For some people, it's a no-brainer to shop around for better deals all-year round. For others, if there's ever been a good time to get cracking on deal-hunting, it's now. At the time of writing, 47 lenders have slashed their interest rates after the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) dropped the official rate for the first time in 2020.
With the cash rate now down to a new historical low of 0.50 per cent, it's more important than ever to make your money work harder for you. So, we've put together some of the best rates on the market to help you sort out your finances before the end of the year's first quarter.
Arguably it's the consumer loans category that's most affected by the rate cuts so it could be a good time to apply for a home loan or refinance your existing one if your rate doesn't fall below 3 per cent.
- One of the lowest variable rates for owner-occupiers on the market, Reduce Homes Loans' Low Rider offers a 2.44 per cent rate (2.47 per cent comparison rate) for those with at least a 20 per cent deposit or equity banked up in their property.
- Homeowners wanting to lock in record-low rates could consider getting in touch with UBank, with its one-year fixed rate loan of 2.74 per cent (3.38 per cent comparison rate). Keep in mind that UBank has passed on the full 0.25 per cent rate cut, but this only applies for variable rate home loans from 3 April, 2020.
- For investors wanting flexibility as well as the perks of unlimited extra repayments and free redraws, look to Freedom Lend's Variable Investment loan, which has a 2.84 per cent rate (same comparison rate).
- And from UBank, investors can secure a three-year fixed rate of 2.84 per cent (comparison rate 3.59 per cent).
If you wouldn't mind new wheels to go with your new home, there are several car loan options that have rates starting with a four.
- It pays to be kind to the environment, as we can see with Loans.com.au's Green Car Loan, which advertises a 4.19 per cent interest rate (comparison rate 4.73 per cent). There's a good chance you'd be approved for this rate if you're purchasing a new, fuel-efficient or hybrid vehicle.
- Trust in the power of people, with peer-to-peer lender Ratesetter's car loan, which has an interest rate of 4.69 per cent (comparison rate 6.03 per cent) if you fix for five years.
- Alternatively, you could consider letting Credit Concierge take care of your car loan, with a rate of 4.79 per cent (comparison rate 5.34 per cent).
With the purchase rates on RateCity's database averaging at 16.66 per cent, we've scoured our database for credit cards with some of the lowest rates in the country.
- If the purchase rate is your priority when hunting for a good deal on plastic money, G&C Mutual Bank's Low Rate Visa Credit Card comes with a rate of 7.49 per cent. You'll have to fork out a $50 annual fee, but it could be worth it for big spenders.
- Or consider going with Auswide Bank's Low Rate Visa Card, which has a purchase rate of 8.45 per cent. It's one of the few credit cards that changes its rate to reflect the movements of the RBA cash rate.
- If you've racked up a credit card debt but can trust yourself to be good, Citibank's Citi Rewards Card has one of the lengthiest interest-free periods at 26 months for balance transfer customers. But after this period, any remaining debt will be hit with a hefty 22.24 per cent purchase rate, so make sure to pay off your debt before the end of the interest-free period.
If you need a lump sum to splurge on something big like a holiday or wedding (while doing your bit to pump up the economy), it might be worth taking a look at some personal loan options.
- Securing your personal loan with a term deposit with Endeavour Mutual Bank could qualify you for a 4.45 per cent rate (comparison rate 4.65 per cent). There's no ongoing fees to tie the two products together but a $150 upfront fee does apply.
- If you're looking to deck your home with green features or household appliances, Australian Military Bank's Green Loan is advertising a 4.70 per cent rate (comparison 5.63%) for homeowners doing their bit for the environment.
- If you like having options, Coastline Credit Union lets you secure your personal loan with a fixed term deposit or a mortgage. Both have an interest rate of 4.86 per cent, but the comparison rate is higher if secured with a mortgage on 11.30 per cent, compared with 6.21 per cent if secured with a fixed term deposit.
There are plenty of savings to be made in March, but keep your eyes peeled for next month's Ratehacker to help put cash back in your pocket.
** Data accurate as at 5th March 2020 according to the RateCity database. The lowest rates on the market do not always equate to the cheapest products as fees and charges may apply. Contact the lender directly to request a copy of the Product Disclosure Statement, before you complete any applications, as applying to multiple credit products can negatively impact your credit score.
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