ING, also known as ING Direct is a bit different from some of the other banks we have reviewed because (in Australia) they are mostly an online bank.
ING has some excellent interest rates and low fees. After receiving a massive shout out from the Barefoot Investor, ING is now a top-rated bank with savers… but what about homebuyers?
Today we review ING Direct Home Loans products and put them through their paces.
Note that this review, interest rates, and product information are correct as of September 2022, and all of this information is subject to change without further notification. Any credit applications are subject to meeting the specific bank’s criteria, and the decision is at their final discretion.
- What are ING Home Loans like?
- What are the different home loan products they offer?
- What are ING Direct Home Loan Interest Rates?
- What documents does ING Direct need for a home loan?
- How much can I borrow from ING?
- What else does ING Direct Offer?
- What are some ING Customer Reviews?
- Have you been declined by ING?
- ING Pre Approval: Should I get one?
- How does ING compare to other banks?
What are ING Home Loans like?
The top 5 things ING are good at are:
- Excellent Interest Rate Discounts… if you are a new customer. ING offers some very sharp rates for new customers, but sometimes it forgets about its existing ones. But, to be fair, it does have a much more relaxed approach to what documents you need to provide compared to the big banks. So ING could be a good option if you aren’t great with paperwork.
- Fairly strong apartment policy. While some other banks have postcode restrictions and will only lend on larger apartments, ING has a minimum apartment size of 40 square metres, with no postcode restrictions.
- Market-leading cash out policy (if you already own a place). If you have an existing property with lots of equity, you can get cash out up to 80% LVR with minimal explanation.
- Very good and straightforward suite of commercial property loans. It has cheap and cheerful commercial property loan products with lower fees than most big banks.
The top 5 things ING isn’t so good at:
- Pre-approval. ING does not fully assess pre-approvals unless you have found a property you will buy—i.e. going to auction. In other cases, it is just doing a credit check and punching out a letter that isn’t worth the paper it’s written on. So be careful of this!
- ING cannot do construction loans. If you are thinking about doing a renovation in a few years or an extension on your home, ING will not help. It stopped doing construction loans in 2018, so you will have to look elsewhere if you’re looking to build.
- Will not renegotiate for existing customers. In most cases, if you have had a home loan for over 3 years, you can renegotiate your rates without needing to refinance. ING will not offer better interest rates for existing customers who are often on higher rates. We regularly review our customers’ rates and have found with ING that you may need to refinance to another lender after 3-4 years.
- Much slower turn-around time for home loan approvals. Because ING offers special interest rate discounts and deals throughout the years, ING can get inundated with new applications, which can slow down the time it takes to get your loan approved., If you put in your application, the bank can generally get back to you within a couple of business days. In busy times, it might take a week or two. Keep this in mind if you have a finance clause pending. For example, if you have 5 days to get your finance approved, ING might not be a good bank for you. We keep track of the turnaround times of all lenders on our panel, so if you are applying for a home loan with Hunter Galloway, we’ll let you know if ING will be a suitable lender for you.
- Stricter credit criteria. ING can be a very conservative bank compared to others. If you have been in your job for under 6 months, ING might not be a fit for you.
- Genuine savings. ING will want to see genuine savings if you have less than a 10% deposit, and it has a maximum interest-only term of 5 years. So, it might not be a good option for property investors and homebuyers with smaller deposits.
- No branches. These days with internet banking, this will be less of a concern, but still, if you need a bank cheque cut for a new car or want to see someone face to face to sort out your banking, ING might not be the best choice. On the flip side, its call centre is Australian based.
What are the different home loan products ING offers?
ING Direct has a limited range of home loan products, and the 4 most popular include:
1. Orange Advantage
ING’s Orange Advantage Home Loan product is pretty similar to most other banks’ professional packages. This is where you pay one annual fee and, in return, get additional discounts, offset accounts and special discounts on insurances and related services.
The features include:
- Unlimited additional repayments.
- Free ATM’s in Australia. ING will give you back the ATM fee at any ATM around the world within five business days (when you open an Orange everyday).
- Redraw facility.
- Special interest rate discounts for loan amounts over $150,000, and even better deals for loans over $500,000.
