6 mistakes to avoid when refinancing your home loan

With what seems like an endless amount of RBA rate rises, it’s little wonder more Aussies than ever are choosing to refinance their mortgages for a better deal. But when making the educated decision to change lenders, there are a few things borrowers should consider before making the switch.

While it’s true; refinancing can be a great way to save money on repayments and reduce the overall cost over the life of your loan, there are still common mistakes borrowers make when navigating the home loan market. So if you think you’re ready to refinance, consider these 6 things, before signing on the dotted line.


  1. Focusing only on the interest rate
    While it can be great shopping around for the lowest rate, borrowers often overlook other important aspects like loan features that could save them even more. For instance, benefits like having an offset account or the ability to make unlimited repayments could be your ticket to paying off your mortgage sooner.
  2. Sticking with the same lender
    Many borrowers who refinance will often ask their existing lender for a better deal, when in fact, shopping around could very well score you a better rate. Being loyal to your bank doesn’t always mean you’re getting the best deal and the process is the same whether you stick to your existing lender or go to a new one. So you could very well be doing yourself a disservice by not exploring your options.
  3. Ignoring the comparison rate
    Borrowers will often only look at the main headline interest rate which represents the annual interest rate, when refinancing their home loan. A better approach is to look at the comparison rate as this is a true representation of what you’ll be paying when you factor things like on-going fees and charges you may incur.
  4. Starting another 30 year loan term
    While it can be tempting to extend your mortgage to 25 or 30 years to reduce repayments, it means that all the progress you have made will have you back to square one if you choose a long loan term. Take advantage of a lower interest rate to pay your mortgage down, so it doesn’t drag on more than it has to.
  5. Using too much of your equity
    If you’ve had your home loan for some time, you have probably accumulated equity or value in your home. Many borrowers use their equity to renovate or make a big purchase, but doing so could be a mistake in the current climate with rising interest rates and the possible decline in home values, so tread with caution.
  6. Choosing the wrong time to refinance
    Time is of the essence, but finding the right time to refinance is key. If for instance you are locked into a fixed loan rate, you’ll want to wait until your fixed term has ended before refinancing as you may incur ‘break-cost’ fees that you weren’t expecting.
    

Ready to refinance your home loan? Check out some top refinance deals below or why not see who made the Mozo Experts Choice Awards for Home Loans winners list in 2023.^

Home loan comparisons on Mozo - last updated 1 March 2024

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  • Offset Home Loan

    Package, Owner Occupier, LVR<60%, Principal & Interest

    interest rate
    comparison rate
    Initial monthly repayment
    6.15% p.a. variable
    6.40% p.a.

    Ability to open up to 10 offset accounts per loan account. Fast online application. Linked Debit Mastercard® with fee-free access at ATMs across Australia. Package a credit card with your home loan and the annual card fee will be waived (T&Cs apply). 40% deposit required.

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  • Neat Home Loan

    Owner Occupier, Principal & Interest, LVR <60%

    interest rate
    comparison rate
    Initial monthly repayment
    6.09% p.a. variable
    6.11% p.a.

    Competitively-priced variable rate loan. Ideal for owner occupiers and investors. No service fees to pay. Make free extra repayments and redraws. Flexible repayment schedule available.

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    Details
  • Straight Up

    Obliterate, Owner Occupier, Principal & Interest, <50% LVR

    interest rate
    comparison rate
    Initial monthly repayment
    6.24% p.a. variable
    6.24% p.a.

    Get a low variable rate depending on your deposit with Athena’s Straight Up Variable Home Loan. AcceleRATES feature helps you to reduce your home loan even faster (T&Cs apply). Zero fees to pay. Free redraw facility. Handy mobile app to manage your home loan.

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  • Flex Home Loan

    Fixed, Owner Occupier, Principal & Interest, LVR <60%

    interest rate
    comparison rate
    Initial monthly repayment
    6.64% p.a.
    fixed 3 years
    6.52% p.a.

    Competitive Fixed rate. Multiple offset accounts available. Borrowers can also make extra repayments. Redraw facility available. Simple online application process. 40% deposit required.

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    Details
  • Straight Up

    Obliterate, Investor, Principal & Interest, <50% LVR

    interest rate
    comparison rate
    Initial monthly repayment
    6.34% p.a. variable
    6.34% p.a.

    Investors get a low variable rate depending on your deposit with Athena’s Straight Up Investor Variable Home Loan. AcceleRATES feature helps you to reduce your home loan even faster (T&Cs apply). Zero fees to pay. Free redraw facility. Handy mobile app to manage your home loan.

    Compare
    Details
  • Basic Home Loan

    Fixed, Owner Occupier, Principal & Interest, LVR<70%

    interest rate
    comparison rate
    Initial monthly repayment
    5.99% p.a.
    fixed 3 years
    6.13% p.a.

    No upfront or ongoing fees. Free extra repayments and redraw facility. Option to earn Qantas points. Min 30% deposit required. Borrow up to $750,000.

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  • Fixed Rate

    Owner Occupier, Principal & Interest, <80% LVR

    interest rate
    comparison rate
    Initial monthly repayment
    6.54% p.a.
    fixed 2 years
    7.10% p.a.

    Enjoy up to $3000 cashback for eligible first home buyers and $2000 cashback for refinancers on eligible home loans with the ANZ Fixed Rate Home Loan. Get the security of repayment certainty with a competitive locked in rate. No ongoing fees to pay. Offset account on 1-year fixed loans ($10/month fee applies). Interest-only payments allowed.

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    Details
  • Basic Home Loan

    Owner Occupier, LVR 60-70%, Principal & Interest

    interest rate
    comparison rate
    Initial monthly repayment
    6.15% p.a. variable
    6.17% p.a.

    Enjoy a low rate home loan with $0 application fee and $0 ongoing fees. Flexibility to split your loan and set different repayment types. Fee free redraw from your loan using online banking. Flexible ways to repay. 30% Deposit required.

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    Details

* WARNING: This comparison rate applies only to the example or examples given. Different amounts and terms will result in different comparison rates. Costs such as redraw fees or early repayment fees, and cost savings such as fee waivers, are not included in the comparison rate but may influence the cost of the loan. The comparison rate displayed is for a secured loan with monthly principal and interest repayments for $150,000 over 25 years.

** Initial monthly repayment figures are estimates only, based on the advertised rate. You can change the loan amount and term in the input boxes at the top of this table. Rates, fees and charges and therefore the total cost of the loan may vary depending on your loan amount, loan term, and credit history. Actual repayments will depend on your individual circumstances and interest rate changes.

^See information about the Mozo Experts Choice Home Loan Awards

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