Compare mortgages with offset accounts
Find home loans with offset accounts from a wide range of Australian lenders. Compare interest rates, mortgage repayments, fees and more to find the offset account home loan that suits your needs, whether you're investing, refinancing or looking to buy your first home.
Smart Booster Home Loan Discounted Variable - 1yr
special1.99% variable rate for 12 months then 2.48% variable rate
Interest rates ranked in the best 20%
No ongoing fees
based on $300,000 loan amount for 25 years at 1.99%
p.a Fixed - 2 years
Borrow up to 80%
Go to site
Homeowners may lock in a competitive interest rate for two years and enjoy access to features like a 100% offset account.
Borrow up to 80%
Enjoy a special discounted variable interest rate, plus access to redraw. Pay no upfront fees, and if you're refinancing, you can get $2000 cashback.
Winner of Best home loans over 1m, Best variable, RateCity Gold Awards 2021
Borrow up to 60%
Borrow up to 80%
Borrow up to 60%
Go to site
What is an offset account?
An offset account is a bank account that’s linked with your home loan. Money in your offset account is used to “offset” what’s owing on your mortgage when calculating your interest charges. The more money you deposit into your offset account, the more you can potentially save on home loan interest charges, and the sooner you can potentially pay off your mortgage.
Learn more about home loans
How does an offset account work?
An offset account works a lot like a typical transaction or savings account. You can deposit, withdraw, or transfer money to and from your offset account as often as you like.
The biggest difference between an offset account and a regular bank account is that any money that you deposit in your offset account is included when your lender calculates the interest charges on your home loan. Your mortgage principal (the balance you owe on your home loan) will be effectively reduced by the same amount as the current balance deposited in your offset account.
As most lenders calculate mortgage interest daily, based on your loan’s current principal, the more money you can deposit in your offset account, and the longer you can keep it there, the less you may be charged in home loan interest.
Some lenders offer 100 per cent offset accounts, where the full account balance is used to offset your home loan’s outstanding principal. For example, if you had $10,000 saved in a 100 per cent offset account, your mortgage principal will be offset by $10,000.
However, some lenders instead offer partial offset accounts, where only part of the balance is used to offset your home loan. For example, if you had $10,000 saved in a 40 per cent offset account, you home loan would only by offset by $4000.
Can an offset account lower my minimum monthly mortgage repayments?
While it may sound like using an offset account to reduce the interest charges on your home loan repayments should mean you’ll pay less onto your mortgage each month, this is more often the exception than the rule.
It’s much more common that you’ll keep paying the same amount onto your home loan each month, with a higher percentage of each repayment going towards paying off your home loan’s principal. These extra repayments may help you clear your mortgage debt faster, exit your home loan sooner, and pay less interest on your loan in total.
Imagine you owed $350,000 on a principal and interest home loan with 25 years of remaining. Assuming your interest rate remained at 4 per cent, you’d pay $1,847 per month, for a total of $554,229 – that’s $204,229 in interest charges.
Now imagine that you had an offset account, where you keep an average of $10,000 saved. This means you’d be charged interest on your home loan as if you only owed $340,000.
By continuing to make repayments of $1,847 per month, you could pay off your loan in full 14 months ahead of schedule and pay a total amount (including your offset balance) of $537,691 – that’s an interest savings of $16,538!
This hypothetical example is for illustrative purposes only. The exact amount you may pay on your home loan may vary depending on changes to your interest rate and many other factors.
Is an offset account the same as a redraw facility?
No, offset accounts and redraw facilities are two different types of home loan features, though they can provide similar benefits.
You can pay off your home loan sooner and save money on interest charges by making extra mortgage repayments that directly reduce your home loan’s principal. A redraw facility will give you the option to withdraw these extra repayments from your home loan if you need the money back again.
However, you may need to pay a redraw fee to use a redraw facility. Your lender may also limit how much you can redraw from your loan each time or limit how many redraws you can make per year.
As an offset account works much like a typical bank account, you can deposit, withdraw and transfer money from an offset account whenever you choose. This means an offset account can be a more flexible option than a redraw facility.
What should I watch out for with an offset account?
While you can use an offset account as a savings account (especially if you make regular deposits) an offset account may not provide the same kind of benefits as a dedicated savings account. While a savings account may reward you for saving by letting you earn interest on your savings and grow your wealth, an offset account will instead reward you for saving by letting you pay less interest on your home loan.
