Mutual launches innovative home loan offer

An Australian credit union has partnered with with Australian Scholarships Group to provide an innovative home loan offer amid rising tuition fees.

New research commissioned by Gateway Credit Union has revealed that 28 per cent of Australians find it difficult to cover school fees, with stress playing a major factor.

Of the levels of schooling causing most financial pressure, tertiary education topped the list with just under a third (28.5 per cent) saying it was of most concern, followed by secondary education which has almost a quarter (24.9 per cent) of respondents worried.

In light of the findings, Gateway has this week announced an exclusive partnership with Australian Scholarships Group (ASG), to offer its Pathway Education Fund holders the opportunity to receive extra contributions into their fund account.

ASG’s Pathway Education Fund is a versatile plan to help families save for any stage of a child’s educational development. In addition, the fund qualifies as a scholarship plan, allowing members to benefit from certain tax concessions.

When new or existing ASG fund holders take out a new home loan, or refinance their existing home loan to Gateway, they will be rewarded with a 0.15 per cent loyalty bonus paid quarterly into their ASG Pathway account.

For example, a loan balance of $350,000 could receive up to a $520 loyalty bonus contribution into their fund in the first year.

“Education is one of the best investments a parent can make for their children. But with the ever-increasing cost of living and low growth of wages; parents are struggling to cope with the fast-rising costs of education, especially when you factor in not just the fees but all the associated expenses,” Gateway CEO Paul Thomas said.

The Gateway research revealed that more than half (53.8 per cent) of all respondents did not have a savings plan for their children’s education.

“That’s why we’re so proud to be able to offer a unique product that helps us invest in our members’ futures, while also encouraging members to set good savings habits,” Mr Thomas said.

“As a customer-owned organisation, supporting our members’ financial wellbeing – beyond the scope of home loans – is paramount. We look at the bigger picture for our members, which is why our partnership with ASG is about offering an innovative solution that helps ease some of the burden.”

ASG CEO John Velegrinis said the partnership is a great opportunity to help families plan for the costs of education which they have identified as a major life event.

“The 2017 ASG Planning for Education Index also reveals that regardless of whether you plan on sending your child to a private, systemic or public school, the cost of education is significant,” he said.

“Across metropolitan Australia, the estimated cost of a private school education including fees for a child born in 2017 has jumped 64 per cent in the last decade, outstripping the rise in inflation by two-and-a-half times.

“Our partnership with Gateway offers a helping hand to families who want to bolster their children’s future. The benefit from additional contributions will support members in achieving their savings goals sooner.”

[Related: Mutual boss 'not interested' in online mortgage platforms]

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