What is the RBA Cash Rate?

In the simplest terms, the RBA cash rate is Australia’s official interest rate, which was recently lifted to 1.85% as of August 2022. In Australia, the Reserve Bank influences the cash rate by increasing or decreasing the cash rate target generally in increments of 0.25%.

In more complex terms, the cash rate reflects the market interest rate on unsecured ‘overnight' funds, which are the funds banks lend each other. The cash rate serves as a benchmark for everything from mortgage interest rates, to savings account rates, term deposit rates and the exchange rate.

The cash rate is determined by the RBA in a board meeting every month (excluding January). When the RBA makes changes to the cash rate, it has a significant knock-on impact on all other parts of the economy and the price of financial products.

Historically, a high RBA cash rate has resulted in higher interest rates on everything from home loans to savings accounts, term deposits, car loans, personal loans and so on. A low cash rate generally results in lower interest rates on these financial products.

The current cash rate is 1.85%.

What's on this page:

RBA Cash Rate History

How does the RBA Cash Rate affect Home Loan Interest Rates?

The cash rate is one of the main factors that lenders take into account when setting their interest rates, so any hikes or cuts to the cash rate eventually flow through to borrowers.

While home loan interest rates are closely tied to the cash rate, they aren’t the only factor. Sometimes, lenders will increase or decrease their home loan interest rate even if there has been no change in the cash rate. These ‘out of cycle’ home loan rate changes happen all the time.

What happens to home loan rates when the cash rate decreases?

When the cash rate decreases, the lower home loan rates will go as lenders battle to remain competitive. This has been the case over the last few years, where home loan interest rates have sat around the 2-3% mark with a historically low cash rate of 0.10%.

However, in the case of a cut lenders aren’t obligated to pass it on to their customers in full. We saw this during the cash rate cuts in 2020 where some lenders only passed on partial cuts (or none at all), or only reduced fixed rates.

Even a small decrease in home loan interest rates can translate to a decent reduction in monthly mortgage repayments, which makes taking out a home loan more attractive. This can result in a rush to enter the property market, which drives property prices up.

What about when it increases?

When the official cash rate increases, lenders generally pass it on in full which means home loan interest rates (and mortgage repayments) increase. A rate increase hasn’t happened since 2010, but it’s widely predicted by economists that the cash rate will begin increasing in 2022.

There’s concern among experts that borrowers, particularly those that have bought within the last two years when interest rates were at their lowest, could be in for a shock when interest rates start rising.

What are the current home loan interest rates?

Lender

Variable
More details
  • Min 30% deposit
  • No monthly or ongoing fees, add 0.10% for offset
  • Unlimited redraws
Variable
More details
REFINANCE ONLY
  • A low-rate variable home loan from a 100% online lender. Backed by the Commonwealth Bank.
REFINANCE ONLY
Variable
More details
100% FULL OFFSET ACCOUNTNO APPLICATION FEE OR ONGOING FEES
  • No upfront or ongoing fees
  • 100% full offset account
  • Extra repayments + redraw services
100% FULL OFFSET ACCOUNTNO APPLICATION FEE OR ONGOING FEES

Low Rate Home Loan - Prime (Principal and Interest) (Owner Occupied) (LVR < 60%)

  • No upfront or ongoing fees
  • 100% full offset account
  • Extra repayments + redraw services
Variable
More details
NO ONGOING FEES
  • No upfront or ongoing fees
  • 100% full offset account
  • Extra repayments + redraw services
NO ONGOING FEES
Variable
More details
NO ONGOING FEES
  • No upfront or ongoing fees
  • 100% full offset account
  • Extra repayments + redraw services
NO ONGOING FEES
Variable
More details
  • No upfront or ongoing fees
  • 100% full offset account
  • Extra repayments + redraw services

Smart Booster Home Loan Discounted Variable - 2yr (LVR < 80%)

  • No upfront or ongoing fees
  • 100% full offset account
  • Extra repayments + redraw services
Variable
More details
ZERO APPLICATION FEESFEE FREE OFFSET
  • No upfront or ongoing fees
  • 100% full offset account
  • Extra repayments + redraw services
ZERO APPLICATION FEESFEE FREE OFFSET

