When is the best time to refinance my mortgage?

Refinancing your home loan can lead to significant cost savings, but there are some key factors to consider before deciding whether it's the right time to make a move.

refinance your home loanIf you're thinking of refinancing, time is of the essence.

Refinancing your mortgage is not only an opportunity to reduce your periodic repayments, it also provides an avenue to access equity or restructure your mortgage so it better suits your lifestyle.

Whether you've found a better interest rate, your mortgage no longer satisfies your needs or you've experienced a major lifestyle change, many Australians are refinancing to take advantage of money-saving features in the competitive home loan market-- but when is the right time to make the change?

There is no 'one size fits all' in terms of the recommended time that you should refinance.

Rather, you should assess your personal and financial situation to see if there are any signs that suggest that it may be a good time to refinance (don't worry, we'll point you in the right direction).

Generally, you should conduct a financial health check at least once a year to see if your home loan is meeting your needs. Switching to a home loan that is even 0.5% lower than your current rate could save you thousands over the course of your loan.

If you're opting for a better interest rate, consider negotiating with your current lender as most banks are willing to offer customers a rate discount in order to retain your business.

Here's some general advice about how you can decide when to refinance your home loan.


When is the right time to refinance?

Deciding the right time to refinance your home loan will depend on your personal and financial situation, such as your job security and earning potential, among other factors. Speak with an experienced mortgage broker, accountant or financial adviser to help you decipher the best time to refinance.

Generally, the following may suggest that it is a good time to refinance:

  • Non-competitive interest rate. When you're lender's interest rate is no longer competitive. Use our home loan comparison tables to compare different rates available on the market so you can lower your monthly repayments and interest charges.
  • Interest rate rise. If you believe that the Reserve Bank or your lender will raise interest rates in the near future it may be a good time to scout for a competitive loan that offers a lower rate and other money-saving features such as a free redraw facility or an offset account. Please note that your refinancing decision should not be based on interest rate predictions alone as interest rates fluctuate regularly and are subject to a range of economic conditions.
  • Job security. Most lenders prefer borrowers to have been in the same job for the past 12 months as this indicates a reliable and steady income source. If this is the case, you may be in a stronger position to refinance as you will be considered a low-risk borrower (given that you meet all other eligibility requirements).
  • Consolidate debt. If you're finding it difficult to meet your debt payments, you may want to consolidate your personal debts into your mortgage so that you have one manageable repayment, instead of several. If structured correctly, consolidating your debts into your home loan can be an effective way to minimise your repayments if you make an effort to repay the loan as soon as possible.

Learn more about the refinancing process to decide whether this is the best solution for you.


According to Dominique Bergel Grant, founder of Leapfrog Finance, there are certain factors that may impact you directly when it comes to deciding the right time to refinance.

Dominique Bergel Grant

  • Founder of Leapfrog Finance
  • Financial Adviser and Mortgage Broker
  • Has worked in the financial services industry since 1999 and strives to provide her clients financial security and success

Factors that impact you directly

  • Income change. If you have a loss of income or you're faced with unexpected expenses, these factors may inhibit your borrowing capacity and your serviceability potential. As a result, you may not feel confident refinancing your mortgage during this time of uncertainty.
  • Lifestyle change.If you anticipate a significant lifestyle change, such as if you're planning a renovation or thinking of starting a family, some features of your existing mortgage may not be useful anymore and you may prioritise new features instead such as an offset account or a redraw facility. For instance, you may want to switch to a split-rate loan to take advantage of a low variable rate while still maintaining the security of a fixed rate as this will offer greater financial security for your renovation project or for the future of your family.

It's not all about the interest rate

While some borrowers refinance to lower their repayments by finding a better interest rate, Bergel Grant says that when it comes to refinancing your mortgage, it's important to ensure that you're getting the right features. She points out that you should check that you're not paying for features that you don't use.

'Mortgages with more features can seem to cost a bit more in fees and interest, however in the long run they have benefits than can save you thousands.' Dominique Bergel Grant, founder of Leapfrog Finance


The cost of refinancing

The cost of refinancing your home loan will influence your decision about whether or not now is the right time for you to switch lenders. You'll need to account for discharge fees ($150 - $350) charged by your current lender as well as any upfront application fees charged by the new lender.

Use our switching cost calculator to estimate your total refinancing costs. Remember to consult your accountant or financial planner to assist you with these calculations.

