October 19, 2021

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Music in my ears, says consumer economist - E24

Music in my ears, says consumer economist – E24

Zero interest rate is a thing of the past and electricity prices are going up. For Siri Heggebø and a family of four, this can lead to a significant increase in expenses. But the family has a plan.

Before: When Norges Bank cut the interest rate last year, Siri Heggebø chose to keep the term amount in the mortgage while reducing the repayment period for a reserve.

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On Thursday, it became clear that the record low interest rate would rise to 0.25 percent. The Norwegian economy is on the rise after society reopens, and if the Norges Bank follows the plan, the interest rate will be 1.75 percent in 2024.

This could lead to major disruptions in the private economy. The average family may have to spend an extra 24,000 crowns a year, according to the Consumer Council.

Siri Heggebø is one of those who took action. Last year, when Norges Bank lowered the interest rate, she and a colleague chose to keep the mortgage amount and reduce the repayment period as a form of insurance.

– Then we can instead set up the time to pay again if we feel like it, Heggebø tells E24.

With an annuity loan, the term amount is usually lower when the interest rate is lowered, unless you actively choose to change it.

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Siri Heggebø outside the house in Fetsund. I’ve followed the lead policy rate and seen the steps that can be taken over the past year and a half.

The heat pump has been replaced and re-insulated

Siri Higebo, along with her partner, purchased a 155 square meter detached house in Fitzund in 2018. Since their move, the family has taken many steps that can now prove to be paying off.

Because at the same time that interest rates are rising, electricity prices are rising to new highs.

Heggebø, on the other hand, is not concerned, but it does keep a close eye on prices.

– The most important thing is that we have a good electricity agreement, and I would say we got it, says Hegbo, who works with pension funds on a daily basis.

On a daily basis, Siri Heggebø works with pension funds. She is recognized as the family’s own economic expert.

At home, the family re-insulated the stairs and replaced the old heat pump with a new one. It is marked on the electric bill.

– An old heat pump can freeze and turn into snow, which leads to a lot of follow-up in daily life. The new one is more efficient. Heggebø says the savings in electricity and a new climate are a great bonus.

Moreover, the family will consider various measures such as re-insulating parts of the floor and replacing some windows.

Mortgages: Use our interest rate calculator and see if you can get a cheaper loan – Penger.no

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Consumer economist Thea Olsen at Danske Bank praises Heggebø’s fist.

“This is music to my ears, and only these movements can be wise to make,” she says.

Consumer economist Thea Olsen at Danske Bank advises everyone to review their finances as soon as possible. It may be worth negotiating a mortgage with the bank or changing the electricity agreement.

Olsen thinks it is wise to pay off the additional loans during periods when interest rates are low.

The actions that this family has taken while renovating their homes are also smart. She says it’s a good, long-term investment to better insulate the house.

The consumer economist advises everyone to familiarize themselves with the interest rate hike that occurred today, and to consider the consequences it may have for the private economy.

Prepare, says the Consumer Council

Jorge Jensen, director of the Consumer Council, says more people are calling with concerns about an increase in electricity prices. Norwegians are advised to go through budgets and prepare for increased expenses, both in terms of mortgages and electricity agreements.

– For a fairly normal mortgage, a family can expect mortgage-related expenses to rise from 14,000-15,000 crowns to 16,000-17,000 a month, says Jensen.

The starting point for this calculation is a loan of 3.5 million NOK with an interest rate of 1.5 percent, that is, doubled.

The director of the Consumer Council, Jorge Jensen, advises Norwegians to negotiate with the bank about mortgages and check the different electricity prices available in the market.

– You should exercise your consumer power, and already today begin a dialogue with your bank about the terms of the mortgage. The same goes for your electricity agreement — at a time of price hikes, you should at least make sure you’re getting the most affordable agreement on the market, says the manager.

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