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Budget with certainty, as you’ll know what your repayments will be
Lock in an interest rate for terms from six months to five years
Some flexibility – you can make extra payments each year of up to 5% of what your loan amount is when the fixed interest rate term starts
If interest rates rise during the term of your fixed loan, you won’t be affected
With a fixed rate home loan, you sign up to a fixed interest rate on your mortgage for a set amount of time. So even if interest rates rise, your payments stay the same because you’ve locked in your rate. However, the same is true if interest rate fall – you won’t be able to take advantage of lower rates – unless you’re willing to break out of your fixed rate, which may involve paying a fixed rate break cost.
There's still wiggle room with a fixed rate mortgage. You can make extra repayments in any year of a fixed term loan of up to 5% of the loan amount at the start of the fixed term.
You can do this by increasing your regular repayments or making lump sum payments.
If you want to make a lump sum repayment of more than the 5% extra, you could be charged a lump sum repayment fee and potentially also a fixed rate break cost.
If you want the option to make extra repayments, you might be better to keep part of your loan on a variable rate – you can make extra repayments on this part whenever you like.
When your fixed term is coming to an end you can re-fix your home loan at current interest rates or change to a variable or offset mortgage. If you do nothing, your home loan will automatically roll on to a variable interest rate when your fixed term is up.
You don’t have to go all in on a fixed rate mortgage. You could have the benefit of both fixed and variable home loans, by putting part of your home loan on a fixed rate – giving you certainty about how much you’ll be paying on that amount for a set time – and part of it on a floating rate – giving you the flexibility to make higher payments if you’d like. Or, you could take more than one fixed term.
If for any reason you decide you want to break your fixed rate contract – say for example, interest rates are falling and you want to try to get a better rate, or you come into some money and want to pay the loan off, or you get a pay rise and want to make extra repayments over the 5% annual limit – you may have to pay a fixed rate break cost.