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This article has been written by Rebecca Pike, Finder's senior writer for money. She joined Finder after almost four years writing for business publications in the mortgage and finance industry, including three years as editor of Mortgage Professional Australia magazine.

P&N Bank has been highly commended for not one but two categories in the Finder Home Loan Product Awards 2023.

As a customer-owned bank based in Western Australia, it prides itself on its relationship with customers and the level of personalised service it provides. Being commended in these awards shows that P&N Bank not only makes those promises to customers, but it actually follows through on them.

Showcasing the breadth of its service, it was celebrated for both its investor home loan and its owner occupier home loan.

The P&N Bank & Investor Basic Home Loan was highly commended in the Investor Home Loan - P&I Variable category.

The P&N Bank Fixed Home Loan - 2 Year (LVR <80%, Owner Occupier) was highly commended in the Owner Occupier Home Loan - 2 Year Fixed category.

Let’s take a dive into some of the factors that make P&N Bank a highly commended bank. Finder takes a range of features into account in its decision-making, as there are multiple things to consider when taking out a home loan and you might want these to be front of mind:

What makes P&N Bank an award-winning bank?

Interest rates

The Finder product awards primarily look at cost factors like interest rates and fees. After all, the cost of a home loan is typically the biggest consideration for a homeowner.

P&N Bank scored highly for its low-cost interest rates across both categories. Even when interest rates began rising in May 2022, P&N Bank was able to continue its competitiveness in the market.

Flexible features

P&N Bank litters its loans with features to help borrowers along the home buying journey, too. For example, its Fixed Home Loan allows you to split your loan so you can fix a portion of the loan and pay variable interest rates on the rest.

If paying interest only would help you manage your finances better, you can apply to do that for up to five years as well.

Looking at the & Investor Basic loan, you can also choose whether you pay principal and interest or interest only for up to five years.

One of the key features though is the ability to make extra repayments towards the loan amount during the fixed period. You can make up to $25,000 of extra repayments towards your fixed rate loan without fees or costs. For context, many lenders don’t allow additional repayments on fixed rate loans, or if they do, the caps are much lower than $25k.

Variety of loan options

While the products we assessed for the awards didn’t have to include an offset account, that doesn’t mean the bank doesn’t offer it.

P&N Bank has an Offset Home Loan, which offers an optional 100% offset account. An offset account allows you to only pay interest on the amount of the loan, minus whatever funds you have in the account. An offset account acts like a normal transaction account so you can access the money at any time.

The Offset Home Loan also offers a redraw facility, so you can choose to make additional repayments to redraw from as well as use the attached offset account. (If you’re not sure which one would be best for you, Finder has a convenient guide.)

First home buyer support

If you’re a first home buyer trying to get onto the property ladder, P&N Bank is there to help.

Its highly commended home loans are available for first home buyers as long as you’re planning to live in the home you’re buying – that is, you’re not taking out the & Investor Basic Home Loan as an investor.

What are the Finder Awards?

Finder runs its Product Awards every year across areas in finance and banking, insurance and utilities.

For the Home Loan awards, we looked at loans from more than 200 lenders. Finder’s insights analysts sorted those loans across 12 different categories to really find the best providers for the range of scenarios a borrower can go through. For example, the Investor Home Loan - P&I - Variable and Owner Occupier Home Loan - 2 Year Fixed categories, which P&N Bank featured in.

The criteria for the home loan product awards involved looking at the loan interest rate over the previous 12 months, as well as considering any fees that came with the loan. Of course, cost isn’t always the only thing for borrowers to consider, but it’s an important foundation in this high interest rate environment.

For each month a score was assigned against each product’s interest rate. A higher score out of 10 meant it performed well against other rates in the industry and a lower score meant it performed less well.

If you’re interested in understanding more about how Finder makes its award decisions, check out the methodology.

Banking and Credit products issued by Police & Nurses Limited (P&N Bank) ABN 69 087 651 876 AFSL/Australian Credit Licence 240701. Any advice does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Read the relevant T&Cs, before downloading apps or acquiring any product, in considering and deciding whether it is right for you. The Target Market Determinations (TMDs) are available here or upon request.