RBA considers cutting record low cash rate

RBA considers cutting record low cash rate

High unemployment, tapering stimulus payments, a sagging property market and a possible second wave of the pandemic will likely be front of mind when the Reserve Bank of Australia meets today to decide if an unprecedented rate cut should take place.

The cash rate, already at a thirty year low of 0.25 per cent, could be uncharacteristically cut by a fraction of the typical quarter-of-a-per cent, after Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Philip Lowe floated the possibility last month.

“Using international experience as a guide, it would have been possible to configure the existing elements of the RBA package differently,” he said, in an address to the Anika Foundation on July 21.

“For example, the various interest rates currently at 25 basis points could have been set lower, at say 10 basis points.”

A decision was made at the time to hold the cash rate -- a marker for the interest rates of unsecured loans held between banks -- with the Governor concluding the economic climate at the time didn’t warrant it.

The 0.25 per cent rate is at the RBA's effective lower bound, the proverbial floor on how low the rate could fall.

But a cut to a lower rate is still on the table if things change in the future, Mr Lowe said.

“The Board has … not ruled out future changes to the configuration of this (cash rate) package if developments in Australia and overseas warrant doing so,” he said.

Victoria’s entering into a Stage 4 lockdown following a second wave outbreak could be the change of circumstance that prompts the extraordinary move to lower the cash rate to another new low.

The lockdown will blow out the $3.3 billion that the pandemic was budgeted to cost, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said on July 3, while there are concerns the second lockdown will devastate families, workers and small businesses.

The RBA board will announce their decision after meeting at 2.30pm today, July 4. Little is likely to change if the rate stays the same, but a drop could see a dip in variable home loan interest rates, provided banks pass on the cut.

Property, savings and more expected to plunge

The COVID-19 coronavirus has presented unique challenges to the global economy. In Australia’s capital cities, growth has generally been bucked and families have been financially squeezed.

About 21 per cent of Australian households have about $300 in savings, ME Bank’s biannual Household Financial Comfort report found. The amount is noticeably less than the current JobSeeker fortnightly payment, and its gradual tapering could leave them with what the bank described as a “savings cliff”.

The value of houses and apartments generally dropped across the country, data firm CoreLogic found. Melbourne property prices dropped 1.2 per cent in July, followed by a drop of 0.9 per cent in Sydney. The drop, the third consecutive on record since the COVID-19 coronavirus interrupted ordinary everyday life, did not offset strong yearly growth.

The economic fallout of the COVID-19 coronavirus is likely to financially scar generations, a Productivity Commision report found. The report studied the effects the Global Financial Crisis had on Australians and found 20 to 34-year-olds suffered irrecoverable setbacks in their careers, nor did they earn the same levels of income as the generations before them.

Authors of the report described the findings as “salient”, noting it offered an idea of the fallout from a COVID-19 recession.

Low rates lead to a refinancing rush

Borrowers are looking to take advantage of low interest rates by refinancing. A RateCity survey of 1009 people found 43 per cent of home loan borrowers are looking to refinance in light of COVID-19 and record low rates. 

The number eclipsed comparative findings from a 2018 survey, where just 19 per cent of borrowers were looking to refinance.

A RateCity analysis of RBA data found owner occupiers could save $2805 in their first year by switching to the lowest variable rate loan on the market, and $19,235 over five years -- including switching costs -- on a typical $400,000 loan.

“It’s taken a pandemic to get people to shift their mindset, but hopefully we’ll come out of it more budget-conscious and less complacent towards our mortgages,” Sally Tindall said, research director at RateCity. 
 
“The best way you can get a rate cut is to turn yourself into a new customer and switch. If you aren’t in a position to refinance, pick up the phone and try some old-fashioned haggling with your bank.
 
“The banks are pulling out all the stops too, putting some of the biggest cash back offers and rock-bottom rates on the table and adding more flexibility on fixed rate loans to attract new business – and it is working.”

Update, 2.40pm: The Reserve Bank of Australia has announced no change to the 0.25 per cent cash rate.
 
Governor Philip Lowe described the measure as “accommodative” and necessary given the tumult brought on by COVID-19.
 
“The Australian economy is going through a very difficult period and is experiencing the biggest contraction since the 1930s,” he said. 
 
“As difficult as this is, the downturn is not as severe as earlier expected and a recovery is now underway in most of Australia. 
 
“This recovery is, however, likely to be both uneven and bumpy, with the coronavirus outbreak in Victoria having a major effect on the Victorian economy.”

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How do you qualify for a CBA home loan with casual employment?

Qualifying for a home loan without a full-time job may be challenging, but it can be done. The first step is to understand how a CBA home loan is assessed when you have casual employment.

Most lenders will assess your expenses and savings while checking your loan eligibility, checking on factors crucial to home loan approval, such as if your bills are paid on time and what your credit score presently looks like. 

Your income can be one of the most critical factors to determine your final approved home loan amount. As such, you’ll need to provide payslip copies to lenders to assist them in assessing your income during the loan tenure, regardless of your employment status, full-time, part-time, or otherwise.

