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Unlocking the Secrets of Home Loans: A Beginner's Guide

A house in a residential area under home loan

In Australia, there is a wide range of home loans available, and comprehending their various features and suitability can be challenging. To help you make informed decisions, this guide provides an overview of the key types of home loans. So let’s identify each type.

Variable Loans

Variable loans are subject to fluctuations in interest rates, resulting in either increased or decreased repayments. Most owner-occupied mortgages have a loan term of 25 to 30 years, which can be shortened by making higher or more frequent payments. Mortgages can be based on principal and interest repayments or interest-only repayments, where only the interest is paid.

Fixed-Rate Loans

Fixed-rate loans allow borrowers to secure a specific interest rate for a fixed period, usually one to five years. This loan type is favored by borrowers who want to maintain consistent repayments. However, if variable rates fall, borrowers may be locked into higher rates, and breaking a fixed-rate loan contract can result in substantial costs and financial penalties.

Split-Rate Loans

Split-rate loans enable borrowers to split their loan amount into a variable portion and a fixed portion, providing the flexibility to make additional repayments on the variable loan while mitigating risk through the fixed loan.

Low-Doc Loans

Low-doc loans require less proof-of-income documentation but typically come with higher interest rates than standard variable rates. These loans are suitable for non-salaried workers, such as the self-employed.

Professional or Packaged Loans

Professional or packaged loans offer ‘lifetime’ discounted interest rates, fee waivers, and linked savings accounts and credit cards, typically for high loan amounts.

Non-Genuine Savings Loans

Non-genuine savings loans may be granted if borrowers can’t demonstrate the ability to save funds over time to cover repayments. However, a one-off insurance payment, called lenders mortgage insurance, is typically required for home loans with a loan-to-value ratio (LVR) over 80%.

Construction Loans

Construction loans enable borrowers to draw down progressively to cover the various stages of a construction project. Repayments are only made on the loan amount that has been drawn down, with line fees imposed on the undrawn amount or the total facility limit.

Line-of-Credit Facilities

Line-of-credit facilities are similar to credit cards and enable borrowers to access equity in their existing home to fund various purposes, such as renovations. These loans are often interest-only for a significant period before reverting to principal and interest repayments.

Bridging Loans

Bridging loans are short-term financing options for borrowers who require funding to purchase a new residence before selling their existing home. The interest rates on these loans are higher than standard variable interest rates.

SMSF Loans

SMSF loans require borrowing funds within a self-managed superannuation fund to be undertaken through a limited recourse borrowing arrangement.

With so many home loan options available, it's important to make an informed decision that suits your unique financial situation. At Alecto Finance, our team of experts can help you navigate the complex world of home loans and provide you with tailored recommendations. We believe that securing the right home loan can set you on the path to achieving your dreams of homeownership. So, if you're ready to take the next step, contact us today and let's explore your options together!

Want to learn more? Talk to our brokers today!


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