Cut your home loan debt with extra repayments

Cut your home loan debt with extra repayments

Conquering your debt is no easy feat and when you sign up for a home loan, it can feel like you will never get to the end of those home loan repayments. However, if you can tighten those purse strings and find a little extra to put into your repayments you could save a huge amount of money and cut years off your loan.

Making extra home loan repayments

Making extra repayments on your home loan may be far from top of mind when you’ve just taken on one of the biggest financial commitments in your lifetime. But adding just a few dollars extra per week can make a significant difference in the long run.

The natural reluctance to make extra repayments comes from wanting to spend more and live comfortably now, rather than later. We’re all too aware of the next car, iPhone, or holiday we want, while the savings we make from making extra repayments towards our home loan are hard to imagine.

Does this mean that Australians who do make regular extra repayments understand the fiscal benefits, and are disciplined enough to not spend the extra cash when they have it, aren’t as fun? In the end, they’ll be the ones enjoying more spending power, bigger meals, and earlier retirements down the track.

How much can you really save?

Through the wonders of compound interest, every extra dollar you send towards your home loan now will save you much more down the track (assuming that inflation is stable).

On a $300,000 mortgage at 7 percent over 25 years, you can expect monthly repayments of around $2200, and a total of $636,000 worth of principal and interest to repay over the quarter century.

However, by culling some luxury expenses here and there to pay an additional $200 a month – or just $6 per day – you could save more than $76,000 over the life of the loan and be mortgage-free almost 5 years sooner.

How do I make repayments?

Most financial institutions will have an efficient system for allowing you to choose how much your extra repayments will be. However, extra repayments are not a feature in every home loan, so make sure to discuss this during your application.

Extra repayments can also be regular (weekly, fortnightly, monthly), or come as a lump sum. The latter means that you simply pay once, and is often used when the borrower has some unexpected extra cash – for example a salary bonus.

If you have some extra cash consider putting it towards your home loan repayments. You will get your home loan debt paid off sooner and while your pockets will be lighter now, they should fill up with plenty of extra savings in the long run. 

Use the RateCity home loan repayment calculator to see how much extra you could pay off your home loan and what this could save you in the long run.

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Learn more about home loans

How can I pay off my home loan faster?

The quickest way to pay off your home loan is to make regular extra contributions in addition to your monthly repayments to pay down the principal as fast as possible. This in turn reduces the amount of interest paid overall and shortens the length of the loan.

Another option may be to increase the frequency of your payments to fortnightly or weekly, rather than monthly, which may then reduce the amount of interest you are charged, depending on how your lender calculates repayments.

How much are repayments on a $250K mortgage?

The exact repayment amount for a $250,000 mortgage will be determined by several factors including your deposit size, interest rate and the type of loan. It is best to use a mortgage calculator to determine your actual repayment size.

For example, the monthly repayments on a $250,000 loan with a 5 per cent interest rate over 30 years will be $1342. For a loan of $300,000 on the same rate and loan term, the monthly repayments will be $1610 and for a $500,000 loan, the monthly repayments will be $2684.

What is a fixed home loan?

A fixed rate home loan is a loan where the interest rate is set for a certain amount of time, usually between one and 15 years. The advantage of a fixed rate is that you know exactly how much your repayments will be for the duration of the fixed term. There are some disadvantages to fixing that you need to be aware of. Some products won’t let you make extra repayments, or offer tools such as an offset account to help you reduce your interest, while others will charge a significant break fee if you decide to terminate the loan before the fixed period finishes.

Interest Rate

Your current home loan interest rate. To accurately calculate how much you could save, an accurate interest figure is required. If you are not certain, check your bank statement or log into your mortgage account.

What is the flexibility score?

Today’s home loans often try to lure borrowers with a range of flexible features, including offset accounts, redraw facilities, repayment frequency options, repayment holidays, split loan options and portability. Real Time Ratings™ weights each of these features based on popularity and gives loans a ‘flexibility score’ based on how much they cater to borrowers’ needs over time. The aim is to give a higher score to loans which give borrowers more features and options.

Mortgage Calculator, Property Value

An estimate of how much your desired property is worth. 

What factors does Real Time Ratings consider?

Real Time RatingsTM uses a range of information to provide personalised results:

  • Your loan amount
  • Your borrowing status (whether you are an owner-occupier or an investor)
  • Your loan-to-value ratio (LVR)
  • Your personal preferences (such as whether you want an offset account or to be able to make extra repayments)
  • Product information (such as a loan’s interest rate, fees and LVR requirements)
  • Market changes (such as when new loans come on to the market)

Mortgage Calculator, Loan Results

These are the loans that may be suitable, based on your pre-selected criteria. 

What is the ratings scale?

The ratings are between 0 and 5, shown to one decimal point, with 5.0 as the best. The ratings should be used as an easy guide rather than the only thing you consider. For example, a product with a rating of 4.7 may or may not be better suited to your needs than one with a rating of 4.5, but both are probably much better than one with a rating of 1.2.

Why should you trust Real Time Ratings?

Real Time Ratings™ was conceived by a team of data experts who have been analysing trends and behaviour in the home loan market for more than a decade. It was designed purely to meet the evolving needs of home loan customers who wish to merge low cost with flexible features quickly. We believe it fills a glaring gap in the market by frequently re-rating loan products based on the changes lenders make daily.

Real Time Ratings™ is a new idea and will change over time to match the frequently-evolving demands of the market. Some things won’t change though – it will always rate all relevent products in our database and will not be influenced by advertising.

If you have any feedback about Real Time Ratings™, please get in touch.

What do mortgage brokers do?

Mortgage brokers are finance professionals who help borrowers organise home loans with lenders. As such, they act as middlemen between borrowers and lenders.

While bank staff recommend home loan products only from their own employer, brokers are independent, so they can recommend products from a range of institutions.

Brokers need to be accredited with a particular lender to be able to work with that lender. A typical broker will be accredited with anywhere from 10 to 30 lenders – the big four banks, as well as a range of smaller banks, credit unions and non-bank lenders.

As a general rule, brokers don’t charge consumers for their services; instead, they receive commissions from lenders whenever they place a borrower with that institution.

How often is your data updated?

We work closely with lenders to get updates as quick as possible, with updates made the same day wherever possible.

What does going guarantor' mean?

Going guarantor means a person offers up the equity in their home as security for your loan. This is a serious commitment which can have major repercussions if the person is not able to make their repayments and defaults on their loan. In this scenario, the bank will legally be able to the guarantor until the debt is settled.

Not everyone can be a guarantor. Lenders will generally only allow immediate family members to act as a guarantor but this can sometimes be stretched to include extended family depending on the circumstances.

What is the amortisation period?

Popularly known as the loan term, the amortisation period is the time over which the borrower must pay back both the loan’s principal and interest. It is usually determined during the application approval process.