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CommBank launches Unloan – how does it compare to other digital lenders?

CommBank launches Unloan – how does it compare to other digital lenders?

CBA has today launched Unloan, a new digital home loan lender that offers customers an annual loyalty discount and competitive rates.

Unloan is offering two products – an owner-occupier loan starting at 2.14 per cent and an investor loan starting at 2.44 per cent. Both loans will offer a 0.01 percentage point discount every year for up to 30 years.

Unloan is only available to refinancers at this stage, however, the lender will open it up to new borrowers in the future. Loans will require a loan to value ratio (LVR) of less than 80 per cent.

The loans will have a redraw facility but no offset account. Interest-only loans will not be offered.

The digital-only offering claims an application will take as little as 10 minutes.

Unloan – what’s on offer for refinancers

Variable rateComparison rate
Owner-occupiers, principal & interest

2.14%

2.06%

Investors, principal & interest

2.44%

2.34%

Note: Available for refinances with up to 80% LVR on loans up to $3 million.

Analysis of the RateCity.com.au database shows currently two other lenders advertise a loyalty discount, Athena and OneTwo Home Loans.

How does Unloan compare in the home loan market?

RateCity.com.au database analysis:

  • Unloan is offering 2.14% variable rate for owner-occupiers paying principal and interest.
  • 1.79% is the current lowest variable rate (post RBA hike).
  • 6 lenders have announced they will offer post-hike variable rates under 2.14 per cent.
  • 2.44% is the lowest variable rate CBA is offering (including May RBA hike effective 20 May).

Refinancing to Unloan – how it stacks up

If the average owner-occupier with a $500,000, 25-year principal and interest loan refinanced to the 2.14 per cent loan from Unloan, they could save up to $9,306 in interest in the first two years and $24,194 over the first five years. This includes switching fees, the loyalty discount and the forecasted rate hikes.

By comparison, if the same person refinanced to the lowest rate on the market of 1.79 percent, they would save an estimated $11,783, in interest after two years, and $31,256 over five years, using the same assumptions.

This is based on the estimated average owner-occupier variable rate of 3.14 per cent, post May RBA hike.

Potential savings from refinancing a $500,000, 25-year loan

Current rateSavings after 2 yrsSavings after 5 yrs
Switch to Unloan

2.14%

$9,306

$24,194

Switch to the lowest variable rate

1.79%

$11,783

$31,256

Notes: calcs are based on an owner-occupier paying the average existing customer rate of 3.14% (estimated) with 25 years remaining on their loan, refinancing to the lowest variable rate on RateCity.com.au database. Includes switching costs and forecasted cash rate hikes based on Westpac’s forecasts and that lenders pass on hikes in full.

What the big four banks are doing in the digital home loan space

CBANew digital home loan, Unloan launched today. CBA acquired Bankwest in 2008.
NABUbank and neobank 86 400 merged to form a digital banking business for NAB, under the Ubank brand.
ANZInvested in online lender One Two via ANZ's venture capital partner 1835i.

RateCity.com.au research director, Sally Tindall, said: “This is an impressive new offering from Australia’s biggest bank.”

“Not only is the rate extremely competitive it also comes with a loyalty discount and speedy application process which could be enough to push even the most complacent borrowers into refinancing,” she said.

“So often in banking, loyalty does not pay. It’s great to see CBA finally turn this on its head through this offering from Unloan. Only two other lenders advertise loyalty discounts and they are both relatively new entrants to this space, Athena and OneTwo Home Loans.

“While low-cost lenders are not new in the marketplace, what we are increasingly seeing are competitive rates combined with slick application processes and innovative interfaces.

“These loans from Unloan won’t be for everyone as refinancers will need to own at least 20 per cent of their home and also won’t have access to an offset account.

“Greater competition in the sector will deliver better outcomes for borrowers, not just in terms of rate but also in relation to customer experience and innovation.

“Refinancers want a competitive rate but without endless forms and paperwork. Faster application times and more streamlined processes are all likely to boost refinancing activity and keep a healthy amount of pressure on the marketplace,” she said.

Post RBA hike: Lowest variable rates

Note: only includes lenders who have announced their hikes

LenderLowest advertised rate
Homestar Finance

1.79%

Pacific Mortgage Group

1.99%

Reduce Home Loans

1.99%

Freedom Lend

1.99%

Well Home Loans

2.07%

One Two Home Loans

2.09%

Source: Rates are for owner-occupiers paying principal and interest. LVR & loan size restrictions may apply.

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This article was reviewed by Head of Public Relations Laine Gordon before it was published as part of RateCity's Fact Check process.

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