Up variable home loan has 50 offset accounts. Could it fix your mortgage-life balance?

This article was updated on 1 March 2024 to reflect the Up Home Variable Rate dropping from 6.15% p.a. to 5.95% p.a. 

Key points

  • Up variable home loans come with up to 50 offset accounts
  • Offset accounts are useful for lowering how much interest you pay
  • With 50 offset accounts, you could organise your finances while paying off your mortgage faster
A collage image featuring a young couple smiling at the camera as they embrace, a nice freestanding home, and a sticker of the Up Bank logo

Offset accounts are lauded as one of the go-to tools for people who want to save money on their home loan.

An offset account can help to significantly reduce the amount of interest you pay on your mortgage, but it usually comes at the expense of a slightly higher interest rate, or fees. 

So, when I found out that Up has a variable home loan that you can link to 50 offset accounts, free of charge, it piqued my interest.

"Who needs fifty?" I asked.

Are 50 offset accounts too many? 

A meme featuring Buzz Lightyear addressing dozens of Little Green Men from the movie Toy Story

Realistically, I don’t think there are many people out there who would actually use all 50 accounts on offer (except, maybe, the kind of people who plan their outfits for the next 12 months inside an Excel spreadsheet).

But if they don’t cost you any extra, and all offsets contribute towards lowering your home loan repayments, having as many separate accounts as you need comes with a pretty big advantage: the potential to create a good mortgage-life balance.

The problem with ‘standard’ offset accounts 

Traditionally, you’d get one or two offset accounts for your home loan. Most people would deposit their salary into one, and their savings into another. 

After all, the idea behind an offset account is to have as much cash in the bank as possible, at any one time. 

Therein lies the problem: most people also want to spend their money. And I don’t just mean for day-to-day expenses. 

We’re talking holidays, Christmas presents, a new fridge, anniversary dinners, and the like – the big expenses that aren’t strictly necessary to your survival, but make life worth living. 

I, for one, would be searching for a balance between cashing up my offset and still being able to enjoy the fruits of my labour. 

When you’ve only got the one offset account, and you’re digging between couch cushions to top it up with every last cent you can find, the line between your spendings and savings can blur, resulting in guilt any time you make a withdrawal.  

The remedy? It could be as simple as having different offset accounts for a few different savings goals.

Track your savings goals while lowering your interest repayments

An infographic representing a breakdown of different savings goals in different offset accounts. Includes mortgage repayments, expenses, anniversary gifts, emergency savings, and a holiday fund.
There are all sorts of ways to split up your take home pay into different offset streams. How would you split your offset accounts up? Which savings goals or savings streams might you want?

Where I think the usefulness of Up’s loan having so many offset accounts overtakes the novelty, is in the ability to track different saving goals while also lowering the interest repayments on your home loan. 

That’s a lot harder to do when you’ve got multiple goals and only one offset account to store the bulk of your money. 

When you take out a home loan with Up, your Spending and Saver account balances convert into offsets against your home loan. Unfortunately, this also means your Savers won’t generate savings interest any more. On the plus side, the amount you save on home loan interest should outweigh this over time. 

Using your existing Up accounts can come in handy if you’re already putting money aside for various reasons, like an upcoming holiday, an emergency savings fund, or a gift for someone close to you. 

You’re still managing to save time and money on your home loan, without sacrificing your enjoyment of life. A mortgage-life balance, if you like.

How the Up Home Variable Rate compares to other home loans

I know what you’re thinking. Don’t offset accounts usually mean higher fees and interest rates? 

Sometimes, yes. But that’s not the case with Up’s Home Variable Rate loan. 

The loan comes with a 5.95% p.a. interest rate (5.95% p.a. comparison rate*), which is far lower than the average basic variable rate without an offset in the Mozo database – 6.29% p.a. at the time of writing.

It’s also significantly lower than the average variable home loan with an offset account, which is 6.67% p.a. in our database. 

So, the rate is quite good when you compare variable home loans in our database, especially for a home loan with 50 free offset accounts. But what about fees? 

As mentioned earlier, Up’s offset accounts are free-of-charge. The same goes for virtually all of its fees. 

There are no ongoing, application, legal, settlement, or discharge fees, and Up may even cover the first $400 of your property valuation costs. 

While it’s not unheard of for a lender to do away with most of their fees (see, Athena and Unloan), it’s definitely uncommon to see one do it and maintain a competitive interest rate.

