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Expert review

Marc Terrano

Review by


Marc Terrano is a lead publisher and growth marketer at Finder. He has previously worked at Finder as a publisher for frequent flyer points and home loans, and as a writer, podcast host and content marketer. Marc has a Bachelor of Communications (Journalism) from the University of Technology Sydney. He’s passionate about creating honest and simple reviews and comparisons to help everyone get value for money.

Expert review

With a variable loan you are not locked into any set interest rate which means that it can change if there is any change in the cash rate, although good if the cash rate is lowered and this is passed on it can hurt your budget if the rate is raised and you had not prepared properly. Unlike a lot of other variable rate home loans the Community First Basic Variable Home Loan does not offer an offset account that can help to lower the amount of interest you pay on your loan in the long-term.

Although there are no account keeping or ongoing fees and you have the redraw facility to access any extra repayments you have made, there is a fee of $15 for any redraws processed online and $30 for any done over the counter in a branch. You will also pay a $600 application fee that includes up to two splits.

About this loan

What are the features and benefits of the Community First Basic Variable Home Loan?

The Community First Basic Variable Home Loan is a home loan with all of the standard features you expect without paying for the features you don't need. These features include:

  • Loan amount: You will be able to borrow up to $1,000,000 for your new home.
  • LVR: With a maximum LVR of 80%, that also gives a discounted interest rate. You could borrow 90% LVR if you pay Lenders Mortgage Insurance.
  • Redraw facility: As the amount of your loan that's paid off grows you may run into a situation where you may wish to redraw some funds to pay for home improvements or educational expenses. These things sometimes happen, so Community First offers you the ability to redraw funds from your home loan. There is no minimum redraw amount, so you can make your home loan work for you even more, however there are fees associated with redrawing funds from your loan.
  • Repayment flexibility: Community First doesn't believe you should be penalised for paying off a little more. So they offer you the ability to make extra repayments for free. They also help to make your repayments as easy as possible. You can choose from a variety of flexible repayment options, including a repayment schedule that follows a monthly, fortnightly or weekly time period.
  • Access: Community First understands the importance of being able to manage your financial information from anywhere and at any time. You can choose from several options including internet banking, telephone banking options and even mobile banking options. You can choose to receive e-statements for instant access to your loan information.
  • Customer service: While these options are great, some people still prefer a traditional experience when dealing with their loan. Community First also offers over the counter personal service at any of their 13 Financial Service stores and via their call centre so you can talk to a real person if you choose.

The Community First Basic Variable Home Loan is offered to people looking to fund their investment properties, for construction purposes and for the procurement of an owner-occupied home. This makes it a great basic loan for just about anyone.

What fees and charges come with this loan?

  • Account keeping fees: There are no monthly or annual account keeping fees charged for this loan.
  • Redraw fees: If you redraw any extra payments you have made into your loan you will be charged $15 for an online redraw and $30 for any processed in branch.
  • Application fee, $600. This fee is charged for organising the setting up of your loan.

How to apply

You can apply with Community First by visiting a financial service store or by visiting their website and filling out an online application. You can also book the services of a mobile manager, who's job it is to give you some one on one personal advice and make it easy by coming to visit you. When and wherever you need them they can be there to assist you in getting the home loan you want.

What information do you need to apply?

There are eligibility requirements that you will need to meet when you want to apply for the Community First Basic Variable Home Loan, such as:

  • You must be over 18 years of age
  • You must have a regular income and not be bankrupt
  • You must be an Australian citizen, a permanent resident or have an approved working Visa
  • You have not had any defaults on any loans, credit cards, interest-free finance or store cards in the last five years
  • You have been in your current job for longer than three months

There are also certain documents and information you will need to supply when you are going through the application process.

  • Personal details: Such as your current and previous address, phone number and email address
  • Income details: Including details of your income and employment, any assets you currently have such as another home, car or savings and any other debts you may have like your credit card limit, car or personal loan or any other mortgages you currently have.

The processing of your application varies depending on how long you take to provide all the appropriate information, but a Community First banker will strive to get back to you within 24-48 hours from when you submit your application.

Home Loan Offers

Important Information*
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Westpac Flexi First Option Home Loan - Basic Variable Rate (Owner Occupier, P&I)

Up to $3,000 refinance cashback. A flexible and competitive variable rate loan. Eligible borrowers refinancing $250,000 or more can get $2,000 cashback per property plus a bonus $1,000 for their first application. Other conditions apply.

Logo for St.George Basic Home Loan - LVR 60% to 80% (Owner Occupier, P&I)
St.George Basic Home Loan - LVR 60% to 80% (Owner Occupier, P&I)

Up to $4,000 refinance cashback With this competitive variable rate loan from St.George, refinancers borrowing $250,000+ can get up to $4,000 cashback and borrow up to 80% of the property's value (terms, conditions & exclusions apply).

Logo for Athena Liberate Home Loan - 70% to 80% LVR Owner Occupier, P&I
Athena Liberate Home Loan - 70% to 80% LVR Owner Occupier, P&I

A competitive variable rate mortgage for owner occupiers $0 application and $0 ongoing fees. This interest rate falls over time as you pay off the loan.

Logo for Suncorp Back to Basics Home Loan - Better Together Special Offer $150k+ LVR ≤ 80% (Owner Occupier, P&I)
Suncorp Back to Basics Home Loan - Better Together Special Offer $150k+ LVR ≤ 80% (Owner Occupier, P&I)

Get a competitive variable interest rate with no application fee or ongoing fees.

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2 Comments

    Default Gravatar
    gen
    October 13, 2013

    hello
    does community first lend money for a mortgage on a studio apartment in bondi, with 50% deposit?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      Marc
      October 14, 2013

      Hello Gen,
      thanks for the question.

      You may wish to speak to Community First directly in regards to this.

      Cheers,
      Marc.

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