What is a Revert Rate?

The revert rate refers to the variable interest rate that comes into effect after the fixed interest rate period of a home loan expires.

When individuals secure a home loan, they are usually presented with a fixed interest rate that remains constant for a predetermined duration, usually ranging from one to five years. However, once this fixed rate period concludes, the loan transitions to a variable interest rate structure, and the revert rate comes into play.

The revert rate is not fixed and can fluctuate over time, depending on various factors such as market conditions and the prevailing interest rates. It is essential for borrowers to understand the terms and conditions surrounding the revert rate to make informed decisions regarding their home loan and budget effectively for potential changes in their monthly payments.

Understanding the Revert Rate

When you take out a home loan, you have the option to choose between a fixed interest rate and a variable interest rate. The fixed interest rate remains constant for a specified period, typically ranging from one to five years. During this time, your monthly repayments remain consistent, providing stability and predictability.

However, once the fixed rate period ends, the loan transitions to a variable interest rate. This is where the revert rate comes into play. The revert rate is the new interest rate that applies to your home loan after the fixed rate period expires.

Unlike the fixed rate, the revert rate is not set for a specific duration. It is typically based on a reference rate, such as the prime rate or the base rate, plus a margin or spread determined by the lender. The reference rate is influenced by factors like the central bank’s monetary policy, market conditions, and economic indicators.

Since the revert rate is variable, it can change periodically. It may increase or decrease based on fluctuations in the reference rate or changes made by the lender. This means that your monthly repayments may vary as well, potentially affecting your budget.

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What Factors Affect the Revert Rate?

The revert rate is determined by a number of factors, including:

  • Market Interest Rate: The current market interest rate plays a significant role in determining the revert rate. If interest rates in the broader market have risen since you initially secured your loan, the revert rate is likely to be higher. Conversely, if market interest rates have fallen, your revert rate may be lower.
  • Lender’s Lending Policy: Each lender has its own lending policy, which includes factors such as risk assessment, cost of funds, and profitability. The lender’s policy can affect the revert rate they offer to borrowers. Lenders consider various elements when setting their revert rates, such as market trends, competition, and their overall business strategy.
  • Credit Score: Your credit score is an essential factor in determining the revert rate. Lenders assess your creditworthiness by evaluating your credit history, payment behaviour, and overall financial profile. A higher credit score generally indicates a lower risk for the lender, which can result in a more favourable revert rate. Conversely, a lower credit score may lead to a higher revert rate or less favourable loan terms.
  • Loan Type: The type of home loan you have can influence the revert rate. Different loan types, such as fixed-rate loans, adjustable-rate loans, or hybrid loans, have varying structures and features. The terms and conditions of your specific loan type, as agreed upon during the initial loan agreement, will dictate how the revert rate is determined once the fixed rate period ends.

If interest rates have risen since you took out your home loan, your revert rate will be higher. However, if interest rates have fallen, your revert rate will be lower.

What Happens if I Don't Refix My Loan?

If you choose not to refix your loan when the fixed rate period expires, your loan will typically transition to the lender’s standard variable rate (SVR). Here’s what you can expect in such a situation:

  • Increase in Monthly Repayments: The SVR is generally higher than the fixed rate you had during the initial period. As a result, your monthly repayments are likely to increase. The exact amount of the increase will depend on the difference between the fixed rate and the SVR, as well as the outstanding balance on your loan.
  • Fluctuations in Interest Rates: Unlike the fixed rate, the SVR is variable and can change periodically. It is usually influenced by factors such as the lender’s pricing decisions, market conditions, and prevailing interest rates. Therefore, your monthly repayments may fluctuate over time as the SVR adjusts.
  • Potential Budgetary Impact: The increase in monthly repayments can impact your budget and financial planning. It’s important to consider whether the higher repayments are affordable for you and align with your financial goals. Assessing your current income, expenses, and future financial expectations is crucial when deciding whether to refix your loan or explore alternative options.
  • Limited Flexibility: By not refinancing or renegotiating your loan terms, you may miss out on potential benefits or savings that could be obtained by securing a new fixed rate or exploring other loan products. Refixing your loan or exploring refinancing options can offer the opportunity to secure a more favourable interest rate and potentially reduce your monthly repayments.

How Can I Avoid a High Revert Rate?

To avoid a high revert rate on your home loan, consider the following strategies:

Negotiate a Lower Fixed Rate

When obtaining a home loan, it’s worth negotiating with your lender to secure a lower fixed rate right from the beginning. By demonstrating good creditworthiness, comparing offers from different lenders, and leveraging your position as a borrower, you may be able to secure a more favourable fixed rate, which can help minimise the impact of the revert rate later on.

Refix Your Loan Before the Fixed Rate Period Ends

Instead of allowing your loan to automatically revert to the lender’s standard variable rate, you can proactively refix your loan before the fixed rate period expires. This involves renegotiating your loan terms with your current lender or exploring refinancing options with other lenders.

Refixing allows you to lock in a new fixed rate, providing stability and potentially avoiding a higher revert rate.

Stay Informed About Interest Rates

Keeping track of interest rate movements is important in managing your loan effectively. Stay informed about Australian interest rates, as they can influence the revert rate offered by lenders. Monitor economic indicators, central bank announcements, and market trends to anticipate potential changes in interest rates.

Being proactive and informed can help you make timely decisions regarding your loan, including refinancing or negotiating a new fixed rate.

Tips for Australian Expats and Foreign Buyers

If you are an Australian expatriate living overseas or a foreign buyer, it is important to be aware of the revert rate. This is because you may not be able to keep track of Australian interest rates. If interest rates rise, your revert rate will be higher than you expected.

To avoid this, you may want to consider the following points:

  • Be Mindful of Australian Interest Rates: As an expatriate or foreign buyer, staying informed about Australian interest rates may be challenging. However, it’s important to understand that changes in interest rates can impact the revert rate.
  • Refix Your Loan Before the Fixed Rate Period Ends: To mitigate the uncertainty associated with the revert rate, consider refinancing or renegotiating your loan terms before the fixed rate period expires. By refixing your loan, you can secure a new fixed rate, providing stability and certainty regarding your monthly repayments, regardless of any potential changes in interest rates.
  • Seek Professional Advice: It can be beneficial to seek advice from mortgage brokers or financial professionals who specialise in working with Australian expats or foreign buyers. They can provide guidance on navigating the loan process, understanding the implications of the revert rate, and exploring suitable refixing or refinancing options based on your specific circumstances.
  • Evaluate Currency Exchange Rates: As an expat or foreign buyer, it’s important to consider the impact of currency exchange rates on your loan repayments. Fluctuations in exchange rates can affect the affordability of your repayments, especially if your income is in a different currency. Monitor currency exchange rates and evaluate their potential impact on your budget and ability to meet your loan obligations.

Get in Touch with Odin Mortgage Today

If you have questions or need assistance in navigating the revert rate or exploring refixing options for your home loan, we recommend speaking with our experienced mortgage broker. They can provide personalised guidance and help you make informed decisions based on your specific circumstances.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation and ensure that you have the necessary information to make the best choice for your financial needs.

Get a free Australian mortgage assessment today.

Apply online to get a free recommendation with real rates and repayments.

Frequently asked questions

The revert rate is the interest rate your home loan will switch to when the fixed rate period ends. The standard variable rate is the interest rate that all borrowers with the same lender pay.

You can find out your revert rate by contacting your lender. They will be able to provide you with the specific rate that will apply to your loan.

If you don’t pay your revert rate, your lender may start charging you late fees. In some cases, they may even foreclose on your home.

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