In a very competitive market, lending institutions do take customer loyalty seriously and will go to great lengths to keep their market share. With the cost of acquiring a single customer - through snappy advertising and marketing campaigns - estimated at upwards of $1,000, lenders will do almost anything to get your business.

The latest issue of Your Mortgage currently on sale offers practical tips on how to use this aspect to your advantage.

Virgin Money for instance has recently spruced up its home loan products in a bid to attract new borrowers and keep existing customers.

Customers receive a 0.10% pa discount on the variable rate on their third anniversary with the lender, and another 0.10% pa discount on the fifth.

Borrowers will also get a 12-month repayment holiday quota over the life of the loan, which allows for three months without repayments during any 12-month timeframe. Virgin will also offer an annual check-up, to show customers how their home loan interest rate compares to that of other lenders.

The move came after a study Virgin conducted showed one in three Australians believed the major banks weren't doing enough to look after the needs of homeowners. More than half the people surveyed admitted they found the banks unaccommodating in regards to unexpected lifestyle changes.

The results also revealed almost 50% of people felt they were treated as just another number when it came to completing the loan settlement.

However, bear in mind that perks like these may not be readily offered - you have to ask for them. John Mohnacheff, CEO of BEAT Home Loans said unless the borrower initiated the action, lenders could be hesitant in doing anything to improve borrowers' position. "Always ask because the worst answer you can get is a no," he said. "Every business will always try and make as much profit margin as they can - that's the nature of business."