Finance advice

Pros and cons of splitting your home loan

By Bianca Dabu

There are two main home loan options for investors—fixed rate home loans or variable rate home loans—but if you are looking to gain more flexibility, you may consider ‘getting the best of both worlds’ by splitting your home loan.

Fixed rate home loans allows for a set interest rate for a specific period of time, which usually ranges from one to five years. Additional repayments are often not allowed or limited to a low amount.

When the term ends, the loan is often automatically switched to a standard variable rate home loan offered by the lender.

Since the interest rate is fixed, you will not be affected by interest rate hikes for as long as your loan term lasts. Moreover, since the repayments you have to make are set for a specified term, budgeting becomes easier.

However, when interest rates drop, you won’t be able to benefit from it.

Under a fixed rate home loan, you may also be incapable of redrawing or accessing any extra money you have deposited into your loan, and should you decide to change or pay off your loan prior to the end of the fixed term, you may be required to pay break fees.

On the other hand, variable rate home loans follows market movements to determine the interest rate, meaning it can rise and fall anytime. Therefore, the loan repayments you have to make may vary throughout the term of your loan.

Unlike fixed rate home loans, variable rate home loans often allow you to make extra repayments with no additional cost.

Aside from that, you may also enjoy more attractive features, including unlimited redraws on extra repayments and access to an offset account. It may also be easier and cheaper to switch home loans in case you find a better deal.

However, since there is no certainty on the amount of loan repayments you have to make, it can be harder to stick to a certain budget, especially when interest rates rise.

What are split home loans?

Apart from the two options stated above, you can also opt to split your loan and make it part fixed and part variable.

Split home loans are often utilised by investors who wants both security and flexibility—as in be able to manage the risk of rising interest rates while still maintaining the ability to make extra repayments.

The allocation of your desired interest rate model is usually up to the investor, so you can split your loans 50/50, 20/80, 60/40 or however you want.

Advantages

Split home loans are often most beneficial when the market is especially unpredictable, particularly during economic uncertainty.

Through this home loan arrangement, you reduce the impact of interest rate fluctuations on your home loan since it only affects a part of it, and you also retain the ability to take advantage of rate reductions through the portion of your loan with a variable rate.

In other words, you are given a sense of security regardless of how the market moves.

Moreover, you can also maintain the flexibility offered in the variable part of your loan—as in make extra repayments or take advantage of the redraw facility.

Disadvantages

Getting the ‘best of both worlds’ also means having to deal with both of their bad sides.

While you are partly protected from rate hikes, you are also refrained from benefiting fully from rate reductions, which could mean extra costs on the fixed part of your loan should interest rates drop significantly.

You may also incur double the fees for setting up and managing your loan, all the way to discharging it.

Making a decision

Naturally, all types of home loan have accompanying risks.

In order to avoid unexpected costs and pitfalls, take time to discuss your investment plan with a mortgage broker and the rest of your financial team.

Consider the features you want to enjoy, from flexibility to fees, and make a decision based on your personal and financial circumstances—as in your needs, capabilities and limitations.

Some of the fees you have to take into account are establishment fees, Lender’s Mortgage Insurance (LMI), ongoing fees, breaking fees, early exit fees, discharge fees and refinancing fees.

Moreover, review the credit contract well to know exactly what you’re signing up for.

Different lenders have different rules that they follow, so make sure that you’re reading the contract down to the fineprint.

Some of the information to look out for are the name of the lender, the features and other details of the loan, the calculation and charging of interest, fees and charges, as well as commissions and insurance premiums (if applicable).

You also need to know the terms of missing repayments, the schedule and process of receiving account statements and the communication of terms and conditions amendments.

Aside from having a dialogue with property professionals, you can also educate yourself by utilising comparison website to compare loans and see what’s the best fit for your wealth-creation journey.

For more information, check out Smart Property Investment’s Split Loan Calculator.

This information is sourced from Momentum Wealth and the Australian Securities & Investments Commission.

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podcast

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Luke’s first property investment included what he now looks back on as “learning experiences”. He chose it only because it was close to where he lived, he bought it at the peak of the market and he elected to manage his (unreliable, damage-prone) tenants alone. Sixteen years on, Luke now has 30 properties and a much better idea about how to approach the investment game.

" ["fulltext"]=> string(3388) "

In this episode of the Smart Property Investment Show Luke joins host Tim Neary to unpack how he went about educating himself, how his investment style has changed over time and why patience is the name of the game.

Luke will also share how his initial mistakes discouraged him and had him doubting the wisdom of being an investor, and how his realisation of the importance of active management bought him back into line.  He will discuss the importance of having a strong support team and why it’s smart to put a proper value on your personal time.

If you like this episode, show your support by rating us or leaving a review on iTunes (The Smart Property Investment Show) and by following Smart Property Investment on social media: FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

If you have any questions about what you heard today, any topics of interest you have in mind, or if you’d like to lend your voice to the show, email [email protected] for more insights!

RELATED AREAS OF INTEREST:

How to profit from changing market conditions
Quit the 9 to 5: Taking control of your income and your career
4 tips for first time property investors

AREAS MENTIONED: 

Sydney
Brisbane
Adelaide
Wollongong
Geelong
Melton South
Cairns
Perth

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An unsure start in property investment leads to a 30-property portfolio
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  string(115) "

Promoted by Blue Ink Finance.

Budgeting tips when your Personal Debt is High.

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Credit card debts and personal loans are the greatest obstacle between everyday people and their potential to live in financial freedom.

