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  • Writer's picturePeter

How to beat the banks at their own game

I owe, I owe, so it's off to work I go.

Have you ever wondered how to get a better deal from your bank?

In this blog we discover some simple and easy ways to both save bank fees and get a lower interest rate on your personal, home and investment loans.

Today the national sport of bank bashing is at an all time high. 

Crooks, bastards, banker-wanker's, fat-cats and worse is the language we like to use, see and hear across the various media outlets, at work, at home and our social gatherings to describe our experiences and opinions of banking institutions. 

We love to blame them for the current housing affordability crisis, the global financial crisis, nose bleeding high CEO remuneration and having the morals and business ethics of Ray Kroc, the Founder of Mac Donald's who's view of life quote is "If any of my competitors were drowning, I'd stick a hose in their mouth and turn on the water".

Unfortunately without banks, everything stops. 

To explain more and why, the following is a great clip to edutain (educate & entertain) us about the power of banks To Big to Fail. Also we should never forget that banks are listed companies and owned by shareholders. As such and just like all businesses; its charter is to operate in the best interest of its shareholders i.e. sustained and growing profits.

My take on it is; it's in the bank and the shareholders financial interest to make their product contracts complex and create an environment where it's difficult to change. Then there is this strange dance that when one bank changes interest rates so do the others. It's looks kind of like a doggy conga dance

Why? To keep as many customers on the books and paying fees for as long as possible A.K.A. keep the cash flow is my educated guess.

You may be thinking of those names I started out listing at the beginning of this blog, however this doesn't mean "we the people and the little guy" can't wag the dog every now and then.

The easy an simple way I lower our home and investment loan interest rates

I go to a loan comparison site for example FinderCANSTAR to check your loan versus what other providers are offering. 

Then I call my lender and tell them I'm thinking of changing and will they match the best rate I could find.

They either match it, lower your existing or say no.

From personal experience every time I've called (annually) I've been given a lower rate. My disclosure is that I didn't get the lowest interest rate available in the market, however I also didn't need to go through the hassle of changing banks.

The easy and simple way we get our annual credit card fee waived.

The same strategy here we apply as to get the lower interest rate on home and investment loan interest.

I go to a credit card comparison site for example InfochoiceCANSTAR and check my credit card fees versus what other providers are offering. 

Then I call my provider and tell them I'm thinking of closing or changing mt credit card companies and will they match the best credit card you can find.

They either match it, lower my fee or say no.

From personal experience every time I've called (annually) and had my annual card fee waived, saving me around $250 each year.

Further more I apply this strategy to almost every product and service we use. This includes car insurance, health insurance, home and contents, business insurance, telephone, power and internet providers. 

Doing so has saved thousands of dollars and helped to I believe, pay off our loans years sooner, simply by asking for a better deal.

We've also used this strategy in reverse too increase our incomes, be them fixed interest deposits, rent, and salary; simply by comparing and asking.

The bottom line

From both my experience and the lessons we've learnt our life. "You don't ask. You don't get".

Instead of doing nothing and complaining about things never changing maybe it's time we ask ourselves what we want and do something about it. Then again the banks are hopping you do just that, i.e. nothing. 

This post was written by Me, as such they are my personal views and not financial or general advice.

You should always seek independent financial advice when it comes to choices about your personal finances. This is one area of your life where it’s worth paying for it to be done right.

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