Around 17 per cent of Australian mortgage holders are facing some level of mortgage stress, according to Roy Morgan research. Even if you’re comfortably meeting your repayments, some savings here and there won’t do any harm. If you could cut down your mortgage repayments, you might be able to afford more of life’s little extras – dinners out with your partner, music lessons for the kids, or home renovations.
If you’re looking to shave some money off your home loan, here are a few tips that could help.
1. Make extra repayments
Additional weekly payments of as little as $25 on top of your usual mortgage repayments could save you a tonne. On an average loan of $250,000 at an interest rate of 7.5 per cent, such a small amount could save you as much as $80,000 in interest and could also mean you’ll pay off your loan five years sooner.
Use our Extra Repayment Calculator to estimate how much you could save from making additional repayments.
2. Restructure your home loan
Restructuring involves changing your home loan, either by negotiating a better deal with your existing lender, or switching lenders. It can enable you to take advantage of a lower interest rate or gain access to flexible extras, but it can also come with its own fees and risks.
By restructuring, you might choose to get a redraw facility that will let you deposit extra money into your mortgage, reducing both your interest and the length of your loan. An offset account – a savings account linked to your loan – can also help you save on the amount of interest you pay.
3. Buy in a more affordable area
Australia’s city centres are expensive to buy in. Monthly mortgage repayments are now $2,000 or well above in Brisbane, Darwin, Perth, Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney, ABS data shows.
Consider rentvesting, whereby you buy a home in a more affordable location in the suburbs and rent it out, while you rent accommodation in the city – closer to your work and social life. Or if you’re happy to move interstate, consider relocating to a more affordable city such as Adelaide, where the monthly mortgage repayments are just over $1,700.
4. Take advantage of government concessions and grants
First home owner grants are available in all Australian states to give young Australians a helping hand, along with a number of other concessions such as stamp duty reductions and incentives for buying off-the-plan or vacant land.
Look into what’s available in your state to find out how much you could save.
5. Consult a mortgage broker
Your Smartline mortgage advisers offer free consultations, comparing dozens of home loans from different lenders to find you one that’s competitive. They’ll weigh up all the different options and present you with personalised calculations of how much you could save.
Call your adviser today!