Motley Fool Australia

Unless you think bank CEOs need more money?

I don’t usually get to give guarantees.

ASIC, the financial services regulator, rightly takes a very dim view of such language.

And frankly I wouldn’t usually give one, either – I don’t sell false promises.

But this time, in full view of the corporate cop, I get to give you a rock-solid, cast-iron, guaranteed return.

But first, let me ask you some questions:

How far would you go to save 5c a litre on petrol?

What about 10c.

Do you shop at different supermarkets sometimes, to get their specials?

Money for jam, right? (If you’ll excuse the pun)

Do you shop around for the best price on your favourite beer, wine or whisky?

And how long has it been since you got a pay rise?

What would you say if your boss offered you more money?

If the answer is ‘no’, please say ‘yes’ anyway, and you can just send me the extra cash you don’t want!

These are smart and simple ways to save money… (but please don’t drive 40km to save 2c a litre on juice!)

But what if I offered you something even better than all that.

What if, with a single phone call, you could be better off by thousands of dollars – maybe even tens of thousands… and tax free?

No, I’m not spruiking some ‘get rich quick’ foreign exchange or CFD trading ‘system’.

No, it’s not a Nigerian Prince email scam.

It’s way simpler than that.

I don’t want your bank details. I don’t want you to stay up all night trading the Yen Sterling cross (that’s a thing, right?).

I want you to make a single phone call.

No, not to a dealer of illicit substances. And no, you’re not going to start demanding protection money.

This is a very simple, polite phone call, with a very simple request.

And it’s to your bank.

To explain, I want you to take a trip of logic with me.

Let’s say there are maybe 40 lenders of significance in Australia (there’s probably closer to double that, but let’s keep it simple).

And let’s say they each offer 5 different loan types (again, that’s likely to be a significant underestimate.)

Simple multiplication tells us there are at least 200 different loan products available.

Now, let’s assume half of those are unsuitable for you, for one reason or another.

That leaves 100 different loan ‘products’ you could be choosing.

And with each of those loans having different interest rates, fees, features, terms and conditions, that means there’s essentially a 1% chance you’re using the product that’s best for you.

Put another way, I reckon the odds are excellent that 99 out of every 100 people reading this, right now, are paying too much for their home loan.

Now, if your bank is your favourite charity, that’s cool.

By all means, donate extra to their CEO bonuses, Christmas parties and cheesy marketing budgets.

But if it’s not…

And if you think the money could be better spent elsewhere…

Then don’t you owe it to yourself to make sure you’re not paying too much on your home loan?

Let’s see what the numbers say.

If you have a $500,000 mortgage, and you can get a 0.5 per cent reduction in your interest rate, that’ll save you $50,000 over the life of a 30-year loan.

That’s a new car.

Again, if you don’t want a new car, or you can’t find anything else to do with 50-large, email me and I’ll send you my bank account details.

(Or, you know, you could find a charity that desperately needs more donations, right now.)

But trust me when I say your bank doesn’t need your generous donation.

Now, back to my guarantee.

I can’t make promises of future market returns. I can’t promise you won’t lose money on shares, property, art or Beanie Baby collections.

But the easiest guarantee in the world is one I don’t even need to promise – because the money will be right there, in your bank account, every single month: the money you save by paying less interest on your loan.

And, on your own home, it’s tax-free!

Now, I’ve been running something of a campaign on social media this week.

I’m using the hashtag #getabetterrate

(You can follow me on TwitterFacebook or Instagram to see it in action!)

Here are three pieces of feedback:

“I recently moved to ANZ fixed rate 2.19. Unfortunately, I was with another lender with 3.85 last year. I’m saving around $700 each month now.”

“Finally changed to Macquarie this year after being too lazy to look into it. 2.19% fixed for next two years was 4.6% elsewhere #getabetterrate”

And:

“For my investment loan, moved from 3.67% with a monthly fee, to 2.83% without a monthly fee and 100% offset. Had to change banks. The old bank just could not match it. The new bank made it easy, just needed to fill in a few forms. Glad I was able to #getabetterrate”

Seriously. Can you imagine how much those people are saving?

And not just this week, this month or this year.

That’s extra money in their pockets.

And, hopefully, they kept their repayments at the same level, meaning they’ll pay the loan off a helluva lot faster.

Yes, normally I write to you about investing. I think it’s a wonderful way to secure your financial future.

But if I’m going to do that, I should also be helping you in other ways – after all, the sooner you pay off your loan, and the less you waste in unnecessary interest, the closer you are to your goal and the quicker you’ll get there!

So, the ball is in your court, fellow Fool.

You can donate more to your bank.

Or you can #getabetterrate.

I know which one I’d prefer.

– – –

Oh, and if you’re wondering, here’s a very, very simple template for you to follow:

1. Check your loan statement, and find out what interest rate you’re paying.

2. Jump online and use a comparison site to see what else is on offer for your circumstances.

3. Call your bank, and ask them to match the best rate you can find, so you don’t have to leave.

4. If they won’t match – or won’t get close enough – then start the process of switching. Yes, there’s paperwork, but it could save you thousands!

See – it’s that easy.

– – –

So, what’s stopping you? Go on… #getabetterrate

(Oh, and if you do end up benefiting, please pay it forward by adding your story on social media using the #getabetterrate hashtag, so others might be motivated to try! Thanks in advance!)

Fool on!

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Motley Fool contributor Scott Phillips has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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