Also, the more features and benefits a home loan offers (including offset accounts), the higher the interest rates and/or fees you may have to pay. A home loan with an offset account may have a higher interest rate and/or annual fee than a more basic “no-frills” home loan, so even with the potential interest savings from your offset account, your mortgage could end up costing more. A few lenders may also charge a separate fee for including an offset account with your home loan.
It’s important to compare the overall cost of a home loan to the value it may offer, so that you can get a better idea of if it may be right for you. Think about how you plan to use your offset account and consider whether the average balance you plan to deposit will be enough to provide more value in savings than what you’ll pay in fees and interest.
- Offset your mortgage principal with your savings
- Pay off your loan faster and save money on interest
- Easy access to your money if you need it
- May charge higher fees
- Doesn’t offer wealth growth through earning interest
- Interest savings may not provide more value if starting rate is higher
Senior Financial Writer
Mark Bristow is a senior financial writer for RateCity and an experienced analyst, researcher, and producer. Working for over ten years, Mark previously wrote and researched commercial real estate at CoreLogic, and has seen articles published at Lifehacker and Business Insider, among others. Most recently, Mark has joined RateCity working across finance as a whole. Whatever the topic, Mark’s goal is always to provide simple solutions to complex problems.
Learn with our guides
Find home loans from a wide range of Australian lenders that best suit your needs.
Home loans repayments
Calculate how much your loan repayments could be.
Talk to an expert
For discounts and special rates, speak to a broker today.
Today's top home loans
Frequently asked questions
How does an offset account work?
An offset account functions as a transaction account that is linked to your home loan. The balance of this account is offset daily against the loan amount and reduces the amount of principal that you pay interest on.
By using an offset account it’s possible to reduce the length of your loan and the total amount of interest payed by thousands of dollars.
Example: If you have a mortgage of $500,000 but holding an offset account with $50,000, you will only pay interest on $450,000 rather then $500,000.
What is the difference between offset and redraw?
The difference between an offset and redraw account is that an offset account is intended to work as a transaction account that can be accessed whenever you need. A redraw facility on the other hand is more like an “emergency fund” of money that you can draw on if needed but isn’t used for everyday expenses.
How do I apply for a home improvement loan?
When you want to renovate your home, you may need to take out a loan to cover the costs. You could apply for a home improvement loan, which is a personal loan that you use to cover the costs of your home renovations. There is no difference between applying for this type of home improvement loan and applying for a standard personal loan. It would be best to check and compare the features, fees and details of the loan before applying.
Besides taking out a home improvement loan, you could also:
- Use the equity in your house: Equity is the difference between your property’s value and the amount you still owe on your home loan. You may be able to access this equity by refinancing your home loan and then using it to finance your home improvement. Speak with your lender or a mortgage broker about accessing your equity.
- Utilise the redraw facility of your home loan: Check whether the existing home loan has a redraw facility. A redraw facility allows you to access additional funds you’ve repaid into your home loan. Some lenders offer this on variable rate home loans but not on fixed. If this option is available to you, contact your lender to discuss how to access it.
- Apply for a construction loan: A construction loan is typically used when constructing a new property but can also be used as a home renovation loan. You may find that a construction loan is a suitable option as it enables you to draw funds as your renovation project progresses. You can compare construction home loans online or speak to a mortgage broker about taking out such a loan.
- Look into government grants: Check whether there are any government grants offered when you need the funds and whether you qualify. Initiatives like the HomeBuilder Grant were offered by the Federal Government for a limited period until April 2021. They could help fund your renovations either in full or just partially.
What is an ongoing fee?
Ongoing fees are any regular payments charged by your lender in addition to the interest they apply including annual fees, monthly account keeping fees and offset fees. The average annual fee is close to $200 however there are almost 2,000 home loan products that don’t charge an annual fee at all. There’s plenty of extra costs when you’re buying a home, such as conveyancing, stamp duty, moving costs, so the more fees you can avoid on your home loan, the better. While $200 might not seem like much in the grand scheme of things, it adds up to $6,000 over the life of a 30 year loan – money which would be much better off either reinvested into your home loan or in your back pocket for the next rainy day.
Example: Anna is tossing up between two different mortgage products. Both have the same variable interest rate, but one has a monthly account keeping fee of $20. By picking the loan with no fees, and investing an extra $20 a month into her loan, Josie will end up shaving 6 months off her 30 year loan and saving over $9,000* in interest repayments.
How much deposit do I need for a home loan from ANZ?
