Athena: The home loan lender that’s trying to GET RID of customers

Rhianna Dews

12 Apr 2021

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With a 2.34% p.a. variable interest rate (2.34% p.a. comparison rate*), no fees and a reputation for being among the first lenders to pass RBA rate cuts onto customers, online Aussie lender Athena is rewriting home loan history.

• 3 November 2020: Athena passes on full 15 basis point RBA cash rate cut to both new & existing customers.

From passing on numerous RBA rate cuts to proudly flaunting its unconventional attitude to lending,  innovative online lender Athena Home Loans has been shaking up the mortgage market and ruffling the big bank’s feathers since day one.

Introducing themselves to the world as the “home loan wrecker” upon their initial launch in 2019, this fintech preaches a “love us and leave us” motto, which sums up their whole philosophy of urging borrowers to “pay off your loan quickly so you can have a home, not a loan.”

At first, Athena only offered refinance variable principal and interest home loans for owner-occupiers and investors. However, after dropping hints of expanding their product range down the track, Athena followed through and opened its doors to new borrowers in late 2019.

“Athena launched with a great value product in 2019 and has made a major improvement to its home loans since then,” said Mozo banking expert Peter Marshall.

“They offer everyone a great rate to start off with, but as your payments reduce the amount owing, your rate automatically decreases with discounts applied for loans with an LVR of less than 70% and a further discount when the loan limbos under the 60% bar.”

“While other lenders might offer lower rates for lower LVRs, Athena is unique in applying those discounts without the borrower having to lift a finger.”

Athena home loans in a nutshell:

Mortgage challenger Athena continues to take on the banks with a customer-first approach and some of the best value mortgages around. Here’s what you can expect from an Athena home loan:

  • • Dynamic pricing: Athena rewards borrowers who pay off their home loan by automatically lowering their interest rate as they pay it off. This feature is available to refinancers and home buyers buying an established property in a capital or major regional city with a 60% LVR.
  • • Mozo Experts Choice Award-winner: After taking out not one, but two 2020 Mozo Experts Choice Home Loan Awards^ for best New Home Loan and best Home Loan Innovation you can rest assured knowing that Athena home loans have got the Mozo tick of approval.
  • • Fab features: On top of all this, Athena home loans come with loads of other features, such as fast online applications, minimal fees, low rates, free extra repayments, plus, a free redraw facility so you can withdraw on those extra repayments should you need access to extra funds.

But in case you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t heard about Athena until now, allow us to give you a proper introduction…

Meet Athena. The “game-changing goddess of good stuff.”

Who’s Athena?

Athena is the latest and greatest digital Aussie home loan lender. Unlike most lenders, Athena actually encourages borrowers to pay off their home loans ASAP so they can sit back and enjoy their new home.

But if you’re new to the world of online home loans, then you might be happy to find that Macquarie Bank, among other big investors, backs Athena.

Does Athena offer other banking products?

Nope. Athena isn’t a bank, so savings accounts, credit cards and bank accounts aren't currently on the menu for Athena. But, if you're after a home loan, then you're in luck because that’s Athena's specialty! 

Athena offers variable principal and interest loans owner-occupier and investor home loans to new and refinancing customers.

Are Athena’s home loans any good?

Well, that depends on what you like. If you like a new or refinance home loan with no fees, low-rates, loyalty bonuses and fab features, including free extra repayments and a free redraw facility, then yeah, Athena’s home loans are pretty good!

Some of Athena’s home loan features:

• Low 2.34% p.a. variable interest rate (2.34% p.a. comparison rate*)
• No application fees, annual/monthly fees or exit fees
• Flexible loan terms ranging from 5-30 years
• Free extra loan repayments
• Choice of either weekly, fortnightly or monthly repayment options
• Fee-free 100% interest offset (this isn't an offset account, but it works in much the same way to help you save on interest)
• Fee-free redraw facility

Read the full Mozo review of Athena's variable rate home loan

...Does Athena really charge no fees?

Don't worry. We did a double-take the first time we heard this too. Athena’s whole philosophy is about helping its customers pay off their loans on the ASAP, which is why there are no application fees, annual/monthly fees or exit fees to help its customers save more money.

The only fees you can expect are third-party legal and valuation fees, which is pretty standard for any home loan.

