Once upon a time, banks occasionally loaned money to their customers. But the banks made them work hard for it. Applicants had to be long-term customers who had saved a large deposit and proved beyond doubt they were capable of paying the loan back.
Back then, not so long ago, consumers had little choice when it came to home loan deals. The banks had one option, maybe two, and even the most loyal customers were told to either take it or leave it. Many were told “application denied”. Everything was on the banks’ terms. Their customers had almost no power.
Times have changed; the banks’ fairytale has fractured. Multiple lenders now scrap for suitable people to lend money to, and offer a range of attractive, made-to-measure home loan deals. Transparency is king. The ability for borrowers to also find loan products that fit their needs precisely through uno home loans means power is now in their hands.
Phillip Jiang, mortgage coach at uno, says lenders are offering products that are much better at meeting the needs of individual homebuyers and investors.
“These days, lenders are much more flexible with their products,” he says. “What they do is relate interest scaling to the risk – the more risky the loan, the higher the rates. They have also diversified their products to cater for market demand.”
Jiang has identified seven lenders offering great home loan deals for the right borrower, right now:
1: Qudos Bank Low Cost Home Loan
Notable features: 3.89 per cent interest rate (comparison rate also 3.89 per cent*), no fees, up to 95 per cent of property value price can be borrowed (plus Lender Mortgage Insurance) for owner-occupiers.
This may be an ideal home loan deal for first-home buyers with a small deposit. “With the big four banks, the maximum you can borrow is 92 per cent of the property value,” Jiang says. “And while the big four banks are all around 4.4-4.5 per cent [interest rate], this one is 3.89 per cent and Qudos doesn’t charge fees.”
2: Westpac/St George Family Pledge
Notable features: up to 105 per cent of purchase price can be borrowed, no income/credit check required for guarantors.
Other lenders require guarantors to prove income and assets, but not Westpac or St George. “Guarantors provide an equity guarantee only,” Jiang says. The Family Pledge arrangement is available on all of their loans.
3: AMP and Homeloans Ltd
Notable feature: Owner/occupier interest rate available for investment loans.
This deal is for investors using their home as security for a loan. “All other banks determine the rate according to the purpose,” Jiang says. “If it’s for an investment, they usually charge at an investment rate. Not this one.”
4: Macquarie Bank Home Loan
Notable feature: Allows up to $1 million equity to be released (if the loan-value ratio is greater than 80 per cent).
“Macquarie allows cash out up to $1 million, as long as the borrower has a reasonable purpose,” Jiang says. “If you have an unencumbered house worth $2 million, you can go to Macquarie Bank and say ‘I want $1 million to buy a boat or holiday house’. If, after their checks, everything is in order, they will say ‘fine’.”
5: NAB Home Loan and Banking Bundle
Notable feature: $1500 cashback for borrowers.
“This is a refinancing incentive,” Jiang says. “It goes straight into the borrower’s account after settlement.”
6: Liberty Financial
Notable feature: First-home buyers can borrow up to 95% of property value.
Liberty lends enough to cover the deposit and stamp duty, and even rolls the Lenders Mortgage Insurance into the loan amount. “You just have to show you have 5 per cent – even if it’s borrowed, via credit card or personal loan,” Jiang says.
7: Pepper Money
Notable feature: Temporary residents can borrow up to 95% of property value to buy their first home with an Australian spouse/partner.
“It has to be a couple – even those in a de-facto relationship,” Jiang says. “It’s the only one we know that does it.”
Readers should seek advice before making any financial decisions.
*Warning: This comparison rate is true only for the examples given and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees or other loan amounts might result in a different comparison rate. The comparison rate is calculated on the basis of a loan of $150,000 over a term of 25 years.