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Should I refinance my home loan now?

Should you refinance your home loan now that interest rates are so low? The answer is probably yes, but here's what you need to know.

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We’re committed to our readers and editorial independence. We don’t compare all products in the market and may receive compensation when we refer you to our partners, but this does not influence our opinions or reviews. Learn more about Finder .

Is now a good time to refinance your home loan? Well, for most borrowers it probably is. Interest rates have never been lower, and that could be the case for quite a while thanks to the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

But every borrower needs to look at their situation and make a choice that's right for them. Ask yourself the following questions before refinancing:

  • How low is your current interest rate? Compare and see if you could be getting a better deal.
  • Are you on a fixed rate? Do you want to fix?
  • Do you own at least 20% of your property? If your equity is less than 20%, refinancing might be expensive.

Refinancing can seem confusing but it's really just a case of working out what your options are, finding a better deal and then applying for the new loan. To make it easier for you we've outlined the most common borrower scenarios below and given you some tips to make a better decision.

My interest rate is too high

This is the most straightforward case. If your interest rate is high, then switching to a better deal will save you a lot of money. Here's a quick example:

  • Your current loan amount: $350,000
  • Current interest rate: 3.45%
  • Current monthly repayment: $1,561
  • New interest rate: 2.59%
  • New monthly repayment: $1,399

In this example, refinancing would save you $162 a month or $1,944 a year.

Compare rates and learn how to refinance

I want an offset account

Offset accounts are one of the most useful features on a mortgage. They allow you to save and spend money like an ordinary transaction account, but every dollar that sits in the account offsets your loan principal.

In other words, it makes your loan amount smaller and therefore means you pay less interest. Your monthly repayments usually stay the same, but you pay less interest and therefore repay the loan faster.

Offset account savings calculation

  • You have a $400,000 home loan and it's your second year (30-year loan term)
  • Your interest rate is 3.00%
  • You have $15,000 in savings, which you add to the offset account
  • Savings: You will pay $18,887 less in interest and finish your loan in 29 years and 1 month

If your current home loan lacks an offset account and you have some extra cash, refinancing to one that has an account could save you a lot in interest.

Learn more about offset accounts

I want to lock in a low rate and forget about it

Fixed rates are very, very low right now. In many cases, they're even lower than variable rates (but this could change).

Now variable rates could drop further, of course. But if you find a great fixed rate deal and want to lock it in and not worry about looking at your repayments for a while, refinancing is not a bad idea.

Just be aware that once you fix, you're locked in. You can't take advantage of low variable rates until the fixed period ends. Well, you can, but there are break costs involved.

I'm currently on a fixed rate loan and want to break it

Let's say you're stuck on an older fixed rate loan that's now very high compared to better options on the market. You can refinance to a new, lower rate, but you need to check what the costs of breaking your fixed rate loan are first.

If these costs are high then they might outweigh the benefits of refinancing to a cheaper loan. Here's a quick example:

You have a three-year fixed rate loan with an interest rate of 4.12%. Your loan amount is $400,000. You are two years into your fixed rate and you want to switch to a 2.80% variable rate loan.

Switching would save you $294 a month, or $3,528 a year. However, you ask your current lender to calculate your breaking costs and they estimate it will cost you $4,800 (this varies due to many factors and this is just a hypothetical example).

This means that you'll end up paying $1,272 more just to break your loan. If you wait until your fixed period ends (or gets shorter) you could incur a smaller cost and get a bigger saving.

Learn how fixed rate breaking costs are calculated

I want to access some extra cash

A lot of people refinance a home loan so that they can borrow a bit more money. They can use the money for investments, to fund a home renovation or to buy a car. With rates being so low, refinancing to a cheaper rate and borrowing a little more can be quite cost-effective. It will probably cost you less than taking out a separate car loan, for example.

And if you don't want to go through an entire refinance, you could also consider asking your current lender for a home loan top-up. This allows you to borrow a little more from your equity with your current lender and make your home loan slightly bigger.

