FAQs for customers

Applications and approvals

It’s helpful to be able to describe:

  • the type of property being provided as security
  • value of the property
  • its location
  • the required loan amount
  • the loan purpose (purchase, refinance, equity release)
  • other loans outstanding
  • income available to service all liabilities
  • whether tax returns and financial statements are available
  • any other important information such as credit history
  • Borrower background including income sources, business and experience.

Where all information supporting the loan application has been provided, we will typically provide a formal approval (subject to an independent valuation of the security property) within 3-4 business days. This may vary according to the complexity of the transaction.

Often it’s a good idea to have the property valued before applying for a loan, however, make sure the valuer is acceptable to the lender/s you’re considering using and that they’re prepared to re-address the valuation to the lender. Less than 10 per cent of borrowers take this approach and generally only for refinances or equity release.

We retain a diverse panel of experienced commercial property valuers and will appoint one to conduct an independent valuation on the property that is addressed to us. Our valuation instructions are the same for all loans and seek an assessment of current market value under normal buyer/seller circumstances.

An independent valuer appointed by us will inspect the property and assess its value based on:

  1. recent sales of comparable properties in the area or the “vacant possession” approach which is especially relevant to owner-occupied properties.
  2. a capitalisation approach that derives a value relative to the actual or likely rental income produced.

We will only take into account income as shown in financial statements and on bank statements or BAS returns. Unreported or unverifiable cash receipts will not be included in our loan servicing calculations (Not required for Quick Doc or Mid Doc loans).

Where a company or trust is a party to a loan, personal guarantees serve to ensure the responsibility for maintaining the loan extends to the key people who own and/or operate that entity. All loans not in personal names must be supported by the personal guarantees of all directors (some limited exceptions apply including SMSF loans less than 50% LVR).

It’s vital that all borrowers receive sound, impartial advice prior to signing loan documentation particularly in relation to personal guarantees. With recent changes in land and property legislation, solicitors play an important role in verifying the identity of the parties signing the mortgage which is now required by most states and territories.

This second step serves to meet a legal requirement for solicitors witnessing the signing of mortgage documentation to confirm the identification of those parties to the loan.

Borrowing and security

Minimum population base of 20,000 applies in security locations for most of our product range. Some loan products including Quick Doc sees this requirement increase to 50,000.

We’ll lend against typical residential and income producing commercial properties such as shops, offices, industrial units, warehouses and some other specialised commercial premises. Please refer to our Eligible Security Types information sheet.

We don’t lend against some specialised properties such as aged care, sporting facilities, service stations, caravan parks, rural, agricultural or properties in remote/arid regions or construction/development properties. Please refer to our Eligible Security Types information sheet.

Vacant land isn’t acceptable as primary security. We’ll only accept vacant land where it’s used as supporting security in addition to a typical commercial property of greater value.

No, we only lend against completed commercial and residential properties.

Non-resident Australian citizens can apply for a loan with us as long as they have on-shore income sufficient to meet our debt servicing criteria. Please note that servicing criteria for non-residents varies from standard loan servicing criteria.

Yes, we now provide home loan finance for owner-occupiers and investors within our Full Doc and Mid Doc product range to both PAYG and self employed borrowers.

Yes, we finance residential rental property for a range of purposes including owner-occupied and investment to PAYG and self employed borrowers.

Industry associations, the MFAA and the FBAA, both offer referrals to qualified finance brokers. Alternatively, we’ll be happy to refer you to an accredited Thinktank finance broker in your area.

Yes, we offer loans to self managed superannuation funds up to $3 million and 75% LVR. Please refer to our Overview of SMSF Commercial Loans.

No, we don’t offer non-conforming, sub-prime or no doc loans.

We don’t provide traditional overdraft facilities but do offer a Line of Credit facility up to $500,000.

Interest rates

On Tuesday 2 August 2022, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) announced an increase to the official cash rate by 50 basis points to 1.85%.

In light of this, Thinktank announced a 0.60% per annum increase to all variable loan interest rates, for new and existing borrowers.

Our aim is to always provide value for our customers, whilst also balancing the cost associated with funding residential and commercial loans while maintaining prudent operational management of Thinktank as a responsible financial institution.

The RBA cash rate is only one component in the overall funding cost equation. Other funding cost contributors such as the Bank Bill Swap Rate (BBSW) have increased significantly beyond the RBA movements resulting in a higher step up in rate than the RBA cash rate alone.
The interest rate you pay is our standard residential rate (as published on our website) plus a margin.  We adjust our standard residential rate on the 10th day of each month (or next business day) in line with the terms and conditions of the loan contract.

