finfix broker group logo

How Much Will I Pay Each Month on a $400K Mortgage?

Paying Interest on Home Loan

Buying a home is one of the most significant commitments many people will make in their lifetimes. With typical mortgage terms lasting 20 to 30 years, understanding the long-term implications of your choice is paramount. 

When evaluating the monthly costs of a $400K mortgage, considering home loan interest rates becomes a key factor in your decision-making. Let’s break down these costs to provide a clearer picture of what homeowners can expect.

What is a Mortgage?

A mortgage, in its simplest form, is a loan specifically used to purchase property. When an individual doesn’t have the full amount to buy a property outright, they can approach a bank or financial institution to lend them the money. 

The lender legally claims the property as collateral in exchange for this loan. This means that if the borrower fails to make the agreed-upon payments, the lender has the right to take ownership of the property through a legal process known as foreclosure.

Factors Determining Monthly Mortgage Payments

When calculating monthly payments for a $400K mortgage in Australia, several key components come into play:

Interest Rates

The interest rate is the percentage of the principal (the $400K borrowed) that you’ll need to pay as a cost for borrowing. Standard variable interest rates in Australia fluctuated around 2% to 4%. Fixed rates can differ, but they lock in your rate for a specified period, ensuring consistency in your repayments.

Loan Term

The duration of your mortgage, known as the loan term, directly influences monthly payments. A 15-year mortgage will have higher monthly repayments than a 30-year mortgage because the principal is divided among fewer months. For instance, a $400K mortgage over 15 years will necessitate larger monthly instalments than stretching over 30 years.

Property Taxes and Insurance

In Australia, local councils charge rates  (property taxes) to homeowners, which fund local services. This can vary depending on your property’s location and valuation. Also, lenders often require borrowers to take out home insurance to protect against property damage. These expenses might not be bundled with your mortgage payment but are essential in your monthly outlays.

Lender Fees and Charges

Aside from the principal and interest, lenders may charge various fees. These can include loan establishment fees, service fees, and, in some cases, lenders’ mortgage insurance (LMI) if your deposit is below a certain threshold. While some fees are one-off costs, others might recur annually or monthly, influencing your pay.

Current Mortgage Rates in Australia

As of October 2023, the Reserve Bank of Australia’s official cash rate is 4.10%. While this is a benchmark, lenders’ actual home loan interest rates can differ. The average variable rate for a home loan in Australia is 6.61% p.a. 

However, when we examine the Big 4 Banks, which hold a significant share of the mortgage market, their average variable rate is slightly higher at 7.20% p.a. These figures are essential for potential homeowners to be aware of, as they directly influence monthly repayments.

Influence of the Reserve Bank of Australia

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) plays a pivotal role in determining the official cash rate. This rate serves as the base level for the broader market, affecting how much banks can borrow and how much they charge their customers. When the RBA changes the official cash rate, banks and other lenders often adjust their rates in response, impacting the borrowing costs for homeowners.

Breaking Down the Monthly Payment

When you secure a $400K mortgage, your monthly payments aren’t just a single expense. They’re a composite of various obligations that contribute to home ownership. Understanding these can clarify your financial commitments and how each payment brings you closer to full home ownership.

Principal Repayment

The principal component of your mortgage payment is the portion directly towards repaying the $400K you borrowed. With each monthly payment, you’re reducing the outstanding loan amount, effectively building your equity in the property. This equity is a valuable asset, representing the portion of your home you truly “own” outright. In the earlier stages of a mortgage, only a small fraction of your monthly payments cover the principal, but this amount increases over time.

Interest Charges

Interest is the cost lenders impose for the service and the risk of lending you money. In Australia, these charges are calculated based on the outstanding balance of your loan, meaning the cost decreases as you progress through your mortgage. Your loan’s interest rate can vary based on several factors, including the Reserve Bank of Australia’s decisions, economic conditions, and the financial institution’s policies. 

Escrow Contributions

Australian homeowners often contribute to an escrow account managed by their lender. This account covers property-related expenses not included in the principal or interest. Key among these are property taxes, a municipal charge based on your property’s assessed value, and homeowners insurance, which safeguards against potential damage to your home. 

These costs are divided into monthly contributions, ensuring you’re not blindsided by large annual or semi-annual payments. Your lender will typically manage these payments on your behalf, providing peace of mind and administrative convenience.