I don't have much equity

Think carefully about refinancing if you don't own more than 20% of your property's current value. In other words, if you bought the property with a small deposit (say, 10%) and haven't been repaying the loan for long, refinancing could be expensive.

You probably already paid lenders mortgage insurance on your initial loan. If your equity is still below 20% then you may have to pay it again. That could cost you thousands.

And if property prices have fallen recently, your property could be worth less, making this even worse. Read our guide on refinancing in negative equity to learn more.

I'm struggling with mortgage repayments

It's very hard to refinance if you're in financial distress. This is because you need to apply for a new home loan with a new lender. The lender will examine your finances and your spending. If you've lost income or your debts have risen significantly, you might have your application rejected.

If you're in this situation, you're better off focusing on getting your debt, income and spending under control.

Still not sure if you should refinance? Talk to a mortgage broker

If you need some expert guidance on the refinancing question, especially if you're in a unique financial situation (or just a bit confused) then you can talk to a mortgage broker.

Chatting to a broker is free and they can guide you through the complexities of refinancing.

Get in touch with a qualified mortgage broker


Switch to a more competitive rate today

Data indicated here is updated regularly
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% p.a.
Offset account
Split 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 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 $4,000 cashback (Other terms, conditions and exclusions apply).
Westpac Flexi First Option Home Loan - Basic Variable Rate (Owner Occupier, P&I)
2.29%
2.72%
$0
$8 monthly ($96 p.a.)
95%
Up to $3,000 refinance cashback.
A flexible and competitive variable rate loan. Eligible borrowers refinancing $250,000 or more can get $2,000 cashback per property plus a bonus $1,000 for their first application. Other conditions 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.
homeloans.com.au Low Rate Home Loan with Offset - LVR Under 60% (Owner Occupier, P&I)
2.29%
2.31%
$0
$0 p.a.
60%
A competitive rate with no application or ongoing fee. This loan is not available for construction.
Athena Celebrate Home Loan - 60% LVR  Owner Occupier, P&I
2.34%
2.34%
$0
$0 p.a.
60%
Owner occupiers with 40% deposits or equity can get this competitive variable rate loan. No upfront or ongoing fees.
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% (<$500k Owner Occupier, P&I)
2.64%
2.81%
$300
$10 monthly ($120 p.a.)
60%
$3,000 refinance cashback.
A variable rate loan for owner occupiers with a 40% deposit (or equity) borrowing under $500,000. Get a $3,000 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 29 November 2020 and settle by 28 February 2021.
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.
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.
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.
Westpac Fixed Options Home Loan Premier Advantage Package - 2 Year (Owner Occupier, P&I)
2.29%
3.53%
$0
$395 p.a.
95%
Up to $3,000 refinance cashback.
Competitive fixed rate loan available with a 5% deposit. Eligible borrowers refinancing $250,000 or more can get up to $3,000 cashback. Other conditions apply.
homeloans.com.au Low Rate Home Loan with Offset - LVR 60% to 80% (Owner Occupier, P&I)
2.39%
2.41%
$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.
Macquarie Bank Basic Home Loan - LVR ≤ 60% (Owner Occupier, P&I)
2.49%
2.49%
$0
$0 p.a.
60%
A competitive variable rate home loan for owner-occupiers. Requires a 40% deposit.
Virgin Money Reward Me Variable Home Loan - LVR ≤ 60% ($750k+ Owner Occupier, P&I)
2.55%
2.72%
$300
$10 monthly ($120 p.a.)
60%
$3,000 refinance cashback.
Buy your home and lock in a low rate for the first two years. Get a $3,000 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 29 November 2020 and settle by 28 February 2021.
Athena Evaporate Home Loan - 60% to 70% LVR  Owner Occupier, P&I
2.39%
2.36%
$0
$0 p.a.
70%
A low variable rate for owner occupiers with 30% deposits. No upfront or ongoing fees.
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
2.44%
2.38%
$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.
Hunter United Fixed Home Loan - 2 Year Fixed (Owner Occupier, P&I)
