Josh Frydenberg wants to make it easier for you to get a home loan

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on September 25, 2020
Josh Frydenberg wants to make it easier for you to get a home loan

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Treasurer Josh Frydenberg will announce on Friday the government will relax tough lending laws imposed on banks and move the onus on to the borrower, making it easier for Australians to get a mortgage.

Australians will soon find it easier to take out a mortgage under Federal Government plans to relax credit laws in a bid to get the economy moving amid the COVID-induced recession.

The changes will remove the burden on the banks to ensure people don't take out home loans they can't afford and shift the responsibility onto the borrower to be honest about their ability to service a loan

This means banks will need to rely on borrowers to be honest about their income and expense information provided and won't face penalties if borrowers lie on their mortgage application.

Mr Frydenberg said the changes will speed up the credit approval process and remove a lot of red tape.

"As Australia continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever that there are no unnecessary barriers to the flow of credit to households and small businesses," Frydenberg said.

"Maintaining the free flow of credit through the economy is critical to Australia's economic recovery plan."

Buying a home or looking to refinance? The table below features home loans with some of the lowest interest rates on the market for owner-occupiers.

Lender

Variable
More details
UNLIMITED REDRAWSSPECIAL OFFER
  • Fast turnaround times, can meet 30-day settlement
  • For purchase and refinance, min 20% deposit
  • No ongoing or monthly fees, add offset for 0.10%
UNLIMITED REDRAWSSPECIAL OFFER

Smart Booster Home Loan Discounted Variable - 2yr (LVR < 80%)

  • Fast turnaround times, can meet 30-day settlement
  • For purchase and refinance, min 20% deposit
  • No ongoing or monthly fees, add offset for 0.10%
Variable
More details
AN EASY DIGITAL APPLICATION
  • No ongoing fees - None!
  • Unlimited additional repayments
  • Easy online application, find out if you're approved quick!
  • Redraw- Access your additional payments if you need them
  • Use the app to get loan insights to help you pay off your home loan faster
AN EASY DIGITAL APPLICATION

Neat Variable Home Loan (Principal and Interest) (LVR < 60%)

  • No ongoing fees - None!
  • Unlimited additional repayments
  • Easy online application, find out if you're approved quick!
  • Redraw- Access your additional payments if you need them
  • Use the app to get loan insights to help you pay off your home loan faster
Variable
More details
100% FULL OFFSET ACCOUNTNO APPLICATION FEE OR ONGOING FEES
  • No upfront or ongoing fees
  • 100% full offset account
  • Extra repayments + redraw services
100% FULL OFFSET ACCOUNTNO APPLICATION FEE OR ONGOING FEES

Low Rate Home Loan - Prime (Principal and Interest) (Owner Occupied) (LVR < 60%)

  • No upfront or ongoing fees
  • 100% full offset account
  • Extra repayments + redraw services
Variable
More details
NSW/VIC/SA METRO & INNER REGIONAL AREAS$5000 CASHBACK. T&Cs APPLY.
  • No upfront or ongoing fees
  • 100% full offset account
  • Extra repayments + redraw services
NSW/VIC/SA METRO & INNER REGIONAL AREAS$5000 CASHBACK. T&Cs APPLY.

Variable Home Loan (Principal and Interest)

  • No upfront or ongoing fees
  • 100% full offset account
  • Extra repayments + redraw services

Base criteria of: a $400,000 loan amount, variable, fixed, principal and interest (P&I) home loans with an LVR (loan-to-value) ratio of at least 80%. However, the ‘Compare Home Loans’ table allows for calculations to be made on variables as selected and input by the user. All products will list the LVR with the product and rate which are clearly published on the Product Provider’s web site. Monthly repayments, once the base criteria are altered by the user, will be based on the selected products’ advertised rates and determined by the loan amount, repayment type, loan term and LVR as input by the user/you. *The Comparison rate is based on a $150,000 loan over 25 years. Warning: this comparison rate is true only for this example and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees or other loan amounts might result in a different comparison rate. Rates correct as of May 18, 2022. View disclaimer.

