While it may be under the Westpac umbrella now, St.George enjoyed a long history in the Australian finance industry as a leading independent throughout much of the twentieth century.
Founded in the southern Sydney suburbs in 1937, St.George built a reputation for itself as Australia’s foremost building society over the following 50 years, before being granted full banking status in 1992. Then, in 2008, Westpac brought St.George under its wing.
So, you may ask, why should you choose St.George when you could opt for Westpac? The simple answer? Suitability. When comparing any financial institution and its products, it all comes down to finding the one that suits you the best.
For some, that may mean looking at the institution’s reputation for customer service, while for others it may involve assessing its history, its character or its community involvement. On the other hand, some customers may only be interested in the products and services on offer, and how financially beneficial they are.
Although it is part of the Westpac group, St.George retains a distinct personality and its own range of products and services. So, what you get from St.George, you may not get from Westpac, and what you get from Westpac, you may not get from St.George.
Which is why it pays to compare all the options on offer.
Comparing Car Loans
Looking for car loans? St.George may have just the car loan for you. St.George offers secured personal loans to customers looking to buy their first car, or to anyone who wants to upgrade to a newer or bigger model.
This secured car loan allows you to borrow $3,000 to $80,000 (depending on your circumstances), with the option of choosing a fixed rate or variable rate. Which option is best for you? Let’s take a look at the fixed rate and variable rate options on offer.
Variable Rate Car Loan
With a variable rate car loan, the rate of interest can vary over the life of the loan. It may fall, helping you to save money on interest, but it could also rise, which may result in you paying more on your repayments in years to come.
With the St.George variable rate car loan, you can choose to take out the loan over one to seven years. This can allow you to choose a repayment schedule that works within your budget, to pay off your car over time.
The St.George variable rate car loan is also somewhat flexible, as it allows you to pay the loan off sooner, if you are able. However, it is worth noting that prepayment fees apply, with certain break costs applicable should you choose to pay off your loan early.
As you are able to pay more into your loan, you also have access the loan’s redraw facility. Again, check the fine print. To redraw on the loan, the redraw request must be approved, and a fee will be applied.
Fixed Rate Car Loan
Unlike a variable rate car loan, a fixed rate car loan has the same fixed rate of interest for the life of the loan. This can make budgeting easier, as customers know exactly what their repayment will be each month.
A fixed rate car loan may also save customers money. Even if the bank’s variable rate rises, the interest on that fixed rate loan remains the same. Bear in mind though, that if the variable rate falls substantially, customers with a fixed rate loan will not benefit.
With the St.George fixed rate car loan, the loan terms on offer range from one to five years. There is no flexibility to pay off the loan quicker, and there is no redraw facility available.
When comparing car loans, there is more to think about than just interest rates and terms. It’s incredibly important to think about fees as well, as they can greatly affect the overall cost of the loan.
First up, the establishment fee. Both the St.George fixed rate and variable rate car loans attract an establishment fee. On top of that, there is a monthly administration fee to cover as well. Be sure to read the small print to check for any other fees that may apply, before signing up.
As the name of the loan suggests, this secured car loan will be secured against your car. What does this mean exactly?
One way for a lender to feel secure is to offer loans secured against collateral. That means if you default on your loan, or you can’t pay it off, the lender can take that collateral to regain the money lost to you on the loan.
As the loan is secured, the lender may offer lower rates of interest than on an unsecured loan. This can help you save money over the life of the loan.
With a secured car loan, there are various factors to keep in mind. With the St.George secured car loan, the secured vehicle must not be more than 12 years old upon loan expiry. Also, if the car is in joint names, the car loan must also be in joint names.
Want to find out more? Check out the St.George car loan today to see if it’s the best loan for you.