Home loans customers 'should not get caught up looking at interest rates'

Aussies in the market for home loans have been urged to look at features other than the interest rates on offer.

According to Kristy Sheppard, spokesperson for Mortgage Choice, consumers often think finding a product with a competitive rate is the most important goal when searching for a home loan.

However, she suggested that this is "just the beginning", adding: "What lies beneath should be paid just as much attention, such as other features needed now or in future, the fees – some of which may go unnoticed until the mortgage is in full swing – and the quality of service."

She recommended thinking about whether a fixed or variable rate is the best option and to look at the loan redraw facility or lack of it in each home loan product.

Last week, the expert observed that figures published by her company revealed that 45 per cent of the mortgages sold were fixed-rate products.

The loan fees were also cited as an important consideration and Ms Sheppard said Aussies should ask for a breakdown of the features and fees for each of the options they are looking at.

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