flagFounded: 1817

businessOwned by: ASX Listed

monetization_onFunded by: Retail deposits and wholesale capital markets

securityLMI Provider: Westpac LMI (WLMI) and Arch Capital (WLMI – A)

account_balanceLender type: Major Bank

Westpac has an impressive range of home loans and investment loans, an Australia wide branch and ATM network and a loyal customer base of over 13 million customers.

That being said, they’re actually not all things to all people. Their focus is primarily on the high net worth customers and foreign investors. They see their other brands such as St George, which is owned by Westpac, as having a bigger focus on first home buyers.


How do Westpac’s home loans compare?

They’re great at

But they’ve got some drawbacks…

  • Their interest rates are not always competitive
  • Their LMI can be expensive
  • Unlikely to help people with a bad credit history
  • Borrowing over 90% of the property value is tough if you aren’t an existing borrower
  • Their credit scoring is tough and you may get declined for no apparent reason, especially if you have a low income to asset ratio
  • As they’re a major bank, you may feel like just a number

What home loans types do they have?

Westpac’s Rocket Repay Home Loan and Rocket Repay Investment Loan are their two main loans. Combined with their Premier Advantage Package this gives a fully features home loan with an offset account and a great interest rate. It’s usually the best choice for larger loan sizes.

Westpac’s Flexi First Option Home Loan is a basic loan without an offset account. It’s normally only suitable for smaller loan sizes.

Westpac’s Equity Access Loan is a line of credit and is a little more expensive than their Rocket Repay Loan. For this reason it’s better just to get a Rocket Repay Loan as an offset account gives you the same effect as a line of credit anyway.

Their Fixed Rate Home Loans aren’t normally the lowest available so it pays to shop around. Under their professional package you can get a 0.2% discount for the life of the loan.

Their Low Doc Home Loan can be put in their Premier Advantage Package, but not quite with the same interest rate discounts. It’s still an ok deal, but we’d recommend shopping around as they are often better low doc loans available.


The Premium Bank

After the GFC, Westpac seemed to have taken advantage of the conditions and put their standard variable rate up above the other major banks and began calling themselves the Premium brand in the Westpac Group. Since most customers at that time wanted to be with a major bank, it didn’t seem to damage their market share like it normally would.

During that time we didn’t submit many applications to Westpac as we didn’t want our customers paying Premium interest rates for what appeared to us to be a normal service.


Tip for applying with Westpac

Use Westpac’s home loan information checklist to prepare for your home loan application.

Note: This is the latest home loan checklist as at November 2017. Please refer to Westpac for their most up-to-date document requirements.


Westpac client story: Nathan, NSW

Goal

Situation

Dentist, self-employed contractor, first home buyer.

Background

Dental researcher Nathan had been working as a self-employed contractor when he decided it was time to buy a place of his own.

He was earning a great income (around $180,000 per annum) and, with his 10% deposit, he was in a position to qualify for a reduced interest rate and a 90% LVR waived LMI home loan, a special policy exception that some of the major banks offer to professionals like dentists, veterinarians and doctors.

Despite his income position, clear credit file and professional status, it was his tax reduction strategy that was ultimately affecting his borrowing power.

Nathan was actually renting a property where he was living and completing research so he was claiming his rent expenditure of around $35,000 per year as a tax deduction.

So effectively, his last 2 years tax returns were showing that he earned $150,000 rather than $185,000 which meant he wasn’t in a position to service or make the repayments on the $816,300 amount he needed to borrow.

Solution

After being provided with an accountant’s declaration explaining Nathan’s strategy to reduce his taxable income, Westpac was able to “add back” this rental spend as well as property depreciation of around $2,500 and one off expenses for replacement of tools at $21,500.

In the end, the bank assessed his income at around $185,000 instead of $150,000.

Nathan was able to get approved at 90% LVR, avoid the cost of LMI and buy his beach-front property at an interest rate of 4.08%.


Compare Westpac 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.

  • Dyett

    I’m thinking of going with Westpac with my parents helping me pay my home loan. Westpac are great at guarantor loans you’ve stated so that should be great. Can you help fix up the mortgage?

  • Hello Dyett,

    Yes, we can help you apply for the home loan. Our mortgage brokers are specialise in income guarantee home loans and other no deposit solutions. What’s great is that if we will also notify you if we can find a better deal with another lender. If you’re ready to buy, you can discuss your situation and loan needs directly with an expert mortgage broker by calling 1300 889 743.

  • pal

    I was born and raised in Australia but my family is originally Chinese. My uncle who will be coming over to stay with us here can’t speak much English and he intends to buy an investment property here. Westpac seems to be a good choice considering they are great at dealing with customers who speak another language.

  • Yes, Westpac are great at dealing with such clients. However, there can be better lenders out there depending on your uncle’s personal situation and what type of investment loan he actually wants to go with. Please call 1300 889 743 or complete our free online assessment form to get a free quote from one of our mortgage brokers:
    https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/free-quote/

  • lisa

    I would like to consider myself a high net worth property investor so Westpac seems to be the right way by the looks of it. I’m sure you guys also have a similar package so can you tell me what it will take to qualify for that?

  • Yes, lisa. We have a ‘High Net Worth Clients’ package and to qualify for it, you must have net assets of over $1 million; have current loans, or applications to apply, for over $2 million; and have a sound knowledge of property investing and a proven strategy. In some cases, we can make an exception for property investors who have lower assets or a lower loan amount albeit you’ll still need to earn a substantial income. Please call 1300 889 743 if you think you can meet these requirements and would like to discuss it with an expert.

  • Anna J

    I was recommended Westpac by my friend to get my first home loan but I don’t like the idea of a tougher credit scoring and expensive mortgage insurance premium. Is just one of their provider expensive or are both Arch Capital and Westpac LMI expensive?

  • Hi Anna,

    Unfortuantely, both Arch Capital LMI and Westpac LMI have comparatively more expensive premiums. If you’re worried about paying too much in LMI, you can try out our LMI calculator to find out how much you may need to pay and select from the cheapest providers on the list. There’s also the option of going guarantor or saving up a bigger deposit to avoid LMI. Please have a crack at our LMI calculator here:
    https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/lenders-mortgage-insurance/lmi-calculator/

  • Mun

    Will Westpac Banking Corporation be able to accept cash out to repay tax debt? FYI, it’s a regular owner occupied property.

  • Sorry, no. Westpac won’t accept this. Only a few lenders can accept a loan purpose of cashing out to repay tax debt. If you’d like to learn more about this, please check out the ATO debt home loan page:
    https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/bad-credit-home-loans/ato-debt-home-loan/

  • samuel

    My contact with Westpac bank informed me that they are now only accepting up to 90% LVR on interest only home loans. I had been getting my financials and other documents sorted because I wanted to apply with Westpac for a building loan with interest only repayments in the coming weeks… Should I go with another bank now?

  • Hi samuel,
    Westpac have indeed reduced their max LVR on interest only home loans to 90%. However, they have mentioned some exceptions, one of which includes building or construction loans where Interest Only is available during the construction period before reverting to Principal and Interest repayments. So you may still qualify. Please give us a call if you want to discuss all this in detail.