La Trobe Home Loan Review
Owned by: Privately owned
Funded by: Retail investments and wholesale capital markets
LMI Provider: Genworth and Self-insured
Lender type: Non-Bank, Specialist Lender
La Trobe Financial is one of Australia’s oldest specialist lenders and was one of the first to offer a low doc loan and a special loan for borrowers with a bad credit history.
However these days, La Trobe has expanded to offer a range of niche products for construction, overseas investors, commercial, self managed super funds and first home buyers. Far from their roots in the La Trobe Valley, they now have an office in Shanghai.
La Trobe is well suited to these niche markets and they do a great job of looking after customers who are the right fit. They’re probably not for you if you’re a standard borrower looking for the lowest interest rate.
How do La Trobe Financial’s loans compare?
They’re great at
- Simple application process
- Low doc loans and low doc commercial loans available
- Lending to Chinese investors
- Financing large or remote properties
- Financing small property developments
- Special solutions for borrowers with a bad credit history
- Specialist commercial lending
- SMSF loans
- Assessing loans using common sense instead of credit scoring
- Guarantor loans for first home buyers
But they’ve got some drawbacks…
- More expensive than a bank
- Their risk fee, similar to LMI, can be expensive
- No branch access
- Interest rates and fees are not always competitive compared to other specialist lenders
- Many people that apply with La Trobe could actually qualify with a major lender if they knew how
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Who should apply with La Trobe?
They’re also really good at some strange niches such as a SMSF loan combined with a low doc loan or a guarantor loan where the parents are actually lending the deposit instead of using their home as security for a 2nd mortgage.
The key to specialist lending is to understand that each specialist lender has their preferred customers and to match the right customer to the right lender. A great mortgage broker will also have a plan to get you back to prime interest rate as quickly as possible.
We’re experts in specialist lending. Feel free to call us on 1300 889 743 or complete our free assessment form online to find out how we can help.
What home loans types do they have?
Their residential loans include:
- Standard loan for people who don’t fit normal bank criteria, in particular who have bad credit
- Lite Doc Loan which allows self-employed borrowers without the normal proof of income to buy a property
- SMSF Loan which allows people with bad credit to buy a property in their SMSF
- Construction Loan which can be used to build a single residential property
- Rural Loan which is a unique offering as other specialist lenders shy away from rural locations
- Non-Resident Loan which is a hassle free option for overseas investors with a large deposit
- P2C Loan which allows a parent to lend their child the deposit for a home
- Aged Care Loan which allows a retired person to borrow to pay a Refundable Accommodation Deposit
What commercial loan types do they have?
Their commercial loans include:
- Lease Doc Commercial Loan which allows you to use rent income as your sole evidence of income
- Low Doc Commercial Loan which allows people with complex businesses and limited income evidence to buy a property
- SMSF Commercial Loan which can be used to buy a commercial property in your SMSF
- Development Loan which can be used to build medium sized unit developments
- Non-Resident Commercial Loan which allows foreign investors to buy commercial property as an investment
La Trobe Finance client story: Ryan, NSW
SMSF investment, off the plan property.
Business owner Ryan decided it was time to beef up his SMSF savings by investing in an off the plan property in Queensland.
The property was worth $435,000 and he had 20% of the deposit in savings in order to avoid the cost of Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI).
The problem was that at the time, most lenders required borrowers to have at least $200,000 in their SMSF as a buffer before even considering an investment loan application.
Ryan only had around $130,000 in his SMSF but luckily he hadn’t put down a deposit on the off the plan property yet so there was still time to seek help from a mortgage broker.
The mortgage broker was able to place Ryan with La Trobe because they were one of the only lenders that had no minimum balance requirement for SMSFs and could lend up to 80% of the property value.
Although it looked like the deal would go ahead, it was during a time when most lenders were re-evaluating their off the plan lending policy and La Trobe actually capped the Loan to Value Ratio (LVR) for Ryan’s home loan to 70%.
Luckily, Ryan had enough savings to come up with an extra 10% deposit and his home loan settled.
He now has more than $200,000 in his SMSF and is in a position to qualify for a much sharper interest rate with a prime lender for any future property investment.
Compare La Trobe to other lenders
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Talk to one of our mortgage brokers by calling us on 1300 889 743 or complete our free assessment form.