Home improvement: Getting your home loan into shape

5 – 6 minute read

In this article we’ll look at strategies to manage your home loan in both good times, and not so good times.

A home loan is usually a long-term arrangement – and it’s important to remember that things can change over that time. Unexpected events can make it harder to meet your repayments. Other times you may be in a better financial position, and can explore options to pay your loan off a bit faster. 

Struggling to meet your repayments?

Check out your options

If your situation has changed, contact your bank as soon as possible. There may be options to restructure your loan to help relieve financial pressure. 

If you’re an ANZ customer, talk to one of our Home Loan Coaches on 0800 269 4663. We’re here to help. 

Here are some of the potential options for restructuring your loan that you could consider.

Can you take advantage of lower interest rates?

If you’re on a floating interest rate, it’s worth finding out whether a fixed rate option offers a lower interest rate. Switching to a lower interest rate would mean your repayments would be smaller during the fixed rate period.

What you need to know about this option: With fixed interest rate loans, the interest rate only applies for the fixed rate period (anywhere from six months to five years). At the end of the fixed rate period you can choose another fixed rate period or a floating rate, at the interest rates that apply at that time. It’s also important to be aware that fixed rate loans offer less flexibility, for example if you want to increase your repayments, or make a lump sum payment during the fixed rate period, you may be charged fees. Read about fixed ANZ Home Loans.

Can you reduce repayments by extending your loan term?

You may be able to extend the term of your loan, so you’d pay it back over a longer period. This means your repayments could be smaller, but you’d make more of them.  

What you need to know about this option: It’s important to be aware that extending your loan term means you’ll pay more interest in the long term, as you’ll take longer to pay it off. That’s why it’s important to carefully consider whether this is the right option for you.

Can you change to interest-only repayments?

You may be able to switch to interest-only repayments for a period. This means you’ll only pay the interest on the amount you owe. Your repayments will be smaller during this period because you won’t repay any of the principal. 

What you need to know about this option: It’s important to be aware that switching to interest-only repayments for a time, means your loan amount won’t reduce while you make interest-only repayments. After the interest-only period, you must change your loan back to repayments that reduce the principal, or amount owing on your loan, or repay your loan in full. To keep your loan term the same, your repayments may increase. 

You’ll pay more interest as you aren’t reducing what you owe on your loan for a time, costing you more in the long term. That’s why it’s important to carefully consider whether this is the right option for you.

Can you ’pause’ your repayments with a loan repayment deferral?

If you’re financially impacted by COVID-19, you can apply for a home loan repayment deferral. If you’re an ANZ customer, visit anz.co.nz/heretohelp for more information.

What you need to know about this option: A home loan repayment deferral may provide short-term relief, but you will end up paying more on your loan over the longer term. There may be other options that suit you better.  That’s why it’s important to carefully consider whether this is the right option for you. Talk to your bank to help you work through your options, and discuss what they may mean for your home loan over the longer term. 

Looking to pay your home loan off faster?

Not everyone will be in a position to repay their home loan faster. But if you’re able to, it makes good financial sense. Not only will you pay less interest overall, you’ll give yourself more flexibility to deal with unexpected events in the future. 

Small changes, big benefits

A few small changes to the way you manage your home loan can make a big difference to your bottom line. To find out more, visit Pay off your home loan faster.

Meet with an ANZ Home Loan Coach

We understand there are many options and it can be confusing. If you’d like help from an expert, talk to an ANZ Home Loan Coach. Our Home Loan Coaches can help you work out the best way to manage your loan to suit your circumstances.

Call us to book an appointment.

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We understand that things don’t always go to plan, and circumstances can change. If you’re an ANZ customer, find out how we can help if you’re experiencing financial difficulties.

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