General borrowing questions

What is a mortgage?

A mortgage is simply a debt secured by a registered charge over real estate. It is a legal obligation by the borrower (mortgagor) to pay the the lender (mortgagee) a certain amount of money on stipulated terms and conditions. A mortgage is registered in the Land Titles Office and cannot be removed other than with the consent of the lender or by a court order.

Who do I contact if I want more information?

If you have any questions call 13 80 10, 8.30 am to 5.30 pm weekdays. We will be happy to answer all of your questions.

Why use La Trobe Financial to borrow money?

La Trobe Financial is accepted as a leading specialist lender in Australia. We are not a 'tick the box' type lender, but will consider all of your personal circumstances fairly and compassionately. You can also choose the length of your loan that best suits your needs, with our flexible repayment schedules from 1 to 30 years. We also provide a free redraw service for your repayments received ahead of schedule.

Approachable & Reasonable
We specialise in mortgage loans for any reasonable purpose and helping people with debt consolidation. So if you need a mortgage loan from as little as $100,000 up to $10 million, or simply need to get your debts under control, we can help.

Simple Application Process
Call 13 80 10 now or fill out an Application form today. It only takes 15 minutes to apply for a Loan at La Trobe Financial; it's that simple. And if you need a hand completing the application, just ask one of our friendly Senior Managers Client Partnershps - they'll be happy to help.

Fast Approval (On-The-Spot)
We can often tell you on the spot whether your application for a Loan has received indicative approval subject to our usual lending assessment criteria.

Personal Service
You won't be talking to an answering machine at La Trobe Financial. With La Trobe Financial Representatives across Australia, and our 13 80 10 National Mortgage Hotline open 8:30am to 5:30pm Mon-Fri, you will receive personal attention with your Loan application from start to finish. Simply call - you don't need an appointment to speak to any of our Sales Team.

How does La Trobe Financial differ from a Bank and Broker?

La Trobe Financial is a licensed Credit Provider, and operates in each state and territory in Australia. We lend money on specific yet flexible terms and have done so for over 64 years covering some $12 billion of funding and over 128,000 individual mortgage loans.

We source money from retail investment in our retail Credit Fund, which is the single largest Fund of its type in Australia, and also from wholesale institutional mandates from Institutional Investors, and the capital markets by issuing mortgage backed bonds.

La Trobe Financial is a flexible, independent credit specialist regulated by ASIC, so you are talking directly to the credit provider when you speak with us.

What's the difference between a Principal & Interest Home Loan and an Interest-only Home Loan?

Principal & Interest means you make repayments against both the original amount borrowed ('Principal') and the interest charged. Interest-only means that you only make repayments to meet the interest charged (often for an initial period at the start of your loan). You should consult with a financial advisor to determine which option best suits your individual requirements and objectives.

Why would I take out an interest only loan?

Usually investors and borrowers choose interest only repayments to maximise the benefits of negative gearing; that is tax benefits. With interest only repayments you do not pay off the principal amount borrowed during the term of the loan. The whole of the principal amount is repaid at the end of the loan.

What do I do now?

Apply by telephone - free on 13 80 10. Our system allows us to fully assess your application in the fastest time possible, which means we can give you a quick answer.

We can help:

  • Short term self-employed
  • Self-employed without 2 years completed taxation returns
  • Paid Defaults, Judgments, on your credit file on merit
  • Recently discharged bankrupt
  • Unusual deposit source- limited savings history
  • Irregular employment history, including contract, seasonal, part time, casual or temporary work
  • Recently arrived in Australia or a non-resident
  • Employed for a short period of time
  • Large number of debts to consolidate
At La Trobe Financial we focus on how we CAN HELP you RIGHT NOW.

What's negative gearing?

This is where you have borrowed money to invest (such as buying property) and the income from an investment property (like rental payments) doesn't cover its costs (such as mortgage payments). Get in touch with your accountant or financial advisor to find out more.

