On Tuesday, the Reserve Bank of Australia raised its key rate for the fourth consecutive month, raising it by 50 basis points. Since then, several major lenders have announced that they are fully passing on this increase.
The cash rate now sits at 1.85%, with the latest increase being the third consecutive double 0.50% hike. Millions of Australian mortgage customers may be wondering how much this latest increase will affect their household budgets and whether they can lessen the impact of rising rates.
Fortunately, owners don’t have to sit back and be complacent. There are steps you might consider taking today to give yourself a rate reduction or lower your mortgage payments.
Who moved following this rate hike?
As of this writing, 21 lenders have announced they are raising interest rates for home loan customers.
|Real estate lender||Rate change||Effective date|
|Commonwealth Bank of Australia||0.50%||Aug 11 22|
|Westpac||0.50%||18 Aug 22|
|NAB||0.50%||04 Aug 22|
|ANZ||0.50%||12 Aug 22|
|Macquarie Bank||0.50%||12 Aug 22|
|St. George’s Bank||0.50%||18 Aug 22|
|Bank SA||0.50%||18 Aug 22|
|Bank of Melbourne||0.50%||18 Aug 22|
|Bank of Queensland||0.50%||09-aug-22|
|MyState Bank||0.50%||Aug 15 22|
|Athena home loans||0.50%||04 Aug 22|
|Bankwest||0.50%||12 Aug 22|
|australian bank||0.50%||Aug 17 22|
|bank of us||0.50%||05-aug-22|
|Australian unit||0.50%||12 Aug 22|
Source: RateCity Rate Tracker. Data correct at time of publication.
Within the first two days of the RBA announcing a cash rate hike, only one lender in the RateCity database, Macquarie Bank, had announced that it was passing the hike on to its customers in full. This includes its savings account customers, with its Macquarie Bank savings account interest rate set to rise to 2.25%.
This is not the first time that the big banks have been slow to reveal when they will pass on a rate hike to their customers. RateCity analysis shows that in 2010, after rising 0.25% on November 2the four big banks took between eight and ten days to make their announcements.
Given that this is the fourth straight monthly hike in the cash rate and big bank economists have predicted the cash rate will rise 50 basis points in August, the delay has left many perplexed.
How much more you pay back with higher interest rates
RateCity research crunched the numbers from the latest cash rate hike to find that homeowners with a 25-year, $500,000 home loan could be paying almost $500 more per month since April 2022.
If this homeowner paid the RBA’s current April 2022 average floating mortgage rate of 2.86%, and his lender passed on all four cash rate hikes in full, his interest rate would be 175 basis points higher. basis, at 4.61%.
Impact of rising cash rates: $500,000 home loan over 25 years
|Departure month||Estimated refund||Difference|
Source: RateCity.com.au, RBA Interest Rates, April 2022. Note: Excludes fees.
A homeowner on that $500,000 25-year home loan would now be paying $472 more per month in mortgage payments than before the first cash rate hike in May. This is equivalent to buying a washing machine or a new set of tires every month.
How to afford a rate cut in 2022
There are steps homeowners can consider taking today to help relieve themselves when it comes time to pay off the mortgage.
- Make additional repayments – If you have room in your budget amid rising inflation, it may be worth making extra payments on your home loan – if your lender allows it without penalty. Making additional repayments can help reduce your principal owed, which should reduce your repayments and interest charged over time.
- Use your clearing accounts – If your mortgage offers you one or more clearing accounts, the funds you deposit into these accounts help reduce the interest charged on your mortgage. This means you could reduce your interest payments while growing a nest egg.
- Negotiate your mortgage rate – Many lenders offer new customers lower interest rates than their existing customers pay. Colloquially referred to as “loyalty tax”, this is done to entice new customers to join the lender. You may be able to pick up the phone and ask your lender to match that rate or give you a rate reduction.
- Consider refinancing – If you’ve been paying off your home loan for a while and have built up a good amount of equity, you may be in a good financial position to consider refinancing a lower rate home loan. Switching to a home loan with a lower interest rate, or even a loan with fewer fees and more features, can be a competitive option for lowering your mortgage payments.
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