Comparison Rate Calculator​

Use this free comparison rate calculator to find out the comparison rate for your home loan. Simply enter the details of a loan into the calculator to get an instant result.

What is a comparison rate?

When you're comparing different home loans, there's a range of fees, charges, and interest rates to take into account. While two loans may have the same principal and interest rate, the true cost of each loan could vary greatly depending on the fees and charges different lenders have.

A comparison rate is a means of standardising the true cost of a loan so that you can quickly determine how affordable it is.

By law, banks and other lenders need to display a comparison rate next to the advertised interest rate of their loan products. This helps to protect consumers from being misled by a low advertised interest rate with high fees and charges attached to it.

Why does the comparison rate matter?

When you're researching different home loan products, it's important to understand that the loans with the lowest interest rate are not necessarily the cheapest. If two loans have the same interest rate, one of them could cost you thousands more due to the fees and charges that come with it.

A comparison rate gives you a more precise understanding of how much a loan will cost you. With this information, you can more easily identify the loan that best suits your circumstances.

How is a home loan comparison rate calculated?

The comparison rate of a home loan combines the:

  • Loan amount (how much you're borrowing).
  • Interest rate (percentage of the loan amount you'll pay in interest, and this include any 'revert rate' that applies after a honeymoon or interest-only period).
  • Loan term (the length of the loan, i.e. 24 months).
  • Repayment frequency (how often you are required to make repayments).
  • Fees and charges (upfront expenses like valuation fees, establishment fees, and any ongoing costs).

All this information is compared against a standard $150,000, secured home loan with a term of 25 years, and the percentage reflects how much more expensive the loan you are considering is.

A comparison rate of 0% means that you're not being charged any interest, which you won't actually find anywhere (no lender gives away money for free). When you are considering two loans, the one with the higher comparison rate is the more expensive one.

How accurate is the comparison rate calculator?

While a comparison rate is useful in determining the true cost of the loan, it is not absolute, and there are variables that can influence its accuracy. The comparison rate is calculated based on a series of assumptions that may not prove true over the life of the loan.

Assumptions include:

  • The interest rate does not change over the loan term.
  • Interest is calculated by compounding on monthly repayment frequency.
  • No rounding is done throughout the calculation, whereas repayments are rounded to at least the nearer cent in practice.

There is also a series of fees and charges that a comparison rate does not take into account, such as:

With this in mind, you should only use this comparison rate calculator as a guide to help you compare loans from different lenders. The formula for calculating the comparison rate is determined by the Consumer Credit Code, something that all banks and lenders subscribe to.

Frequently Asked Questions

How are comparison rates calculated?

Comparison rates are calculated as a percentage of the total cost of a loan when its interest rate and additional fees or other loan charges are combined. This percentage provides a more accurate view of the cost of the loan than just the interest rate alone.

What is a 1% comparison rate?

A 1% comparison rate means that your out-of-pocket expense for the loan is approximately 1% of the amount you're borrowing. A 1% comparison rate is exceedingly rare, and most tend to be between 3-4%.

What is the difference between comparison rate and interest rate?

The lender determines an interest rate and describes what percentage of the loan amount you will end up paying out-of-pocket. A comparison rate is derived via a formula that combines a loans interest rate with its fees and charge, with the goal of providing a more accurate view of the loan's true cost.