Like other mortgage lenders, ANZ often prefers a home loan deposit of 20 per cent or more of the property value when you’re applying for a home loan. It may be possible to get a home loan with a smaller deposit of 10 per cent or even 5 per cent, but there are a few reasons to consider saving a larger deposit if possible:
- A larger deposit tells a lender that you’re a great saver, which could help increase the chances of your home loan application getting approved.
- The more money you pay as a deposit, the less you’ll have to borrow in your home loan. This could mean paying off your loan sooner, and being charged less total interest.
- If your deposit is less than 20 per cent of the property value, you might incur additional costs, such as Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI).
Can I take a personal loan after a home loan?
Are you struggling to pay the deposit for your dream home? A personal loan can help you pay the deposit. The question that may arise in your mind is can I take a home loan after a personal loan, or can you take a personal loan at the same time as a home loan, as it is. The answer is that, yes, provided you can meet the general eligibility criteria for both a personal loan and a home loan, your application should be approved. Those eligibility criteria may include:
- Higher-income to show repayment capability for both the loans
- Clear credit history with no delays in bill payments or defaults on debts
- Zero or minimal current outstanding debt
- Some amount of savings
- Proven rent history will be positively perceived by the lenders
A personal loan after or during a home loan may impact serviceability, however, as the numbers can seriously add up. Every loan you avail of increases your monthly installments and the amount you use to repay the personal loan will be considered to lower the money available for the repayment of your home loan.
As to whether you can get a personal loan after your home loan, the answer is a very likely "yes", though it does come with a caveat: as long as you can show sufficient income to repay both the loans on time, you should be able to get that personal loan approved. A personal loan can also help to improve your credit score showing financial discipline and responsibility, which may benefit you with more favorable terms for your home loan.
Who has the best home loan?
Determining who has the ‘best’ home loan really does depend on your own personal circumstances and requirements. It may be tempting to judge a loan merely on the interest rate but there can be added value in the extras on offer, such as offset and redraw facilities, that aren’t available with all low rate loans.
To determine which loan is the best for you, think about whether you would prefer the consistency of a fixed loan or the flexibility and potential benefits of a variable loan. Then determine which features will be necessary throughout the life of your loan. Thirdly, consider how much you are willing to pay in fees for the loan you want. Once you find the perfect combination of these three elements you are on your way to determining the best loan for you.
How can I calculate interest on my home loan?
You can calculate the total interest you will pay over the life of your loan by using a mortgage calculator. The calculator will estimate your repayments based on the amount you want to borrow, the interest rate, the length of your loan, whether you are an owner-occupier or an investor and whether you plan to pay ‘principal and interest’ or ‘interest-only’.
If you are buying a new home, the calculator will also help you work out how much you’ll need to pay in stamp duty and other related costs.
How do you determine which home loan rates/products I’m shown?
When you check your home loan rate, you’ll supply some basic information about your current loan, including the amount owing on your mortgage and your current interest rate.
We’ll compare this information to the home loan options in the RateCity database and show you which home loan products you may be eligible to apply for.
Remaining loan term
The length of time it will take to pay off your current home loan, based on the currently-entered mortgage balance, monthly repayment and interest rate.
What are the features of home loans for expats from Westpac?
If you’re an Australian citizen living and working abroad, you can borrow to buy a property in Australia. With a Westpac non-resident home loan, you can borrow up to 80 per cent of the property value to purchase a property whilst living overseas. The minimum loan amount for these loans is $25,000, with a maximum loan term of 30 years.
The interest rates and other fees for Westpac non-resident home loans are the same as regular home loans offered to borrowers living in Australia. You’ll have to submit proof of income, six-month bank statements, an employment letter, and your last two payslips. You may also be required to submit a copy of your passport and visa that shows you’re allowed to live and work abroad.
When do mortgage payments start after settlement?
Generally speaking, your first mortgage payment falls due one month after the settlement date. However, this may vary based on your mortgage terms. You can check the exact date by contacting your lender.
Usually your settlement agent will meet the seller’s representatives to exchange documents at an agreed place and time. The balance purchase price is paid to the seller. The lender will register a mortgage against your title and give you the funds to purchase the new home.
Once the settlement process is complete, the lender allows you to draw down the loan. The loan amount is debited from your loan account. As soon as the settlement paperwork is sorted, you can collect the keys to your new home and work your way through the moving-in checklist.
How to use the ME Bank reverse mortgage calculator?
You can access the equity in your home to help you fund your needs during your senior years. A ME Bank reverse mortgage allows you to tap into the equity you’ve built up in your home while you continue living in your house. You can also use the funds to pay for your move to a retirement home and repay the loan when you sell the property.
