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Compare, switch, and save thousands!

Lauren Leisk, Yahoo!7 Moneyhound Updated March 31, 2012, 2:37 pm

As human beings, many of us favour routine over change. But this isn’t the way to make money!


It takes effort to adapt to a new scenario. And of course, there’s always going to be a fair share of uncertainty.


But change can be a very good thing – especially when it's financially related.


Home Loans


If other financial institutions have passed on the Reserve Bank of Australia’s (RBA) interest rate cuts to the consumer then they may be offering a better rate than what you're paying.


If so, refinancing your current mortgage for a more suitable loan can shave years off your mortgage. Just ensure that the new lower interest rate doesn't blow smoke over pricey hidden refinancing fees, which may make the change more expensive than it's worth.


Savings Accounts


In a climate of economic uncertainty, savings account interest rates fluctuate. When they're on the rise, it's a fabulous idea to switch your savings to a high-yielding interest account. You're most likely to score a better deal if the account is online, too.


Credit Cards


Have you come across a glowing new introductory offer lately? You know, zero per cent interest for five months on purchases or interest free balance transfers? If so, take advantage and make the swap to a new card if you've got nothing to lose. Just take note of what the default interest rate will be once the introductory offer expires. This is often a premium rate, so don't get tricked.


Electricity


Consumers often look to save money on their electricity bills by switching retailers. Be sure to read your contract thoroughly, as some stipulate that the new energy retailer can up their price or vary the terms and conditions at any time. So you may think you're locked into a good rate, but actually aren't. Additionally, if you're planning to move in a few months, it's a good idea to organise the switch before you've settled into your new address.


Internet


Internet contracts tend to be fixed for longer periods, usually 12 or 24 months. The best time to shop around for a new deal is when your contract is about to expire. This saves you from breaking the contract and incurring a pricey termination fee. Sometimes it's also worthwhile changing your Internet, home landline and mobile phone over to the one service provider to reap a big discount and gain access to loyalty rewards.


Additional points to consider


- Ask your new retailer or financial institution how a discount will be applied and if there are any limitations, ie; A discount may only be applied to part of a bill, not the whole. Or a rate on a credit card may be an introductory offer lasting a few months.


- Take note of when your contract will expire. Will you still be eligible to receive your contract rate or the more expensive default rate?


- Are there any termination fees for leaving a contract or loan early? If so, how much.


Need help finding a new credit card, home loan, bank account or energy provider offering a better rate for you? Then compare the top finance products in Australia using Moneyhound's free comparison service and make the change today!


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