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Lender settles $1bn in first year of broker partnership

by Reporter11 minute read

Brokers have settled $1 billion in Mortgage Choice Freedom loans – funded by direct lender Athena Home Loans – in less than a year.

Major brokerage and aggregation group Mortgage Choice has revealed that its brokers have surpassed the $1 billion milestone in settlements for its Mortgage Choice Freedom white label product suite, which aims to help borrowers avoid ‘loyalty tax’ and pay down their debt faster.

The loan products are funded by non-bank lender Athena Home Loans, which had focused solely on providing direct-to-consumer loans online before launching its white label offering with Mortgage Choice in June 2023.

According to Mortgage Choice, the variable rate, fixed rate, and split loan products provide ‘fair value’ to consumers by “guaranteeing that existing customers will never be on a higher rate than new customers on a like-for-like loan”.


It does this by automatically dropping a variable borrower’s rate when they move to the next loan-to-value ratio, not charging any lender fees, and working to ensure existing customers aren’t charged more than new customers (known colloquially as the ‘loyalty tax’).

Mortgage Choice CEO Anthony Waldron said: “The Mortgage Choice Freedom products we launched with were designed to help Australian borrowers avoid ‘loyalty tax’ and pay down their home loans faster.

“High interest rates, coupled with the rising cost of living, makes it particularly important to deliver fair-value home loan products to consumers.”

Speaking about the milestone settlement figure ahead of the offering’s first anniversary, Waldron said: “Twelve months ago, we joined forces with Athena Home Loans to provide Australians with home loan products that would deliver fair value and reward borrowers for their loyalty.

“We knew the Mortgage Choice Freedom product suite was a compelling offering, but the response from our brokers and their customers has been exceptional. Settling $1 billion in home loans within a year is a testament to the product’s unique value proposition.

“We look forward to continuing to partner with Athena to deliver more innovation to the home loan market and bring our ambitious roadmap to life.”

Athena Home Loans CEO and co-founder Nathan Walsh said that a key part of the success had been the ongoing consultation with the Mortgage Choice broker network, from the pilot group who helped co-design the initial product suite and submission experience, as well as those who have contributed to broker focus groups over the past year and put forward enhancement ideas.

Updates that have been rolled out this year include a multi-collateral feature for brokers to better support investor customers and integrating credit data into the Simpology lodgement platform to help brokers more easily validate customer debt.

Walsh said: “Our partnership with Mortgage Choice has exceeded our expectations. We’re absolutely thrilled to have settled $1 billion inside a year.

“Mortgage Choice brokers have played a central role in Mortgage Choice Freedom’s success and this milestone is testament to the collective commitment from Mortgage Choice, its broker network and Athena Home Loans to provide borrowers with great products that meet their needs.

“We look forward to continuing to partner with Athena to deliver more innovation to the home loan market and bring our ambitious roadmap to life.”

[Related: In Focus: Addressing the loyalty tax]

anthony waldron and nathan walsh ta o utoh


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