Updated on 24 September, 2020

2020 RateCity Home Loan Gold Awards Winners

Finding Australia's best Home Loans has just been made easier. Select a category below and discover the loans that have received a coveted RateCity Gold Award.

Best variable rate home loans
Company Product Real Time Rating™ Go to site

Owner Occupier Loan Principal & Interest Variable Rate

Owner Occupier Loan Principal & Interest Variable Rate

4.48 / 5

Freedom Variable

Freedom Variable

4.84 / 5

Owner Occupied Home Loan

Owner Occupied Home Loan

4.78 / 5

Standard Variable Home Loan

Standard Variable Home Loan

4.78 / 5

Rate Lovers Variable Home Loan

Rate Lovers Variable Home Loan

4.72 / 5

Well Balanced

Well Balanced

4.70 / 5

Low Rate Home Loan

Low Rate Home Loan

4.65 / 5

Advantage - Essentials Home Loan

Advantage - Essentials Home Loan

4.62 / 5

Smart Home Loan

Smart Home Loan

4.56 / 5

Live-in Variable

Live-in Variable

4.56 / 5

No Regrets Home Loan

No Regrets Home Loan

4.51 / 5

Health, Wealth and Happiness Package

Health, Wealth and Happiness Package

4.51 / 5

Essential 100% Offset Variable

Essential 100% Offset Variable

4.47 / 5

Best home loans over $1 million
Company Product Real Time Rating™ Go to site

Freedom Variable

Freedom Variable

4.85 / 5

Standard Variable Home Loan

Standard Variable Home Loan

4.79 / 5

Well Balanced

Well Balanced

4.71 / 5

Low Rate Home Loan

Low Rate Home Loan

4.67 / 5

Advantage - Essentials Home Loan

Advantage - Essentials Home Loan

4.63 / 5

Owner Occupied Home Loan

Owner Occupied Home Loan

4.60 / 5

Live-in Variable

Live-in Variable

4.56 / 5

Health, Wealth and Happiness Package

Health, Wealth and Happiness Package

4.55 / 5

No Regrets Home Loan

No Regrets Home Loan

4.52 / 5

Offset

Offset

4.51 / 5

Orange Advantage

Orange Advantage

4.48 / 5

Best variable rate home loans for investors
Company Product Real Time Rating™ Go to site

Smart Investor Home Loan

Smart Investor Home Loan

4.07 / 5

Rate Slasher Variable Investment Loan

Rate Slasher Variable Investment Loan

4.42 / 5

Investor Loan

Investor Loan

3.95 / 5

Freedom Variable

Freedom Variable

4.54 / 5

Investment Variable Home Loan

Investment Variable Home Loan

4.42 / 5

Well Balanced

Well Balanced

4.37 / 5

Investment Property Home Loan

Investment Property Home Loan

4.32 / 5

Low Rate Home Loan

Low Rate Home Loan

4.26 / 5

Investment Variable

Investment Variable

4.06 / 5

Essential Investment 100% Offset Variable

Essential Investment 100% Offset Variable

4.03 / 5

Mortgage Breaker Investor Special (QLD only)

Mortgage Breaker Investor Special (QLD only)

3.93 / 5

Low Rate Essentials Home Loan

Low Rate Essentials Home Loan

3.86 / 5

Best interest-only investor home loan
Company Product Real Time Rating™ Go to site

Premium Plus Package Fixed Rate

Premium Plus Package Fixed Rate

3.98 / 5

Wealth Builder Investor Package

Wealth Builder Investor Package

3.90 / 5

Investor Fixed Rate

Investor Fixed Rate

3.77 / 5

Fixed Rate Home Loan

Fixed Rate Home Loan

3.65 / 5

Choice Package

Choice Package

3.62 / 5

Home Loan Privileges Package

Home Loan Privileges Package

3.62 / 5

Reward Me Fixed Rate Home Loan

Reward Me Fixed Rate Home Loan

3.61 / 5

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How RateCity works out the Gold Award

Over 4000 products were analysed and compared from a variety of lenders and providers, and only the top ten percent were deemed winners.

RateCity has been comparing financial products for more than 13 years, and this has enabled us to develop the market-leading Real Time Ratings™ system, the cornerstone of our awards.

RateCity’s Real Time Ratings™ gives every home loan in our database a score out of five, based on factors such as rate, fees, features, and flexibility.

