07 Dec 2015
A home loan isn’t just a debt, it’s a great financial tool that you can use to build wealth and facilitate your lifestyle. That’s why few people keep their original home loan for the life of the loan – it pays to keep it up to date to meet your needs as circumstances change.
Refinancing your home loan means replacing it with one that better suits your current needs – and it’s something you may consider for a variety of different reasons. Here are the top four reasons why you might consider refinancing your home loan.
1. To save money on your home loan repayments
The top reason why people talk to us about the possibility of refinancing their home loan is because they may now be eligible for a better interest rate. Cutting back on the interest you pay could reduce your repayment amount and save you a considerable amount of money over time.
When you first apply for your home loan, your financial circumstances are one of the factors that influence the home loan interest rate available to you. As your personal situation improves over time, you may be able to refinance to get a better interest rate.
Additionally, you can often get a better interest rate by switching lenders. For example, the big four banks recently made a move to raise interest rates outside of RBA movements. However, not all lenders raised rates at the same time, with many of the smaller lenders keeping their rates between 0.20 and 1 percent lower than the bigger lenders.
If your lender raised your rates recently, now may be a good time to ask us to shop around for a better deal that could save you money.
2. To access your equity
Property investment is currently one of the most popular ways of building wealth for your future. Whilst saving the deposit to purchase a second property may be difficult for many, rapid rises in property values in recent years have provided an opportunity to refinance in order to access some of the equity in their homes to use as a deposit instead.
The equity in your home is calculated by subtracting the amount you owe from the current value of your home. In order to refinance to access your equity, you will need to have your home valued to determine its current value.
Accessing your equity will increase the amount you owe on your original property and increase your mortgage payments. However, if you use the equity to make a property investment, you will have the opportunity to capitalise on home loan value increases on two properties over time and this has the potential to help you increase your wealth in the long run.
Other uses for a lump sum in cash are literally endless – you could use your equity to buy your family a boat, a caravan, the overseas holiday you’ve always wanted or even use it to invest in a business or stocks and shares. However, we encourage you to act responsibly and only access your equity for lifestyle reasons if you can genuinely afford it. That means talking to us to help you discover your real financial position and if accessing your equity is a good idea for you.
3. To renovate or extend your home
Renovating or extending your current home to meet the needs of your growing family or changing lifestyle is often a better option than purchasing an entirely new home. By renovating or extending, you will be able to create the home that exactly meets your needs and if you’re careful about the improvements you make, perhaps even increase its value at the same time. Even though you will need to access your equity, you may be able to improve the value of your home to offset this cost.
Maintaining the value of your largest asset is important. So even if you don’t want to extend your home, keeping it up to date and in good repair is something you should consider periodically. If your home could do with an update, don’t hesitate to talk with us about refinancing to renovate.
4. To consolidate debts
Your home loan interest rate is probably the lowest form of interest you will need to pay on any loan in Australia. Credit card interest rates can be as much as four times higher than your home loan interest rate and this can make credit card debts difficult to pay off. Other expensive debts like car loans or personal loans can also prove to be a drain on your finances.
If the value of your home has increased over the last couple of years, it may be worth considering accessing some of the equity in your home to pay off your more expensive debts. This could dramatically reduce the amount of interest you have to pay on your overall debts each month, offering you some financial relief and helping you to enjoy a more comfortable lifestyle.
It’s a far better idea to be in a position to save money each month rather than waste it on expensive credit card interest repayments. By refinancing to consolidate your debts, you could possibly find yourself in a position to save money to make other investments or even pay off your home loan sooner. Ask us to help you crunch the numbers to see if using your home loan to consolidate your debts will be a good idea for you.
Ask us if refinancing is the right move
If you have plans or goals for your future then remember, your home loan can be used as a financial tool to help you reach them. We’re here to help you make the most out of your home loan, so please don’t hesitate to give us a call for a chat about what you want to achieve and how refinancing your home loan could help to get you where you want to be. We’re always happy to spend the time with you to help you make the right decisions to reach your financial goals, so please call us today.