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How your deposit size can shape the rate you pay

By Webmaster | 18 Jan 2024
How your deposit size can shape the rate you pay

It’s commonly known that the bigger your deposit, the smaller your home loan, and thus, the lower your monthly repayments. But today we’ll look into another way your deposit size could reduce your repayments: by potentially reducing your interest rate.

A question we’re commonly asked (believe it or not!) is “how can I get a lower interest rate?”

There’s no straightforward answer to this one as it usually depends on a myriad of factors, including whether lenders see you as high risk or low risk, the competition in the market at the time and, as we’ll discuss today, how big your deposit is – or more technically, your ‘loan to value’ (LVR) ratio.

What’s LVR?

To cut through the jargon, LVR refers to how much of your home’s value you’re borrowing.

If you plan to buy a home priced at, say, $600,000 using a deposit of $120,000, you’ll need to borrow $480,000, or 80% of the property’s value. For lenders, this means you have an LVR of 80%.

Why does this matter?

Well, a bigger deposit lowers your LVR. This in turn helps reduce the risk you represent to a lender.

A loan with an LVR of 80%, for example, may be seen as less risky than one with an LVR of 90%.

As a general rule, lenders tend to reward borrowers for that reduction in risk with a lower home loan interest rate.

But note: these figures don’t include stamp duty and other up-front costs, which you may also need to budget for.

Average interest rates by LVR

Mozo checked out the average variable rates for different LVRs.

As you can see below, for home loans with an LVR of 95%, meaning a 5% deposit, the average variable rate is about 7.38%.

Borrowers who can pull together a slightly bigger deposit may see their rate fall. As a guide, on an LVR of 90% (deposit of 10%), the average variable rate falls to 7.13%.

That’s a potential rate saving of 0.25%. This may not sound like much. But along with lowering your monthly repayments, a lower rate could mean paying less in interest charges over the life of your loan.

– LVR 95%: average variable rate of 7.38% p.a.
– LVR 90%: average variable rate of 7.13% p.a.
– LVR 80%: average variable rate of 6.85% p.a.
– LVR 70%: average variable rate of 6.81% p.a.
– LVR 60%: average variable rate of 6.77% p.a.

How your LVR can see you save in other ways

Your LVR doesn’t just shape the rate you’re likely to pay.

If you have a small deposit, usually less than 20%, you could be asked to pay lenders mortgage insurance (LMI).

This is a type of cover that protects the lender if you can’t keep up your loan repayments.

LMI can be a substantial up-front cost.

There are options for first home buyers with a small deposit to avoid this expense. The First Home Guarantee Scheme, for instance, allows eligible buyers to purchase a first home with just a 5% deposit and no LMI.

What if I’m refinancing my home loan?

If you’re refinancing your mortgage, your LVR will be shaped by home equity.

The same basic rule applies. The more equity you have in your place, the smaller the loan you may need.

This may help lenders see you as a lower risk (all other things being equal), so chances are you may be offered a lower rate.

How we can help

With so many loans and lenders to choose from, home loan interest rates can vary widely.

Yes, your deposit or home equity can play a role in the rate you pay. But a variety of other factors come into play also.

That’s why it’s important to speak to us if you’re buying a first home, your next home, or refinancing.

We can help you find a home loan that’s suited to your needs at a competitive rate in line with your LVR and any other contributing factors.

Disclaimer: The content of this article is general in nature and is presented for informative purposes. It is not intended to constitute tax or financial advice, whether general or personal nor is it intended to imply any recommendation or opinion about a financial product. It does not take into consideration your personal situation and may not be relevant to circumstances. Before taking any action, consider your own particular circumstances and seek professional advice. This content is protected by copyright laws and various other intellectual property laws. It is not to be modified, reproduced or republished without prior written consent.

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