How Long Does it Take to Refinance a Home Loan in Australia?

If you have been considering refinancing your home loan in Australia, you might want to know how long the process will take before you commit to it. The timeline varies for depending on what type of refinancing as well as how complex your situation is, but generally it will take between 30 to 45 days.

While the refinancing process may seem confusing, especially if you have never done it before, I will break it down in simpler terms in this article. You may also want to enlist the help of a top mortgage broker to aid you in the process, find you the best rates, and answer all your questions.

Let's start with the basics. Refinancing a mortgage is essentially replacing your current loan with a new one. This new loan could have different terms, like a different interest rate, term length, or monthly payment.

Refinancing plays a crucial role in mortgage management. It's a tool that can help you adapt your mortgage to your changing financial situation. Maybe you've gotten a raise at work and want to pay off your loan faster, or perhaps you're looking to lower your monthly payments to free up some cash. Either way, refinancing can help you achieve these goals.

There are several reasons why you might want to refinance. Maybe you're looking to change your loan terms or interest rate. Perhaps you want to switch from an adjustable-rate mortgage to a fixed-rate loan. Or, you might be interested in a cash-out refinance, which allows you to take out a larger loan and pocket the difference in cash. This can be a great way to fund major purchases or investments.

Now, let's talk about the different types of refinancing. First, there's rate and term refinance. This changes the interest rate or monthly payment of your loan, without altering the principal balance. It's like renegotiating the terms of your loan to better suit your current needs.

Next, there's loan-switching refinance. This allows you to switch from one type of loan to another. For example, you might switch from an adjustable-rate mortgage, where the interest rate can fluctuate over time, to a fixed-rate loan, where the interest rate stays the same for the life of the loan. You may also want to switch from one lender to another, to take advantage of better interest rates.

Finally, there's cash-out refinance (see this article for more info). This involves taking out a new loan that's larger than your current mortgage. The difference between the two loans is given to you in cash, which you can use for whatever you like. You are tapping into your home's equity to fund other expenses or investments.

Refinancing a home loan typically takes between 30 to 45 days. However, this timeline can be affected by several factors. For instance, the lender will need to conduct appraisals and inspections, which can take time. Additionally, if the lender is backlogged with refinance requests, this could delay the process.

During the refinancing process, you can expect a hard inquiry to appear on your credit report. This usually happens 14 to 45 days after you apply for a refinance. While this might affect your credit score, it's a necessary part of the process.

Sometimes, the refinance process can be delayed. This might happen if your home appraises for less than expected, or if the lender is swamped with refinance requests. To help things go smoothly, it's important to shop around, fill out your loan application thoroughly, provide documents quickly, schedule your appraisal inspection promptly, and plan ahead for your closing.

Steps to Refinance a Home Loan

There are several steps involved, including understanding your equity and comparing rates. Then, you'll need to research lenders and their products, gather necessary documentation, and apply for refinancing. After you receive a loan estimate, you'll need to get your home appraised. It's a bit like a relay race, with each step leading to the next.

The first step in the process is applying. The lender will review your income, assets, debt, and credit score. After approval, you can choose to lock your interest rate, ensuring it doesn't change before the loan closes. Alternatively, you can float your rate, which could result in a lower or higher mortgage rate.


The next step is underwriting. This is where the lender verifies the financial information you provided and checks out the property details. This includes conducting an appraisal to determine the home's value. The lender is investigating everything to ensure it all checks out before the loan is approved.


Finally, when they have approved your new loan, you will be switched over to the new mortgage, either with a new lender or the existing lender. If you applied for a cash-out refinancing, you will receive that money in your bank account.

Step-by-step Guide to Refinancing Your Home Loan


Shopping Around, Filling Out Loan Applications

The first step in refinancing your home loan is to shop around. This means researching different lenders, comparing their rates, and understanding their terms. Once you've found a lender that suits your needs, you'll need to fill out a loan application. This application will ask for information about your income, assets, debts, and credit score.


Document Submission

After you've filled out your application, you'll need to submit various documents. These may include pay stubs, tax returns, bank statements, and more. It's important to submit these documents as quickly as possible to keep the process moving along.


Appraisal Inspection

Next, you'll need to schedule an appraisal inspection. This is when a professional appraiser will come to your home and determine its value. This value will play a crucial role in the refinancing process.


Loan Closing Preparations

Once the appraisal is complete, you can start preparing for the loan closing. This involves reviewing the final loan terms, signing documents, and paying closing costs.


Guidance During Each Step

Throughout each step, it's important to stay organised and proactive. Keep track of all documents, ask questions when you're unsure, and stay in regular contact with your lender. If you want an easier way to work through your refinancing, you can use a mortgage broker. They are typically free to use, and they get paid by taking a small commission from the lender.

Conclusion

Refinancing your home loan can be a lengthy process, typically taking 30 to 45 days. It involves shopping around, filling out an application, submitting documents, scheduling an appraisal, and preparing for the loan closing.

If you're considering refinancing, remember to stay organised, ask questions, and stay proactive. Also, don't forget to check and compare rates from different lenders. With the right preparation, refinancing can be a smooth and beneficial process. It can also be a good idea to use the services of a mortgage broker, who make the whole process extremely easy.

About the author 

Harold Simmons

Harold is the founder and creator of the Asset Owners Discussion Project. He creates quality resources so investors can get access to information they wouldn't normally be able to access. He has been investing in real estate for almost three decades and is particularly experienced with mortgages and refinancing.

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