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There are so many factors to consider when it comes to choosing a home loan and finding the right lender is a top priority.

There are so many factors to consider when it comes to choosing a home loan and finding the right lender is a top priority. 

So how can you find a lender who will not only have a product that will suit your needs, but who can provide a positive lending experience? Listed below are the top factors you should include in your research when trying to find the most suitable lender.

Product range
Not everyone is going to fit the same mould. You may find that you have a unique work or personal situation that requires a non-traditional home loan option or you simply may have different goals in mind that will affect what type of home loan you need. This is why most lenders will offer a range of both specialised and prime home loans to suit a range of different situations. Some options may include, fixed, variable, interest only, line of credit, construction, self-employed or SMSF loans. 

Some loans allow you to divide your loan into portions enabling you to have different loan types in one. For example the State Custodians Standard Variable Loan can have up to 6 potions that can be used to separate funds for different purposes. Portion options include principle and interest, interest only, fixed or even a line of credit. It is important that you find the most suitable home loan for you so that you can have your money working to your advantage. 

Interest rate & comparison rate

The interest rate will most likely be the first thing you look at when you are home loan shopping, however many forget to also check the comparison rate. The comparison rate should always be advertised next to the interest rate. This rate can give you the comparison rate includes any fees or extra costs. It is based on a loan amount of $150,000 and a loan term of 25 years so if your loan is different to this it won't be accurate. Most lenders allow you to generate a Key Facts Sheet on their loans. One of the useful pieces of information it gives is a personalised comparison rate which is the comparison rate based on your loan amount and loan term. This can then be used to compare different loans and is tailored to you. To generate one yourself go to the Key Facts tab on our home loans pages. 

Also, be wary if you choose a special deal or honeymoon interest rate. These rates are designed to attract borrowers with very low interest rates, however it is often the case that once the honeymoon period is over, the interest rate reverts back to a less competitive rate. Make sure you consider how much this loan will cost you over the full term or the time you plan to have the loan with this lender, not just the first few months or years.  

Features available
Although interest rates are important, they are not the only factor that can help save you money. Many lenders include a range of features with their home loan, with no extra charge. Some popular features include offset account, free redraw, unlimited extra repayments, loyalty discount and more. 

Before deciding on a home loan, speak with the lender about what they can offer you. But be wary, some features come with a fee and if you are not aware of it, these fees could end up costing you thousands over the life of the loan. For example if an offset account comes with an annual fee, be realistic about how much you will save and look for other loans that give you an offset account without ongoing fees. Our Breathe Easy Loan is one of these.

Customer service
This is an extremely important factor if you want the home loan process to be as pain and stress free as possible. Having a lender who is knowledge, prompt and personable  can make a world of difference both initially and throughout the life of the loan. 

Speaking with family and friends can help give you an idea of where to look, but to get a real sense of which lender is best for you, speak to different lenders and see who is the most knowledgeable, prompt and most of all, who you feel most comfortable with. 

Even if a lender has the lowest rate on the market, will it still be worth it if you have to wait on hold for 15 minutes every time you call or have to constantly follow up on outstanding information? There are plenty of websites online that provide reviews and feedback on different lenders. This could give you some insight into their track record. 

With the mortgage industry being so competitive, lenders are always coming up with new and innovative ways to attract borrowers. However, don’t just pick the first deal you find. Shop around and speak with different lenders to see which is the best fit for you.