Athena Home Loans like to deliver savings When the Reserve Bank of Australia announced a 0.25 percentage point rate cut this week, the first lender to match the cut was Athena Home Loans. Over the last three RBA rate cuts, in June, July and now October, Athena is one of the very few lenders to pass on the full amount of all three rate cuts to both existing and new customers. This week, Athena announced its full rate cut was effective immediately. Some other lenders have announced rate cuts that don’t become effective until almost the end of October. Is Athena Home Loans a bank? Athena Home Loans is a Sydney-based online non-bank lender which launched in early 2019. Athena says it is “Proudly not a bank and never will be.” The company prefers to be known as a “disruptor.” Co-founder and CEO of Athena, Nathan Walsh, said the lender has been overwhelmed by new business since cutting rates in June and July. “We’ve had an overwhelming customer response to the last two rate cuts,” said Mr Walsh, “With over $2 billion in loan applications since the June rate cut. “Customers are realising they do not need to put up with a home loan provider that does not pass on savings when they can.” Nathan Walsh says saving money for customers is “at the core of Athena’s mission.” “Since launching in February, Athena is saving homeowners over $70 million over the life Athena Loan products Variable Rate Comparison Rate Owner occupier P&I 2.84% 2.80% Owner occupier IO 3.34% 2.99% Investor P&I 3.24% 3.20% Investor IO 3.34% 3.24% “By passing on all three of the RBA rate cuts immediately, we have been able to save our customers over $23 million over the life of their loans,” said Mr Walsh. “And we are just getting started!” Does Athena have the lowest home loan rates? Athena Home Loans does not have the absolute lowest home loan rates in the Australian market but it is very close. InfoChoice’s database of 145 institutions places Athena among the most competitive lenders in Australia on price. Athena is among a small group of online non-bank lenders offering the cheapest interest rates across variable and fixed mortgages for both owner occupiers and investors. Other lenders in this group include: Freedom Lend with a variable comparison rate for owner-occupiers (P&I, LVR 80%) of 2.79 per cent pa. Reduce Home Loan’s Rate Slasher product with a variable comparison rate of 2.90 per cent pa (P&I, LVR 80%) for owner occupiers. Well Home Loans’ Well Balanced (Special) with a comparison rate of 3.0 per cent pa for owner occupiers (P&I, LVR 80%) For investors, Reduce Home Loans, Freedom Lend and Well Home Loans are also around the same pricing level as Athena. Athena Home Loans has a very limited range of mortgage products – just four. Athena only offers variable rates and does not offer any fixed interest home loan products at this stage. Why are Athena’s comparison rates lower? Athena’s comparison rates stand out from the average lender as well, because they are, unusually, below the headline advertised rate of the home loan products.“ Athena's comparison rates are below their advertised rates. A comparison rate combines the headline advertised interest rate with the fees a lender charges to produce a rate that can be used to compare the ‘real’ cost of loans against each other. Athena is one of a very small number of lenders that can boast their comparison rates are lower than their headline advertised rates. This is because Athena offers borrowers a loyalty bonus. Athena rewards you with a loyalty bonus of 0.01% discount on your rate each year for 5 years just for making your repayments on time. This is a unique offer. Is Athena Home Loans a good lender? Athena only lends to refinancers and only has four loan products – a principal and interest loan and an interest only loan for owner occupiers and the same pair of loan products for investors. Athena says its’ average customer switches to Athena from a big bank and saves over $60,000 (over the life of their home loan). Athena is promoting itself as a different type of lender. A lender that has the interests of borrowers at heart. Many other lenders also make similar claims. Athena’s specific promises to customers are: 1. Athena promises that new customers will not be given better rates than existing loyal Athena customers. 2. Athena offers all customers a 0.01% Loyalty Bonus every year for the first five years of their loan. 3. Athena does not charge ongoing, application, account or exit fees. The information contained on this web site is general in nature and does not take into account your personal situation. You should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs, and where appropriate, seek professional advice from a financial adviser. If you or someone you know is in financial stress, contact the National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007.