Pacific homeowner refinances mortgage

Part of the small percentage of Pacific people that own or are very close to owning their own home, Simon Laumatia is three quarters of the way towards owning his Otahuhu home which he first bought in 1998. The 62-year-old machine operator recently refinanced his mortgage with the help of Auckland-based credit union NZCU Employees and hopes that more people will look at putting their money towards owning their own homes rather than paying rent.



“Don’t waste your money renting”, says the father of four who came to New Zealand from Samoa in the 70s.
“It’s money that you’re never going to get back.”


Simon chuckles as he talks about the struggle of a mortgage, something he knows all too well.


“The mortgage is hard and you suffer now but that money is going towards something.”


Having been paying off his mortgage with Westpac for 20 odd years Simon says he hoped to make some renovations to his home and consolidate some of his consumer debt. However his application was denied.


“They declined my top up loan, even though I only have 220,000 left on the mortgage to pay off and I never miss any payments.”


So Simon turned to NZCU Employees, which he’s been a member of for almost 20 years.


He talked to the team about refinancing his mortgage through a Cooperative Bank home loan.


NZCU Employees Loan Officer Wayne Childs says it was all a matter of packaging up Simon’s application, and making sure Simon wouldn’t be overcommitted before sending it off to the Cooperative Bank for an answer.


“We act like a broker for the member and Cooperative Bank, really.”


Lending and Business Development Manager Lele Faifai agreed saying “Mr Laumatia wanted to top up his mortgage but they (Westpac) couldn’t do it, so he came and talked to us.”


The team picked up on the fact that Simon was looking to make some renovations to his home while also consolidating some debt.


“We helped him put his application through to the Cooperative Bank due to our new partnership with them,” she says.


NZCU Employees helped Mr Laumatia get the best out of the credit union’s partnership with the Cooperative Bank, advising him of the lower interest rate for a home loan as opposed to trying to make a personal loan.


Simon is very happy, and is also in the middle of switching over insurance providers through NZCU Employees as well.


“This credit union is very good, they’ve been very helpful and I can just talk to them about the things I need,” he says.


“Since the beginning they’ve been very helpful, I’ve been here for 20 years now.”


And it’s his hope that he’ll continue to be a member of NZCU Employees for more years to come.



About NZCU Employees:

NZCU Employees is a credit union offering a range of services for individuals, similar to what banks offer. But instead of working for profit, we work for you.

NZCU Employees