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When was the last time you took a long hard look at your mortgage? Maybe you've had your current home loan for some time, or maybe your circumstances have changed since you first took out your mortgage, or maybe you're looking to consolidate your debts into your mortgage. It's also possible you may have seen a lower rate elsewhere, either way making the decision to refinance your home loan could be a good idea. Refinancing could potentially save you thousands in interest repayments with a lower interest rate and added financial flexibility to suit your lifestyle change.

Our guide to refinancing your home loan

The journey to refinancing your home loan is similar to venturing into the great unknown and can be filled with endless challenges and difficult decisions that need to be made. We've gone to great lengths to break down the jargon barriers and help you navigate your home loan refinancing journey with ease. 

Here are some of the benefits of banking with us when you're refinancing your home loan: 

  • Speaking to the same person every step of the way    
  • Access to our competitive home loan rates
  • The ability to borrow up to 98% of the value of the property, inclusive of loan mortgage insurance 

Step 1: What to consider when refinancing your home loan

First steps to refinancing your home loan

Refinancing your home loan can be a life-altering venture with many highs and lows along the way. Either way, we're here to help simplify the process.

Here are some key points to consider when refinancing your home loan: 
  • Understand if early termination fees might apply
  • Know how much you could potentially save over the life of the mortgage
  • Research what other home loans are available 
  • Do you want to shorten or extend your home loan term
  • Are you wanting to consolidate multiple debts
  • Know if you're freeing up equity for a new purchase 
  • Understand what your new monthly repayments will be 
  • Know what your settlement costs will be and what government fees will apply
  • Decide if your new home loan will be fixed, variable or a combination of both

For tips on how to pay off your home loan sooner check here

Step 2: Understand what home loan refinancing is

Home loan refinancing involves negotiating a better deal with your current financial institution or taking out a new home loan with a lower interest rate to help you save on your monthly repayments. It's a good idea to have an annual health check on your home loan to review whether the interest rate and loan features are still suited to your needs. 

Some great reasons to refinance include:
  • Save money on your monthly repayments with a lower interest rate
  • Consolidate your personal loans, credit cards and other debts into your home loan. While you'll be paying a lower interest rate, making extra repayments to your home loan will help you pay it off sooner
  • Access the equity in your home for investment purposes, renovation or to achieve your personal goals
  • Take advantage of loan features that can add flexibility to your home loan

To find more information on home loan refinancing check here 

Step 3: Know what costs are involved with refinancing 

Your upfront and ongoing costs

When refinancing your home loan it's important to consider all your expenses, including not only the more obvious upfront costs, but also the ongoing costs too. 

Upfront costs: 
  • Exit fees - otherwise called discharge fees 
  • Break fees - otherwise called mortgage deregistration fees 
  • Start-up/ new home loan application fees
  • Lender's mortgage insurance - insurance that credit providers take out to protect themselves should the loan not be repaid 
  • Stamp duty - when refinancing you may be liable to pay stamp duty. We've got our stamp duty calculator here 
  • Settlement fees
Ongoing costs: 
  • New monthly mortgage repayments 
  • Direct debits - when switching lenders be mindful to also update any existing direct debits, as failure to make payments could result in last fees

Find more out about stamp duty here

Helpful tools for refinancing your home loan 

Get refinancing faster with our budget calculator 

These tools make it easy to calculate how much you can save based on your income and expenses. These calculators can also help you determine what you're spending and where and how you can monitor your monthly expenses to make your move easier. 

Step 4: Choosing your refinancing home loan 

Choosing the right refinancing home loan is just as important as finding your home. Your refinancing home loan needs to have all the features that suit your individual needs. 

Some considerations to keep in mind when selecting your refinancing home loan: 
  • Principal and interest loans
  • Interest only loans - many investors choose this option, however the principle will need to be paid down over the life of the loan
  • Split loan - when a portion of your loan is fixed and a portion is variable
  • Fixed rate loans 
  • Variable interest rate loans 
  • Redraw facility - have access to extra repayments on your home loan when you need it
  • Mortgage offset - reduce the interest you pay on your loan by keeping your savings in a mortgage offset account

For tips on how to pay off your property sooner check here

Step 5: Application for your refinancing home loan

When you're applying for a refinancing home loan the lender will assess you on many factors. One factor will be what equity you currently have. The assessment will be broken down into three categories; what you earn, what you owe, and what you own. Your eligibility to qualify for refinancing will also take into account the specific home loan you're applying for.  

Some of the factors your lender will assess you on during your refinancing journey: 

What you earn 

  • Salary 
  • Investments 
  • Rental income
  • Government income 

What you own

  • Savings 
  • Substantial personal assets eg. a car or home 

What you owe 

  • Credit cards or loans eg. students debts, leases, other mortgages 
Here are some important documents you'll need as proof of identification: 

Primary identification 

  • Current drivers licence and/or current passport or birth certificate 

Secondary identification 

  • Council rates notice, credit card, debit card, Medicare card, health care card 

For more tips about equity when investing check here 

Step 6: Other considerations when refinancing your home loan 

When making the choice to refinancing your home loan there are some other considerations you may want to think about when making your final decision. 

Some considerations to keep in mind when selecting your refinancing home loan: 
  • Making additional repayments - could be another way to help you save on interest over the course of the loan and also another way to help you pay off your mortgage more quickly
  • Repayments frequency - understand if making payments more regularly (weekly or fortnightly) if better than making the standard monthly mortgage repayment 
  • Consolidate your loans - it's probable you'll save money if you're only paying one set of fees and charges 

For tips on how to pay off your property sooner check here

Step 7: How to refinance your home loan with BOQ

Compared to the first time you applied for your home loan, refinancing your home loan is a much easier process. Here's a simple breakdown on the home loan refinancing process:

  1. Get started online - starting your application process couldn't be easier. You can also visit your local branch or call us to chat to our home loan experts.
  2. Loan application - we’ll guide you on all the necessary information and documentation you need to complete your loan application. 
  3. Loan approval - once your loan has been approved, it's time to notify your current lender that you will be discharging your home loan.
  4. Loan settlement - we will meet with your current lender for the home loan settlement.

Our most popular home loans at a glance

Know what your repayments are for peace of mind

Fixed Rate Home Loan

A fixed rate home loan gives you the certainty of knowing exactly what your repayments will be for up to 5 years, while protecting yourself against any potential interest rate rises.

  • Owner occupier and investor options available
  • Great interest rates across our range of terms
  • Repayment options available include Principal and Interest repayments and Interest Only repayments

Our most popular low rate loan, packed with features

Clear Path Variable Home Loan

If you're looking for a fully featured, cheap home loan with a low rate, our Clear Path Variable Rate Home Loan is for you!

  • Owner occupier and investor options available
  • Mortgage offset
  • Flexible repayments

Save with our lowest home loan interest rate

Economy Variable Home Loan

Getting a cheap home loan doesn't mean you have to compromise on its features.

  • Owner Occupier and Investor options available
  • Free redraw
  • Unlimited additional repayments

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