Established in 1924 as the Newcastle and Hunter River Public Service Starr-Bowkett Building Co-operative Society Limited, 'Greater Bank' rolls off the tongue a little better.
The Society as it was so called at the time, was formed in response to the economic depression, during which home ownership was out of reach for many. Members of the Society bought shares and made weekly contributions, and a lottery would determine which member received interest free home loans.
In 1945, the bank became a building society, opening its first office in Newcastle. More recently, in May 2016 the Greater Building Society changed its name to Greater Bank after receiving approval from prudential regulator APRA.
Throughout a number of name changes in the past 77 years, Greater Bank has retained its same ownership structure, remaining a mutual bank owned by customers, rather than shareholders. With over 270,000 customers and over $8 billion in assets under management, Greater Bank is the sixth-largest customer-owned institution in Australia. With branches located across NSW and South East QLD, Greater Bank says it is fuelled by its passion for ensuring customers continue to feel like people instead of just numbers, for many generations to come.
What home loans does Greater Bank offer?
Greater Bank offers principal and interest (P&I) and interest-only (IO) home loans for both owner-occupiers and investors.
These home loans are available in variable and fixed interest rates under the options of:
Line of Credit
Great Rate Investment
Check out some of Greater Bank’s home loans for owner occupiers in the table below.
Great Rate Fixed Home Loan (NSW, ACT & QLD only) 1 Year (LVR 90%-95%) (New Customer)
Great Rate Variable Investment Loan (New Customers) (Principal and Interest)
Great Rate Variable Investment Loan (Interest Only) (New Customers)
Great Rate Fixed Investment Loan (Interest Only) (NSW, ACT & QLD only) 2 Years
Great Rate Fixed Home Loan (Interest Only) 3 Years
Great Rate Fixed Investment Loan (Principal and Interest) 3 Years (NSW, ACT & QLD only)
Great Rate Fixed Investment Loan (Interest Only) (NSW, ACT & QLD only) 3 Years
Great Rate Fixed Home Loan (NSW, ACT & QLD only) 4 Years (New Customer)
- 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%
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.
Features of Greater Bank home loans
Selected home loan products across Greater Bank’s portfolio such as ‘Great Rate’, are free from establishment, monthly and annual fees.
Greater Bank offers free redraw facilities available around the clock via online banking.
Greater Bank’s refinancing allows customers to have a home loan refinanced within 72 hours.
Greater Bank offers repayment holidays for customers whose financial circumstances may have changed. This means those suffering financial hardship may be eligible to take a break from making repayments on their home loan.
Greater Bank allows customers to make additional repayments to pay off their home loans loan faster. This feature is available fee-free across variable rate loan options. Those with a fixed rate loan can make additional payments during a fixed period on P&I and IO loans up to 5% of the original loan amount before there is any chance that a prepayment fee may apply.
Greater Bank will lend up to 95% of the property value with lenders mortgage insurance, or 80% without the insurance.
How is Greater Bank different from the big four banks?
Speaking to Savings.com.au, Greater Bank said the most notable and significant difference between Greater Bank and the ‘big four’, as well as the emerging neobanks, is their fundamental structure.
“As a mutual bank, our customers are our owners, not shareholders meaning we don’t need to maximise profits to pay dividends to shareholders,” Greater Bank said.
“Our profits are reinvested into the business to provide better value products and services, develop our technological platforms to ensure we continue to service our customers well into the future, and to foster and support the communities in which we operate.
“This has long been our competitive advantage.”
Applying with Greater Bank
The great Australian dream has long been owning your own home. For Greater Bank, this dream lies at the heart of the financial institution and something it says it wants people to achieve sooner rather than later.
“Providing customers with a quick turnaround on their home loan application is not only incredibly important, particularly given the current housing market, but a real point of difference for Greater Bank,” Greater Bank said.
“While each situation can be different, once we have all the documentation, including valuation, Greater Bank’s median time for approval is approximately two business days - this compares to more than a week for some financial institutions.”
Greater Bank doesn’t use brokers - meaning customers can navigate the home loan options when dealing with Greater Bank direct.
Pre-approval with Greater Bank
Ready to start searching for your new home? By applying online or reaching out to your local Greater Bank branch, a lender will contact you. From there, a Greater Bank lender will be able to let you know how much you can borrow after assessing your income and commitments before offering conditional loan approval - subject to valuation.
Am I eligible for a Greater Bank home loan?
If you’re looking into applying for a Greater Bank home loan, eligibility requirements that must be met include:
Applicants must have at least a 5% deposit or equity (maximum LVR is 95% with LMI, 80% without).
Applicants must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident.
Applicants must be over the age of 18.
Applicants must have a regular source of income.
Applicants are looking to purchase an eligible property in NSW, QLD or the ACT.
How can I refinance with Greater Bank?
Greater Bank says customers can experience significant savings by switching from a big four bank to a Greater Bank home loan.
“Today, more than 75% of Greater Bank customers are now more than one month in advance on repayments,” Greater Bank said.
To get started with refinancing or a new home loan application, you can head straight to Greater Bank’s website or download the app through the App Store on iOS or Google Play on Android. You can also speak to a Greater Bank loan expert on 13 13 86 or drop into your nearest Greater Bank branch.
Image by Lynda Hinton via Unsplash.