What home loans does Athena offer?

At the end of 2019, Athena expanded its product offering, which initially only offered refinance variable principal and interest home loans to owner-occupiers and investors, to include home loans for new customers.

Click here to compare Athena home loans today.

What are Athena’s new AcceleRates?

Last year Athena rolled out a bunch of new home loan products with an innovative pricing system called ‘AcceleRates’ that gives borrowers access to cheaper rates as they pay off their loan.

The AcceleRates products are available to owner-occupiers and investors and come with three price bands for loan to value ratios (LVR) of <80%, <70% and <60%. The way it works is as borrowers progress through each tier, their interest rate will automatically be reduced.

Here’s a quick rundown of the price tiers for owner-occupiers and investors:

Owner Occupier, Principal and Interest:

• LibeRATE 70-80% LVR: 2.29% p.a. (2.23% p.a. comparison rate*)
• EvapoRATE 60-70% LVR: 2.24% p.a. (2.21% p.a. comparison rate*)
• CelebRATE <60% LVR: 2.19% p.a. (2.19% p.a. comparison rate*)

Investor, Principal and Interest:

• LibeRATE 70-80% LVR: 2.64% p.a. (2.59% p.a. comparison rate*)
• EvapoRATE 60-70% LVR: 2.59% p.a. (2.56% p.a. comparison rate*)
• CelebRATE <60% LVR: 2.54% p.a. (2.54% p.a. comparison rate*)

What's Athena's track record of passing on RBA rate cuts?

So far, Athena has successfully passed on the RBA rate cut in full to new and existing customers five times since June 2019 - one of the only lenders in Australia to hold that record!

Recent RBA rate cuts: 4 June 2019, 2 July 2019, 1 October 2019, 3 March 2020 and 3 November 2020.

Do I need to contact my bank to refinance my home loan?

Nope! Athena's settlement team will work with your bank to move your loan over on your behalf. Seriously, can these guys get any better?

I've never heard of Athena. Is it safe?

While technically not a bank, Athena does, however, use bank-level security and encryption across its digital platform. Plus, Athena has an Australian Credit Licence, which means they're governed by ASIC and must legally adhere to ASIC’s compliance rules.

Who backs Athena?

Some of Athena’s big investment backers include AirTree Ventures, Apex Capital, AustralianSuper, Hostplus, Macquarie Bank, RESIMAC Group, Rice Warner, Square Peg and Sunsuper.

Does Athena rate match?

They certainly do! If Athena comes out with a low-rate 'like-for-like loan’ offer for new customers, then they’ll automatically apply a rate match to the loans of all existing Athena customers. That means no matter how long you're with Athena, you'll get the same low rate as a new customer.

Wondering how much you could save by refinancing to a better deal? Use our home loan comparison tool to find out, or, check out some hot refinancing home loan offers below.

*WARNING: This comparison rate applies only to the example or examples given. Different amounts and terms will result in different comparison rates. Costs such as redraw fees or early repayment fees, and cost savings such as fee waivers, are not included in the comparison rate but may influence the cost of the loan. The comparison rate displayed is for a secured loan with monthly principal and interest repayments for $150,000 over 25 years.

^Click here for more information about the 2020 Mozo Experts Choice Home Loan Awards.

Mozo provides general product information. We don’t consider your personal objectives, financial situation or needs and we aren’t recommending any specific product to you. You should make your own decision after reading the PDS or offer documentation, or seeking independent advice. While we pride ourselves on covering a wide range of products, we don’t cover every product in the market. If you decide to apply for a product through our website, you will be dealing directly with the provider of that product and not with Mozo.

Home Loan Refinance Comparison

Rates updated daily. Advertiser disclosure.

  • loans.com.au
    Mozo Expert Choice Badge" style="width:60px;">

    1.99% p.a.variable for 12 months and then 2.48% p.a.

    2.47% p.a.

    $1234

    Product details Close details
    Smart Booster Home Loan

    1 Year Discounted Variable Rate, Owner Occupier, Principal & Interest, <80% LVR

    1.99% p.a.variable for 12 months and then 2.48% p.a.

    2.47% p.a.

