Refinancing your home loan can be a strategic move that gives you more financial freedom.
However, before you jump in and kick-start the process, it’s vital to properly research the options and consider your unique circumstances.
What is refinancing?
Put simply, refinancing takes existing debt – such as your home loan, personal loans, and credit card debt – and replaces it with a new loan. The idea is that the new loan has better terms or features that enable easier repayments and other benefits.
Here’s how the refinancing process plays out:
- You have a loan that you’d like to improve upon in some way
- You find a new lender that offers better loan terms
- The new loan pays off your existing loan in full
- You now make repayments on your new loan
Homeowners refinance their home loans for a myriad of reasons. Here are just a few of the potential benefits of refinancing:
- Lower repayments, improving your cash flow and granting you more financial freedom
- Long term savings, if your new loan has a lower interest rate
- A shortened loan term, if your financial circumstances change and you’d like to pay off your loan faster
- Debt consolidation, if you have more than one loan, particularly if you have existing loans with a high-interest rate like credit card debts
When is the right time to refinance?
Want to take advantage of some of the benefits of loan refinancing? The trick to a successful refinance is getting the timing right.
Here are four examples of when refinancing may be useful.
1. You are renovating or expanding your home
Renovation can add value to your property while making your living situation more comfortable. Refinancing can give you the cash you need to make that possible.
2. You are buying as an investment
If you need cash in hand to take advantage of an investment opportunity, refinancing may be the way to go. It’s essential to recognise the risks, however, before you take the plunge.
3. You’ve found a better loan
If you’ve found a loan with better terms and more benefits, refinancing can save you money.
4. Your financial situation has changed
If your cash flow has increased, you may wish to pay off your debt faster. On the other hand, if your cash flow has decreased, opting to refinance can help you better manage your income.
Everyone’s financial situation is unique
Remember, always seek professional advice before making a decision to refinance your loan as the process does come with its own risks. What’s more, you’ll need to consider things like transaction costs, lost benefits, and potentially higher interest rates.