For home-owners with bonds, the interest rate increases announced by the Reserve Bank on Thursday (22 November) will add at least R16.60 per R100,000 borrowed to their monthly repayment, according to bond originator, BetterBond.
“So on a 20-year loan of R1 million, for example, the monthly instalment will rise by at least R166 and possibly more, depending on the current interest rate that the borrower is paying,” said BetterBond CEO, Rudi Botha.
“And the interest rate decision, which will see the repo rate rise to 6.75% and the prime rate rise to 10.25%, will also mean higher monthly repayments on every other form of debt, including car finance, credit cards, store accounts and personal loans.”
Coming on the back of an unsurprising inflation rate increase to 5.1% in September (from 4.9% in August), Botha said, this suggests a pretty lean festive season for most households – and is all the more reason for consumers to watch their ‘Black Friday’ and Christmas spending very carefully.
“Many households are already under great financial pressure due to the petrol price increases this year and the increase in VAT, which have a knock-on effect on the prices of almost all other goods and services. So to now have to pay more on every debt instalment as well is going to be very difficult.”
What is more, Botha noted, the January increases in everything from school fees to medical aid subscriptions are not far off.
“In addition, we strongly suggest that if you do get a bonus this December, you use it to reduce whatever debt you have. If you are a home-owner, for example, the best thing you can do with it is to put it straight into your bond account and reduce the capital portion of your home loan.
“You will really thank yourself next year when your monthly instalments are lower – especially if interest rates continue to rise, as many experts are now predicting they will.”