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Is Now the Time to Lock in Interest Rates?

Article By Adam Hurwood | | Accounting & Tax
With the Reserve Bank keeping rates on hold this month they have signalled that they are waiting to judge the effect of the recent rate cuts before they make any further changes. This means that we are likely to see rates on hold for at least a few months, and with economic news improving both overseas and at home there is every chance we are nearing the bottom of this interest rate cycle.

Most banks are still very negative about long term rates, and with some long term rates under 5% it is a great opportunity to lock in a low rate for the next few years. This could not only save you interest, but also gives you the security of knowing what your mortgage or business loan repayments will be – allowing you to plan your future with confidence.

Whilst there is always a chance rates could go lower, if you wait until the Reserve Bank rates reach the bottom of the dip, the banks will have already started raising their long term interest rates. Most banks are very flexible these days and will allow you to split your loan between variable and fixed so that you can leave enough in variable to give you the option to repay more if you can, or to hedge your bets and lock in only part of the loan.

If you have some in variable it also gives you the freedom to lock part of your mortgage in for the long term. Most Australians only think one to two years ahead, but I would suggest considering the 5 year rates at the moment for the certainty that gives, as well as the historical data indicating that timeframe would include another economic cycle – and the upswing that is likely to occur as a result.

If you require more formal advice on interest rates that is specific to your exact circumstances & needs, then please talk to your Altitude financial adviser who can provide further assistance.