When Should You Refinance Your Home Loan? | Your Finance Adviser

A home is the largest purchase most people will make, and a mortgage their largest liability. Australians typically change their home loan provider every 4-5 years, and whilst there is no set period in which you should consider a home loan refinance, there are some common triggers that cause home owners to shop around.

There are often fees involved with refinancing a loan, but with a good deal you should be able to recoup these costs and start seeing the benefits within just a few months. At Your Finance Adviser, we can help you review your current home loan and compare it to available deals across multiple lenders to see whether a refinance is right for you.

Reasons to refinance

It’s a good idea to conduct a quick health check of your home loan once a year, but the factors below can also be a catalyst to shop around for a better deal.

Interest rate change

On the first Tuesday of every month, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) announces whether the cash rate will increase, decrease or be left on hold. This rate is the figure that guides the interest rates of the major lenders, who then add their own margin. They are not obliged to follow the movements of the official cash rate. Whilst it doesn’t make sense to refinance your loan every month, you should keep an eye on how your lender responds to changes in the cash rate over time and how this compares with others on the market.

Lenders may also choose to increase or decrease rates at any time at their own discretion. If you have a variable rate loan and notice that the rate is slowly creeping up, it could be an indicator that it’s time to shop for a better deal. Of course, it’s always a good idea to contact the lender first to see if they’re willing to provide a rate discount to keep your business.

Fixed rate expiry

Fixed rate loans have the interest rate locked for a period of one to ten years, often with high break costs to exit the loan. As your fixed rate is nearing expiry, it’s a great opportunity to check the market and see what other options are available. In addition to a better rate, you may be able to take advantage of package discounts or extra features like an offset account.

Change in personal circumstances

As your life changes, so too do your needs for a loan. For example, you may initially have been happy to sign up for the lowest rate no-frills home loan on the market, but have recently received a pay increase and want to clear your debt faster. In this case, you may benefit from loan features like an offset account or redraw facility, allowing you to reduce the total interest paid on your loan whilst still having access to the funds.

Similarly, you may be looking at renovating your house and need to access equity in your house to pay for the work. It makes sense to apply for the loan balance increase at the same time as the refinance, enabling you to get a better deal and extra cash in the same application.

 

If you have been thinking of refinancing or would just like to know how your loan facilities stack up against the rest, contact us at Your Finance Adviser for a quick discussion and home loan review.

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    Westpac

    $2,000 Refinance Cashback: For new refinance applications received between 23 September 2019 to 30 September 2020 and settled by 30 November 2020.

    Eligibility

    • Offer current as at 23 September 2019.
    • Offer available on the Premier Advantage Package and Flexi First Option Home Loans for Owner Occupier with Principal and Interest repayments and all Investment Loans.
    • Offer may be varied or withdrawn at any time.
    • $250k min loan per property refinanced.
    • Only 1 cashback per property refinance will be paid regardless of the number of loans involved.
    • Excludes Portfolio Loans, switches and refinances of home loans within the Westpac Group which include St.George, Westpac, Bank of Melbourne, BankSA and RAMS.
    • Offer not available for Owner Occupier Interest Only loans or residential lending originated under family or company trusts.
    • Applicants must have a Westpac Choice transaction account linked to the home loan at the time of settlement and must keep this account open for 60 days after settlement.
    • The cashback will be automatically deposited into this account within 60 days after settlement.

    Owner Occupied Loan

    Offering a Refinance Cashback of $2,000 to customers who refinance their home loan from another financial institution to St George. Excludes Portfolio Loans, switches, and refinances of home loans within the Westpac Group which include Westpac, Bank of Melbourne, BankSA and RAMS.

    For new refinance applications received between 1 April 2020 to 30 September 2020 and settle by 30 November 2020. This offer is not available for Bridging Loans.

    Eligibility

    • Credit criteria, fees and charges apply. Terms and conditions available at St.George
    • Offer available on the Advantage Package and Basic Home Loans for Owner Occupier with Principal and Interest repayments and Investment Loans.
    • Offer current as at 1 April 2020.
    • Offer may be varied or withdrawn at any time.
    • $250k min loan per property refinanced.
    • Only 1 cashback per property refinance will be paid regardless of the number of loans involved.
    • Offer not available for Owner Occupier Interest Only loans or residential lending originated under family or company trusts.

    Criteria

    • The cashbacks will be paid into a St.George transaction account within 60 days of settlement.
    •  The transaction account must be linked to the home loan at the time of settlement and kept open for 60 days after settlement.
    • Tax consequences may arise from this promotion for investors and customers should seek independent advice on any taxation matters.

    Notes

    • St George do have an online ONLY offer of $3,000 cash back for the first refinance Application.  Please note, this can be approved through BDM.

