our calculator below to calculate the time and interest you can save on your mortgage when you put some money into an offset account.

All you need to do is enter your mortgage details, the amount you will put into the offset account and how far into your mortgage you currently are.

What if I spend the money in my offset account?

You can spend the money in your offset account any way you like. It's your money. When you withdraw money from the account your loan principal re-adjusts and you'll pay interest calculated on a higher amount.

But saving money in the offset is still beneficial even if you spend it later. Because your lender calculates your interest charges every day based on the loan principal. Every day you put money in there reduces your interest costs, whether you spend it later or not.

Partial vs 100% offset

Most offset accounts are 100% offsets. Every dollar in the account offsets the loan principal in full.

But some mortgages come with partial offset accounts. With these accounts, you could put $1 in the offset and it would only offset 40% of the dollar. Partial offset accounts are less common and are sometimes found in fixed rate mortgages.

Common questions about offset accounts answered

Do my repayments get smaller with an offset account?

No, your repayments will stay the same with an offset account. What will change is the proportion of the amount of your repayment which goes towards the loan amount and the amount that goes towards interest.

Is a redraw facility the same as an offset account?

No. They can function in a similar way because a redraw facility allows you to pull extra repayments out of your mortgage. The extra repayments lower your interest (same as offset savings) and you can still use the money as required.

But a redraw facility is much less flexible or convenient than an offset account.

Can investors use offset accounts?

They can and there are a variety of strategies they can use. Read more about how investors can use offset accounts.

I heard there's a way to use a credit card and maximise my offset savings?

Yes, there is. Essentially, you do all your spending on your credit card and have your salary paid straight into your offset account. You keep all the money there offsetting your interest. Then, when your credit card repayment is due, pay it all off.

Read more about the credit card with offset saving strategy.

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28 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    KATOctober 12, 2017

    Can your deposit sit in an offset account? For instance if I were to purchase a $650K property using a loan of $400K plus savings of $250k as deposit, could that $250k deposit money sit in an offset account thus reducing the interest chargeable amount to $150k?

    • Default Gravatar
      JonathanOctober 13, 2017

      Hello Kat,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      Unfortunately, it is not as an offset account is a transaction account that can be offered as part of your home loan package and can be withdrawn anytime and not locked in. The initial deposit you have paid for the property is already on the lender’s books.

      If you wish to have an offset account connected to your mortgage, we advice that you speak to your lender of choice or to a mortgage broker to see your options. They can lay down the numbers you need to have a clearer view.

      Hope this helps.


  2. Default Gravatar
    DannySeptember 25, 2017

    Currently I have mortgage that is splitted to a variable and a fixed loan. The variable has an offset account. My question is that what are the benefits of using an offset instead of putting the savings into the variable account.
    Example, I have 20K savings, and -40K in the variable account. If I put 20K into the variable account, the balance is -20K, so the effectively, the interest rate paid is the same as using the offset account.
    Could you please help?

    • Default Gravatar
      DanielleSeptember 25, 2017

      Hi Danny,

      Thank you for contacting finder. We are a comparison website and general information service, we’re more than happy to offer general advice.

      Offset accounts are commonly associated with variable rate home loans, but the competitive nature of the home loan market means this feature is available with some fixed rate home loans. These home loans can provide the stability of a fixed interest rate and reduce the amount of interest you pay at the same time. While this repayment method is suitable for borrowers who have just entered the market, such as first home buyers, using this home loan as a hedging strategy may not be as effective. Variable interest rates fluctuate according to economic conditions and unless you’re an economic expert, predicting when interest rates fall or rise is no easy task. Either way you’ll still have the benefit of the offset account to reduce your principal. Now, offset accounts are considered to be deposit products. Therefore, they are considered investment accounts. In order to determine whether an offset account is better for you or not, you should not take any information provided within this article as financial advice. Rather, you should discuss your situation with a licensed financial advisor and work out whether an offset account might be right for your own personal financial situation or not.

      I hope this helps.


  3. Default Gravatar
    DiApril 28, 2017

    What happens if you have more money into your offset account than you have owing on your mortgage?

    Is there an upper limit to the amount of money you can have in an offset account?

    • Default Gravatar
      LiezlApril 28, 2017

      Hi Di,

      Thank you for your question.

      If your offset account balance is bigger than your outstanding mortgage, your loan payments will be applied fully to the principal. This is because your mortgage will not accrue interest at this point. Kindly note that the balance of this offset account doesn’t earn interest.