Casual employees will want to be casually employed for at least 12 months to be eligible for a home loan. Alternatively, you want to have worked as a permanent casual worker (working for a fixed number of hours per week) for at least one month, or you should have been in your current job for a minimum of three months (if the hours are irregular) to be eligible for the loan.

What are the NAB term deposit interest rates for businesses?

If you’re looking to lock in a return on your business savings, one option is a business term deposit with NAB. The big four bank provides competitive interest rates while giving you the flexibility to choose the term. NAB offers business term deposit interest rates for investments of between $5,000 to $499,999.

NAB doesn’t charge any monthly account or application fees. The interest is calculated daily and for the 90-day term and six months term, you will get paid when the deposit matures. For the 12 months term, you can either choose to get paid monthly, quarterly, half-yearly or annually. 

If you wish to withdraw your funds before the deposit matures, you need to give NAB 31 days notice. However, they do make exceptions if you’re experiencing hardship and need the funds immediately. Either way, you may have to bear the prepayment cost, which you can learn more about in the Terms and Conditions.

Why should I get an ING home loan pre-approval?

When you apply for an ING home loan pre-approval, you might be required to provide proof of employment and income, savings, as well as details on any on-going debts. The lender could also make a credit enquiry against your name. If you’re pre-approved, you will know how much money ING is willing to lend you. 

Please note, however, that a pre-approval is nothing more than an idea of your ability to borrow funds and is not the final approval. You should receive the home loan approval  only after finalising the property and submitting a formal loan application to the lender, ING. Additionally, a pre-approval does not stay valid indefinitely, since your financial circumstances and the home loan market could change overnight.

 

 

Can I get a NAB first home loan?

The First Home Loan Deposit Scheme of NAB helps first home buyers purchase a property sooner by reducing the upfront costs required. This scheme is offered based on a Government-backed initiative, with10,000 available places announced in October 2020.

Suppose your application for the NAB first home buyer loan is successful. In that case, you’ll only need to pay a low deposit, between 5 and 20 per cent of the property value and won’t be asked to pay lender's mortgage insurance (LMI). You’ll also receive a limited guarantee from the Australian government to purchase the property.

If you’re applying for the NAB first home buyer home loan as an individual, you need to have earned less than $125,000 in the last financial year. Couples applying for the NAB first home loan need to have earned less than $200,000 to be eligible. To be considered a couple, you need to be married or in a de facto relationship. A parent and child, siblings or friends are not considered a couple when applying for a NAB first home loan.

The NAB First Home Loan Deposit Scheme is currently offered only to purchase a brand new property, rather than an established property.

Where can I get all the information about an ANZ first home buyer’s loan?

As a first home buyer, you may require help and hand-holding, and as such ANZ has the buying your first home section on its website full of important information. ANZ also has a form in this section you can fill out to get a free consultation from an ANZ First Home Coach and create your own plan for buying your first home. This coach will help you understand where your current income is being spent and plan for your home loan repayments. You’ll get a clear picture of the costs involved in purchasing a property and how to budget or save for these costs. The coach will help you understand different deposit options and manage your accounts to enhance your savings.

There are three types of ANZ first home loans - Standard Variable, Fixed, and Equity Manager. The features, interest rates, and terms for each are different, and you can compare them here.

When they apply for an ANZ home loan, first home buyers can also get guidance on applying for the First Home Owner Grant (FHOG). This is a one-off government grant that may be available to you when you’re buying your first home. The eligibility criteria for FHOG differs between the different states and territories, which is why it’s helpful to have expert advice when applying.

Can I get a NAB home loan on casual employment?

While many lenders consider casual employees as high-risk borrowers because of their fluctuating incomes, there are a few specialist lenders, such as NAB, which may provide home loans to individuals employed on a casual basis. A NAB home loan for casual employment is essentially a low doc home loan specifically designed to help casually employed individuals who may be unable to provide standard financial documents. However, since such loans are deemed high risk compared to regular home loans, you could be charged higher rates and receive lower maximum LVRs (Loan to Value Ratio, which is the loan amount you can borrow against the value of the property).

While applying for a home loan as a casual employee, you will likely be asked to demonstrate that you've been working steadily and might need to provide group certificates for the last two years. It is at the lender’s discretion to pick either of the two group certificates and consider that to be your income. If you’ve not had the same job for several years, providing proof of income could be a bit of a challenge for you. In this scenario, some lenders may rely on your year to date (YTD) income, and instead calculate your yearly income from that.

Does Westpac offer loan maternity leave options?

Having a baby or planning for one can bring about a lot of changes in your life, including to the hip pocket. You may need to re-do the budget to make sure you can afford the upcoming expenses, especially if one partner is taking parental leave to look after the little one. 

Some families find it difficult to meet their home loan repayment obligations during this period. Flexible options, such as the Westpac home loan maternity leave offerings, have been put together to help reduce the pressure of repayments during parental leave.