    A super low introductory rate home loan with no monthly or ongoing fees. Unlimited free redraws and unlimited additional repayments to help you build your equity and own your home sooner. Multiple loan splits available. (Rates revert after introductory period ends). 20% minimum deposit required. Winner of two Mozo Expert's Choice Award for 2021.

    Smart Booster Home Loan

    A super low introductory rate home loan with no monthly or ongoing fees. Unlimited free redraws and unlimited additional repayments to help you build your equity and own your home sooner. Multiple loan splits available. (Rates revert after introductory period ends). 20% minimum deposit required. Winner of two Mozo Expert's Choice Award for 2021.

    • $0.00

    • $0.00

    • yes - free

    • yes - free

    • Optional - with 0.10% additional interest

    • $520

    • 1.99% p.a.variable for 12 months and then 2.48% p.a.

    • 2.47% p.a.

    • $520

    • 80.00%

    • $50,000

    • $1,000,000

    • Variable

    • Principal & Interest

    • Owner Occupier

    • Weekly, Fortnightly, Monthly

    Read our Mozo Review to learn more about the Smart Booster Home Loan

    Details Close

  • Macquarie

    p.a.

    2.43% p.a.

    $1234

    Product details Close details
    Basic Home Loan

    Fixed, Owner Occupier, Principal & Interest, LVR<70%

    p.a.

    2.43% p.a.

    Get a flexible loan structure with up to six loan accounts with different rate types. Make free extra repayments. Enjoy free redraw facility. No upfront or ongoing fees. Option to earn Qantas points.

    Basic Home Loan

    Get a flexible loan structure with up to six loan accounts with different rate types. Make free extra repayments. Enjoy free redraw facility. No upfront or ongoing fees. Option to earn Qantas points.

    • $0.00

    • $400.00

    • yes - free

    • yes - free

    • no

    • $0

    • p.a.

    • 2.43% p.a.

    • $0

    • 70.00%

    • $150,000

    • $750,000

    • Fixed

    • Principal & Interest

    • Owner Occupier

    • Monthly

    Read our Mozo Review to learn more about the Basic Home Loan

    Details Close

  • UBank

    p.a.

    2.22% p.a.

    $1234

    Product details Close details
    UHomeLoan

    Owner Occupier, Principal & Interest

    p.a.

    2.22% p.a.

    $0 fees and easy application. Choose between weekly, fortnightly or monthly repayments. 3 year fixed rates are for new Owner Occupier Principal & Interest loans.

    UHomeLoan

    $0 fees and easy application. Choose between weekly, fortnightly or monthly repayments. 3 year fixed rates are for new Owner Occupier Principal & Interest loans.

    • $0.00

    • $0.00

    • yes - free up to $20,000 p.a.

    • no

    • no

    • $0

    • p.a.

    • 2.22% p.a.

    • $0

    • 80.00%

    • $100,000

    • $2,000,000

    • Fixed

    • Principal & Interest

    • Owner Occupier

    • Weekly, Fortnightly, Monthly

    • $395 Establishment fee waived for fixed rate loans that settle by 30 September 2022. Receive 1.75% 3 year fixed rate when you apply by 29 April 2021 and settle within 90 days.

    Read our Mozo Review to learn more about the UHomeLoan

    Details Close

  • Athena
    Mozo Expert Choice Badge" style="width:60px;">

    2.19% p.a.

    2.19% p.a.

    $1234

    Product details Close details
    Celebrate Variable Home Loan

    <60% LVR, Owner Occupier, Principal & Interest

    2.19% p.a.

    2.19% p.a.

    Fast and efficient online application. Automatic discounts as loan is paid off. Free extra repayments and redraw facility. Zero fees to consider. Min 40% deposit required. Winner of three Mozo Expert's Choice Award for 2021.

    Celebrate Variable Home Loan

    Fast and efficient online application. Automatic discounts as loan is paid off. Free extra repayments and redraw facility. Zero fees to consider. Min 40% deposit required. Winner of three Mozo Expert's Choice Award for 2021.

    • $0.00

    • $0.00

    • yes - free

    • yes - free

    • no

    • $0

    • 2.19% p.a.

    • 2.19% p.a.

