If you’ve been watching your mortgage repayments rise along with the RBA’s rate hikes, you’re not alone. The stress of increasing mortgage costs is hitting many households hard. But there’s hope! Negotiating a lower home loan rate could cut your repayments by hundreds or even thousands of dollars annually. Here are the top tips from Broker Kit on how to increase your chances of success in negotiating a better home loan rate.
1. Do Your Homework (or get your broker to do it for you)
Before you talk to your lender, invest some time in research. Understanding how your current rate compares to those offered by other lenders is the first step. Here’s what to focus on:
- Check your current lender’s new customer rates. Often, they offer lower rates to attract new business.
- Investigate cashback offers available in the market for refinances or simply ask your broker and they can help you find the ones that match your circumstances. This information can bolster your case when negotiating with your current lender.
- Find the best rate offered by a major competitor of your current lender. Your lender is more likely to take it seriously if it’s from a significant competitor or you might be able to simply move to that great rate.
Make sure to compare the ‘comparison rate,’ not just the advertised headline rate. The comparison rate considers not only the interest rate but also fees and charges, providing a more accurate picture of the loan’s cost. Ensure your comparison aligns with your loan’s features and attributes for a valid reference point.
2. Understand Your Selling Points and Limitations
Knowing your strengths and weaknesses can shape your negotiation strategy. Factors that can enhance your chances of a rate reduction include:
- An LVR (Loan-to-Value Ratio) below 80% (under 70% is even better).
- A spotless repayment history.
- A substantial loan amount (often over $1 million).
- Holding a package loan rather than a basic product.
On the flip side, if your LVR is over 80%, you’ve had missed payments, or your loan size is small, lenders may be less inclined to lower your rate aggressively, if at all. They may also hesitate if you’re on their basic product.
3. Make the Call and State Your Case
When you’re ready to dial your lender’s number, be armed with your research. Politely request a review of your current home loan based on your findings, such as competitor rates and new customer offers. If you’re a strong borrower with a low LVR or impeccable repayment history, emphasize these points to strengthen your case.
Some lenders may provide a rate reduction immediately, while others might need time to review your file and respond with an offer. Don’t be surprised if their first offer isn’t their best; persistence can lead to even better terms. On the plus side, your broker may have found a much stronger rate and loan offering elsewhere, which makes the need for this step redundant. Simply get your broker to negotiate your loan setup with the new lender instead.
Final Thoughts on Negotiating Your Home Loan Rate
If your lender is unwilling to lower your interest rate, it’s worth considering whether loyalty is more costly than savings. Don’t just focus on the interest rate; also, evaluate your home loan’s features and determine if a more cost-effective product is available, either with your lender or elsewhere. Remember, your local broker at Broker Kit is here to help with all of this. Mortgage brokers offer a complimentary service. They get by the bank when your loan is settled. Consulting a mortgage broker can streamline the process and potentially save you time and hassle.
- Research how your current rate compares to other lenders.
- Evaluate your attractiveness to a lender based on your strengths and weaknesses.
- Call your lender confidently or ask your Broker Kit broker to help navigate the process.