      As for the balance limit, it would be best to check this with the bank or lender as they might have set a maximum limit.

      I hope this has helped.

      Best regards,

  4. Default Gravatar
    RajJanuary 9, 2017

    If you are on interest only loan and have 100% offset attached. how the repayments would be affected. As an example you have a loan of $400,000 for years @ 4% with repayment of 1333.33. if you have another 20,000. How the repayments would work. From the above example, repayments don`t change, then how the 20K offset balance help?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      MayJanuary 12, 2017Staff

      Hi Raj,

      Thank you for your question and for contacting we are a financial comparison website and general information service we are not mortgage specialists so can only offer general advice.

      Usually, with the interest-only offset, the balance in your offset savings account is offset against the amount owing on your home loan. For instance, you owed $400,000 on your mortgage and at the same time you had a $20,000 balance in your linked offset savings account, you would only be required to pay interest on an amount of $380,000.

      You can find more information on this interest-only offset account home loan on this page.

      Hope this has answered your question.


  5. Default Gravatar
    SteveJuly 14, 2015

    How does a visa card off set account work.

    • Default Gravatar
      JodieJuly 14, 2015

      Hi Steve,

      Thank you for your comment on, a financial comparison website.

      The Visa debit-card is simply the type of card you may be able to attach to your offset account to allow you access to the funds you have put in there if you need it, it would still function as your typical offset account in terms of any funds you have deposited in this account working to help save you interest on your home loan.


  6. Default Gravatar
    ChrisJune 23, 2015

    Whats the difference between leaving money in an Offset Account and just paying off the loan with that money?
    I appreciate the Offset money is readily available and can be used like a transaction account, but is there a difference in interest saved or time saved in paying off the loan?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      BelindaJune 24, 2015Staff

      Hi Chris,

      Thanks for your enquiry.

      An offset account reduces the overall interest payable against your outstanding loan balance as it effectively ‘offsets’ the amount of interest you pay on your mortgage.

      For instance, if you have a 100% offset account and have $10 000 in savings in the account and your mortgage balance is $300 000, your interest charges will be calculated on the balance of $290 000.

      There are many benefits to keeping funds in your offset account rather than your home loan, such as the fact that accessing money through a redraw can come with minimum redraw amounts and fees which could make an offset more attractive than making additional repayments on your mortgage.

      On this page, you can use our home loan offset calculator to estimate how much an offset account could reduce your interest payable and how it reduce the time taken to repay your loan.


  7. Default Gravatar
    GaryFebruary 13, 2015

    I would like to know who can check my bank loan interest

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      MarcFebruary 16, 2015Staff

      Hi Gary,
      thanks for the question.

      You can check how much interest you’re paying on your home loan by looking at your most recent bank statement. Alternatively, you can also call your lender to see what your current rate is.

      I hope this helps,

  8. Default Gravatar
    Irons78December 2, 2014


    My PPOR has now turned into an IP ? I have a fixed loan of approx $170k and a variable loan (VL) of approx $135K. I currently have approx $70k in savings. I also have an offset a/c to use if necessary.

    I’m unsure whether to continue using my existing savings in the offset a/c (currently 4.85%) and pay off the loan (I currently have the capacity to pay $3k per month in addition to my mortgage repayments) but I believe as a result of this method, it will reduce the loan interest and each year my income tax will potentially increase. I believe my other option is to use my existing savings and put them in a high interest savings acct (currently 4.02%) and deposit my additional monthly savings there, thereby the loan interest remains as high as possible for a better tax deduction and I will also pay minimal income tax on the savings earned.

  9. Default Gravatar
    RobynSeptember 15, 2013

    Can withdrawals be made from an offset mortgage account or is it locked in for a period of time or notice needs to be given etc.?


    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      MarcSeptember 16, 2013Staff

      Hello Robyn,
      thanks for the question!

      Most offset accounts function like a transaction account, meaning you get a linked debit card which you can use to make withdrawals or payments at any time.

      I hope this helps,

  10. Default Gravatar
    MiroJuly 30, 2013

    I don’t have an offset account for my loan, but all money I have sitting on the loan. Are those available funds are doing a same job in offsetting the interest on the loan or there is a difference?
    What is better?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      ShirleyJuly 31, 2013Staff

      Hi Miro,

      Thanks for your comment.

      Since you don’t have an offset account with your home loan the money in your loan won’t be offsetting the interest on the loan.

      To determine whether an offset account is right for you, please see this page.

      Hope this helps,

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