Changes to our home loan terms and conditions and fees
We’re making some changes to our home loan terms and conditions and fees. This is largely to make them more modern and update them for new laws and practice. We’ve also made some changes to some of your and our rights and obligations. We‘ve refreshed our home loan terms and conditions to make them much easier to read and understand and we’re pleased to have achieved the WriteMark Plain Language Standard.
We’re also removing our set up and service fees on standard home loans. As long as you meet your obligations, you’ll pay no fees unless your home loan is on a fixed interest rate and you’re repaying it early – in full or in part, including by breaking your fixed rate term. It’s just another way we’re committed to putting our customers first.
These changes to our home loan terms and conditions and fees will apply to your home loan from Tuesday 7 September 2021.
What does this mean for you
These changes to our home loan terms and conditions don’t affect the frequency or amounts of any regular payments you’re required to make, the current interest rate on your loan, how interest on your loan is calculated or the amount of your loan or credit limit. You can find more information on our variable rates on our website or contact us to check your current rate.
There’s a couple of things we think you should know:
- We have included more key information about your rights and obligations in the home loan terms and conditions.
- Some terms in the new document may not be relevant for your loan. This is because we’re using some different terminology in new loans from 7 September 2021 – for example, we did not use the term ‘table loans with progressive drawdowns’ in the current Loan Contract Terms.
- If you have a personal loan or an overdraft loan, the terms and conditions that apply to these loans will not be changing. The current Loan Contract Terms will continue to apply.
Some of the changes do affect your rights. We’ve also added in a new term that where we do anything in relation to your home loan terms and conditions, we will act fairly and reasonably. We will consider the circumstances, as well as our obligations as a responsible lender.
Here’s an overview of the changes we think are important.
Modernising our documents
- We’re updating the ways we can contact you and provide you information, and the ways you can contact us, about your home loan. We’re allowing more modern forms of communication (like email or text message) to be used, and we’re removing fax as an option. If you don’t have an email address, don’t worry – we’ll still send you communications by post.
- We’ve made some changes to how we deal with independent trustees. This is relevant only if a borrower or covenantor is a trust with an independent trustee (also known as a professional trustee). We still agree to limit the potential liability of independent trustees, but following the recent law change from the Trustee Act 1956 to the Trusts Act 2019, we’ve made some changes to reflect the new law.
Changes to the fees we charge
- We’ve changed how our fees work in relation to early repayment of your home loan. We’ll no longer charge a ‘fixed loan prepayment administration fee’ if you repay your home loan early if it’s on a fixed interest rate.
- We’ve also renamed the ‘fixed loan prepayment interest’ fee to ‘early repayment fee’ and updated our description of how it is calculated. The fee is still calculated in exactly the same way, and will only be charged in circumstances where you’re repaying your fixed rate home loan in whole or in part including by breaking your fixed rate term.
- We’ll no longer charge a management fee on revolving credit home loans and we’re removing some other fees if you were to breach your home loan contract.
We’ve moved some things around
We’ve included some terms and conditions that were previously set out in any relevant Mortgage. This includes:
- Certain obligations you have if you breach the home loan terms and conditions – for example, the requirement to compensate us for any claims made against us, to pay us costs of enforcement and to provide us with further information.
- We also now set out in the home loan terms and conditions the consequences of you (or another person who provides us security for your loan) granting a mortgage to another person.
- If a mortgage which secures your home loan is breached, this will also be a breach of the home loan contract.
Other key changes
- One of the important changes in our terms and conditions is that where more than one person is a borrower or covenantor in relation to a loan, each borrower or covenantor, authorises any borrower to agree changes to your home loan contract on their behalf. It’s important everyone understands how decisions can be made in relation to your loan, and we think this will make it easier to manage your loan. You should always make sure you get the agreement of all borrowers and/or covenantors before making any changes to your home loan contract.
- We’ve updated the description of the circumstances where we have the right to ask you to repay your loan early – see section 15 ‘When you will breach a home loan contract’. We think, overall, these changes are fairer to you. Please make sure you look over this as these terms are very important.