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Australians in the dark on mortgage rates

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Australians in the dark on mortgage rates

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James Mitchell 3 minute read

A recent survey by a major bank subsidiary has found that an alarmingly high number of borrowers don’t know their home loan rate.

New research from UBank has revealed 85 per cent of Australians don’t know their home loan rate. For the second year, UBank has released The UBank Know Your Numbers Index, which aims to understand how Aussies are tracking with their financial management. The 2017 report reveals a slight rise in people not knowing their exact home loan rate – up from 84 per cent in 2016.

Of those surveyed 44 per cent could only recall an approximate figure for their home loan rate while the remainder (41 per cent) simply didn’t know their rate at all.

“Actively monitoring and seeking the best rate should be a priority for home owners as there are some great benefits on offer. We are seeing some of the lowest home loan rates on record, so now is the perfect time to know your numbers, and consider refinancing,” UBank CEO Lee Hatton said.

“Buying a home is one of the biggest investments of your life, so it’s really important that you find the right loan that suits your individual needs. Simply knowing your exact home loan rate and managing it closely could save you thousands of dollars a year,” she said.

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The research, conducted amongst 1,021 Australians with a home loan, also revealed Aussie’s are feeling financially strained, with 54 per cent admitting that their financial situation is causing worry and stress. A further 33 per cent of Australians constantly worry about their future.

“Unfortunately, more and more Australians are making significant sacrifices due to being financially overstretched,” Ms Hatton said.

“The better acquainted you are with your numbers, the less stress and more money you’ll have in your back pocket. It’s important Australians borrow less and live more,” he said.

“UBank has been offering some of Australia’s lowest home loan rates for the past five years. Being a purely online bank, we’re able to pass on big savings to our customers.

The research also uncovered that over one-third (35 per cent) of Australians acknowledge they ‘have a lot of debt’, but they also admit to knowing that refinancing can help their financial situation, which Ms Hatton says is promising.

The UBank Know Your Numbers Index also discovered that nearly one in four (23 per cent) think that refinancing a mortgage to save money is a good idea but are yet to find the right competitive rate.

“This is a step in the right direction. It’s great that some Australians can see the benefits in refinancing a mortgage. It might seem like a huge task but really, it’s a simple process that can save people thousands each year,” Ms Hatton said.

This year for the first time, UBank’s research also surveyed mortgage holders with credit cards and found only 14 per cent know what their current credit card interest rate is, while 49 per cent don’t know it at all. A surprising three out of four Australians don’t know how much credit card debt they owe, and 80 per cent don’t know exactly how much they are paying each month in credit card interest.

“UBank encourages Australians to eliminate financial stress by reviewing their finances and finding the best deals on offer. A little bit of homework can go a long way to reduce the strain and help Australians live a bigger, happier life,” Ms Hatton said.

[Related: Major bank subsidiary hikes SVRs]

Australians in the dark on mortgage rates
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James Mitchell

James Mitchell

James Mitchell has over eight years’ experience as a financial reporter and is the editor of Wealth and Wellness at Momentum Media.

He has a sound pedigree to cover the business of mortgages and the converging financial services sector having reported for leading finance titles InvestorDaily, InvestorWeekly, Accountants Daily, ifa, Mortgage Business, Residential Property Manager, Real Estate Business, SMSF Adviser, Smart Property Investment, and The Adviser.

He has also been published in The Daily Telegraph and contributed online to FST Media and Mergermarket, part of the Financial Times Group.

James holds a BA (Hons) in English Literature and an MA in Journalism.

 

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