Home loan loyalty doesn’t pay, says the RBA

Ceyda Erem

10 Feb 2020

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When it comes to choosing a home loan, many Aussies take the ‘set it and forget it’ route, but according to recent data, that could be doing more harm than homeowners realise. 

New research from the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has revealed that Aussies with older variable rate home loans have higher interest rates than new loans - even when borrowers with the same characteristics were compared. 

The data found that these older loans on average had a rate that was 40 basis points higher than new loans. And according to the RBA’s calculations, for a loan with a balance of $250,000, that meant an extra $1,000 of interest payments every year. 

But the news wasn’t all bad, as the Reserve Bank said borrowers with an existing home loan now have the opportunity to get savvy and refinance to a better deal

“This means that existing borrowers who are able to refinance with another lender or negotiate a better deal with the existing lender can achieve interest rate savings,” the RBA said in its latest Statement on Monetary Policy. 

One reason the RBA believes variable rates have such wide ranges comes down to a borrower's credibility as well as different features offered with loans.

Competition stirred up by new borrowers entering the market as well as existing borrowers looking to refinance was also said to explain the vast difference. Rate discounting was one of the key ways banks compete for business on their advertised standard variable rates, with some banks offering discounts of as much as 1.50% last year. 

RELATED: Australia’s best refinance home loans for 2020

To find out whether refinancing could spell big bucks for borrowers, we decided to take our mortgage repayments calculator for a spin. 

Let’s say a borrower initially took out a loan for $400,000 with the average variable rate in the Mozo database of 3.71%^,  but decides to refinance their loan once their balance hits $250,000 after 18 years and 4 months. 

If they were to refinance to the lowest variable rate in the Mozo database, which belongs to Reduce Home Loans at 2.69% (2.70% comparison rate*), while still making their initial repayment amount, they’d save a massive $26,174 and shave 14 months off their loan term. 

“Gone are the days where big banks ruled the home loan market, Aussies can save themselves thousands of dollars by refinancing to another lender,” said Mozo Director, Kirsty Lamont. 

“Don’t get complacent, review your home loan and if it’s anything less than competitive, ring up your lender and ask for a better deal or better yet, take your business elsewhere.”

So if you’re ready to find out how much you could be saving on your home loan, head on over to Mozo’s refinance home loan comparison tool

^At the time of writing 

Compare refinance home loans

Rates updated daily. Advertiser disclosure.

  • loans.com.au

    1.99% p.a.variable for 12 months and then 2.48% p.a.

    2.47% p.a.

    $1234

    Product details Close details
    Smart Booster Home Loan

    1 Year Discounted Variable Rate, Owner Occupier, Principal & Interest, <80% LVR

    1.99% p.a.variable for 12 months and then 2.48% p.a.

    2.47% p.a.

    A super low introductory rate home loan with no monthly or ongoing fees. Unlimited free redraws and unlimited additional repayments to help you build your equity and own your home sooner. Multiple loan splits available. (Rates revert after introductory period ends). 20% minimum deposit required.

    Smart Booster Home Loan

    A super low introductory rate home loan with no monthly or ongoing fees. Unlimited free redraws and unlimited additional repayments to help you build your equity and own your home sooner. Multiple loan splits available. (Rates revert after introductory period ends). 20% minimum deposit required.

    • $0.00

    • $0.00

    • yes - free

    • yes - free

    • Optional - with 0.10% additional interest

    • $520

    • 1.99% p.a.variable for 12 months and then 2.48% p.a.

    • 2.47% p.a.

    • $520

    • 80.00%

    • $50,000

    • $1,000,000

    • Variable

    • Principal & Interest

    • Owner Occupier

    • Weekly, Fortnightly, Monthly

    Read our Mozo Review to learn more about the Smart Booster Home Loan

    Details Close

  • UBank
    Mozo Expert Choice Badge

    p.a.

    2.22% p.a.

    $1234

    Product details Close details
    UHomeLoan

    Owner Occupier, Principal & Interest

    p.a.

    2.22% p.a.

