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Freedom Lend Home Loans Variable from 2.79%, No Upfront Fees if Borrowing >$350k, Free Offset and No on-Going Fees

1820

Another lender passing on the full rate cut.
Freedom Lend - not as popular as some of the others but seems to be offering a great variable rate with an offset. Yes, you read it correctly - with an Offset.

Variable LVR <= 80% OO P&I = 2.79%; 2.79% Comparison Rate*

Features:
No Upfront frees if borrowing >$350k.
<$350k $385 application, $303 valuation & $330 legal fee.
Free Offset Account
Free Redraws
Up to 95% LVR
Split loan faciltity
Online lender
No discharge fees if greater than 5 years. $535 if less than 5 years.

Won four Mozo Awards 2019
Winner of Money Magazine Non-Bank Lenderof the year 2017,2018 & 2019

Australian Credit Licence 498325

  • As with anything do your own research and this product may not be for you.

For those playing at home

Athena 2.84%
https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/486909

Homestar Finance 2.74%
https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/486919

Ubank 2.84%
https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/487030

Reduce Homeloan 2.77%
https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/486902

Related Stores

Freedom Lend
Freedom Lend

closed Comments

  • +1 vote

    Wondering if big banks ever price match?

    • +32 votes

      Yeah, nah. You will have a better chance with Officeworks.
      You may get a rate reduction if you ask nicely.

    • +4 votes

      There's no reason for the Big 4 to price match: most people have a loan with them and are unlikely to switch. You can call and try of course. "Give me this rate or I'm leaving", but then you have to be willing to go through the months long process to leave.

      • +4 votes

        Can I ask why are most people unlikely to leave and why is the process to leave months long?

        • +23 votes

          Some people believe there are break fees on mortgages (none since 2011). There may be fees in setting up a new mortgage.

          The new lender will require a property valuation. With UBank it took a couple of weeks. But the main hassle is all the paperwork. You'll need to go through credit checks all over again, declare your spending down to the last coffee, supply credit card statements, establish your identity (passport and drivers license combined is not enough), etc. I had to get two statutory declarations written up as well, and my refinance with UBank was really straight forward.

          Whoever worked in UBank's documents department had real trouble reading basic forms I was uploading to them. I'm not having a specific go at UBank, as CBA's office staff couldn't read basic invoices when I was building my house and they usually paid the wrong amount.

          In other words, it's a hassle. So people stay where they are.

          • +4 votes

            @Cluster: There are discharge fees on some loans, but for most variable rates it's around $500, where depending on the rate you're on and how much you owe, it may only be a couple of months before you come out ahead.

            I do understand the hassle though - I've been thinking for a while I should change, but now that my credit union doesn't seem to want to keep my business (and by moving I'll save a good chunk) it's finally kicking me in the ass to do something about it!

          • +4 votes

            @Cluster: CBA no longer charge an exit fee (as that is illegal)..so they charge a discharge fee, which is apparently legal to cover their admin costs. Especially if they offer you $2k-$3k to switch over, then they can charge a fee 'that only covers' the banks recoup'costs'. Basically a joke.

            That being said. Ive changed banks a few times in last few years. i dont bother declaring credit cards etc. Give em 3 months of one of my savings account my pay goes into, existing loan and that's about it. Once I've been asked about one credit card I didnt declare (had 6 at the time). Printed them a statement with a zero balance. No issue. I do have a decent amount of equity though, so it's a no brainer for them in terms of my risk status.

            I currently have a fixed offset loan for another year at 3.1%. Will be jumping ship if they don't offer me anything competitive.

            If it's saves you more than a few hundred it will cost to change, do it.

            •  

              @tunzafun001: Isn’t it more expensive to break fixed interest loans?

