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Find and compare prinicipal and interest home loans

Loan purpose

Loan amount

$

Deposit

Loan Term

151015202530

25 years

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Product

Green Home Loan

Real Time Rating™

4.00

/ 5

Winner of Best Green Home Loan, RateCity Gold Awards 2022

Interest Rate

2.13

% p.a

Variable

Comparison Rate*

2.55

% p.a

Company
Repayment

$1,291

monthly

Features
Redraw facility
Offset Account
Borrow up to 90%
Extra Repayments
Interest Only
Owner Occupied
Real Time Rating™

4.00

/ 5
Go to site

Winner of Best Green Home Loan, RateCity Gold Awards 2022

Product

5 year Fixed Rate Home Loan

Real Time Rating™

1.50

/ 5
Interest Rate

4.64

% p.a

Fixed - 5 years

Comparison Rate*

4.88

% p.a

Company
Repayment

$1,691

monthly

Features
Redraw facility
Offset Account
Borrow up to 95%
Extra Repayments
Interest Only
Owner Occupied
Real Time Rating™

1.50

/ 5
Go to site
Product

Low Rate Home Loan - Prime (Owner Occupied) (Principal and Interest)

Real Time Rating™

3.67

/ 5

Winner of Best Home Loans Over 1m, Best Variable Home Loan, RateCity Gold Awards 2022

Interest Rate

2.24

% p.a

Variable

Comparison Rate*

2.24

% p.a

Company
Repayment

$1,307

monthly

Features
Redraw facility
Offset Account
Borrow up to 80%
Extra Repayments
Interest Only
Owner Occupied
Real Time Rating™

3.67

/ 5
Go to site

Winner of Best Home Loans Over 1m, Best Variable Home Loan, RateCity Gold Awards 2022

Product

Low Rate Home Loan - Prime (Investment) (Principal and Interest)

Real Time Rating™

3.55

/ 5
Interest Rate

2.29

% p.a

Variable

Comparison Rate*

2.29

% p.a

Company
Repayment

$1,314

monthly

Features
Redraw facility
Offset Account
Borrow up to 60%
Extra Repayments
Interest Only
Owner Occupied
Real Time Rating™

3.55

/ 5
Go to site
Product

Smart Booster Investor Bundle Discount Variable - 1 Year (Principal and Interest)

Real Time Rating™

2.07

/ 5
Interest Rate

2.24

% p.a

Intro 12 months

Comparison Rate*

2.96

% p.a

Company
Repayment

$1,421

monthly

Features
Redraw facility
Offset Account
Borrow up to 80%
Extra Repayments
Interest Only
Owner Occupied
Real Time Rating™

2.07

/ 5
Go to site
Product

Low Rate Home Loan - Prime (Investment) (Principal and Interest)

Real Time Rating™

3.30

/ 5

Winner of Best Investor Home Loan, RateCity Gold Awards 2022

Interest Rate

2.39

% p.a

Variable

Comparison Rate*

2.39

% p.a

Company
Repayment

$1,329

monthly

Features
Redraw facility
Offset Account
Borrow up to 80%
Extra Repayments
Interest Only
Owner Occupied
Real Time Rating™

3.30

/ 5
Go to site

Winner of Best Investor Home Loan, RateCity Gold Awards 2022

Product

Owner Occupier Accelerates - Liberate (Principal and Interest)

Real Time Rating™

3.67

/ 5
Interest Rate

2.24

% p.a

Variable

Comparison Rate*

2.18

% p.a

Company
Repayment

$1,307

monthly

Features
Redraw facility
Offset Account
Borrow up to 80%
Extra Repayments
Interest Only
Owner Occupied
Real Time Rating™

3.67

/ 5
Go to site

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Home loan lenders we compare at RateCity

Learn more about home loans

Principal and interest loans

When you want to buy a home, you need to get a handle on the financial options that may be available to you. If you're already an owner-occupier, you could have equity in your home that will mean a profit when you sell it, paying off the principal loan but leaving you enough money to put down a deposit for another property. If you're looking to get onto the first rung of the housing ladder you'll need a deposit that could be quite substantial. The deposit percentage of the sale price will depend on which lender you choose, so it's worth shopping around to get a deal that suits your financial situation.

