Don’t get stung by a high revert rate: Mozo research reveals fixed home loan trap

Fixed rate home loans can be an enticing option for borrowers. They provide security against rate hikes and certainty about fitting monthly repayments into the family budget. But some borrowers may be unprepared for the potentially high revert rates that await them at the end of their fixed term.

Fixed rate home loans usually come with a fixed term from one to five years long, or on some options, as long as seven or even ten years. While the rate is locked in for this period, it then reverts back to a variable rate option. These revert rates automatically kick in unless you negotiate an alternative with your lender, and they can make a huge difference to your monthly repayments.

If this is all news to you, you might be in for a shock. Research from Mozo has shed some light on just how steep revert rates can be for borrowers caught unaware. 

High rates in store for borrowers

We compared 262 fixed rate loans for owner occupiers paying principal and interest and found that borrowers can generally expect to see sizeable rate increases once their fixed term rolls over to a variable revert rate. Here’s a breakdown of the average increases:

  • For one year fixed rates you’ll be paying an average of 43 basis points more at the end of the period, with the average rate increasing from 4.02% p.a. to 4.45% p.a.
  • For two year fixed rates you’ll be paying an average of 52 basis points more at the end of the period, with the average rate increasing from 3.93% p.a. to 4.45% p.a.
  • For three year fixed rates you’ll be paying an average of 46 basis points more at the end of the period, with the average rate increasing from 3.99% p.a. to 4.45% p.a.

Even more concerning, in many cases, revert rates were at least 1% higher than the fixed rate offer. Of the fixed rate loans we compared:

  • 40 of the one-year fixed rate loans reverted to a rate at least 1% higher
  • 52 two-year fixed rate loans reverted to a rate at least 1% higher
  • 40 three-year fixed rate loans reverted to a rate at least 1% higher

A 1% increase may not sound like much, but put in real terms, it can add up very quickly. For example, adding 1% to the interest rate on a $400,000 mortgage over 30 years, taking it from 4.00% to 5.00%, would add $247 to a borrower's’ monthly repayment. That’s nearly $3,000 extra paid in interest in one year.

Suncorp, Bank of Queensland, HSBC, RAMS and Arab Bank Australia were among the lenders with the biggest jumps, all increasing by more than 1.50% p.a.

On the other side of the coin, rates from lenders like AMP, Well Home Loans, Kogan Money, SCU and State Custodians actually dropped after a five year fixed period, some by as much as 1.10% p.a. 

What steps should you take to avoid a nasty revert rate?

Sudden hikes can leave you struggling under the weight of your new repayments, so you’ll need to have a plan in place to avoid finding yourself in such a position. If you’re coming off a fixed rate mortgage and a high revert rate is on the horizon, there are a few things you can do.

The first is to get your bank or lender on the phone and see if you can arrive at a better deal. If you’re lucky, you might be able to lock in another fixed term or negotiate to have your loan switched over to an offer with a lower rate.

If that doesn’t prove fruitful, there’s always the option to refinance and find a better deal with a different lender. That’s why it pays to look at the other home loans that are available as your fixed rate term nears its end.

If refinancing looks like your best bet, be sure to check out the options available below.

Home loan comparisons on Mozo - rates updated daily

Search promoted home loans below or do a full Mozo database search. Advertiser disclosure.
  • placeholder
    Refinance SMSF Home Loan

    interest rate
    comparison rate
    Initial monthly repayment
    3.69% p.a. variable
    3.70% p.a.

    Competitive low rate Self-Managed Super Fund Home Loan. Available to refinancing SMSF Home Loan customers only. No application or ongoing fees. Unlimited extra repayments.

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    Details
  • placeholder
    Mozo Experts Choice 2021
    UHomeLoan - Discount Offer

    Owner Occupier, Principal & Interest

    interest rate
    comparison rate
    Initial monthly repayment
    2.19% p.a. variable
    2.19% p.a.

    Enjoy a super low rate. $0 fees to consider. Fast and easy online application. Free redraw and free extra repayments. Flexible payment terms. Min 20% deposit required.

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    Details
  • placeholder
    Mozo Experts Choice 2021
    Celebrate Variable Home Loan

    <60% LVR, Owner Occupier, Principal & Interest

    interest rate
    comparison rate
    Initial monthly repayment
    1.99% p.a. variable
    1.99% p.a.

    Fast and efficient online application. Automatic discounts as loan is paid down. Free extra repayments and redraw facility. Zero fees. Min 40% deposit required. Winner of three Mozo Expert's Choice Awards for 2021.

    Go to site
    Details
  • placeholder
    Basic Home Loan

    Owner Occupier, LVR<60%, Principal & Interest

    interest rate
    comparison rate
    Initial monthly repayment
    2.14% p.a. variable
    2.14% p.a.

    Competitive low variable rate. No application or account management fees. Flexibility to split your loan and set different repayment types. Fee free withdrawals of your savings.

    Go to site
    Details
  • placeholder
    Variable Home Loan

    Owner Occupier, Principal & Interest

    interest rate
    comparison rate
    Initial monthly repayment
    1.99% p.a. variable
    1.99% p.a.

    Refinance only. Super-fast digital application process. Zero upfront fees. No on-going service fees. Free 100% offset sub account. Minimum 25% deposit required.

    Go to site
    Details

* WARNING: This comparison rate applies only to the example or examples given. Different amounts and terms will result in different comparison rates. Costs such as redraw fees or early repayment fees, and cost savings such as fee waivers, are not included in the comparison rate but may influence the cost of the loan. The comparison rate displayed is for a secured loan with monthly principal and interest repayments for $150,000 over 25 years.

** Initial monthly repayment figures are estimates only, based on the advertised rate, loan amount and term entered. Rates, fees and charges and therefore the total cost of the loan may vary depending on your loan amount, loan term, and credit history. Actual repayments will depend on your individual circumstances and interest rate changes.

^See information about the Mozo Experts Choice Home Loan Awards

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