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Complacent Kiwis: 9 In 10 Are Paying The ‘Lazy Tax’

News highlights:

  • 87% of Kiwis don’t think they’re getting good value for money on a financial product
  • Income protection insurance, car loans, and personal loans are the biggest offenders
  • How to avoid paying the ‘lazy tax’

6 September 2021, New Zealand – Complacency when it comes to financial products is hurting the hip pocket of nearly the entire country, according to new research by financial comparison site Finder.

A nationally representative survey of 2,076 respondents found 87% of Kiwis are paying the ‘lazy tax’ on at least one financial product.

The ‘lazy tax’ analysis measures the percentage of Kiwis who don’t think they are getting good value for money on a product, but who haven’t switched in the past six months.

The research revealed income protection insurance (54%), car loans (53%) and personal loans (52%) are the products Kiwis are most likely to be paying the lazy tax on.

Angus Kidman, editor at large for Finder New Zealand, says it’s shocking how many Kiwis are missing out on a better deal.

“Laziness seldom pays off in life – and it’s no different with your finances. Being complacent often leads to you being worse off.

“Regularly shopping around and comparing providers should be second nature – not just when you first get the product.

“With banking products like your home loan, you can try calling your bank and negotiating a lower rate – especially if you can show you’re a responsible borrower.”

The analysis found men are more likely than women to be paying the lazy tax on their home loan (36% compared to 30%).

Between the generations, Gen Z are the most likely to pay the lazy tax on personal loans (64%) and home loans (60%), compared to 38% and 28% of Baby Boomers respectively.

Credit cards

Finder’s data shows 1 in 3 credit card holders (34%) is paying the lazy tax.

Gen Z credit card holders are more likely to be paying the lazy tax (54%) than Baby Boomers (30%).

“Loyalty doesn’t pay with your credit card provider. If you haven’t reviewed your rate in a while, you’re likely paying more interest than you need to.

“The average credit card interest rate in New Zealand is 19.4%, but there are cards on Finder with rates as low as 9.95%.”

Kidman says balance transfer offers are another way to save money for those with credit card debt.

Car insurance

The survey found 1 in 3 Kiwis with car insurance (35%) is paying the lazy tax.

Finder analysis found car insurance policies can vary in price by more than $1,000 for the same car, location and driver profile.

Kidman says there are things drivers can do to reduce how much they pay in premiums over time.

“The make and model of your vehicle can have a huge impact on your premiums. That’s because some cars are inherently safer and cheaper to repair.

“If you haven’t purchased your car yet, it’s worth researching which cars are the cheapest to insure.

“Reckless driving can also take a toll on your driving record and claims history, which can impact your premiums. Safe drivers typically get the best insurance deals".

Car loans

Half of Kiwis with a car loan (53%) are paying the price of laziness by not switching.

Gen Z (65%) are the most likely to be stuck with a bad deal on their car loan, compared to Baby Boomers (42%).

Personal loans

Half of those with personal loans (52%) don’t think they are getting good value for money, but haven’t switched providers in the past six months.

Two-thirds of Gen Z borrowers (64%) are paying the lazy tax on their personal loan, compared to 54% of Millennials, 51% of Gen X, and 38% of Baby Boomers.

“The interest rate on your personal loan is based on a range of factors such as your income and borrowing history, so not everyone can be eligible for the lowest rates on the market.

“But that doesn’t mean you can’t get a better deal on your loan. For instance, if you took out your loan before interest rates tumbled last year, you might be able to switch to a cheaper rate.”

Kidman says personal loans should be approached with caution.

“A personal loan can be a handy way to pay for a wedding or a home renovation, but you need to be certain that you’ll be able to make your repayments and still afford basic living expenses.

“And be very wary of payday loans – these are quick short-term loans that come with exorbitant interest rates which can make it difficult to climb out of debt.”

Home insurance

More than two in five Kiwis with a home insurance policy (43%) are paying the lazy tax.

Gen Z (56%) are the most likely to not switch providers despite getting poor value for money, compared to 41% of Millennials and 36% of Baby Boomers.

How to avoid paying the ‘lazy tax’:

Shop around and compare providers.

Whether it’s your credit card, home loan, or car insurance, you should regularly compare your deal to others in the market. Try to make this second nature, and not just when you first get the product.

Ask for a better deal.

When it comes to products like your home loan, you’re well within your rights to call your provider and negotiate a better deal.

Look for special offers.

Keep your eyes peeled for loyalty discounts or deals for new customers. Some providers will even offer discounts for signing up online.

© Scoop Media

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