flagFounded: Founded in 1837, acquired by Westpac in 2008
businessOwned by: Owned by Westpac, operated by St George Bank
monetization_onFunded by: Retail deposits and wholesale capital markets
securityLMI Provider: Westpac LMI (WLMI) and Arch Capital (WLMI – A)
account_balanceLender type: Subsidiary of a major bank
BankSA is no stranger to trouble. It was bailed out by the Government of South Australia in 1992, sold to Advance Bank, taken over by St George in 1997 and then Westpac in 2008! Despite its coloured history, it’s a popular choice for South Australian residents who want a local brand with the strength of a major bank.
In effect, BankSA is actually just a rebranded version of St George Bank!
Westpac owns St George which in turn operates BankSA. So all of their home loans are the same as the ones offered by St George Bank. They’re a great option for first home buyers or first time investors.
How do BankSA’s home loans compare?
They’re great at
- First home buyers with small deposits
- Guarantor loans for first home buyers
- Property investors
- Construction loans
- Great interest rates even if you have a small deposit
- Working with mortgage brokers
- SMSF loans
- Upfront bank valuations available in some cases
- Over 100 branches in South Australia and the Northern Territory
But they’ve got some drawbacks…
- LMI can be expensive if you’re borrowing over 90% of the property value
- People with bad credit
- People outside of South Australia or the Northern Territory are referred to St George
- Slow loan processing times when they’re busy
- Conservative policies for self-employed borrowers requiring a consistent income over the last two years.
Coronavirus / COVID-19: Bank SA home loan policy changes
Due to the negative economic outlook caused by COVID-19, Bank SA has announced a few key home loan lending policy changes. They’ve:
- Removed special LMI waiver home loans for accountants, lawyers, mining professionals, and entertainers.
- Waived LMI home loans for medical professionals is still avalilable albeit with a reduction in the maximum loan to value ratio.
- For all PAYG and casual employees, they now require a payslip no more than 14 days old (or 1 month for monthly pay cycles) at the time of application submission.
- For self-employed borrowers, they now require last quarter BAS (e.g. after 30 April, March quarter BAS must be used). And the corresponding BAS for the same quarter from last year as well as the last 3 months bank statements/transaction summaries (all trading accounts) no older than 14 days.
Lenders including Bank SA are constantly changing their policies, so please get in touch with us before submitting your application.
Coronavirus / COVID-19: Bank SA mortgage relief
BankSA customers who have lost their job or suffered a loss of income as a result
of COVID-19 can contact the bank for three months deferral on their home loan
mortgage repayments, with extension for a further three months available after
This means you may be able to stop making your mortgage repayments for up to six months.
However, please note that interest continues to accrue on your home loan, and is added (capitalised) on to your home loan balance. Your home loan balance will have increased at the end of your repayment holiday.
What home loans types does BankSA have?
BankSA has all the same home loans that St George Bank has, except for some minor difference in interest rates
Their professional package is known as the Advantage Package and it’s a great choice if you are borrowing over $250,000. In return for paying an annual fee you’ll get a discounted interest rate and a range of discounts on other products such as your offset account and credit card.
Their basic loan has no annual fees, but normally has a higher rate, and so it’s more suited to people who have smaller loans. BankSA has a Line of Credit known as a Portfolio loan which is a great choice for investors who buy and sell property or shares regularly.
Keep an eye out for specials that BankSA offers from time to time on fixed rate loans. When these are on offer, they can be some of the lowest in the market.
Their low doc loan isn’t the most competitive and has strict qualifying criteria so isn’t in high demand.
Tips for getting a great rate with BankSA
If you don’t have a deposit then their family pledge loan is a type of guarantor loan that can be used to buy a home with help from your parents.
Use BankSA’s minimum required documents checklist to prepare for your home loan application.
Note: This is the latest documents checklist as of June 2019. Please refer to BankSA for their most up-to-date document requirements.
BankSA client story: Jeffrey & Glenice, SA
Having paid off much of the mortgage on their home, Jeffrey and Glenice wanted to use some of their equity and act as guarantor for their daughter’s home loan.
Their daughter had saved her own deposit but by acting as as guarantor on her home loan, Jeffrey and his wife knew that their daughter could use her savings as a buffer to better manage her mortgage and even buy that new car that she really needed.
Although Jeffrey and Glenice were refinancing at 80% of the value of their home (LVR), the policy for their current lender, Ubank, wouldn’t allow them to take out a second mortgage, even it was just a limited guarantee.
Jeffrey and Glenice were able to discharge from Ubank and refinance their mortgage with BankSA.
They were approved for a guarantor loan due to the fact that they had substantial equity and their daughter had genuine savings.
They were even able to qualify for an application fee waiver and a discounted interest rate.
Compare BankSA to other lenders
Are you considering BankSA? One of our mortgage brokers can help you to compare your options!
Talk to one of our mortgage brokers by calling us on 1300 889 743 or complete our free assessment form.