Athena is an online-only mortgage provider based in Sydney. As a digital non-bank lender, Athena can provide competitive interest rates and personalised customer service to help customers save time and money on their mortgage. Athena also offers like for like loans, where existing Athena customers get to enjoy the same interest rates as new customers, so nobody misses out on the best available rate from Athena.
Athena home loans rates
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- Like-for-like loans
- No application fees, ongoing fees or exit fees
- Bonus loyalty discount
- Currently only available to refinancers
- Not available to self-employed borrowers
- Not available to borrowers outside capital cities and regional centres
How to Apply
You can apply for an Athena home loan online via the Athena website. You can also contact Athena by phone for more information.
To apply for an Athena home loan, you’ll need to fulfil the following criteria:
- Up to 2 applicants in total, over the age of 18
- Borrow 80% or less of the value of your property. In certain cases you might only be able to borrow up to 70%.
- At least one applicant is employed, including full-time, part-time & casual PAYG employment
- Your property is in a capital city or major population centre
- Australian/NZ citizens (living in Australia) or permanent residents
- You have good credit history
At the time of writing, Athena only offers home loans for refinancing other mortgages, though Athena home loans for buying property may be added in the future.
About Athena home loans
Athena offers a relatively small selection of home loan options compared to some other mortgage lenders. There are Principal & Interest and Interest Only home loan options for owner occupiers and investors available, with no application fees, ongoing fees or annual fees. These loans can also offer access to fee-free extra repayments and redraws. Athena has plans in place to release additional loan options in the future, to suit a greater variety of households and budgets.
Once you’ve successfully applied for an Athena home loan, you’ll be able to access your account by logging in online at the Athena website. You can also access additional information and resources, including home loan calculators to help you estimate your potential savings if you were to refinance and switch to an Athena home loan.
Athena home loan rates
Athena’s lowest interest rates are available to owner occupiers paying principal and interest. Owner occupiers who choose to pay interest only for up to five years will pay a moderate interest rate, compared to the very low rate for a P&I loan.
Investors who switch to an Athena home loan can pay a moderately low interest rate for a principal and interest loan, or pay interest only for up to five years at a very low rate.
Athena offers interest rate discounts as a loyalty bonus, which can build up over five years to lower your rate by an extra 0.05%. Upfront opening discounts may also be available.
Athena offers like-for-like home loans, to help keep Athena customers from missing out on savings. If Athena offers a lower home loan interest rate to new customers, existing Athena customers with the same type of mortgage will receive an automatic rate match.
Athena home loans review
Athena home loans presently only offers mortgages for customers who are refinancing existing home loans, though that may change in the future. Owner occupiers and investors can get principal and interest or interest only home loans, provided they have a Loan to Value Ratio (LVR) of 80% or less, a good credit history, a property in a capital city or regional centres, and aren’t self-employed.
Athena’s interest rates are moderate to very low, and allow borrowers to enjoy loyalty discounts over times. Plus, like-for-like loans means existing Athena customers should enjoy the same interest savings as new customers in the future.
Athena doesn’t charge fees for its home loans, so customers should only need to pay third party costs on their home loan. Unlimited extra repayments are available, plus fee-free redraws for when you want your extra savings back in your pocket.
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Most comparison sites give you information about rates, fees and features, but expect you’ll pay more with a low advertised rate and $400 ongoing fee or a slightly higher rate and no ongoing fee. The answer is different for each borrower and depends on a number of variables, in particular how big your loan is. Comparisons are either done based on just today or projected over a full 25 or 30 year loan. That’s not how people borrow these days. While you may take a 30 year loan, most borrowers will either upgrade their house or switch their home loan within the first five years.
You’re also expected to know exactly which features you want. This is fine for the experienced borrower, but most people know some flexibility is a good thing, but don’t know exactly which features offer more flexibility than others.
What is the flexibility score?
Today’s home loans often try to lure borrowers with a range of flexible features, including offset accounts, redraw facilities, repayment frequency options, repayment holidays, split loan options and portability. Real Time Ratings™ weights each of these features based on popularity and gives loans a ‘flexibility score’ based on how much they cater to borrowers’ needs over time. The aim is to give a higher score to loans which give borrowers more features and options.
They’re not always timely
In today’s competitive home loan market, lenders are releasing new offers almost daily. These offers are often some of the most attractive deals in the market, but won’t get rated by traditional ratings systems for up to a year.
The assumptions are out of date
The comparison rate is based on a loan size of $150,000 and a loan term of 25 years. However, the typical loan size is much higher than that. Million dollar loans are becoming increasingly common, especially if you live in metropolitan parts of Australia, like Sydney and Melbourne. It’s also uncommon for borrowers to hold a loan for 25 years. The typical shelf life for a home loan is a few years.
The other problem is because it’s a percentage, the difference between 3.9 or 3.7 per cent on a $500,000 doesn’t sound like much, but equals around $683 a year. Real Time Ratings™ not only looks at the difference in the monthly repayments, but it will work out the actual cost difference once fees are taken into consideration.