    • $0

    • 60.00%

    • $100,000

    • $2,000,000

    • Variable

    • Principal & Interest

    • Owner Occupier

    • Weekly, Fortnightly, Monthly

    Read our Mozo Review to learn more about the Celebrate Variable Home Loan

    Details Close

  • Tic:Toc

    p.a.

    2.15% p.a.

    $1234

    Product details Close details
    Fixed Home Loan

    Owner Occupier, Principal & Interest

    p.a.

    2.15% p.a.

    Award-winning low rate home loan that could save you thousands. No application or ongoing fees, fee-free redraws, unlimited additional repayments and an optional offset account for $10/month. Minimum 10% deposit. Winner of Mozo’s Experts Choice Award for Online Home Lender of the Year 2021.^

    Fixed Home Loan

    Award-winning low rate home loan that could save you thousands. No application or ongoing fees, fee-free redraws, unlimited additional repayments and an optional offset account for $10/month. Minimum 10% deposit. Winner of Mozo’s Experts Choice Award for Online Home Lender of the Year 2021.^

    • $0.00

    • $325.00

    • yes - free, up to $20,000 p.a.

    • yes - free

    • Optional - $10 per month

    • $0

    • p.a.

    • 2.15% p.a.

    • $0

    • 90.00%

    • $50,000

    • $2,000,000

    • Fixed

    • Principal & Interest

    • Owner Occupier

    • Weekly, Fortnightly, Monthly

    Read our Mozo Review to learn more about the Fixed Home Loan

    Details Close

  • Newcastle Permanent

    p.a.

    3.56% p.a.

    $1234

    Product details Close details
    Special Fixed Rate Home Loan Premium Plus Package

    Owner Occupier, Principal & Interest

    p.a.

    3.56% p.a.

    Great fixed low rate. Ability to split your loan between fixed and variable. Insurance discounts and $0 credit card or personal loan fee available. $2,000 cashback offer for investor & owner occupied home loans over $250k with LVR ≤80% when refinancing to Newcastle Permanent. Enjoy local branches and call centre.

    Special Fixed Rate Home Loan Premium Plus Package

    Great fixed low rate. Ability to split your loan between fixed and variable. Insurance discounts and $0 credit card or personal loan fee available. $2,000 cashback offer for investor & owner occupied home loans over $250k with LVR ≤80% when refinancing to Newcastle Permanent. Enjoy local branches and call centre.

    • $395.00 yearly

    • $0.00

    • yes - free up to $25,000 p.a.

    • yes - free

    • no

    • $0

    • p.a.

    • 3.56% p.a.

    • $0

    • 80.00%

    • $5,000

    • -

    • Fixed

    • Principal & Interest

    • Owner Occupier

    • Weekly, Fortnightly, Monthly

    • $2,000 cashback when you refinance your home loan from another financial institution when you apply by 30 June 2021 and are funded by 31 August 2021, min $250k, LVR <80%

    Read our Mozo Review to learn more about the Special Fixed Rate Home Loan

    Details Close

  • HSBC

    p.a.

    2.86% p.a.

    $1234

    Product details Close details
    Fixed Rate Home Loan Home Loan Package

    Owner Occupier, Principal & Interest, LVR <80%

    p.a.

    2.86% p.a.

    Ability to split your home loan between Fixed and Variable. Dedicated Relationship Manager. Refinancers borrowing $250,000 or more will receive $3288 (T&Cs, eligibility and lending criteria apply).

    Fixed Rate Home Loan Home Loan Package

    Ability to split your home loan between Fixed and Variable. Dedicated Relationship Manager. Refinancers borrowing $250,000 or more will receive $3288 (T&Cs, eligibility and lending criteria apply).

    • $390.00 yearly

    • $300.00

    • yes - free up to $10,000 p.a.

    • no

    • no

    • $270

    • p.a.

    • 2.86% p.a.

    • $270

    • 80.00%

    • $500,000

    • $7,500,000

    • Fixed

    • Principal & Interest

    • Owner Occupier

    • Weekly, Fortnightly, Monthly

    • Receive $3,288 when you refinance a minimum of $250k for applications from 15 Feb to 30 April 2021, settled by 30 June 2021.

    Read our Mozo Review to learn more about the Fixed Rate Home Loan

    Details Close

^See information about the Mozo Experts Choice Home loans Awards