Citibank was the first foreign-owned bank to be granted a banking license in Australia, in 1985. It’s part of Citigroup, one of the largest financial services organisations in the world, which has been around for over two centuries.
Over 1,600 people work for Citibank in Australia, and it has around a million customers. Citibank has six branches in Australia, three in Sydney and one each in Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth, as well as extensive online and phone services.
Citi home loans rates
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- Global player.
- Very flexible loan products.
- Full range of financial services available.
- Competitive fixed rate loans available.
- High fees.
Citibank has a 24/7 support via its website. Some of its services for members and prospective borrowers include mortgage brokers, a live chat service and a inbound call centre. Customers can access their funds via a large network of Citibank ATMs located around Australia.
- Customer service centre (phone, email, branch)
- Online banking
- Live Chat
- Mobile banking staff
How to Apply
Borrowers can apply for a Citibank loan online or arrange for a consultation with a customer service representative. Before applying for a home loan it is advisable to think about how much money you could conceivably borrow given your financial situation and income. You will also need to provide documentation when applying for a home loan. This will include:
- Personal identification material.
- Proof of income and other earnings.
- Proof and type of employment.
- Details of current loans, debts and liabilities.
- Personal insurance documents.
About Citibank home loans
There are a variety of home loans offered by Citibank:
- First home buyers
- Overseas home buyers
- Line of credit
- Self-employed (low-doc)
Citibank home loans also come with several interest rate options:
- Variable rate
- Fixed rate
- Principal and interest
- Split loans
The longest home loan term offered by Citibank is 30 years. Repayments can be made weekly, fortnightly or monthly. Several of its products allow borrowers to use parents as guarantors, and also offer mortgages up to 90 per cent of the home’s value.
The fixed-term interest rates offered by Citibank range from six months to five years. Many of its products also offer offset accounts, redraw services and the option to make extra payments.
A rare service that Citibank offers is mortgages for non-Australian citizens and non-permanent residents. However, the bank doesn’t offer superannuation home loans for SMSFs or reverse mortgages for seniors.
Citibank home loan rates
Home loan interest rates vary significantly with Citibank, depending on the borrower’s situation. There are different interest rates for owner-occupied mortgages compared to investment mortgages. Line of credit home loans also have significantly higher interest rates than standard home loans.
Owner-occupied home loans generally have moderate interest rates compared to other lenders in Australia. Investment home loans offered by Citibank also tend to be moderate for borrowers paying interest and principal.
Citibank’s upfront fees tend to be moderately high, but the ongoing mortgage fees are moderate to moderately low. The bank does, however, offer discounts on fees if home loans are bundles with other Citibank products like credit cards. It also advertises interest rate discounts for borrowers with loan-to-value ratios (LVRs) below 80 per cent.
It’s worth comparing the current interest rates and fees at Citibank to make sure you are getting the best home loan rates for your situation.
Citibank home loan review
Citibank’s home loan portfolio is significantly smaller than that of the big four banks, but it delivers certain perks and flexibility to its customers.
For self-employed borrowers, Citibank offers home loans that come with the same interest rates and home loan options as its other owner-occupied mortgages. The investment home loans are also flexible, with the ability to get line of credit and interest-only for several years. As a foreign-owned bank, it also caters for overseas buyers, offering specific home loan products and services to suit non-citizens and non-permanent residents of Australia.
Overall, Citibank’s interest rates are moderate compared to other banks in Australia, but Citibank does offer discounts on home loan packages, as well as rewards that are on top of their advertised rates.
Although Citibank doesn’t have many branches, it has a team of mobile mortgage specialists across the country.
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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.