Australians with a home loan through Heritage Bank can use their everyday banking balance to reduce their monthly payments. A 100% offset account is a transaction account where the entire balance is deducted from the principal of your home loan before interest is applied. By lowering the amount of your loan, you effectively lower the amount of interest due to the bank each month.
If your regular repayments stay the same during low interest rates, more money is applied towards the principal balance with each repayment, shortening the terms of your home loan over time.
What are the features of the Heritage Bank Mortgage Crusher?
While the benefit of a 100% offset is appealing for homeowners, it is important to remember that this account should also be assisting you in your day to day banking needs. To ensure it can, compare the features that it comes with against the offset transaction accounts that other banks provide:
- Account keeping fee. There are no monthly account keeping fees deducted from your account.
- Transaction fees. The following transactions are allowed an unlimited number of times each month for no fee; online banking, phone banking, SMS account enquiries, direct credits, direct debits, cheque deposits, cash deposits at a branch, BPAY, and counter cash withdrawals and transfers.
- Visa debit card. Your transaction account will be linked to a Visa debit card that can be used to make your everyday transactions by drawing money directly out of your account.
- ATM access. Money can be withdrawn using your linked Visa debit card at Heritage Bank, BankSA, Bank of Melbourne, St.George, and Westpac ATMs.
- EFTPOS. Up to ten EFTPOS purchases can be made monthly before Heritage Bank will begin charging you $0.50 per transaction.
- Overseas withdrawals. You will be charged $5 for any withdrawals made overseas along with a currency conversion fee. Other provider charges might also be charged to you when making withdrawals overseas.
- Electronic transactions. Direct credits such as your salary can be made into the account at no charge to you.
- Availability. The Mortgage Crusher is only available for use with Heritage Bank’s standard variable home loan.
- Balance requirements. In order to receive the offset to your home loan principal, you must have at least $500 in your account.
- Offset type. This is a 100% offset, meaning that the entire balance of the transaction account is deducted from the principal of your home loan, not only a percentage.
- Credit union membership. In order to be eligible for a home loan and the Mortgage Crusher account from Heritage Bank, you first need to become a member. This can be done online and will require you to buy a share in the bank for $1.
- Free internet and phone banking
- $0 account fee per month
- $5 overseas ATM fees
How do I apply for the Heritage Bank Mortgage Crusher?
Before you can apply for the Heritage Bank Mortgage Crusher, you need to be a home loan customer with Heritage Bank and fill out an Offset Account Link form. This form can be accessed by clicking on “Go to Site” now, but there are also other eligibility requirements you should be aware of first:
- Home loan type. The 100% offset account is only offered to customers with the standard variable home loan. If you have a different loan product or a personal loan with Heritage Bank you may want to consider the Loan Offset account instead. This is not a 100% offset account, but it does take a percentage of your balance off of your principal mortgage amount.
- Membership number. Your Mortgage Crusher Account and standard variable home loan must both be held under the same membership number.
The online form can be typed onto and then printed so that it can be submitted to Heritage Bank for review. Alternatively, you can ask for a Mortgage Crusher in person at a local branch or by calling them on the phone. Once the home loan and Mortgage Crusher account have been linked, you can begin building your balance to offset your principal. Once the account has been activated, your Visa debit card or access card will be mailed to your home address.