Aussies more interested in mobile phones than mortgages

Australians are more likely to spend time investigating the best deals for electronics than home loans, a new survey has found.

The ME Savvy Savers Survey by challenger bank ME found that 68 per cent of people review their phone plans periodically, while less than half (44 per cent) of respondents regularly review their home loan.

The survey of 1,500 Australians also revealed that when shopping around in the first instance, 62 per cent of respondents would spend time comparing home loans, compared to 84 per cent who would spend time comparing deals on electronics.

ME head of home loans, Patrick Nolan said Australians have a “set and forget” mentality and that when it comes to mortgages, Australians are “price takers, not price makers”.

He commented: “Seventy-four per cent of borrowers assume they are on a good rate, but that’s unlikely if over 80 per cent of borrowers are with a major bank, which tend to be more expensive.”

Mr Nolan added that 41 per cent of borrowers don’t feel they “have the power to negotiate” and that 35 per cent of respondents believed it was “too much effort” to refinance.

Confusion about loan products, features and what information to believe compounded the difficulty in making comparisons, Mr Nolan said.

“Aussies are willing and able to bargain hunt for smaller items, but not the biggest purchase they’ll ever make – their home loan – and it’s costing them thousands.

“While Australians might save about $25 a month by switching a mobile phone provider, renegotiating your home loan rate or switching lenders could save up to $130 per month, $1,560 a year or $46,000 over the life of the [$400,000 paid over 30 years] loan.”

[Related: ME launches refinance calculator tool]

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Lucy Dean

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