Bank of Ireland Mortgages Review – A Long Term Commitment to a...

Bank of Ireland Mortgages Review – A Long Term Commitment to a Great Product Range

Bank of Ireland
Screenshot of Mortgages Home Page Bank of Ireland

That very first glimpse of a property that meets more than just the needs often catapults customers into motion to purchase their very own property. Many don’t have sufficient funds to purchase the property outright and need to approach a financial institution to help finance the difference. This is where a mortgage comes in. There are a variety of different products for the various stages of the home buying process, therefore, customers should look for the deal that matches their needs closely. This review takes a look at Bank of Ireland Mortgages to determine how it compares to its competitors.

About Bank of Ireland

Bank of Ireland
Screenshot of the History of Bank of Ireland

Bank of Ireland has deep roots in the financial landscape of Ireland, as it was founded back in 1783. The first century was dedicated to setting firm roots in Ireland and the bank grew its footprint.

In the 1900s expansion was on the cards and by 1920 the bank already had 75 branches. Bank of Ireland also had to play a critical role in the restoration of Europe after both World War events. By the 2000s, the bank was eager to focus on product expansions that included the use of technological advancements.

The 2008 financial crisis also affected Bank of Ireland, as they needed some funds from the government to keep their liquidity levels up. Currently, the bank is focusing on capturing and retaining market share and increase their profits.

We recently did a full review on the Bank of Ireland. Read more on that here.

Key Points to Remember When Applying for a Mortgage Loan  

Once the perfect property is on the horizon, it’s easy to be romanticized into applying for a mortgage loan as soon as possible. As with all long-term commitments, it’s important to understand that the decision should be made with all terms and conditions clearly understood.

Down Payments, Repairs, Fittings, and Fees

Customers are often not aware that they may need to save up a bit more than just the down payment. This is because there are all kinds of other fees to take into consideration, such as attorney costs, registration, and more. The banks or financial institutions may also levy additional loan agreement fees. The property may also have a few things that need to change in order to accommodate the family, which could cost a few thousand dollars extra.

Property as Collateral

Once customers have signed the loan agreement, it’s important to remember that the payments need to be made on time in order fulfill the terms of the agreement. Missed payment could result in court action and customers can face repossession of the property. If this happens, it has a very negative effect on the customer’s credit rating.

Credit Scores and Account Conduct

Although it’s important that the mortgage loan is conducted well, it’s also important that customers conduct their financial affairs well before they apply for the loan. This is because their credit score and account conduct will determine whether they receive a favorable rate of interest.

A Product to Match the Need

Some financial institutions have the same terms and conditions and product offerings across the board. Others have a closer look at the needs of their customers and offer bespoke packages that will assist them through every step of their mortgage journey. Have a look at the product offerings to determine whether the institution understands the various needs during the property purchase journey.

Benefits and Special Offerings

It’s important to shop around for the best deal, especially considering a mortgage loan is a long term commitment. Some institutions offer low-interest rates while others have great offers for those who have checking or current accounts with them. Rebates, lower rates, and cash back incentives often form part of package deals.

Opportunities for Additional or Early Repayments

Those who feel they can settle their accounts early or make additional payments to their loans should find out from the institution whether this is allowed. Many institutions impose penalties on these payments, and customers will need to weigh up the pros and cons of early settlement.

Read here to find out about Bank of Ireland Insurance products.

Bank of Ireland Mortgage Product Offerings

Bank of Ireland
Screenshot of Mortgage Options Bank of Ireland

Cashback PLUS with Mortgage

This is the ideal opportunity for Bank of Ireland customers who are looking to purchase their first property, move their existing loan, or shopping for a new home.

  • Customers enjoy up to 2% of their new mortgage back as cash upfront.
  • Furthermore, customers will also enjoy an additional 1% of their mortgage back in cash in five years’ time. This takes place should customers meet the conditions of the mortgage.
  • Customers have access to Cashback PLUS which is available with the full range of fixed and variable owner occupier mortgage rates.
  • Also, the fixed rate mortgages start at 3.1% (4% APRC) for a 3-year fixed rate for mortgages up to 80% LTV.
  • This product is available to existing Bank or Ireland current account customers. Customers also need to drawdown their mortgage between 5 September 2016 and 30th November 2017.
  • Finally, those who don’t bank with Bank of Ireland may still have access to the 2% Cashback when they drawdown their mortgage.

Mortgage Interest Rate Options

Fixed Interest Rates

This option is available to those who wish to fix their mortgage repayments for a period of time. This is the ideal way for customers to accurately determine their budget.

  • The fixed rate terms are available for 1, 2, 3, 5, or 10-year periods.
  • Customers enjoy the same payments for the duration of the fixed-term period.
  • Furthermore, customers have the option to overpay up to 10% of their repayment each month.
  • Also, existing customers can bring their fixed-rates with them to Bank of Ireland of they move their mortgage during the fixed term.
  • Finally, customers should be aware that they may pay fixed rate breakage fees if they switch to a variable rate or pay off all or part of their mortgage.

Variable Interest Rates

This option provides customers with access to lower interest rates should the market move in that direction. Furthermore, customers accept the possibility that they may have to pay more should the rates move in the opposite direction.

  • Customers have the option to make lump sum repayments. They can also increase their repayments or make early repayments.
  • Also, customers can switch to a fixed rate at any time.
  • Finally, customers need to prepare themselves that their repayments could rise or fall over the life of their mortgage.

What We Like About Bank of Ireland Mortgages

There are a number of plusses when it comes to the Cashback product, as homeowners could always do with a little extra when it comes to cash. Customers are rewarded for their loyalty with the bank and the product will go a long way to ensuring that the bank retains their customers.

Customers have access to a host of Q&A topics in the various stages of buying a home. This will tell them more about the various options and restrictions.

Finally, customers are aware from the start that they will need to make provision for penalties should they wish to settle certain properties before the term has ended. Also, the restrictions mainly apply to the fixed-rate mortgage options.

What We Don’t like About Bank of Ireland Mortgages

It’s quite the hunt to try find information on the various loan types. The information on the Cashback mortgage product is upfront and easily available. Customers are then led to the various rate types. It doesn’t give much more information than that.

Only when we scroll through the Q&A section do we discover that there are different loan types such as Buy to Let and Twin Rate options. These could have been overlooked completely if not for the incessant digging. Customers, on the other hand, may not spend as much time digging through the website to find the information.

This lack of clear product information will send customers to another institution. The alternative is to go to their nearest branch to complete the application with the help of a consultant. This can be viewed as inconvenient.

Critical Reviews Rating Bank of Ireland Mortgages – 6 of 10

Bank of Ireland
Screenshot of Mortgage Calculator Bank of Ireland

This could have been an easy win for the Irish bank. The lack of information forces us to down-rate the score. Customers are forced to seek further information in the bank and this could cost the bank dearly. A few extra tabs that explain the various products will go a long way. Or, at the very least, make the information easier to find.

Finally, Bank of Ireland needs to understand that customers won’t stick around and dig through the site. They will merely hop onto another bank or work through an originator in order to streamline the process. Only those who wish to benefit from the Cashback offer will trudge into the branch for more information. Also, those who specifically only wish to deal with the bank. This is a simple fix for the bank in order to enjoy a better rating. The only saving grace for the bank is the actual product discussed, the Cashback option.

Read here to discover how these mortgages compare to those of Deutsche Bank.