Frequently Asked Questions

12 questions we get every day, provided with 12 clear answers

1. What is the lowest interest rate?

The lowest interest rate at the moment is 2.95%.

But actually, the lowest interest rate isn’t such a relevant question. Because 2.95% is really scraping the bottom of the barrel. However, such a low percentage always comes with a lot of fine print. For example, you might not meet the conditions of that particular bank to get a loan. Or you might only get that mini interest rate if you’re willing to handle a very high monthly payment—too high for your budget.

Be sure to read “What is the cheapest loan,” where we explain why asking for the lowest interest rate is actually the wrong question. Because don’t you just want to pay as little as possible in the end? Aren’t euros more important than percentages?

2. Can’t I just compare banks myself?

Of course, but you better prepare for a marathon and take a crash course in banking. Those who shop around themselves think they can outsmart the banks. However, be aware that the different criteria banks use are very complex, and banks are practiced poker players.

Does this sound too negative? Maybe. The fact is that banks know 26% of their customers don’t look beyond their first stop. Often, bankers will give you an extra discount because you’ve been a customer for so long, for example, or because your parents are also customers. Sometimes they even call the head office in Brussels to “arrange something” especially for you. Rest assured: those discounts are all pre-calculated.

Moreover, each bank uses a whole bunch of criteria to decide whether or not you get that loan: the term, your creditworthiness, the size of the pile of savings you do or don’t have, your work history, whether you and your partner have permanent positions, whether you work with temporary contracts, and so on.

But if I know all those criteria, can’t I compare for myself? Well, no. First, all banks use different criteria and give them different weights. Second, the interest rate fluctuates constantly. Every day at the major banks, weekly at the smaller players in the market. So you would have to visit all the banks on the same day. Otherwise, you’re comparing apples to lemons.

To clarify, hypotheek.winkel has designed an algorithm that compares 264 parameters from different banks at the snap of a finger and matches them with the day’s interest rate. It seems like magic, but it’s pure mathematics.

3. What is the cheapest loan?

Good question! But it depends on what you mean. Many people only look at the interest rate, but is that a deceptive figure? It’s up to you: do you want the lowest possible interest rate in percentages, or the lowest possible amount in euros? And if we’re talking about the latter, do you mean the amount per month, or the total at the end of the term?

Know that the loan with the lowest interest rate is not necessarily the cheapest loan. Many banks attach conditions to a loan: they may ask you to open an account where you make at least twelve transactions per month, or you suddenly have to take out a range of insurances with them. All those ancillary products, from your bank card to your fire insurance, must of course be included in the price.

And it doesn’t stop there: many of these products become more expensive over time. The problem is if you want to get rid of one of your extras after a while—because they’ve become too expensive over the years—you suddenly lose all your other discounts. And that can add up to a loss of thousands of euros. Sigh.

4. Can I get a loan? At which bank?

It’s time, you have your eye on the house of your dreams. But the price is just on the edge of your budget. It may sound strange, but depending on the criteria they use, one bank will grant you a loan and another will not. Some banks are, for example, slightly more flexible in calculating your repayment capacity or will not immediately penalize the higher risk with a higher interest rate. So it’s important to find the right bank.

Suppose you go to your trusted banker and they deny your loan. Will you let your dream house slip away because you didn’t look further? Of course not. Whether you can get a loan depends on a lot of factors, but also on how well you inform yourself. Read “Aren’t all banks the same?” before you hang your head because you heard a “no.”

5. Aren’t all banks the same?

No. There are many different banks, and they all think differently. Some banks impose a lot of obligations on you in exchange for discounts, others do not. It might be smarter to stay with your current bank but take out your loan elsewhere. You don’t necessarily have to move all your accounts. There are about ten banks that don’t require this and leave you completely free in what you do with your money.

A quick note: we always talk about banks here, but the correct term is lender. Read more in “Which 25 banks do you compare?” at question 12.

Some banks also target specific groups. For example, if you place a lot of importance on ecological building and decide to build a passive house, we know a bank that strategically chooses to reward sustainable building. They know that a well-insulated house today will be worth more in twenty years. That’s why they already reward you with extra discounts. Other banks are experts in managing large assets. It’s a different way of thinking, but ideal if you want solid advice on how to handle a lot of zeros behind the numbers. So there is a match for every pot.

6. What’s the difference between hypotheek.winkel and Immotheker Finotheker?

Immotheker and hypotheek.winkel are often confused. That name confusion (“Immotheekwinkel,” anyone?) is understandable. They and we have the same goal: to guide you to your dream home without falling into any of the many pitfalls. In fact, we are brothers from different mothers.

We have a lot in common:

  • We are both 100% independent of the banks we work with.
  • We both rely on powerful software to compare banks and loans.
  • We both were inspired by the Dutch model, where house hunters do not automatically go to their own bank for a loan but go directly to an independent credit intermediary.

Do you still want to know a few differences? They exist, but only for those who care about facts and figures:

  • The number of banks we compare with our algorithm differs. Immotheker Finotheker shows you the results of 16 banks, we show 25.
  • Our network differs in location and size. Immotheker Finotheker is active throughout the country, we are only active in Flanders and Brussels.
  • Immotheker has been around a little longer than us. Their first office opened in 1995, we started in 2001.

There is one area where Immotheker is the strongest. If you’re looking for specialized guidance in wealth building and succession planning in addition to your loan, they are your perfect match. That’s also why their name has been extended to Immotheker Finotheker. Honestly, to our knowledge, there is no other party in the market that offers such a complete and 100% independent service. Be sure to say hello to them!

