Suncorp Bank Home Loan Review
Owned by: ASX Listed
Funded by: Wholesale capital markets
LMI Provider: Genworth, QBE LMI and Self-Insured
Lender type: Non-Bank, Specialist Lender
Suncorp Bank occasionally has some great home loan specials with interest rates below the major banks. However, it operates quite differently to the majors, with different home loan types and lending policies.
Different borrowers suit Suncorp at different times depending on what specials they have available. Sometimes they have great deals for first home buyers and at other times they’re offering specials to refinance your home loan to Suncorp.
How do Suncorp’s home loans compare?
They’re great at
- Great fixed and variable rates if you have a large deposit
- Their Kick Start Loan allows first home buyers to get into the property market faster
- Assessing loans using common sense instead of credit scoring
- They’ve got a DUA with QBE which allows them to approve more loans
- You don’t always need genuine savings
- You can have multiple offset accounts with your home loan
- They often have the cheapest LMI on the market
- Financing the construction of a duplex
- Working with mortgage brokers
But they’ve got some drawbacks…
- They may not be offering you a great deal based on your unique situation
- Their lending policy is inconsistent so sometimes they decline good customers
- Not great with construction loans
- Depending on how busy they are, they may be slow to assess your application
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What home loans types do they have?
Suncorp’s Back To Basics Loan is a no frills loan with no offset account. At times they have some good specials which make this a competitive home loan, but most of the time it is only suitable for small home loans.
Suncorp’s Home Plus Package is their professional pack which has discounted interest rates and fees in return for paying an annual fee. When they have a special offer, this can be one of the market leaders, but at other times, there are better options.
Suncorp loves to do specials with their 3 year and 5 year Fixed Rate Loans. Since you’re locking in for such a long period of time it pays to shop around before you commit for the long term.
Suncorp’s Access Equity Loan is a line of credit that you can use to draw down funds to buy shares. It’s not too popular because it has a higher interest rate and in most cases it makes more sense to go with the Home Plus Package and an offset account.
What home loans do you want again?
The problem we’ve faced with Suncorp is that they’ve chopped and changed their target market. This means that customers don’t have the certainty that Suncorp will give them a competitive offer next time they get a home loan.
Firstly, they stopped doing construction loans altogether. Then they weren’t interested in fixed rate loans. Then they came back with some of the best deals for 95% home loans. They lent too much out at 95% so then they offered special pricing for anyone to refinance if they had a lot of equity.
It hasn’t built a good relationship with their mortgage broker partners and it hasn’t given confidence to their customers. We’re not really sure what they’re going to be targeting next.
Suncorp client story: Anthony, NSW
- To buy first home.
Having saved a decent deposit, Anthony was in the market to buy his first home.
Although he was looking to buy in the country, it was a major regional centre which meant the location wouldn’t be an issue for a bank.
The problem was that he wanted to borrow around 90% of the property value (LVR) and he had saved much of his deposit in money jars rather than making regular contributions to a savings account.
Instead of making regular, smaller deposits of his savings into a bank account, he instead deposited more than $20,000 in one go.
As a result, he didn’t meet the genuine savings requirement, which most lenders ask for when borrowing over 85% LVR.
Suncorp is one of the few lenders that don’t need to see genuine savings if you’re borrowing at 90% of the property value.
At the time, they were also able to offer the cheapest rate for a no genuine savings home loan and a $395 application fee for the life of the mortgage.
Coupled with the fact that Anthony was earning a great income, his mortgage broker simply made a note that Anthony had, in fact, saved the deposit himself with regular contributions to his money jar.
Based on Suncorp’s policy, Anthony’s home loan was approved with no further questions asked.
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