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A 10 minute phone call saved me $120 a month on my home loan

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After 12 consecutive rate rises, I called my lender to negotiate my interest rate.

I'm someone who sees all things financial as complicated and difficult to navigate. The process of buying a home and securing a loan was a huge headache for me, so I figured that refinancing would be equally complex.

This led to me paying the lazy tax, as I witnessed 12 interest rate rises between May 2022 to the latest increase in June 2023.

I watched in real time as all the progress I had made in getting ahead on my loan disappeared as things became more and more unaffordable.

The cash rate has risen by 4% since May 2022. That's about $1,320 a month extra in repayments for the average mortgage holder.

I decided enough was enough when I saw rates advertised on the Finder website that were almost 1.5% lower than the 6.9% I was paying.

Even though I wasn't optimistic that I'd get anywhere close to those rates, I contacted my lender ready to play hard.

We organised a call where I was put on with one of their rate specialists. After verifying my identity and listening to some financial disclaimers, I was asked a few straightforward questions:

"Am I planning to continue living in my property or will I rent it out?"

"Am I planning any commercial enterprises in it?"

"Will I use any equity from my property for a purchase in the next 12 months?"

"Do I want to stick with a variable rate or look at fixing it?"

"What am I looking for in a home loan?" (Lower rates, please)

"What would make me swap home loans to another provider?" (Lower rates, thanks)

After the briefest of pauses, my rates specialist happily announced they could offer me a 1.15% discount on my loan.

The entire process took maybe 10 minutes and saved me around $120 a month.

Join Richard by comparing interest rates now and switching to a lower rate.

Rebecca Pike

Tips from home loans expert Rebecca Pike

Getting a lower interest rate can be as simple as calling up your lender, like Richard did. Other times, you might need to consider refinancing elsewhere. Here are my tips to getting a lower rate:

  • Be prepared. Compare rates on the market to see what you could be paying.
  • Call your lender. Even if another lender's interest rates look better, always call your existing lender to see if they can offer you a lower rate.
  • Calculate full cost. If you're looking at going to another lender, look at your existing lender's exit fees to calculate how much it would cost.

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