CANSTAR has crunched the numbers and researched and rated the reverse mortgages on offer in 2016. Read on to find out which reverse mortgages provide outstanding value.
Canstar’s Reverse Mortgage Star Ratings Report rated 10 reverse mortgages from 7 lenders, to determine which providers and products offer outstanding value for borrowers.
The product providers assessed were:
- Bank of Melbourne
- Commonwealth Bank of Australia
- Heartland Seniors Finance
- P&N Bank
- St. George
Which providers offer outstanding value?
CANSTAR congratulates all winners of our Outstanding Value – Reverse Mortgage rating.
Heartland Seniors Finance
The Lifetime Loan product from Heartland Seniors Finance had the winning features score. This loan has no ongoing fees, and Heartland Seniors Finance is the only institution that offers the Protected Equity (up to 50% of home value), Committed Funding, and Split Facility features.
Heartland Seniors Finance was formed when Heartland New Zealand bought the ownership to Australian Seniors Finance in 2014. At the time of the purchase, Australian Seniors Finance was known as the largest non-bank lender in the Australian market. Australian Seniors Finance was founded in 2004 in Victoria.
Heartland New Zealand are the force behind Heartland Bank, founded in 1875 as CBS Canterbury, the amalgamation of three large building societies. Heartland Bank converted into a bank in 2013 and is still proudly New Zealand owned and operated. Heartland Bank recently began efforts to support the community and protect the environment through a new specialisation in agricultural lending beginning in 2015.
Heartland Seniors Finance makes three promises to its customers:
- Lifetime Occupancy: Your home will remain the place you live in for as long as you choose.
- No Negative Equity Guarantee: The amount required to repay the loan will never exceed the sale proceeds of the property.
- Loan Repayment: There is no requirement to make any loan repayment until the end of the loan.
Bank of Melbourne
Bank of Melbourne offers two reverse mortgage products: Seniors Access Home Loan and Seniors Access Plus Home Loan. These two products scored top points in the Offset Facility, Additional Repayments, Portability, and Top-Up Facility.
The Bank of Melbourne was founded in 1989 and exists exclusively in the state of Victoria. Check out their Melbourne Made ad campaign that celebrates the Victorian people and businesses who bank with them, including the latest instalment, “For the Makers“.
Bank of Melbourne supports the community groups their customers like the most, by providing grants through The Local Project to the deserving community projects that win the most votes. You can also apply for a community grant through the Neighbourhood Fund. Bank of Melbourne also sponsors the Sleep at the G fundraising event for Melbourne City Mission, to combat homelessness in Victoria.
Parent company Westpac is also committed to protecting the sustainability of our environment, with their 2014 annual report listing measures such as:
- Ranked most sustainable company in the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World at the World Economic Forum.
- Ranked most sustainable bank globally in the 2014 Dow Jones Sustainability Index.
- Lending $6 billion per year to the CleanTech and environmental services sector.
The Seniors Equity Release product from Bankwest was the price leader of the pack this year, due to low upfront fees, no ongoing fees, and a competitive interest rate. The Seniors Equity Release Loan received top points for their Additional Repayments, Portability, and Top-Up Facility features.
Bankwest was founded in 1895 as the Agricultural Bank of Western Australia by the state government to provide for farmers. Back then, WA was so big and empty that staff would travel miles between farms, sleeping on the side of the road.
Bankwest demonstrate a strong level of commitment to protecting the environment and supporting the Australian community. In 2013, they established the Bankwest Foundation to improve the well-being of Australians through national and WA-specific community initiatives, with grants of $1 million per year. Bankwest also supports employees with time for volunteering for the causes they are passionate about.
Parent company the Commonwealth Bank’s 2015 sustainability report shows that Bankwest has reduced their emissions by far more than their targets (63% over 45% target for scope 1, 39% over 30% target for scope 2).
Bankwest has a great series of Connect Event webinars on their YouTube channel, which teaches business owners how to better manage their business finances.
CANSTAR congratulates all winners of its 5-Star Outstanding Value – Reverse Mortgage ratings.
Compare reverse mortgages
If you are looking for a reverse mortgage, find the loan that provides outstanding value for your situation. Compare features and costs for reverse mortgages in Australia on the CANSTAR website.