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Sweet savings: Homeowners pocket $476 million in cashback offers

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Australian mortgage holders have received millions of dollars in home loan cashbacks in the past two years, according to new research by Finder.

A Finder survey of 1,096 respondents – 287 of whom have a mortgage – revealed 5% have taken out or refinanced a home loan to snag a cashback offer over the past 24 months.

That's 165,000 Aussie mortgage holders who have pocketed some cash from refinancing or taking out a new home loan.

The average mortgagor who received a home loan cashback offer pocketed $2,888 – equivalent to $476 million nationwide.

A staggering 40% of mortgage holders say they struggled to pay their mortgage in July, according to Finder's Consumer Sentiment Tracker.

That's up from 26% this time last year, and 21% in July 2021.

Almost 2 in 3 experts (64%) from Finder's RBA Cash Rate Survey™ expect the proportion of households in mortgage stress to peak between August and December this year.

Richard Whitten, home loans expert at Finder, said refinancing can be a lifeline for cash-strapped borrowers.

"Millions of homeowners are struggling to make their repayments, so a cashback sweetener for refinancing is becoming even more attractive.

"If you can lock in a cheaper interest rate and secure a cashback, it can add up to significant savings.

"Just remember if the loan itself isn't a good product for you, then the bonus simply isn't worth it. The loan's interest rate, fees and features are more important factors," Whitten said.

The Finder data shows 11% of mortgage holders had switched their home loan in the past two years without getting a cash bonus.

Men (9%) were three times as likely as women (3%) to have switched home loans and received a cashback bonus.

However, women secured a higher cash bonus on average of $3,800 compared to $2,431 for men.

The highest cashback offer on Finder at the moment is up to $4,000.

The research found the majority of mortgage holders (84%) hadn't taken out or switched a home loan in the past two years because of a cashback offer.

Whitten urged homeowners to see if they can negotiate a better deal with their lender.

"Even if you refinanced in 2022, it doesn't hurt to review your options and see if you could still save more.

"If you have a fixed home loan and still have a majority of the term to go, you may have to pay a break fee to get out of the loan contract, but depending on how much you will save, this may still be worth it."

Have you taken out or switched a home loan in the last 2 years because of a cashback offer?
No, but I have switched my home loan in the last 2 years11%
Source: Finder survey of 287 mortgage holders, July 2023

Compare some of the best home loan cashback offers here.

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