The latest cut in the official interest rate will put many homeowners further ahead on their mortgages, with new figures showing borrowers are using low rates to knock thousands off their home loans.

 

After the Reserve Bank cut official interest rates to a record low early in August, figures from two big lenders demonstrate customers have a growing buffer against a financial shock, because they are paying more than the minimum repayment.

 

Separate analysis shows a typical borrower would have paid off an extra $18,250 on their home loan if they had left their payments unchanged since the RBA began cutting rates in late 2011.

 

National Australia Bank, Commonwealth Bank and ANZ Bank have a policy of leaving customers’ mortgage payments the same when their monthly interest bill falls. Westpac is the exception – it drops the monthly repayments of its customers when rates fall where it has set up a direct debit.

 

NAB said that, on average, its customers were 15 months ahead of their minimum repayments, up from 14 months a year ago and 12 months in 2012. CBA says 77 per cent of customers are ahead of their minimum payments at