Westpac offers a couple of choices, depending on your circumstances:

  • Parental Leave Mortgage Repayment Reduction: You could get your home loan repayments reduced for up to 12 months for home loans with a term longer than a year. 
  • Mortgage Repayment Pause: You can pause repayments while on maternity leave, provided you’ve made additional repayments earlier.

When applying for a home loan while pregnant, Westpac has said it will recognise paid maternity leave and back-to-work salaries. All you need is a letter from your employer verifying your return-to-work date and the nature of your employment. Your partner’s income, government entitlements, savings and investments will may help your application.

How do I get a pre-approved home loan with Aussie?

Getting Aussie home loan pre-approval means receiving conditional support from Aussie Home Loans to borrow the money you need to buy a home. 

It’s an indication of the approximate amount Aussie may offer you, subject to some terms and conditions. Keep in mind, having a pre-approved home loan does not guarantee an actual approval of your loan when it comes time to buy.

Aussie home loan pre-approval often involves speaking to one of the lender’s brokers. You can make an appointment online. You’ll often have to submit your personal details and other information about your assets, income, liabilities and expenses.  It’s worth remembering that a pre-approved loan is usually valid for a few months.

Remaining loan term

The length of time it will take to pay off your current home loan, based on the currently-entered mortgage balance, monthly repayment and interest rate.

How do I get a Suncorp home loan pre-approval?

Getting home loan pre-approval helps you work out a budget to help you search for a suitable property and make an offer with confidence. Once you put in an application, you should get your pre-approval outcome within two business days. To help get a fast turnaround time of your pre-approval application, ensure all the information and documentation that Suncorp requires. This includes proof of identification, recent payslips, bank account and credit card statements.

You can submit the home loan pre-approval application online. You’ll be asked for information about your income, expenses, assets, and debts. It should take you about 10 minutes to fill out the application, and you can do it free of charge. A Suncorp lending specialist will review your application and contact you within 24 hours or the next working day. Suncorp will not run a credit check until you have heard from this lending specialist.

Once you get Suncorp home loan pre-approval, it’s valid for 90 days. If you don’t find a property you wish to buy in this time you may be able to apply for an extension, speak to your Suncorp lending specialist about this.

How long does Bankwest take to approve home loans?

Full approval for a home loan usually involves a property valuation, which, Bankwest suggests, can take “a week or two”. As a result, getting your home loan approved may take longer. However, you may get full approval within this time if you applied for and received conditional approval, sometimes called a pre-approval, from Bankwest before finalising the home you want to buy.  

Another way of speeding up approvals can be by completing, signing, and submitting your home loan application digitally. Essentially, you give the bank or your mortgage broker a copy of your home’s sale contract and then complete the rest of the steps online. Bankwest has claimed this cuts the approval time to less than four days, although this may only happen if your income and credit history can be verified easily, or if your home’s valuation doesn’t take time.

What is the average length of a home loan?

Most Aussie lenders offer home loans with a 30-year term, meaning that you should pay back the full loan amount and the interest you owe on the amount in 30 years. 

However, home loans can also have a shorter or longer term. They may be as low as ten years or up to 45 years, depending on the product and lender. 

It’s worth remembering that a longer loan term usually means you’ll end up paying a lot more interest in total, but your scheduled repayments may be more manageable. In contrast, you could opt for a shorter loan term if you are comfortable making large repayments in exchange for paying less interest over the term of the loan.

How can I apply for a first home buyers loan with Commonwealth Bank?

Getting a home loan requires planning and research. If you are considering a home loan with the Commonwealth Bank, you can find the information you need in the buying your first home section of the bank’s website.

You can see the steps you should take before applying for the loan and use the calculators to work out how much you can borrow, what your monthly repayments would be and the upfront costs you’d likely pay.

You can also book a time with a Commonwealth first home loan specialist by calling 13 2221.

CommBank publishes a property report that may help you understand the real estate market. The bank has also created a CommBank Property App that you can use to search for property.  The link to download this app is available on the same webpage.

If you are eligible for the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme, CommBank will help you process your application. The scheme helps first home buyers to purchase a home with a low deposit. You can read details about this scheme here and speak with a CommBank home lending specialist to understand your options.

What happens to my home loan when interest rates rise?

If you are on a variable rate home loan, every so often your rate will be subject to increases and decreases. Rate changes are determined by your lender, not the Reserve Bank of Australia, however often when the RBA changes the cash rate, a number of banks will follow suit, at least to some extent. You can use RateCity cash rate to check how the latest interest rate change affected your mortgage interest rate.

When your rate rises, you will be required to pay your bank more each month in mortgage repayments. Similarly, if your interest rate is cut, then your monthly repayments will decrease. Your lender will notify you of what your new repayments will be, although you can do the calculations yourself, and compare other home loan rates using our mortgage calculator.

There is no way of conclusively predicting when interest rates will go up or down on home loans so if you prefer a more stable approach consider opting for a fixed rate loan.