Home Trust – Company Review
Home Trust is a smaller presence in the Canadian credit market, focusing mainly on mortgages and other large loans for non-traditional applicants. That doesn’t mean you should count them out as a credit card provider, though. As of 2018, they’ve lent more than $385 million to Canadians through their credit card products alone, mostly to the same sorts of traditionally marginalized applicants as they serve with their mortgage operations.
You May Be Interested In Home Trust Credit Cards If
You’re in a tricky financial situation, but have some assets available to you and need a hand in getting to a better place. They also offer a cash back card that is geared more toward wider demographics, but it in general, their specialty lies in serving those who might struggle to get what they need from all the other cards out here.
More About Home Trust
Home Trust products reviews
Home Trust’s Credit Card Lineup
True to its goals as an institution focused around alternative lending, Home Trust only offers three separate credit card options, but they are all very unique, quite complex, and specifically tailored to a very particular set of life circumstances. With that in mind, it’s worth quickly going over each one to see how it works and what it can do for consumers who choose to use it.
Home Trust Equityline Visa Card
The Home Trust Equityline Visa is the most noteworthy of Home Trust’s credit card line simply because there is very little else like it available to Canadians. The simplest way to describe it is a home equity loan arrangement in credit card form.
Home equity loans are nothing new – they allow you to tap into the value of your home without selling it by using it as collateral, and most financial institutions offer them in one form or another and have done so for decades. However, most of these arrangements are, as the name suggests, loans, meaning that they are one-time arrangements with a fixed term and loan amount. Having a credit card tied to your home equity is different because it establishes an ongoing line of credit, known as revolving credit. This is a much less common offering that many people enjoy having access to because it’s a much more flexible arrangement for the consumer. Instead of having to apply for a specific amount of money when you know you have a big expense coming up and hoping that you get enough and that your application is approved on time, you can just use this card as you see fit.
Since it affords you a credit limit of anywhere between $10,000 and $100,000 depending on the assessed value of your home, you can use this card to help cover a lot of major expenses that would otherwise be out of reach for many people, including extensive home renovations or paying for their child’s education. Since it’s backed by a tangible asset that can be seized in case of default, too, Home Trust has pushed the interest rates on this card much lower than the standard 19.99% – you’ll pay somewhere between 5.99% and 11.99% for standard purchases charged to this card, lower than even most advertised low-interest credit card options. To make the deal even sweeter, you’ll even get 1% cash back on all your purchases, which is a great little perk to add on to this already good deal. Maybe best of all, though, you don’t necessarily have to have good credit to get this card for the same reasons that the interest rate is so low, making this one of the best options for a credit card for bad credit out there if you can qualify for it.
The only real downside to using this card is that you need to have a fully paid-off home to qualify for it in the first place, and that if you do, you’re potentially putting that massive asset at risk by using it to finance such an extensive line of credit. Most people have only ever used credit cards with limits a fraction of the size of what this one will afford you; in fact, aside from their mortgage, they may not even have ever had a fixed-term loan of this size. $100,000 is a lot of money, after all, much more than you would need for almost any consumer purchase.
This represents a significant level of temptation for people who have poor credit management habits, and since this is a version of a secured credit card that does not take your credit score into account as much as other options do, some people like this will have no trouble getting their hands on this product. There’s no stopping unfortunate issues like that without making it much harder for people with bad credit histories in general to get the card, though, and doing that would lock out a lot of people who are just trying to lock in some kind of credit and get on with their lives. If you decide to use this product, it’s up to you to know yourself and your spending patterns and limits – don’t give yourself this level of financial freedom if you know that you will abuse it. Your best bet to avoid any trouble is to use it only for specific purchases for which you have planned extensively beforehand and know exactly how and when you are going to pay them off.
Home Trust Preferred Visa Card
This is the most traditional of this set of three cards, following most of the basic structure for cash back cards that we’re all familiar with. It provides you with a consistent 1% cash back rate on all your purchases made with this card, regardless of what you buy or where you shop for it. That level of freedom and simplicity is nice, but it’s not too far from what many other entry-level cash back cards have to offer. Where this one really starts to diverge from the norm is in the benefits it provides. Rather than including some type of accident insurance or discount program like many cards at this level do, Home Trust has opted to go with auto rental collision insurance, free roadside assistance coverage, and a lack of foreign exchange fees.
