Revert rates, retirement, energy bills: This week’s best banking news

By Polly Fleeting ·
young-couple-checking-revert-rate-on-home-loan
  • What home loan revert rates look like now 
  • 23% of Aussies to delay retirement as a result of the pandemic 
  • 5 hacks for renters wanting to save on their energy bill 
  • Ways to protect your business money transfer from volatility 
  • Westpac urges businesses to use Merchant Choice Routing 
  • Banking in July 2020: last month’s roundup 

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

Home loan revert rates: how much could they cost you 

For Aussies, home loan rates have seen many drops over the last few months. In fact, some lenders are now offering rates under 2.00%. 

In most cases, these rates that start with ‘1’ are fixed, meaning they are only in play for a limited period of the loan. That’s where revert rates come in. 

According to the Mozo database, the average one-year fixed rate sits at 2.58% and while three-years sits at 2.62%. However, the revert rate for both terms jumps up to 3.54%

So what would it cost you? Well, if you took out a 25-year home loan with the average three-year fixed rate, you’d pay $1,819 in monthly repayments and $145,621 in total interest. 

With the average revert rate, your repayments would jump up to $2,011 and you’d pay $203,326 in interest. That’s a difference of $192 each month and $57,705 in interest. 

Read full article:
Home loan rates are at record lows, but how much will your revert rate cost you? and find out how to get a better home loan revert rate. 

Early super fund access: 23% of Aussies to delay retirement

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has estimated that a massive $30 billion has been withdrawn from super funds since the pandemic began. 

This has many Aussies worried about what their future retirement will look like. 

Fresh stats from Colonial First State showed that 23% of Australians between 30-65 years old foresee themselves delaying their retirement as a result of COVID-19. Additionally, 45% revealed they are feeling scared and unconfident about their financial position to retire. 

“The Coronavirus pandemic has significantly changed the world, not only socially but financially too. These are extremely challenging times for many people,” said Colonial First State’s general manager, Kelly Power.

Read full article:
Twenty-three per cent of Aussies delay retirement due to Covid-19, says Colonial First State for more stats. 

5 steps to lessen your energy bill as a renter

renters-reviews-their-energy-bills-at-home

It was good news for renters in the ACT last week, as its government announced it would expand the ACT Home Assessment Energy Scheme for tenants. 

This means that Aussies living in Canberra have access to free in-house energy assessments to discover which areas of their homes can save more energy.  

However if you’re a renter but don’t live in the nation’s capital, we’ve got you covered.  Here are 5 tips to keeping your energy bill down: 

  • Unplug appliances you aren’t using 
  • Know your rebates: if you are eligible it may cover part of your bill 
  • Talk to your landlord about upgrading to energy efficient appliances 
  • Get energy savvy by using energy during off-peak times when you can
  • Switch to a better energy provider

Read full article: 5 ways renters can save on their energy bill all year round for a deeper look into what you can do to save cash! 

AUD volatility: How to safeguard your business money transfer 

The Australian dollar has been on a rollercoaster ride, dropping to 55 US cents back in March and jumping up to 71 US cents in July. 

And the truth is, there is no knowing when this volatility will end, which is a concern for many businesses paying overseas suppliers or contractors.

TorFX’s managing director, Nigel Fox says that in order to protect your funds, you must wait for the right time to make an overseas transfer. 

“Exchange rates are always moving, with some currency pairs fluctuating by as much as five percent in a matter of weeks,” he says.

“Subsequently, timing is everything when it comes to securing the right rate for your international money transfers. Picking the wrong time to move your money could prove costly and eat into potential profit.” 

For example, the mid-market AUD to USD rate on 4 August 2020 was 0.71171, whereas on 21 July it sat at 0.70229. That’s a 0.00942 difference. While this may seem small, on a $10,000 AUD transfer you’d save $94.20 USD by trading on the 4 August over the 21 of July. 

Read full article:
How to safeguard your business money transfer from volatility for more business money transfer tools. 

Westpac takes proactive role in helping Aussie businesses activate Merchant Choice Routing

local-business-using-merchant-choice-routing

Major bank, Westpac, has announced that it will reach out to Australian businesses to help them use Merchant Choice Routing (MCR). 

But what is MCR? Usually, contactless payments don’t allow merchants to choose the payment to be processed through eftpos, Mastercard or Visa. Instead, it usually defaults to international networks and charges higher merchant fees. 

MCR gives Aussie merchants the ability to make a choice about which network processes their debit transactions. Allowing them to choose the cheapest option. 

Westpac chief executive business division, Guil Lima has estimated that about 37,000 businesses will benefit from the service.

“Westpac’s decision today will help merchant customers with Westpac owned terminals activate pricing that’s best for them, giving them one less thing to worry about at an already very challenging time,” he said.

Read full article:
Westpac nudges businesses towards Merchant Choice Routing to see how businesses will benefit. 

Mozo’s banking roundup for July 2020

A lot happened in the world of banking last month, that you may have missed. Here’s a few major things: 

  • Home loan rates continued to drop with some providers now offering rates below 2.00% 
  • Cashback offers on some credit cards were introduced 
  • Personal loan rates saw some reductions but overall volume was low 
  • Savings accounts rates have been hit again across neobanks, major banks and challenger banks 
  • Out of 86 term deposit providers on the Mozo database, 70 made cuts in July (including all of the big four).  

Read full article: Mozo Banking Roundup, July 2020 for a more comprehensive view of banking last month.  

On the hunt for a competitive home loan? Take a look below! Or if you want to get your finances in order this month, have a read of our August 2020 Financial Checklist.

Compare home loans 2020 - page last updated September 19, 2020

Search promoted home loans below or do a full Mozo database search. Advertiser disclosure.

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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, 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.

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Polly Fleeting
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.