I'm a first time buyer

We can help you with purchasing your first home through our Parent-to-Child loan.
View Details

Before the loan questions

How do I apply for a La Trobe Financial Loan?

Simply download an application form from this site, complete in full and forward it to our office for consideration.

How much can I borrow?

The most important considerations are that you can afford the monthly repayments and that you are a property owner. The maximum amount you can borrow under a La Trobe Financial Loan is $10 million and the minimum is $100,000. We'll lend you up to 95% of the value of the property in certain circumstances. If you're self employed, you can take up the Lite-Doc® option, which means we can lend you up to 80% of the value of the property you want to purchase with alternate documentation. If you're not an Australian resident, you can borrow a low percentage of the value of the property you'd like to purchase. The specific amount you can borrow is based on your income, your credit history, your current financial commitments and the value of the property you're interested in or currently own.

To do your own estimate, calculate what you could borrow.

What identification will I need to provide?

You will need to provide suitable identification at the time of your application such as a copy of your driver’s licence, Medicare card, passport, or birth certificate. BAS, Bank Statements if available. If you are a non-resident borrower you will need an Australian Company Number (ACN) or an agent appointed in Australia to receive documentation on your behalf.

What evidence of my income will I need to supply?

For a Full Doc loan, you will need to supply a copy of your most recent payslips or a letter from your employer detailing your income and length of employment. For LiteDoc loans (for self-employed applicants) we will require an accountant's certificate and a repayment declaration. If your accountant is unable to provide an accountants certificate, we may be able to accept BAS statements or trading statements in lieu of the accountants certificate.

How do I prove my Income?

If you are a PAYG employee we require copies of your payslips, or a letter from your employer in order to prove your income. If you are Self Employed, we require other proof of income such as Tax Returns or Audited Accounts, or you may choose to apply for a loan on a Lite-Doc® basis. In these circumstances La Trobe Financial will undertake reasonableness testing of what you state as your income. Please contact us if your circumstances are unusual. If you do not have supporting financial information we may still be able to assist with a mortgage. We will consider income from a variety of sources including salary full time, part time, casual, self employed earnings, dividends, rental income and any other source of regular and recurring income including Government Benefits.

Can I get my loan approved, even if I haven’t found a property

La Trobe Financial welcomes prepurchase applications to provide you with the confidence of knowing the maximum amount you can borrow before committing to a particular property. Talk to us about applicable conditions.

Should I use a Broker?

The 11 things you must know before applying for your home loan through a broker:

  1. A broker should have a wide range of home loans from a wide variety of lenders, eg. banks and non-banks. The wider the choice, the better the chance of finding the loan that meets your requirements and obligations.
  2. Check the qualifications and experience of your broker, even ask for references from previous borrowers. Are they a member of a recognised professional industry body, such as the MFAA or the FBAA? Have they completed training courses?
  3. Ensure your broker is not an agent soley for one lender in disguise. Some lenders now operate as brokers too, so establish with any broker representative exactly what their role is.
  4. Make sure your broker discloses all commission and payments received so you can judge whether a particular loan recommendation is being influenced by how much the broker will be paid.
  5. Does the broker charge a fee? Many brokers will not charge borrowers for using their service, others will, so enquire about fees at the outset.
  6. Ask your broker how the loans they offer are researched and rated. Good brokers should be able to clearly outline their criteria.
  7. Ask your broker to provide a formal comparison of any loans recommended including the upfront and ongoing fees and the AAPR (average annual percentage rates).
  8. Always do some double-checking to satisfy yourself you've been given unbiased and correct information. Check what service is offered by the broker after the loan is negotiated. Will the broker be available for subsequent loan enquiries? What happens if there is a dispute between you and the lender?
  9. Will your broker comply with the Privacy Act to ensure the security of your personal and financial details?
  10. Your broker should have professional indemnity insurance. This safeguard will help you in the event of legal action.
  11. As a last resort, the independent Credit and Investments Ombudsman Limited (CIO) (1300 78 08 08) also the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) (1300 78 08 08) is available if there is a dispute you can't resolve with your broker directly.

