How you lose money through laziness

How you lose money through laziness

When was the last time you went through all your transactions with a fine-tooth comb?

The truth is that most of us don’t have the time or the patience, but this laziness means you could be losing money in unnecessary debits.

Some of the biggest culprits are fees. No, not just those pesky ATM fees we know are sometimes an unavoidable evil, but all the different fees that can add up across your loans and bank accounts.

RateCity has compiled a list of the most common types of fees and the average amount you could be being charged without realising it.

Home Loan Fees

Most people will be aware of the different types of fees you can be charged with a home loan. However, a lot of these can be avoided as there are products available that do not charge a variety of fees.

RateCity has found the following information about the different types of fees for currently available home loans:

Discharge Fees:

  • 4518 loans available with this fee
  • Average fee cost is $289.36
  • 69 per cent of products available have ZERO fees

Valuation Fees:

  • 940 loans available with this fee
  • Average fee cost is $230.39
  • 90 per cent of products available have ZERO fees

Annual Fees:

  • 2885 loans available with this fee
  • Average fee cost is $258.60
  • 26 per cent of products available have ZERO fees

Total Upfront Fees:

  • 3131 loans available with this fee
  • Average fee cost is $509.76
  • 74 per cent of products available have ZERO fees

While avoiding every single fee may not be possible, if you take the time to research different home loans you can avoid costly payments. For example, choosing a home loan that offers no annual fee can save on average $7,758 over thirty years.

Check out RateCity’s home loan comparison table which helps you to compare products via fees. For example:

Top home loans with zero estimated up front fees

 

Car Loan Fees

 Another way you could be losing money through laziness is by not examining the fees charged in a car loan. RateCity has found the following information about the different types of fees for currently available car loans:

Application fee

  • 216 loans available with this fee
  • Average fee cost is $200.46
  • 47 per cent of products available have ZERO fees

Missed penalty fee

  • 164 loans available with this fee
  • Average fee cost is $20.15
  • 51 per cent of products available have ZERO fees

Ongoing annual fee

  • 79 loans available with this fee
  • Average fee cost is $97.06
  • 53 per cent of products available have ZERO fees

Car loans that don’t charge you loan fees?

One example of a car loan that doesn’t charge you loan fees is the CUA Discount Personal Loan Fixed. This loan has zero upfront fees, ongoing fees, early exit penalty fees, missed payment penalties and redraw activation fees.

Personal Loan Fees

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If you’re looking to take out a personal loan, it’s best you carefully examine the fee structures and compare them against other available loans so you don’t get caught paying more than you need to.

RateCity has found the following information about the different types of fees for currently available personal loans:

Application fee

  • 303 loans available with this fee
  • Average fee cost is $181.51
  • 13 per cent of products available have ZERO fees

Missed penalty fee

  • 228 loans available with this fee
  • Average fee cost is $20.57
  • 13 per cent of products available have ZERO fees

Ongoing annual fee

  • 118 loans available with this fee
  • Average fee cost is $85.28
  • 95 per cent of products available have ZERO fees

More than half of personal loans available will not charge you an ongoing annual fee, so it’s important that you identify these loans before you commit to one.

Our RateCity personal loan comparison tools can be filtered by fees. For example:

Top personal loans with zero ongoing fees

 

Savings Account Fees

Another place you may be losing money without realising it is through monthly account keeping fees for your savings accounts.

The percentage of products with zero fees is around 99.9%, however there are some savings accounts available that do charge you monthly fees at an average of $4.85. As this type of fee is a lot less common, it would be reasonable to look elsewhere if your savings account charges you monthly.

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Learn more about credit cards

How do I apply for a credit card online?

Should I get a credit card?

Once you've compared credit card interest rates and deals and found the right card for you, the actual process of getting a credit card is quite straightforward. You can apply for a credit card online, over the phone or in person at a bank branch. 

Current Interest Rate

This is the current interest rate on your existing credit card.

What does ANZ credit card insurance cover?

ANZ offers complimentary insurance on some of its credit cards, which can provide some protection against unforeseeable incidents, like the theft of your card. Depending on the type of credit card you own, you may be eligible for different insurances. For instance, most ANZ credit card customers may qualify for Purchase Protection Insurance and Extended Warranty Insurance. Customers who own premium credit cards may also be eligible for Guaranteed Pricing, Rental Vehicle Excess, International Travel, and so on.

Consider checking your ANZ credit card insurance features listed in the Insurance Policy Information booklet to know which items are covered. Also, while ANZ issued the credit card, they are not the insurer. For this reason, you may need to send your insurance claims - and get your ANZ credit card insurance refund - to the insurance provider.

Monthly repayment

This is how much you can afford to pay on a monthly basis off your credit card. You can enter any amount you wish; but to make the balance transfer worthwhile the default is $200.

Current Annual Fees

These are the current annual fees on your existing credit card.

How to increase the NAB credit card limit?

