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?

They’re great at

But they’ve got some drawbacks…


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.


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 at November 2017. Please refer to CBA for their most up-to-date document requirements.


CBA client story: Ken, VIC

Goal

Situation

Accountant, professional, refinance, rental income.

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.

  • Newman

    What difference does it make for a bank to have DUA as opposed to another that doesn’t?

  • Hi Newman,

    If a bank has a DUA then this generally means a faster loan approval process, flexible credit policies and no strict credit scoring or some have no credit scoring at all. The flexible credit policy is especially useful. When a loan is mortgage insured, borrowers are often frustrated by a lender’s inability to use common sense. In fact, it is usually the mortgage insurer not the lender that is being strict with their guidelines. With a DUA in place this is no longer a problem. The lender has the option to approve any loan that falls within their agreed DUA criteria.

  • Brene

    How much can I borrow with a rural home loan?

  • You can borrow up to 95% of the property value with a rural home loan depending no the size of the land, its location and what you intend to use it for. Please go through the rural home loans page to learn the details:
    https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/property-types/rural-home-loans/

  • M Claine

    What would happen if I applied with CBA but my application fell outside their DUA?

  • Hi M Claine,
    If a loan falls outside CBA’s DUA then it will be referred to their mortgage insurer for a decision. The strict guidelines and credit scoring used by the insurer will then apply. In most cases, this means that the loan will be declined.

  • MKG

    Hi Experts
    I wanted to refinance my investment property to CBA because my broker said the property I was buying would meet their policies but apparently they aren’t accepting refinances at the moment? Is this true?

  • Hi MKG.
    Yes that’s correct CBA are not accepting refinances of investment loans however they’ll allow the purchase of an investment property or the refinance of a home loan. They’re doing this to remain within APRA’s 10% cap on investment loan growth. We expect they may lift this restriction in a few months time, but nobody can be sure.