What are principal and interest loans?

When you take out a loan for a property, you receive a lump sum to buy it. This goes to the seller, who will pick up the costs of the estate agent and their solicitor, whereas you will have to pick up the costs of a surveyor and your own solicitor. You could consider asking a lender to add these costs into the overall loan if you are a little short of ready money because you've put down a deposit. Remember, you will be charged interest on paying those fees as well as for the principal loan.

How do principal and interest loans compare to other similar products?

Buying a house is probably going to be the biggest purchase you will make in your lifetime, however many times you do it, and mortgage companies work to offer you better rates than if you went to a bank or tried to take out a large loan from somewhere else that would charge much higher rates. That doesn't mean that you shouldn't talk to banks – it's you who will decide on what the best and most affordable offer is. Finance companies want your business, so take the time to explore offers and deals.

How do repayments work for loans?

Most home loan repayments are made up of a mix of paying interest on the principal loan and making a contribution to paying off that principal. At the end of the loan term, you will be the owner of the property outright. The loan could take many years to pay off, which is what you would expect, but it depends on your circumstances and what stage you're at on the property ladder. You can choose a variable interest rate, where your payments could increase or decrease according to interest rate movements, or a fixed rate where you know exactly what you pay every month. You could also choose to split between fixed and variable – a split rate. Interest only repayments may be offered, but you won't pay anything off the principal loan with this, so you need to consider how you will repay that at the end.

What are the risks and rewards involved?

If, for whatever reason, you fail to keep up payments, your home could be repossessed; however, if you make your mortgage payments as you should you will eventually be the proud owner of a property worth much more than you originally paid for it.

Frequently asked questions

What is 'principal and interest'?

‘Principal and interest’ loans are the most common type of home loans on the market. The principal part of the loan is the initial sum lent to the customer and the interest is the money paid on top of this, at the agreed interest rate, until the end of the loan.

By reducing the principal amount, the total of interest charged will also become smaller until eventually the debt is paid off in full.

How do you find cheap home loans?

With so many interest rate options and repayment types available, finding the cheapest home loan may depend on the type of loan you choose.

Whether you’re looking for an owner-occupier or investor loan, with interest-only or principal and interest repayments, on a fixed or variable interest rate, the cheapest home loan rate available may vary greatly.

One way to find the cheapest option for you is to narrow down your search and compare the options that best suit your individual requirements. RateCity’s home loan comparison tables can help you get started on your search and take the hassle out of shopping around.

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 a home loan?

A home loan is a finance product that allows a home buyer to borrow a large sum of money from a lender for the purchase of a residential property. The home is then put up as "security" or "collateral" on the loan, giving the lender the right to repossess the property in the case that the borrower fails to repay their loan.

Once you take out a home loan, you'll need to repay the amount borrowed, plus interest, in regular instalments over a predetermined period of time.

The interest you're charged on each mortgage repayment is based on your remaining loan amount, also known as your loan principal. The rate at which interest is charged on your home loan principal is expressed as a percentage.

Different home loan products charge different interest rates and fees, and offer a range of different features to suit a variety of buyers’ needs.

What is a mortgage rate?

The interest rate on a home loan is sometimes called the mortgage rate. This percentage indicates how much interest the lender will charge you with each home loan repayment. Your interest rate is effectively the “cost” of “buying” the money you’re using to buy a property – the higher your mortgage rate, the more your home loan repayments may cost.

Using a home loan calculator, you can estimate how much your home loan repayments may cost, based on your mortgage rate, loan term, and loan amount. This may also be affected by whether you’re making principal and interest repayments or interest-only repayments, if you have a fixed rate or variable rate mortgage, and any fees and other charges that may apply.

If a mortgage rate changes, will it affect your repayments?

