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A pathway to opportunity

A pathway to opportunity

Posted 12 May 2021

Kristy and Walter have something to celebrate and we’re proud to celebrate with them too. The couple entered home ownership back in 2014-15 through the assistance of a home loan through IBA. Now, thanks to a new approach from IBA, they have successfully refinanced their IBA loan and are realising the benefits of a mainstream home loan, achieving savings each month on their loan repayments.

Kristy and Walter with their daughter on the day they moved in to their home.

“IBA has partnered with like-minded lenders to provide a pathway for our existing borrowers who are considering refinancing their home loan. Our banking partners are committed to continue to provide support to borrowers through building strong and respectful relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, communities and businesses,” Kirsty Moore, IBA’s Executive Director Products and Markets explains.

At IBA, not only do we rejoice in our customers successfully obtaining a home loan, we also celebrate our customers who are able to go on and refinance to a mainstream lender. Kristy and Walter are one such couple and wanted to share their story with others who may be considering a change.

Their journey started seven years ago.

“We were renting together and paying off someone else’s (mortgage),” says Walter. “All that money for something that would never be ours.”

They were focused on getting their own home, however with limited deposit they struggled to get a home loan from a mainstream lender.

Around this time, Walter’s cousin had recently been approved a home loan through IBA and recommended they should ring IBA for a yarn.

“The deposit was much lower than a mainstream bank, and we didn’t have to pay LMI (Lenders Mortgage Insurance).” says Kristy. “It was an awesome hand up.”

They were approved for a split home loan with IBA and another bank, and moved into their family home in 2015. Their plan was to refinance the IBA loan as soon as they were able to.

IBA offers a discounted commencing interest rate to eligible customers which gradually increases each year until it reaches the IBA Home Loan Rate.

“IBA was a foot in the door for us, but we wanted to refinance and free up money so someone else could have the awesome opportunity with IBA that we had,” they agree.

Due to a downturn in property prices in Townsville, refinancing and transitioning 100% of their loan to their other lender was harder than expected. The couple found the process with their other bank to be complicated and lengthy. They were rejected for refinance despite having always met their loan repayments.

The experience was upsetting, and the couple didn’t know which way to turn. That was when Raelene from IBA called and let them know about the recently launched Banking Partnership arrangement where IBA has formed relationships with mainstream banks who are committed to supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in their home ownership journeys. Raelene provided them with contact details of each of the banking partners.

“My confidence had been shattered by the experience I’d had,” says Kristy. “We spoke to (one of the banking partners) and they took the time to understand where we’d been and how to help. They held our hand through the whole thing, let us call whenever we wanted.

It only took about four weeks before we were approved. It’s really changed our life.”

The savings that have resulted from their new rate has enabled Walter to make a career change and follow his dream to become a carpenter. The couple, along with their two young children, can continue to enjoy their family home with their new lender.

“We’ve worked really hard, and gone without plenty of times, to keep our house. Since the day we decided to buy, our house has been our number one financial priority,” Walter says. “Hopefully our sacrifices mean our kids won’t have to work as hard or sacrifice as much as we have.”

When a loan is refinanced, the funds are returned to IBA and re-used to enable new home loans to be provided to other Indigenous first home buyers. “It’s so good to know we’re not blocking the way for someone else,” Kristy says. “Another young family can now use IBA.”

Learn more about IBA's Banking Partnership.