June 19, 2023
Mortgage Choice and Athena Home Loans partner to offer fair-value loan products designed to help Australians pay off their mortgages faster
Mortgage Choice and Athena Home Loans have joined forces to deliver a suite of innovative home loan products designed to help Australian borrowers avoid ‘loyalty tax’ and pay down their home loans faster.
Following the October 2022 announcement of the partnership between Mortgage Choice, REA Group and Athena, today Mortgage Choice officially launched the ‘Mortgage Choice Freedom, powered by Athena’ product suite.
Recently named Australia’s number one brokerage, and with more than 1,000 brokers across the country, Mortgage Choice is uniquely positioned to deliver this ground-breaking home loan offering to Australian borrowers.
Mortgage Choice CEO Anthony Waldron said, “Mortgages are widely recognised as the biggest monthly expense for households in Australia. With 12 interest rate rises since May 2022, and more potentially on the horizon, it’s more important than ever that lenders are giving borrowers a fair go.
“Historically, Australian banks haven’t rewarded borrowers for their loyalty – in fact, long-term customers often watch in disbelief as the bank they’ve been loyal to for years offers new customers much lower rates and other deals like cashback offers. With Mortgage Choice Freedom, it won’t matter if you’re an existing customer or new, you’ll receive the same rate on a like-for-like variable loan.”
Reserve Bank data reveals that customers loyal to their lender are paying an average of 41 basis points more on their mortgage than new customers. It’s estimated that this ‘loyalty tax’ will cost Australians $8.9 billion this year alone.
Recent Mortgage Choice research showed that 88% of mortgage holders believe lenders should give existing customers the same rates and deals as new customers.
Mortgage Choice Freedom rewards customers through a dynamic pricing structure that automatically lowers the borrower’s interest rate as the size of the mortgage reduces relative to the initial purchase price of their property. Keeping these new customer rates for the life of the loan can mean significant savings of up to $1,799 per year, or up to $44,998 across the life of a loan.
“Borrowers are doing it tough right now – there are hundreds of thousands of people moving from low fixed rates to variable rates that are double or triple that fixed rate – calling this an adjustment would be an understatement. The end of these fixed rates will see a significant impact on household budgets. For an average $600,000 mortgage, it’s going to mean around a $20,000 increase in repayments per year. And many of those who have experienced rapid increases in their variable rates over the past 12 months now feel trapped by their current lender because they are unable to refinance elsewhere.”
The three Mortgage Choice Freedom products, which were co-designed with Mortgage Choice brokers, have been designed to meet the needs of different types of borrowers, providing them with a competitive rate that reduces over time. The Mortgage Choice Freedom Saver, Mortgage Choice Freedom Flex and Mortgage Choice Freedom Fixed products offer Athena’s revolutionary home loan features such as rate match for new and existing customers, automatic rate drops as a customer reduces their loan to value ratio, and no lender fees.
Athena Home Loans CEO and Co-Founder Nathan Walsh said, “This is a major milestone for Athena and we’re proud to be scaling our mission to help more Australians pay down their home loan faster with the Mortgage Choice and REA Group partnership.
“The Mortgage Choice Freedom product suite has the goodness of Athena’s game-changing customer value proposition at its core, delivered to consumers through one of the most trusted and experienced brands in the industry. This powerful partnership will continue our mission to change home loans for good.”
Mr Waldron said, “These three Mortgage Choice Freedom products are just the beginning. We are working with Athena on an ambitious roadmap and are looking forward to delivering even more value for Australian borrowers over the coming months.”
About Mortgage Choice:
Established in 1992, Mortgage Choice helps Australians improve their financial situation by offering a choice of home loan providers from a panel of more than 35 lenders, coupled with expert advice from a mortgage professional. Today, Mortgage Choice also helps customers source car loans, personal loans, credit cards, commercial loans, asset finance, deposit bonds and general insurance. In 2021, Mortgage Choice was acquired by global digital property business REA Group. Credit Assistance for Mortgage Choice Freedom products are provided by Mortgage Choice Pty Ltd ACN 009 161 979 (Australian Credit Licence 382869) and Smartline Operations Pty Ltd ACN 086 467 727 (Australian Credit Licence 385325) which are both owned by REA Group Limited ACN 068 349 066. Credit for Mortgage Choice Freedom products is provided by Athena Mortgage Pty Ltd ACN 619 536 506 (Australian Credit Licence 502611) who has been licensed to use the trademarks owned by Mortgage Choice.
Athena was founded in June 2017 by Nathan Walsh and Michael Starkey with a mission to help Australians pay down their home loan faster – to give them a great home loan, and help them get rid of it. Athena built an innovative digital home loan platform to deliver savings to borrowers, backed by local home loan experts, seven days a week. Athena is proud to have been certified as a B-Corp, recognising the importance of changing Australia’s $2 trillion home loan industry for good. Since launch in early 2019, Athena has settled billions in home loans, making it one of Australia’s fastest growing fintechs. Athena has been recognised by multiple innovation awards, including Australia’s Most Innovative Company 2021 and Australia’s Fintech of the Year 2021. Athena Mortgage Pty Ltd (ABN 24 619 536 506, Australian Credit Licence 502611).
About REA Group:
(www.rea-group.com): (www.rea-group.com): REA Group Ltd ACN 068 349 066 (ASX:REA) (“REA Group”) is a multinational digital advertising business specialising in property. REA Group operates Australia’s leading residential and commercial property websites – realestate.com.au and realcommercial.com.au – as well as the leading website dedicated to share property, Flatmates.com.au and property research website, property.com.au. REA Group owns, Mortgage Choice Pty Ltd, an Australian mortgage broking franchise group, and PropTrack Pty Ltd, a leading provider of property data services. In Australia, REA Group holds strategic investments in Simpology Pty Ltd, a leading provider of mortgage application and e-lodgement solutions for the broking and lending industries; Realtair Pty Ltd, a digital platform providing end-to-end technology solutions for the real estate transaction process, Campaign Agent Pty Ltd, Australia’s leading provider of Buy Now Pay Later solutions for the Australian real estate market and Managed Platforms Pty Ltd, an emerging Property Management software platform. Internationally, REA Group holds a controlling interest in REA India Pte. Ltd. operator of established brands Housing.com, Makaan.com and PropTiger.com. REA Group also holds a significant minority shareholding in Move, Inc., operator of realtor.com in the US, and the PropertyGuru Group, South East Asia’s leading PropTech company which operates in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam.
 Uses RBA data from April 2023 for the difference between new and existing home loan variable interest rates. Calculated based on savings on a $600,000 loan across a 25-year term.
 Compares existing and new variable interest rates (source: RBA April 23) on an aggregate variable mortgage outstanding balance of $2.180 trillion (source: RBA April 23) projected over 12 months. Assumes rates and loan balance don't change.
 Research conducted by Honeycomb Strategy for Mortgage Choice, May 2023.
 Uses RBA data from April 2023 for the difference between new and existing loans. Calculated based on savings on a $600,000 loan across a 25-year term.