Refinancing allows you to switch to a new loan with better terms, such as a lower interest rate, lower fees, or more flexible features. But how do you go about refinancing your home loan? Tiimely Home has got you covered with this step-by-step guide.
Step 1: Understand your current home loan and figure out what you want
The first step in refinancing your home loan is to understand the bits and pieces of your current loan. This means looking at your interest rate, fees, and features, as well as any penalties or break fees that may apply if you switch to a new loan (common if you’re looking to discharge before the end of a fixed term period).
Once you know what you have, figure out what you want to gain from refinancing.
Here are some common reasons for refinancing:
- Looking to switch from Principal & Interest to Interest Only (or vice versa)
- Getting access to an offset account
- Saving money on your repayments (who doesn’t want this?)
- Packaging and additional features
Step 2: Compare home loans
Next you should start looking around at the other loans that are available, what they offer, andyou to make the switch. Look for loans with lower interest rates, fewer fees, and features that suit your needs. Tiimely Home makes this part easy – we use our tech to ensure you get super low rates, no hidden fees, and no-fuss features.
Home loan comparison sites, like Canstar and Finder, can also be a great research tool.
A couple of hints for navigating comparison sites from us:
- Filter by ‘comparison rate’ to find the true lowest rates, which factor in upfront and ongoing fees
- Untick any checkboxes that indicate that there is a filter for promoted products only, so you get the full picture of what’s on offer
- Tiimely Home can help minimise the need to gather paperwork by digitally verifying your accounts. You can use our safe-as-houses tech to link your accounts so we can verify your income, liabilities and expenses in no time.
Step 3: Apply for your loan
You’ve done your research and narrowed down your preferred lender. It’s time to apply.
The process won’t be too much different from the last time you applied for a home loan (besides the benefit of doing it online with Tiimely Home), but there are a few things that could have an impact this time around, including:
- If your credit history has changed.
- If you’ve had any changes to your salary or other income.
- If the amount of debt or other liabilities you have has changed.
- If you've changed job recently (to a new industry).
- Changes in family circumstances (e.g. maternity leave or a new baby congrats!)
For your application you’ll need to provide the following documentation and information:
- Proof of identity
- Proof of income
- Details of your current home loan
- Details of any other debt or liabilities that you have (credit cards, car loans, personal loans, etc.)
- Details of any assets that you have (savings, shares, property, vehicles, etc.)
- Details of your itemised household expenditure
Step 4: Skip the need for pre-approval and aim for full approval, with Tiimely Home.
Applying with Tiimely Home means that you benefit from our tech because we’re assessing you as you input your information. It’s about saving you time and money.
Linking your accounts means we can verify everything you’ve stated – that’s right, you don’t have to find, print, scan, download, and upload docs if you don’t want to. It's a safer way to share information too because you don't need to keep physical records of your personal information on hand.
With this level of accuracy, we can verify your application and let you know if you’ve been fully approved in a short space of time (think hours, not days or weeks).
What Tiimely Home full approval includes:
- Your property
- Your product
- First stage identification
- Your finances (i.e. we’ll tell you what you can actually borrow)
What’s the deal with pre-approval? Do you need it?
Pre-approval is typically calculated by asking for high-level details about your income, liabilities, and expenses. It’s a figure that allows you to understand what you’d be able to borrow (i.e. the maximum amount – under uncomplicated situations) from a lender. This can be useful, but it’s not very accurate because the amount is based on what you tell the lender and isn’t checked against your actual accounts. It can be pretty disappointing when the time comes and you need to make significant adjustments to your lifestyle to be able to afford your loan (especially in times of rate rises and inflation adjustments). Only use pre-approval amounts as a guide – and always balance your lifestyle with what you can truly afford.
Step 5: Valuation
With other lenders you’ll need to wait for your property to get valued before you receive full approval.
At Tiimely Home, we do our valuations online once you’ve submitted the property address (it’s one of the first questions we ask in the application process) – it’s just quicker and easier that way.
If we can’t value your property instantly we’ll need to do it the long way, we’ll let you know. You can read more about the different ways we can value property here.
Step 6: Break up with your bank
Once you’ve applied, some lenders will require you to tell your current lender that you are planning to refinance, so they can prepare and send off any required information to your new lender. Other lenders (like us) will do this for you instead.
Typically, you’ll need to call up and request a Discharge Authority Form. It’s here that you can expect some kind of retention activity from your current lender. They may offer to match your new rate, a promotion like a cashback, or deploy some stalling tactics. Don’t let these deter you, especially if you’ve put in the effort and applied elsewhere. Ask for independent financial advice if you need another opinion.
Step 7: Settlement
You’ll receive your new loan documents to sign. This is the home stretch – pardon the pun.
As expected, your loan documents will be delivered via email, and in most cases, we’ll be able to accept electronic signatures via DocuSign.
Once you’ve sent back all the signed paperwork, our conveyancer will begin to arrange your settlement. The conveyancer's role is to help coordinate closing off your old loan, opening up your new one, and paying any setup or discharge fees that you found out about in Step 2. The registration of the home loan and your property title will also need to be transferred over (don’t worry, the conveyancer will handle all of this). Learn more about the settlement process.
Step 8: Celebrate
Congratulations! You’ve successfully refinanced your home loan with Tiimely Home. You’ll receive all of the details of your new loan and your old loan is a thing of the past. Now you can relax and enjoy all the benefits of your new home loan, such as a lower interest rate, no fees, and no frills.