ME Bank and Virgin Money slash Lenders Mortgage Insurance

By Olivia Gee ·

As lenders compete for home loan customers amid continued rate cuts, some are offering significant reductions on Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI).

Today, ME Bank announced a 25% cut to LMI for first home buyers combined with discount variable rates on the ME Flexible Home Loan

LMI is typically required on loans with a Loan to Value Ratio (LVR) below 80% (that is, when the deposit is less than 20% of the value of a property). Allowing borrowers with lower deposits to avoid this could cut thousands of dollars from the overall cost of a home loan. 

“We’ve combined our lowest-ever variable rate, no ongoing fees and our fully featured home loan product with an innovative LMI discount to help first home buyers smash through the deposit hurdle,” ME general manager of home lending, Andrew Bartolo said. 

To access ME's reduction and attractive new interest rates, borrowers must have a minimum 5% deposit, intend to live in the property, and start paying back the principal loan amount plus interest. Unlike many first home buyer offers, borrowers can still apply if they have previously or currently own a residential investment property.

The top 2.58% p.a. rate will be reserved for customers with a LVR under 80%. However, those with smaller deposits will still see substantial interest rate drops from ME’s current 4.31% p.a. headline offer. These start from:

- 2.79% p.a. for borrowers with an LVR between 80% and 90% 
- 3.59% p.a. for those with an LVR over 90%

RELATED: St.George reduces Lenders Mortgage Insurance to just $1 for first home buyers.

Virgin Money is going one step further and making LMI $0 for eligible borrowers, whether they’re first-time buyers or upgrading to a new property.

To be eligible, home buyers must apply for a Reward Me Home Loan (OO, P&I) with a deposit of at least 15% of the property’s value. This offer also comes with discounted rates, including:

- Variable rates starting from 2.89% p.a.
Fixed rates starting from 2.49% p.a.

Home loan customers considering Virgin Money’s offer can apply until 29 November, but must have their loan settled by 30 May next year.

At ME Bank, borrowers can apply from today until 20 November, 2020, and need to settle by 26 February, 2021.

If you want to scan more mortgage options, check out the offers below or head to Mozo’s first home loan comparison page.

First home owner loans - last updated January 21, 2021

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Olivia Gee
Money writer

As a personal finance writer at Mozo, Olivia investigates insurance, banking and property. After completing a double degree in journalism and media and communications, Olivia became a lifestyle editor at Time Out Sydney and freelanced for notable publications such as Guardian Australia and SBS News. Now she is Mozo’s resident car insurance enthusiast, and is certified (ASIC RG146 Tier 2) to provide general advice in general insurance. She also creates audible finance adventures as co-host of Mozo’s podcast, The Finance Burrito.