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For the third consecutive month, the Reserve Bank of Australia has raised the official exchange rate, which could be good news for savers and bad news for borrowers.
July’s RBA board meeting led to another double hike of 50 basis points, taking the cash rate to 1.35%, a three-month increase of 1.25%.
Banks reacted to the RBA’s decision by raising interest rates on their home loans, term deposits and/or savings accounts. But not all lenders passed on the rise to borrowers and savers, at least not in full.
As of this writing, 27 lenders raised their interest rates on home loans for homeowners following the July announcement. All 27 lenders passed on the full 0.5% increase this month, including the big four banks (ANZ, CommBank, NAB and Westpac).
For many variable rate mortgage holders, this will be the third time in as many months that they could see their home loan repayments increase. And while those on fixed rates may not yet see the impact on their household budget, it’s only a matter of time before their fixed period ends and they’re faced with rates back high.
If your mortgage is variable rate or your fixed rate period is coming to an end, it might be worth comparing your refinancing options. Finding a low-rate home loan could give you some breathing room and help you avoid falling into mortgage stress.
But before you consider refinancing, make sure you have at least 20% of the equity in your home, because you may have to pay the lender’s mortgage insurance if you refinance with less.
Here are some of the top rated home loans for refinancing:
Pacific Mortgage Group Standard Variable Home Loan – Interest rate of 2.49% per annum (comparative rate of 2.49% per annum)
Freedom Lend Freedom Variable Home Loan – Interest rate 2.49% per annum (comparative rate 2.53% per annum)
Homestar Finance Star Gold Home Loan – Interest rate 2.44% pa (comparison rate 2.49% pa)
Yellow Brick Road Agility Home Loan – Interest Rate 2.44% per annum (Comparative Rate 2.48% per annum)
P&N Bank & Basic Home Loan – Interest rate 2.44% per annum (comparative rate 2.44% per annum)
Unlike mortgage holders, Australian savers who are eager to see their nest egg grow after a long season of abysmal savings rates will likely be grateful to see a third rate hike so far this year. At the time of writing, a total of 19 banks have raised interest rates on their savings accounts since the RBA’s last announcement on July 5.
Of the 19 banks, 11 passed on the full 0.5% hike (including the big four), one bank passed on a partial 0.25% hike and seven announced savings rate hikes above 0 .5%.
If you’re wondering how your current savings account is doing and want to avoid missing out on bigger returns, check out some of the higher interest rates currently offered on savings accounts:
Keep in mind that some rate increases, both for home loans and savings accounts, may not yet be reflected because the effective date has not yet passed. Visit RateCity’s cash rate tracker for more details.
Borrowers who have existing personal loans may only see their interest rates affected by increases in cash rates if they are at variable interest rates. However, increases in personal loan rates will generally not be as immediate as increases in home loan rates.
If you’re looking for a new personal loan, there are still plenty of competitive rates available, whether you’re looking for financing to book a trip, embark on a home improvement project, or consolidate existing debt.
Here are some of the highest rated personal loans right now: