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Cash out – everything you need to know

When you refinance to borrow money (from your property’s equity) to use for renovations or a new car, for example, lenders call this a “cash out” refinance.   

Sometimes people take out a personal loan against their mortgage or borrow some money to pay off credit card debt.

You can essentially borrow money to put towards anything – a wedding, a new roof, your third Lamborghini – but only up to a certain amount. If you want to borrow more than $100k, lenders might start questioning what you want to do with the loan. No lender has faith in you launching a  small-scale newspaper operation, for example.

Your equity is the difference between the value of your home and the amount you still owe on it. Thanks to the significant rise in property prices over the last decade or so, it could be a substantial sum.

For example, let’s assume you bought a house 10 years ago for $500,000 and have $200,000 left on the home loan. If this property is now valued at $800,000 then your equity is $600,000.

Most lenders allow borrowing of 80% of the value of the property, minus the debt that you have left to pay. So in this example, you could access $440,000 of your equity. With this sum, you could make significant investments and potentially take advantage of tax benefits – such as depreciation and negative gearing on an investment property – to get your money working for you.

Bear in mind though, the amount of equity you can access will depend on the lender’s valuation – and this could be lower than you expect. Many lenders also place restrictions on equity home loans because of the risk of the lump sum released not being used for its intended purpose.

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What you’ll need:

  • ID, payslips and bank statements
  • A home valuation
  • Absolute assurance you’re not borrowing to start an underground greyhound racing racket

From our blog

Want even more information about how refinancing your home loan could make a big difference to you? Add these to your reading list.

Should we stay or should we go? The pros and cons of renovation vs relocation

To stay or not to stay. That is the question many homeowners encounter as their lives change and families expand. It’s never an easy choice to make. Here, we outline the pros and cons for staying and renovating, or selling and relocating.

How much is it safe to borrow… really?

Even though mortgage regulators are cracking down on how much banks are lending, chances are they will still extend you too much, writes Nicole Pedersen-McKinnon.

How to estimate the value of a property

It’s good to know how to estimate the value of the property you want to buy. Learn how to compare prices and properties. Find out what common mistakes you should avoid in the process.

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