Mortgage Traps: What to look out for

by Ewald Biesenbach

Mortgage Traps: What to look out for

Interest rates

Deciding whether to fix your interest rate or to go for a variable rate will largely depend on your personal circumstances. While it may be tempting to lock in a really attractive fixed rate now while rates are at an all-time low, keep in mind that if you do decide to revert to a variable rate at a later stage there may be break costs. It’s worthwhile getting independent advice from your mortgage adviser before you make a decision.

Flexibility vs. Limitations

Along with interest rates, home loan features are often a big deciding factor when comparing home loans. Find out how much flexibility you have with the home loan you’re considering. Can you make extra payments, and if so, is there a charge? Some loans will allow you to make extra payments but have limits on how much you can redraw.

Mortgage Fees

Trying to decipher legal jargon in a home loan contract can leave you confused, but one area of the contract you need to pay careful attention to is the schedule of fees and charges. Mortgage fees can very quickly add up, so find out what upfront fees, ongoing charges, and any other costs you’ll incur for the life of your loan. When comparing home loans consider set up fees, mortgage insurance, redraw fees and any fees charged for repayment defaults.

Shop around

Just as you would when buying a car or an expensive holiday, when it comes to home loans you need to research your options and shop around for the best deal. Different lenders offer different rates, features and terms, and many are negotiable depending on your circumstances. Your mortgage adviser has access to a range of mortgage solutions and can talk you through your options to help you make an informed decision.

Signed and sealed

Finding the right mortgage may take some time, but it’s worth it. You’ll save money and avoid unnecessary stress with the right home loan. Before you sign your contract, make sure you understand exactly what it is you’re committing to. If you have any concerns, get independent legal or financial advice. And if you’d like help tackling the mortgage maze, talk to one of our advisers.

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