            • +1 vote

              @tunzafun001: You don't report your credit card details? I thought it's now automatically reported anyway for all to see in the credit rating reports??? Wouldn't they think that you're lying and therefore reject your chances to secure the loan?
              Thanks

              •  

                @able: Nope, if they find one, I'll give them the deets. Can offer to close them, never needed to, never been rejected.

                Competitive market. Keep it simple, switch if you are being stitched!

        • +30 votes

          A typical refinance takes between 4-6 weeks. Process as follows:

          1) Application, which includes document collection to start the process. This can be as quick a day, but can drag to as long as you wish

          2) Submission

          3) Assessment, which can be as quick as 1-2 days, but is dependent of how workload of lender. One of the big 4 is currently on 10 business days from submission to assessment

          4) Upon assessment, if all the docs required are there, and it passes their criteria, then it'll be valuation. If not, more docs are required and with some lenders, it'll be back of the queue for you. So imagine if you've waited for for 5 business days, only to be asked for more docs, which then require you a couple of days to organise, and then submit docs and wait again.

          5) Valuations. As a broker I always do this step upfront for a refinance so that we are confident going in for the application, or if the lender has no upfront val that there is sufficient equity for a refinance, otherwise it's a waste of everyone's time. This step can be around 3 days, since the valuer needs to organise a time to inspect the property if it is a full valuation. If it's an investment property it'll likely be longer since the valuer needs to organise a time with the property manager/tenants.

          6) Approval/preparation of docs by the lender's solicitors, which is around 2-3 days

          7) Docs signature and sending it back, which is typically a couple of days, unless you personally deliver it to the solicitor's office.

          8) Discharge of loan from current lender, which can happen simultaneously upon approval of loan. However, outgoing lender typically takes 10 business days to prep.

          9) Settlement.

          From all the steps outlined, all it takes is a few days here and there and it can really drag out.

          As for the reasons not leaving, they could be because:

          1) Confidence and comfort in current lender. A crude analogy I often use is, if the purpose of of a car is to get from A to B, why are there not more Toyotas on the road and less mercs? I mean, money is money right? Why would people be too concerned about where it comes from? But it does largely have to do with sentiment. Also, it's not necessarily just about the mortgage. Their everyday banking is tied to the lender as well.

          2) Loan amount. Remember, each time a switch is done, it's roughly $1000. $400 for discharge fees, $115 to title off the loan with titles office, titling on a different loan again with the titles office(another $115), and $400 for application fee for the new lender. If the loan size is small enough, the cons outweigh the pros. Sometimes when people feel that if they can't recover their losses in their first year and they don't bother.

          Hope you've found this useful.

          Mod: Removed solicitation

          • +5 votes

            @MrBigglesworth: The discharge fee makes a mockery of the no exit fee laws. But as you say, it's normally a few hundred. Not the potential $1000's it used to be.

            • -1 vote

              @tunzafun001: exit fees were percieved as a penalty/fine. Discharge fees are considered a recovery of cost.

              Bear in mind, you are asking the lender to lend you an amount of money, with interest. Therefore the cost of administering the lending/discharging of that money is passed on to the borrower.

              Last time I looked banks are still a for profit company.

            •  

              @tunzafun001: You're not wrong, but the explanation that I've received for the discharge fee is that lenders use external lawyers to do the paperwork for discharge, so it's a fee that the lawyers charge, not the lenders themselves.

              • +3 votes

                @MrBigglesworth: Discharge fee is a fee payable to Land Title Office. When you take a loan with banks, they will register their interest over your property. To register their interest, there is a registration fee payable to Land Title Office. When you refinance your loan, your current lender will have to deregister their interest over your property and your new lender will register theirs. There is a fee payable to Land Title Office for registration and deregistration. It is not a bank fee, it is government fee. Hope it makes sense.

          •  

            @MrBigglesworth: Is step 5, valuations, sometimes optional? Like a 200k loan on a house where just the land is worth more than 500k?