The changes come off the back of Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe telling a parliamentary committee last month that the responsible lending pendulum has swung too far.

“We can’t have a world in which, if a borrower can’t repay the loan, it’s always the bank’s fault,” Lowe said.

“On a portfolio basis, we want the banks to make some loans that actually go bad, because if a bank never makes a loan that goes bad, it means it’s not extending enough credit.

“The pendulum has swung a bit too far in blaming the bank if a loan goes bad because the bank didn’t understand the customer. [The mindset of some] is that if the bank had done proper due diligence, the bank would never had made the loan.”

Writing in The Australian, Mr Frydenberg said the banks have taken responsible lending obligations too far.

"It is common for a person applying for a mortgage to be asked to explain individual discretionary spending and to provide verification of Netflix and Spotify subscriptions, UberEats or MenuLog usage or other details — all for the lender to be confident that it cannot be held liable in the event the borrower cannot repay the loan," Mr Frydenberg said.

"It is no surprise that Australians have found it more difficult to obtain the credit they are seeking, with many giving up."

Consumer groups slam announcement

Already the response to the announcement has been mixed, with many consumer groups slamming the move to remove responsible lending laws.

Karen Cox, CEO of Financial Rights Legal Centre, said what people need right now is more income - not more debt.

"The problem people are having right now is too much debt and not enough income. The Government’s solution is to take on more debt with fewer protections. Unsustainable debt hurts real people and is a short-sighted fix for a flailing economy," Ms Cox said.
 
“Watering down credit protections will leave individuals and families at severe risk of being pushed into credit arrangements that will hurt in the long term.
 
“Our service helped thousands of Australians drowning in debt and we continue to see legacy debt that predates the Hayne Royal Commission. How can we have so quickly forgotten the hard lessons from the GFC and the Hayne Royal commission?”

CEO of Consumer Action Gerard Brody meanwhile said relaxing credit laws isn't the answer.

“The Commonwealth Bank recently said that the flow of credit is above pre-COVID levels and that lending is growing at a strong pace. And none of the big banks opposed the responsible lending laws at the recent House of Economics committee hearings," Mr Brody said.
 
“Leaving people with more debt they can afford is no way out of an economic crisis. Pushing too much credit that people can’t afford to repay creates hardship, stress, anxiety for individuals and families.”

Other groups including the Customer Owned Banking Association (COBA) have welcomed the announcement.

“We look forward to seeing the detail of the Government’s proposals but the objective of simplifying unnecessarily complex regulation has our strong support,” said COBA CEO Michael Lawrence.

"Customer owned banking institutions have always been responsible lenders – putting our customers first is part of our DNA. We certainly don’t need prescriptive and complex laws to make sure that we lend responsibly.

“The Government is right to take decisive action to promote lending at a time of great uncertainty and the biggest peacetime economic contraction since the 1930s."


Disclaimers

The entire market was not considered in selecting the above products. Rather, a cut-down portion of the market has been considered. Some providers' products may not be available in all states. To be considered, the product and rate must be clearly published on the product provider's web site. Savings.com.au, yourmortgage.com.au, yourinvestmentpropertymag.com.au, and Performance Drive are part of the Savings Media group. In the interests of full disclosure, the Savings Media Group are associated with the Firstmac Group. To read about how Savings Media Group manages potential conflicts of interest, along with how we get paid, please visit the web site links at the bottom of this page.

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author-avatar
Emma Duffy is Assistant Editor at Your Mortgage and  Your Investment Property Mag, which are part of the Savings Media Group. In this role, she manages a team of journalists and expert contributors committed to keeping readers informed about the latest home loan and finance news and trends, as well as providing in-depth property guides. She is also a finance journalist at Savings.com.au which she joined shortly after its launch in early 2019. Emma has a Bachelor in Journalism and has been published in several other publications and been featured on radio.

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