How 3 people started living their best life with the money saved from their home loans

Three people tell us how their new home loan or refinancing helped them turn their dreams into realities.

If you have a home loan (or are shopping for one), you still want to be able to keep enough money in your pocket for the other things that matter in life; like a state of the art coffee machine, tickets to see Elton John or even the ultimate trip around the world. Between surging and crashing market rates and financial experts giving everyone grief over their avocado consumption, it can be hard making sure your home loan is always delivering the max for your hard earned moolah. Who knew being picky about your home loan could mean the difference between achieving your goals and… not? Three people tell us how they put their home loan to work for them to turn their dreams into reality.

“I saved on my home loan and travelled the world for six months.” – Rob, 49, Accountant, Sydney

I know, ‘Rob, the accountant’ doesn’t sound too interesting. Besides a few hobbies and interests, I admit that sometimes I even consider myself boring, (don’t tell my kids). The worst part is, until last year, I’d never travelled overseas in my life. Never. Not for a friend’s wedding, to see family or even to visit my son on his gap year. To be honest, I never had a strong urge to do it when I was young and then life just took over: work, kids etc. Every time I needed a break, we would just go to my parent’s place in Wollongong.

But recently, my wife and I wanted to start living life a little more. We decided there were two big dreams we wanted to make possible – selling our family home to move to the beach, and taking a trip of a lifetime around the world.

The problem was, we didn’t think financially we would be able to do both and we’d have to choose.  What we didn’t realise was that our new dream home by the beach would also make our travel dreams possible. After shopping around we managed to find a really great new home loan with a lower rate than our old home. With a rate about 0.5% better than we expected, on a $500,000 loan, we ended up saving an extra $1,700 over 12 months**, which was a nice cash injection for our trip. Not only that, our new home loan and repayments also came with additional benefits, like the 174,000 Velocity Points^ we received with the Velocity Frequent Flyer program. When we bit the bullet at the end of those 12 months and booked the trip of our lifetime, we were actually able to fly all the way to London+, just by using our Points!

After spending almost six months in Europe and South America, we got back three months ago and we have absolutely no regrets. The best thing is, the trip has given me a new perspective on things and I feel like I have a whole new lease on life. I can’t believe it took me this long to travel, and my home loan finally helped me do it! I’ve returned to work now, but the travel bug is still in us. We’re planning a road-trip through America next year.

I saved on my home loan and started a business” – Jessica, 32, Graphic Designer, Melbourne

I bought an apartment with my partner four years ago and since then we’ve been doing well, but we’ve definitely been feeling the financial pressure. We probably bought our place at a bad time in the market for buyers and I think we paid too much. We’ve had to make sacrifices in the ‘going out’ and ‘holiday’ department, but it has been rewarding having a home we can call ours. However, the biggest sacrifice I’ve had to make has been putting off my dream of starting my own graphic design business and being my own boss. I wanted to do it before 30, but quitting my stable agency job wasn’t an option when we had huge mortgage repayments to worry about.

Luckily, when we started looking into refinancing our home, (which we originally didn’t even know we could do) we were able to get a much better interest rate. It also had a huge impact on our monthly repayments, meaning we could put aside an extra $2,000 in annual savings**. All in all, it meant less financial pressure and more savings in our bank accounts.

Over the last two years, our financial situation has improved so much, I finally feel confident enough to go out on my own. I’ve been working on growing a client list through my contacts and side gigs, so three months ago I handed my notice in and officially launched my business. I already have four great clients, I love working from home and I don’t miss the commute! Most of all, I love being my own boss and calling all the shots. If all goes according to plan, I’ll be making a small profit by early next year.

I saved on my home loan and could afford the home renovation I’ve always wanted” – Stephan, 34, Environmental Engineer, Brisbane

My dream has always been to live in an eco-house. I’ve been mindful of my ecological footprint since my early 20s when I first became interested in sustainable living. Since then, I’ve never liked how each house/apartment I’ve lived in has chewed up electricity, despite my best efforts to turn off power points every time I leave the house. I’ve minimised my waste by recycling, I shop mindfully, I’ve reduced my use of single-use plastics to almost nothing and I use a shower bucket to water my plants (don’t laugh). But I’ve always been stressed by how little I can do when it comes to things like electricity usage.

That all changed once I started the process of refinancing my home loan – which I had always thought was a lot of hassle for little reward. I was offered a great variable rate and my monthly repayments were lowered, which meant I was able to start putting more savings aside into my cash pot. Over the past year I’ve been able to put aside another $2,000 with the savings made on my home loan, which I’ve put towards giving my house an eco-makeover.

I couldn’t do much about the construction materials used to build the place, as that was done back in the 80s, but I could install solar panels, modern heat pumps and a rain harvesting system. It wasn’t cheap, but I sleep better knowing I’m doing my part. As an added benefit - I’ve cut my coal-powered electricity usage down by about 40%, so that will help me save even more money in the future.

Now my dream is to eventually sell my house and save enough to build my own completely eco-friendly house. It’s a pretty good feeling knowing that I’m doing my best to live sustainably.

