Fixed vs Variable: Pros and cons of fixing your interest rate

Are you in the market for a loan but aren’t sure whether to take out a fixed of variable rate?

Choosing between fixed and variable interest rates can be complex, especially for first-time borrowers. This blog aims to simplify this decision-making process by providing in-depth insights into both options, which will help you understand how these interest rates work and which best fits your financial situation.

Understanding Interest Rates

Interest rates play a crucial role in determining the overall cost of your loan.
Banks will normally offer a fixed rate of a period of 1, 2 , 3 or 5 years. So the interest rate remains unchanged throughout whichever period you choose. This offers you stability and predictability in your repayments. Your repayment stays the same regardless of market changes. At the end of the fixed period, the rate normally reverts to a variable rate or you can choose to re-fix.Conversely, variable interest rates can fluctuate in response to market conditions. This could mean that your repayments decrease when market rates fall, but they also could increase if market rates rise.

The Pros and Cons of Fixed Interest Rates

Choosing a fixed-interest rate loan means that you’ll know exactly what your repayments will be for the fixed period you choose; this is normally less than or equal to 5 years. This can make it easier for you to budget and plan for your future. However, a major drawback of a fixed rate is their lack of flexibility. This means if the market rates fall, you will still be required to pay the higher rate. Additionally, fixed-interest rate loans may have restrictions on whether you are able to make extra repayments or pay off the loan early. It is likely to have a fee to break the fixed rate contract.

The Pros and Cons of Variable Interest Rates

A variable interest rate offers more flexibility than their fixed counterparts. If market rates decrease, so will your repayments, potentially saving you money. Many variable-rate loans will also allow extra repayments, allowing you to pay off your loan faster. On the downside, variable-rate loans are unpredictable. If the market rates rise, so will your repayments, potentially stretching your budget.

Fixed Interest Rates with Horizon Bank

At Horizon Bank, we offer competitive fixed-rate loans. By choosing a fixed-rate loan with us, you can effectively manage your finances by knowing exactly what your weekly, fortnightly or monthly repayments will be. Our team of experts are always available to guide you through the process and present the loan options that best suits your needs. Horizon allows up to $30,000 in extra repayments each loan anniversary year, which helps reduce the term of the loan. For extra repayments made on a fixed-interest rate loan, Horizon allows you to redraw on those funds if you require to do so down the track free of charge.

Variable Interest Rates with Horizon Bank

At Horizon Bank, our variable-rate loans are designed to provide you with flexibility and potential savings, which is ideal for both experienced buyers and first-home buyers. Benefit from a variable interest rate and take advantage of flexible weekly, fortnightly or monthly repayment options – whichever suits you best – as well as the allowance of extra repayments without penalty.

Making Your Decision

The choice between fixed and variable rates depends heavily on the current Australian economic climate. For example, a variable rate might save you money in a falling market, but in a rising market a fixed rate could offer you more stability. Your personal finance goals should be the primary driver behind your decision of whether you value stability or flexibility.

We understand that choosing between a fixed and variable interest rate is a significant decision that can greatly impact your financial future. By considering the pros and cons of each option you can make an informed decision that aligns with your financial goals and circumstances. Contact us to explore your loan options, you can have a chat with one of our experts today.

We’ve got the Illawarra and South Coast covered with branches located in Thirroul, Wollongong, Albion Park, Berry, Nowra, Ulladulla, Moruya, Bega, Bermagui and Merimbula.

Regardless of where you live, reach out to us by filling in an online loan enquiry form and we’ll assist you over the phone and email.