What's involved in getting a home loan?

Here are the steps, plain and simple:

  1. Fill out the easy form or speak to staff on 13 80 10 between 8:30am and 5:30pm EST Monday to Friday.
  2. We'll ring you back with a status update - this could be a conditional approval.
  3. We'll ask you to send us some documents relating to your income and the property you want to buy.
  4. We'll do a valuation on the property.
  5. Formal approval time - you'll be sent a settlement pack with all the forms you need to sign.
  6. You send everything back to our solicitor who ensures all the documentation is signed properly.
  7. A date is set for your settlement (our solicitor lets you know what that is).
  8. You receive your money and settle!
Once the application is assessed, following acceptable credit checks, employment checks (if fully verified), valuations and mortgage insurance and lending criteria have been met, the loan is then approved. You will be notified in writing of the approval. Should formal approval not be available a request for more information may be necessary. Soon after approval, you will receive loan contracts from La Trobe Financial's solicitors, for you to read and understand and then sign and return to our solicitor, in order for settlement to take place. It is recommended that you have your solicitor or conveyancer check the documents on your behalf. Once our solicitor receives the signed contracts, your loan is booked in for settlement. At settlement, money exchanges between the parties and your new loan is activated. From this date onwards your obligations under the loan contract commence and you make the required payments.

What can I use the loan for?

Purchase, refinance, debt consolidation, construction or cash-out. Maybe you need to reduce your monthly outgoings by paying off all your debts, leaving you with one lower and more manageable monthly payment. Or perhaps you'd like to buy a new car, boat or caravan. How about a luxury cruise or exotic holiday? What about new windows, or a conservatory, maybe an extension? It's really is up to you, We have the products to cater for many needs.

Are there any properties La Trobe Financial does not lend against?

Yes there are some properties that are considered unacceptable security some of which are -

  • Resort apartments
  • Hotel / motel rooms
  • Studio apartments that are under a certain size
There is no one rule that deems these as certain; for more detailed information on acceptable and unacceptable security, we recommend that you speak to one of our specialist staff who will more than happy to assist.

What is the minimum deposit?

Usually 5% but higher depending on each Loan Product. Deposit does not always have to be from savings.

Do I have to pay stamp duty?

Yes, when you purchase property. The amount varies in each state. Check with your solicitor/conveyancer.

Can I borrow the same amount that I borrowed for my first home loan?

If you have sufficient equity built up in your first home, you'll probably be able to borrow more. During the whole process, your aim should be to keep your home loan percentage to no more than 80% of the value of both properties put together. That way, you'll avoid mortgage insurance and any other restrictions on home loans of 80% or more.

Saving on your loan questions

Additional repayments

Making additional repayments beyond what's required in your minimum monthly repayment is one of the best ways to reduce the total interest paid and term of your loan.
As a rule of thumb, every $1 in extra repayments you make early in the life of your loan saves around $2 in interest over the term of the loan, depending on the level of interest rates.
Consider either one-off lump sum payments when you have spare cash or commit to increasing your regular repayment amount. However, make sure that your loan allows you to make additional repayments without penalty. Fixed-rate and basic (or 'no-frills' loans) often have restrictions on extra repayments or charge a break fee for the privilege.

Look for flexibility

When taking out a loan make sure it offers the flexibility to meet the changing circumstances you will undoubtedly experience over the 10 to 30 years of your loan. The ability to make extra repayments, redraw extra repayments, fix the rate on a portion of the loan, or refinance to another loan if need be are all features to be considered.
Some fixed term and rate loans and some basic loans don't allow you to make additional repayments, or charge a penalty for doing so. Make sure you understand the terms and conditions before taking out your loan.

Make the most of rate falls

If monthly repayments drop because interest rates have fallen, try to maintain the old repayment levels. This means you will pay off more of the principal with each repayment, reduce the term of your loan and the total amount of interest paid.

