Real estate credit: are the offers of online banks still as attractive?

In a context of digital development, some banking structures have been offering for several years now fully online services, like Monabanq, Fortuneo or Boursorama. Like any traditional bank, these organizations provide their customers with the possibility of subscribing to a real estate loan. But is such a loan as advantageous as those negotiated by traditional organizations such as Caisse d’Epargne or Société Générale?

The loan offer of online banks

Mortgage credit has experienced surprisingly positive growth since the early 2000s and is now reaching historically low rates, less than 1.30% this spring. This trend affects all banks, including those investing in 100% digital services. For example, Fortuneo grants loans at 1.31% over 15 years, while Boursorama is a little more expensive with 1.44% over the same period. But overall, these rates have never been so low.

For your information, these organizations are often subsidiaries of traditional banks : Monabanq is part of the Crédit Mutuel CIC group, while Orange Bank is linked to Groupama. Online banks represent modernity, the ability to manage money and investments remotely, without however having the same ability to support their customers on “ambitious” projects.

Thus, concerning the actual loan offer, online banks are judged less complete than those of the structures which very often sponsor them. The site insists on the fact that the contracts remain quite simple, and do not not always allow to renegotiate the rates once signed. This means that if the rates by 2023-2025 were to be at an even lower level than currently, it would be more difficult for you to go back on the percentage of interest calculated in 2019. In addition, it is almost impossible to invest in the residential rental thanks to a home loan from an online bank.

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In addition, some organizations such as Fortuneo require individuals to invest a certain personal contribution before drawing up a contract (in the case of this bank, the share is 10% of the final amount). One more reason why many sites specializing in advice or comparison of offers encourage potential customers to go more towards traditional banks, whose mortgage rates are also very close, if not identical. . Nevertheless, the current offer from B for Bank, at 1.29%, without application fees or direct debit of income, is relatively attractive if you have 10% of the capital to borrow in advance.

Competition from external insurance

Associated with the mortgage, theborrower insurance is not compulsory, but nevertheless remains an interesting guarantee: against a sometimes significant increase in monthly payments (+30% in certain cases), you are covered against various hazards, such as accidents at work or unemployment.

Traditional banks that negotiate real estate contracts almost always combine borrower insurance, and provide better support than online services. Boursorama’s home loan includes « compulsory » insurance in its loan rate at 1.44%, covering the most serious risks, but excludesunemployment insurance, however, the loss of employment constitutes a significant risk in 2019. Thus, with an online bank, you will in any case be obliged to take out a global insurance contract in order to be covered in unemployment, just like in a traditional bank. A numerical structure does not in fact present any advantage on this side.

At the same time, banking organisations, whatever they may be, today face competition from the emergence of so-called external insurance. Indeed, since the successive measures constituted by the Lagarde, Hamon and Bourquin laws, individuals now have the possibility of turning to independent agencies for their borrower’s insurance contract, and to juggle between the best offers by changing insurance organization each year. The offers of these external insurances are on average twice as cheap contracts of the same type negotiated by banking groups, to such an extent that even online banking specialists advise their customers to go to them.

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Read also: What to do when your mortgage is refused?

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