How to get ahead on your home loan

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand announced the second rate cut for 2015 in July, lowering the official cash rate to 3 per cent. As lenders respond to the consecutive reductions, now is a better time than ever to get ahead on your home loan.

When the official cash rate drops, interest rates on variable loans are likely to follow suit. As a homeowner, you’re in a great position to pay off more of your home loan.

Lower interest rates simply mean you're paying less to borrow the banks money. As interest rates drop your monthly repayments will also reduce. If you can afford it, you should consider paying more than the minimum which in turn can put a serious dent in the balance of your loan.

And the great news is that it can be easy enough to do.

If your variable interest rate drops following the recent Reserve Bank rate cuts, simply try to maintain the same repayment amount you were committed to before the reduction - this will mean that more money goes towards paying off your principal.

The major benefits of keeping up a higher level of repayment while you can is that it will save you interest over the life of your loan and ultimately, you’ll own your home sooner.

As with all cycles, lower interest rates will not last forever. If you’re in a position to take advantage of the rate reductions, a good start would be to put a payment plan in place to make sure your budget stays on track.

Although eventual rate rises will most likely be gradual, there is nothing more beneficial than being prepared well in advance and the good news is that your mortgage adviser can do all the hard work for you.

Working with your mortgage adviser, you can build a repayment strategy that is both successful and sustainable well into the future.