Customers urged to negotiate for better deals from banks

If yours is up for review, get in touch with your bank. If there seem to be better rates in the market, ask if they can match them. It is a competitive market and banks are under pressure to hold on to good business. There is more than half a percentage point in difference between the cheapest and most expensive two-year rates in the market.

Banking expert Claire Matthews said winter tended to be a less frantic time for the banks so it was possible borrowers would have to work a little harder to secure a good deal. “But if the banks wants the business and the customer is good, they will negotiate.”

Cash

All of the banks were cagey when asked exactly what they will offer in terms of cash to entice new borrowers in.

But broker Glen McLeod said it was normal to be able to get $3000 on a $500,000 deal and $5000 on $1 million. “The odd deal will get a lot more but it depends on how strong the negotiation is.”

The Co-Operative Bank said it was done on a case-by-case basis.

“Cash can become a focus, but borrowers should weigh this up against a low longer-term interest rate which could lower their interest costs and more than off-set the upfront cash offer over a period of time. We would encourage anyone who is interested in a competitive home loan package to talk to us for an individualised solution,” spokeswoman Tracey Kai said.

Adviser Lisa Dudson said it paid to be wary. She said people could sometimes be swayed by a good cash offer and end up paying a higher interest rate.  “If you can get it, that’s great but it needs to be considered as part of the overall picture.”

Sometimes the banks will offer a cash incentive, even if you do not go anywhere.

Whangarei woman Deanna Johnston was offered $2000 to move to a new bank. She asked her existing bank, Westpac, to match it to have her keep her mortgage where it was. “They offered a cashback and a great rate after I went back to them and it was easier than changing banks.”

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