It’s a staggering figure – in April of this year alone, Australians held a crazy $1.28 trillion in residential mortgages. With the average value of those mortgages sitting at over $600,000, it’s plain to see that a large number of those loans haven’t been reviewed for a significant length of time.
If you haven’t checked out your mortgage in years, it’s understandable. With everything else that life throws on your plate, many people simply forget about their mortgages after they buy their property, letting the repayments tick over idly in the background.
When the average age of first-time buyers is rising as quickly as it is, however, taking the time to review your mortgage once a year could be the deciding factor on whether you retire mortgage-free.
When you conduct that review, here’s what you need to consider:
1) Change Your Loan as You Change
Whether you’ve switched careers, upped your earnings or maybe even welcomed a few new members into the family, the chances are that things in your life have changed since you bought your property.
Whatever your circumstances, it’s essential that your home loan matches you. If you’ve got that promotion, you may be able to pay more back each month. If you’ve had a family, you might want to consider a redraw facility to free up equity for essential purchases.
Not all loans are going to suit you, so you need to tweak yours during this review to get the most out of it.
2) Move Your Mortgage to Match the Market
If it’s been a while since you refinanced your mortgage, you’re almost definitely paying more than you should be. Why? Because since 2011, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) have been slowly but steadily lowering the cash rate. It was at 4.75% back then, but it now sits at a rock-bottom 1.5%. As a result, many lenders have taken direction from the RBA and have dropped their interest rates to match.
You can see where you’re missing out. If you haven’t refinanced, you’re still paying interest that’s representative of the 2011 cash rate, you’re giving away money that you don’t need to be.
In addition to looking back at past events, you should also use your mortgage review to prepare for what could come in the future. 80% of Australian economists have predicted that there’ll be an increase in the cash rate made by the RBA as soon as next July, so your refinance should bear this in mind.
Mortgage reviews aren’t fun, but they’re a vital aspect of the home owning process if you want to be efficient with your outgoings. Save a little by refinancing your mortgage and you’ll have more money to spend on what really matters.