It sometime seems like there are a hell of a lot of different banks, credit unions and other kinds of lenders out there.

As a rule of thumb, a lot of us tend to stick with what we know.

The banks and brands that we stay with year after year, even though we may grumble from time to time about the sort of deals they are offering.

We look at brands that we don’t know with suspicion; not only in spite of the fact they may be offering a great deal, but often because they are offering that great deal.

It must be a scam right?

I am a big fan of the saying “if it seems too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true,” but sometimes there is more to the story.

Let’s take a look at online lenders.


Interest rates may be low, but online only lenders always seem to offer better deals than the big banks.

Getting a home loan from an online lender can mean big savings, but something that is based online is often seen as dodgy, especially for those of us who like to walk into a bricks and mortar establishment so that we can see it is there and a fully operational and well-staffed company.

Online lenders can be great, but they also may not be the right option for everyone, so it’s important to read the fine print.

The reason web-based lenders are able to offer the cheapest rates is because they don’t have the overhead costs that come with those bricks and mortar bank branches.

Think about it, if you don’t have to spend millions buying offices, upholstering them and staffing them, as well as filling them with the latest technology, there must be more money to spend elsewhere right?

By existing online with less staff and saving on advertising campaigns, they have more money to give back to clients.


Of course, that also means they have less staff on hand to offer customer service and deal with individuals.

Choosing online means researching fees, charges and hidden costs yourself, before you sign up.

Remember, a mortgage is a financial partnership that lasts for decades, so do your due diligence before going online.

Tim McIntyre is the senior real estate reporter for the Daily Telegraph and

Over the past decade, he has attained widespread knowledge of Australia’s many unique property markets and is an authority on all things buying, selling and investing.

His commentary appears every Saturday in the Daily Telegraph Real Estate lift out, as well as online at

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