This is an incredibly bizarre set of benefits, not least of all because the foreign exchange fee waiver is the main selling point of many other credit cards that do offer it. Here, it’s just an afterthought, albeit a very nice one. It ensures that if you’re travelling a lot or shopping online, you’ll only pay the sticker price equivalent in CAD whenever you buy anything in another currency. Believe it or not, those savings can add up fast! In addition to that, though, the roadside assistance membership is likely to become a favourite perk of many cardholders because of how handy it is to have in reserve.
This card also does something a little different with its cash back system. Rather than requiring you to build up a certain amount of cash back credit before you can redeem anything and then to request a payout yourself, the Home Trust Preferred Visa Card automatically adds your reward balance to your statement as a credit at the end of each calendar year. This means that you’ll never have to worry about forgetting that you have credits waiting to be redeemed; you’ll always get the benefit of them every single January, and your statement will remind you of that if it does happen to slip your mind.
Home Trust Secured Visa Card
Lastly, the Home Trust Secured Visa Card is the last member of this triad, and it combines aspects of both of the previous cards. Like the Preferred card, it’s accessible to most people, and like the Equityline card, it has a role to play in helping people recover from bad credit. As the name suggests, this is a secured card, meaning that anyone who wants to get it must first send Home Trust some deposit funds to act as a guarantee on the credit. Your limit will be exactly equal to your deposit amount, and that can be as little as $500 if you don’t have much money to spare at the moment (you can go up as high as $10,000 if you want to, but most customers will never need that much and won’t have the funds to do it anyway). If you ever decide that you no longer want this card, you can close your account and be refunded every cent of that deposit as long as your account is in good standing when you make this request.
As for the interest rates, there are actually two different ones that might be applicable depending on your circumstances. There is a no-fee version that will cost you nothing to get (except the refundable deposit amount in the short term, of course) but that will charge you 19.99% interest like most typical Canadian credit cards do. If you’d prefer a lower rate, though, you have the option of paying a $59 annual fee to lower your interest to just 14.90% annually. There are no extra benefits associated with the annual fee version, so you should only choose this option if you expect to incur heavy interest penalties.
This is one of the leading secured credit card options in Canada, and it’s easy to see why that is. Home Trust advertises confidently that almost no one is ever turned away once they’ve applied for this card, which means your chances of getting it are excellent – there is basically no risk to Home Trust in taking on even the most disreputable client when they have the ability to confiscate your deposit if you don’t pay. The only real reasons they ever reject an application are if the applicant cannot cover the deposit amount or if that person is currently experiencing a bankruptcy. What’s nice, though, is that the second problem is only a temporary barrier, since they have no problem with taking on clients with past bankruptcies once those issues have been cleared up. That makes this card a great tool for recovering your credit if you’ve fallen on hard times.
Home Trust is (fittingly enough, considering their name) a very trustworthy company overall, and one that is fairly well-liked by past and present clients. Considering that they often work with people who are on the end of their rope financially, this is saying something. They have been through some troubles with their stock prices in recent years, but they have always weathered these problems and continue to have a strong presence in the Canadian market. Although their main role lies in helping people with bad credit, there is a caveat to that mandate. With a few exceptions, their products will be of the most use to you if you have significant assets to draw on as collateral for them. Many people are not fortunate enough to be in that position. Still, even a small nest egg can get you the secured card, and that alone can do wonders for a tarnished credit history if it’s used right.
What We Think
Overall, Home Trust is an above-average credit card provider company with a well-deserved reputation for helping out the little guy. However, Home Trust credit cards are also so specifically tailored to fill certain roles that it’s almost pointless to think about whether or not they’re worth recommending. If you need them, you’ll appreciate having them at your disposal. For the most part, you’ll know right away if these cards are for you, and if you find yourself questioning if you want them or not, you’d probably be happier choosing something else. If you want a cash back card from a somewhat quirky provider or just really need the special setup and leeway that the other two cards can get you, though, there are few better ways to get yourself out of a rocky financial situation.