            • +2 votes

              @ItsMeAgro: It is never optional. However, the type differs. Depending on the loan value ratio(LVR), these are the types in increasing length/hassle:

              1) Automated valuation model(AVM). Can come back within minutes

              2) Desktop valuation, where someone will sit behind a desk and compare comparable sales within your suburb or neighbouring suburbs. Takes a few hours to a day usually

              3) Kerbside or drive-by, where a valuer drives up to a property and looks at the condition of the security without entering the premises. Usually a day or so.

              4) Short form valuation, where a valuer required access into the premises. This can range from a day or so to maybe a week, since it depends on access. The quickest I've had, and that can happen if access is fairly quick, is within 24 hours. I put in the valuation order on day 1, then on day 2, access is given for inspection, and usually the report comes in a few hours later. Having said that valuation companies are entitled to provide the report 24 hours after inspection.

              5) Long form valuation. This one I've never experienced yet, but I can only assume it's for a more intricate property, say like a farm. Can't really comment.

              It's important to note that a valuation cannot be used from one bank from another, ie I can't order a val under Westpac and use that val and ask Macquarie bank to honour it. So, if the valuation is ordered and it comes up as a desktop/AVM and you are ok with the valuation, i.e. your LVR is below 80% in most cases, then great. If not, the broker can request an escalation for a short form val. If that val still does not stack up, then you've used up chances with the lender, and it's time to move on to the next lender with perhaps a slightly less favourable rate.

              Now, can you challenge the valuation? Absolutely! Does it work most times? No. The definition of a valuation is the combination of comparable sales as well as the expert opinion of the valuer, which can be subjective. So if the subject expert happens to wake up on the wrong side of the bed, whatever 3 comparable sales that you can say is in your favour, he/she/pronoun of choice will show you 10 that are not, and you''ll find yourself pushing crap uphill. Which is why it's better to move on.

              Hope this helps.

          •  

            @MrBigglesworth: The biggest reason for not leaving (at least for me): having to go through all my direct debits/credits and change them to a different bank account. That is a pain.
            Why did I set it up that way in the first place? Easy - make use of the offset to fullest extent.

            • +1 vote

              @gabtug: It is a convenience thing then. The interest that you have does not incur a tax, but if you happen to a better money making instrument, say ETF, which nets you 10% returns, then it could be something to consider. Sure you pay tax on it, but if the net effect gets you more money post tax, then it might be worthwhile moving.

              Also, I'll show you a different example of why moving could be good. This is more of a sidetrack, since if you have an offset theoretically it doesn't make a difference

              Using this calculator, https://www.ing.com.au/home-loans/calculators/extra-loan-rep...

              Assume your loan was $500K, at an interest rate of say 3.5% across 30 years, your repayments are $2245

              Now, say you find a more favourable rate of 3.1%, your new repayments are $2135, The difference is $110 a month. Since you are already comfortable with the old loan repayments, you switch lenders, but maintain the old loan repayments, ie making an extra repayment of $110. you can see that doing do, you are saving 2 years off your loan. To put it in perspective, how would you like to retire 2 years early? For some people, $110 is a lot, but for some, $110 is chump change, but our common variable is time.

              So, if you are utilising your offset and are comfortable, then great! But if not, find a better money-making instrument, which requires you using the spare funds, and make extra repayments. Could work out in your favour in you do the homework. Speak to your financial advisor if you have one.

              Hope this helps.

              •  

                @MrBigglesworth: Thanks - already well aware/versed in my options re. using funds to invest ;)
                The only point I was making was your list in the post of 'reasons not leaving' was not comprehensive - lots of other reasons as well such as one I pointed out - i.e. convenience, or more accurately, 'too tightly integrated' (which therefore increases the threshold of rate benefit needed to 'jump ship').

                I am sure many other reasons exist as well, such as ancillary perks (e.g. rewards credit cards) etc.

