When it comes down to it, we all want the same thing from our home loans – a great rate, structure and product that suits our circumstances. While your current loan may have been suitable at the time, situations change, interest rates go up and down and your lifestyle and priorities shift.
That’s why experts recommend reviewing your home loan regularly to ensure it still suits your needs. To help you get started and figure out if you need a change, we’ve taken a closer look at when you should refinance a home loan.
How often should I refinance my home loan?
It’s a good rule of thumb to review your home loan at least once a year. When you review your loan, if you find that refinancing will benefit you by saving you money or making your life easier, you should certainly consider it.
When comparing loans, the headline interest rate is just one of many factors you should consider. You should also look closely at fees to understand the true cost of the loan (Nano charges no fees1) and for useful product features, such as a digital app to keep track of your money or an offset sub-account to help you save on interest.
Check out our guide to refinancing in four easy steps for help comparing home loans and researching your options.
When should I refinance my home loan?
You should refinance your home loan if it’s going to directly benefit you by saving you money or making your life easier. Here are three of the most common situations in which you could consider refinancing:
1. Securing a lower interest rate
An inquiry from the ACCC (2019) revealed that the longer you stay with your bank, you might be at risk of being penalised with a higher interest rate. This is known as loyalty tax.
It’s easy to calculate if you can save on interest by securing a lower interest rate. First do your research and find out what your current interest rate is and also the fees you are paying. Then use an online calculator like Nano’s refinancing calculator to see how much you can save in interest payments on your home loan. The average Nano customer saves $79k in interest by refinancing.2
2. Releasing equity from your property
Equity is the difference between your property’s value and the amount you owe in mortgage repayments (excluding interest).
By refinancing, you can release equity or gain access to additional cash. With Nano you can release up to $200,000 of the equity in your property to use for:
- renovating your home;
- buying a personal asset (i.e. a car)
Keep in mind that you will increase the size of your home loan if you release equity, so you need to be certain that doing so aligns with your financial goals and that you can afford the monthly repayments.
3. Changing your mortgage
If your home loan no longer suits your circumstances you might want to make changes to its structure, term or features to make your money work harder for you. You could shorten its term to pay the loan off faster, or switch to a variable rate so that you can make extra repayments without incurring fees.
Alternatively, you can look for a home loan with features that may save you money like the Nano offset sub-account, where every dollar reduces the amount of interest you pay on your home loan. For example, if your home loan balance is $500,000 but you have $20,000 in your offset sub-account you’ll only pay interest on $480,000.
Ready to refinance now?
Reviewing your home loan regularly is a great way to ensure that it always suits your circumstances and that you’re getting the best possible deal. Checking in yearly will ensure you’re making the most of your money. That’s not to say that you should refinance your mortgage every year, but staying across what could be the biggest investment in your life is a smart money move. A good time to refinance your home loan is when you find that it will save you money or make your life easier.
Refinancing with Nano is completely paperless and online. When you’re ready, start your application and get approval in minutes, not weeks.
Click here to refinance your home loan with Nano.
- While Nano does not charge any fees, government charges will still apply
- This is the weighted average savings of Nano customers as at August 2021, and based on the information customers provided on their old home loan.