Read More
How are Real Time Ratings™ calculated

How RateCity Leaderboard works

We’ve built these leaderboards to help you quickly see what are the top banking products in each of the key categories.

How RateCity works out the Gold Award winners

RateCity has been comparing financial products for more than 13 years, and this has enabled us to develop the market-leading Real Time Ratings™ system, the cornerstone of our awards.

RateCity’s Real Time Ratings™ gives every home loan in our database a score out of five, based on factors such as rate, fees, features, and flexibility. Importantly, these ratings are run every day to capture product changes including rate cuts and specials, factors that are often missed by ratings and awards systems calculated at one or two points in time.  

The RateCity Gold Award winners are then determined by averaging the daily Real Time Ratings™ scores over a six month period to identify the most consistent top performers in each category. We recognise that there is no 'one size fits all’ home loan, which is why we have divided up the awards into 13 different categories to help consumers in their decision-making process.

There some genuinely great products and lenders in the market, but we can't give every player a prize. Lenders need to do serious work to help customers and provide the best products in Australia. RateCity's Gold Awards highlight the best home loans and lenders doing just that, and help you make your decision that much easier. 

What is a guarantor?

A guarantor is someone who provides a legally binding promise that they will pay off a mortgage if the principal borrower fails to do so.

Often, guarantors are parents in a solid financial position, while the principal borrower is a child in a weaker financial position who is struggling to enter the property market.

Lenders usually regard borrowers as less risky when they have a guarantor – and therefore may charge lower interest rates or even approve mortgages they would have otherwise rejected.

However, if the borrower falls behind on their repayments, the lender might chase the guarantor for payment. In some circumstances, the lender might even seize and sell the guarantor’s property to recoup their money.

How do I take out a low-deposit home loan?

If you want to take out a low-deposit home loan, it might be a good idea to consult a mortgage broker who can give you professional financial advice and organise the mortgage for you.

Another way to take out a low-deposit home loan is to do your own research with a comparison website like RateCity. Once you’ve identified your preferred mortgage, you can apply through RateCity or go direct to the lender.

What is breach of contract?

A failure to follow all or part of a contract or breaking the conditions of a contract without any legal excuse. A breach of contract can be material, minor, actual or anticipatory, depending on the severity of the breaches and their material impact.

What happens when you default on your mortgage?

A mortgage default occurs when you are 90 days or more behind on your mortgage repayments. Late repayments will often incur a late fee on top of the amount owed which will continue to gather interest along with the remaining principal amount.

If you do default on a mortgage repayment you should try and catch up in next month’s payment. If this isn’t possible, and missing payments is going to become a regular issue, you need to contact your lender as soon as possible to organise an alternative payment schedule and discuss further options.

You may also want to talk to a financial counsellor. 

How often is your data updated?

We work closely with lenders to get updates as quick as possible, with updates made the same day wherever possible.

Mortgage Calculator, Repayment Type

Will you pay off the amount you borrowed + interest or just the interest for a period?

Remaining loan term

The length of time it will take to pay off your current home loan, based on the currently-entered mortgage balance, monthly repayment and interest rate.

Why was Real Time Ratings developed?

Real Time RatingsTM was developed to save people time and money. A home loan is one of the biggest financial decisions you will ever make – and one of the most complicated. Real Time RatingsTM is designed to help you find the right loan. Until now, there has been no place borrowers can benchmark the latest rates and offers when they hit the market. Rates change all the time now and new offers hit the market almost daily, we saw the need for a way to compare these new deals against the rest of the market and make a more informed decision.

What is a debt service ratio?

A method of gauging a borrower’s home loan serviceability (ability to afford home loan repayments), the debt service ratio (DSR) is the fraction of an applicant’s income that will need to go towards paying back a loan. The DSR is typically expressed as a percentage, and lenders may decline loans to borrowers with too high a DSR (often over 30 per cent).

Why is it important to get the most up-to-date information?

The mortgage market changes constantly. Every week, new products get launched and existing products get tweaked. Yet many ratings and awards systems rank products annually or biannually.

We update our product data as soon as possible when lenders make changes, so if a bank hikes its interest rates or changes its product, the system will quickly re-evaluate it.

Nobody wants to read a weather forecast that is six months old, and the same is true for home loan comparisons.

What is a construction loan?

