Applying for home loan can be a daunting prospect at the best of times, but particularly so for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, who remain among Australia’s most financially vulnerable people.
This disparity is part of the reason why Indigenous Business Australia (IBA) was created. They’ve been helping Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with loans and financial services since 1990, assisting with lending so Indigenous Australians can enjoy economic freedom and own their own homes.
Earlier this year, Bank Australia partnered with IBA to help their funding go further. Jodie Rantall, a proud Gunditjmara woman who refinanced her loan with us in March, was one of our first customers as part of this new strategic partnership.
Jodie has lived in Warrnambool her whole life, and bought her first home with her partner and three kids two years ago after receiving a home loan from IBA. “It was a really brilliant start,” explains Jodie. “We wouldn’t have been able to own our own home without their support. When you’ve got children, it’s really hard to save that 20% deposit.”
Through IBA, Jodie was able to get a loan for a house with a lower deposit required.
“With IBA, they are there to get you started into home ownership when you might not be able to access finance from a mainstream bank,” Jodie says. “Once you’re ready to refinance with another bank, the money from your loan can help finance another Indigenous person’s loan.”
Jodie spoke to IBA about refinancing options, and they suggested she get in touch with one of the partners on IBA’s new banking panel that were chosen due to the aligned values. Bank Australia is proud to be one of those partners.
“When we looked at Bank Australia, it just felt like a great fit,” she says.
Since refinancing with Bank Australia, Jodie has been thrilled with the level of service she’s received, particularly from her Bank Australia support person, Jade.
“Jade’s been absolutely amazing,” says Jodie. “There were times that I wasn’t very well and it was hard to remember what we needed to do, but Jade was always there helping us through emails and phone calls. She was never pushy or impatient; we feel so lucky to have had her support.”
Since making the transition, Jodie’s loan repayments have significantly reduced and the extra money has allowed her to buy a caravan. “Having a caravan means we go on more holidays and spend more time together as a family,” Jodie says. “The kids (aged 15, 17 and 19) have got their own tents, and it’s really increased the bond we have, being able to spend time together without having that financial pressure. We wouldn’t have been able to do that without Bank Australia.”
Jodie’s partner’s brother and sister-in-law also have a loan through Bank Australia, and have described the same experience as Jodie. “They’re both so happy and spoke so highly of it,” she says.
After refinancing, Jodie has continued to have contact from Jade to see how they’re getting on. “It’s so daunting buying a house and having a loan,” Jodie says, “but having the support from Bank Australia is really comforting and eases any worries you may have.”