Home Loans

Applying for  a home loan is one of the biggest decisions you will ever make in your life time. Although this can be confusing and complicated it is important to understand what to expect in the future before signing for it. Signing a loan agreement without knowing how much you are paying in interest and fees can be devastating for your future, thus it is important that you educate yourself to avoid the common consequences and also avoid falling victim to predatory lending practices.

Before beginning to search for a home loan what factors should I consider?

Finding the best loan is no different than making any other purchase. Talk with a number of different banks. Compare their offers. Ask questions and do not let anyone pressure you into making a deal that you do not feel comfortable with.
It is of utmost importance that you choose a home loan that best fits your personal needs and wants. This may depend on various factors, such as:

  • Your current financial picture;
  • For how long do you intend to keep the house;
  • How you expect your finances to change in the future;
  • Can you adjust if the payments change in the future.

The best way to find the “right” answer is to discuss your finances and plans with the bank.

What types of home loan/mortgages are available?

There are various types of mortgages available on the market. Choosing the wrong loan programme may damage your financial future. The following are some of the mortgages which you can find on the market:

  • Fixed-Rated Mortgage: A mortgage on which the interest rate is set for the term of the loan, regardless of future interest rate fluctuations. This makes payments precisely predictable, but it’s not always the cheapest alternative.  Fixed rates are offered for predetermined years (for example, 3, 5 or 7 years)
  • Variable Rate Mortgage: A mortgage in which the interest rate may vary and is adjusted periodically based on a pre-selected index. Sometimes known as a floating rate mortgage or adjustable rate mortgage. These types of loans can be cheaper initially, but can be unpredictable.

What are the factors that I need to know on the costs, rates and fees of a home loan?

Knowing the amount of the monthly payment or the interest rate is not enough. The main component of the cost is interest, which is basically compensation paid to the lender for granting the loan and depends in part on the mortgage term. In addition to interest there are other costs which you need to take into account. When budgeting your expenses, you should also take into account notary fees and one-off taxes to be paid when you sign the property purchase agreement.

Be sure to get information about potential home loans from several lenders and find out all of the costs involved with a loan.

We suggest that you access our database of fees and tariffs for loans and advances before you start shopping around. The bank which best suits your purposes might not be the cheapest – in terms of its fees and charges.

When comparing loans, make sure you are reviewing the same information in each loan such as: loan amount, type of loan, duration of the loan, monthly payment, penalties, annual percentage rate of charge (APRC) and other important features. Comparing the APRC can give you a clear picture of the different payments each loan requires. This is because the APRC takes into account not only the interest rate but also fees (also of a legal dimension), and certain other credit charges that you may be required to pay, expressed as a yearly rate. This will tell you the cost of what you are borrowing and will allow you to compare the costs of one loan to another. Make sure that your loan agreements are put in writing and never accept verbal promises as agreements.

Further information about home and personal loans is available here.