- Ability to split your loan as part variable, part fixed rate with an extra 0.10% discount available.
- Fee-saving on all loans under the package; for example, you don’t pay the Fixed Rate Home Loan application fee of $499.
- No monthly maintenance fees on the associated Orange Advantage transaction account.
- Annual fee is around $100 cheaper than the Big 4 banks.
- Interest-only and investment options are expensive.
- No Construction Options are available.
2. Mortgage Simplifier
ING Mortgage Simplifier is the equivalent of a basic home loan. This loan has limited features and no ongoing monthly or annual fees, which means you can save significant amounts of money over the life of the loan.
If you don’t need all the bells and whistles of a Professional Package like the Orange Advantage, the Mortgage Simplifier could be a good one for you.
The features include:
- Available on owner-occupied and investment housing.
- Redraw is available online.
- No ongoing monthly or annual fees.
- Fairly good interest rates for loans over $150,000.
- No offset account available.
- No Construction Options available.
3. Fixed Rate Loan
ING’s Fixed Rate home loan products can help protect you from any unexpected interest rate rises. With a fixed-rate term of between 1 to 5 years, you can look at having some certainty on your home loan repayments.
The features include:
- Maximum loan term of 30 years.
- Get an additional 0.10% discount on the Orange Advantage Package.
- Principal & Interest home loan repayments can be fortnightly or monthly. Interest-only home loan repayments must be made monthly.
- Additional repayments are limited to $10,000 per year, but you can make them anytime.
- Fixed-Rate Application fee of $499 if you don’t go on the annual package.
- Fixed Break costs could apply if you repay the loan early.
4. Commercial Property Loan
Interestingly ING also has a fairly strong and relatively unknown commercial loan offering.
This product is for secured commercial loans (i.e. if you’re buying a property and not doing a shop fit-out) but has pretty good terms:
- ING Commercial Priority Loans have variable and fixed-rate options.
- There are fixed-rate terms for between 1-5 years.
- Total loan term of up to 20 years (some banks only do 5 years).
- Loan redraw for fixed-rate at the end of the fixed term only. Loan redraw for variable rate—minimum of $10,000 per redraw.
- Extra payments are possible for lump sums of up to $20,000 per calendar year for the fixed-rate loan.
- The application fee is from 0.20%
- No ongoing monthly fees
- Maximum loan amount up to $3M, higher amounts by application.
- Minimal scope for property development finance
Read More: Commercial Property Loans [Complete Guide]
What documents does ING Direct need for a home loan?
The documents needed for ING are slightly more relaxed than most banks in Australia. Let’s assume you receive a salary and are purchasing your first home. ING would ask for:
- Signed Application Form, Privacy Act form completed by all borrowers.
- Identification documents: Current Medicare + Drivers license, or Australian passport.
- 2 Most Recent Payslips less than 60 days old.
- If you receive overtime/bonus/commission, ING also requires the most recent PAYG summary.
- Evidence of your Genuine Savings if you have less than a 10% deposit; otherwise, you just need to show deposit funds.
- Signed Contract of Sale.
So the major difference here is that most other lenders like Suncorp, BOQ or ANZ need 3 months statements showing your salary credits and need statements showing any existing credit cards or personal loans that might be open. ING does not need this; it just wants to see where your deposit is coming from and confirm your payslips.
ING ideally wants you to have completed probation and need you to have been in your role for a minimum of 3 months if you have a 20% deposit, or 6 months if you have less than a 20% deposit and need lenders mortgage insurance.
There are some exceptions where you have previously been in a similar role or the same industry for up to 2 years. They review this on a case by case basis, so there are no guarantees your loan will get approved.
Download: ING Application Form
How much can I borrow from ING?
ING’s credit criteria are subject to change at any time, and all lending is up to credit verification and satisfactory approval. As an indication of how much you can borrow from ING Direct, we have run the following scenario through ING’s borrowing calculator.
- A single person living in Brisbane (In the 4000 postcodes)
- Earning $70,000 PAYG salary income
- Average monthly expenses of $2,000
- Has a credit card of $5,000 and no other debts
- Assuming this person has a 20% deposit as genuine savings
- Figures as of 5 January 2022, subject to credit criteria and will change without notification.