    First Home Buyer Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI) Offer5

    Offer details

    • For eligible first home buyers with a Loan to Value Ratio (LVR7) up to 85%, the LMI will be reduced to only $1.00.
    • This offer is not an LMI waiver and clients will be charged $1.00 for LMI which will be reflected in their Loan Offer Documents.
    • The offer is available on eligible home loan applications submitted from Monday 13 July 2020 and can be withdrawn or varied at any time.
    • Clients must adhere to LMI obligations during the loan agreement. The LMI factsheet will also be issued to the customer along with the other Loan Offer Documents.
    • Clients are not required to be receiving the First Home Owner Grant to be eligible for the First Home Buyer LMI Offer.
    • First Home Buyer Flag must be selected within Apply Online and notes section to include instructions to apply First Home Buyer LMI Offer. For more information, refer to the training pack on the secure portal.
    • Available with the Basic Home Loan and the Advantage Package6 Home Loan, both Fixed and Variable rate ($395 annual package fee applies).

    Eligibility criteria:

    • Applications must be for a first home loan for a first property (for joint applications, only one applicant must be a first home buyer).
    • Loans with an LVR7 up to 85% at the time of formal approval.
    • Owner Occupier with Principal and Interest repayments only.
    • Maximum loan size of $850,000.
    • Only one property to be financed per application.
    • Available for applications submitted from Monday 13 July 2020.

    Loans not eligible:

    • Owner Occupier with Interest Only repayments.
    • All Residential Investment Home Loans.
    • Portfolio Loans.
    • Construction Loans.
    • Offer not available in conjunction with the Family Pledge option.
    • Residential lending originated under family or company trusts.
    • Switches and internal refinances of home loans within the Westpac Group which include St. George, Bank of Melbourne, Westpac, BankSA and RAMS.

    Suncorp

    Offering a Refinance Cashback of $2,000 ($250k - $749k ) and $3000 ($750k+) to customers who refinance their home loan from another financial institution to Suncorp.

    Applications must be submitted before Wednesday 30 September, 2020, with loans funded by Tuesday 29 December, 2020. Minimum refinance amount $250,000. This offer is not available for Bridging Loans.

    Eligibility

    • Owner Occupied Home Loans; and
    • All Investment Home Loans; and
    • All Lines of Credit.

    Criteria

    • To be eligible, the approved loan/s must satisfy the following
    • Regulated Retail Home Lending
    • Minimum new home loan amount of $250,000, with the purpose of Refinance from an external financial institution
    • Application fully received before the 30th of September 2020
    • Settlement on or before the 29th of December 2020
    • Standard Variable, Back to Basics Variable and Fixed Rate Home Loans
    • Loan to Value Ratio (“LVR”) including Lenders Mortgage Insurance (“LMI”) is less than or equal to 90%

    Note

    • Personal/Owner Occupied & Investment lending
    • Principal and Interest or Interest Only
      • Annual Fee Offers

        • Home Package Plus: 1 x Annual Package Fee Waiver
          • Waivered for the first year – save $375. The first annual package fee is waived for new Home Package Plus customers only with new lending of at least $150,000.
        • Home Package Plus for first Home Buyers: Ongoing Annual Fee Waiver
          • For First Home Buyers, we’ll refund the $375 annual Home Package Plus fee for the life of the loan saving you up to $11,250 over a 30 year term. Applicable for Owner Occupier First Home Buyers who have never previously purchased a property. An eligible home loan has minimum new home lending in the Home Package Plus of $150,000 or more
          • Refinance Cash Bonus Offer (1) – how much is the customer eligible for?

            • >= $250,000 will receive $2,000, or
            • $750,000+ will receive $3,000

            Frontline Extra Cash Bonus Offer (2) – for eligible occupations

            • >= $250,000 will receive a total of $3,000 or;
            • $750,000+ will receive a total of $4,000

    ANZ

    Effective 1 June 2020, ANZ home loans eligible customers who are refinancing $150,000 or more from another lender (which may include some additional new lending), a cashback amount of upto $3,000 will be available. See below for details

    Eligibility criteria

    • Loan amount refinanced: at least $150,000 but less than $250,000 - $1,200 cashback
    • Loan amount refinanced $250,000 or more - $3,000 cashback

    Dates:

    • Loan applications must be submitted by 23 November 2020
    • Loans must be drawn down by 22 January 2021

    Eligible home loans

    • ANZ Standard Variable Rate Loan;
    • ANZ Fixed Rate Loan;
    • ANZ Simplicity PLUS Loan;
    • ANZ loan product which permits a borrower to draw down credit progressively for the purchase and/or construction of a property or a home;
    • ANZ bridging loan;

    Exclusions

    • Equity Manager
    • Other lines of Credit
    • Non-Credit Critical (NCC) Applications
    • Internal ANZ Refinances (e.g. New Loan containing the same borrower(s))
    • Credit Cards and Personal Loans

    Conditions

    • Must include an OFI Home/Residential Investment Loan
    • 1 cash back offer per customer within any 12-month period
    • This switching cashback offer is not available in conjunction with any other advertised switching offers (but is available in conjunction with any special interest rates discounts available to the customer)
    • Cash back account: Must be an ANZ Transaction Account (cannot be OFI/Cheque)

    Note

    Important note: ANZ's home loans switching cashback discretion can be varied by ANZ from time to time and may be withdrawn at any time.

