Applying for a home loan can be really confusing, and it’s easy to make mistakes along the way. We’ve got some tips to help you avoid the bad stuff when it comes to your home loan.

1. Know what you need
Know the information and documents lenders require when you apply for a home loan. This includes having the correct identification, proof of income, declaration of assets and recent debt statements. Not having this information may delay the process of applying for a home loan. You can find out what you need to get started with a HomeStart quote, here

2. Don’t over-apply!
Steer away from making too many home loan applications. When you apply for a loan it is recorded on your credit file, which all lenders can access. If you apply for a loan through numerous lenders  it may impact on your chance of having your application approved. 

3. Read the fine print
Check the finer details of the home loan you are considering. Some lenders may charge hidden fees, such as penalty fees for late payments, using a redraw facility, or making additional payments. Be sure to ask lots of questions so you feel confident. Or you can get a friend or family member to have a second look for you. 

4. Don’t over commit
Be wary of over-committing when it comes to your borrowing capacity and deposit. It is important to have some money put aside to cope with unexpected costs, events or loss of income. For free budget and saving calculators check out the saving tips on our blog or visit www.moneysmart.gov.au

5. Understand about LMI
LMI (Lender’s mortgage insurance) protects your lender against any potential loss if you can’t pay the loan. It is normally required when a borrower doesn’t have a large enough deposit. There are ways you can avoid paying LMI, such as saving a larger deposit, or going with a lender like HomeStart who typically have a less costly alternative.

6. It’s not all about interest rates
Bear in mind that the interest rate isn’t the only factor to consider when choosing a home loan. Other factors to weigh up include how much certainty or flexibility you want with your home loan and repayments, as well as the type of loan features that are best suited to your situation.

7. Ask Ask ASK!!! 
Ask if you don’t understand. Forms associated with applying and signing off on a home loan are detailed and can be confusing. Read through the information and be sure to ask your lender, or an independent adviser, if you have any questions. Also check in with family and friends who have gone through the process before.