flagFounded: Founded 1875, became Heritage Bank in 2011
businessOwned by: Customers
monetization_onFunded by: Retail deposits and wholesale capital markets
securityLMI Provider: QBE LMI
account_balanceLender type: Customer-Owned Bank
Heritage Bank is a Queensland-based community bank that has used mortgage brokers to offer home loans across Australia. They’re actually owned by customers and their profits are returned to you as a lower home loan interest rate and reduced fees.
They’ve got a strong code of practice, fair pricing and financial hardship policies to assist customers who aren’t coping.
Their home loans usually have low interest rates but they aren’t big enough to be everything to everyone.
How do Heritage Bank’s home loans compare?
- Customer service
- Guarantor loans with debt consolidation
- They’re owned by their customers which means they put customers before profit
- Fixed rates with the ability to make extra repayments
- First home buyers
- Construction loans upto 95% LVR for builders who are building their own home
- They’re great for bridging loans
- Working with mortgage brokers
- A great branch network in rural QLD
- Great serviceability for investment loans
- Australian expat home loans
- Decent cashout policy
- Occasionally runs no application fee or waived first-year package fee offers
- Can consider exceptions on a case by case basis through a mortgage broker
- 100% of commission/bonus income is used in serviceability
- Self employed borrowers often have to provide interim financials which many don’t have
- Conservative lending policy
- People with a bad credit history
- They aren’t available through all mortgage brokers
- People who want branch access but live outside of QLD
- Their LMI provider uses credit scoring so you may get declined for no apparent reason if you are borrowing over 80% of the property value
- Mature borrowers or retirement age home loans
- Conservative policy for casually employed borrower and borrowers on probation
What home loan types do they have?
Heritage’s Discount Variable Rate Loan often has a special interest rate, and when it does, it’s often one of the best on the market.
Their Home Advantage Package goes head to head with the major bank’s professional packages and offers a great rate and discounts on other Heritage products in return for a low annual fee.
Their Fixed Rate Home Loans are one of the best in the market as they can be used with a construction loan, they allow extra repayments and you can redraw while the loan is fixed. Just don’t pay off the loan in full as break fees still apply.
As a point of difference, their fixed rate home loans offer the ability to make unlimited extra repayments, most lenders limit extra repayments to $10,000 to $20,000 p.a. exceeding which, you incur a break fee.
Their Bridging Loan is usually 1%+ more expensive than their other home loans but of course you only have it for a short period of time while you are moving home. You can then switch to another home loan at a cheaper interest rate.
They also offer a Basic Home Loan (no offset), Mortgage Crusher Offset Account, Family Guarantee loan, Line Of Credit and a Reverse Mortgage option.
If you apply through a mortgage broker, you can get an additional pricing discount of 0.1% off any variable rate loan under 80% LVR.
Forbes’ List: World’s Best Bank 2021
In its annual survey to find the world’s best banks, Forbes asked 43,000 customers from 28 countries to rate their banks in terms of:
- Whether they would recommend their bank
- If they were satisfied with their bank
- If the bank focused on trust, followed terms and conditions, digital services and customer services and gave financial advice.
The top 10 banks on the list are:
- ING Group
- Newcastle Permanent Building Society
- Greater Bank
- Heritage Bank
- Beyond Bank
- HSBC Holdings
- Bendigo Bank
- People’s Choice Credit Union
Tips for applying with Heritage Bank
There are a few quirks with Heritage Bank that make them unusual compared to other lenders.
Firstly, if you are using an apartment or unit as security, then they want to see the latest Strata Levies / Body Corporate Fees to make sure that your levies are up to date.
Secondly, if you are self-employed, then you need to provide much more information than you do with other banks.
Normally two years tax returns and ATO notices of assessment would be fine, however if you apply between January and June each year then Heritage also wants to see BAS and interim financials to get a more up to date picture of your business. Most people don’t do interim accounts so they go to another lender instead.
Use Heritage Bank’s home loan checklist to prepare your home loan application.
Note: This is the latest home loan checklist as of November 2020. Please call us or refer to Heritage Bank for their most up-to-date document requirements.
Do I need to live in QLD?
Heritage will accept loans for people living anywhere in Australia who are financing a property anywhere in the country.
That being said, they tend to have more flexible lending criteria for locals, especially if you are near their Toowoomba head office.
If you’re outside of QLD, you may find it difficult to find a Heritage branch or to find a mortgage broker that is familiar with their loans.
Heritage Bank client story
Adam & Natasha, NSW
To buy a new home.
To get a low interest rate.
Simultaneous settlement, buying an owner-occupied property.
Having built strong strong careers in the government sector, husband and wife Adam and Natasha were on their way to retirement and wanted live out their autumn years in their dream home.
With the purchase price upwards of $1 million, money was not problem since they had savings and the rest of the money for their deposit would be coming from the sale of their existing home.
What they wanted was a simultaneous settlement, a “no frills” home loan and a great interest rate to go with it.
Heritage Bank regularly come out with market-leading interest rates and we’re able to apply a further discount because of the relationship that we have with them.
Since Adam and Natasha were both working full-time, earning strong incomes, only had a couple of debts to their name, and were borrowing less than 50% of the property value (LVR), they were able to qualify for one of the lowest fixed rates on the market at the time.
It helped that they only wanted a basic package with no offset account, credit card and just a limited redraw facility.
Although they were about 10 years away from retirement, Heritage was satisfied that they could accumulate sufficient superannuation to cover both the costs of the mortgage and their living expenses without undue hardship.
Compare Heritage Bank 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.