This is a round-up of rates in January and some may have changed since the time of writing. To check on today’s rate, click on the highlighted product
There wasn’t much movement in home loan rates in January which was expected after all the activity responding to the two rate cuts last year. Instead we saw some trimming of variable rates and jockeying for the title of lowest fixed rates.
Most of the variable rate action occurred in package rates rather than standard variable offerings. Non-bank lender Better Option joined the bunch of lenders matching UBank’s UHome Loan 6.14% rate, but new kid on the block, My Mortgage Freedom, retained the cheapest variable rate at 6.10%.
Previous market leader Greater Building Society increased its 1 year fixed package rate from 5.69% to 5.84%, leaving the best fixed rates for loans of $300,000 to Better Option, Newcastle Permanent and Reduce Home Loans – all at 5.79%.
Finally some movement in Personal Loan rates as the RBA cuts slowly start to flow through. Westpac seems intent on becoming more competitive in the personal loan space, cutting rates across its personal loan products. The Westpac Personal Flexi Loan rate was slashed by 1.70% to 12.99% and its Unsecured Fixed rate was cut to 13.99%.
This still leaves them some way off the pace compared with other lenders though with a range of options near or below 13.0%. For example, Newcastle Permanent cut their Unsecured Fixed rate from 12.99% to 12.74%.
Community First’s McGrath Pink Visa card is the only card on our site with a rate under 10% after they passed on both of last year’s RBA cuts. The card was at 10.49% but is now down at 9.99%. Of the major banks, NAB’s cut of 0.25% taking its Low Rate card to 13.24% is the only change we’ve seen. In the Rewards category Jetstar’s Mastercard rate was cut from 13.99% to 13.49%, although the rate reflects the card’s much lower earn rate than most cards with rewards.
The biggest move in Savings Accounts during January was RaboDirect’s decision to return to offering an introductory rate. The RaboDirect High Interest Savings now pays 6.01% for the first four months, dropping back to 5.4% after that. UBank headed in the opposite direction, shaving 0.1% off its headline rate to 6.01% (deposit conditions apply).
Overall we’ve had two cash rate cuts in the last 12 months totaling 50 basis points, yet the average rate on savings accounts has come down only 36 basis points, so there are still plenty of appealing deals on offer. Check them out using our Savings Account comparison tool.
The banks have been making noises warning that they may not pass on future rate cuts so all eyes will be on the February RBA meeting today to see what they do. Regardless, from what we have seen over the past few months, many people with credit cards and personal loans have already been left in the cold with little or no benefit from falling rates.