While the focus can be on getting into your own home sooner, it’s equally as important to consider how you will manage your home loan once you have one.

Here are some things to consider.

Payment frequency
You can choose to make repayments weekly, fortnightly or monthly.

Opting to pay weekly or fortnightly rather than monthly can help you get ahead on your repayments since this equates to more repayments within the same timeframe.

There are 26 fortnights in a year but only 12 months in a year.

For example:
 
Repayment amount Frequency Amount paid over 12 months
$1,000 Monthly (1,000x12) $12,000
$1,000 Fortnightly (500x26) $13,000


Paying more over the same period means you’ll save on interest charges over the life of the loan and build equity sooner.  

Read what is equity or loan repayments explained to find out more.

Voluntary 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 have the option to redraw those funds should the need arise like renovations or unforseen expenses.

With HomeStart for example, you could even take a repayment holiday that suspends your repayments for a certain period depending on how much you are in advance by and your loan type.

Also, consider rounding up your minimum repayment amount. Even if this is just a small amount extra like an additional $10 or $20, it will help you get ahead on your loan term.

Prepare
When working out your budget, it can be useful to factor in repayment increases so you’re prepared if this happens.

Generally, a lender increases your repayments when the interest rate applicable to your loan increases.

At HomeStart, most loan repayments typically only change once a year in line with inflation, which is known as the Repayment Safeguard.

Knowing you could afford an increase in your repayments is an important way to prepare for the future and ensure you have a buffer for any unexpected expenses.

Access
Consider the best way to access your details on your home loan. Opting for online statements rather than printed statements may save on fees.

Always talk to your lender about the different ways you can access information and the fees for each method so you can make the right choice for your circumstances.

Another thing to consider is the method you choose to make your repayments. Some payment methods will incur a fee for using that facility compared to other options.

Talk to your lender
If your circumstances change and impact your ability to manage your home loan, talk to your lender.

It’s important to let them know of a change early on, as they may be able to help you.