Handling your home loan
Sunday, 28 September 2014
Now that you have your home, it’s important to make sure you are managing your home loan as well as you can. Here are some things you should be thinking about:
Make sure your home loan is factored in as part of a well-thought out budget, and think about where you could reduce unnecessary spending. A couple of dollars a week may mean one less coffee a week, but it could save you thousands during the life of your loan, so make a budget and stick to it.
It can also be helpful to factor in future payment increases so that you can be prepared when this happens. Most HomeStart loan repayments typically change once a year in line with inflation, which is known as the Repayment Safeguard.
You can choose whether you want to make repayments weekly, fortnightly or monthly. Opting to pay weekly or fortnightly can help you get ahead on your loan, as this will equate to more repayments within the same year. There are 26 fortnights in a year but only 12 months in a year.
|Repayment amount||Frequency||Amount paid over 12 months|
Paying more over the same period means that you’ll save on interest charges over the life of the loan, and build equity sooner.
If you get paid fortnightly, it may help to synchronise your loan repayments to when you get paid.
Round up your number
If your home loan allows you to, round up your repayment figure to an even number, even if it is just a small amount such as an extra $10 or $20. It may not seem like much per payment, but it all adds up and will help you get ahead on your loan term.
Voluntary lump sum repayments
The bigger your loan balance, the more interest you pay. A voluntary repayment is an amount you can choose to pay that exceeds your minimum required amount. It’s a great way to reduce your loan balance and the interest charges you pay over the life of your home loan. By staying ahead of your repayments, you could also have the option to redraw those funds should the need arise.
Stay in touch
It’s important to review your loan, particularly if your circumstances change, so stay in touch with your HomeStart lender, and check in at MyStart for more handy information about managing your loan.