Refinancing FAQs

See below for answers to the questions our Mortgage Choice brokers are often asked by customers who are considering refinancing.

What is refinancing?

Refinancing lets you change your home loan to suit your new circumstances. Mortgage Choice recommends an annual Home Loan Health Check by your local Mortgage Choice expert to assess whether the original home loan you chose is still the most suitable option for you.

How does refinancing work?

When you take out a new home loan, you use some or all of the funds to pay out your existing loan. The new loan often comes from a different lender, but many people refinance with the lender they've been using for years. If you move to a new lender, that lender will take care of paying out your existing loan.

If you are unsure whether refinancing is right for your current situation, refer to our sections on Why Refinance?, Refinancing Costs, and Potential Savings.

What type of things do people refinance for?

Home loan refinancing may be used for different reasons including:

- Renovating your home or other home improvements such as a pool.

- Paying off your debts such as credit cards by rolling them into your home loan.

- Obtaining a cheaper rate, even if it means giving up a few loan features.

- To raise cash for a purchase such as a car.

- You want to switch from a variable rate to a fixed rate, perhaps because you can want to reduce the risk of higher repayments.

How will refinancing benefit me?

Refinancing can be a smart way to manage your money. Here are a few reasons why you may want to refinance:

- To get peace of mind with a fixed rate

- To access a lower interest rate and reduce your monthly payments

- To gain the flexibility to pay off your loan faster

- To consolidate credit cards, personal loans or other debts to reduce your interest rate and monthly repayments

- To unlock the equity in your current property to finance a renovation, purchase an investment property or free up some extra cash.

Your local Mortgage Choice broker can step you through the process and work out your equity to help you with making a decision.

Should I refinance with interest rate rises?

When the Reserve Bank raises interest rates, banks and other lenders usually follow suit by increasing your mortgage repayments. Refinancing your home loan from a variable to a fixed rate can provide certainty with your repayments.

Your local Mortgage Choice broker can perform a free Home Loan Health Check to see if your current home loan is still the most suitable option for you after an interest rate rise.

What do I need to consider when refinancing?

When done properly under the right circumstances, loan refinancing can be very beneficial. However, there are drawbacks involved - namely the cost. The reasons for refinancing should be legitimate and the long term savings should definitely outweigh the short-term costs. For more details, see our sections exploring Refinancing Costs and Potential Savings.

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