    First home buyer conveyancing rebate

    Up to $1,000 rebate for eligible first home buyers (including recipients of State or Territory government first home buyer concessions) with home loans over $250,000.

    Apply by 30 September 2020 and draw down by 31 December 2020. Eligibility criteria and T&Cs apply.

    Eligibility

    • Offer is only available to eligible First Home Buyers (including recipients of a government First Home Owner Grant and/or first home buyer stamp duty concession and apply for an eligible ANZ loan [refer to www.firsthome.gov.au for eligibility details of the State or Territory government First Home Owner Grants and stamp duty concessions.]).
    • Offer available only on application and is limited to one rebate of up to $1,000 per single property purchase for eligible First Home Buyers who take out an eligible ANZ Loan for an owner occupier purpose.

    Other Conditions

    • To enable reimbursement of conveyancing fees, you must hold an ANZ Access Advantage or ANZ One account at draw down.
    • Offer is not available in conjunction with or in addition to any other offer, discount or benefit unless specifically advised by ANZ in writing.
    • Offer may be altered or withdrawn by ANZ at any time.
    • For full terms and conditions of the offer, contact any ANZ branch or ANZ Mobile Lender.
    • All applications for credit are subject to ANZ’s credit approval criteria.
    • Terms and conditions apply and are available on application.
    • Fees and charges and eligibility criteria apply.

    BOQ

    Cashback Offer for customers refinancing their existing lending to BOQ, meaning eligible customers will be able to take advantage of the $2,500 cashback.

    The end date for applications to be received is Saturday, 26 September 2020, with loans required to settle by Saturday, 12 December 2020.

    Eligibility

    • Personal customers taking out a new home loan with BOQ
    • The loan is refinanced to BOQ from another financial institution (excluding Virgin Money and BOQ Specialist)
    • Applications need to be submitted through ApplyOnline (and supporting documents received) on or after Wednesday, 17 June 2020 and on or before Saturday, 26 September 2020
    • Loans must settle prior to Saturday, 12 December 2020
    • Minimum new lending of at least $250,000 with maximum LVR of 70%
    • Lending must be flagged with refinance purpose on the loan application.

    All customers will be paid the cashback, provided the lending meets the eligibility criteria outlined above. Provided customers have opened a BOQ transaction account the cashback will be paid to the account within 30 days of the loan settlement.

    Note

    Special limited time $2,500 cashback offer only available for new refinance applications received between 17 June 2020 and 26 September 2020 (inclusive) and that settle by 12 December 2020. This offer is open to Australian residents aged 18 and over who are personal customers taking out a new home loan with BOQ, refinanced from another financial institution. Offer available on BOQ’s Clear Path, Economy, Intro Rate, or Fixed Rate home loan products only. Minimum total new lending of at least $250,000. Maximum loan-to-value ratio (LVR) of 70%. Not available for the refinance, restructure or switches of home loans within BOQ Group, which includes BOQ, Virgin Money (Australia) and BOQ Specialist. An applicant will be eligible for a maximum of one cashback payment during the offer period, regardless of the number of loan applications they are party to, provided the total amount drawn at settlement across all loans is at least $250,000

    CBA

    Offering a Refinance Cashback of $2,000 to customers who refinance their home loan from another financial institution to CommBank.

    Applications must be submitted before Saturday 31 October 2020, with loans funded by Thursday 31 December 2020. Minimum refinance amount $250,000. This offer is not available for Bridging Loans.

    Eligibility

    • Owner Occupied Home Loans; and
    • All Investment Home Loans; and
    • All Lines of Credit.

    Criteria

    • Owner Occupied Interest Only are eligible if funded on or from 7 April 2020.
    • Customers must refinance their eligible Home/Investment Home Loan from an OFI.
    • The refinance amount from the OFI must be $250,000 or more. New money and Top Up applications are not included in the $250,000.
    • Refinancing of an existing CommBank or Bankwest Home/ Investment Home Loan is not eligible for this offer.
    • Limit of one $2,000 cashback payment per borrowing entity and per customer over a 12-month period.
    • We will credit the $2,000 cashback amount only to a CommBank Transaction Account within two weeks of loan funding.
    • We will not combine the $2,000 cashback offer with our MAV fee waiver.

    Note

    • This offer is not available for Bridging Loans.
    • We reserve the right to terminate the offer at any time.