If you use your NAB credit card regularly, you could consider requesting a higher credit limit. The good news is that it's fairly easy to do so using either the NAB app or NAB internet banking. 

NAB app: 

Step 1: Download the latest version of the NAB app.

Step 2: Select the ‘My Cards’ menu. 

Step 3: Select the card you want to increase the credit limit for. 

Step 4: Select ‘Usage Controls’ and then click on ‘Change Credit Limit’.

NAB internet banking: 

Step 1: Log into your account. 

Step 2: Choose the ‘My Cards’ menu. 

Step 3: Choose the card for which you want to increase the limit. 

Step 4: Choose ‘Change My Credit Card Limit’.  

If you don’t have the NAB app or cannot access NAB internet banking, you can even visit your local branch or call their contact center. 

Once you’ve applied to increase your NAB credit card limit, you’re likely to be asked for your

  • current employment details  
  • total income, before and after-tax deductions  
  • assets, liabilities, and expenses information

NAB will then assess this information to determine if your current financial situation suits the increased credit limit request, and your application will either be accepted or denied.

However, this process will only work if you’re attempting to increase your personal NAB credit card limit. For a business credit card, you can contact the NAB Corporate & Business Servicing team or speak to your NAB relationship manager. 

Increase your credit card limit with Westpac

A credit card can be a useful tool to access extra cash when you need it. Sometimes you may wish to increase your credit card limit for greater financial flexibility. For example, to realize your immediate goals faster, such as planning for an international holiday or making a big purchase.

You can apply to increase your credit limit at any time, and most credit card providers have made it really easy to do so. You can use your online banking portal, the credit card provider’s mobile app, or even the telephone. 

Applying online to increase your credit limit with Westpac is the easiest option if you’ve already activated Westpac Live Online Banking. All you need to do is fill in the required information and then hit ‘submit’ to apply for an increase in your credit card limit.

Most banks will ask for details of your financial situation at the time of applying for a credit increase. This is done to ensure your new limit meets the lender’s criteria. 

You can apply for increasing your credit limit in any of the following ways:

  1. Visiting your nearest Westpac branch
  2. Calling Westpac on 1300 651 089
  3. Logging in on Westpac Live Online Banking

Can I get a credit card on part-time/casual work?

Yes, as credit card providers look at your annual income amount as well as your occupation. Minimum income requirements tend to be between $30,000 – $40,000 for standard and rewards credit cards, however low income credit cards can have minimum income requirements as low as $15,000 per year.

Why should I check my credit rating?

There are two reasons you should check your credit rating: so you have a better understanding of your financial position, and so you can take action (if necessary) to improve your credit rating.

Lenders use credit ratings or credit scores to assess loan applications. The higher your score, the more likely you are to get approved, and the more likely you are to be charged lower interest rates and lower fees. Conversely, the lower your credit score, the less likely you are to get approved, and the more likely you are to be charged higher interest rates and higher fees.

How to get a credit card for the first time

A credit card can be a useful financial tool, provided you understand the risks and can meet repayment obligations.

If you’re a credit card first-timer, review your options. Think about what kind of credit card would suit your lifestyle, and compare providers by fees, perks and repayments.

Once you’ve selected a card, it’s time to apply. Credit card applications can generally be completed in store, online or over the phone.

When you apply for a credit card for the first time, you must meet age, residency and income requirements. As proof, you must also provide documentation such as bank account statements.

What is a balance transfer credit card?

A balance transfer credit card lets you transfer your debt balance from one credit card to another. A balance transfer credit card generally has a 0 per cent interest rate for a set period of time. When you roll your debt balance over to a new credit card, you’ll be able to take advantage of the interest-free period to pay your credit card debt off faster without accruing additional interest charges. If your application is approved, the provider will pay out your old credit card and transfer your debt balance over to the new card. 

What's the best credit card for rewards?

There is no one-size-fits-all best rewards credit card. It's best you research what type of rewards program you'd like, as well as the fees, interest rate and conditions associated with those types of cards before making a choice. 

Rewards credit cards can also come with high annual fees that may end up nullifying the rewards, so think how often you use the card to decide whether the benefits outweigh the extra cost for you. A card with a lower annual fee might require a lot of spending to get any useful rewards, while another card with a higher annual fee might need fewer purchases to get a reward. 

How easy is it to get a credit card?

For most Australians, there are no great barriers to applying for and getting approved for a credit card. Here are some points that a lender will consider when assessing your credit card application.

Credit score: A bad credit score is not the be all and end all of your application, but it may stop you being approved for a higher credit limit. If your credit score is less than perfect, apply for the credit limit that you need, rather than the one you want.

Annual income: Most credit cards have minimum annual income requirements. Make sure you’re applying for a card where you meet the minimum.

Age & residency: You need to be at least 18 years old to apply for a credit card in Australia, and most require that you are an Australian citizen or permanent resident. However, there are some credit cards available to temporary residents.