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Loan features explained

If you’re wondering if you really need any of the features listed on loan product descriptions, the answer is: you might.

Generally home loan features are about cost, convenience and flexibility. Depending on your plans and your lifestyle, some of them can really save you a lot of money and hassle.

Interest-only repayments

This feature allows you to pay off only the interest portion of the loan for a set period, usually one to five years. It won’t save you money because you won’t be reducing your principalduring this period. In fact, you may end up paying a little more interest in the long term, but it will help reduce your regular repayments for a period of time.

This can be handy during the early years of your loan because the reduced repayments can make the adjustment to paying off a mortgage a little easier.

Remember: you will still need to pay off the original amount you borrowed by the end of the loan term, as well as any interest accrued.

Weekly or fortnightly repayments

Most loans repayments are due monthly, but some lenders allow you to pay them fortnightly or weekly. This can save you quite a bit in the long run, because interest on home loans is calculated daily, so the more often you pay off a bit of the principal, the less interest you’ll pay over the long term.

To see how this could save you thousands, take a look at our repayment calculator.

Extra repayments

Some loans allow you to make higher regular repayments or pay off a lump sum chunk when and if you can. Either type of extra repayment could help you pay your loan off sooner and save thousands of dollars in interest in the long term.

Redraws

A redraw facility allows you to re-borrow any extra repayments you’ve made. It means you can reduce your interest repayments when you have some extra money, but get that cash back when you need it. There maybe additional fees to use this feature.

Offset account

This is a bank account connected to your home loan. The amount of cash in the account is taken off the outstanding loan balance then interest charges are calculated. The more money in the account, the less you’ll pay.

Portability

Portability means you can take the same home loan with you if you sell up and buy another property to live in. This can save you a lot of fees and hassle when you move house, but there may also be a charge to use this feature.



Continue to information about the questions you should ask before signing a loan contract.




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