Forget Commonwealth Bank of Australia and buy these 3 dividend shares instead

There is no getting away from the fact that Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) is one of the most popular bank shares on the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO).

Australia’s largest bank is one of the first shares that investors will turn to when they are in search of income. Rightly so, as in FY 2017 the bank is expected to pay an estimated fully franked 5.8% dividend.

This is a great dividend and well above the 4.4% market-average, but it’s not the best dividend out there. According to CommSec, these three shares are expected to pay even greater dividends in FY 2017.

Fantastic Holdings Limited (ASX: FAN)

Fantastic Holdings is the owner and operator of furniture retail brands Fantastic Furniture, Le Cornu, and Dare Gallery. Thanks to a strong housing market the company posted phenomenal comparable store sales growth of 15.7% in the first half of its fiscal year. Despite its strong growth the shares are still only changing hands at 11.5x estimated full year earnings. I believe this makes them a great investment today, especially with the shares providing an estimated 6.6% dividend in FY 2017. A housing market downturn could of course negatively impact the company, but whist it remains strong Fantastic Holdings is a buy for me.

FlexiGroup Limited (ASX: FXL)

The share price of this leading finance and leasing company has plummeted over 26% in the last 30 days, meaning its shares will now provide an estimated fully franked 8.3% dividend in FY 2017. The decline in its share price came following a warning of systems and goodwill impairments that meant its statutory profit after tax is expected to drop by around 35% to $54.2 million. Next year looks likely to be a year of transition, but management expects the company to return to double-digit cash profit growth from FY 2018 onwards. I feel confident management will turn around the fortunes of the company, but it is worth considering the consequences of it failing to do so before making an investment.

G8 Education Ltd (ASX: GEM)

Childcare operator G8 Education has grown its dividend for six consecutive years and I don’t see that stopping any time soon. Thanks to the company’s growth through acquisition strategy, I believe there is still a great deal more growth ahead. Currently G8 Education owns 471 centres in Australia and 18 centres in Singapore, with management estimating there to be an addressable market of up to 4,000 centres. The shares are estimated to provide a fully franked 7.6% dividend in FY 2017, making G8 Education a must buy for income investors in my opinion.

Finally, if you'd like even more dividend ideas for your portfolio then I would recommend taking a look at this list of five fantastic dividend shares. If you don't have them in your portfolio already, you could be missing out.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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