flagFounded: 1952

businessOwned by: Privately owned

monetization_onFunded by: Retail deposits and wholesale capital markets

securityLMI Provider: Genworth and Self-insured

account_balanceLender 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?



  • Maximum LVR is 80% of the property value
  • 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
  • Conservative policy on apartment/units
  • Only considers licensed owner-builders
  • No funding appetite for customers on a repayment pause

Who should apply with La Trobe?

We believe La Trobe is an excellent choice for construction loans with a bad credit history or who are in a remote location.

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.

Their bad credit commercial loans and low doc commercial loans often have quite high rates but they give people an option that often isn’t available from other lenders.

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
  • Everyday Hero Loans for people who provide vital emergency services to our community and offers discounted loan pricing to police, fire and emergency services, Australian defence force and emergency medical services workers.
  • Bridging Loans for customers who require a short-term ‘bridge’ to purchase or build a new property prior to having completed the sale of their existing property.
  • International Borrower Loans for foreign investors and Australian expatriates living abroad.

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
  • Residual Stock Loan which allows borrowers to obtain financing by pledging a portion of their stock portfolio as collateral

Tip for applying with La Trobe Financial

Use La Trobe’s online application for mortgage finance and La Trobe’s loan application checklist to prepare for your mortgage application.

Note: This is the latest mortgage application as of November 2020. Please call us or refer to La Trobe Financial for their most up-to-date document requirements.

La Trobe Financial Refinancing – Client Story



Rick, a lawyer, wanted to refinance his owner-occupied property to consolidate the debt he had racked up. Some of the debt was with the Australian Taxation Office in 2020 and he had defaults from 2018.


Rick knew that to secure refinance, he needed to take steps to show that his recent history of paid defaults and ATO debt would not be repeated. For this, he turned to Home Loan Experts – our specialist broker Steven Chan took up the case. Steven first needed to ensure Rick had a stable income and strong serviceability position. After that, Steven had to show that Rick’s default had come under extraordinary circumstances and that he had taken positive steps to ensure they would not happen again. Steven made the case that Rick’s default in 2018 occurred because he used his savings to support his family after two relatives died and another close family member was diagnosed with a terminal illness. As for his 2020, Rick had lost his father in that year and used the funds he had set aside for tax payments to help him deal with the emotional stress. Steven made the case that this was the cause of Rick’s 2020 default and his tax debt. In fact, in acknowledgment of his mistake, Rick has been transferring funds for tax payments – plus an additional 5% of his gross income from work as a lawyer – to a separate account. After building a solid case to justify Rick’s repayment history and debts, Steven was able to get Rick a refinance package that included debt consolidation, with the following:
  • Loan amount of $400,000
  • Offset account
  • Debt consolidation:
  • $60,000 tax debt
  • $45,000 home improvements
  • $30,000 business
  • $25,000 car loan
  • $10,000 for personal use
  • Balance to use as cash reserve
In the end, Rick was very satisfied with Steven’s work. He said the refinancing would go a long way in helping him consolidate his debts, which had been bothering him for some time.

Compare La Trobe 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.