Check out Up's variable rate home loan here: 

Home Variable Rate (Owner Occupier, Principal & Interest)
  • 5.95% p.a. variable rate (5.95% p.a. comparison rate*)
  • No application, monthly, annual, redraw, or discharge fees
  • Multiple Mozo Experts Choice Award Winner 2024^
Find out more

With a competitive variable interest rate of 6.15% p.a. (6.15% p.a. comparison rate*), Up offers users a low-fee home loan, all accessed through their 2023 Mozo Experts Choice Award-winning app. This eye-catching home loan only needs a 10% deposit and offers free unlimited repayments with a redraw facility, and up to 50 offset accounts (T&Cs apply). It’s no wonder it won awards in the first home buyer and offset home loan categories in the 2024 Mozo Experts Choice Awards. They’ll also cover the first $400 of your property valuation. Up home loans are only available to owner-occupiers buying or refinancing in major Australian cities. Up is 100% owned by Bendigo Bank.

Time and money: how much does an offset account save?

Everyone’s circumstances are different. To illustrate how much time and money an offset could save, we’ll look at an example of someone with a $600,000 home loan and $12,000 in an offset account.

For a home loan without an offset account and an interest rate of 5.95% p.a., you’ll pay $554,247 in total interest over a 25 year loan term. 

If you had $12k in an offset, not only could you save around $39,070 in interest repayments, but you could also shave approximately 1 year and 1 month off the length of your loan. That’s not counting any extra repayments, or any top-ups to your offset accounts you make. 

Say you were to save an extra $100 per month into your offset account. Doing that, you could be looking at total interest savings of $71,288 and shaving off about 2 years and 4 months from your loan term. 

Of course, these numbers hinge on the notion that you’ll never make a withdrawal from your offsets, which isn’t realistic for a lot of people. Even still, it certainly illustrates the utility and the reason why offsets are popular. 

What’s the verdict?

As for Up Home’s 50 offset account feature, maybe it’s just a novelty. But, it certainly got me thinking about what you could do with more offsets than usual. 

If you’re keen on checking out what Up’s home loans are all about, you can read our review of the Up Home Variable Rate, or compare home loans to see how it tracks against the competition.

Home loan comparisons on Mozo - last updated 16 April 2024

Search promoted home loans below or do a full Mozo database search. Advertiser disclosure
  • Offset Home Loan

    Package, Owner Occupier, LVR<60%, Principal & Interest

    variable rate
    comparison rate
    Initial monthly repayment
    6.15% p.a.
    6.40% p.a.

    Ability to open up to 10 offset accounts per loan account. Fast online application. Linked Debit Mastercard® with fee-free access at ATMs across Australia. Package a credit card with your home loan and the annual card fee will be waived (T&Cs apply). 40% deposit required.

    Compare
    Details
  • Mozo Expert Choice Badge
    Express Home Loan

    Owner Occupier, Principal & Interest, LVR <90%

    variable rate
    comparison rate
    Initial monthly repayment
    6.01% p.a.
    6.14% p.a.

    Get fast online approval from the award-winning Bendigo Bank Express Home Loan. Multiple offset accounts and redraw available. 100% offset on variable rate loans and partial offset on fixed rate. Flexible repayment options. New home loans only.

    Compare
    Details
  • Neat Home Loan

    Owner Occupier, Principal & Interest, LVR <60%

    variable rate
    comparison rate
    Initial monthly repayment
    6.14% p.a.
    6.16% p.a.

    Competitively-priced variable rate loan. Ideal for owner occupiers and investors. No service fees to pay. Make free extra repayments and redraws. Flexible repayment schedule available.

    Compare
    Details
  • Basic Home Loan

    Owner Occupier, LVR 60-70%, Principal & Interest

    variable rate
    comparison rate
    Initial monthly repayment
    6.15% p.a.
    6.17% p.a.

    Enjoy a low rate home loan with $0 application fee and $0 ongoing fees. Flexibility to split your loan and set different repayment types. Fee free redraw from your loan using online banking. Flexible ways to repay. 30% Deposit required.

    Compare
    Details

* 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.

** Initial monthly repayment figures are estimates only, based on the advertised rate. You can change the loan amount and term in the input boxes at the top of this table. Rates, fees and charges and therefore the total cost of the loan may vary depending on your loan amount, loan term, and credit history. Actual repayments will depend on your individual circumstances and interest rate changes.

^See information about the 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.