Thinktank advertises interest rate changes in the national newspaper The Australian. The rate increase will impact your variable loan repayment. Customers should expect to receive a letter notifying them of the change, the new repayment amount and the effective date of the change.

As per our loan documentation, we do advertise all rate changes in the national press and publish our current interest rates and interest rate changes on our website. System changes are currently being implemented to enable future rates changes to also be communicated by email and/or letter to each borrower.
Interest rate changes will affect the amount of the direct debit deduction set up for your loan. If your direct debit repayment is scheduled to occur between the date of the letter and the date the base rate will change, the current repayment will be at the current amount before changing the following month. If your direct debit repayment is set up to pay a fixed amount, you may need to adjust your current payment in line with the above change to make sure it is sufficient to cover your new repayment amount. If you would like to adjust your repayment, please email Loan Support loansupport@thinktank.net.au, or call us on 1300 163 184.
You can change your repayment amount by either sending us an email at Loan Support loansupport@thinktank.net.au, or by calling us on 1300 163 184.
We encourage customers who may be facing financial difficulties to contact us on 1300 163 184 as soon as possible so that we can best assist you and provide you certainty. Our call centre operates between 8.30am – 5:30pm Monday to Friday. If payments fall into arrears without prior notice, your loan will be in default and your credit rating may be impacted, therefore making contact with our call centre team under such circumstances is highly recommended and our Hardship experts will discuss how we may be able to help.
For those customers already under a hardship arrangement your current arrangements with Thinktank is unchanged. Your future repayments post the hardship arrangement will likely increase with the interest rate increase. Customers will receive confirmation of the increased repayment at least 30 days prior to the hardship arrangement coming to an end.
You can instantly check your current rate, repayments and balance by signing into Online Banking and selecting your loan account. Alternatively, you can call us on 1300 163 184.
Options available to you include:
  • Repay only the minimum amount – which could free up extra cash in the short term.
  • Repay more than the minimum – over time you will reduce the amount of loan interest and pay your loan off sooner.
  • Change repayment frequency – we offer weekly, fortnightly or monthly payment options. 
  • Switch between Principal & Interest and Interest Only repayments (subject to credit approval). 
You can enquire about changing your variable home loan to a fixed home loan by contacting us directly on 1300 163 184 or by sending us an email to loansupport@thinktank.net.au.
A revaluation of your property can be arranged by Thinktank at your cost. However, if the property value has decreased, your loan to valuation ratio may increase, potentially leading to an increase in your interest rate or we may seek a principal reduction to maintain your loan to valuation ratio as agreed under your loan contract.
Providing your broker was the introducing party of the loan in question to Thinktank and we hold the associated Privacy Consent signed by all parties to the loan, we can discuss certain aspects of your loan, the current balance and scheduled repayments with them. We cannot provide any personal information about you, your whereabouts or contact details and will not action any changes on your loan without obtaining your express consent.

My loan

For interest only loans, interest is calculated one month in advance based on the loan balance and borrower interest rate on that day. Interest on principal and interest loans is calculated daily in arrears.

Yes. Please note though, that principal reductions in excess of $50,000 per annum in the first five years of the loan may attract an early prepayment fee depending on the loan product selected. The best method is via BPay by following the instructions on your Welcome Letter.

Yes, we offer fixed rates between one and five years.

If your loan isn’t fully drawn or you have made extra repayments, redraw is available on all variable rate loans except for SMSF loans where redraw is not permitted under super fund legislation.

A redraw form is available for download from our helpful forms and tools.

You’ll receive a loan statement every six months in early January and early July. If you require transaction information more frequently, you can gain internet access to all your loan information.

Dispute Resolution Procedures

We hope you are satisfied with our products and service. If you are not, please first speak to your nominated representative or telephone 1300 781 043 and ask to speak to the Compliance Officer. If you are not satisfied with any decision or our handling of the complaint, your complaint may be referred for external resolution to the Australian Financial Complaints Authority. Their contact details are set out below.

Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA)

Post: GPO Box 3 Melbourne VIC 3001

Phone: 1800 931 678

Email: info@afca.org.au

Web: www.afca.org.au

Additional information in relation to AFCA including rules and guidelines are available from their website.

Technical support

Please ensure you type your username and user ID exactly as shown in the letter you received. If you’re still experiencing difficulties, please contact our office.

You’ll need to email or phone our office for copies of previous loan statements. You’re able to copy and paste from the transaction listing in Xchange into another program such as Microsoft Excel.