Trending Financial News 5 July

The lowest variable home loan rate ever is 2.89%

Home loan rates continue to fall as the Reserve Bank brings down the official cash rate to historically low levels.

Non-bank lender Reduce Home Loan’s Low Rider variable rate home loan is currently charging an interest rate of 2.89 per cent pa (comparison rate also 2.89 per cent). This is the lowest rate in the variable home loan market.

The Low Rider has a minimum loan amount of $50,000, an application fee of $440, no ongoing fees and offers redraw and an offset account.

Compare variable rate home loans at InfoChoice.

Suncorp is the 2019 Bank of the Year

Brisbane based Suncorp Bank has been named the 2019 Money Magazine Bank of the Year and the Business Bank of the Year, two awards it also won in 2018.

David Carter, chief executive of banking and wealth at Suncorp said the bank was committed to a “zero complaints” target which has led to a reduction in the number of customer complaints received.

400,000 Suncorp customers have signed up to a loyalty program that promises hotel and flight discounts, shopping discounts and cash back rewards.

Bendigo Bank, which has been quick to pass on rate cuts to borrowers, was judged the runner-up Bank of the Year and ING came in third.

Non-bank home lender of the year is Freedom Lend

Freedom Lend has been named the Non-bank Home Lender of the Year for 2019 by Money Magazine.  Freedom currently has variable home loan rates starting at 3.19 per cent pa (comparison rate 3.27 per cent).

Chief executive of InfoChoice, Vadim Taube said: “Three years of being named Money Magazine’s NonBbank Home Lender of the Year demonstrates Freedom Lend’s commitment to genuinely low rates and personal service.

“These are the hallmarks of great non-bank lending.

“Freedom’s basic product – the Freedom Variable Owner-Occupied home loan is now offering a comparison and headline rate way under four per cent. That is simply a great looking deal.”

Westpac says successful borrowers tighten their belts

Westpac has asked banking industry regulators to amend responsible lending guidelines and recognise that borrowers are willing to tighten their budgets and spend less in order to afford their home loan repayments.

Westpac is currently facing federal court action from ASIC over how it assesses a borrower’s ability to repay their loan using a Household Expenditure Measure (HEM) formula.

Westpac argues that borrowers adopt “a modest lifestyle for a period of time in order to acquire real property” and asks the regulator to accept that borrowers make “reasonable lifestyles adjustments (‘belt-tightening’),” to afford their loan.

Term deposit holders need to act NOW

Savings account and term deposit rates are being crunched hard as the Reserve Bank continues to ease the official cash rate. Banks and credit unions are expected to announce more cuts to savings rates in the coming weeks.

“Institutions are trying to limit rate cuts to savers as much as possible,” said Vadim Taube, chief executive InfoChoice.

“But it’s not possible to shield depositors completely from low savings rates.”

“The lowest savings rates are now about 1 per cent below the rate of inflation, currently 1.30 per cent and the best rates are about 1 per cent or more over the rate of inflation.”

You can use the InfoChoice term deposit calculator to work out how much each product is likely to return.

Compare term deposits from Australia’s major banks and credit unions at InfoChoice.

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