Need to know: Latest low down on your savings, home loan & credit card

Wondering what an unchanging official cash rate means for your home loan, savings and credit card spend? You could be stuck with a dud product without even knowing it. Mozo translates the rate and gives you the low down on where to chase down the most for your money in the current market.

With the official cash rate on hold at 2.50% for more than 6 months now it’s easy to sit there scratching your head and wondering, well that’s all well and good but how does that affect me?

Mozo dives into the data and shows you what the cash rate has in store for Savers, Borrowers and Credit Card holders and where to go for the best deals right now.

What home buyers & owners need-to-know

The cash rate may be on hold but that doesn’t mean rates are. With the official RBA cash rate going nowhere for more than 6 months now banks are going there own way to try to drum up business. Which means even more competitive rates for you! Hooray!

Variable rates

If you’re looking for variable rate and prefer to do your banking with a big brand HSBC has cut the rate on its Home Value variable loan to 4.75%, giving it the lowest variable rate offered by a lender with a branch network. They are also waiving up-front fees and the loan doesn’t have any ongoing fees. If you’re happy to go with an online only lender the best variable rate is still loans.com.au, starting at 4.49%.

Fixed rates

Competition is also hot in the fixed rate field providers driven to new lows to try to compete. Three of the four providers (including Westpac, ANZ and NAB) now offer the same three-year fixed rate home loans at a pleasantly low 5.13%. Looking for a great value fixed rate loan? You’ll find it here.

Small providers

The big banks may be battling it out but it’s still the little guys that offer the best rates. One year rates start as low as the 3.99% offered by IMB, the best 2 year rate is Newcastle Permanent’s 4.64%, and the lowest 3 year rate is QT Mutual Bank’s 4.79%.

Check out Mozo’s Home Loan Compare tool that will help you find the lowest rates for your loan amount and property value.

Sweetner Season

Providers are also competing hard with a plethora of sweeteners to try to set themselves and tempt borrowers to make the switch. 20 lenders are offering sweeteners for new customers, including all four of the major banks. There are twice as many lenders currently offering incentives to new customers than there were last September.

Loan sweetners that keep on giving:

Lender
Incentive

ANZ

Up to 0.90% p.a. discount on standard variable rate

Illawarra Credit Union

1% lifetime discount off standard variable rate

loans.com.au

Dream home loan variable hot summer rate 4.49%

NAB

0.85% off home loans $500K and above. 0.80% off home loans $250K-$499,999.

RAMS

1%p.a. lifetime discount on variable rate

St George

$1,250 rebate plus 1% discount on loans of $500K or more

Westpac

Up to 1% p.a. discount on standard variable rate

What savers need-to-know

A low and steady cash rate means savers have to really go looking to find savings accounts that offer a competitive return.

If you’ve stashed your savings with any of the big 4 banks you’d be well advised to check what rate they’re paying you after they kicked off 2014 by slashing deposit rates by around 10 basis points.

Term Deposits

Although the cash rate is still, Term Deposits are still heading south with average rates all slightly lower than they were at the start of the year. One notable exception is Suncorp, which increased its 6 month to match the best in the market for that term at 3.90%. Suncorp also has the best 1 year term deposit rate at 4.00%, along with a few other providers.

Savings Accounts

ME Bank will pay 4.60% for 5 months on its Online Savings Account as long as you also have its Everyday Transaction Account. However, the best in the market remains UBank’s USaver with Ultra which will pay 4.62% without a time limit, provided you have both a savings and transaction account and meet monthly deposit conditions.

Find the best rates for a term that suits you using Mozo’s Term Deposit Compare tool or try our Savings Compare tool that makes it easy to see the conditions that can apply to special rates.

What credit card holders need-to-know

Although the cash rate is at all time lows, the interest you pay on consumer debt and credit cards is going nowhere fast.

If you’ve hit the credit card hard over the last couple of months there are plenty of providers out there keen to convince you to switch. NAB is offering the longest balance transfer deal with 0% for 15 months. That’s available on all of its cards right now, so take your pick and start saving!

For those disciplined about keeping their balance at zero a low-fee card like Bankmecu Visa Credit Card with $0 annual fee and a low purchase rate of 13.14% will keep the cost of credit low and ensure that if you do have a small overspend you aren’t hit too hard.

Also with March approaching, shoppers who took out 0% purchase rate cards in November could be in for a nasty surprise as half of all honeymoon rates are about to come to an end.

See all the great credit card offers along with the important fees and rates here to find a deal that suits you.

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Need to know: Latest low down on your savings, home loan & credit card was last modified: February 19, 2014 by Kerry Lotzof

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