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Refinancing your home loan

This guide runs through the steps involved in refinancing your Keystart home loan and gives some tips on what to consider.

Refinancing your loan to another lender

At Keystart our main objective is to help more Western Australians buy an affordable home of their own sooner. The main way we do this is by helping people overcome the barrier of deposit affordability. Unlike most lenders, our deposits start from as low as 2% and we don't require lender's mortgage insurance, reducing the amount of money you need upfront to qualify for a loan. 

As soon as you are able to do so, we encourage you to refinance to another lender. 

You may meet the criteria of other lenders when you have built up enough equity in your home, either because you have

  1. paid more than the minimum monthly repayment or
  2. your home has increased in value.


When you have built enough equity, we encourage you to refinance your loan. There are lots of good reasons for this. You might be able to negotiate a lower interest rate with your new lender, or you could have your new loan packaged together with other financial services products to get a better deal.

The other reason we encourage this is, when you refinance, we can then lend to another Western Australian to help them into their own home, just like we helped you.

What to consider about refinancing

The process of moving to another lender, or refinancing, will vary depending on your own financial situation.

Equity in your home

To refinance, most lenders want you to have at least 20% equity in your home. You may have built your equity by paying more than the minimum monthly repayment or if your home has increased in value.

You can get a rough estimate of your equity by looking at your current loan balance compared to the current value of your home. If there is at least a 20% difference, you may be close to refinancing!

  • Check your current loan balance on the Client Portal or by giving us a call.
  • To get an estimate of the current value of your home, you can contact a real estate agent in your area for a free market appraisal.

Need to build more equity?

Building equity can take many years so you may need a long term plan for refinancing your loan.

Try our repayment calculator tool to see how paying more than your minimum repayment can impact your home loan and increase your equity over time.

Repayment calculator

Research your area

There are excellent resources available to help you research sales in your suburb. Knowing more about your area gives you a realistic idea of how much your home might be worth.

You can look at real estate websites to view sales for similar homes in your area.

Realestate.com.au

You may also find it interesting to view your suburb profile or find out the growth and sales statistics for your area on Real Estate Institute of Western Australia (REIWA)'s website.

REIWA's interactive map: shows your suburb profile and stats

REIWA Suburb Profiles

Comparing lenders' interest rates

Interest rates are often the key deciding factor for most people when comparing lenders for home loans.

When comparing rates, be sure to ask if the rate has a set period, often referred to as an introductory or honeymoon rate. For example, it may be that a rate advertised runs for the first twelve months of the loan but then reverts to the lender’s standard variable rate.

You also need to check what loan-to-value ratio (LVR) the lender requires and if there is a minimum loan amount to qualify for the rate.

When comparing interest rates you may see an advertised rate below what you are paying with Keystart, but it is important you include all the costs associated with setting up a new loan with another lender, including things like

  • lender's mortgage insurance (LMI) may be applicable if you have less than 20% equity,
  • any fees and charges and
  • how much of a deposit you need to have upfront in order to qualify for a loan with a new lender.

Compare key facts sheets

To help consumers compare different lenders, all Australian lenders are required to provide key facts sheets, which include comparison rates on financial products. This is a very handy tool when comparing rates and home loans. Take a look at lender's websites to access key facts sheets for any home loan product.

You can view Keystart's key facts sheets when you look at each of our loan products.

When you're ready to refinance

If you're ready to move away from Keystart, we're here to help. Read more about what happens next and access our Mortgage Discharge Request form to get started.

How to move away from Keystart

Refinancing offers and options

We sometimes get approached by other lenders with refinancing offers for customers.

View current refinancing offers

Shared ownership home loans

If you have a Keystart shared ownership home loan, your options for refinancing differ, depending on whether you have a fixed or flexible shared ownership loan.

If you have a flexible shared ownership home loan and want to refinance to another lender, your new finance needs to cover the current balance of your loan with Keystart and the current value of the Housing Authority's share.

If you have a fixed shared ownership loan, you are not able to refinance to another lender. If you decide to sell your property, it must be sold back to the Housing Authority for the valuation price. This enables the Housing Authority to retain properties in key locations within the Perth Metro area.

You can read more, including refinancing information, on our guide to shared ownership.

All about shared ownership

How do you know when you are ready? When should you refinance?

You'll need to consider your own situation and finances to decide when you're ready. Keystart recommends that you seek your own independent financial advice prior to making any decisions about your financial needs.

In 2016, a portion of Keystart's loan book was assigned to Bendigo Bank. If your loan was assigned we would have informed you of this at the time. If that is you, you may wish to contact Bendigo Bank to discuss refinancing options as it may have refinancing offers that may suit you.

If you have a mortgage broker you may wish to contact them when considering refinancing as they may have access to special offers or a broader range of lenders.

Plan your move

Home ownership is a long term goal. You may find it worthwhile making a three to five-year plan for your home loan, whether you are just starting out or if you are considering refinancing your loan. Take some time to work through your options.

We have prepared these articles for you to consider, but the timing of changing lenders will vary between each person and situation.

What is equity and why is it important?

How to weigh up home loan 'perks'

What are the true costs of home loans?

Keystart recommends that you seek your own independent financial advice prior to making any decisions about your financial needs.

Get in touch

If you would like to get in touch, call us on 1300 578 278, Monday to Friday, 8:00am to 5:00pm. You can also email customer@keystart.com.au. We're here to help.

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