If you have a variable rate home loan, changes to your mortgage rate may affect the cost of your repayments. Rising interest rate could cost you more in interest charges, while interest rate cuts could see you paying less interest on your home loan.

If you have a fixed rate home loan, your interest charges will stay the same during the fixed interest period, regardless of whether the lender’s variable rates rise or fall. Once the fixed rate term expires, your loan will revert to a variable rate, so be prepared in case of bill shock.

How do you compare home loans?

To compare home loans, you can assess the components of the loan against your own financial situation and other mortgages in the market.

Look at the interest rate, rate type (fixed or variable), loan fees, features, loan term, repayment frequency and more to find a home loan that fits with your budget and property goals.

Then, use comparison tools like comparison tables, calculators, or RateCity's Real Time RatingsTM to create a short list of home loan options, and decide which home loan best suits your needs.

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. 

What are the different types of home loan interest rates?

A home loan interest rate is used to calculate how much you’ll pay the lender, usually annually, above the amount you borrow. It’s what the lenders charge you for them lending you money and will impact the total amount you’ll pay over the life of your home loan. 

Having understood what are home loan rates in general, here are the two types you usually have with a home loan:

Fixed rates

These interest rates remain constant for a specific period and are a good option if you’re a first-time buyer or if you’re looking for a fixed monthly repayment. One possible downside of a fixed rate is that it may be higher than a variable rate. Also, you don’t benefit from any lowering of interest rates in the market. On the flip side, if rates go up, your rate won’t change, possibly saving you money.

Variable rates

With variable interest rates, the lender can change them at any time. This change can be based on economic conditions or other reasons. Changes in interest rates could be beneficial if your monthly repayment decreases but can be a problem if it increases. Variable interest rates offer several other benefits often not available with fixed rate home loans like redraw and offset facilities and free extra repayments. 

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.

Do you compare mortgages using the comparison or advertised rate?

A lot of Australians compare home loans using the advertised interest rate, which indicates how much interest you’ll be charged on your mortgage repayments. The lower your rate, the cheaper your home loan should be.

However, interest charges aren’t the only cost associated with home loans. Most mortgage lenders also charge fees on their home loans. A mortgage with a low interest rate and high fees can sometimes cost more than a mortgage with a high interest rate and low fees.

A home loan’s comparison rate combines the cost of interest with the cost of standard fees and charges into a single percentage rate. Mortgage lenders are required to display a comparison rate alongside their advertised rate to better indicate the home loan’s overall cost.

Keep in mind that to ensure consistency, all comparison rates are calculated assuming a $150,000 principal and interest mortgage with a 25 year term. As your home loan may be different, the comparison rate may not accurately reflect exactly how much your home loan may cost. Also, the comparison rate doesn’t include every home loan fee and charge, so it’s still important to compare home loans and read the fine print before you apply.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.  

Is the lowest home loan rate always the cheapest?

The home loan with the lowest interest rate may not always be the cheapest mortgage option for you. Sometimes a home loan with a low interest rate may charge high fees, which may cost more in total than a mortgage with a higher interest rate and no fees.

Consider checking the comparison rate, which combines interest and standard fees, to get a better idea of the overall cost of different home loan options.

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. 

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.

Does the Home Loan Rate Promise apply to discounted interest rate offers, such as honeymoon rates?

No. Temporary discounts to home loan interest rates will expire after a limited time, so they aren’t valid for comparing home loans as part of the Home Loan Rate Promise.

However, if your home loan has been discounted from the lender’s standard rate on a permanent basis, you can check if we can find an even lower rate that could apply to you.

How do I calculate monthly mortgage repayments?

Work out your mortgage repayments using a home loan calculator that takes into account your deposit size, property value and interest rate. This is divided by the loan term you choose (for example, there are 360 months in a 30-year mortgage) to determine the monthly repayments over this time frame.

Over the course of your loan, your monthly repayment amount will be affected by changes to your interest rate, plus any circumstances where you opt to pay interest-only for a period of time, instead of principal and interest.

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.

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.

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.