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What Impact Could A High Interest Rate Have On Your Debt Payments?

If you’re looking into making investments or purchases, such as a house, you may have been hearing a lot about interest rates.

Interest rates are the fee that you are charged for borrowing money, which is expressed as a percentage of the total amount of the loan. Often they are discussed as a key indicator of how the economy is performing – but how do interest rates affect you?

Whether an interest rate rises or falls is determined by the RBA (Reserve Bank Of Australia).

The primary objective of the RBA is to ensure that the price growth (inflation) remains low and stable, by using its monetary policy to achieve that specific outcome.

The monetary policy primarily involves either increasing the cost of money (through interest rates) to slow the economy down, or lowering the cost of money to encourage spending.

For many Australians, rises in interest rates can affect their mortgage repayments, loans and credit cards. If the interest rate rises too drastically, that can make for a difficult time. A lower interest rate can instead lead to a respite for those making repayments as they can lower the amount required to be paid, or provide an opportunity to get ahead on the mortgage.

An increase in interest rates:

  • Increases the cost of your mortgage interest payments
  • Reduces the personal disposal income available to you
  • Increases the incentive to save, rather than to spend
  • Strengthens the value of the Australian dollar
  • Reduces consumption and investment

A decrease in interest rates:

  • Makes mortgage interest payments more affordable
  • Increases personal disposable income
  • Encourages spending
  • Weaken the value of the Australian dollar
  • Encourages investments in property.

When it comes to interest rates, knowing if they are forecast to rise or fall will allow you to adapt your payments better, and help to plan out your strategy to deal with the impact. You can speak with a financial advisor, or come to us if you’re looking for advice on how to handle the impact that interest rates may have on your plans.

If you’re someone who often finds it difficult to make large lump sum payments for goods or services, you may want to consider looking into “Buy Now Pay Later” services.

Buy now pay later essentially means that, rather than paying in a full lump sum payment for a product or services rendered, there may be an option to pay through instalments of a certain amount over a set period to make the sum of the full amount in total. This method should allow you to pay in full for the product or service without overly straining your finances – you pay back what you can, as agreed upon when you begin the buy now pay later service.

Some popular buy now pay later services include Afterpay, Zip Pay, Brightepay, and some credit card networks such as  Mastercard and Visa, can offer buy now pay later arrangements.

Though it can be a convenient, immediate solution, it may be challenging to juggle the necessary repayments with other financial commitments. It’s not always the most appropriate method for people, and you should bear in mind your situation and ability in paying back the amounts. 

Before you sign up, keep in mind: 

  • It becomes easier to overspend with buy now pay later services, so know your limits on what you can and can’t afford.
  • You will be charged fees and costs to use the service, which can add up to a princely sum in and of itself.
  • Keeping track of your payments can be tricky if you’ve signed up for multiple services.
  • It could affect your loan applications for a car or mortgage as lenders consider buy now pay later spending just as much as your credit score.
  • Late repayments can appear on your credit report, which affects your ability to borrow money in the future.
  • Layby can be a cheaper alternative to buy now pay later, with no account-keeping or late fees to consider

If you are someone who could make use of BNPL services, you may wish to:

  • Ensure that when using the BNPL service, you stick to a set limit on what you spend so that you can comfortably pay it back later. 
  • Aim only to have one BNPL account at a time to manage payments through, rather than confuse yourself with multiple payments across different providers.
  • Always budget for bills, loan payments and BNPL payments, and 
  • Rather than use your credit card for payments to your BNPL account, consider linking to your debit account instead.

If you would like assistance in planning your financial future, help in managing your budget or some friendly advice, see us for a chat about what we can do for you.


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John Briggs

Jane Noller has been my accountant for the last 15 plus years. I can testify to Jane’s professionalism and expeditious manner in dealing with the day to day issues that surrounds our business accounting.

John Briggs

Registered Building Certifier

David and Alison Parker

I have been consulting J L Noller and Co. (more specifically Jane) for six years and during this time I have found her to be professional, efficient and easy to discuss all accounting and taxation matters with. Her office team are all polite and friendly also.

David and Alison Parker

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Carl Gillmore

I have used Jane & the team for the last 6 years for all of my business & personal accounting needs. They have always been professional, easy to talk to & available when we have needed assistance.

Carl Gillmore

Carl Gillmore Landscape

John Briggs

Jane Noller has been my accountant for the last 15 plus years. I can testify to Jane’s professionalism and expeditious manner in dealing with the day to day issues that surrounds our business accounting.

John Briggs

Registered Building Certifier