Most of us are so busy dealing with our present mortgage that thinking about the next one feels downright indulgent. But refinancing your mortgage isn’t a luxury that you only consider after a while – depending on your situation, it’s something that you should be thinking about quite frequently.
Here are a few of the common situations that might make you think about refinancing.
You want a more favourable rate
There are a number of reasons why you might suddenly want a better interest rate. For instance, when the Reserve Bank of Australia lowered the cash rate to 2.25 per cent in February – after holding it for 15 months before that – it brought mortgage rates to their lowest level in nearly 50 years. This led many people to contact their mortgage manager and request a refinance.
Alternatively, you might have initially started on a specialist loan that had a higher rate, but have since demonstrated that you’re a reliable borrower. After a year or two on your loan, you want to move to a standard loan with a more generous rate.
You need to get a handle on your debt
According to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, as of March 19, Australians had a whopping $26.1 billion worth of credit card debt, with $4.7 billion worth of interest. That’s roughly the equivalent of the GDP of a small country.
It also equals to $3,353 of debt per credit card holder. And when you consider that some credit cards have interest rates upwards of 20 per cent, getting yourself back in black can seem daunting. By refinancing and consolidating your debts within your home loan, you could end up having more control over your debt.
Your situation’s changed
Whether your situation changes for better or worse, it might be worth refinancing. Perhaps you’ve recently received a pay rise, or come into some money, and you want the ability to make extra or higher repayments with no limit. Or maybe you’re in a less strong financial situation, perhaps because of an expensive divorce, and want an offset account to help bring down the size of your repayments.
Whatever the case, it’s worth bringing it up to your mortgage manager. She or he can analyse your situation and decide what kind of home loan options and features would work most effectively for it if you refinanced.