How To Make Extra Repayments On An Interest-Only Loan

Interest-only loans can be an attractive option for many borrowers, particularly those with temporary cash flow challenges or those investing in assets that they expect to appreciate over time. With these loans, borrowers are only required to pay the interest on the loan for a certain period, which results in lower monthly payments. 

However, many borrowers are left wondering if they can make extra repayments on their interest-only loans. This question is an important one, as making extra repayments can significantly reduce the overall cost of borrowing.

What are Interest-Only Repayment?

An interest-only repayment is a type of home loan repayment where you only pay the interest on the loan, not the principal. This means that your loan balance will not decrease during the interest-only period. Interest-only repayments are typically offered for a set period of time, such as 5 or 10 years.

Interest-only repayments are available for both owner-occupied and investment properties. However, there are some restrictions on how long you can have an interest-only loan. For owner-occupied loans, the maximum interest-only period is 5 years. For investment loans, the maximum interest-only period is 10 years.

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Difference Between an Interest-Only and Principal And Interest Loan

The best type of loan for you will depend on your individual circumstances and goals. If you are on a tight budget or if you want to free up some cash for other expenses, an interest-only loan may be a good option. 

However, if you want to pay off your loan as quickly as possible or if you are concerned about the risks of interest-only loans, a principal and interest loan may be a better choice.

Here is the difference between an interest-only and principal and interest loan in Australia:

Interest-Only loan

  • Only pay interest on the loan amount, not the principal.
  • Monthly repayments are lower than with a principal and interest loan.
  • The loan balance does not decrease during the interest-only period.
  • You may need to make extra repayments to pay off the loan in full.
  • Interest-only loans can be tax-deductible for investors.

Principal and Interest Loan

  • Pay interest on the loan amount and a portion of the principal each month.
  • Monthly repayments are higher than with an interest-only loan.
  • The loan balance decreases over time.
  • You do not need to make extra repayments to pay off the loan in full.
  • Principal and interest loans are not tax-deductible for investors.

How do Interest-Only Loans Work?

An interest-only loan is a type of loan where you only pay the interest on the loan amount, not the principal. This means that your loan balance does not decrease during the interest-only period. Interest-only loans are typically offered for a set period of time, such as 5 or 10 years.

Here’s how an interest-only loan works:

  • You take out a loan for a certain amount of money.
  • You only pay the interest on the loan amount for a set period of time.
  • After the interest-only period ends, you start paying both interest and principal.
  • You continue to pay the loan until it is fully repaid.

The main benefit of an interest-only loan is that your monthly repayments are lower than with a principal and interest loan. This can be helpful if you are on a tight budget or if you want to free up some cash for other expenses. 

However, you will end up paying more interest over the life of the loan because you are not paying down the principal during the interest-only period.

Pros and Cons of Interest-Only Loans

Here are some of the pros and cons of interest-only loans:

Pros

  • Lower monthly repayments.
  • Tax-deductible for investors.
  • Can be a good option for people who want to free up cash flow.

Cons

  • You pay more interest over the life of the loan.
  • You may need to make extra repayments to pay off the loan in full.
  • You are more exposed to risk if your interest rate increases or the value of your property decreases.

Can I Pay Interest-Only Repayments on a Fixed Interest Home Loan?

Yes, you can pay interest-only repayments on a fixed interest home loan. However, there are a few things to keep in mind.

First, you will need to ask your lender if they offer interest-only repayments on fixed interest home loans. Not all lenders offer this option.

Second, if you do choose to pay interest-only repayments on a fixed interest home loan, you will be locked into those repayments for the duration of the fixed interest period. This means that you will not be able to switch to principal and interest repayments if your circumstances change.

Third, you will need to make sure that you can afford the monthly repayments, even if your interest rate increases. This is because interest-only repayments do not reduce the loan balance, so you will still be liable for the full amount of the loan when the fixed interest period ends.

If you are considering paying interest-only repayments on a fixed interest home loan, you should talk to your lender to discuss the pros and cons. You should also make sure that you can afford the monthly repayments and that you are comfortable with the risks involved.

Pros and Cons of Interest-only Repayments on a Fixed Interest Home Loan

Here are some of the pros and cons of paying interest-only repayments on a fixed interest home loan:

Pros

  • Lower monthly repayments.
  • Can be a good option for people who want to free up cash flow.

Cons

  • You pay more interest over the life of the loan.
  • You may need to make extra repayments to pay off the loan in full.
  • You are more exposed to risk if your interest rate increases or the value of your property decreases.

Can You Make Extra Repayments On An Interest-Only Loan?

Yes, you can make extra repayments on an interest-only loan. This is a good way to reduce the amount of interest you pay over the life of the loan.

When you make an extra repayment on an interest-only loan, the extra money is applied to the principal balance of the loan. This reduces the amount of interest you owe on the loan, which can save you money in the long run.

There are a few things to keep in mind when making extra repayments on an interest-only loan. First, you will need to check with your lender to see if there are any restrictions on extra repayments. Some lenders may limit the amount of extra repayments you can make each year.

Second, you will need to make sure that you can afford the extra repayments. If you make extra repayments, your monthly repayments will not decrease. This means that you will need to have the extra money available to make the repayments.

Third, you will need to decide whether to make the extra repayments as a lump sum or as regular payments. If you make the extra repayments as a lump sum, you will save more money in interest. However, if you make the extra repayments as regular payments, you will have more flexibility with your cash flow.

If you are considering making extra repayments on an interest-only loan, you should talk to your lender to discuss the pros and cons. You should also make sure that you can afford the extra repayments and that you are comfortable with the risks involved.

Benefits of Extra Repayments on an Interest-only Loan

Here are some of the benefits of making extra repayments on an interest-only loan:

  • You can save money on interest.
  • You can pay off the loan sooner.
  • You can build up equity in your property.

Risks of Extra Repayments on an Interest-only Loan

Here are some of the risks of making extra repayments on an interest-only loan:

  • You may need to make the extra repayments if your circumstances change.
  • You may not be able to afford the extra repayments.
  • You may lose out on the tax benefits of interest-only repayments.

Secure Home Loan with Odin Mortgage

Odin Mortgage is a mortgage broker that specializes in helping Australian expats and foreign nationals secure home loans in Australia. We have a team of experienced mortgage brokers who can help you find the right loan for your needs and circumstances.

Contact us today!

Get a free Australian mortgage assessment today.

Apply online to get a free recommendation with real rates and repayments.

Frequently asked questions

  • You pay more interest over the life of the loan. This is because you are not paying down the principal during the interest-only period.
  • You may need to make extra repayments to pay off the loan in full. This could be difficult if your circumstances change and you can no longer afford the higher payments.
  • You are more exposed to risk if your interest rate increases or the value of your property decreases. If your interest rate increases, your monthly repayments will also increase. If the value of your property decreases, you may owe more on your loan than the property is worth.

Yes, you can usually switch from interest only to repayment on your mortgage. However, you may need to pay a fee to do so. The terms of your mortgage will specify whether or not you can switch and what the fees are.

  • Your monthly repayments are lower. This can be helpful if you are on a tight budget or if you want to free up some cash flow.
  • You can invest the extra money. This could help you grow your wealth over time.
  • You may be able to claim the interest payments as a tax deduction. This is only the case for investment properties.
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