Applied for variable loan, got fixed. Do not trust
Summary: applied for variable rate loan, got signed up to fixed rate loan without telling me. I applied to Reduce Home Loans for a variable loan to refinance my existing one. Their website indicates the loan is variable rate. I did not indicate verbally or in writing that I wanted a fixed rate loan. Neither the mortgage broker or any other person I communicated with gave any indication that the loan would be fixed. My assumption is if I applied for a loan advertised as variable rate (and only variable rate), I would be receiving a variable rate loan. Near to completion of the process, the prevailing interest rate had already dropped. Early March, I contacted and asked a nameless customer service person if the loan would commence at the new lower rate. I was assured over the phone that the lower rate would kick in on the 27th March. I checked shortly after that date and to my surprise the lower rate had not kicked in and on closer investigation of the loan account details at the Adelaide Bank website, I was shocked to find the interest rate marked as 'fixed'. I contacted the mortgage broker, who after some time got back to me that I had 'signed off' on a fixed rate loan because the conditional loan approval document said it was fixed. I went over this document and it does not indicate fixed, all it says is the name of the Adelaide Bank loan product that was being used for the loan was called "Home Owners Dream 3 Yr Fixed Fee Free 80." I took no notice of that, why would I? The name of their loan product means nothing to me - maybe it means there are no fees for the first 3 years? So without a direct word verbally or on paper, they have slipped this 3 year fixed rate past me in the guise of loan product name, for a mortgage product clearly and only identified as a variable rate loan. I can only guess at the motivations of the individual broker and/or company he works for, in doing this. I am livid.
First time using a non-bank lender. Was relatively smooth transition but did take longer than I had expected. A lot of emails so you need to stay on top of your application, but the communication between myself and case manager was clear and consistent. One of the best on-going interest rates so can't complain. Keep in mind that your offset account isn't a "true" offset (ie: in a financial crisis they could pool that money directly into your home loan account).
Refinanced and was a bit sceptical at 1st as it was the first time I had dealt with a non bank, let alone online so I checked them out on various Review sites and to my surprise found the were rates 5 stars by Canstar which my Bank wasn't. I am happy to say dealing with Reduce was leagues above my Bank who have known me for over 15 years and they have the lowest 'genuine' rate by a Country mile.
I received a great rate and great service from Reduced HL. Compare if you like, but you won't get service like this from the big banks! I got a great rate on a fixed term & they're only a phone call away if I have any questions. 10/10.
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