I’m no home loan expert, but luckily, I know someone who is.
If you haven’t heard about the rising interest rates, chances are you’re living under a rock. And I mean a literal rock — because I don’t know a single homeowner across SA (or the country) who hasn’t been paying extra close attention to what those pesky interest rates are up to!
Luckily, we’ve got Scott Matthews (the director of Bernie Lewis Home Loans) on speed dial, ready to ask him our mortgage- related questions whenever they pop up. And that’s just the way he likes it!
“Now’s the time to check in with your broker — they could potentially save you a lot of money, and we love guiding you to a better solution,” Scott says. “There are millions of people coming out of a fixed rate loan right now and finding out that the current interest rates are incredibly inflated. It’s a huge shock to the system!”
While it pays to be aware about what the market is doing, you’re not expected to be an expert.
“That’s what we’re here for — to keep track of the interest rates and which banks are offering the most competitive rates, so you don’t have to! All you need to do is check in with your broker every year or so to make sure that you’re getting the best deal available at that time,” smiles Scott.
I’m a big believer in ‘sharing is caring’, so here are a few other pearls of wisdom from my chat with Scott.
Proof is in the… petrol?
I must have been looking a little blank during my chat with Scott because he broke down competitive interest rates with this simple scenario.
“It’s similar to fuel — we all know the fortnightly fuel cycle goes up and down. If you get complacent and don’t know what the ‘normal’ petrol price is and fill up the car whenever it suits, you could be spending thousands of dollars more on petrol each year than if you keep an eye on the price and fill up at its cheapest. It’s the same with your mortgage — keep an eye on your interest rates, find out the ‘normal’ from your broker and then make sure your mortgage reflects that. You could save thousands of dollars!”
Size does matter
We’re creatures of comfort, which often means we stick to what we know. But is that really the best idea?
“If you’re still with the same bank you first deposited your piggy bank into, firstly — bravo for your loyalty! But secondly, maybe it’s time to mix things up. Some of the smaller banks or mortgage specialists are able to offer lower rates to give them an edge and help attract more customers. It might be worth considering some of the little players instead,” says Scott.
How long are we talking?
There have been whispers on the street for a while now that interest rates are ready to turn back around. We’re really hoping there’s a nugget of truth in there somewhere, Scott!
“At this stage, we’re expecting interest rates to start to decrease towards the end of 2023, hopefully settling somewhere between the four and five percent mark.
The good news is that the Australian Banking System has always allowed a buffer in their approvals, so if you can find a way to make a couple of sacrifices along the way, repayments should still be achievable while the rates are skyrocketing!”
Scott is just one of the extremely knowledgeable brokers in the Bernie Lewis Home Loans team. And if our chat today taught me anything, it’s that there’s a broker out there who would be genuinely overjoyed to help you secure a great new loan. So, don’t be shy, make a new broker bestie today!