Refinancing can be a smart move if you take the time to research your options and weigh up the benefits and risks involved. Speak with experienced professionals such as a mortgage broker and a financial planner to help you decide on the timing of your refinance application.

Compare and switch to one of these mortgage offers

Rates last updated February 19th, 2019
$
% 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
3.59%
3.59%
$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.
3.59%
3.61%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
Get a low interest rate loan with no ongoing fees. Plus you can make extra repayments and free redraw online. Available with just a 10% deposit.
3.64%
3.66%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
A simple mortgage with a competitive interest rate and no application or monthly fees. Borrow up to $2000000 from a convenient online lender.
3.49%
3.64%
$0
$10 monthly ($120 p.a.)
70%
A very low variable interest rate for home buyers with a 30% deposit. This product has a 100% offset account.
3.57%
3.58%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Get a very low interest rate and avoid big fees. Apply online for full approval in under 30 minutes and add a 100% offset account for $10 a month.
3.70%
3.70%
$0
$0 p.a.
70%
A low interest rate home loan with no application or ongoing fees.
3.59%
3.62%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
A low, variable rate mortgage for home buyers wishing to consolidate existing debts. Refinancers can get up to $1,000 on settlement to help with switching costs.
3.69%
3.72%
$445
$0 p.a.
90%
NSW and ACT customers only. Get a special discount for a limited time when you open an IMB Transaction Account.
3.54%
3.58%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Refinancers can get a competitive rate, save on fees and access a 100% offset account plus redraw facility. $700 refinance cashback offer.
3.81%
3.81%
$0
$0 p.a.
70%
A simple mortgage with no application or ongoing fees that has extra repayments plus split and redraw options. Requires a 30% deposit.
3.70%
3.90%
$0
$0 p.a.
70%
Enjoy all the benefits of the Basic Home Loan and take advantage of an offset account.
3.59%
3.62%
$500
$0 p.a.
95%
This mortgage combines a very sharp interest rate with a 100% offset account and it's available with a 5% deposit.
3.97%
3.99%
$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.
3.54%
3.69%
$0
$10 monthly ($120 p.a.)
80%
A competitive variable rate for home buyers with a 20% deposit. This product has a 100% offset account.
3.49%
4.58%
$0
$395 p.a.
90%
Loans over $150000 get a discount off an already low fixed rate. Available for NSW, QLD and ACT residents only.
3.69%
3.85%
$0
$10 monthly ($120 p.a.)
70%
A low fixed rate mortgage for borrowers with a 30% deposit. Comes with a 100% offset account.
3.58%
3.60%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
This loan offers a competitive variable rate and a 100% offset account to help save you on interest repayments.
3.73%
3.87%
$0
$10 monthly ($120 p.a.)
80%
Earn Velocity Frequent Flyer Points with this mortgage to spend on flights and more (for a limited time, subject to eligibility requirements). Redraw facility available on this variable rate home loan. Competitive interest rate.
3.74%
4.49%
$445
$6 monthly ($72 p.a.)
90%
NSW and ACT customers only. 3 years fixed interest terms and free access to redraw facility online.
3.74%
4.01%
$395
$0 p.a.
80%
A competitive 3 year fixed rate with no ongoing bank fees.
3.86%
3.86%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Low fee loan with extra repayments. Pay no application and ongoing fees and take advantage of split and redraw options.
3.79%
3.79%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Access an offset account and pay no application or ongoing fees on this special variable rate for owner-occupiers.
3.59%
3.63%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
Get a low variable interest rate and buy a property with just a 10% deposit. 100% offset account attached.
3.89%
4.27%
$0
$395 p.a.
80%
New borrowers or refinancers can get a discounted rate with this package loan.
3.82%
3.93%
$0
$10 monthly ($120 p.a.)
90%
Get Velocity Frequent Flyer Points at settlement, monthly and every three years, plus the option to make up to $10,000 a year in extra repayments.
3.68%
3.70%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
A competitive variable rate mortgage for owner occupiers that comes with a no fee debit card with a $5,000 limit.
3.87%
4.30%
$0
$395 p.a.
80%
Unlock a range of savings with this competitive package home loan offer. Offset account and redraw facility included.
3.74%
4.13%
$0
$349 p.a.
90%
Get a sharp rate plus package discounts and a 100% offset account.
3.70%
3.70%
$0
$0 p.a.
70%
Get a discount for keeping your LVR at $70% or below with this innovative online lender.
3.69%
3.83%
$0
$10 monthly ($120 p.a.)
80%
Earn Velocity Frequent Flyer Points on your mortgage (subject to eligibility requirements). Plus, access a 100% offset account to save on interest.
3.81%
4.06%
$0
$248 p.a.
70%
Borrowers with a 30% deposit can get this competitive rate. Cut down on interest costs with a 100% offset account.
3.84%
3.84%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Pay no application or ongoing fees and get access to a free redraw facility with this innovative online lender.
3.72%
3.74%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Save on interest by taking advantage of a 100% offset account along with no ongoing fees or application fees.
4.13%
4.14%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
Access a fee-free offset account and a special interest rate for investors.
3.59%
4.14%
$395
$0 p.a.
80%
A one year fixed rate offer with no ongoing bank fees.
3.69%
4.08%
$0
$349 p.a.
90%
Package your loan with other AMP products and save on rates and fees.
3.74%
3.74%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Pay no application or ongoing fees and get access to a redraw facility and flexible repayment schedule.
3.83%
3.84%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
A low-fee line of credit loan from an online lender. Unlock the equity in your home and make interest-only repayments with a competitive rate.
3.74%
4.56%
$0
$395 p.a.
90%
A fixed rate loan with a 100% offset account and the option to make additional repayments. Loans over $150000 receive a discounted rate. NSW, QLD and ACT residents only.
3.99%
4.92%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Access a fee-free 100% offset account and pay no application or ongoing fees.
4.19%
4.64%
$395
$0 p.a.
80%
Investors can enjoy flexible repayments and an easy application process with this pioneering online lender.
3.94%
4.95%
$595
$0 p.a.
95%
Borrow up to 95% LVR of the value of the property you're buying and pay no application or ongoing fees.
4.48%
4.24%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Fix your rate and minimise repayments for 2 years with this interest-only investor mortgage.
4.14%
4.87%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Pay no application fees and access a fee-free redraw facility with this fixed rate loan.
4.14%
3.94%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Pay no application or ongoing fee and borrow up to 80% LVR.

