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Commonwealth Bank’s new “Low Docs” offering makes it easier for Australia’s self-employed to get into property market

14 March 2003

The Commonwealth Bank has launched a new Low Documentation (Stated Income) Loan, which has been developed for the almost one million self-employed Australians who may have trouble obtaining finance.

Commonwealth Bank Group Executive, Retail Banking Services, Hugh Harley said that as Australia’s largest home lender, the Bank values its self-employed customers, and is pleased to introduce its new Low Docs loan which will make home loans more accessible to them.

Low Docs was developed for the 10 per cent of the Australian labour force which is self-employed, and therefore may be excluded from the property market due to the problems of providing verification of their financial details at the time of application.

Low Docs caters for self-employed customers who have an asset base, although are unable to fulfil the usual income verification requirements mainly due to delayed preparation of Financial Statements/Tax Returns.

Mr. Harley said that although the housing boom now looks to be slowing, it is unlikely that investment in property will come to a halt as local and international equity markets are still looking weak.

With interest rates at a 30-year low, lower prices, and with property investment remaining attractive in an uncertain international environment, it is a good time to get into the marketplace.

"We believe that just because you don't have all the right documentation at the right time doesn't mean you can't get into the investment market or buy a larger home for your family," Mr. Harley said.

Mr. Harley said that auction rates are also down for units and houses across Australia.

"This, together with the low interest rates, means more options are now open to those who want to re-enter the market," he said.

"Why should this segment of the market miss out on obtaining investment property or a home to individual family needs just because they are self-employed? Low Docs can now make it easier."

"Obviously there will still be certain conditions which are employed by all responsible lenders, but we are happy to say that the Commonwealth Bank can now say 'yes' where other major banks say 'no'.

Low Docs offers:

  • Flexible financing for self-employed borrowers
  • Repayment Redraw
  • Ability to make extra repayments with no penalty
  • 100% offset with a Mortgage Interest Saver Account
  • No early repayment fee
  • Borrow up to 80%
  • Principal & Interest and Interest Only repayments
  • Choice of weekly, fortnightly or monthly repayments
  • $600,000 loan limit

In line with its commitment to offering customers the highest levels of service quality, the Bank has also launched Top Up - a new feature that could make multiple home loan accounts a thing of the past.

Top Up lets customers borrow additional funds on their Home or Investment Home Loan without needing to take out a separate loan.

This means they can:

  • Consolidate all their housing related debt under one existing account number,
  • Have only one repayment amount, and
  • Pay only one loan service fee.

Customers can also choose to renegotiate their loan over a longer term, subject to normal lending criteria.

Mr Harley said Top Up provides greater convenience to home loan customers by allowing them to take out additional funds, but keep their debt all together in the one account and with the one repayment amount and schedule."

"Customers can use their Top Up funds to pay for things like a new car, home renovations or a holiday, at home loan interest rates," he said.

"Top Up is another way we are supporting our customers in their journey towards the building of their wealth and management of their finances, while helping them to get the most benefit from their mortgage."

For further information on Low Docs or Top Up loans, please call 1800 770 041 or visit www.commbank.com.au

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