Examples of Monthly Payments on a $400K Mortgage

Utilising ANZ’s Home Loan repayment calculator  for Residential Investment, we’ve provided you with a glimpse into monthly outgoings based on different conditions:

30-Year Loan Term

For a 30-year loan at a variable rate of 7.59% p.a (Standard Variable, 80% or less LVR), the monthly repayments would amount to $2,822. On the other hand, choosing a fixed rate of 6.59% p.a for the first year will result in monthly repayments of $2,552. However, post this 1-year fixed period and based on the prevailing rates, it’s estimated that the repayments would adjust to approximately $2,871 per month for the rest of the loan’s duration.

25-Year Loan Term

With a reduced tenure of 25 years, the monthly repayments rise naturally. For the standard variable rate of 7.59% p.a (80% or less LVR), you’d pay $2,980 per month. Opting for the 1-year fixed rate of 6.59% p.a, you’d pay around $2,724. However, once this fixed period concludes, assuming the rates remain consistent, you will likely face an adjusted monthly payment of roughly $3,024 for the remainder of the term.

20-Year Loan Term

Shortening the loan term to 20 years increases monthly repayments further. With the 7.59% p.a variable rate (80% or less LVR), monthly repayments are $3,245. On the fixed-rate front of 6.59% p.a for the first year, you must pay $3,004 monthly. But remember, post this fixed year, and based on then-current rates, estimated monthly repayments could change to about $3,283 for the remaining years.

The Impact of Down Payments

The down payment you make upfront plays a significant role in determining your subsequent monthly costs. A larger down payment means you borrow less, resulting in smaller monthly repayments. 

For instance, a 20% down payment on a $400K property would reduce the borrowed amount to $320K, making a substantial difference in monthly outgoings.

The down payment also impacts the loan-to-value (LTV) ratio. This ratio, essentially the mortgage amount as a percentage of the property’s value, is a critical metric lenders use to assess risk. 

A lower LTV often translates to a more favourable interest rate, as it indicates the borrower has more equity in the property and poses a lower risk to the lender. An LTV below 80% often helps buyers avoid paying Lender’s Mortgage Insurance (LMI), further reducing costs.

Choosing the Right Mortgage for Your Needs


Selecting a mortgage is more than finding a lender to lend you the money. It’s about choosing a product that complements your financial situation and goals. One of the primary decisions you’ll face is choosing between a fixed-rate and a variable-rate mortgage. Here’s what you need to know about each:

Fixed-Rate Mortgage


  • With a fixed-rate mortgage, your interest rate remains constant throughout the loan term. This means your monthly repayments are predictable, allowing for easier budgeting.
  • If market interest rates rise, your fixed-rate won’t change, offering protection against potentially higher costs.


  • Fixed rates can sometimes start higher than variable rates. You might pay more over the long run if market rates remain stable or decrease.
  • Refinancing might be necessary if you want to take advantage of lower market rates in the future, which could incur additional costs.

Variable-Rate Mortgage (Often called Adjustable-Rate Mortgages elsewhere)


  • Variable rates often start lower than fixed rates, potentially offering initial savings.
  • If market interest rates decrease, your rate might drop, leading to lower monthly repayments.


  • Your interest rate can fluctuate based on market conditions, leading to unpredictable monthly repayments. This can be challenging for those on a tight budget.
  • If market interest rates rise, your variable rate may also increase, leading to higher monthly payments.

Making Your Decision

Always consider seeking guidance from our trusted professionals at Finfix Group. Our experienced financial advisors and mortgage brokers are equipped to delve into each option’s nuances, providing insights tailored to your unique circumstances, thereby ensuring you make the most informed choice for your financial future.

How Finfix Group Can Help


Understanding the complexities of monthly mortgage payments on a $400K loan is essential for every potential homeowner. By turning to Finfix Group, you’re ensuring a tailored solution that fits your unique circumstances. With our deep expertise in the Australian mortgage market, we stand ready to guide you through every step, ensuring clarity and confidence. Trust Finfix Broker Group to help you make the most informed decision for your financial future.



More Posts

Refinance Your Mortgage

How does refinancing a home loan work?

When you hear ‘home loan refinancing,’ you might picture an awful maze of financial decisions. Yet, it’s about aligning your mortgage with your current financial

Search here...