If you believe you are paying too much for your loan, one great way to save money is by refinancing. But wait – there is more to just finding a loan with a lower interest rate and swapping over. We recommend that before the switch, you ensure the savings you could make outweigh the fees involved. Below we have included the different costs to consider:
Although loans taken out after 1 July 2011 are not subject to deferred establishment, or exit fees, those taken out prior to this date may still be charged a fee. Also known as ‘early termination’ or ‘early discharge’ fees, they can sometimes be paid by your new lender but are normally applied to an early contract exit, which would be paid by you, the borrower.
The establishment fee, also known as ‘application’, ‘up-front’ or ‘set-up’ fee, covers the lender’s cost of preparing the necessary documents for your new home loan. They are payable on most new loans. Alternatively, in lieu of this particular fee, the lender could charge higher ongoing fees for the life of the loan.
Mortgage discharge fee
This fee covers your early legal release from all mortgage obligations, which is not to be confused with an exit fee. Also known as a ‘settlement’ or ‘termination’ fee, its purpose is to compensate your lender for the revenue it may lose due to the contract break.
Lender’s mortgage insurance (LMI)
This non-transferrable premium means that if you hold less than 20 per cent equity at the time of your refinance, you may have to pay LMI even if you paid it on the original loan. Extra care is also needed here because regardless if you hold 20 per cent of the original valuation of the property, you may not if the property’s value has decreased and; while LMI may not have been a consideration in the original loan, it may be payable on the refinance.
If your purpose for making the switch is to increase your loan amount, for example to fund renovations, then stamp duty will apply only to the difference between the original loan amount and the refinanced loan amount. Different rules apply in different states, so it’s worth speaking to us to see if this charge applies.
Other government charges
Fees are applied for the registration and deregistration of a mortgage so that all claims on a property can be checked by any future buyers. Varying from state to state, these can potentially add up to $1000 or more.
If you were on a fixed rate loan, your lender is likely to charge you a fee for ‘breaking’ out of the loan term. This fee varies depending on the amount owed, the interest rate you were locked into, the current interest rate and the duration of your loan.
Although some of these fees can be negotiated by a broker, the total cost can be substantial. As your mortgage broker, we can help you decide whether refinancing is the right option for you to achieve your goals. We can also ensure you are only paying the relevant fees for your unique circumstance. To find out if it’s the right time for you to refinance, please reach out. We’re here to help and would be happy to answer any questions.