A construction loan is loan taken out for the purpose of building or substantially renovating a residential property. Under this type of loan, the funds are released in stages when certain milestones in the construction process are reached. Once the building is complete, the loan will revert to a standard principal and interest mortgage.

What is appraised value?

An estimation of a property’s value before beginning the mortgage approval process. An appraiser (or valuer) is an expert who estimates the value of a property. The lender generally selects the appraiser or valuer before sanctioning the loan.

Mortgage Calculator, Interest Rate

The percentage of the loan amount you will be charged by your lender to borrow. 

How much is the first home buyer's grant?

The first home buyer grant amount will vary depending on what state you’re in and the value of the property that you are purchasing. In general, they start around $10,000 but it is advisable to check your eligibility for the grant as well as how much you are entitled to with your state or territory’s revenue office.

How can I get a home loan with bad credit?

If you want to get a home loan with bad credit, you need to convince a lender that your problems are behind you and that you will, indeed, be able to repay a mortgage.

One step you might want to take is to visit a mortgage broker who specialises in bad credit home loans (also known as ‘non-conforming home loans’ or ‘sub-prime home loans’). An experienced broker will know which lenders to approach, and how to plead your case with each of them.

Two points to bear in mind are:

  • Many home loan lenders don’t provide bad credit mortgages
  • Each lender has its own policies, and therefore favours different things

If you’d prefer to directly approach the lender yourself, you’re more likely to find success with smaller non-bank lenders that specialise in bad credit home loans (as opposed to bigger banks that prefer ‘vanilla’ mortgages). That’s because these smaller lenders are more likely to treat you as a unique individual rather than judge you according to a one-size-fits-all policy.

Lenders try to minimise their risk, so if you want to get a home loan with bad credit, you need to do everything you can to convince lenders that you’re safer than your credit history might suggest. If possible, provide paperwork that shows:

  • You have a secure job
  • You have a steady income
  • You’ve been reducing your debts
  • You’ve been increasing your savings

How can I calculate interest on my home loan?

You can calculate the total interest you will pay over the life of your loan by using a mortgage calculator. The calculator will estimate your repayments based on the amount you want to borrow, the interest rate, the length of your loan, whether you are an owner-occupier or an investor and whether you plan to pay ‘principal and interest’ or ‘interest-only’.

If you are buying a new home, the calculator will also help you work out how much you’ll need to pay in stamp duty and other related costs.

What is stamp duty?

Stamp duty is the tax that must be paid when purchasing a property in Australia.

It is calculated by the state government based on the selling price of the property. These charges may differ for first homebuyers. You can calculate the stamp duty for your property using our stamp duty calculator.

What is mortgage stress?

Mortgage stress is when you don’t have enough income to comfortably meet your monthly mortgage repayments and maintain your lifestyle. Many experts believe that mortgage stress starts when you are spending 30 per cent or more of your pre-tax income on mortgage repayments.

Mortgage stress can lead to people defaulting on their loans which can have serious long term repercussions.

The best way to avoid mortgage stress is to include at least a 2 – 3 per cent buffer in your estimated monthly repayments. If you could still make your monthly repayments comfortably at a rate of up to 8 or 9 per cent then you should be in good position to meet your obligations. If you think that a rate rise would leave you at a risk of defaulting on your loan, consider borrowing less money.

If you do find yourself in mortgage stress, talk to your bank about ways to potentially reduce your mortgage burden. Contacting a financial counsellor can also be a good idea. You can locate a free counselling service in your state by calling the national hotline: 1800 007 007 or visiting www.financialcounsellingaustralia.org.au.

What percentage of income should my mortgage repayments be?

As a general rule, mortgage repayments should be less than 30 per cent of your pre-tax income to avoid falling into mortgage stress. When mortgage repayments exceed this amount it becomes hard to budget for other living expenses and your lifestyle quality may be diminished.

Does each product always have the same rating?

No, the rating you see depends on a number of factors and can change as you tell us more about your loan profile and preferences. The reasons you may see a different rating:

  • Lenders have made changes. Our ratings show the relative competitiveness of all the products listed at a given time. As the listing change, so do the ratings.
  • You have updated you profile. If you increase your loan amount, the impact of different rates and fees will change which loans are the lowest cost for you.
  • You adjust your preferences. The more you search for flexible loan features, the more importance we assign to the Flexibility Score. You can also adjust your Flexibility Weighting yourself, which will recalculate the ratings with preference given to more flexible loans.