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Beware the home loan bait and switch

businessman holding yellow caution sign home loan bait and switch

More than a dozen lenders are using “honeymoon rates” to bring in customers, setting them up for painfully expensive relationships down the track.

Attractive introductory rates could see borrowers $33,573 worse-off within five years and $140,816 within 30, new data from comparison service RateCity has revealed.

“Don’t get hoodwinked by a honeymoon rate. You’re almost always going to be better off with a low ongoing variable rate with no hidden twists,” RateCity spokeswoman Sally Tindall said.

“They might give you a bit of breathing room in the first year, but more often than not they are short-sighted quick fixes.”

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Across the RateCity database, one of the lowest honeymoon rates is 3.65 per cent. However, this jumps to 5.17 per cent within a year.

That’s a 1.52 percentage point increase, or the equivalent of more than six official cash rate hikes in one go.

However, some revert rates, like the Bank of Queensland’s, soar as high as 5.70 per cent.

“The day after the honeymoon is over, reality sinks in and for many people their loan becomes a very costly financial headache,” Ms Tindall warned.

“One way to be on the lookout for honeymoon rates is to check the comparison rate. If it’s significantly higher than the advertised rate, there’s likely to be costly catch.”

This is what the future could look like

Company

Product

Intro rate

Revert rate

Rate hike

Initial mthly repay

New mthly repayments

 

Extra paid after 5 yrs

Extra paid after 30 yrs

Community First Credit Union

Honeymoon home loan

3.65%

5.17%

1.52%

$1,372

$1,634

Compared to low ongoing rate @ 3.49%

 $23,998 

$103,051 

Arab Bank Australia

HeadStart Home Loan

4.15%

5.49%

1.34%

$1,458

$1,695

Compared to low ongoing rate @ 3.49%

$29,348 

 $125,214 

RACQ Bank

Mortgage Breaker

3.72%

4.99%

1.27%

$1,384

$1,603

Compared to low ongoing rate @ 3.49%

$22,111 

 $92,105 

Hume Bank

Introductory Rate

3.99%

5.10%

1.11%

$1,431

$1,624

Compared to low ongoing rate @ 3.49%

$24,258 

 $99,987 

Bank of Queensland

First Start Home Loan

4.70%

5.70%

1.00%

$1,556

$1,737

Compared to low ongoing rate @ 3.49%

$33,573 

$140,816

 These figures are based on a $300,000 home loan, variable owner-occupier loans and principle and interest contracts. The rates quoted are for 12 months. 

Beware the home loan bait and switch
businessman holding yellow caution sign home loan bait and switch
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