RateHacker: April’s best home loans, credit cards and savings accounts deals

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March 2020 brought with it a lot of unexpected changes. The COVID-19 pandemic saw businesses forced to close their doors across Australia as social distancing laws were put in place for our protection.

With the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) making an emergency cash rate cut only two weeks after they cut rates at the beginning of March, the cash rate now sits at 0.25 per cent, just a quarter of a percent away from zero.

This means two things: good news for mortgage holders and bad news for depositors. But more importantly, it means there’s never been a more important time to compare your financial options and see if there is a better deal out there.

Fixed home loans offering some stability

Following two RBA cash rate cuts, lenders dropped their rates to historic lows. Fixed home loan rates fell as low as 2.09 per cent from ING and Reduce Home Loans.

While it’s impossible to predict the bottom of the market, especially amidst a global pandemic, RBA Governor Philip Lowe has indicated the cash rate will remain at 0.25 per cent “for some years, but not forever”. For customers looking for a little more stability, a fixed home loan may be one option to consider.

Lowest fixed rates on the RateCity.com.au database:

New home loan customers getting low rates

On April 7, the RBA held the cash rate at an historic low of 0.25 per cent, and Australia’s largest lender, CBA, dropped its lowest variable rate to 2.79 per cent.

However, this rate is only for new customers with at least 20 per cent equity in their property. For some Australians, this means best way to get this rate discount is to turn yourself into a new customer (only if switching home loans is financially viable for you at the moment).

Lowest new customer rates for home loans on RateCity.com.au database:

Savings accounts still paying rates above inflation

Savers have taken a beating over the last year, as interest rates continue to fall for savings accounts. Thankfully, there are still a handful of savings accounts offering interest above inflation.

Highest rates for conditional savings accounts on RateCity.com.au database:

Get debt under control with credit card rates under 9%

Credit card debt is always a concern. But it may balloon on the back of the coronavirus, with some credit cards charging interest rates as high as 24.99% and the temptation to spend sitting in most of our wallets.

If you’re the type of card holder always paying interest on your purchases, or if you’re concerned you may lose your regular income, a low rate credit card may be a more responsible option to consider compared to cards charging very high interest rates.

Credit cards with lowest interest rates on RateCity.com.au database:

Are you struggling? Some banks are offering relief

COVID-19’s impact on our economy cannot be understated. Around 6 million workers are expected to need Government financial support due to their company being forced to close due to social distancing laws, a loss of 30 per cent of revenue, and other COVID-19-related reasons.

As a result, banks across the country offering customers support in the form of repayment relief for home loans, credit cards and personal loans – some up to 6 months.

If you can’t make a repayment because of COVID-19, please talk to your bank and see what hardship support they can offer you, before you miss a payment. Banks are in a position to try and help customers where they can, so take advantage of this.

If you need independent help, try the National Debt Hotline: 1800 007 007.


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