Whether you're applying for your first home loan or are interested in home loan refinancing, it's essential that you ask for a key facts sheet from your provider.

Anything that can make the process of applying for housing finance easier should be welcomed, so make sure you ask your potential lender for a copy of their key facts sheet.

What is a key facts sheet?

If you've not heard of these documents before, they're designed to give you all the information you're likely to need on a mortgage product, enabling you to make educated decisions and comparisons.

They were introduced as part of the government's banking reforms and every lending institution has to provide you with one when asked. These rules came into force on January 1 2012.

The benefits of a key facts sheet

Comparing home loans isn't always easy, but with a key facts sheet, you can see the main points and decide which is going to be best suited to your needs.

The documents are presented in a standardised format, so there's no need to spend a long time trying to locate the specific piece of information you're after.

It's easy to become confused by all the positives and negatives of the different home loans you've looked at.

A key facts sheet will therefore be useful for drawing up quick comparisons when it comes to making your final decisions.

What to bear in mind

Remember that when you receive a key facts sheet it in no way represents that you've been offered a loan. It's available only as a source of information should your home loan be given the green light.

It's also important to know that key facts sheets are not tailored to your specific needs, they're generalised documents given out by financial institutions to anyone interested in their products.

You can contact a Smartline Mortgage Adviser on 13 14 97 for home loan advice. Or complete our call request form and we'll call you!

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DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article is correct at the time of publishing and is subject to change. It is intended to be of a general nature only. It has been prepared without taking into account any person’s objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this information, Smartline recommends that you consider whether it is appropriate for your circumstances. Smartline recommends that you seek independent legal, financial, and taxation advice before acting on any information in this article.