Overview

flagFounded: 1911

businessOwned by: ASX Listed

monetization_onFunded by: Retail deposits and wholesale capital markets

securityLMI Provider: Genworth & some self-insured

account_balanceLender type: Major Bank

CBA is the largest bank in Australia so it’s no surprise that they’re also the most popular home loan lender in Australia. More than a quarter of all home loans are with the Commonwealth Bank.

As a major bank, they suit most home buyers, upgraders, investors and refinancers. However their pricing varies from time to time and they’re rarely the market leader. They’re trying to differentiate themselves from the other banks with better internet banking, mobile banking apps, faster loan processing and common sense lending policy.

So how do they compare to the other banks?


How do CBA’s home loans compare?

Pros

Cons


What home loan types do CBA have?

CBA’s main home loan is the the Wealth Package combined with their Standard Variable Rate Home Loan. For a low annual fee you’ll receive a large interest rate discount, waived fees on many bank products, discounted insurance and a 100% offset account.

The Wealth Package is suitable for loans over $250,000 in most cases. But what if you have a smaller loan?

The 3 Year Special Economiser and the No Fee Variable Rate Loan are the most common choice for smaller loan sizes. These have less features, but also less fees.

CBA has a range of fixed rate home loans with the option to fix for 1 – 7 years. Finally, they have a Viridian Line Of Credit which is useful if you need flexibility in the way you use your funds.


Can I negotiate with CBA to get a lower rate?

Yes, your mortgage broker can put in a pricing request to get the bank to match an offer from another bank. Unfortunately the system that calculates the offer that you’ll get is pretty smart and tends to give loyal customers a smaller discount!

It’s actually people who don’t bank with CBA, and in particular who don’t have a home loan with CBA, who may be able to get larger discounts.

If CBA refuses to give one of our customers a good discount then we usually get our relationship manager involved or choose to go with another lender.

Talk to one of our mortgage brokers by calling us on 1300 889 743 or complete our free assessment form.


Moratorium on home foreclosures until September 2021

In welcome news, Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) became the first major bank to announce a moratorium on home foreclosures until September 2021.

Angus Sullivan, retail banking executive of CBA in its press release said: “For Owner Occupier customers who made their home loan repayments on time for at least 12 months prior to their deferral, but are unable to recommence their full repayments, we will ensure they can remain in their home until at least September 2021.”

This means many struggling CBA customers who were up to date with their mortgage repayments pre-COVID and who just needed some more time will be able to stay in their home until September 2021.

Who is eligible?

Customers that are eligible for this support:

  • Owner-occupiers only (live-in property)
  • Have been in a COVID-19 related deferral (since March 2020)
  • Made their home loan repayments on time for 12 months prior to their deferral

Customers also need to stay in touch with the bank on a regular basis – at least monthly – to maintain this support.

New FHDLS Scheme Places

The federal government recently announced they will reissue unused guarantees from the 2019/2020 FY tranche of the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme (FHLDS) in the coming days.

In anticipation of the reissued scheme place release, CBA will prioritise the allocation of these new places to customers who have entered into a contract of sale (COS) and have an application in progress.

The FHLDS waitlist remains closed to customers without a contract of sale.

Other updates:

CBA will now take standard 80% for servicing requirements as per pre-COVID policy. (There will be no 20% shading on bonuses and commission income.)

They will use simple verification for self-employed income. They will also be reverting to the standard age of documents used for acceptable verification sources for income to no older than six weeks.

CBA will revert construction loans to 24 months completion from the disclosure date.

Tips for applying with CBA

Have you heard about CBA’s credit scoring? When you apply for a home loan they’ll instantly give you a risk rating from 1 – 5. If you score a 1 or a 2 then you’ll likely be approved. A 3 will result in someone making a manual decision. Whereas a 4 or 5 will probably result in a decline.

CBA’s credit score has access to a lot more data than you think! If you’ve ever had a bank account or loan with CBA or even just applied for a loan then they know pretty much everything about you.

But if you’ve never banked with CBA then they don’t know much about you right? Wrong!

Their ATM network and merchant facilities that you use to pay with your credit card at shops allows them to know all about your spending habits and profile you before you even submit your loan application.

The good news is that their credit score is very accurate. When we apply with other banks, we sometimes see great borrowers get declined, and borderline ones get approved. Whereas with CBA we see consistently good quality decisions which are good for everyone.

Use CBA’s home loan application checklist to prepare for your mortgage application.

Note: This is the latest home loan checklist as of June 2019. Please refer to CBA for their most up-to-date document requirements.


CBA’s Home Loan Compassionate Care

In a first of its kind for Australians, Commonwealth Bank (CBA) has launched a new initiative called the Home Loan Compassionate Care.

With this initiative, CBA will support eligible owner-occupied home loan borrowers by paying (covering) their home loan repayments for around 12 months, if they or their spouse or dependent:

  • passes away, or
  • is medically certified with a terminal illness.

CBA’s Home Loan Compassionate Care comes at no extra cost and there’s no need to sign up for or to activate it – it is being provided together with AIA group.

It came into effect on 24 February 2020 and is available for eligible owner-occupied home loan customers aged between 18 and 59 years.


CBA: First Home Loan Deposit Scheme

CBA is one of the 27 lenders who is offering home loans under the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme (FHLDS).

National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC) will provide a guarantee for eligible first home buyers on low and middle incomes so that they can purchase a home with a deposit of as little as 5% without paying the lender’s mortgage insurance.

The scheme will support up to 10,000 home loans each financial year, starting from 1 January 2020.

CBA client story

Ken, VIC

Background

Coming to the end of the fixed period of his CBA home loan, Ken was looking to refinance to a cheaper interest rate.

Earning $125,000 per annum at a private accounting practice, Ken was in a good position to qualify for a great interest rate but he was refinancing at around 90% of the property value.

This meant he would be hit with a large LMI bill, a cost he wanted to avoid.

Solution

After seeking advice from a mortgage broker, he was told that he could qualify for a significant interest discount and a 90% LVR (Loan to Value Ratio) LMI waiver with St George, Westpac and CBA because of his profession and income.

However, St George and Westpac wouldn’t take into account his wife’s income and would only take into account 80% of Ken’s share of the rental income (50%) in an investment property they owned together.

In order to afford the refinance at 90% LVR and avoid LMI, Ken needed to include his wife’s income and his share of the rental income to push his overall assessable income to $150,000.

At $125,000, this income alone wasn’t enough to meet the bank’s serviceability requirements.

CBA was the only lender that would take into account his wife’s income and they would also accept 80% of the rental income for the entire investment property, not just Ken’s share.

Ken was approved for the internal refinance with CBA and qualified for a 4.39% interest rate as a special deal with our brokers, an LMI waiver, and was even able to cash out $52,000 to put towards another investment property.

Compare CBA to other lenders

Not sure which lender is right for you? Our Home Loan Experts can help!

Talk to one of our mortgage brokers by calling us on 1300 889 743 or complete our free assessment form.

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