April 04, 2012
Home loan borrowers should stay on high alert for the most competitive loans and lenders, even when the cash rate is stable, according to Australia's largest independently-operated mortgage broker, Mortgage Choice, which writes one in almost every 20 approved home loans.
Company spokesperson Belinda Williamson said, "Today's pre-Easter Reserve Bank decision to keep the cash rate on hold at 4.25% is no cause for complacency among home loan borrowers."
"Borrowers who allow their home loan to lay idle and assume their lender is doing everything they can to help them reach their home ownership goal may be surprised at what they could be missing out on. Without comparing their lender's loan products to those offered by others, they may be passing up the opportunity to save thousands of dollars in interest and shave months, or years off their home loan term.
"Now may be a good time to see how your lender rates in terms of product pricing, service quality, accessibility, and the flexibility to accommodate borrowers' changing needs or circumstances.
"A home loan comparison from a professional mortgage broker with a wide range of lenders, including big and small banks, and non bank lenders such as building societies and credit unions, can help borrowers compare interest rates, fees, features and even lenders' customer service performance and accessibility, enabling borrowers to make informed decisions about their lender and loan choice.
"Of course, switching lenders and/or loans depends on the individual's home loan situation. You will need to assess your financial situation, including your current loan obligations, future plans and goals, and whether the benefits would outweigh the cost and time it may take to switch."
Mortgage Choice offers the following tips for comparing home loan lenders and their products:
- How competitive are my lender's home loan interest rates? Monitor whether or not they pass on the savings in full or in part when the cash rate drops.
- What will my lender do to keep me as a customer? If you are considering moving to a new lender, ask your current lender if to keep your business they would be willing to match a competitor's offer.
- How do their fees compare? Get your broker to compare how your lender stacks up in terms of fees and charges (eg. for loan features, everyday transactions, late penalties, early repayments, exit fees, etc.).
- Does my lender offer a loan with the features I need? Check that your lender offers you the loan features you need for today and tomorrow such as offset account, redraw etc, all at a reasonable cost.
- How accessible is my lender? If branch access on weekends or after hours phone support is high on your list of priorities, determine whether your lender, or an alternative lender, offers such facilities.
- Can my lender meet my changing needs? Research whether your lender offers a wide range of loan options for you, should your personal or financial situation change (eg. you need a loan top up, access to funds for renovations or you wish to refinance an existing loan).
For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Mortgage Choice Corporate Affairs
(02) 8907 0472 / 0407 416 124