3 min read | 1 Nov 2022
On the 18th of October, Mortgage Choice and REA Group announced plans to form a strategic partnership with Athena Home Loans that will bring together Athena’s industry-shifting home loan products with the scale and distribution network of the Mortgage Choice brand.
“Customers are increasingly demanding real choice, and we’re delighted to offer Australian borrowers a product that rewards their loyalty, and gives them confidence that they will never miss out,” said Anthony Waldron, CEO of Mortgage Choice and Financial Services at REA Group.
“No matter how long they hold the loan, they will always receive the same low interest rate as a new customer on the same loan product, and their rate will reduce over the life of the loan as the size of their mortgage reduces.”
The Mortgage Choice Freedom and Mortgage Choice Flex white label products will offer a competitive rate structure that ensures existing customers will always receive the same rates as new customers on like-for-like loans. The dynamic pricing structure behind these products rewards customers for paying down their home loan, automatically lowering the interest rate as the size of the mortgage reduces relative to the initial purchase price of their property.
The scale of Mortgage Choice’s network and the reach of REA Group, with realestate.com.au’s unrivalled audience of more than 12 million visitors each month,[i] will enable Australian borrowers to easily access these unique products.
“For some time now, Mortgage Choice has admired Athena’s ethos that ‘it’s not about having a home loan, it’s about getting rid of your home loan’,” said Mr Waldron.
“We are focused on delivering a better experience and greater value for our customers and this means constantly driving innovation in the lending marketplace.
“As an Australian household name, and with more than 1,000 brokers across Australia, Mortgage Choice is uniquely positioned to provide Australian borrowers with access to Athena’s alternative to traditional mortgage structures – no-nonsense products that acknowledge customer loyalty and reward people for paying down their mortgage.”
Recent research conducted by Athena and CoreData into lender behaviour revealed fair value is a hot topic for borrowers. The research showed that while 82% of Australian home loan customers say they’re loyal to their lender, 86% feel they are being penalised for their loyalty when a lender gives a better rate to new customers – and 98% feel they should be rewarded for their loyalty.[ii]
Nathan Walsh, CEO and Co-Founder of Athena Home Loans said, “According to the latest RBA data, customers loyal to their lender are paying an average of 48 basis points more on their mortgage than new customers.[iii] This ‘loyalty tax’ is costing Aussie borrowers billions. So we are thrilled to be partnering with REA Group and Mortgage Choice to offer Athena’s game-changing products to help even more Australians pay off their mortgages faster.”
Mortgage Choice Freedom and Mortgage Choice Flex are expected to hit the market in mid-2023 and will be available through the Mortgage Choice broking network, complementing the 35 lenders already available on its panel. Customers will be able to manage their mortgage through a simple mobile app.
The product will be integrated with the Simpology platform (part-owned by REA Group), a digital loan origination platform that powers end-to-end smart loan application journeys. This will provide customers with a streamlined application process through their Mortgage Choice broker.