Rate Hikes - is your lender behind them?
The Reserve Bank (RBA) may have kept the cash rate on hold in August but that has not stopped some lenders from hiking their variable home loan rates. Here is how borrowers are fighting back.
Homeowners may be celebrating two months of the RBA cash rate staying on hold, but Mozo reports that some lenders have sneakily hiked their variable home loan rates in July despite the cash rate holding firm. These hikes, known as ‘out-of-cycle rate rises, can fly under the radar.
It is important to keep an eye on what your lender is doing.
Who Is Hiking Rates?
Mozo says ANZ, Commonwealth Bank, Macquarie, Easy Street and Great Southern Bank are among the lenders that have topped up their variable loan rates even though the cash rate stayed on hold. In some cases, the upticks may be as little as 0.03%, but some lenders have lifted their variable rates by as much as 0.15%.
On a $500,000 loan, that could mean paying an extra $750 each year… and right now every dollar counts.
One in Two Have Changed Their Loan Payments
Research by Canstar shows almost half of Australian mortgage holders are navigating higher rates by doing the following:
- 35% are reducing extra repayments
- 29% are stopping extra loan repayments altogether
- 26% are tapping into redraw or offset funds to help with repayments
- 22% are refinancing to a lower rate loan
- 12% are extending their loan term
Other changes involve switching to interest-only repayments as well as more drastic moves such as selling a home or investment property.
Be Warned, Altering Repayment Strategies Can Come at a Cost
While the above strategies can help get you through a tough time, it would be remiss of us not to mention that some of them can come at a cost over the long term.
Reducing or stopping extra payments, for example, means you will likely have your home loan longer and then pay more interest.
Likewise, if you tap into redraw or offset funds, you will pay more interest each month.
Last but certainly not least, by extending the term of a $500,000 loan at 6.73% from 20 to 25 years you could cut your monthly repayments by $348. But according to Canstar calculations, it could also mean paying a whopping $123,464 in extra interest over the life of the loan.
What Can You Do?
Those sneaky out-of-cycle rate hikes aren’t just annoying, they can leave you out of pocket while beefing up your lender’s profits. But you don’t just have to wear the cost, the first step is knowing the rate you’re paying.
Check your loan statements or ask us to investigate for you. If you are not happy with the rate, we can help ask your current lender for a discount. And if they don’t come to the party, we can help you weigh up the possible costs of making a switch.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Are Lenders Increasing Variable Home Loan Rates?
Despite the RBA keeping the cash rate on hold, some lenders have increased their variable home loan rates. These are known as 'out-of-cycle rate rises' and can happen without much public attention.
Which Lenders Have Increased Their Rates Recently?
ANZ, Commonwealth Bank, Macquarie, Easy Street, and Great Southern Bank are among the lenders that have increased their variable home loan rates recently.
How Can These Rate Hikes Affect My Loan Payments?
Even a small increase like 0.15% can add an extra $750 each year on a $500,000 loan. It's essential to keep an eye on your lender's actions.
What Strategies Can Help Me Navigate Higher Rates?
Homeowners are using various strategies like reducing extra repayments, stopping extra loan repayments altogether, tapping into redraw or offset funds, and refinancing to a lower rate loan.
Are There Any Long-Term Costs of Altering Repayment Strategies?
Yes, altering repayment strategies like reducing or stopping extra payments can extend the term of your loan and result in paying more interest over the long term.
How Can Zippy Financial Help Me With Rate Hikes?
Zippy Financial can help you understand the rate you're paying and negotiate with your current lender for a discount. If your lender doesn't offer a better rate, Zippy Financial can assist you in weighing the costs of switching to a different lender.
We can help you crunch the numbers to reveal which strategy will help you save today – and tomorrow. So, give us a call to find out if your lender is quietly lifting your loan rate and what you can do about it.
Zippy Financial is an award-winning mortgage brokerage specialising in home loans, property investment, commercial lending, and vehicle & asset finance. Whether you are looking to buy your first home, refinance or build your property investment portfolio, the team at Zippy Financial can help find and secure the right loan for you and your business.
About the Author:
Louisa Sanghera is an award-winning mortgage broker and Director at Zippy Financial. Louisa founded Zippy Financial with the goal of helping clients grow their wealth through smart property and business financing. Louisa utilises her expert financial knowledge, vision for exceptional customer service and passion for property to help her clients achieve their lifestyle and financial goals. Louisa is an experienced speaker, financial commentator, mortgage broker industry representative and small business advocate.
Louisa Sanghera is a Credit Representative (437236) of Mortgage Specialists Pty Ltd (Australian Credit Licence No. 387025).
Disclaimer: This article contains information that is general in nature. It does not take into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person. You need to consider your financial situation and needs before making any decisions based on this information. This article is not to be used in place of professional advice, whether business, health or financial.