Millennials busting stereotypes with attitude to debt and fees: ING

By Tom Watson ·

Millennials often get a hard time for their money management, especially for their love of expensive brunches and extensive overseas travel, but it turns out that young Australians may be savvier than most when it comes to avoiding bank fees and debt. 

According to research commissioned by ING, Australian millennials are not only actively looking to pay less on bank fees, they are placing real importance on being able to pay back their debt as fast as possible.

The research found that 55% of millenials who were considering a personal loan placed major importance on being able to pay off that loan early, while 60% rated the value of having extra repayments as a loan feature.

And ING found that these sentiments were actually being put into practice, with 58% of millennials that currently have a personal loan making more than just the regular repayments required by their respective providers.

“This research tells us that millennials are taking a very considered approach to debt management,” said ING’s Head of Retail Banking, Melanie Evans.

“For larger purchases and outlays they’re really thinking about their funding options and sensibly looking at ways to pay off the debt as quickly as possible.”

RELATED: ING joins low rate party with release of new Unsecured Personal Loan

ING’s research comes in the wake of the release of its new Unsecured Personal Loan, which not only offers a low 8.99% fixed interest rate (9.13% comparison rate), but also a waiver on the $100 establishment fee for new applicants who also open an Orange Everyday account when they apply for the loan.

Feeling the effects of fees

While millennials may be looking to ditch fees altogether, new research from Mozo has revealed that Australian households are paying close to $500 in bank fees each year.

The figures, which were crunched using the latest RBA Banking Fees Report, showed that banks made nearly $4.5 billion in fees from customers in 2017 - up 3.1% from 2016.

According to Mozo Director Kirsty Lamont, while credit card fees are one of the main contributors to fee pain, Australians should be reassessing all their banking products if they feel like they’re getting stung.

“Unlike a lot of other expenses in our lives, banking fees can be avoided altogether if you’re willing to make the switch to a provider that offers fee-free alternatives,” she said.

“And with the potential to put hundreds of dollars back into the household budget every year, making the time to shop around can certainly be worth the effort.”

RELATED: RBA Banking Fees Report: Aussies are forking out $478 in bank fees each year

So is it time to give your own banking products an audit? From personal loans to credit cards and savings accounts, Mozo’s handy comparisons tables can help you compare fee-free offers and make the switch to a better deal.

Tom Watson
Finance journalist

Tom Watson is a financial journalist at Mozo, specialising in fintech, property and business banking. Whether it’s reporting on banking trends or uncovering the latest product innovations, Tom’s mission is to keep our readers up to date with breaking Australian financial news. His work is often sourced in the media and across social media channels. Tom has a degree in Journalism from the University of Technology, Sydney.