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The amount you can borrow is affected by your income, your deposit, and bank’s serviceabilty criteria which is linked to interest rates, cost of living, and your existing liabilities etc. See our Borrowing Power calculator for a rough estimate.
Home Loan Advice Centre helps borrowers Australia-wide. We specialise in Sydney and NSW and regularly help clients in remote areas and other states. Feel free to contact us on 02-9210-1000 or 1300-729-177 to see how we can help you.
Interest only loans
Interest Only Versus Principal And Interest
Interest only loans refer to the way you want to repay your loan to the bank. Choosing interest only versus principal and interest is a separate and mutually exclusive choice to your interest rate type choice (ie a fixed interest rate versus a variable interest rate).
Commonly chosen repayments options are
Interest only is where you ask a lender to allow you to only repay the interest cost each month (where interest is the cost the lender charges you for the privilege of borrowing their money). In this case the lender doesn’t force you to pay any additional principal amount over and above the interest cost. If you have chosen a variable rate loan (as opposed to a fixed rate loan), you still have full flexibility to pay any additional principal amount you want each month …. The operative word here that confuses a lot of borrowers is that, on interest only repayments, you are not forced to pay extra each month over and above the interest only repayment … but you still can pay extra if you want to and are able to.
Principal and interest is where you agree with the lender upfront to pay not only the interest cost, but also an additional amount of principal each month. Principal and interest repayments are commonly calculated at a level of repayment where the loan amount in question would be paid down to zero if this repayment level was adhered to over 30 years with all else remaining the same (ie no change in interest rate during the repayment term)
If you select a loan with an 100% offset account facility any funds put into (or are left in) this account is equivalent to automatically paying additional principal off your loan. For example, $1,000 placed in your 100% offset account has the same effect on your loan balance as if you took the same $1,000 and paid it into your loan to reduce the loan balance by $1,000. Therefore, a variable rate loan on interest only repayments with a 100% offset account can be an equivalent substitute for a principal and interest loan if interest rates were the same.
Interest Only Interest Rate Levels
Up to around 2016 virtually all lenders charged the same interest rate for interest only repayments and principal and interest repayments. Government directives aimed to reduce the risks of an overheated housing market has contributed to lenders charging a higher interest rate for borrowers choosing interest only repayments. The interest rate differential between interest only repayments and principal and interest repayments is up to around approximately 0.6% higher dependent on loan type and lender.