First home buyers, hot mortgage rates, Christmas online scams: This week’s best banking news

By Polly Fleeting ·
  • Amount of first home buyers in Australia more than doubles in 2020
  • Where you can snag a home loan under 2% 
  • Online shopping scams on the rise warns ACCC 
  • More NSW farmers apply for business loans as many farewell the drought 
  • Got your car in a garage? How it can save you on your car insurance 
  • RBA rate cut: how credit card providers are making bank off not lowering interest 

All in this week’s best banking news: editor’s pick. 

First home buyers: Aussie house hunting newbies double in 2020 

Major bank Westpac has revealed that the amount of Aussie first home buyers has more than doubled in 2020. 

In fact, the bank found that 16% of Australians are looking to enter the property market for the first time, up from 7% in 2019. 

Some factors more Aussies were looking to start house hunting included: 

  • Moving out of shared housing post COVID restrictions (69%) 
  • Not wanting to pay rent (54%) 
  • Seeking more stability (39%) 
  • Financial security (37%) 

Read full article: Aussie first home buyers double in 2020 for more stats on where first home buyers want to live. 

Does your mortgage rate start with a ‘1’? Here’s where to find one

Since the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) slashed its official cash rate at the beginning of the month, a number of home loan lenders have dropped their rates below 2%. 

According to the Mozo database, a total of 35 banks and lenders are offering at least one product that has an interest rate starting with ‘1’. 

Most changes occurred within the fixed rate space, with lenders cutting 4 and 5-year rates, despite historically cutting shorter terms instead. 

Some lenders include:, Bank of Queensland, UBank, Suncorp, HSBC and more. 

Read full article:
Home loan rates starting with '1' pile up after RBA cut for a snapshot of some low-rate loans on the market right now. 

Online shopping for Black Friday, Cyber Monday or Christmas? The ACCC says to be wary of scams

This week, the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) has revealed that online scams are rising in 2020. 

The ACCC’s Scamwatch received over 12,000 reports of online scams so far this year, adding up to almost $7 million lost. 

“Scammers create fake websites that look like genuine online stores, offering products at very low prices and victims will either receive a fake item or nothing at all,” ACCC’s deputy chair Delia Rickard said. 

“They also post fake ads on classified websites, often claiming they are travelling and someone else will deliver the goods, but the item never arrives and the victim can no longer contact the seller.”

Read full article:
Online scams rise: How to stay cyber safe this holiday spending season to see what security awareness advocate APAC at KnowBe, Jacqueline Jayne,  says about this growing trend. 

82% of NSW declared drought free: more farmers apply for business loans 

After a long battle with drought, 82% of New South Wales has been declared drought free. 

As a result, there has been a surge in agribusinesses buying new farming equipment, with many relying on business loans to get them there. 

According to the Commonwealth Bank, the total value of business loans used for agricultural machinery in NSW is up by over 100% since this time in 2019.

“We’re seen asset finance for ag machinery, particularly tractors and harvesters, increase significantly,” CommBank’s executive general manager of regional and agribusiness, Grant Cairns said. 

“Across the country, new asset financing for tractors is up 119% - the highest volumes we’ve seen in the past three years, and financing for harvesters is up 108%.”

Read full article:
Farmers flock to apply for business loans as 82% of NSW declared drought free for more from CommBank’s Grant Cairns. 

If you park your car in a garage you could save on your car insurance

There’s no blanket formula for how car insurers calculate the cost of car insurance

It often involves weighing up a number of risk factors, one being whether you park your car on the street or in a garage. 

According to Mozo’s latest figures, drivers could save about 8.5% on annual premiums by parking their car on their property, like a garage or driveway, rather than in the street. This number jumps up slightly for night parking to 9.9% and drops a little for daytime parking to 7.1%. 

In a nutshell, if you park your car on the street, your insurer is likely to see that as a higher risk as there is more chance of your car getting damaged or stolen. 

Read full article:
How much can you save on car insurance by using a garage? to find out how moving house can affect your car insurance. 

How credit card issuers make profit by opting to not pass on RBA rate cuts

When you think RBA cuts, you generally think of home loans, savings accounts and even personal loans. But what about credit cards?

Well, according to Mozo research credit card providers profited a massive $6.4 billion by choosing to retain their rates and refusing to pass on 4.40% over the last eight years. 

The data also showed that the average credit card interest rate is a whopping 164 times higher than the RBA’s official cash rate, sitting at 16.39%. 

However, the silver lining is that while $20 billion worth of balances are still accruing interest across Australia, cardholders have reduced debt overall as balances have fallen by 46% since 2012. 

Read full article:
Credit card issuers make big profits by not passing RBA rate cuts for more from Mozo’s latest findings. 

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Polly Fleeting
Money writer

Polly Fleeting is a personal finance writer here at Mozo, specialising in loans and credit cards. Her work is aimed at helping people find ways to make smart product choices, reduce debt and get more for their hard-earned dollars. Polly has a degree in Journalism from the University of Technology, Sydney. She is also ASIC RG146 (Tier 2) certified for general advice.