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Choosing a home loan may very well be the biggest financial decision you make in your lifetime. So, it's important to cover all your bases when it comes to finding a good deal. In addition to finding a home loan product with a competitive interest rate, you might consider looking into any special deals that may be on offer.

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What types of home loan deals can I get?

Banks and lenders often promote home loan deals and other special offers for a limited period of time only. This means that the types of home loan deals that may be available to you can vary depending on when you are shopping around. 

Some home loan deals may also stipulate a minimum loan amount, along with other eligibility criteria. So, it's worth checking whether you qualify for the deal before applying for the home loan product.

Some examples of home loan deals that are commonly available include the following:

Cashback deals

Buying a home can be an expensive process, so it may be welcome news that some lenders reward new customers by offering cash back. If a borrower takes out a mortgage with a cashback deal, the lender will deposit a lump sum of money, often a few thousand dollars, straight into their bank account. 

Cashback deals are typically available to borrowers who are looking for a new home loan, including as first home buyers, as well as those looking to refinance with a new lender.

Discounted interest rates

Discounted interest rates are sometimes offered by lenders for a predetermined period of time at the beginning of a new home loan. Often, this special reduced rate will apply for the first 12 months before reverting to a higher standard interest rate.

If you're considering a home loan product with a discounted interest rate offer, it's important to compare its standard interest rate with other products on the market to ensure it will still be competitive once the discount period ends.

Be mindful that, in some cases, the money you might save from a home loan deal may not provide as much value as the long-term savings you’d make by taking out another loan with a lower interest rate or less fees. Consider calculating the costs of different loans, comparing the value of any rewards with the savings you could enjoy, and then making a decision based on what you think may be best for you.

What else to consider when searching for a home loan

While home loan deals can potentially offer value in the way of savings and rewards, there are still plenty of other factors to consider when deciding on a home loan that's right for you.

Interest rates - When comparing home loan interest rates, be sure to compare both advertised rates and different comparison rates. The advertised rate represents the interest rate only, while the comparison rate is the approximate cost of interest plus fees.

Fixed rate vs variable rate - You will need to choose between a fixed rate home loan and a variable rate home loan.  If you choose a home loan with a variable interest rate, your interest rate may increase or decrease throughout your mortgage term. If you choose a home loan with a fixed interest rate, your interest rate will be fixed for a limited time, during which your mortgage repayments will stay the same.

Loan to value ratio (LVR) - Consider the maximum LVR on your preferred home loan product, and how much your deposit is. If your deposit is less than 20% of the property's value, you may be required to pay Lender’s Mortgage Insurance (LMI).

Features - Check what features are available, and whether you might be charged a fee to access them. Some examples include:

  • Additional repayments/extra repayments
  • Redraw facility
  • Offset account

Loan term - The loan term is the length of time you have to pay off your loan. Many home loans have 30 year terms, though some can last for 25 years or less, or run for as long as 45 years. Generally, the longer your loan term, the less interest you’ll pay each month, but the more interest you’ll pay on the loan in total.

Owner occupier vs investment loan - Whether you are looking for a place to call home or buying an investment property, you will need to ensure your preferred home loan is suitable for your purchase.

Fees - Be sure to check what fees are payable, such as:

  • Application fees
  • Extra repayment fees
  • Annual fees
  • Ongoing fees

How to search and compare home loan deals in Australia

RateCity has a number of different tools available to make your home loan search more simple. 

Comparison rate table

Our comparison table allows you to search and compare available home loans, along with any special deals that are currently being offered. You can use the filters to narrow down your search results to the home loans that are better suited to you.

Home loan calculator

Working out what type of loan you need is just one part of the job. You also should work out how much you can borrow, what you'll be charged, and then evaluate the best home loan rate for you using all available information. Our home loan calculator can help you make a better home loan comparison by doing the math for you, and working out how much money you have to buy your home.

It can provide you with an estimate of your potential loan repayments, including the total amount of interest repayments over the life of the loan, and compare how different terms will affect your weekly, fortnightly or monthly repayments.

Real Time Ratings

If you'd like an analysis of home loan products based on how much the loan costs and how flexible it is, you might consider utilising RateCity's Real Time Ratings. Real Time Ratings is a rating system that ranks home loans based on your individual mortgage requirements, giving a score out of five stars, calculated in real time.

It also factors in your loan size, deposit amount and borrowing type so you don’t waste time looking at loans that aren’t applicable to you.

Before submitting a home loan application, consider getting in touch with a mortgage broker or financial advisor for information specific to your personal financial situation.