This is a round-up of rates in February and some may have changed since the time of writing. To check on today’s rate, click on the highlighted product.
The big banks took a lot of heat over their decision to increase rates without an RBA rate increase in February but many smaller lenders also took the opportunity to bump up their rates. Of the 86 lenders that we list home loans for, 46 of them increased their rates during the month with changes ranging from0.01% to 0.15%.
Surprisingly, two lenders swam against the tide and decreased their rates. Victorian based mutual Big Sky cut 25 basis points off its Standard Variable rate home loans and Defence Bank cut its Standard Variable product by 20 basispoints. Both had passed on the two RBA cash rate cuts last year so we can only assume that this reflects a desire to offer more competitive rates and attract new customers.
UBank continues to offer the best variable home loan rate at 6.23% after increasing its rate 9 basis points, the same increase applied to the variable rates of its parent bank, NAB.
Personal Loans and Credit Cards
As we have been reporting for months now, personal loan and credit card rates have not seen the cuts that mortgage rates have and February was no different. While the average variable home loan rate is down about 50 basis points over the last year, the average variable personal loan rate is only down 19 basis points over the same period.
Rates for terms of less than one year are creeping downwards, however we are seeing rates of one year or more start to move up again. UBank cut its 6 month rate from 6.11% to 5.95% but retains its title of offering the best rate for the term. The best rate for a one year term continues to be offered by RaboDirect which moved its rate from 5.50% to 5.60% during the month.
One of the best rates for the latter part of the month was a special offer introductory rate of 6.05% for 6 months on Bankwest’s TeleNetsaver, however this has now expired and reverted to their previous introductory rate of 5.80%. RAMS have also cut their introductory rate of 6.12% for 4 months down to 6.02%. These moves indicate that banks are no longer prepared to go to the same lengths that they have been to win new customers, and also that they are not expecting the RBA to keep rates at current levels for long.
With the RBA scheduled to meet again today it will be fascinating to see how the next few weeks unfold.