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Published May 24, 2023
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Should You Use an Offset Account?

An offset account, which can be either partial and full, can be used to help pay off your home loan.

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When taking out your mortgage, you want your money to work hard for you, so one feature it definitely pays to become acquainted with is an offset account. 

What is an offset account?

An offset account is a transaction account linked to your home loan. Like the name suggests, you can use one to ‘offset’ the amount owing on your mortgage. So, if you have a mortgage of $400,000 and $50,000 in your account, you’re only paying interest on $350,000 — the difference between the two.

Offset accounts come in two varieties, partial and full. A full, or 100% offset account, is where every dollar goes toward paying off the interest of your mortgage. While in a partial offset account, only a portion of your account balance is set against the home loan. 

While it would clearly be more beneficial to have all of your money going toward reducing your interest, watch out for added costs. For example, some lenders may charge higher fees or even a higher mortgage interest rate for a full offset account. So you need to fully understand your lender’s terms and conditions before proceeding.  

» MORE: How to make the most of your offset account 

How does it work?

You can access the money in your offset by using a debit card or from an ATM, just like a regular transaction account. Whenever there is money in your offset it will reduce your interest commitment as in the above example. 

Many mortgagees have their pay deposited directly into their offset and use it just like a regular transaction account. Alternatively, you can use your offset account to save for a holiday, a car upgrade or renovations. Be aware, though, that the less money you have in the account, the more interest you’ll be charged on the principal of your mortgage

Like a redraw facility, you can also use the money for emergencies, such as medical procedures and bills. Like a regular transaction account, the funds should always be available immediately.

Offset vs traditional savings

An offset account will benefit you more as a mortgage holder than your normal garden-variety savings account. That’s simply because the interest you save on your mortgage will be much greater than the interest you could earn in a savings account. 

Additionally, an offset should come with all the features of an everyday savings account. So, there is nothing to be gained from keeping extra cash in savings when you have offset and redraw facilities at your disposal. Plus, the interest you earn in a savings account is considered income and is therefore taxable. In contrast, the money you save from your home loan interest in an offset isn’t.

Different lenders have different fees and charges so it’s always worth talking to a financial planner or mortgage broker about your options. It’s unlikely, however, that you will be ahead if you opt to put extra money into even a generous bank savings account.

» MORE: 10 questions to ask your mortgage broker

How do they compare to redraw facilities?

A redraw facility is simply a feature linked to your mortgage that you can use to make extra repayments. Offset accounts and redraw facilities can both help you lessen the term and amount of your mortgage considerably. They are also both available on standard variable loans and some fixed-loan mortgages.

Offset and redraw accounts are both designed to help pay off your home loan sooner, but they differ in key ways.


Offset accounts generally will attract fees like most other bank accounts do, usually in the form of periodical administrative charges. A redraw facility, on the other hand, should not attract any bank fees.

Having said that, you should always check with your lender about the fees that both facilities attract. Then, see how much they may affect your total mortgage bill over time. At the very least, ensure that the money you save on interest with an offset account outweighs any associated fees.


Any money in an offset account is there for you to do with as you please. In contrast, your lender may place limits on the amounts of money you can withdraw from your redraw facility.  


Offset accounts generally are more flexible as you can access the money immediately like a bank account. A redraw may take up to several business days depending on your lender.

For those who are more disciplined with money, this is a good thing as they’re less likely to spend money in their account frivolously. Anyone who is more of a spendthrift is better off with a redraw facility where it is harder to get your hands on the money immediately and may serve to temper impulse buying. Everyone has different spending and savings habits and what’s right for you will depend on your level of discipline and money management skills

» MORE: Can you have multiple offset accounts?

The best of both worlds 

An offset account and a redraw facility are by no means mutually exclusive. Many homeowners find themselves successfully using a hybrid of the two to maximise their home loan investment, so your decision doesn’t have to be either one or the other.

You may find, for example, that you can make an extra $200 a month payment into a redraw facility but also use an offset as your everyday bank account where your salary is deposited. In such a scenario, both accounts are working for you to achieve the ultimate goal of paying off your mortgage

Remember, both offsets and redraws are there to help you pay off your mortgage as soon as possible. It’s always a good idea to talk to your lender or a financial adviser about the best course of action.

How To Make The Most Of Your Offset Account

How To Make The Most Of Your Offset Account

Leverage your offset account to help pay off your home loan by sticking to your budget and depositing as much money as possible into your account.

Redraw Vs. Offset: How To Choose

Redraw Vs. Offset: How To Choose

Redraw allows you to overpay your loan and access funds later to save on interest. Offset accounts link savings to your loan to reduce the interest you owe.

What Is a Redraw Facility?

What Is a Redraw Facility?

A home loan redraw facility gives homeowners the flexibility to build wealth while reducing debt.

What Is Home Loan Portability?

What Is Home Loan Portability?

When you move properties, the last thing you want to deal with is taking out a whole new mortgage. Thankfully, home loan portability is a relatively easy way to transfer your mortgage from one property to another and keep the same loan.

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