Capped variable home loan makes Australian debut

House mortgaged by Northern Inland Credit Union Capped Home Loan collage

In a unique twist to savings, customer-owned NICU has just debuted its new Capped Home Loan, a variable interest rate home loan designed with rate hikes in mind. The loan has a built-in rate ceiling of 6.04% p.a. (6.39% p.a. comparison rate*) for three years, meaning no matter how much further rates rise, they won’t go beyond that for the capped term.

This unique loan is the first of its kind from the home loan products Mozo currently tracks in our database. Not to mention, the loan is quite competitive. The capped interest rate is 54 basis points lower than the current average variable interest rate in Mozo’s database (6.60%), with the headline rate even lower. 

Reserve Bank rate hikes have contributed significantly to the cost of living, rocketing variable interest rates across Australian home loans in the last year. Borrowers have had to get creative to save interest on their ballooning mortgage repayments, but we have seen too many efforts from lenders to address the problem aside from lifting rates on deposits and offering customer support. 

Not to mention fixed rate home loans are so scarily high they don’t offer much of a reprieve from the tide of rate hikes. And with variable rates rising even when the RBA holds the cash rate steady, what other options do borrowers have?

Enter Northern Inland Credit Union, a customer-owned bank based out of Tamworth, Gunnedah, and Narrabri. Its Capped Home Loan boasts all the features that make variable mortgages useful but with added protection from future rate hikes. Plus, it’s an online home loan, so you don’t need to be located in regional NSW. 

The loan’s features include additional repayments with a free redraw (though there is a minimum redraw of $500) and a 100% offset account. Fees include a $600 establishment fee and a $350 annual fee. 

However, the new offer is a timely reminder to compare your home loan options when buying property. You never know what you can find with little-known lenders, and the best offers aren’t always with the Big Four banks. Could this new style of lending catch on with other lenders?

Mozo banking expert Peter Marshall reminds us that looking out for the little guy can mean savings, especially when the bank’s priority is customer satisfaction first. Besides, a variable rate with a cap can mean greater flexibility than fixing your mortgage. 

“Sure, you can find some fixed rates better than some variable rates, but you’ll be losing flexibility,” says Mozo banking expert Peter Marshall.

“All the fixed rates, both term deposits and home loans, have been jumping up again as the expectation has increased that there will be more RBA rate hikes. But there are still some variable rates better than other variable rates, and people should hunt those down and get them.”

Compare variable home loans in the table below.

Home loan comparisons on Mozo

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Last updated 14 June 2024 Important disclosures and comparison rate warning*
  • Unloan Variable

    • Owner Occupier
    • LVR <80%
    Interest rate
    5.99 % p.a.
    Variable
    Comparison rate
    5.90 % p.a.
    Initial monthly repayment
    $2,995
    Go to site

    Built by CommBank, the Unloan is the first home loan with an increasing discount (conditions apply) for borrowers. No application or banking fees. No monthly account keeping or early exit fees. Apply online in minutes.

  • Basic Home Loan

    • Owner Occupier
    • LVR<60%
    • Principal & Interest
    Interest rate
    6.14 % p.a.
    Variable
    Comparison rate
    6.16 % p.a.
    Initial monthly repayment
    $3,043
    Go to site

    Enjoy a low rate home loan with $0 application fee and $0 ongoing fees. Flexibility to split your loan and set different repayment types. Fee free redraw from your loan using online banking. Flexible ways to repay. 40% Deposit required.

  • Unloan Variable

    • Owner Occupier
    • LVR <80%
    Interest rate
    5.99 % p.a.
    Variable
    Comparison rate
    5.90 % p.a.
    Initial monthly repayment
    $2,995
    Go to site

    Built by CommBank, the Unloan is the first home loan with an increasing discount (conditions apply) for borrowers. No application or banking fees. No monthly account keeping or early exit fees. Apply online in minutes.

  • Discount Variable Home Loan

    • Owner Occupier
    • LVR<70%
    Interest rate
    5.99 % p.a.
    Variable
    Comparison rate
    6.01 % p.a.
    Initial monthly repayment
    $2,995
    Go to site

    A low rate home loan for owner-occupiers packed with great features including unlimited extra repayments, free online redraw, no application or monthly admin fees. Rate will vary depending on LVR. Winner of a Mozo Experts Choice 2024 Low Cost Home Loan Award^

  • Variable Home Loan 90

    • Principal and Interest
    • LVR <90%
    Interest rate
    6.04 % p.a.
    Variable
    Comparison rate
    6.06 % p.a.
    Initial monthly repayment
    $3,011
    Go to site

    Affordable home loan rate for buyers or refinancers. No monthly or ongoing fees. Option to add an offset for 0.10%. Access to savings with unlimited redraws available. Minimum 10% deposit required.

  • The Better Home Loan Special Offer

    • Owner Occupier
    • Principal & Interest
    • LVR<80%
    Interest rate
    6.14 % p.a.
    Variable
    Comparison rate
    6.14 % p.a.
    Initial monthly repayment
    $3,043
    Go to site

    Enjoy a variable rate home loan with a bunch of features from Police Credit Union. Make extra repayments at any time without penalty. No monthly, annual or upfront fees. Free online redraw. Minimum 20% deposit. Qualifying criteria applies. Minimum loan amount is 200K. For new customers only. Mozo Experts Choice Home Lender Credit Union of the Year 2023.

  • Basic Home Loan

    • Owner Occupier
    • LVR<60%
    • Principal & Interest
    Interest rate
    6.14 % p.a.
    Variable
    Comparison rate
    6.16 % p.a.
    Initial monthly repayment
    $3,043
    Go to site

    Enjoy a low rate home loan with $0 application fee and $0 ongoing fees. Flexibility to split your loan and set different repayment types. Fee free redraw from your loan using online banking. Flexible ways to repay. 40% Deposit required.

  • Mortgage Simplifier

    • LVR<80%
    • Owner Occupier
    • Principal & Interest
    Interest rate
    6.14 % p.a.
    Variable
    Comparison rate
    6.17 % p.a.
    Initial monthly repayment
    $3,043

    Get a competitive variable rate with ING’s Mortgage Simplifier. Free extra repayments, no monthly or annual fees. Freedom to make free extra repayments or redraws.

  • Offset Home Loan

    • Owner Occupier
    • LVR<60%
    • Principal & Interest
    Interest rate
    6.14 % p.a.
    Variable
    Comparison rate
    6.39 % p.a.
    Initial monthly repayment
    $3,043
    Go to site

    Ability to open up to 10 offset accounts per loan account. Fast online application. Linked Debit Mastercard® with fee-free access at ATMs across Australia. Package a credit card with your home loan and the annual card fee will be waived (T&Cs apply). 40% deposit required.

image of houses

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* 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. You can change the loan amount and term in the input boxes at the top of this table. 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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