                My dream state of economy would be to create a virtual bank like your email address - you have a virtual credit card and bank account (supported by a robust financial institution for nominal yearly fee), of which you could then 'redirect' the back end of it to any other account. That way changing banks is just a process of changing that link, which means don't need to find & update everything the world over. This would greatly increase liquidity and competition and remove a great barrier to changing backend providers (from a savings and lending perspective).

                I know existing virtual credit cards exist, but it doesn't really address this need in isolation, and it also needs to be backed by a long-standing bank (i.e. well supported, widely adopted, not likely to go under or change terms on you).

                If there are any entrepreneurs out there reading my post, go for it - I just ask for .01% equity in shares for providing the initial seed idea :) - you can thank me later.

    •  

      No, and they are unlikely to since they have to

      1) please shareholders

      2) even out the running costs of having a physical presence. For a premise, think rent, electricity, potentially water and gas, staff salaries and bonuses. Who do you think pays for it? And how do you, the consumer, pay for it? 1 simple way is via the higher interest rates.

    •  

      The Comm bank didn't with us when we left. The bring up home loans when we go into a branch and we tell them we left because they were too expensive.

  •  

    All these low interest rate lenders have much stricter lending criteria right?

    • +2 votes

      I would assume it would depend on their funding.
      Freedom appear to do up with 95% LVR, construction loans and also off the plan.

  • +3 votes

    Really considering to switch but my lvr is about 82-83% depends on bank valuation. Would the LMI be pro-rate? Dont want to pay lmi anymore. 500k+ mortgage here would they even consider?

    • +1 vote

      LMI is pro rata. The only way you don't have to pay lmi is if the valuation comes in higher or if you lower the loan amount. Otherwise no way around it.

      •  

        Good to know thanks. I just dont want to start talking with broker/bank but then cancelled just because their valuation is low enough to kick in the lmi. But you're right there is no other way to find out

  • +6 votes

    Any reviews on this non-bank lender? I am cautious about their offset account since they're not ADI's and excluded from 250k deposit government guarantee.

    •  

      Yeah not too many reviews floating around.
      A little bit of noise on whingepool. One guy said it was associated with mortgage ezy

      • +2 votes

        I have been with them for over 18 months now. It has offset account and customer service is great. Only downside is online banking is not great and statements are issued only every 6 months and online transaction history is only for 3 months, so if you need statement for the other three months, you have to pay a small amount to get it from them.

        • +1 vote

          Thanks for the feedback.
          That would do my nutter if I couldn't download my own transactions online into Excel.

          What about other functionality like BPAY and scheduling transactions?

          • +1 vote

            @dasher86: Yes, downloading in excel does not work except you copy and past each page for the last 90 days manually. Take perhaps 5 minutes but the biggest issue is lets say if you are at end of Nov and wanted last 6 months transaction, you can only get Sept-Nov and then till 30th June. If you want transactions for July and Aug then you have wait till January until the next statement is issued. I have requested the missing months in the past and they have given screen shots from the system which has sufficed.

            Yes, Bpay scheduling transactions etc are all available. I have set up many and they all work perfectly fine. Depends on what you value. Interest rate vs features. If banking feature are your priority then probably don't go with them but if its the interest rate with reasonable customer service and minimum features than they are alright.

            I have a big mortgage so saving of 0.50% on it makes a big difference for me. It could pay for a weekend away. I own shares in the big 4 banks and had mortgage with one of them but the customer service was terrible and would never go back to them. they are just useless.

    •  

      Is ubank covered by the guarantee?

  • +1 vote

    U bank 20% deposit required. Athena is not bad I hear, but wow 95% LVR!

  •  

    Anyone with Freedom Lend? If so, how do you find them?

  • +1 vote

    This will take a year off my mortgage if I switch… and I'm with ING!

  • +1 vote

    This seems incredibly good, almost too good to be true. Can't see anyone who comes close and offers an offset. Any intel about the group who runs this/who is backing?

