When we first talked about Steward Bank offering mortgage loans to Zimbabweans in the diaspora the overall sentiment was that this was welcome and that their terms were relatively great. However, some felt that the 9% per year interest rate was too much. Well, it looks like Steward Bank was listening.
Interest rate goes down
We in Zimbabwe thought that 9% was a super sweet deal perhaps because we have lived under high inflation and even hyper inflation for a long time, a very long time. Perhaps 9% sounded so great because it’s the lowest interest rate we have seen in Zimbabwe. Now Steward Bank Diaspora Banking has slashed interest rates for diasporans buying or building in Zimbabwe. The new rate: 2%. Yes, 2!
Diasporans now have to raise less deposit than before
When we first announced the deal, the borrower was required to raise 10% of the sum they wanted as their deposit (contribution towards buying or building the property). Now, the deposit has been halved to just 5%. This means if you are in the diaspora you don’t have to raise as much for you to qualify for a mortgage.
You don’t have to wait 3 months if you are a new account holder
Initially you needed to have been banking with Steward Bank from the diaspora for 3 months before they could entertain talk about borrowing to build. The deal has just been sweetened: you can apply for a loan immediately after opening the account.
You can apply up to double the previous limit
The first offer was that you could borrow up to a maximum of $200 000. Steward Bank has just doubled that maximum to $400 000. The deal keeps getting better right?
Repayment period has been extended
When we first brought this up the maximum tenure was 20 years depending on how close you are to the retirement age of 65. The maximum tenure has been increased to 25 years or retirement age of 65 whichever is sooner. This means that you can pace your installments much more comfortably.
You could soon be able to buy the property from Steward Bank themselves
Word reaching us is that Steward Bank wants to go into property development themselves. This means you can buy the property from them pretty soon.
This is undeniably a very good deal and one which competes with deals from anywhere in the world. An interest rate of 2% betters or at least equals any in the US and UK. I am no expert but I haven’t come across such low rates in SA.
You can visit the Steward Bank website or reach their diaspora banking unit on email@example.com
For requirements you can check the first article we wrote: