Ratehacker: How to Get the Best Interest Rates in March 2022

Ratehacker: How to Get the Best Interest Rates in March 2022
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The Reserve Bank of Australia has kept the cash rate on hold at its record-low of 0.10% yet again this month. However, some big banks are predicting we may see the cash rate climb as high as 2.5% in the next few years.

Big four bank forecasts: how high will the cash rate go and when?

· CBA: hikes to start in June. Cash rate to reach ‘neutral’ rate of 1.25% by March 2023.

· Westpac: hikes to start in August. Cash rate to reach 1.75% by March 2024.

· NAB: hikes to start in November. Cash rate to reach 2.50% by November 2024.

· ANZ: hikes to start in September. Cash rate to reach 2.00% by November 2023 and peak above 3.00% but not until after 2024.

With more and more lenders hiking interest rates out-of-cycle with the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), it’s never been more important to compare your options to find the best interest rates for your financial situation and goals.

Let’s take a look at some of March’s most competitive interest rates on home loans, personal loans and car loans.

Lowest fixed rate home loans

In the first months of 2022 alone, 85 home loan lenders on the RateCity database have hiked interest rates for their fixed rate home loan products.

In fact, RateCity research shows that in the 12 months to 1 March 2022, the average 3-year fixed rate for owner-occupiers (paying principal and interest) has climbed by 0.91% from 2.42% to 3.33%, again, despite no change to the RBA cash rate.

For would-be borrowers or homeowners considering refinancing, it’s not too late to try and lock in a fixed rate home loan before the cash rate rises. It may just be worth comparing your options to ensure you’re choosing the most competitive home loan for your budget and goals.

Lowest fixed rates on RateCity database:

· 1-year – Unity Bank First Home Buyer Fixed Rate Special – 1.84% (comparison rate 2.11%)

· 2-year Geelong Bank Best life Home Loan Special Fixed – 1.99% (comparison rate 3.07%)

· 3-year Geelong Bank Fixed Rate Home Loan – 2.39% (comparison rate 3.07%)

· 4 -year G&C Mutual Bank Fixed Rate Home Loan – 2.89% (comparison rate 2.94%)

· 5-year G&C Mutual Bank Fixed Rate Home Loan – 2.89% (comparison rate 2.94%)

Note: Rates for owner-occupiers paying principal and interest. Data accurate as of 02/03/22

Lowest investor home loans

Property investors are also taking advantage of the current lower-interest-rate environment before a potential cash rate hike comes.

New home loan commitments for investors hit a new record high in January, climbing to $11 billion, according to the latest ABS figures. This was the fifteen month of consecutive growth for investor new loan commitments.

RateCity research shows the current average variable investor home loan rate (paying principal and interest) is 3.34%. But there are still investor home loans available starting with a ‘2’.

Lowest variable investor home loan rates on RateCity database:

· Homeloans.com.au Low Rate Home Loan Prime2.04% (comparison rate 2.04%)

· Freedom Lend Freedom Variable Investment Loan2.04% (comparison rate 2.06%)

· Reduce Home Loans Investor Rate Cutter2.09% (comparison rate 2.18%)

· Pacific Mortgage Group Standard Variable Investment Loan2.09% – (comparison rate 2.09%)

Note: Variable rates for investors paying principal and interest. Data accurate as of 02/03/22

Lowest green personal loan rates

One-third of Australian households now have solar panels, according to research from the Clean Energy Regulator. If you’ve ever been interested in environmentally friendly home improvements, you may be wondering how to best finance the installation of solar panels on your home.

Green personal loans were created by lenders to assist in the purchasing of sustainable “green” products. Generally speaking, they come with lower interest rates on average to encourage borrowers to make more eco-friendly choices. Be sure to compare fees and features offered against your budget and goals as well.

There are currently 15 personal loan providers offering green loans, according to the RateCity database, with rates starting from 3.99%.

Lowest green personal loan rates on RateCity database:

· Community First Credit Union Green Loan3.99% (comparison rate 4.99%)

· Illawarra Credit Union Green Eco Loan3.99% (comparison rate 5.15%)

· Australian Military Bank Green Loan4.15% (comparison rate 5.09%)

· Police Credit Union Solar Eco Loan4.69% (comparison rate 4.69%)

Note: Interest rates data accurate as of March 2, 2022 

Lowest electric vehicle car loan rates

Australia is on the brink of an electric vehicle (EV) economic boom, with recent Electric Vehicle Council data showing that sales of plug-in EVs almost tripled in 2021. EVs now account for 1.95% of market share, and this is only the beginning.

And with a new EV coming to the Australian Market, the Atto 3, plus a new lowest-rate green car loan in Australia available, March may be a worthwhile time to consider how to finance your EV goals.

Lowest variable green car loan rates on RateCity database:

· loans.com.au Electric and Hybrid Car Loan2.89% (comparison rate 3.43%)

· Illawarra Credit Union Green Car Loan 3.99% (comparison rate 5.15%)

· Transport Mutual Credit Union Green Road Personal Loan – 4.74% (comparison rate 5.94%)

· Bank First Discounted Green Car Loan – 5.29% (comparison rate 5.56%)

Note: Interest rates data accurate as of March 2, 2022 

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