What options are available for first home buyers to help with covering the cost of the deposit or repayments?
A redraw facility and offset accounts are useful tools and could help you pay off your mortgage sooner if used wisely. A redraw facility allows you to take back any money that you have 'overpaid' into your home loan (e.g. if your minimum home loan repayments for the year are $15,000 and you manage to pay in $20,000 then you would have $5,000 available in redraw.)
Don't forget that the reduced interest charges you were enjoying by overpaying will disappear when you redraw the money because your effective loan balance will go up. It can also take time to access your funds via a redraw facility and you may also be charged a fee each time you use the redraw facility. Limits are often imposed on the amount of each withdrawal as well as the number of redraws available annually. Redraw is, however, commonly a standard feature even on basic loans, so you shouldn