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Fixed or Variable Interest Rates – To fix or not to fix

Fixed interest rates or Variable interest rates, which one is for you? “Should we fix our home loan interest rate or is it better to have a variable interest rate?” While interest rates are at record lows, many individuals are asking if now is a good time to refinance and potentially secure a better rate. 
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Fixed or Variable Interest Rates – To fix or not to fix

Fixed interest rates or Variable interest rates, which one is for you? “Should we fix our home loan interest rate or is it better to have a variable interest rate?” While interest rates are at record lows, many individuals are asking if now is a good time to refinance and potentially secure a better rate. 
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Keep reading

Which loan is right for me?

Well, that all depends on your circumstances. Variable and fixed loans have their advantages and disadvantages so it’s imperative to consider these before making a decision. Split loans combine features of both variable and fixed loans allowing you to broaden your options.

Variable Loans

Advantages

  • When the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) lowers the cash rate lending, institutions may pass these savings on to you in the form of lower interest rates. But not always!
  • You can make additional repayments without incurring a penalty and then have the option to redraw the additional funds at a later date.
  • Provides more flexibility than other types of home loans or property investment loans.

Disadvantages

  • When the RBA or lending institutions increase rates, the interest rate on your loan will also increase – meaning you will pay more interest.

 

Fixed Loans

Advantages

  • If interest rates increase during the fixed period, your loan interest rate and repayments will not rise. Loans can typically be fixed for periods between 1 to 5 years.
  • Budgeting is easier by offering the predictability of a set repayment each month and giving you security over your financial institution.

Disadvantages

  • When interest rates go down, the rate on your loan will remain the same so you won’t have the benefit of potential savings.
  • Some fixed loans may limit the flexibility of being able to make extra repayments to repay your loan early. It’s also possible you may not be able to redraw the extra repayments during the fixed rate period.
  • If you choose to exit or switch your loan before the end of the fixed term period, there may be early termination fees.

 

Home loan account features to consider:

It is important not to judge a home loan solely on interest rates. Be aware of other fees including upfront fees and ongoing monthly fees. We can help you to review the costs and benefits of extra features such as an offset account or redraw facility, which may save you money. Other loan features to pay attention to include lenders waiving fees and charges for other accounts held with them (such as monthly transaction account keeping). Make sure extra repayments are not penalised. Some loans, such as fixed loans and some no-frills variable loans, may limit the amount by which you can reduce your loan.

How easy is it to switch to another home loan?

Many people end up paying more than they need by staying in an incorrect loan because they think it is ‘too hard’ to investigate switching to another option. We research alternative products available and if changing products is the right solution for your situation. We help make the process as smooth as possible.

As of 1 July 2011, federal banking reforms came into effect, banning exit fees including deferral establishment fees. This ban applies to home loans entered into after 1 July 2011. However many lenders have also extended the removal of fees to existing loans. We can advise you of any exit charges for your individual loans. Standard costs such as stamp duty and registration will also apply (although in some states you may be exempt from paying stamp duty).

Refinancing your mortgage

Whether it’s refinancing to get a better interest rate or consolidating debt to take control of your finances, we can help you find the right solution to suit your needs. Click here to learn more!

Regardless of your situation, we are here to help you!  

If you want to know more about your options please leave your details below and we will be in touch.

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