Before you start checking out the real estate ads for your dream home, it helps to understand the financial obligations like mortgage repayments that come with owning a home. You will want to know how mortgage repayments work, how much they will be and how you might be able to save.
Mortgage repayments are different for every home loan because they are dependent upon the choices you make around your loan, such as:
This guide will help you get a fuller understanding of how your mortgage repayments will work.
You may wonder "how will repaying a home loan fit into my budget" or "how long will it take me to repay the home loan". Understanding the basics of mortgage repayments will help you be better informed when looking for a home loan.
When researching mortgage repayments, there are some standard terms you will come across that you may not understand. Getting to know these terms will help you be better informed about the home loan process.
The principal is the loan amount or the total amount of money you have borrowed from the lender, it includes the cost of the property as well as any fees. These fees may include upfront fees relating to setting up your home loan or lenders mortgage insurance (LMI).
Interest is what you pay the bank or lender for lending you the money to buy your property. It will change depending on your interest rate and the total size of your home loan.
You generally have two options when it comes to the type of interest rate applied to your home loan, fixed or variable. A fixed interest rate is one that stays the same for a period such as 1, 2, 3 or 5 years. A variable interest rate can change at any time during your loan term.
There is a range of fees and charges that lenders will charge when you take out a home loan. You may also need to pay lenders mortgage insurance (LMI) if you don't have sufficient deposit. Most of these fees can be capitalised into your home loan and therefore included in your mortgage repayments.
The loan term is the agreed-upon timeline that you will repay your home loan. The standard loan term is 30 years, but you can ask to adjust this if you think you will be able to repay the loan sooner.
Although if you do adjust the loan term, this will impact your mortgage repayments by increasing them, so you will need to make sure you can afford the change.
When you take out a mortgage loan, you will have to make regular repayments to repay the lender. These repayments can be made at different frequencies depending on your lender and loan type, this is referred to as mortgage repayment frequency.
When organising your home loan, you will need to work out which mortgage repayment frequency is right for you. For instance, if you get paid fortnightly switching to fortnightly repayments may work better for you.
Loan to value ratio (LVR) is the amount you are borrowing from your lender as a percentage of the total value of the property you're using as security for your loan.
Considerable emphasis is placed on LVR by lenders as it indicates the level of risk they are taking when lending you money. The higher the LVR, the bigger the implied risk. Having a larger deposit before you apply for any home loans will help minimise the LVR and therefore the implied risk.
Lenders mortgage insurance (LMI) is taken out by the lender as protection for them. It is used to cover the cost of the loan and any other expenses if you default on your home loan. You can avoid paying this, often pricey, insurance by saving a higher deposit.
Each lender deals with LMI differently. Typically it's applied when you have to borrow more than 80% LVR for full doc loans or more than 60% for low-doc loans. The cost is due upfront but can usually be capitalised into your loan.
You can get an estimate on the premium you may pay with this calculator from Glenworth.
LMI isn't to be confused with mortgage protection insurance which is something you as the borrower can take out to protect yourself. Mortgage protection insurance will help cover the cost of your mortgage repayments if you are unable to pay them due to illness, disability, unemployment or death.
A mortgage repayment calculator is a tool that will help you work out how much your home loan repayments will be. All you need to do is input information about your proposed home loan, and it will give you the repayment amount.
Every mortgage repayment calculator is different, but most will ask for:
If you aren't quite sure of how much you might be able to borrow check out our borrowing capacity calculator to help. Just enter information around your income, expenses and the proposed loan details to find out both how much you can borrow and how much repayments will be.
A useful way you can use a mortgage repayment calculator is to work out which mortgage repayment frequency suits your financial situation. Depending on the lender and type of loan you can make your mortgage repayments either monthly, fortnightly or weekly.
Choosing which mortgage repayment frequency is right for you comes down to your personal financial situation. If you get paid fortnightly, then it makes sense to opt for fortnightly repayments as this would fit with other parts of your budgeting.
Monthly repayments are the typical mortgage repayments required on home loans, but there are benefits to considering fortnightly or weekly. Choosing an increased mortgage repayment frequency will save you money on interest and decrease the overall loan term.
Taking out a mortgage loan is a substantial financial burden that can take a toll on your finances no matter how well you plan. Mortgage stress happens when the burden becomes too much, and you struggle to make your mortgage repayments.
There are some simple things you can do to help avoid mortgage stress:
Utilising features that come with your mortgage loan such as an offset account or a redraw facility for extra mortgage repayments will help minimise stress.
An offset account is a transaction account linked directly to your mortgage. The funds in the account will be deducted from your principal when your mortgage repayments are calculated and will reduce the interest amount you will pay.
Offset accounts are generally only available with variable rate home loans. You can split your home loan between a fixed and variable rate, which attaches a portion of the loan to a fixed rate and the remainder to a variable. You can then have an offset attached to the variable amount.
You could use your offset account as your regular transaction account. Meaning you'll have things like your salary deposited into the account and use it for your daily spending. Any money in there at the time your lender calculates your mortgage repayment for the month will work to lower the interest you pay that month.
You can also use the offset account as a savings account, making regular payments and letting it grow, which helps lower the interest you pay.
Another option is to make additional repayments directly into your home loan, this will help repay your loan faster and save you on interest charged. You may still be able to access these payments if you need to through a redraw facility depending on your home loan terms.
Some lenders may charge fees for the withdrawals or may cap how much you can redraw from your home loan. Redraw facilities, and extra mortgage repayments are usually only available with variable rate home loans. They sometimes are available on fixed-rate home loans with additional fees.
Now that you have a better understanding of how mortgage repayments work and how to calculate them check out our range of home loans to find one that suits your needs.