The Arab Bank Australia HeadStart Home Loan has a minimum loan amount of $50,000 and no maximum, although a minimum loan period of two years applies. Customers can borrow up to 95 per cent of the property value, although lenders mortgage insurance will apply for loans over 80 per cent.
The loan offers a discounted variable interest rate for the first year of the loan, which then reverts to the Arab Bank Australia Essential Variable Rate Loan for the rest of the loan. Repayments can be made on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis as both principal and interest and interest-only. Additional repayments are free and customers have access to a redraw facility, with a minimum redraw of $2,000.
There is no offset account for those looking to use their savings to reduce the interest owed. Customers have the ability to pause their repayments, although conditions apply, as well as a portability option for those wanting to transfer their mortgage over when changing properties.
The Arab Bank Australia HeadStart Home Loan is good for first homebuyers looking to ease into their initial home loan repayments. Borrowers who want flexibility in repayment frequency will also appreciate this loan.
The discounted interest rate for the first year gives customers a chance to find their feet and investors may also find the option for interest-only repayments attractive.
The ability to make free additional repayments, access a redraw facility and a repayment ‘holiday’ option give customers a high degree of freedom in how and when they repay their loan, which may suit those looking to pay off their mortgage quickly.
However, after the first year, the interest rate reverts to a noticeably high variable rate, which is an important consideration for those tempted by the initial discount. This will affect how much interest is repaid over the life of the loan and should be taken into consideration when looking at this loan.