Nila Sweeney


Your Mortgage Gold AwardMortgage of the Year Awards 2012

The fixed rate categories have been extremely closely fought in 2012, with the rates a lot lower than last year. For this we can thank a lot of the economic uncertainty floating around. Times are starting to improve however and fixed rates are likely to rise soon enough, but as these medal winners show, good deals can still be found.

Taking out top honours for the second year running in the best 3-Year Fixed Rate Loan – Non-Bank category is MyRate, with the Fixed Rate Loan 3-Year product. The loan offers a top shelf interest rate of 6.35% (6.41% comparison rate) for the first three years, before rolling over to 6.45% once the fixed term expires. 

The product scores especially well for its absence of start-up and ongoing fees. Also available at no extra cost are a split facility, portability and the option to make additional repayments of up to $10,000 each year. Borrowers can access an LVR of 95% with LMI, or 80% without.

Customers also have the option to make interest only repayments for up to five years, if paying monthly. The loan offers internet and phone banking, and can be linked to an existing transaction or savings account.

 Sums borrowed must be between $100,000 and $2m, for a period of between 10 and 30 years.

Coming in second is the HomeStar Advantage Fixed 3-Year Rate, which offers a 6.25% interest rate (6.48% comparison rate), rolling over to 6.63% variable rate after the fixed period expires.  This HomeStar product has climbed a place since it came in third for this category in 2011, due to product consistency and a willingness to drop rates.

The HomeStar range is well known for being light on the fees and this loan is no exception, boasting no start-up or ongoing fees. Another rare feature for a fixed rate product is HomeStar’s allowance of additional mortgage repayments up to a limit of $10,000 per year. This allows borrowers to make use of the low fixed rates without sacrificing the flexibility of a standard variable loan.

Portability and combination options come free of cost and customers may choose IO or PI repayments, provided they satisfy the 95% maximum LVR limit with LMI, or 80% without.

The bronze medal goes to Mortgage House’s Essential Offset Home Loan – Fixed 3 Years. Mortgage House took out the silver in this category last year, but a bronze in 2012 is still a great achievement.

 The Essential Offset Home Loan offers a 100% offset facility, a unique feature for a fixed rate product. It also allows borrowers to pay up to $20,000 a year on top of the agreed rate at no extra cost.

This added flexibility is complemented by a competitive interest rate of 6.65%, with a comparison rate that is actually less at 6.63%. Once the fixed period finishes, this rolls over to an exceptional 6.56% variable rate.

It can be confusing to know whether to get a variable rate or fixed rate mortgage, and what features are important. That's why it's important to not only check the right rates, but make sure that you're getting the right features in your home loan. Get help choosing the right home loan