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Home loan refinancing guide

Home loan refinancing guide

Thinking about refinancing your home loan?

Refinancing your home loan may appear complicated, but we don't think it should be. That’s why the team at Challenger are here to support you, and that’s why we’ve created this home loan refinancing guide.

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Refinancing: Why bother?

People refinance their loans for many different reasons. Perhaps they’re not getting a good deal with their current provider or the service provided is not living up to their expectations. Perhaps their needs have changed and they require access to features such as an offset account.

Depending on your existing rate – and the rate offered by the new lender, refinancing could literally save tens of thousands of dollars over the life of the loan.

There are two options commonly taken up by customers:

1. Refinance at a lower rate, keep the repayments the same, and pay the loan off sooner; or

2. Refinance at a lower rate, keep the loan term the same and lower your repayments.

How much you save through the refinancing process is determined by factors including:

  • The amount outstanding on your loan;
  • The difference between the rate you’re currently on and the rate you’ll refinance to; 
  • The amount of time left on your loan; and
  • Fees and charges associated with the refinancing process.

What's in a rate?

When researching your options, always remember to look at the comparison rate. The comparison rate takes into account factors over and above the rate being offered – such as whether the rate is an introductory rate (reverting to a standard rate after a fixed period of time) and associated fees and charges (both upfront and ongoing). The difference can make a huge impact on the value released through the refinancing process.

The refinancing process

The refinancing process follows a similar process to buying a new home – except you don’t need to execute a contract of sale or engage building inspectors or a conveyancer.

Loan approval

The first step is to submit an application – along with supporting documents. This enables the lender to assess the application and confirm your ability to repay the
loan based on your current circumstances.

When assessing a loan application, lenders will look at your income – such as how much you get paid, where you're paid from, and the stability of your employment. Lenders will also look at your estimated living costs – including how much you spend on your lifestyle, what other commitments you already have, and whether you have any dependent children.

The lender will most likely require a valuation to be conducted to confirm its current value. A loan is said to be unconditionally approved once the lender has valued the property, along with verification of supporting information (such as employment and income).


Once the loan is unconditionally approved, your lender will issue the loan contracts and the mortgage discharge authority. It’s important that you return documentation promptly to ensure the refinance process is not delayed. After all documents have been returned, your lender will work with the existing lender to book in a settlement date – at which point your new loan will payout your old loan.

Costs associated with refinancing

When refinancing, you should be aware of the associated costs. Fees between lenders will vary, however common fees include application fees, valuation fees, registration and discharge of mortgage fees and the cost of the government verification of identity.

When refinancing with Challenger, these fees are covered, helping you to maximise the savings.

Looking to refinance your home loan? Make it easy by speaking to a friendly lending specialist from Challenger – we’re here to help.

Ready to take the next step?

We're here to discuss your options and get you there


*All depositors are protected by the Government guarantee. For further details, please refer

This information is intended to be general only and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Because of that, you should consider its appropriateness, having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs before acting on any such information. You should obtain and consider the relevant Target Market Determination (TMD), General Terms, Product Disclosure Statement (PDS), Fees and Charges Schedule and Interest Rate Schedule before making a decision about whether to acquire or continue to hold the relevant product.

Issued by Challenger Bank Limited (ABN 54 087 651 750, AFSL/Australian Credit Licence 245606) which is an authorised deposit-taking institution (ADI) regulated by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority. Challenger Bank Limited is a part of the group of companies constituted by Challenger Limited and its subsidiaries (Challenger Group). No other entity in the Challenger group apart from Challenger Bank Limited is an ADI, and that entity's obligations does not represent deposits or other liabilities of Challenger Bank Limited. Challenger Bank Limited does not guarantee or otherwise provide assurance in respect of the obligations of that entity, unless noted otherwise.