Up your home loan game with this little-known lender

Young first-home buyers often enter the property market these days with the odds stacked against them: lunar home values, skyrocketing interest rates, and alien jargon. However, there’s an online lender in the space whose app aims to give you stellar home loans, straight up.

Backed by award-winner Bendigo, Up has revamped digital banking since 2018. The innovative digital bank instantly made an impression with its eye-catching app, useful money features like Roundups, and impressive savings rates. Then in July 2022, Up launched its home loan offers.

“Up Home is a great option for young first home buyers because it’s simple, clear and fair: a digital loan you can handle yourself easily with no surprises,” Up chief product officer, Anson Parker, told Mozo.

“It’s not just a loan though: before you buy, Up has free tools to help you save your deposit, learn about buying, and get instant conditional pre-approval.”

What’s hot about Up home loans?

Images courtesy of Up.

Up’s main focus when building its home loans was to cut down confusion for first home buyers and refinancers alike. All terms and conditions are written in plain English, so you don’t have to worry, guess, or wonder if there’s a secret you’re not in on. 

“Above all we wanted to create an easy home loan with no gotchas — one that works the way a good home loan should work without you needing to become an expert,” explains Parker.

“That’s why there's no sneaky different rate for new and existing customers. Your Up Home loan just looks after itself.”

Right off the bat, the good news is that Up’s variable home loan charges no upfront, ongoing, or discharge fees, so most of the lending costs that normally inflate the comparison rate don’t apply. As a result, Up’s current headline variable rate and comparison rate are the same: 6.15% p.a. This rate is 69 basis points below the current Mozo variable average – nice!

But if you’re keen on repayment consistency, Up’s fixed rates are still some of the most competitive Mozo tracks. At the time of writing, Up’s 4-year fixed term is the lowest rate of its kind in the Mozo database. 

If you’re already an “Upsider”, i.e. bank with Up, then the home loan application process is ultra-streamlined. Up will simply analyse your spending/saving history to calculate your borrowing power, which it claims can make pre-approval “super fast”. 

Once approved and settled, Up instantly flips your Up savings accounts into offset accounts, meaning you could have up to 50 offset accounts saving you interest while still spruiking the same Roundup, Tracker, and Pay Split tools you enjoy, as well as the new budgeting tool Hi-Fi which automatically divides your regular income into bills, savings, and spendable balances. Alas, you won’t earn any bonus interest on these savers – they are offset accounts, after all.

Images courtesy of Up.

Speaking of terms and conditions, there are a few to know. You can apply with a deposit as small as 10%, though for deposits less than 20% (or 30% for certain high-density apartments), you’ll need to take out Lenders Mortgage Insurance. Up will cover the first $400 of property valuation fees, but you’ll still need to pay the rest of yourself. 

Up’s home loans are also only available for homes in capital cities and major metropolitan areas, so if you’re buying regionally, you could be out of luck.

However, if you’re just comparing home loans, no worries. Up lets you open a Home Deposit Savers account to help you budget for that crucial upfront cost (minus stamp duty). This savings account can also factor in pay bumps, like contributions from the Bank of Mum and Dad, that help you get there, and tells you how long till you reach your goal based on your saving/spending patterns. 

Up also boasts a free borrowing power tool that comes with a twist. Instead of telling you how much you can borrow, it tells you what price property you can buy, what income you’ll need, and what your mortgage repayments would be at the current interest rate over a 30-year loan term with 80% LVR. 

“While buying your first home can be hard, we think getting a good home loan should be easy,” says Parker.

“Find your home, apply through Up, and we’ll take care of the rest.”

Don't overlook the little lenders

Interested in comparing Up? It starts with ‘u’. See how it stacks up against some of the hottest online lenders below.

Each loan offer has no annual fee, a competitive interest rate, and a “fast” digital application process (according to the lenders). And it gets better: each lender also won a Mozo Experts Choice Award in 2023.

Mozo may receive payment if you click the products below. We don’t compare the entire market, but you can search our database of 471 home loans.
Last updated 22 July 2024 Important disclosures and comparison rate warning*
Up - Up Home Variable
  • Variable interest rate 5.95% p.a. (5.95% p.a. comparison rate*) for LVRS < 90%
  • Up to 50 free offset accounts (T&Cs)
  • No application, monthly, annual, redraw, or discharge fees
Find out more

No need to haggle or negotiate: this is Up’s headline and only variable rate home loan. Spruiking a competitive variable interest rate and backed by Bendigo, Up Home is a remarkably low-fee home loan, all accessed through the aesthetically pleasing app. 

While it’s only available to owner-occupiers buying or refinancing in major Australian cities, the free unlimited repayments with a redraw and up to 50 offset accounts make it an eye-catching offer. Plus, Up covers the first $400 of your property valuation.

Up won an Excellent Banking App crown at the 2023 Mozo Experts Choice Banking Apps & Tech Awards, while its Everyday Account took home a win for Exceptional Everyday Account at the 2023 Mozo Experts Choice Bank Accounts Awards.

Unloan - Unloan Variable
  • Variable interest rate from 5.99% p.a. (5.90% p.a. comparison rate*) for LVRS < 80%
  • Shaves 1 basis point off your interest rate every year for up to 30 years (T&Cs)
  • No application, monthly, annual, redraw, or discharge fees

Looking to switch and save on your home loan? Unloan, built by Commonwealth Bank, hit the ground running in the refinance market in mid-2022. While this innovative home loan is only available for refinancers, its novel rate discount, free unlimited extra repayments with a redraw, and astonishing lack of fees instantly wow. 

To be eligible, you must be a refinancer with at least 80% LVR and a loan size between $10,000 and $10 million. Sadly, there is no offset account. 

Unloan won Best New Home Loan at the 2023 Mozo Experts Choice Home Loan Awards.

ubank - Neat Saver Variable
  • Variable interest rates from 6.14% p.a. (6.16% p.a. comparison rate*) for LVRs < 80%
  • No annual fee
Find out more

As tidy as they come, ubank’s “back to basics” variable home loan has the touch of an online lender with the no-fuss power of a well-loved and Australia-first digital bank. Backed by NAB, the Neat Saver Variable home loan has competitive variable interest rates that can be tiered from LVRs as low as 60% to as high as 85% (though LVRs over 80% may have to pay Lenders Mortgage Insurance).

The main downside is this loan isn’t fee-free: you’ll have to pay a $250 loan advance fee and $300 discharge fee, though ubank will cover the first $360 of your property valuation. The Neat Saver Variable offer also doesn’t come with an offset account, but you can make additional payments at no extra cost with a redraw facility. 

ubank won twice at the 2023 Mozo Experts Choice Bank Accounts Awards, both times for Exceptional Everyday Account.

We’ve rounded up the best online mortgage lenders for your convenience. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter Moneyzone for tips & tricks straight into your inbox.

* 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.