Learn the tricks of the trade – how to navigate your home loan


Home loans are hard. Really hard. And try as banks might to make it easier to navigate and despite all the info out there, it can be a bit murky. Thankfully, Andrew Walker, co-founder of Nano digital home loans, has laid a few bits bare.

For the hundreds of thousands of Aussies opting to refinance their home loan each year, most can agree that the application process can be long, tedious and stressful. In fact, 75% of Australians are more frustrated with the process than ever before, according to new research from Nano digital home loans.

The traditional banking industry is riddled with outdated processes,legacy systems and confusing jargon. It is an industry that for too long has benefited the lender not the borrower.

Unfortunately, many borrowers are reluctant to change from their traditional lender because the process can be lengthy, time consuming and riddled with hidden fees.

To challenge the outdated approach to refinancing and home loan lending, Nano has launched The Inaction Figure to symbolise the many frustrations Australians experience with traditional lenders, including confusing jargon (72%) and too much paperwork (48%) as well as slow processes and hidden fees (55%).

To help Australians make sense of the complex process, here are some tips on how best to navigate your home loan.

TIP 1: Centralise your finances where you can

Save yourself money by picking a loan that allows you to consolidate and manage your finances in one place, like Nano’s ‘offset sub account’. Centralising your finances can help you manage your money in the long run by helping to maximise the amount you can offset against your home loan. Ultimately this can assist you in reaching your financial goals quicker as it cuts out unnecessary account fees and reduces interest repayments. 

TIP 2: Don’t just look at low interest rates

While interest rates in Australia have dropped to an all-time-low, not all lenders are paying it forward and sharing these low rates. While lower interest sounds appealing, make sure you also look into the comparison rate of your loan before signing. Note that an interest rate doesn’t include additional costs like account fees or known changes in the rate – a comparison rate will give you a clearer picture of the full costs associated with your home loan. 

TIP 3: Avoid the Gimmicks 

Falling for a gimmick is the biggest trick in the lender handbook – terms like ‘Honeymoon period’ and ‘Cashback offers’ are all cleverly designed to entice you into signing on the dotted line, but almost inevitably cost you more down the track. Many traditional lenders know that shinny baubles can entice customers who haven’t done their homework. Arm yourself with research and learn the lingo. By coming into the process informed, you will be less likely to fall for the seemingly irresistible offers that are almost always too good to be true.

TIP 4: Look out for hidden fees 

If there is one thing that banks love, it’s fees – whether it is account fees or early exit fees, there are bound to be hidden costs. Your money is better off in your pocket rather than the lenders’ – protect yourself from getting saddled with extra fees by shopping around for a provider that is transparent, simple and forthcoming on the intricacies of your loan. 

With almost three-quarters of Australians (71%) feeling they are getting ripped off by their home lender, we designed Nano to be smart, fair and simple with no Nano fees, that means no application fees, no account fees, no usage fees or transaction fees, with low rates from 1.99% p.a. and no pricing gimmicks.

TIP 5: Review regularly and make smart money moves 

Let’s face it, once you’ve got your loan, it’s not something you want to revisit. But by reviewing your loan at regular intervals you’re able to take advantage of the market and seize on opportunities to restructure your loan. Refinancing at the right time will help you reach your financial goal earlier, or to find the right lender that allows you to have greater visibility over your investments. A home is undoubtedly one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make and you want to get it right – so make a smart money move sooner rather than later.

For those frustrated by the process, we’re asking Australians wanting something better to make a smart money move and join Nano.