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Account check up

Bank accounts that are years or decades old may not be giving you the best value banking. Here’s why you might want to do a bank account check-up.

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While many of us tend to ‘set and forget’ when it comes to finances and the bank accounts we choose, sometimes it’s worth doing a spring clean to ensure you’re getting the most out of your banking. Especially if you’ve had the same accounts for years or even decades!

For example, you may have opened your savings account as a teenager and not really thought about it much since: it does the job – whether that’s as a repository for spare cash or as a place to save for a specific purpose, such as a holiday or home deposit.

But like everything to do with your finances – including your mortgage – it’s a good idea to review the accounts you to hold to ensure they’re giving you value.

3 reasons to do an account check-up

1. Better functionality. Some accounts may not come with certain features, or there may be account limitations that you’re not aware of.

2. You could save more. Imagine if you could switch to an account with a better interest rate or lower fees? That could mean a few more welcome dollars on your balance come Christmas.

3. You could pay off your mortgage faster. If you have a home loan without an offset account, refinancing to a loan that with this option can help you pay less interest.

"Switching accounts has made it easier to keep my balance topped up and organised so that I receive interest each month." Robert, Deniliquin

Here’s what to consider when reviewing your accounts.

  • Grandfathered accounts. Many customers still use products that are no longer available for sale. If you still do, it’s a good idea to compare against newer accounts that are available. Switching to a newer product could mean a better interest rate and access to additional features such as OSKO or BPAY®.
  • Offset accounts. If you have a mortgage without the option to link an offset account, you might want to consider refinancing. Offset accounts can help you to reduce the amount of interest you pay on your mortgage and pay your mortgage down quicker.
  • Transaction accounts. The key to a good transaction account is one with low transaction fees and added perks such as free withdrawals. Do yours offer this? If not, it might be time to look at what other accounts are out there.
  • Savings accounts. If you’re looking at saving for something specific – like a holiday, a car or a home deposit – you may want a dedicated savings account that offers higher interest rates. This type of account might involve making a minimum deposit each month and limits on number of withdrawals you can make in order to qualify for interest.
  • Online saver accounts. These can be useful if you want to restrict access to your money. Often with online savers, you’ll have to transfer money into another account in order to access it, which can help you manage your spending. Meanwhile, you’ll probably enjoy higher interest rates.
  • Youth accounts. Perhaps you want to open an account for your child or your teenager is looking to open an account for their first job. Many financial institutions offer accounts designed for young people.
  • Term deposits. If you are looking to enjoy higher interest rates and are happy to lock your money away for a fixed term, a term deposit might be a good option. Term deposits generally require a minimum deposit amount that, once deposited, becomes inaccessible to you for a set period of time.

Terms, conditions, fees, charges and credit criteria apply. This article is intended to provide general information of an educational nature only. This information has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Therefore, before acting on this information, you should consider its appropriateness having regard to these matters and the product terms and conditions. Information in this article is current as at the date of publication. The BPAY Scheme is managed by BPAY Pty Ltd (ABN 69 079 137 518). ® Registered to BPAY Pty Ltd ABN 69 079 137 518.

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