Price comparison sites offer plenty of value and definitely make life a little simpler. To do the process justice, one thing you will need is plenty of time, so grab yourself a coffee and some snacks, load up a range of comparison sites and get cosy with comparing. As long as you use the information wisely, you can enjoy the convenience of comparison sites – and score a great deal. To give you the confidence to make the best decision possible we have outlined for you some top tips when shopping comparison sites for a home loan.

Compare product prices across multiple sites.

No single comparison site covers every provider or product. To make sure you get a really good cross-section, visit a number of comparison sites before settling for a particular product. Just like the products themselves, there are good and bad comparison sites, and it’s good to try a variety.

Read the small print

Don’t take top-ranked products at face value. Make sure you dive into the fine print.Plenty of financial products offer short term sweeteners like introductory rates and honeymoon deals, which can push them to the top of the rankings. Bonus rates on savings accounts, for example, can seem like a good way to get to your overseas holiday sooner, but they typically only apply for a few months.

Look beyond price

Getting the right product for you is rarely as simple as choosing the best price. When you’ve narrowed down to a short list, use the site’s ‘compare’ function for a side-by-side look at the features on offer. Do you need the option to pay out early? Is a monthly account-keeping fee a deal-breaker for you? This is your chance to be choosy. Follow up by visiting the bank’s website to read the fine print before making a final decision.

Beware of paid promotions.

Remember comparison sites are not charities or government affiliated an do make their money from advertisers. To prevent being swayed by advertising jargon, collate a list of exactly what you are wanting, this way you are making a decision based on facts and not emotion. Beware of  providers pay to have their product in the spotlight. They might be singled out as “pick of the day” or be given a high rank among the listings.

Evaluate using the value over the life of the loan not interest rate alone.

Comparison sites rank products according to a particular default setting. Home loans, for instance, are typically ranked by the headline interest rate, but that may not show how much you’ll pay over the life of the loan. To compare term deposits, check that the default value of funds invested – and the savings term – match your own situation.