What's up with interest rates?

Just like there’s more to life than a mortgage, there’s more to a mortgage than an interest rate. And with a better understanding of your options and what’s going on in the market, you won’t break into a sweat every time interest rates increase or decrease.

So let's demystify and simplify interest rates.

Get me the best interest rate on my mortgage
Confused boy

Check out the latest rates

If a great rate is what you're after, we can help. We work with all the banks so can help you secure a great rate no matter who you choose to bank with. In fact, we can generally get an even better rate than the advertised rate.

This table compares the latest interest rates between the major banks. But remember: although rate does play a big part, getting the right home loan for you isn't just about going for the biggest cash back or the lowest interest rate.

Institution Variable floating 6 months 1 year 2 years 3 years 4 years 5 years
ANZ 5.79% 4.99% 4.05% 4.29% 4.49% 5.55% 5.69%
ASB 5.80% 4.95% 4.05% 4.29% 4.49% 4.95% 5.09%
BNZ 5.90% 4.99% 4.10% 4.29% 4.49% 5.19% 5.39%
Cooperative Bank 5.75% 4.10% 4.10% 4.35% 4.49% 4.99% 5.19%
Kiwibank 5.80% 4.99% 4.05% 4.29% 4.49% 4.99% 5.09%
SBS Bank 5.89% 4.99% 4.19% 3.95% 4.49% 4.89% 4.89%
TSB Bank 5.80% 4.85% 3.95% 4.19% 4.49% 4.95% 4.99%
Westpac  5.95% 4.99% 4.15% 4.29% 4.59% 5.29% 4.99%

Rates sourced from interest.co.nz. Accurate as at 6 December 2018.

It’s not all about interest rates

Wait, what? But what about those big rate numbers all the banks use to advertise their home loans?

It’s actually about your long term plan

When it comes to getting the best deal that’s going to work for you, it’s not ALL about the interest rate (but it plays a big part). How we’ll structure your mortgage will depend on the lifestyle you want to lead. You might be starting a family or buying a Ferrari in the next few years and your mortgage needs to reflect that. 

Not all banks are created equal

All the banks will differ when it comes to home loans pricing, policies and service.

You need a broker who can give you unbiased advice on what will work best for your situation.

Choose an impartial mortgage adviser

Unlike many others, Squirrel mortgage brokers are not paid by commission so there's no incentive to push you into anything. Maybe you want to pay that home loan off as fast as possible. We can recommend a bank and home loan that works to your advantage and not the other way around.

Are interest rates moving?

The question that is top of mind for most is whether or not interest rates are going to go up or down. This is especially true if you’re looking to get into the property market or make a change to an existing portfolio. We might not have a crystal ball, but we keep our blog up to date if you're after an idea of what’s been happening with interest rates lately.

Frequently asked questions relating to interest rates

What is the OCR?

OCR stands for Official Cash Rate and is the rate of interest which the central bank charges on overnight loans to commercial banks. The OCR influences the price of borrowing money in New Zealand and provides the Reserve Bank with a means of influencing the level of economic activity and inflation. The OCR gets reviewed 7 times per year.

How does the OCR affect interest rates?

Market rates are generally held around the OCR level, which can mean that rates increase or decrease in line with OCR movement. But it’s just an indication and it’s important to note that the OCR is not the only factor affecting New Zealand interest rates. Movements in overseas rates can lead to changes in interest rates even if the OCR has not changed. And similarly, interest rates charged by the banks can increase or stay the same, even if the OCR drops.

Can I break out of a fixed interest loan to take advantage of falling rates?

It might be possible to break out of a fixed loan before the term is up, but you’re likely to be charged a break fee for doing so. This is because the bank is incurring a loss by you breaking the term early. This loss is passed on to you in the form of a break fee. There are some instances where it’s worth breaking your fixed term, but it could also end up costing you more in the long run. Every situation is different so get in touch with one of the team to help you work out what’s best for you. Check out our interest rates page for more info on break fees.

Should I fix my loan?

There are a number of factors to consider when deciding to lock in a rate for a fixed amount of time. Will you be selling in that time? Do you prefer the certainty of a fixed rate or the flexibility of a variable rate? Will you feel regret if rates dropped and you were stuck on a higher rate? Our advisers can help you work out the best solution for your lifestyle, so get in touch with one of the team.

Talk to an adviser about interest rates.