Where could a Virgin Money home loan take you? Saving on your home loan can give you the extra something you need to push past the barriers and start achieving your dreams in true #YouDoYou style. If you feel inspired to see if your home loan can work harder for you so you can make your dreams a reality, then perhaps it’s time to consider shopping for a great Home Loan rate, or even look into refinancing your existing home loan. Reward yourself with a Reward Me home loan from Virgin Money with benefits including a rate of 2.99% p.a. for a 3-year Fixed Owner Occupier Principal & Interest loan (at a 3.42% p.a. comparison rate*). You could save more money than you imagined and pay off your loan sooner, giving you more moolah for all the extras you want in life.

Also, you’ll never have to compromise on your dreams because you can get a low home loan rate AND earn big on Points. You’ll earn Velocity Frequent Flyer Points for the life of your loan with 10,000 Velocity Frequent Flyer Points for every $100,000 drawn at settlement1, 1,000 Points every month2 and 30,000 anniversary Points every 3 years3. We also have a bonus Points offer where you can receive 100,000 Velocity Points after settlement4 of an eligible new loan when you borrow $300k-$999,999 or get 200,000 Velocity Points after settlement4 of an eligible new loan when you borrow $1M+. That’s a lot of shopping or travel, or both!  Find out more about these offers.

Explore the possibilities with our home loan options and apply between 2 September – 29 November 2019, and settle by 28 February 2020.

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Terms and Conditions

^To earn and redeem Velocity Points, you must be a Velocity member. Velocity membership and Points earn and redemption are subject to the Member Terms and Conditions, as amended from time to time. Only the person listed as the Primary Borrower on the application will be eligible for Velocity Points, subject to meeting Virgin Money’s eligibility criteria.

*Comparison rate calculated on a loan amount of $150,000 for a term of 25 years. For fixed rates, the comparison rate is also based on an LVR of 60.01%-80%. These rates are for secured lending only. WARNING: This comparison rate is true only for the examples given and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees or other loan amounts might result in a different comparison rate. Rates and fees are subject to change without notice. Comparison rate for variable Interest Only loans are based on an initial 5 year Interest Only period. Comparison rates for fixed interest only loans are based on an initial Interest Only period equal in length to the fixed period. During an interest only period, your interest only payments will not reduce your loan balance. This may mean you pay more interest over the life of the loan.

**Based off a 3.28% VMA rate on a $500k OO P&I loan vs. a 3.78% competitor rate and $120 annual fee vs. a $395 competitor package fee.

+The quoted redemption fares are correct as at 1 July 2019 and are subject to change. Fares are subject to availability, and seats are limited and may not be available at peak times or on all flights. Price is based on a one way or return economy Reward Seat fare or business Reward Seat fare as specified, and must be booked on the Velocity website. Taxes, fees and carrier charges are payable in addition to Velocity Points redeemed and are not eligible for Points earn. Price may vary until ticketed. All payments made on the internet or on the phone via debit/credit card are subject to a payment surcharge between 0.6% to 1.3% of the total value of the card transaction (capped at $40 for domestic and $70 for international, per passenger per booking). For Rewards Seat bookings on: (i) Virgin Australia operated flights; (ii) Delta Air Lines operated and marketed flights between Sydney and Los Angeles; or, (iii) Etihad Airways operated flights, a carrier charge will apply, view more information here. Add $40 or 5,200 Points for domestic and international short haul bookings or $70 or 8,800 Points for international long haul booking per person for bookings made on the phone. A checked baggage allowance is included in your fare, view Reward Seat Baggage Allowances for details. Name changes are not permitted. Other changes, refunds and cancellation are permitted prior to travel and may incur a fee and any applicable fare difference. You may also be entitled to a refund under the Australian Consumer Law in certain circumstances. View the Velocity Rewards Seat fare rules for more information. Some flights may be operated by a partner airline. Different baggage allowances and conditions may apply to these flights. Full terms and conditions at velocityfrequentflyer.com.

1. 1,000 Velocity Points allocated for every full $10,000 drawn at settlement. For construction loans, Velocity Points are paid after first drawing.

2. 1,000 Velocity Points per loan account per month

3. Anniversary Points, currently 30,000 Velocity Points, are paid on every 3 year anniversary of the settlement date provided total borrowings are greater than $50,000 (net of any balances held in a linked offset facility). Points are only paid once regardless of the number of split borrowings a customer has with us and they must be a continuous Reward Me Home Loan customer during the period.

4. All customers who apply and are approved for an eligible Virgin Money Reward Me Home loan with total new borrowings of $300,000 - $999,999 with LVR of 90% or below will receive 100,000 bonus Velocity Points after settlement. All customers who apply and are approved for an eligible Virgin Money Reward Me Home loan with total new borrowings of $1,000,000 or more with LVR of 90% or below will receive 200,000 bonus Velocity Points after settlement. Applications must be received between 2 September and 29 November 2019 (inclusive) and settle by 28 February 2020. Only one set of bonus Velocity Points will be credited per primary borrower, based on the total amount drawn at settlement across all loans and will be credited to the Primary borrower’s Velocity account only, up to 60 days after settlement.