Does refinancing your home loan really save you money?

Does refinancing your home loan really save you money?

May 29, 2011

Does refinancing your home loan really save you money? According a 2010 Mortgage Choice survey, the answer is yes.

If you’re thinking of mortgage refinancing but aren’t quite sure if it’s worth it, it may be helpful to consider the results of the survey, which asked 1208 respondents about their refinancing experience:

  • 68 percent said their interest rate decreased
  • 23 percent were saving $300 or more per month on their repayments
  • 88 percent were paying $50 less per month
  • Main reason for refinancing: to get a better deal – 24 percent; debt consolidation – 11 percent
  • 42 percent reduced their interest rate by one percentage point or more
  • 46 percent avoided paying exit fees when they refinanced
  • 22 percent paid up to $500 in exit fees, 10 percent paid $500-$1000 and 5 percent paid over $5000
  • 54 percent changed both lender and loan product (78 percent in this group reported a cheaper interest rate upon doing so)
  • 46 percent changed loan product only (56 percent achieved a lower interest rate)
  • 83 percent refinanced with a bank, eight percent with a non-bank, and six percent with a credit union
  • 32 percent of men surveyed regretted not refinancing sooner
  • 89 percent of respondents had no regrets about refinancing
  • 86 percent found the refinancing process relatively stress free
  • Generation Y (those born between 1980 and 1994) were the most likely to refinance

If you’re considering taking the leap, compare home loan interest rates online. Or use a refinancing calculator to help you navigate the mortgage market labyrinth from the comfort of your lounge room.

 

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Learn more about home loans

How can I get a home loan with no deposit?

Following the Global Financial Crisis, no-deposit loans, as they once used to be known, have largely been removed from the market. Now, if you wish to enter the market with no deposit, you will require a property of your own to secure a loan against or the assistance of a guarantor.

Savings over

Select a number of years to see how much money you can save with different home loans over time.

e.g. To see how much you could save in two years by switching mortgages,  set the slider to 2.

Monthly Repayment

Your current monthly home loan repayment. To accurately calculate how much you could save, an accurate payment figure is required. If you are not certain, check your bank statement.

What is a specialist lender?

Specialist lenders, also known as non-conforming lenders, are lenders that offer mortgages to ‘non-vanilla’ borrowers who struggle to get finance at mainstream banks.

That includes people with bad credit, as well as borrowers who are self-employed, in casual employment or are new to Australia.

Specialist lenders take a much more flexible approach to assessing mortgage applications than mainstream banks.

How personalised is my rating?

Real Time Ratings produces instant scores for loan products and updates them based what you tell us about what you’re looking for in a loan. In that sense, we believe the ratings are as close as you get to personalised; the more you tell us, the more we customise to ratings to your needs. Some borrowers value flexibility, while others want the lowest cost loan. Your preferences will be reflected in the rating. 

We also take a shorter term, more realistic view of how long borrowers hold onto their loan, which gives you a better idea about the true borrowing costs. We take your loan details and calculate how much each of the relevent loans would cost you on average each month over the next five years. We assess the overall flexibility of each loan and give you an easy indication of which ones are likely to adjust to your needs over time. 

Why is it important to get the most up-to-date information?

The mortgage market changes constantly. Every week, new products get launched and existing products get tweaked. Yet many ratings and awards systems rank products annually or biannually.

We update our product data as soon as possible when lenders make changes, so if a bank hikes its interest rates or changes its product, the system will quickly re-evaluate it.

Nobody wants to read a weather forecast that is six months old, and the same is true for home loan comparisons.

What is a redraw fee?

Redraw fees are charged by your lender when you want to take money you have already paid into your mortgage back out. Typically, banks will only allow you to take money out of your loan if you have a redraw facility attached to your loan, and the money you are taking out is part of any additional repayments you’ve made. The average redraw fee is around $19 however there are plenty of lenders who include a number of fee-free redraws a year. Tip: Negative-gearers beware – any money redrawn is often treated as new borrowing for tax purposes, so there may be limits on how you can use it if you want to maximise your tax deduction.

How common are low-deposit home loans?

Low-deposit home loans aren’t as common as they once were, because they’re regarded as relatively risky and the banking regulator (APRA) is trying to reduce risk from the mortgage market.

However, if you do your research, you’ll find there is still a fairly wide selection of banks, credit unions and non-bank lenders that offers low-deposit home loans.

Mortgage Balance

The amount you currently owe your mortgage lender. If you are not sure, enter your best estimate.

Mortgage Calculator, Loan Results

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

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, Loan Term

How long you wish to take to pay off your loan. 

What is the average annual percentage rate?

Also known as the comparison rate, or sometimes the ‘true rate’ of a loan, the average annual percentage rate (AAPR) is used to indicate the overall cost of a loan after considering all the fees, charges and other factors, such as introductory offers and honeymoon rates.

The AAPR is calculated based on a standardised loan amount and loan term, and doesn’t include any extra non-standard charges.

Does Real Time Ratings' work for people who already have a home loan?

Yes. If you already have a mortgage you can use Real Time RatingsTM to compare your loan against the rest of the market. And if your rate changes, you can come back and check whether your loan is still competitive. If it isn’t, you’ll get the ammunition you need to negotiate a rate cut with your lender, or the resources to help you switch to a better lender.