Rate freeze: Big banks aren't budging on personal loans

Tom Watson

Friday 06 September 2019

Home loan rates, savings account rates, term deposit rates - they’re all dropping, spurred on by two consecutive Reserve Bank cuts in June and July. But what about personal loan rates? 

Rate freeze: Big banks aren't budging on personal loans

According to Mozo figures, the average unsecured personal loan rate in the Mozo database has dropped three months since the June RBA cut, but reductions haven’t been quite as large as in home loans and deposit accounts, with the average rate falling just 0.16% since June 1. 

While the new average unsecured personal loan rate in the Mozo database now sits at 11.08%, there have been a few notable absences at the rate drop party - the big four banks. 

Over this period, the respective unsecured personal loan rates from ANZ, Commonwealth Bank, NAB and Westpac have been at a standstill - in fact, the only movement during this time was from NAB who actually lifted their rates by 2.00% on July 29.  

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“The big banks are trying to manage their overall profitability and with home loan rates going down and deposit rates going down there’s a bit of a squeeze on their net interest margins, so if they don’t have to reduce a rate on a product they won’t,” said Mozo Banking Expert, Peter Marshall. 

“The way banks generally treat unsecured lending is more like a credit card. So because they’re taking on the risk of letting you borrow a certain amount without having any security, their position is that it's far riskier and will therefore be priced accordingly.”

Compared to the current average unsecured personal loan rate in the Mozo database of 11.08%, ANZ’s Unsecured Personal Loan (Fixed) is currently the closest of the big four despite being 1.37% higher than the average. 

According to Marshall, one way to secure a competitive personal loan rate is by looking at a secured option, especially from a smaller lender.   

“There’s a pretty big premium for unsecured loans, so if you’ve got an asset, like a car, that you’re willing to secure against the loan then it may be worthwhile comparing secured loans - especially with secured rates from some smaller lenders hovering around the 5.00% mark.”   

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Whether you’re planning some home renovations this spring or want some extra help paying for your summer holiday abroad, nailing down a competitive rate is a must if you’re looking for a personal loan as your funding option. 

Start searching today by comparing some of the hot personal loan offers below, or head over to the Mozo personal loan comparison tables for an even more extensive list of secured and  unsecured offers from a wide range of lenders.

*The Comparison Rate combines the lender's interest rate, fees and charges into a single rate to show the true cost of a personal loan. The comparison rates displayed are calculated based on a loan of $30,000 for a term of 5 years or a loan of $10,000 for a term of 3 years as indicated, based on monthly principal and interest repayments, on a secured basis for secured loans and an unsecured basis for unsecured loans. 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.

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