Best Line of Credit Loan
Citibank’s excellent Mortgage Power Line of Credit product has landed top billing in the Best Line of Credit (LOC) category for a bank in 2012.
LOC customers are after flexibility and that is what they get with Citibank. Loan amounts start at $50,000 and go all the way up to a maximum of $4 million - as long as individual criteria are met – and the loan’s maximum LVR is 85%.
The credit limit is set at a generous 90% of the loan’s value and borrowers are able to make minimum repayment of interest only if desired, for a period of up to seven years. There is no minimum withdrawal and customers are able to make 30 transactions a month for free.
The minimum loan term is negotiable and the maximum term is 30 years, while the product has free portability and combination features and can be used as a construction loan or to purchase vacant land.
The headline interest rate on the product at the time of writing is 6.7% (6.89% comparison), borrowers can withdraw up to their pre-approved credit limit at any time and gain instant access to equity by phone or online. If a customer sells or upgrades, the loan follows them to the next property.
The product offers the ability to split the loan with up to four other Citibank accounts to suit individual needs. The splits are free at settlement and each come with separate statements and chequebooks.
The Mortgage Power product ticks all the boxes in terms of getting access to your money, with ATM, EFTPOS, BPay, GiroPost, internet, phone, cheque and credit card services all being available for free, plus over the counter services at $1 a pop.
The silver medal goes to ING Direct for its SmartPack Smart Home Loan, which weighs in with an excellent 6.72% interest rate (6.85% comparison).
ING offers unlimited additional repayments for free and 10 free transactions per month. Redraws can be made at the rate of 120 free per annum (for the main account) and unlimited on the Visa credit card that is linked to the loan.
The SmartPack provides free access to combination options, but portability incurs a $250 fee, while unlike the Citibank product, the loan cannot be used for construction or to purchase vacant land.
The credit limit is set at 90% of value and there are no ongoing monthly fees.
Rounding out the medals in this category is NAB’s LOC Portfolio Package loan. An initial interest rate of 6.88% (7.12% comparison) is competitive, and comes with the standard swag of bonus features offered by this Big Four member. These include a fee-free credit card, 0.25% bonus interest on term deposits and discounts on margin lending and home and contents insurance packages.
An ongoing fee of $550 a year is offset by zero start-up fees, while additional repayments are unlimited, as are free monthly transactions.