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  • My Finance Network

How to deal with rising home loan rates in 2023

Updated: Mar 15, 2023

For several years, borrowers enjoyed historically low mortgage rates. But a series of steep interest rate increases by the Reserve Bank of Australia including March's 10th consecutive hike, now has us looking at a much different picture.

Rapidly rising repayments might have plenty of Aussie households on edge, but there are a few things you can do to cope with a higher interest rate environment. We explore a few below.

1. Make extra repayments

Anything you pay on top of your regular repayments goes towards paying down the principal portion of your loan. Since interest is charged on the principal, if you can chip away at it ahead of schedule you’ll pay less in interest overall.

Use our extra repayments calculator to work out how much time and money you could save.

2. Make a lump sum payment

Whether it’s a tax return, a birthday gift, or part of an inheritance, putting any large sums of money you receive towards your mortgage will chip away at the outstanding balance, reducing the amount of interest that's charged on your loan.

3. Put your offset account to use

An offset account is a transaction account linked to your home loan, with one key difference: the funds held in the offset account are offset against the loan principal.

For example, if you have a loan balance of $400,000 and $50,000 in your offset account, you’ll only be charged interest on $350,000.

According to CommBank, a borrower with a $500,000 loan and an interest rate of 4.50% p.a. can save around $60,000 over 30 years, assuming they have a starting offset balance of $10,000 and deposit $100 each month.

4. Refinance your loan

If your current home loan wasn’t all that competitive to begin with, it’ll look downright unappealing once interest rates have reached their peak.

Make sure you browse other options on the market to see how yours stacks up, and if there are cheaper loans out there, it might be worth refinancing. It helps having a mortgage professional on your side like us here at MyFN, who can do all the legwork for you and help get you the best rate based on your individual circumstances.

5. Reduce your spending

Sometimes it can help to take a close look at your finances and see if there are any opportunities to cut back. You’d be surprised how quickly small, regular purchases can add up, and if you can eliminate them it can free you up to make extra repayments on your loan.

6. Make more frequent repayments

Depending on how your lender calculates your repayments, switching your repayment cycle from monthly to fortnightly or weekly might save you money in the long run.

How so? If you’re currently paying $2,000 each month, your total yearly repayments will total $24,000. But if your lender halves the amount you pay monthly and charges it every two weeks, you’ll actually pay back $26,000 over the year.

7. Come and speak to us

Last but not least, if you’re concerned about what’s going on with interest rates, inflation and/or how you’ll meet your home loan repayments, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

Everybody’s situation is different. And we understand many of the ideas we’ve listed above might not suit your financial and personal situation.


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