flagFounded: 1743 in the Netherlands, 1999 in Australia
businessOwned by: Stock market listed (Euronext)
monetization_onFunded by: Retail deposits and wholesale capital markets
securityLMI Provider: Genworth
account_balanceLender type: International Bank, Online Bank
ING Direct is the Australian branch of Dutch multinational ING Group. They rose to popularity using online savings accounts and low rate home loans offered through mortgage brokers.
Compared to the major banks they’ve done things quite differently. They don’t have branches and they don’t have ATMs. Instead they operate mostly online and pass the savings back to their borrowers in some clever ways.
Their home loans are simple to understand, but they’ve always been one of the most conservative banks and there’s a lot of people who don’t meet their strict credit criteria.
How do ING Bank’s home loans compare?
They’re great at
- Award-winning customer service
- Simple home loans
- Lower interest rates on offer for large deposits
- Working with mortgage brokers
- Use any ATM in Australia, get a fee rebate, and get paid for using EFTPOS
- They’re great at working with customers online or over the phone
- Usually fast loan approvals
- Company title properties and child support income
- Guarantor loans for first home buyers including income guarantees
But they’ve got some drawbacks…
- Lending policy is quite possibly the most conservative in Australia
- They’re not a good choice for complex loans that don’t meet standard bank policy
- They don’t accept people with a bad credit history
- No branch access
- Once you’ve got a home loan with them, they won’t offer you another discount
- They’re a bad choice for construction loans
- Self-employed borrowers who cannot prove their income
- First home buyers with a low deposit
- Their credit scoring is tough and you may get declined for no apparent reason
Watch out for gotchas
In most cases if you’ve had a home loan for 3 or 4 years, you can renegotiate your interest rate without refinancing. But not with ING!
ING refuses to offer better rates to their existing clients who are on much higher interest rates. We regularly monitor the rate of our customers and unfortunately we have to refinance their loan to another lender after a few years, otherwise our customer is paying too much.
What home loans types do they have?
ING’s Orange Advantage Home Loan is their most popular loan. It’s a professional package with a 100% offset account and great interest rates if you’re borrowing more than $500,000 and have a large deposit.
ING’s Mortgage Simplifier is a basic loan that doesn’t have an offset account. Depending on what specials ING is running, it may get the same low rates as the Orange Advantage or it may be a little more expensive.
Their Fixed Rate Loans are not normally competitive, so it pays to compare them to other banks. In some cases, they offer specials which make them the market leader for a short period of time.
Did you get declined by ING?
Don’t feel too bad, you’re not alone.
Their credit policy is ridiculously conservative and our mortgage brokers get scared to submit even the strongest loan applications to ING.
A common problem in Australia is that people just look at the interest rates on offer but ignore the credit policies of a lender. There’s usually another lender with a great interest rate that can help most people who don’t meet ING’s guidelines.
ING client story: Rikki, ACT
After working full time for a couple of years after graduating, Canberra veterinarian Rikki managed to save up around $182,000 and decided it was time to buy her first home.
She found a 4-bedroom house worth $610,000 meaning that with her substantial deposit, the Loan to Value Ratio (LVR) for her home loan was going to be 70%.
As a vet with such a large deposit, Rikki really wanted to get the sharpest interest rate on her home loan.
Rikki had a lot going for in getting approved for a great rate: she was a vet, had a large deposit, had a clean credit file and had no dependents (children).
Although she was single, her income was more than enough to service or meet the repayments of a $425,000 home loan.
As a result, Rikki was able to qualify for:
- The lowest standard variable rate on the market at the time.
- An annual account-keeping fee of $190 compared to the $300-$350 charged with most other lenders. That’s around half the cost.
- Waived LMI, which is a risk fee normally charged when borrowing more than 80% of the property value.
She was able to put her remaining savings (which amounted to around $200,000) in an offset account to further reduce her interest payments.
Compare ING 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.