In this scenario, the person can borrow $371,100
These figures are indicative and would be subject to meeting credit criteria, valuation and satisfactory verification of all supporting documentation. They are accurate as of 5 January 2022 and subject to change without further notification.
Would you like to know your borrowing capacity? Please chat with our home loan experts to see what you can afford.
What else does ING Direct Offer?
ING Direct offers standard banking products, credit cards, transaction accounts and personal loans.
I guess where it is a bit different are some of their features and incentives.
Provided you have an Orange Everyday account, ING will round up to the nearest $1 or $5 and transfer the extra amount into your home loan, helping you pay it off a little faster without even realising.
In other words, if you have selected to round up to the nearest $5, ING will debit your purchase of say $4 and then transfer $1 from your Orange Everyday Transaction Account to your selected Home Loan Account.
It’s just a neat way of helping chip away at your home loan a little after.
Read More: How to cut 5 years from your home loan
What are some ING Customer Reviews?
ING’s customer reviews are fairly mixed. While it seems to have reasonably high customer satisfaction when the initial loan is set up for new customers, the honeymoon period doesn’t last long.
Even though the RBA reduced interest rates in 2019, ING actually increased its interest rates out of cycle earlier in 2019… which upset many existing customers.
In our experience, ING is pretty good to deal with—and as we mentioned above, for any of our clients that experience rate creep (i.e. ING baits you in with a cheap rate then puts it up)—we look at renegotiating or refinancing.
Have you been Declined by ING?
Don’t worry too much—it is more common than you think to get declined by a bank.
ING is a particularly conservative bank when it comes to assessing loan applications, and while it might offer some cheap interest rates, it can make it challenging to get your loan approved.
ING has very strict lending policies, and if you do not meet their lending policy, they are likely to decline your loan.
When applying for a home loan through ING, our best tip is for your broker to confirm you meet its income policy and the property you are looking at buying meets its requirements BEFORE you apply for a home loan.
ING Pre Approval
As mentioned above, ING bank used to do a full credit assessment on home loan pre-approval.
In other words, if you were applying for a pre-approval with ING, a credit manager would go through your payslips, bank accounts and additional information to make sure you meet their credit criteria. The bank would then approve your loan, subject to you finding a property.
BUT this has now changed, don’t get caught out.
ING is just doing a credit check if you haven’t found a property, so the pre-approval isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.
Read More: What is Pre-Approval?
How does ING compare to other banks?
The reality is each bank has its positives and negatives, and the best option for you is highly unique.
Ready to take the next step toward buying?
Our team at Hunter Galloway is here to help you determine whether or not ING is the best bank for you.
Unlike other mortgage brokers who are just one-person operations, we have an entire team of experts dedicated to helping make your home loan journey as simple as possible.
If you want to get started, please call us on 1300 088 065 or book a free assessment online to see how we can help.
Bonus: Some reasons why your home loan may be declined.
- Changing jobs frequently. Most lenders want to see you in your current job for at least 6 months. However, your mortgage broker should be able to help you with this, especially if you are earning more in your new job.
- Type of job. Since the pandemic, banks now view other types of jobs as risky, e.g. shift workers in the travel and hospitality industry.
- Getting a new credit card. If you get another credit card after your preapproval, the bank may decline your loan because you no longer fit inside their calculators.
- Missing bills. Missing something as small as a phone bill can badly affect your credit, resulting in your loan being declined. The solution is to automate your bill payments whenever possible so that you don’t miss any payments.
- Spending habits. Banks also look at your expenses to see how much you are spending vs how much you are earning. So keep track of your expenses and maybe hold back on those expensive lunches.
- Buying a house that needs renovations. Lenders are hesitant to lend money to properties that need renovations even after pre approval, and houses with no kitchens or bathrooms are a complete no.
Read more: Loan declined after pre approval | 27 ways to get unconditional approval.
More resources for home buyers:
- For our comprehensive guide for First Home Buyers, check out this page.
- Looking at getting a loan? Check out our Complete First Home Buyers guide.
- Looking to buy a home in Brisbane? Check our Home Loan Guide to Brisbane
- Don’t forget the 16 hidden costs of buying, which we covered in detail here.