High loan interest rates make the monthly payments more expensive. Refinancing your debt at a cheaper interest rate can save hundreds of euros – even if you have to compensate the bank.

A representative survey by the comparison portal Verivox shows that almost half of the population (45 percent) is in debt. In particular, people between the ages of 30 and 49 (58 percent) have ongoing loans or other financial liabilities. Installment loans are the most common at 21 percent.

Large loans usually also entail high costs for most borrowers. The loan amount, term and interest rate determine how much you owe the bank. Thanks to falling loan interest rates, you can now significantly reduce costs.

Save several hundred euros by refinancing your debt

The good news for consumers: According to calculations by Verivox, anyone who took out an installment loan in November of last year at the peak of loan interest rates can significantly reduce their financial burden by refinancing their debt.

“You can save up to almost 1,080 euros in interest with a cheaper loan,” says financial expert and Verivox managing director Oliver Maier.

High credit costs due to high interest rates

According to the German Bundesbank, consumers still pay an average of 8.72 percent interest nationwide.

The remaining debt that borrowers have to repay to their bank via Verivox is on average around 21,000 euros. In order to repay this amount in full over five years at an interest rate of 8.72 percent, you have to pay 4,784 euros in interest in addition to your loan amount.

Debt restructuring can be worthwhile despite paying compensation

According to “vergleich.de”, the range between the cheapest and highest interest rates for installment loans is currently in the range of around 5.85 and 11.99 percent. With a debt restructuring loan with an average interest rate of 6.79 percent, consumers would save a total of 832 euros on average.

According to Verivox, half of all customers could receive this or a better interest rate. A possible compensation for the early repayment of one percent (1 percent of 21,000 euros corresponds to 210 euros) to the old bank is already taken into account in this calculation.

Compensation payments are capped by law

Unless otherwise agreed in the loan agreement, banks can demand this compensation payment based on lost interest. If the term is longer than 12 months, it is legally capped at a maximum of one percent of the outstanding remaining debt. Without such a payment, the savings would even be 1,079 euros.

Debt restructuring makes sense for borrowers if the potential interest savings are higher than the amount of the early repayment penalty. “Consumers should therefore pay attention to flexible contractual arrangements when taking out loans that allow for free special repayments of any amount. This has long been standard at many banks and has no negative impact on the interest rate,” advises Oliver Maier.

The level of interest rates on loans depends on the ECB

How interest rates will develop in the future depends heavily on the monetary policy of the European Central Bank. If the central bank lowers key interest rates in the summer as expected, debt restructuring could become even more attractive.

Method: For the survey commissioned by Verivox, the opinion research institute Innofact surveyed a total of 2,497 people online in November 2023, of which 33.8 percent were men and 66.2 percent were women between the ages of 18 and 79. The savings potential was calculated using rounded average values. The database is based on all debt restructuring loans that were taken out via Verivox in 2023.


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