Nila Sweeney

Mortgage of the Year Awards 2012

The decision to rebrand as a bank has paid off for Heritage Bank, winning the gold medal in the Best Basic Variable category for banks and ending the three year reign of ING Direct in the process.

A rock bottom interest rate helped get Heritage across the line with its Discount Variable loan. Other features include no monthly administration fees, a re-borrow facility and the option to make additional or lump sum repayments without penalty.

As an added bonus, Heritage will pay a borrower’s first valuation fee up to a maximum of $330, providing only one property is offered as security. These features are purchased with a $600 application fee and each instance of re-borrowing costs customers $20.

Edging ahead of ING Direct to retain second spot is AMP with its Basic Variable Rate Loan. This no-frills home loan gives you the option of adding flexibility by splitting your loan into a combination of up to 10 fixed and variable facilities. It also includes a 100% offset account, the option to make additional repayments without penalty and the chance to make IO payments for up to five years.

As with all loans, a decent deposit is ideal and AMP borrowers must factor in an additional margin of 0.6%, which is added to the interest rate when the LVR exceeds 90%. 

ING Direct has held on to claim the bronze medal, after three years of gold for the ING Direct SmartPack Mortgage Simplifier.

At the time of writing, SmartPack applicants were also eligible for an additional 0.1% off ING Direct’s variable rate.

The SmartPack Mortgage Simplifier carries no annual, monthly or transactional fees, and unlimited redraws without charge. Borrowers can make as many extra repayments as desired free of charge.

With interest rates at their lowest for more than 50 years, there are some great rates available. The best thing to do is to compare rates from all the lenders. Let us help take the leg work out of doing this - Compare Home Loans now