Commonwealth Bank lifts rates while Macquarie ups scrutiny

Adam Smith 15 February 2017

money clampCommonwealth Bank has increased some of its investor home loan rates, while Macquarie will increase its scrutiny of borrowers' spending.

Commonwealth Bank announced it will increase rates for its interest only investor home loans by 12 basis points to 5.68%, and will lift rates on its Viridian Line of Credit by 4 basis points to 5.82%.

The changes are set to come into effect from 3 April, and the bank said in a release borrowers wishing to switch to principal and interest repayments to avoid the hike can do so over the phone or in branch at no cost.

“As the nation’s largest lender, Commonwealth Bank is committed to meeting its regulatory requirements while ensuring it can provide for the long term sustainability of the Australian housing market,” the bank said in a release.

APRA urged to put brakes on investment lending

The move comes as another lender, Macquarie, is set to increase its scrutiny of borrowers, particularly those seeking interest only repayments. According to a report in the Australian Financial Review, Macquarie will begin asking property buyers for details on their spending across 12 different categories of household discretionary spending.

The categories coming under scrutiny by the bank include things like clothing and personal care, transport, utilities and rates, child care, education, insurance, medical and health, recreation and entertainment, telephone, internet and pay TV and streaming subscriptions, as well as details of property investment outlays.

In addition, interest only borrowers will have to provide a reason for choosing interest only rather than principal and interest repayments.

Compare some of today's investor home loan rates

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