Thousands of Australians refinance their home loan each year^ on the hunt for a lower home loan rate, and in result, more money in their back pockets.
But with Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI) weighing on the minds of wishful refinancers that haven’t built up enough equity in their home to qualify for an LVR of 80% or lower, Mozo Property Expert Steve Jovcevski has called for an end to “double dipping” on mortgage insurance.
“With billions of dollars in loans attracting mortgage insurance, borrowers who haven’t built up 20% equity are staring at the financially painful prospect of paying LMI twice,” he said.
“It’s time for lenders to act to protect their most vulnerable borrowers. Giving people the ability to transfer their insurance to a lender with a more competitive interest rate will significantly improve their chances of building equity in their home.”
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Jovcevski also noted that if you have less than 20% equity on your home and have already paid LMI once, “the news of falling property prices is your worst nightmare.”
“Getting to 20% equity is the goal of all first home owners, but declining prices put paid to any opportunity they have of refinancing at a cheaper interest rate without being slugged by LMI a second time.”
Lenders Mortgage insurance, which is a one-off payment that protects lenders in the event you default on your mortgage, was charged on 1 in 5 loans in the last financial year. It's a cost that can stack up to six or more months of mortgage repayments, and Jovcevski has long been a proponent of making LMI portable, or for refunds to be more readily given
“It’s time lenders allowed this insurance to be transferred across loans without penalty,” he said.
“Making this simple change to lenders mortgage insurance will go a long way to ease the cost of living and significantly reduce the risk of defaults.”
If you’ve weighed up the pros and cons and decided that refinancing is right for you, your next step is looking around for the low rate home loan of your dreams.
Check out some great offers below, or head to our home loan comparison tool for a wider selection.