Compare up to 4 providers

Aussie Home Loans Logo

Enter your details below to receive an obligation-free quote from an Aussie home loans expert today

By submitting this form, you agree to the Finder Privacy and Cookies Policy and Terms of Use

Applications are subject to approval. Conditions, fees and charges apply. Please note that you need to be an Australian citizen or permanent resident to apply.

Credit services for Aussie Select, Aussie IQ and Aussie Optimizer products are provided by AHL Investments Pty Ltd ACN 105 265 861 Australian Credit Licence 246786 ("Aussie"), and its appointed credit representatives. 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 Optimizer products is provided by Perpetual Limited ABN 86 000 431 827 (Lender). Credit for Aussie IQ is provided by Macquarie Bank Limited ABN 46 008 583 542 AFSL and Australian Credit Licence 237502. Home loans issued by the Lender are serviced by Macquarie Securitisation Limited ABN 16 003 297 336, Australian Credit Licence 237863 (MSL).

Aussie is a trade mark of AHL Investments Pty Ltd. Aussie is a subsidiary of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124. ©2018 AHL Investments Pty Ltd ABN 27 105 265 861 Australian Credit Licence 246786.

By submitting this form, you agree to the finder.com.au Privacy and Cookies Policy, Terms of Use, Disclaimer & Privacy Policy and the Aussie privacy policy.

Aussie Home Loans is both a lender and a mortgage broker, and offers a range of services.

  • FREE Suburb and Property Report with every appointment.
  • Access 3,000+ loans from over 20 lenders.
  • Get expert help with your loan application, including paperwork and eligibility.
  • Over 1000 brokers who are able to help you in your local area.

Aussie Home Loans Lender Logos

The Adviser’s number 1 placed mortgage broker 5 years running (2013-2017)

Marc Terrano

Marc Terrano is a Lead Publisher at finder. He's been writing and publishing personal finance content for over five years and loves to help Australians get a better deal.

Was this content helpful to you? No  Yes

Related Posts

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms of Use, Disclaimer & Privacy Policy and Privacy & Cookies Policy.
Ask a question
Go to site