The benefits of Australian-style Offset mortgages

​We all think of Australia as Sun, Surf, Snorkelling and this year, the Gold Coast hosting the Commonwealth Games in April, but the other thing that Oz is famous for, is inventing the offset mortgage way back in the 1990s. 

Article date: 08/03/2018

Australians don’t really call them mortgages, they’re known more often as Home Loans - essentially the same thing - and you can only get them if you are “allowed to stay in Australia indefinitely”.

Offset accounts are an established and attractive feature of the majority of home loans, and the saved interest is not taxable income.  99% of Home Loans sold by lenders are on variable rates, but fixed rates are starting to emerge. Some Home Loans allow you to pay off the interest in advance – up to a max of 5 years. 

Here in the UK, we’re perhaps not as strict as who we lend to but your customers must have been in the country for a period of time and have a residency visa. As no interest is earned on your savings, there is no tax liability, and the majority of products sold in the UK are currently Fixed Rates – given the uncertainty over further increases to the Bank of England Base Rate and Brexit.

Offset mortgages are as flexible as the gymnasts performing multiple back flips and splits. With an offset mortgage you’ve access to your savings 24/7. Think of a landlord at auction, looking to buy a property – they have the competitive advantage over other bidders knowing that they have the deposit at their fingertips – and that whilst the money has been sitting in the bank, they’ve been saving on their own monthly mortgage payments.

If your customer's goal is to pay off their mortgage as soon as possible, the reduced term option is the one for them. In the 25 year mortgage race, an offset mortgage will always take top spot on the podium and take the gold medal – your customers will be standing, head held high, when they are mortgage free 3 years and 2 months * ahead of their friends and family.

For your self-employed customers, higher rate tax payers or those receiving regular bonuses - using the offset facility for cash reserves, whilst achieving maximum benefit from their hard earned cash, leaves your customers plenty of spare time to fire up the Barbie, have a cold one and Barrack those taking part in the Commonwealth games.

If you want more information on Offset Mortgages, visit Scottish Widows Bank Offset Hub.