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Your guide to refinancing your home loan

Read our guide covering everything you need to know if you're considering refinancing to another lender.

Ready to refinance your loan to another lender?

Unlike other lenders, as soon as you can do so, we encourage you to move to another lender, referred to as refinancing your home 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 you to refinance is that, when you leave us, we can then lend to another Western Australian to help them into their own home, just like we helped you.

You may meet the criteria of other lenders when you have built up enough equity in your home. Equity is the difference between your home's market value and your remaining loan balance, usually expressed as a percentage.

How to know when you're ready to refinance

To refinance, most lenders want you to have at least 20% equity in your home.

You can build your equity by

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

Track your progress to 20% in our app

We have designed our app to help you track your progress towards 20% equity. The app allows you to check in on your home's estimated value and your loan balance, so you'll know when you're ready to move on and refinance with another lender who may offer lower interest rates and other benefits.

Plus you'll get loads of financial resources and can manage your home loan all in one place.

Watch your property value

Our app presents you with an approximate value for your home, giving you easy access to an indication of what your home may be worth.

There are also excellent resources available to help you research property sales in your suburb. Knowing more about your area gives you a realistic idea of your home's value.

One easy way to do this is to keep an eye on real estate websites to view sales for similar homes in your area.

Need to build more equity?

Building equity can take many years so you may need a long-term plan for refinancing your loan. You can make additional ongoing or once-off payments in the app to increase your equity.

Our repayment calculator can also show you the difference you can make to your loan by making additional payments.

Repayment calculator

How to select your new lender

Consider your options

If you want to refinance to another lender, you'll need to pick the lender and loan product that is right for you. We'll need this information to arrange your refinancing. We can't make recommendations but you can do some research yourself.

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

Do you have a broker?

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

Refinancing offers and options

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

View current refinancing offers

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.

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's 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 including home loans. 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.

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.

  • For a flexible shared ownership home loan: if you 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. You can view these details in the Get ahead section of our app.
  • For 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.

Refinancing your shared ownership home

Check in on your home value.

Check in on your home's estimated value and your loan balance, so you know when to refinance and move on to another lender who may offer lower interest rates and other benefits.