Refinancing Guide

Information verified correct on September 29th, 2016
borrow money for lesser interests via refinancing

Most people are familiar with the term refinancing. This process allows borrowers to save money by reducing fees and interest.

Refinancing is the process of switching a debt, such as a mortgage or your personal loan over to a new loan with different – more favourable terms. This is most commonly done in order to save money or get better terms on your current loan. People choose to refinance their loans or mortgages for a variety of reasons including to fold-in other debts, to lower monthly payments, or to take advantage of better interest rates. While it is usually a winning situation for the borrower one should be aware of the advantages and disadvantages to taking on a refinance.

Advantages of refinancing

  • Refinancing can reduce the amount of interest you pay on your debt moving it to a loan with a lower interest rate.
  • Extending your repayment time, which also reduces your monthly payment.
  • Folding-in other debts, thereby reducing interest and fees. If you are paying high interest on credit card debt you can significantly reduce your interest fees by folding it into a personal loan or refinanced home loan.
  • Lower the risk associated with a loan by switching to a fixed rate instead of an adjustable rate loan. Doing this helps you budget for your monthly bill and removes the chance of your bill being higher then you anticipated each month as it adjusts to the market rates.

Drawbacks of refinancing

  • Often loans will have penalty clauses that may wind up being costly. Because the process of refinancing first pays off your old loan and then opens a new loan you could be subject to some of these early repayment costs.
  • There may be closing and transactions fees for any refinance. Usually, any amount you save in interest should make these fees worthwhile, but any borrower should carefully add up their costs and savings to be sure.
  • Some refinance loans have low payments but wind up extending the life of the loan to a point that they actually cost more money then your original loan. By carefully calculating all of these costs and doing a comparison you can avoid this trap.

There are two types of refinancing loans, a No-Closing Cost loan allows you to move your debt to a new loan with little cost. If you’re interest rate will reduce by only 1.5 percentage points it is cost effective to do a No-Closing Cost refinance. Also, realise that even though you are paying nothing up front, the lender is probably collecting extra moneys in the form a yield spread premium. Check into this to make certain you are not overpaying on your loan.

The second type or refinance is a Cash-Out. This will usually not save you money, instead you are refinancing a larger amount of money and then keeping the cash difference. Borrowers do this to pay off other debts or to make improvements on their homes.

Refinancing can be a great option for saving money on your loan. Be smart about your decisions and calculate all the costs associated with it before you take on the new loan. Far too many people think they will save loads of cash only to find themselves in worse circumstances then before their refinance. All that can be avoided by diligent research and some financial smarts.

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Credit Cards Comparison

Rates last updated September 29th, 2016
Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer
Enjoy a 0% p.a. balance transfer offer for 18 months and also earn 2 bonus Velocity Points in the first 3 months on everyday spend.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 18 months $64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
ME Bank frank Credit Card
Enjoy a low and consistent interest rate on purchases and cash advances, combined with no annual fee.
11.99% p.a. $0 p.a. Go to site More info
St.George Vertigo Visa
Introductory offer of 0% p.a. for 18 months on balance transfers and 1% p.a. for 12 months on purchases, plus a low annual fee.
1% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 13.24% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 18 months $55 p.a. Go to site More info
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
Receive a full annual fee refund and save $149 if you meet the $6,000 spend requirement. Enjoy a balance transfer offer and platinum card benefits such as complimentary insurances and concierge services.
19.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 15 months $149 p.a. Go to site More info

* The credit card offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of credit cards CreditCardFinder.com.au has access to track details from and is not representative of all the products available in the market. Products are displayed in no particular order or ranking. The use of terms 'Best' and 'Top' are not product ratings and are subject to our disclaimer. You should consider seeking independent financial advice and consider your own personal financial circumstances when comparing cards.

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