Owner Occupier Accelerates - Celebrate (LVR < 60%) (Principal and Interest)

  • No upfront or ongoing fees
  • 100% full offset account
  • Extra repayments + redraw services
Variable
More details
NO UPFRONT OR ONGOING FEES
  • No upfront or ongoing fees
  • 100% full offset account
  • Extra repayments + redraw services
NO UPFRONT OR ONGOING FEES
Variable
More details
NO UPFRONT OR ONGOING FEES
  • No upfront or ongoing fees
  • 100% full offset account
  • Extra repayments + redraw services
NO UPFRONT OR ONGOING FEES
Variable
More details
  • No upfront or ongoing fees
  • 100% full offset account
  • Extra repayments + redraw services
Variable
More details
  • No upfront or ongoing fees
  • 100% full offset account
  • Extra repayments + redraw services
Variable
More details
  • No ongoing fees - None!
  • Unlimited additional repayments
  • Easy online application, find out if you're approved quick!
  • Redraw- Access your additional payments if you need them
  • Use the app to get loan insights to help you pay off your home loan faster
Variable
More details
NO UPFRONT OR ONGOING FEES
  • No ongoing fees - None!
  • Unlimited additional repayments
  • Easy online application, find out if you're approved quick!
  • Redraw- Access your additional payments if you need them
  • Use the app to get loan insights to help you pay off your home loan faster
NO UPFRONT OR ONGOING FEES
Variable
More details
  • No ongoing fees - None!
  • Unlimited additional repayments
  • Easy online application, find out if you're approved quick!
  • Redraw- Access your additional payments if you need them
  • Use the app to get loan insights to help you pay off your home loan faster
Variable
More details
PAY MORE TO LOWER YOUR RATE
  • No ongoing fees - None!
  • Unlimited additional repayments
  • Easy online application, find out if you're approved quick!
  • Redraw- Access your additional payments if you need them
  • Use the app to get loan insights to help you pay off your home loan faster
PAY MORE TO LOWER YOUR RATE
Variable
More details
  • No ongoing fees - None!
  • Unlimited additional repayments
  • Easy online application, find out if you're approved quick!
  • Redraw- Access your additional payments if you need them
  • Use the app to get loan insights to help you pay off your home loan faster
Variable
More details
  • No ongoing fees - None!
  • Unlimited additional repayments
  • Easy online application, find out if you're approved quick!
  • Redraw- Access your additional payments if you need them
  • Use the app to get loan insights to help you pay off your home loan faster
Variable
More details
NO UPFRONT OR ONGOING FEES
  • No ongoing fees - None!
  • Unlimited additional repayments
  • Easy online application, find out if you're approved quick!
  • Redraw- Access your additional payments if you need them
  • Use the app to get loan insights to help you pay off your home loan faster
NO UPFRONT OR ONGOING FEES
Variable
More details
  • No ongoing fees - None!
  • Unlimited additional repayments
  • Easy online application, find out if you're approved quick!
  • Redraw- Access your additional payments if you need them
  • Use the app to get loan insights to help you pay off your home loan faster
Variable
More details
  • No ongoing fees - None!
  • Unlimited additional repayments
  • Easy online application, find out if you're approved quick!
  • Redraw- Access your additional payments if you need them
  • Use the app to get loan insights to help you pay off your home loan faster

Base criteria of: a $400,000 loan amount, variable, fixed, principal and interest (P&I) home loans with an LVR (loan-to-value) ratio of at least 80%. However, the ‘Compare Home Loans’ table allows for calculations to be made on variables as selected and input by the user. All products will list the LVR with the product and rate which are clearly published on the Product Provider’s web site. Monthly repayments, once the base criteria are altered by the user, will be based on the selected products’ advertised rates and determined by the loan amount, repayment type, loan term and LVR as input by the user/you. *The Comparison rate is based on a $150,000 loan over 25 years. Warning: this comparison rate is true only for this example and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees or other loan amounts might result in a different comparison rate. Rates correct as of August 16, 2022.



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