Westpac Home Loan Review
Westpac, founded in 1817, is one of the largest banking groups in Australia. They are listed on the ASX, and are funded by retail deposits and wholesale capital markets. Westpac has a wide range of home loan products for both owner-occupiers and investors. Despite being involved in large scandals and money laundering breaches, Westpac’s reputation with customers and their performance and services in the home loan space has not suffered too much.
Reservoir Finance’s senior mortgage brokers surveyed our customers and combined it with our experience in working with them to bring you this comprehensive review of Westpac Home Loans.
Reservoir Finance Score Breakdown
How does Westpac fair? Let’s break it down. Our Reservoir Finance rating assesses a lender on five key criteria:
Westpac has an average interest rate in the market. They offer strong incentives for new customers, but generally do not price well for their existing customers. Historically Westpac likes to give cash rebates for customers who are either refinancing or are in the process of a new purchase. By giving extra interest rate discounts (normally 0.1%), Westpac promotes lower loan to value ratio (LVR) loans. In terms of fees, Westpac has standard fees and charges comparative to other major lenders.
In general, Westpac has a conservative calculator for borrowers. Due to the recent living expenses assessment changes in the industry in 2019, Westpac implemented a stricter policy overall but we have seen this loosen slightly in the past few months. Westpac adopts a harsher way to determine the assessment rate, which may significantly lower the borrowing capacity.
Westpac has a comprehensive credit policy. They target certain niches including self-employed and those who work in certain professional sectors, such as Medico Sector (including Dentists, General Practitioners, Hospital-employed Doctors, Optometrists, Pharmacists, Veterinary Practitioners and Medical Specialists), Industry Specialisation Sector (including Accountants, Lawyers, Actuaries, Auditors, Solicitors, CFO, Finance Managers, Barristers, Judges, Surveyors, Mine Surveyors, Quantity Surveyors, Geologists and Geophysicists), and Sports and Entertainment Sector (including TV, Sports, Film, Music, Theatre, and Fashion).
Westpac has a wide range of products and product features (such as offsets) fitting all kinds of customer requirements. They also have one of the largest physical branch networks across the country, where you can always find someone for help with banking issues.
Westpac is delivers relatively good customer service among all lenders, especially amongst big four banks.
Is Westpac a good bank? Our final score...
An overall rating of 4.5 stars was given to Westpac by a group of our senior mortgage brokers. The overall experience for our clients who have mortgages with Westpac has been consistently positive and we (as mortgage brokers) also love working with them as they are very accommodating and transparent in their communication and policies. We believe Westpac is a good major lender for people with strong credit histories.
What we like
What we don't
Westpac is Australia’s first bank and the oldest company in the country. It’s one of the four major banks in Australia. Westpac was established in 1817 as the Bank of New South Wales and the company changed its name to Westpac Banking Corporation in 1982. Westpac provides a wide range of home loan products, though they have ceased lending in SMSF, low doc and foreign lending over the past few years.
|Home Loans||Key Information|
|Flexi First Option Loans |
|Including Flexi First Option Home Loan for owner occupiers and Flexi First Option Investment Loan for investors. Features include low variable rate, no ongoing fees, and free redraw facility.|
|Rocket Loans |
|Including Rocket Repay Home Loan for owner occupiers and Rocket Investment Loan for investors. They allow customers to combine a home loan and an offset transaction account. Only one offset account may be linked to each Rocket loan account.|
|Rocket Loans with Premier Advantage Package |
|Packaged Rocked Loans offer comprehensive benefits including lower variable rates, fee saver, and annual fee waiver for eligible credit cards.|
|Fixed Loans||Including Fixed Options Home Loan for owner occupiers and Fixed Rate Investment Property Loan for investors. Fixed rate terms are available for 1-5 years. At the end of the fixed rate period, the loan will automatically convert to Rocket Loans.|
|Fixed Loans with Premier Advantage Package||Packaged Fixed Loans have all the functions as of Fixed Loans. A 0.2% discount will be applied for packaged fixed products. At the end of the fixed rate period, the loan will automatically convert to Packaged Rocket Loans.|
Currently owner-occupied home loan rates start from lower than 3%. Westpac’s home loan rates are mainly determined by loan amount and loan-to-value ratio. To get an up-to-date rate quote from Westpac, or want to negotiate with Westpac for existing home loan rates, please contact our Platinum Westpac Brokers of Reservoir Finance.
In terms of fees, here is a summary for most relevant fees (as of March 2020).
Westpac’s facilities are comprehensive with different offers to cater for different borrowers. We have summarised the home loan product features in the table below.
**Extra repayment during the fixed period is limited to $30,000 cumulatively.
Westpac suits those who have a clean credit history and desire for branch services (especially for migrants who speak English as a second language). If you had one minor default, a Bankwest home loan might be a suitable alternative if you do not get approval from Westpac. Westpac also suits people who work in certain sectors and willing to take high LVR loans. For those who need urgent loan approval or settlement, Westpac may be your top choice as long as you place the deal with a Premium Westpac Mortgage Brokers like us.
Max LVR is 95% inclusive of LMI for Owner Occupied security. For investment purposes, max LVR is 90% inclusive of capitalised LMI. Investment property Loans with at least one security being owner occupied can be considered up to 95% LVR inclusive of capitalised LMI.
We are able to provide a detailed borrowing capacity calculation for you specifically with Westpac. But we may need you to help us understand your financial situation better.
Please fill in the following two calculators on our website, print the calculators as pdf, save and send them to [email protected] – we will get back to you within 1 calendar day.
Calculator 1: How Much Can I Borrow? (No worries if the calculator gives you a result lower than your expectation. We can always help.)
Calculator 2: Budget Planner. (It’s always important for us to understand your incomes but also expenses. Be patient as it’s not a short form.)
Overall, Westpac is delivering a relatively good customer service among all lenders, especially among big four banks. However, with the large scale and volume in place, still there is a small percentage of clients feeling being neglected or badly handled. The bank is improving in many ways, but certainly they can do better.
Westpac home loans can be applied via their branches and lenders; however, a majority of Westpac home loans are settled through mortgage brokers. Contact us to get our Platinum Westpac Mortgage Broker’s help. As Westpac’s Platinum Mortgage Broker, we are well equipped in our knowledge and confident to provide premium services to our clients. Also, assessment for Platinum Broker’s clients will be only 1 day (for accredited Westpac Brokers, an application may take up to 15 days for initial assessment).
With extensive promotions on fixed rate products and not competitive variable rate products, Westpac’s most popular home loan product for the past year would be Fixed Rate Investment Property Loan with Premier Advantage Package, 2 years fixed with Interest Only Repayment. Current rate is 3.29%. Please be noted there is no perfect product for all as personal circumstances and financial situations vary. (updated Feb 2020)
Interested in applying for a Westpac Home Loan?
Contact Reservoir Finance today and let us help determine if a Westpac Home Loan is best for your personal circumstances. We are a Westpac Platinum Mortgage Broker which means we know Westpac’s credit scoring system very well AND our applications have priority over non-Platinum brokers meaning faster turnaround time. The Reservoir Finance team aims to help Australians fulfill their dreams of home ownership, achieving financial freedom and protecting their hard earned money. We are a values based group of finance brokers and always seek to put your needs first as your success is in our best interest. Contact us below or find out more about us here.