Home loan haggling experiment: Big 4 banks offer best discounts to investors

Tuesday 18 October 2016

Article by Kelly Emmerton

Each year, financial comparison site Mozo goes undercover to see how much a first home buyer, a refinancer and an investor can haggle down the home loan rates on offer from Australia’s Big 4 banks - and what a difference a year can make.

Mozo’s haggling experiment: Big 4 banks offer best discounts to investors

In our 2015 mystery shop, Mozo’s property expert Steve Jovcevski received no additional discount offers when he haggled as an investor. This year, in a reversal of last years results, investors were offered the biggest discounts.

“Last year, investors were hard strapped to snag any additional discounts because the banks were under pressure to scale back their investor loan books in line with APRA requirements,” Jovcevski explained.

“But this time around, three out of four big banks reserved their largest discount for investors which suggests that they are now open to negotiate on investor rates again,” said Jovcevski.

Mozo home loan mystery shop discounts 2016

BankBorrowerStandard Variable RateMystery Shop RateTotal Discount
ANZFirst Homebuyer5.25%
4.05%1.20%
Refinancer5.25%3.95%1.30%
Investor5.52%4.07%1.45%
CommBankFirst Homebuyer5.22%4.02%1.20%
Refinancer5.22%4.02%1.20%
Investor5.49%4.40%1.09%
NABFirst Homebuyer5.25%4.10%1.15%

Refinancer5.25%4.02%1.23%
Investor5.40%4.07%1.33%
WestpacFirst Homebuyer5.29%4.34%0.95%
Refinancer5.29%4.31%0.98%
Investor5.56%4.25%1.21%

For instance, while ANZ offered a discount of 1.20% to first home buyers, as an investor, Jovcevski was able to secure a discount of 1.45%.

On top of bagging low rates, Jovcevski said borrowers needed to think outside the box when haggling.

“ANZ and NAB offered other generous perks including cash back, a waived package fee for the first year and even frequent flyer points,” he said. “Which serves as a reminder to hagglers not just to negotiate on rates.”

Mozo’s top home loan haggling tips:
  • See what competitors are offering: Before you start haggling, shop around for the best rates on the market. If you come armed with a great quote from a competitor, big banks are likely to price match it.
  • Don’t jump at the first offer: The first discount you’re offered is often not the best your bank can do - the best offers are sometimes reserved for customers willing to push for it. So dig in your heels and ask if they can do better for you.
  • Look for other useful extras: While the interest rate is important, don’t forget that there are other perks you could snag, like cash back, waived fees or useful features.
  • Bring your other banking products with you: If you’re prepared to bring some of your other financial products, like credit cards, personal loans or savings accounts over to the same bank, you may be able to negotiate a larger discount.
  • Compare on equal footing: Not all home loans are equal - signing up for the lowest rate might seem like a good idea, but check if that mortgage comes with other features you may like to use, such as an offset account, redraw facility or the option of interest only repayments.

Need a little help? If you aren’t sure how to start haggling a great deal on your home loan, Mozo can help you out. Just fill in your details on Mozo’s online form or give Steve Jovcevski a call on 13 66 96 (MOZO).

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