GSB Credit Union has launched a new loan priced at 11.95 per cent interest on a residential mortgage of 35 years, and is trumpeting the facility as the lowest rate on the market offered by a private financing agency.
Other mortgages are offered at 12-13 per cent and higher, while state-sponsored National Housing Trust lends at 2-6 per cent interest.
Loans under the GSB Home Loan facility offers 95 per cent financing on the price of residential real estate, subject to a $15 million cap.
But, "with the combination of a special GSB unsecured bridging loan facility and cash-back features, members can get up to 100 per cent financing to purchase their first home," said GSB Chief Executive Officer Courtney Lodge.
He made the announcement at the launch of the credit union's new wealth management unit on Friday at the Winchester Business Centre in Kingston.
The new division will be run by Jacqueline Pingue Smith. Its services will cover a range of investment and financial services, including foreign exchange, remittances, real estate and small business loans.
The home loan programme, says GSB, is backed by Jamaica Mortgage Bank, another state agency which offers support to private mortgage providers through a secondary market.
GSB's customer base of 21,400 is largely made up of public-sector employees, whose salaries tend to lag market-based pay.
"Many of our members are faced with exorbitant rent payments that could easily cover a mortgage payment but cannot afford the related deposit and closing costs," said Lodge.
"Persons have cried out and we have responded."