If you are a customer of Sovereign Home Loans, also known as Go Home Loans, you may have recently been informed about some changes. The Sovereign brand is being retired, and ASB, the quiet lender that has been operating in the background, is going to be more visible.
To provide some background, Go Home Loans is what I often refer to as the “side entrance” to ASB for my clients. You can still work with us to arrange a mortgage with ASB in the traditional sense, or you can choose a more curated version through Go Home Loans. Using this lender allows us to provide a higher level of advice and service because some of the information regarding your home loan accounts can be shared with us.
Besides seeing some of your home loan details, what are some other benefits?
While most banks have shifted away from “manual” negotiations on your interest rates at the time of re-fix, this lender still allows us advisers to negotiate manually on your behalf. In most cases, but not every case, the “digital” offers that banks make directly on your app are “fine”, but they’ve been negotiated automatically. If there’s a better option available in the market, when you accept a re-fix rate directly from the bank, there’s always going to be the question – ‘could I have done better by negotiating?’.
It’s cheaper! While the interest rates are the same and the special offers that ASB provides must also be matched through Go Home Loans, there are no fees for revolving line of credit facilities (All floating accounts with Go Home Loans are revolving line of credit accounts. At ASB, a revolving line of credit account is only available as an ‘Orbit‘ facility). This one feature I feel is amazing. If you want more than one facility like this, you’re not punished with multiple fees.
It’s “quieter”! Just want to treat your bank as a “service provider”? Well, when they demand your transactional banking (current accounts, credit cards, direct credit of pay, etc.), you’re not really free to move in the future (because it’s too much of a hassle). We often find with some of our clients, that when the mortgage provider is seperate to the transactional provider, the mortgage is repaid faster.
Having us appointed as your “account manager,” the ability to negotiate on the interest rates manually, the fee-savings, and the “low-noise” aspect of Go Home Loans is why we highly recommend them as a lender. In fact, for any ASB customers who are in-between properties, this is something that could save you a significant amount of interest over the lifetime of the mortgage for all these reasons.
Now that these changes are going through, there are a couple of really amazing things you can look forward to:
The internet banking has been a bit lacking with Sovereign Home Loans, to be honest! And don’t get me started on the paper statements you can’t turn off! This year, you will eventually be shifted over or “migrated” to the ASB online banking platform. Out of all the lenders, this is the one we receive the most positive feedback about, so this is great news.
ASB Visa Debit. Up until this year, you haven’t been able to link a credit card to your banking with Sovereign – this is about to change. Once the migration occurs to ASB (sometime this year), you’ll be able to attach a Visa Debit card to your floating loan account. This means you can effectively create a credit card facility at home loan interest rates!
So, are there any drawbacks?
Only one that I’m currently aware of. For some of our clients, and this may be you, we would have recommended Sovereign in the past because it wasn’t ASB. Perhaps you have a mortgage on another property with ASB, and we wanted to “ring-fence” the equity in another property by using a “different” lender through Sovereign. With this change, this effectively means those with an ASB mortgage as well as a Sovereign mortgage now have the properties “cross-securitized.” If that’s you, please consider seeking some legal advice, or make contact with us here.
That’s it for this important update – please do shout out if you have any feedback or concerns around this process if you’re with this lender.