This week in banking - Pensioners under pressure
In this week’s banking recap, we examine the state of the property market, retirees’ finances, and the latest moves from the world of banking.
Retirees feeling the strain of credit card debt
Without a regular income or adequate pension payments, many retirees are relying on credit cards, only to turn around and find themselves trapped under mounting credit card debt. Moneycare has reported that in the past ten years, the percentage of over 55 year olds seeking financial counselling has risen from 19% to 26%, with half of those looking to escape credit card debt in particular. In light of this, we look at some ways you can prepare for a debt-free retirement.
Property market looking up
Buoyed by record low interest rates and loosening of certain regulations, experts are forecasting a turnaround in the Aussie property market in the coming months, which should come as welcome news for those who already own property. If, however, you’re looking to buy, it pays to be measured and avoid diving in just for the sake of it. We’ve compiled some tips for prospective home buyers to put themselves in the best possible position to break into the market.
Westpac drops rates for home loan package
Earlier this week, Westpac cut rates on its Rocket Repay Home Loan (Premier Advantage Package), bringing it down to 3.69% p.a. (4.09% p.a. comparison rate*). The changes make it the lowest variable rate package offered by a big four bank, with the next best rate a full 0.38% higher.
Heritage Bank branches out
Heritage Bank - a five-time winner in this year’s Mozo People’s Choice Awards - has announced plans to open two new branches in Sydney. This marks the bank’s first venture outside its home state of Queensland, and makes for refreshing news in a time when more brick-and-mortar branches seem to be closing than opening.
“We’re excited to be bucking the industry trend by opening new branches. I firmly believe that talk about the imminent demise of physical branches is exaggerated,” said Heritage Bank CEO, Peter Lock.
“People still want to come into a branch and talk face-to-face with an expert about the biggest financial commitments they will make in their lives, so branches will be around for many years to come.”
Bank Australia rate cut frenzy
On Monday, Bank Australia made a number of changes across its range of fixed and variable home loans. Variable rates were reduced by 0.16%, which see the Bank Australia Basic Home Loan Special now offering a low 3.35% (3.36% comparison rate*). The cuts will also benefit investors, who will be treated to a competitive 3.76% p.a. variable rate (3.80% p.a. comparison rate*) when signing up for the Mozo Experts Choice Award winning Basic Home Loan.
If buying a home is on the cards for you, you’ll want to equip yourself with a great value home loan. Check out some of the options below, or visit our home loan comparison page for an idea of what’s out there.