A Bank of Ireland or BoI Mortgage has always been a popular choice for Irish home buyers, but is a BoI mortgage good value? In our BoI Mortgage Ultimate Review – Ireland 2022 we give you the inside track on all things BoI mortgage and what your options and alternatives are.
With BoI being one of the Irish ‘pillar banks’ getting a BoI mortgage has always felt like a safe mortgage option for many.
Digging a little deeper though BoI Mortgage rates right now are the highest in the market and there are better options for most people to choose.
As a bank that has to support a substantial branch network and expensive legacy tracker mortgages, BoI have the highest rates in the market, with only PTSB and EBS coming close to the banks high mortgage rates.
In the introductory fixed rate period you will end up paying around 1.5% more than with some other lenders and after that period the difference is even larger with BoI charging rates of 3.7%-4.1% on their ‘follow on’ variable rates compared to 2.03%-2.25% with others.
BoI do offer more in cash back, a once off payment when the mortgage is drawn down, than most other lenders, but what they give in cash back is way less than what they take with the higher introductory and follow on interest rates.
The difference in interest rates might not seem that much at first, but it really mounts up over the course of a mortgage term.
Read on to get all the facts and figures on how much seemingly cash back offers really cost you and what better alternatives are available.
You can check out how a BoI mortgage compares to others using our calculator here.
- BoI Mortgage Rate and Product Overview – BoI Mortgage Review Ireland 2022
- Pro’s & Con’s – BoI Review Ireland 2022
- Recommendation – BoI Mortgage Review Ireland 2022
- Alternatives – BoI Mortgage Review Ireland 2022
- In a Nutshell – BoI Mortgage Review Ireland 2022
BoI Mortgage Rate and Product Overview – BoI Mortgage Review Ireland 2022
BoI Mortgage Product
BoI are selective about what they lend for.
- Bank of Ireland offer residential mortgages of more than €100,000 only, including first time buyers, home movers, buy to let and switchers.
- BoI also offer staged payment self build mortgages.
- Bank of Ireland mortgages are not available to people moving to Ireland from abroad.
They will also do top up mortgages for home improvements.
BoI Mortgage Approval Credit Policy
BoI has a reputation for being pretty flexible when it comes to their credit policy. The higher rates they charge seem to give Bank of Ireland Mortgage credit teams a bit more room to move than most. That said though, if you are have a more shaky or unusual credit history Finance Ireland are also a good option, without the gold plated price tag.
One thing to watch out for though is over recent years the time taken to approve a Bank of Ireland mortgage has extended to a couple of weeks a more, which can be a problem if you need your money in a hurry get hold of your dream home.
Bank of Ireland will allow you to borrow more than 3.5 times your income if you can show you have sufficient disposable income. These mortgages are known as ‘exceptions’ as they are exceptions to the Central Bank lending limits.
BOI Mortgage Rate
In the 3 year fixed rate mortgage comparison table below the Bank of Ireland mortgage comes out mid table, but unlike some of the other lenders they will give you 2% of your mortgage loan back when you draw down your loan as well as a further 1% after 5 years.
|3 Year Fixed Mortgage Rate|
|Avant Money Mortgage||2.44%||2.44%||2.47%||2.68%||2.70%|
|Finance Ireland Mortgage||5.11%||5.26%||5.27%||5.27%||5.54%|
|Permanent TSB Mortgage||3.63%||3.63%||3.77%||3.77%||4.00%|
|Bank of Ireland Mortgage||3.80%||3.80%||3.70%||4.20%||4.20%|
The Annual Percentage Rate Charge (APRC) represents the average rate across the lifetime of a typical mortgage and is recommended as the best rate to use for comparisons by the CCPC.  You can check out the APRC of all the mortgages currently on the market using our comparison tool here.
A fairer comparison then would be to use PTSB’s 4 year rate with no cash back with an attractive sounding 2.25% fixed rate, that way we are comparing apples with apples.
|4 Year Fixed|
|Bank of Ireland**||3.1%||3.3%||3.5%||3.5%||3.8%|
The reason the APRC, and therefore the cost of the mortgage, are so high for BoI isn’t in fact the cash back element, but the very high follow on rate after the introductory period as you can see in the table below.