You see, we are definitely not competitors. On the contrary, we even strengthen each other and have the same goals: to help customers make their choices in an honest way.

7. Why should I compare?

Because the answers are not black and white. Moreover, they are red, orange, yellow, and green. When you visit us, we enter all your data into our system. What we do is theoretically submit your file to all 25 banks we work with. You follow along on the screen and see in real-time which banks are willing to give you a loan. And green means good news. Simple, right?

But even if the scores for your file don’t immediately turn green, there are possibilities. No more “back to start” if your bank says no. It’s really about putting all the options in a row and playing with the parameters. Bet we can turn those yellow and orange scores more towards green with some smart moves?

But what if you’re pretty sure you got an okay offer from your banker? Blind trust in the first positive offer is just as misleading: you might have gotten an even better deal at another bank. After all, you’re borrowing for the next twenty years or more. We’re happy to help you choose the best option for your housing dream.

8. How can I compare banks?

There are three ways to do a comparative study. It all depends on how much you like to compare and negotiate and how much time you have.

Scenario 1 You hear at the bar about someone who negotiated a spectacular interest rate. And you think: if they can do it, so can I. Of course, bar stories often don’t take into account the constantly changing interest market, and the precise details are often swept under the rug. Good to know: those kinds of spectacular stories are always short-lived. If a bank suddenly becomes very competitive, it is quickly overtaken by the competition. Exceptional interest rates don’t live long.

Scenario 2 Another option: put the detective in you to work and search online for the right information. Scouring the options at 25 banks will take you some time, so be prepared for long hours. It’s also quite complex because each bank tries to distinguish itself with different arguments. Even if you visit three or four banks, you still have a very limited view of the market. Or maybe you think after a few banks that you’ve already saved a lot of money compared to the first bank you visited. Imagine how much you would save if you visited them all.

Online research alone won’t get you there because how current is the information you find? Bankers can always pull a lower rate out of their hat, but they only do that when you’re sitting in front of them. So make room in your schedule to plan 25 bank visits.

Scenario 3 In one hour, we guide you through 25 banks, without the headache: our software does the work while you watch on the screen with our advisor. We hide nothing, and you don’t have to come back three times. Handy, right?

9. Why should I visit hypotheek.winkel?

To make sure you don’t pay too much and don’t fall into one of the many pitfalls. Small details can make a big difference in the long run, and we happen to know those details like the back of our hand.

Plus, why wouldn’t you do it? It only takes an hour, it’s free, and it can save you thousands of euros. You leave with peace of mind, knowing you’ve explored all possible options. Because, let’s be honest, comparing once can’t hurt, can it? Isn’t that a responsible homeowner’s duty for such an important decision?

10. What’s the difference between hypotheek.winkel and the bank?

Hypotheek.winkel is not a bank. We can’t give you euros ourselves, but we do arrange your loan from start to finish.

What we also do is give expert advice based on our experience, so you find the loan that best suits you. Every day, more than a hundred of our offices submit loan applications to all the banks in our portfolio. So we not only know the exact criteria each bank uses, but we also know how those banks interpret the rules. To put it concretely: our mortgage experts even know what the banks don’t know about themselves. Like that it sometimes pays to submit your application on Monday morning instead of Friday afternoon. Or was it the other way around? Just kidding ;).

All that information is taken into account by our software. The answer to the question “can I get a loan from bank X” is not a simple “yes” or “no”: you also get insight into the small nuances that can make a big difference. You’ll see that a certain bank won’t give you a loan (red score), but if you adjust a small detail, it suddenly becomes possible (hooray, green score).

We don’t make any decisions ourselves, but we make a very accurate prediction of what the bank will tell you.

11. What does hypotheek.winkel cost me?

Nothing. Zero. Nada. Niente.

How is that possible? Because we are paid by the banks we work with. Do we then play under one hat? No. Here’s how it works: we submit your application to the bank. Not to your local branch, but directly to the head office. They immediately get started because the time-consuming initial rounds at your local branch can be skipped thanks to hypotheek.winkel. This saves your banker a few hours of explanation and the head office a lot of money.

Whether we get that fee from bank 1 or bank 25 doesn’t matter to us. Impartiality has been our raison d’être for 17 years and is sacred at hypotheek.winkel. Just read our customer reviews.

Do all those banks pay the same? No, but the fee is included in the total cost of the loan. You’ll see that total cost on the screen, along with other useful information like the amount of the monthly repayment. If you choose a more expensive loan, we might earn more. But even that is not certain. And who would be crazy enough to choose a more expensive loan?

You can check this yourself. Once your credit is approved, the bank automatically gives you a complete view of that fee, including dossier costs, appraisal costs (if any), etc. This is a legally required document called the ESIS form. That 100% transparency is your biggest guarantee.

Moreover, the law prohibits charging any other fee to the customer. So you can rest assured, you really won’t get a bill from us.

12. Which 25 banks does hypotheek.winkel compare?

First, we always talk about banks, but the correct term is lender. It can also be an insurance company or an NGO. All lenders are subject to the same strict regulations and are certified by the FSMA. The FSMA is the official government watchdog for the financial sector.


AllianzMeHomeLoans – Funding MeDirect

BNP Paribas Fortis Credit Brokers




Creaselect – Funding Ethias



EB Lease – Division Groep Crelan

Elantis – Division Belfius Verzekeringen

Elk zijn huis

Hypostart Vlaanderen

Hypostart Brussel

Keytrade Bank


Patronale Life

Record Credits – Division ING Belgium

Triodos Bank

VDK Bank