Make your surplus cash work harder

Use cash savings to help pay off your loan quicker. Remember the old saying 'a dollar saved is a dollar earned'? If you have a home loan at 7 per cent, every extra dollar you pay off the principal is another dollar you are not paying 7 per cent on each year. If you instead put that extra dollar into a savings account may only be earning 2 or 3 % interest. Therefore putting savings into your loan could earn you twice as much as a savings account. These days, redraw facilities available on most standard variable loans allow you to take back those extra payments if needed anyway. La Trobe Financial also offers competitive returns on monies invested for 12 months. Please enquire.

Pay your loan off quicker with fortnightly or weekly repayments

Dividing your minimum monthly repayment into two fortnightly or four weekly payments can reduce the term of your loan in two ways:

  • because there are more than two fortnights or four weeks in every month, dividing your original monthly repayment into two or four means you actually pay more over the course of a calendar month.
  • when interest is calculated daily, the more frequent repayments result in less interest being charged to your loan over the course of a month.
But watch out. If requesting fortnightly or weekly repayments, make sure you specifically ask your lender to halve or quarter the monthly repayment. Unless you ask them, many lenders these days will just calculate the more frequent repayment on the basis of the minimum required fortnightly or weekly repayment, delivering very little extra repayment advantage.

Quit smoking - just a healthier option all round

If you smoke a pack of cigarettes a day, it is costing you almost $7000 a year. Quit, and put the daily saving of $20 or so aside and pay an extra $600 each month off your mortgage. Use our Calculator to see how much you can save and how quickly you'll repay the mortgage (but it won't tell you how much longer you will live as a result).

During the loan questions

How do I make my repayments?

Repayments can be made by a number of methods, with the frequency of repayments being flexible. You can make payments by La Trobe Financial's Direct Debit system (at no cost), BPay or direct salary crediting. These repayments can be made weekly, fortnightly, or monthly. Repayment methods other than Direct Debit incur costs. Please contact La Trobe Financial on 13 80 10 to confirm current costs.

How can we repay our loan sooner?

With a La Trobe Financial variable or fixed rate loan, simply making your repayments fortnightly instead of monthly not only saves you money, but may reduce the term of your loan. For some of our loan products you may be able to increase your repayments or make lump sum repayments (of up to $10,000 in any calendar month without cost) when you have extra cash which will reduce the interest you pay and ultimately reduce the term of your loan.

What if my personal or financial circumstances change?

If you're worried you might have trouble making payments, call our Asset Management Team on 1800 620 639 between 8:30am and 5:30pm Mondays to Fridays EST, so we can try to work together to meet your repayment obligations under your credit contract.

If I have a variable rate loan and I think interest rates are going to rise, can I change to a fixed rate?

Because our loans are so flexible, you can move from a variable rate loan to a fixed rate by paying a renegotiation fee.

Do La Trobe Financial loans provide a redraw facility and at what cost?

Yes. Our residential loans give the ability to make extra repayments, whether the interest rate is fixed or variable. This redraw facility is discretionary and can be withdrawn at any time by us as credit provider.

Is there a minimum redraw amount or any limit on the number of transactions I make?

You can redraw a minimum of $1,000 up to your total additional repayments with redraw available at no cost to you.

Can I borrow more in the future?

Yes! Do it the easy way! Simply call us free on 13 80 10, and we will immediately process your request. We already have your details, so this is a straightforward process assuming your application is successful.

What if I want to pay a lump sum off my home loan?

If you come into some extra cash you can pay a lump sum off your La Trobe Financial home loan. This lets you reduce the Principal amount so you pay less interest over the long haul. You can pay up to $10,000 monthly off a fixed rate loan without additional cost on some of our loan products.

What happens if I miss a payment?

You should contact La Trobe Financial immediately.

What is a Redraw?

You may be able to redraw payments made in advance of your required monthly payments, please refer to question 5 above.