2.19%
2.71%
$350
$0 p.a.
90%
Lock in a competitive rate for two years. Available with a 10% deposit.
Virgin Money Reward Me Fixed Rate Home Loan - 2 Year $300k+ Special offer (Owner Occupier, P&I)
2.29%
2.87%
$300
$10 monthly ($120 p.a.)
80%
$3,000 refinance cashback.
Buy your home and lock in a low rate for the first two years. Get a $3,000 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 29 November 2020 and settle by 28 February 2021.
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.
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.
Sydney Mutual Bank Special Fixed Home Loan - 3 Year (Owner Occupier, P&I)
2.28%
2.86%
$250
$0 p.a.
95%
A competitive fixed rate loan for home buyers. Available with a 5% deposit.
Macquarie Bank Basic Home Loan - LVR ≤ 80% (Owner Occupier, P&I)
2.64%
2.64%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Pay no application and ongoing fees and take advantage of split and redraw options.
Endeavour Mutual Bank Special Fixed Home Loan - 3 Year (Owner Occupier, P&I)
2.28%
2.86%
$250
$0 p.a.
95%
A competitive 3 year fixed rate loan for home buyers. Available with a 5% deposit.
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 $4,000 cashback (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.
Macquarie Bank Basic Home Loan - LVR ≤ 90% (Owner Occupier, P&I)
3.04%
3.04%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
Borrow up to $750K with an LVR ≤ 90% and pay no application 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.
Heritage Bank Fixed Rate Home Loan - 2 Year Fixed Rate (Owner Occupier, P&I) New Customers Only
2.59%
4.30%
$600
$8 monthly ($96 p.a.)
95%
Get a partial offset account and the option to make interest-only repayments.
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.
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 a $4,000 cashback (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.
Heritage Bank Discount Variable Home Loan - LVR ≤ 80% (Owner Occupier, P&I) New Customers Only
2.78%
2.83%
$600
$0 p.a.
80%
Family guarantee option available. Enjoy flexible repayments and a low minimum loan amount.
CUA Achieve Variable Home Loan - $500k+ (Owner Occupier, P&I)
2.55%
2.60%
$600
$0 p.a.
95%
Home buyers can get a competitive, low-fee variable rate plus a 100% offset account. Low deposit option available. Eligible new home buyers with low deposits can apply for the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme with this lender and avoid LMI costs. Eligible refinancers can get a $2,000 pre-paid credit card when they switch to CUA.
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.
Heritage Bank Advantage Package - 1 Year Fixed (Owner Occupier, P&I) New Customers Only
2.59%
3.34%
$0
$350 p.a.
95%
Get a partial offset account and flexible repayments with this package 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 (Owner Occupier, IO)
2.29%
2.47%
$395
$0 p.a.
80%
A one year fixed rate offer with no ongoing bank fees.
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
2.99%
2.59%
$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.
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.
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.
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.
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Credit services for Aussie Select, Aussie Activate and Aussie Elevate products are provided by AHL Investments Pty Ltd ACN 105 265 861 (“Aussie”) and its appointed credit representatives, Australian Credit Licence 246786. Credit for Aussie Select products is provided by Residential Mortgage Group Pty Ltd ACN 152 378 133, Australian Credit Licence 414133 (“RMG”). RMG is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124 AFSL and Australian Credit Licence 234945. Credit for Aussie Activate products is provided by Pepper Finance Corporation Limited ACN 094 317 647 (“Pepper”). Pepper Group Limited ACN 094 317 665, Australian Credit Licence 286655 acts on behalf of Pepper. Credit services for Aussie Elevate products are provided by AHL Investments Pty Ltd ACN 105 265 861 Australian Credit Licence 246786 (“Aussie”) and its appointed credit representatives. Aussie is a trade mark of AHL Investments Pty Ltd ABN 27 105 265 861. Credit and any applicable offset accounts for Aussie Elevate are issued by Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Limited ABN 11 068 049 178 AFSL / Australian Credit Licence 237879.

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