How to compare home loans
Looking at the comparison rate can be helpful when comparing home loans. The comparison rate or ‘Annual Average Percentage Rate’ (AAPR) includes the interest rate and ongoing or upfront fees over the life of the mortgage combined into one percentage figure. This can help homebuyers see a more accurate representation of the loan.
However, the advertised interest rate is not necessarily the rate your mortgage lender will give you. Lenders offer different rates to different borrowers depending upon factors like the size of their deposit, whether they want an interest only loan, whether it is for an investment or owner-occupied property and other factors.
Key fact sheets
Key fact sheets are another important tool that can help you compare home loans. They give you the information you need to compare features when shopping for a home loan.
A key fact sheet is a document that summarises the loan you’re considering, including a personalised comparison rate. It includes an estimated lifetime cost for your home loan, the size of monthly and annual repayments and also explains how monthly repayments will be affected if interest rates increase.
Key fact sheets can be obtained from your lender. They are required by law to provide a fact sheet to a customer when requested.
Loan Comparison Calculator
Using a mortgage calculator allows you to compare home loans easily. This tool can give you a rough estimate of repayments instantly. Just enter different loan amounts, terms, interest rates, and fees to find out the repayments.
What to compare
Look at how interest rates differ between various lenders. Compare and contrast them against each other, and see which lender offers the most competitive rate. You should check how their fixed and variable rates differ from their competitors.
Lenders will charge various fees, so be sure to check what associated fees and charges are levied. Valuation fees, legal fees, application fees, monthly or annual fees, late repayments and discharge fees are some of the fees you need to compare.
Offset accounts or redraw offset facilities are linked to your home loan. The money in the facility is offset against your mortgage, reducing the amount of interest you need to pay. So if your account has $20,000 in it, and your home loan is $400,000, this means you’ll only pay interest on $380,000.
Does the loan allow you to make extra repayments without charge? Paying more than the minimum amount can help you pay off your home loan much faster.
Before you partner with any lender, make sure to investigate their loan options so you can see what fits your personal or financial situation the best.