Big banks Westpac and NAB have confirmed they will not cut rates for variable home loan customers, instead offering big cuts for small businesses and new fixed rate loans.
Westpac has cut its fixed rates by up to 1 per cent from March 27. Its new lowest fixed rate will now be 2.19 per cent.
NAB has cut its fixed rates by up to 0.60 per cent from March 25, bringing its lowest fixed rate loan to 2.19 per cent, the new lowest rate on the market, however this rate is for first home buyers only.
WESTPAC FIXED RATE CHANGES
|Fixed loan term||Current||From March 27||Change|
Note: rates are for owner occupiers paying principal and interest on a packaged loan with an LVR of up to 70%.
NAB FIXED RATE CHANGES
|Fixed loan term||Current||From March 25||Change|
|First home buyer special (2 years)||2.79%||2.19%||-0.60%|
Note: rates are for owner occupiers paying principal and interest on a packaged loan.
Sally Tindall, research director at RateCity.com.au, said: “while the last rate cut, which was passed on in full to the majority of mortgage holders, was about supporting households, this cut is focused primarily on extending a lifeline to small businesses.
“This is much needed support for small businesses around the country who need urgent access to money to keep their doors open and staff on their books.
“Westpac and NAB’s decision to pause mortgage repayments for up to six months for customers who are struggling financially is to be commended. This will provide families who are having trouble making ends meet with relief from what is often their biggest expense.
“As a result of today’s announcement, NAB now has the lowest fixed rate in the market, a record that is unlikely to last long as other lenders release their packages in response to the RBA cut.
“Some variable rate customers might feel short-changed by the decision by Westpac and NAB not to cut variable rates however customers should remember they can always shop around.
“In many cases, refinancing to a different lender can result in far bigger savings than a standard cash rate cut,” she said.
What to do if you are in financial difficulty:
- Call your bank. They are obliged to hear you out. Be aware they may ask for proof of financial hardship.
- Bank support can include waiving fees, deferring loan payments, extending out loan terms to lower repayments.
- Your bank can also help you restructure your finances to help minimise the impact, such as switching to a no fee home or a low rate credit card if you have debt owing.
- The National Debt Hotline can also help: 1800 007 007.