    • +1 vote

      Homestar and Reduce both offer the offset at 2.79%, difference will be in upfront fees and discharge fee.

  • +2 votes

    Hope the economy picks up some phase. Don’t want to see RBA reducing the interest rates to 0%.

    • +7 votes

      It will go negative…government is in the process of sneaking in a bill to cap hard money and go digital. Once the hard cash economy can be controlled, they can implement negative interest rates.

      • +1 vote

        Digital money like bitcoin? Will be totally weird if we're going negative. House price is already awfully inflated atm. Either, realestate will hike out of control or has the bubble burst if it's a negative rate.

        • +2 votes

          No, digital "real" money. Not bitcoin

        • +1 vote

          It's a thing in Denmark The Land Below Zero: Where Negative Interest Rates Are Normal. Hence the officials from RBA visited EU last year to discussed methods to handle housing buble.

          Either, realestate will hike out of control or has the bubble burst if it's a negative rate.

          IMO that is what they wanted

          •  

            @frewer: Which one? Burst or crazy price no youngster can afford a home anymore?

            • +2 votes

              @Bargain-er: You should really do some research into FIAT currency and the meaning of hard money. In a simple sentence: Hard cash is essentially an “I owe you note” and is worthless like Monopoly money.

              We are collectively in for a rude shock when the next GFC hits. Typically, the Reserve Banks of Countries lowers the interest rate to promote spending in a recession. However, this mechanism is no longer available as it’s just not achieving its purpose. With debt being so high, the IMF has concluded that Countries must use negative interest rates as the new “norm” (ie. This essentially means that it will cost savers to have their money in the bank). Why do this? Once everyone’s savings/wealth is digitized, the Countries are then able to use each citizen’s digital cash to bail out financial institutions when the next GFC dies hit. Look at Greece.

              The above is very generalistic (and I am sure I’ll be corrected)…i

              •  

                @siu_loong_bao: Kind of. It stops people from hording money in the bank and forces them to invest instead. So the next bubble (which is already happening) is the share market.

            •  

              @Bargain-er: The rabbit hole is open, come in and take a few turn.
              This channel is/are from independent(s) economist https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rQ1rGj3cSR8 and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7CEjOdXx4vI

              • +1 vote

                @frewer: Thanks for the vids. I ll watch otw home today. Planning to buy a house but so many contradictory news. Property boom vs recession or bubble burst. Can't imagine if we're going to that negative territory and people just buying properties to avoid paying banks to keep their money.

                •  

                  @Bargain-er: You're welcomed, I suggest research from independent/economist rather than the mainstream or dumbox[TV] say. They all said sunshine and rainbow b4 the GFC 1.0. The bubble hasn't reach the bottom nor we're out of GFC1.0. IMHO wait a few more months n see.

                  Another good channel is Real Vision Finance which is very informative and factual, they report on global macro economy.

                  If you find it informative and remotely interest please pass it on to your f&f.

  •  

    Sorry guys I'm new to this, but what exactly is legal fees,,,, is it conveyancing fee?

    I'm about to apply for a mortgage with reducehomeloan…the rep explained to me that the govt has introduced a fee to obtain pre-approval which cost around $150 and then there are other fees which includes legal, settlement, in total costing around $300. Does this sound reasonable?

  •  

    Is anyone know how many sub-accounts they can offer?
    I just want to manage my money in a better way, feel hard to manage if all my money in only one account.
    Or any recommend online lender offering few accounts? thanks

  • +1 vote

    I’ve been with Freedom Lend for just over a year with no major dramas. They do pass on rates cuts but they’ve always been just above the going rate for new customers. I haven’t bothered to ask them to match yet.

  • +1 vote

    They refinance investment loan too?

  •  

    It says offset (optional) $10 per month

    Edit: nevermind. I linked to another offer. All good.

  •  

    Is there any good offer for Interest only Loans? Seems like all low rates are for P&I only.

