Paying off your mortgage should not be your only priority in life. So why do people put themselves through unnecessary stress?

Although most lenders allow you to manage some parts of your home loan online by allowing you to make redraws and transfers, there are major structural changes that you could be making to relieve your worries and get your life back!

Why annual reviews are essential

If you just bought a new smart phone, you wouldn’t just use it to make phone calls, would you? There’s a whole world of apps and features to explore as well, some more useful to you as the user than others. The same goes for a home loan.

It’s amazing how many people with mortgages are not aware of the important features they have at their fingertips and whether they’re getting the most out of their loan.

An annual review from your mortgage broker can potentially save you thousands of dollars and a lot of headache because they can check:

  • If the lender has changed interest rates recently and whether your interest rate is still competitive.
  • Whether your personal situation has or will change in the future including starting a family, renovating your home or buying an investment property.

Not a Home Loan Experts client? We can still complete a free review of your mortgage as a once off check!

We want you to have peace of mind throughout the life of the loan so apply or refinance through Home Loan Experts today by calling one of senior mortgage brokers on 1300 889 743 or enquiring online.

How to fix your loan

Based on the state of interest rates and your own finances over the medium to long term, switching your loan to a fixed rate may be a more viable option than staying variable.

So how do you switch to a fixed rate?

The first step is to speak to your mortgage broker to discuss whether now is the right time to fix. You will also need to determine how long you want to fix for based on your situation.

With most lenders, you can simply give them a call and they can fix your interest rate over the phone.

You also have the option of “splitting” your mortgage into accounts, keeping one fixed and one variable to give your more flexibility over the term of the loan. Some lenders require that you fill in a form, if you only want to fix only a part of your loan.

Most lenders will have a small processing fee of $300 or so to fix or split your home loan.

Your broker can tell whether fixing your home loan is the right decision for your situation so call 1300 889 743 or enquire online today!

How to discharge your loan

If you’re planning on selling your property or refinancing your home loan you will need to notify your current lender that the mortgage they hold is going to be discharged and that your loan will be repaid.

In most cases, you will need to fill in a Discharge Authority Form or Release of Security Form. Luckily, you can simply fill this out and hand it to your mortgage broker to handle.

If you are not using a mortgage, our discharge of mortgage page can explain to you the process of discharging your home loan.

When you discharge your loan within the first two years you will generally incur a clawback fee of around 0.65% of your outstanding loan amount, although this does vary between lenders.

If you’re planning to refinance, did you know that some lenders offer rebates?

Please call us on 1300 889 743 or enquire online and one of our brokers can assist you in discharging from your current mortgage and refinancing with a new one.

What if I get into financial hardship?

Things like losing your job, illness, injury or divorce can be emotionally devastating for you and your family and it only compounds matters when you then struggle to make your mortgage repayments on time.

If you are experiencing financial difficulty, talk to your broker. They can contact the lender to explain your situation and get you back on track to paying off your loan.

Can you pay off the outstanding amount now or over the next few months? Do you need to sell some of your assets? Should you consolidate your debt? Here are some of your options:

  • If your problems are short-term, you and your broker can work with the lender to temporarily reduce or delay repayments. This so-called “repayment holiday” is not something lenders offer lightly so it really depends on your situation.
  • Most of the major banks have a hardship programs in which they can assist you by temporarily charging interest only on your loan
  • If you are currently on a standard variable rate, switching to a fixed rate can provide you with more certainty with repayments and allow you to get on top of your finances.
  • You can also minimise your repayments by rolling all your debts into one with a debt consolidation loan.

If you’re an existing client, one of our mortgage brokers can help to find you a solution.

Call us on 1300 889 743 or enquire online today!

Increasing your loan

Rather than taking out a separate loan in order to renovate, paying other debts or simply because you need extra cash, increasing your loan is sometimes a better alternative.

One of the benefits is that you can leverage the equity that is already in your home and you’ll generally pay a home loan interest rate rather than the more expensive rates that come with personal loan and credit options.

Most lenders will allow you to increase your loan size as long as you can show evidence that you can afford it and you have enough equity in your home. Banks aren’t too concerned with what you do with your loan increase as long as you can pay your new loan balance in full and on time!

The establishment fee for a loan increase varies but most banks will charge you a variation fee of about $300. If you’re on a professional package though, the variation fee can be waived for some lenders.

It’s important to get independent financial advice before deciding to borrow more. If you can’t afford the mortgage now, you won’t be able to afford pay back a larger amount.

If you need help managing your loan or if you want to get more out of your mortgage, call one of our expert brokers on 1300 889 743 or enquire online and we can complete a free review of your mortgage.

  • IMWeigel

    So your mortgage brokers will not abandon us once the loan is set up and we’re through settlement?

  • Hello there, we have a dedicated team of mortgage brokers and support staff who specialise in everything that comes after settlement so yes, we won’t abandon our clients once the loan is settled. If you want to learn more on what exactly we do and how we may be able to help you manage your home loan, please check out the ‘Managing Your Home Loan’ section on our website:

  • Hadfield

    Hello. I’m worried because I think my home loan may fall into arrears within a couple of months because of a few personal problems and a financial situation. Any tips or advice for me would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

  • We have a page full of factual advice for people who may fall into arrears with their home loan repayments. Do note that the page has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs so be sure to seek financial advice before taking any action. Please check out the 10 strategies for home loan arrears:

  • McCoy

    But an annual review from a lender is bad though, right?

  • Hi McCoy,

    Yes, but it generally is only for business or commercial loans. Among other things, you will need to provide up-to-date financials for your business, which can be difficult especially if you don’t have an accountant to help or you’re using a strategy to reduce your taxable income. On top of this, some lenders just aren’t that forgiving if you have a bad year. However, there are ways you may be able to dodge this. You can check out the business loan annual review page if you’d like to learn about this:

  • Steve

    Hi I am considering fixing one of my two home loans (split). This is due to some recent financial strain I’ve been experiencing. I’ve already switched my loans from P&I to IO. I asked my mortgage broker if he could negotiate me a better fixed rate with my lender than what I could achieve. He said that banks are not negotiable when it comes to fixed rate loans. Are banks inflexible when it comes to the fixed interest rates they have on offer or can they be negotiated, especially with advocacy from a mortgage broker and a borrower with a good repayment history? Thanks.

  • Hi Steve,
    Yes they can sometimes offer a better fixed rate than those that they advertise. However this is rare. If you don’t mind me asking which bank are you with? That will assist us to know if you can switch and get better pricing.
    If you’re in financial difficulty then you may not be able to refinance to another lender.

  • Steve

    Thanks for your reply. I’m with CBA. And I agree re refinancing is an unlikely option. My mortgage broker also said probably best to fix the bigger loan and leave the small one variable for flexibility. Fixing the rate alone (2 years best one on offer) will reduce my interest by 8 points and in the current environment with banks increasing their rates, my mortgage broker said probably good idea to do this sooner rather than later. What does HLE think generally about fixing rates currently?

  • CBA doesn’t offer pricing on fixed rates very often. So what your broker is saying is likely correct.
    We can’t predict the future of rates however several lenders have made comments about possible increases. We really don’t know.

  • McRae

    My home loan settled quite a while back and I am on an interest only fixture, which is about to end soon. Is it possible to extend this feature?

  • Yes, you may be able to extend your interest only term depending on your lender. However, please note that the lender will likely complete another credit assessment. Make sure you speak with a professional financial advisor before you move ahead with this option. They can also provide financial advice for your ideas and plans in managing your home loan.