Of course, I understand that sometimes getting a small personal loan is absolutely necessary. Unexpected costs like medical expenses can make personal loans the only option.

However, the majority of us have debt simply because we spend more than we earn.

In either case, your number one priority is unlocking those chains of debt that are holding you back.

I’m going to give you some tips for budgeting with hefty personal debt, but first I want to talk about the impact those loans are having on your life.

How much is your debt really costing you?

Over the years that you’re paying off your loans at the minimum repayment, the interest on those items will end up costing you multiple times more than the original borrowed amount - and those endless due dates will haunt you. There’s no freedom in that!

Let me give you an example. You’ll be shocked, I guarantee it!

Let’s say you have around $4,000 of credit card debt, charged at 19.99% p.a. If you paid only the minimum monthly amount, it would take 37 years to pay off the total debt.

How much will that $4,000 debt cost you? $19,200. Depressing, isn’t it?

You might feel like you need a full-blown money explosion to get out of debt, but don’t despair just yet.

What you need to do is arm yourself with a strategic budget, and I’ve got some tips to help you.

Budgeting while you have hefty personal debt is tough, but possible – and it’s essential for eliminating that debt forever. Let’s have a quick look at how you can start to tackle that mountain of borrowed money.

It’s time to take charge and break some chains!

There’s a method for reducing debt that has an excellent success rate, if you’re committed:

  1. Make a realistic budget (and stick to it)
  2. Reduce your expenses and/or increase your income until you are in the black
  3. Save an emergency fund first
  4. Pay off your personal loans and credit cards, starting with the either the smallest debt first or the debt with the highest interest rate
  5. Revise your budget as you go along.

Why an emergency fund is paramount to success

You’ll see I’ve put saving an emergency fund before paying off your loans. Even a small amount initially, like $500, is enough to stop the cycle of borrowing to pay bills, then paying out even more in interest each month, which leaves less in the bank to pay the next bill.

Once you have a buffer saved, then you can start aiming some serious firepower on your debt, and that’s when it gets exciting!

Think back to my credit card example. If you upped the payments each month from $84 per month to $212, you would have the card paid off in two years and save $14,285 in interest. That’s worth a little bit of effort, wouldn’t you agree?

Tips for a budget that works

You may need to cut back drastically on your expenses to clear your debt, but here’s some other ways to make the most of your budget:

  • Find micro-ways to reduce your expenses every day. Make work lunches at home, cancel a pay TV subscription, find a better phone deal, or pass on your afternoon chocolate bar from the vending machine. Instead of spending $40 on a takeaway dinner, have a bowl of cereal!

  • Find a friend who will keep you accountable. Having someone else who shuns a pricey outing to the day spa for a walk along the beach instead will make you feel better about saying ‘no’ to expensive events that will blow the budget.

  • Refinance your home loan to release some funds. If you have a mortgage, talk to us at Blue Ink Finance about the possibility of refinancing your home loan to allow you to release some equity to help clear your high interest, personal debt. It’s not always the best strategy, but it’s worth investigating, especially if you can consolidate it into a home loan that has a significantly lower interest rate.

  • If your income increases, leverage it! The only place that extra money should go is into paying off more debt. Enough said!

  • Refine and polish your budget as your circumstances change. Your budget shouldn’t stay the same. As you find more ways to decrease your expenditure and become adept at sticking to your financial plan, fine-tune your budget to reflect your savvy saving. Any spare change goes directly onto your debt.

  • Automate payments of bills, so you don’t spend the money first. This saves you from late fees if you forget, too.

The reality is that you won’t have a profitable budget until you get rid of that high-interest debt. The beauty of a budget is that it can get you there! Knock the debt, stay away from borrowing except for assets like property, and you’ll have a well-oiled financial plan that kicks goals instead of paying lenders!

At Blue Ink Finance, we have a team of expert brokers as well as a panel of industry experts that understand all the nuances of positioning your personal finances to kick real goals with Property Assets and can support you in achieving your goals.

Give the team at Blue Ink Finance a call on 1300 888 796 or click here to request your Complimentary Finance Review with one of our experienced Finance Coaches now.

And see how having a panel of industry experts on your side, can fast track your property goals.

About The Author

David Wegener
Chief Executive Officer
Blue Ink Finance

Who I am, and why I want to help you succeed.

As an award-winning Mortgage Broker with nearly 20 years’ experience in the finance industry, I’ve seen it all.

I’ve gone through constant industry changes and yet I still successfully help my customers borrow the money they need to get ahead.

As a Finance Coach, my goal is to help you understand your financial potential so that you can borrow with confidence.

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Leveraging your Blue Ink Finance Broker for more than just a loan.
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With the softening market impacting property values in many parts of Australia, Sally Dale, Opteon state director for NSW, ACT and Qld joins us to discuss the importance of valuations in the current property market

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Joining host Phil Tarrant, Sally will draw on her 25 years of experience in valuation and discuss the processes involved in arriving at a value for a particular property. She will also share how that process differs between commercial and residential properties and the difficulties which regional property valuations can present.

Sally will unpack the importance and cost of regular valuations on your properties, discuss whether presentation and owner input can sway a valuation and share what you should look for when seeking a reputable property valuer.

If you like this episode, show your support by rating us or leaving a review on iTunes (The Smart Property Investment Show) and by following Smart Property Investment on social media: FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

If you have any questions about what you heard today, any topics of interest you have in mind, or if you’d like to lend your voice to the show, email [email protected] for more insights!

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Sydney
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Can property presentation result in a higher valuation?

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