Generally, if you’re 60 years old, you can borrow up to 15 per cent of the property value. If you are older than 75 years, the amount you can access increases to up to 30 per cent. You can use a reverse mortgage calculator to know how much you can borrow.
To take out a ME Bank reverse mortgage, you’ll need to provide information like your age, type of property – house or an apartment, postcode, and the estimated market value of the property. The loan to value ratio (LVR) is calculated based on your age and the property’s value.
When does Commonwealth Bank charge an early exit fee?
When you take out a fixed interest home loan with the Commonwealth Bank, you’re able to lock the interest for a particular period. If the rates change during this period, your repayments remain unchanged. If you break the loan during the fixed interest period, you’ll have to pay the Commonwealth Bank home loan early exit fee and an administrative fee.
The Early Repayment Adjustment (ERA) and Administrative fees are applicable in the following instances:
- If you switch your loan from fixed interest to variable rate
- When you apply for a top-up home loan
- If you repay over and above the annual threshold limit, which is $10,000 per year during the fixed interest period
- When you prepay the entire outstanding loan balance before the end of the fixed interest duration.
The fee calculation depends on the interest rates, the amount you’ve repaid and the loan size. You can contact the lender to understand more about what you may have to pay.
Why does Westpac charge an early termination fee for home loans?
The Westpac home loan early termination fee or break cost is applicable if you have a fixed rate home loan and repay part of or the whole outstanding amount before the fixed period ends. If you’re switching between products before the fixed period ends, you’ll pay a switching break cost and an administrative fee.
The Westpac home loan early termination fee may not apply if you repay an amount below the prepayment threshold. The prepayment threshold is the amount Westpac allows you to repay during the fixed period outside your regular repayments.
Westpac charges this fee because when you take out a home loan, the bank borrows the funds with wholesale rates available to banks and lenders. Westpac will then work out your interest rate based on you making regular repayments for a fixed period. If you repay before this period ends, the lender may incur a loss if there is any change in the wholesale rate of interest.
How is interest charged on a reverse mortgage from IMB Bank?
An IMB Bank reverse mortgage allows you to borrow against your home equity. You can draw down the loan amount as a lump sum, regular income stream, line of credit or a combination. The interest can either be fixed or variable. To understand the current rates, you can check the lender’s website.
No repayments are required as long as you live in the home. If you sell it or move to a senior living facility, the loan must be repaid in full. In some cases, this can also happen after you have died. Generally, the interest rates for reverse mortgages are higher than regular mortgage loans.
The interest is added to the loan amount and it is compounded. It means you’ll pay interest on the interest you accrue. Therefore, the longer you have the loan, the higher is the interest and the amount you’ll have to repay.
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.
What is an interest-only loan? How do I work out interest-only loan repayments?
An ‘interest-only’ loan is a loan where the borrower is only required to pay back the interest on the loan. Typically, banks will only let lenders do this for a fixed period of time – often five years – however some lenders will be happy to extend this.
Interest-only loans are popular with investors who aren’t keen on putting a lot of capital into their investment property. It is also a handy feature for people who need to reduce their mortgage repayments for a short period of time while they are travelling overseas, or taking time off to look after a new family member, for example.
While moving on to interest-only will make your monthly repayments cheaper, ultimately, you will end up paying your bank thousands of dollars extra in interest to make up for the time where you weren’t paying off the principal.
What is the average length of a home loan?
Most Aussie lenders offer home loans with a 30-year term, meaning that you should pay back the full loan amount and the interest you owe on the amount in 30 years.
However, home loans can also have a shorter or longer term. They may be as low as ten years or up to 45 years, depending on the product and lender.
It’s worth remembering that a longer loan term usually means you’ll end up paying a lot more interest in total, but your scheduled repayments may be more manageable. In contrast, you could opt for a shorter loan term if you are comfortable making large repayments in exchange for paying less interest over the term of the loan.
Cash or mortgage – which is more suitable to buy an investment property?
Deciding whether to buy an investment property with cash or a mortgage is a matter or personal choice and will often depend on your financial situation. Using cash may seem logical if you have the money in reserve and it can allow you to later use the equity in your home. However, there may be other factors to think about, such as whether there are other debts to pay down and whether it will tie up all of your spare cash. Again, it’s a personal choice and may be worth seeking personal advice.
A mortgage is a popular option for people who don’t have enough cash in the bank to pay for an investment property. Sometimes when you take out a mortgage you can offset your loan interest against the rental income you may earn. The rental income can also help to pay down the loan.