    $0 fees and easy application with the Mozo Experts Choice Home Lender Bank of the Year.^ Choose between weekly, fortnightly or monthly repayments. 3 year fixed rates are for new Owner Occupier Principal & Interest loans.

    UHomeLoan

    $0 fees and easy application with the Mozo Experts Choice Home Lender Bank of the Year.^ Choose between weekly, fortnightly or monthly repayments. 3 year fixed rates are for new Owner Occupier Principal & Interest loans.

    • $0.00

    • $0.00

    • yes - free up to $20,000 p.a.

    • no

    • no

    • $395

    • p.a.

    • 2.22% p.a.

    • $395

    • 80.00%

    • $100,000

    • $2,000,000

    • Fixed

    • Principal & Interest

    • Owner Occupier

    • Weekly, Fortnightly, Monthly

    • $395 Establishment fee waived for fixed rate loans that settle by 31 March 2020. Receive 1.75% Receive 1.75% 3 year fixed rate when you apply by 26 February 2021 and settle within 90 days.

    Read our Mozo Review to learn more about the UHomeLoan

    Details Close

  • Athena
    Mozo Expert Choice Badge

    2.19% p.a.

    2.19% p.a.

    $1234

    Product details Close details
    Celebrate Variable Home Loan

    <60% LVR, Owner Occupier, Principal & Interest

    2.19% p.a.

    2.19% p.a.

    Fast online application with no fees. Free extra repayments and redraw facility. Min 40% deposit. Crowned Best New Home Loan for 2020 by the Mozo Experts.^

    Celebrate Variable Home Loan

    Fast online application with no fees. Free extra repayments and redraw facility. Min 40% deposit. Crowned Best New Home Loan for 2020 by the Mozo Experts.^

    • $0.00

    • $0.00

    • yes - free

    • yes - free

    • no

    • $0

    • 2.19% p.a.

    • 2.19% p.a.

    • $0

    • 60.00%

    • $100,000

    • $2,000,000

    • Variable

    • Principal & Interest

    • Owner Occupier

    • Weekly, Fortnightly, Monthly

    Read our Mozo Review to learn more about the Celebrate Variable Home Loan

    Details Close

  • Macquarie

    p.a.

    2.53% p.a.

    $1234

    Product details Close details
    Basic Home Loan

    Fixed, Owner Occupier, Principal & Interest, LVR 70-80%

    p.a.

    2.53% p.a.

    Flexible loan structure – create up to six loan accounts with different rate and repayment types. Free redraw from your loan using Macquarie Online.

    Basic Home Loan

    Flexible loan structure – create up to six loan accounts with different rate and repayment types. Free redraw from your loan using Macquarie Online.

    • $0.00

    • $400.00

    • yes - free

    • yes - free

    • no

    • $0

    • p.a.

    • 2.53% p.a.

    • $0

    • 80.00%

    • $150,000

    • $750,000

    • Fixed

    • Principal & Interest

    • Owner Occupier

    • Monthly

    Read our Mozo Review to learn more about the Basic Home Loan

    Details Close

  • Suncorp

    p.a.

    2.90% p.a.

    $1234

    Product details Close details
    Fixed Home Loan Special Offer Home Package Plus

    Owner Occupier, Principal & Interest, <80% LVR

    p.a.

    2.90% p.a.

    Competitive low rates starting from 1.89% (2.94% comparison rate) 2 years fixed for owner occupiers. No monthly account keeping fees & No loan establishment fee.

    Fixed Home Loan Special Offer Home Package Plus

    Competitive low rates starting from 1.89% (2.94% comparison rate) 2 years fixed for owner occupiers. No monthly account keeping fees & No loan establishment fee.

    • $375.00 yearly

    • $350.00

    • yes - free up to $500 per month

    • no

    • no

    • $0

    • p.a.

    • 2.90% p.a.

    • $0

    • 80.00%

    • $150,000

    • -

    • Fixed

    • Principal & Interest

    • Owner Occupier

    • Weekly, Fortnightly, Monthly

    Read our Mozo Review to learn more about the Fixed Home Loan Special Offer

    Details Close

^See information about the Mozo Experts Choice Home loans Awards