Follow on/Variable Mortgage Rates
Follow on Rate
Follow on Rate
Follow on Rate
Follow on Rate
Follow on Rate
|Bank of Ireland||3.90%||3.90%||4.20%||4.20%||4.50%|
Bank of Ireland Mortgage Comparison High Value & Green Mortgages
Bank of Ireland is targeting also both high value and green mortgages so is offering better introductory rates in those cases. If you are buying new the chances are that your home qualifies for both, which makes Bank of Ireland’s introductory rate one of the best on the market, but be careful. The APRC on these rates is still pretty high as you can see in the table below which compares the market with the special discounts for high value and green mortgages included.
|Average Rate (APRC)||3 Yr||4 Yr||5 Yr||7 Yr|
|Avant Money Mortgages||2.44%||2.54%||2.60%||2.81%|
|Finance Ireland Mortgages||5.11%||–||5.27%||–|
|Permanent TSB Mortgages||3.58%*||3.49%||3.45%*||3.77%*|
|Bank of Ireland Mortgages||3.40%*||3.00%*||3.00%*||2.90%*|
BoI Cash Back
So how does the Bank of Ireland mortgage cash back offer stack up against those super high interest rates?
Cash back can come in really handy to pay solicitor fees etc.. and the first few years after moving in are when you are often most hard pressed financially, so is often tempting. As you can see BoI’s mortgage cash back option looks like the most generous in the market.
|Cash back Min||Cash back Max||Cash back conditions|
|AIB Mortgage||€0||€2,000||Switcher only|
|Permanent TSB||0%||2%||2% not available to 4 year fixed term.|
|EBS Mortgage||2%||3%||2% on drawdown 1% after 5 years|
|Bank of Ireland||2%||3%||2% on drawdown 1% after 5 years|
In fact the whole cash back thing is a bit of a rip off in our view, so to be treated with care. A quick example might help illustrate why we think so.
If you take an average mortgage loan of €200,000 over 25 years, at a loan to value of 80% with a Bank of Ireland 3 year fixed rate you will pay €1,066.75 on average per month, with Avant Money’s 3 year product that would be €870 a month, €196.75 a month cheaper.
So over 25 years that’s €58,940 less than with BoI in interest.
The cash back on the other hand is worth
- 2% of the €200,000 = €4,000
- 1% of the €200,000 after 5 years = €2,000
- A total of €6,000
That’s over €52,000 more expensive, taking massive amounts of cash out of your pocket in repayments.
If you don’t need the cash back to cover legal fees etc.. then we would recommend the Avant Money mortgages, however if you do then Haven are the best of the rest. Based on current rates they offer a lot better value than EBS, Permanent TSB and Bank of Ireland which also offer cash back.
Pro’s & Con’s – BoI Mortgage Review Ireland 2022
- The best introductory rate for high value mortgages
- The best cash back offering in the market
- Avant Money & Haven offer much better fixed rates and APRC overall
- Follow on rates are the highest in the market and will cost you thousands
Recommendation – BoI Mortgage Review Ireland 2022
Due to the uncompetitive introductory and follow rates the only reason to get a BoI mortgage right now would be if you are considering switching multiple times to cash in on the cash back before switching out to avoid the super high follow on rates. We don’t recommend this option though as we have covered in our switching article here.
If you need a cash back option to cover legal fees we would recommend Haven as their follow on rates are much lower. If you can afford to cover the legal fees yourself though, you are better off looking at Avant Money as the long term savings will out weigh the cash back saving pretty quickly.
If you can get a mortgage with Avant Money that’s a much smarter option than going with BoI.
You can a free mortgage check up to see what provider will suit you here.
Alternatives – BoI Mortgage Review Ireland 2022
- Rates from 2.44% APRC
- Fixed for 3-30 Years
- Tighter approval policy
- Rates from 3.83% APRC
- Fixed for 3-5 Years
- Flexible approval policy
- Rates from 4.45% APRC
- Fixed for 3-25 Years
- Flexible approval policy
In a Nutshell – BoI Mortgage Review Ireland 2022
BoI mortgages rely on customer inertia and their brand as the oldest bank in Ireland to charge more than any other provider in the market.
If you got platinum levels of service in return then maybe that would make sense, but BoI are actually one of the hardest lenders to deal with, due to layers of unnecessary paperwork and slow turn around times.
Our recommendation is stay away, even if you are an existing customer and might be thinking better the devil you know, it’s not worth flushing thousands of Euro down the toilet in sky high interest payments.
If you can get a mortgage with Avant Money that’s a much smarter option than going with a Bank of Ireland mortgage.
Bank of Ireland, Avant Money, Haven (AIB), PTSB, ICS Mortgages and Finance Ireland are available through brokers or through one our mortgage sherpas.
Next Steps – BoI Mortgage Review Ireland 2022
If you want to see what you could save by calculating your repayments and see all mortgage provider rates you can click here.
If you want to know more about long term fixed rate mortgages you can read our article here.
You can read our founder’s latest piece for extra.ie on the big mortgage switch and how much you will save here. Or you can check out our handy switching mortgage guide here.
If you want to get your savings started right now, set up a free no obligation video call with a mortgage sherpa here.