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While most Australians dream of owning their own home, the majority of hopeful homeowners admit they don’t fully understand how home loans or mortgage rates work. That’s why we make it our mission to enlighten you during your home buying journey.

They say knowledge is power.

But this week we stumbled across some interesting stats from UBank’s Know Your Numbers survey.

It found that 84% of Australians who are yet to buy a property admit they don’t know enough about how home loans, mortgage rates and deposits work, while 3 in 10 admitted to knowing nothing at all and having no idea where to start.

But if you start by jumping at the first seemingly attractive rate you see advertised, well, that can lead to big problems down the track.

“Entering the property market with little to no knowledge of some essential financial terms and concepts could see Australians falling into common traps or getting themselves into situations they cannot manage,” explains UBank CEO, Philippa Watson.


How Soho helps demystify finance for you

Now, the purpose of this article isn’t to shame anyone who hasn’t already done their homework. Far from it.

Rather, we want to reassure you that when you come to us for a finance solution, we’ll be sure to explain any financial terms or products you don’t fully have your head around yet.

And that’s one of the key differences between us and the big banks.

We’re not just satisfied with matching you up with a home loan, we want you to be confident that it’s the right one for you, and for you to understand the reasons why.


Some of the most common financial terms we explain to our clients:

There’s no denying the world of finance is full of jargon and seemingly complicated language.

To help get you started, below are some of the most common financial terms people ask us about.

Loan to Value Ratio (LVR): LVR is the percentage of the property’s value (as assessed by the lender) that your loan equates to.

For example, if the property you want to purchase is valued at $500,000, and you need to borrow $400,000 to pay for it, the loan is worth 80% of the property value, making your LVR 80%.

Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI): LMI is insurance that protects the bank or lender in case you can’t pay your residential mortgage.

It’s usually paid by borrowers who have an LVR higher than 80% – that is, borrowers with a deposit of less than 20%.

Offset account: an offset account is just like a regular transaction account, except it’s linked to your home loan. The money held in the account is counted as if it’s been paid off your home loan, which reduces the balance of the loan and in turn, reduces the interest you need to pay.

And because the offset account acts like a regular transaction account, the money you’ve put in there is still accessible whenever you need it.

Refinancing: refinancing is the process of switching your home loan to take advantage of another, more suitable home loan for your present circumstances, such as one with a lower interest rate that might save you money.

Now that you’re up to date on key financial terms, have you gotten registered on Soho? Our algorithm learns what you like and sends you better properties so remember to swipe and shortlist!

But don’t just stop there, download the app to get the full Soho experience. Just remember to shortlist or swipe left on our listings so we can send you others that better match what you’re looking for.

And if you’re looking for more advice on buying your first home, check out our piece on what to consider first!

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