    •  

      What would you say was a good rate for interest only?
      Market is definitely different as interest only was more commonly offered a few years back.
      I believe Freedom are doing IO around 3.09% LVR 80%

  • -3 votes

    not as popular as some of the others but seems

    which ones are you referring to be as the popular ones?

  •  

    Any brokers offering this plus any rebates?

  •  

    Don't we need to pay stamp duty on each new loan or refinance though?

    • +1 vote

      Stamp duty is to buy a property. Govt fees and is only paid when you buy new property. Not every time you refinance.

      •  

        Thank you. There used to be stamp duty payable on personal loans and people paid this again if they took out another loan to payout other loans. I don't know about the new loans but they sound far more expensive to me.

  •  

    Depressing, since I sent the last of the paperwork yesterday, for my unconditionally approved CBA loan at like 4.something% initial rate. Apparently 5 something after that.

    Through a broker, and "only real option" due to working for family business for last 6 months. 20 years of flawless financial history, otherwise.

    •  

      CBA are looser with their money then others. But yeah not the best rate at the moment.

  •  

    Anyone know the risks associated with these sort of providers? The ones that require a minimum 20% deposit make sense but freedom lending to 95% LVR customers sounds risky.

    • +1 vote

      20% deposit make sense but freedom lending to 95% LVR customers sounds risky.

      that's nothing to worry about, won't affects you if they go under ; banks will buy their books and you can refinance away if you don't like the new rates

      the only thing you need to look out for is immediate rate rise when cheap wholesale money dries up, as such lenders are on 3-6months wholesale contracts ; but then you can refinance away anytime as well

  • +1 vote

    The $535 discharge fee for those less than 5 years with Freedom Lend is a deal-killer, sorry!

  • -3 votes

    Don't jump yet. Can see rates heading down further. Relax for now.

    • +10 votes

      Why would you relax if your current lender is not passing on rate cuts?

      Wouldn't it be a good time to switch to one that does (and will likely in the future) than wait another 3/6 months for further cuts that may not be passed on by your current lender?

      Genuinely interested to understand why?

      • +2 votes

        Do you always jump at the first offer? Rate cut yesterday. Expecting another cut within the next 6 months. Jump now and what happens if Freedom doesn't pass on in full the next cut?

        You that broke? A million loan 0.25% annual is about $2500 or $200 per month (or $100 a month if you are with big 4 banks and only getting half the cut). If people can't wait a month maybe they shouldn't have bought a house at all.

        •  

          And when does your crystal ball say it will bottom?

          •  

            @Drogo: Irrelevant question. If I knew I wouldn't be giving it out for free.

            "Good advice is expensive, don't expect it from cheap people" - Warren Buffett

        • +2 votes

          Part of taking up any offer would be to do your own research including looking at past history to determine what is likely to happen in the future.

          Interest rate is only 1 variable of the loan equation, people may have loans that include other fees attached which bump up the comparison rate more than 0.25%.

          So this could be a good offer for many people, and a blanket recommendation to wait without further context seems to make a lot of assumptions about other people's financial situations which is why I asked for more info.

          P.S. If an offer is good fit for my personal circumstances (regardless if it's the first offer) then yes I'll take it up.

          •  

            @h4lcyon: Even bad financial advisers tell you don't look at historical performance as indicators of future performance.

            You make it sound so advanced. It isn't rocket science. So what other fees in their loans? Account keeping fees (say $15 a month) and package fees (c$400).

            Wait with the context that you'll be chasing 0.13% which is about $1200 on a $1m loan over a year. Pull out a calculator. I am not assuming other people's financial circumstances. I am putting forward the basic arithmetic.

  •  

    A quick tip for anyone looking to switch loan providers:

    Make sure that your current signature matches the signature on your passports.

    Both my wife and I have clearly gotten quite lazy with our signatures since the invention of PayWave and we both had to fill out an extra form saying that we really are who we say we are!

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