A low-deposit home loan allows a borrower to finance between 80% to 95% of a property’s value. In some rare cases, lenders may provide finance for 100% of the property value. Due to rising property prices, low-deposit home loans are popular with first-home buyers in Australia.
Low-deposit home loans use Lender’s Mortgage Insurance (LMI) to offset risk to the lender in the case of a default. The LMI required by a lender is calculated using the Loan-to-Value Ratio (LVR) of your property.
LVR is the amount of your loan compared to the purchase price of your home, expressed as a percentage. If you have a 20% deposit your LVR will be 80%.
If you have an LVR of less than 80%, you may need to pay lender’s mortgage insurance in order to secure a loan. This is a one-off cost that pays for insurance to cover your lender’s costs in the event you default on your loan.
When calculating the LMI you may be required to pay, a lender will consider:
LMI can vary from as little as $1,000 to more than $30,000 depending on the above factors.
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Low deposit home loans may be more expensive than full deposit home loans. Here’s an example of what the difference may be on two comparable loans with a 3% interest rate and a 30-year loan term.
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Low deposit home loans are popular among first-home buyers as a way to get a foot on the ladder in the increasingly expensive Australian property market. There are a number of options available to first-home buyers who want to buy with a small deposit.
The First Home Loan Deposit Scheme is a government initiative designed to help first-home buyers into the market. Under the scheme, the government will guarantee up to 10,000 low-deposit home loans a year for low and middle-income earners who fit eligibility criteria.
Buyers who are approved under the scheme will be approved for finance with a 5-20% deposit and no lenders mortgage insurance. All applications for the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme should be made through approved lenders, which include:
If you successfully apply for the scheme it could save you tens of thousands of dollars over the life of your home loan.
A guarantor home loan is a smart way to secure a low deposit home loan, and may even help you avoid paying LMI and higher interest rates.
To secure one of these loans you’ll need a guarantor - someone who is willing to help you by allowing the bank to use their property, cash as security. In most cases, guarantors are parents helping their children buy their first home.
If you’re lucky enough to have parents or immediate family members who are willing and able to guarantee your loan using their property as security this can be a great way to buy a property straight away, without all the extra costs like LMI.
You can apply for a low-deposit home loan with the majority of lenders in Australia, such as:
Applying for a low-deposit home loan may require greater documentation and preparation, as lenders often consider these types of loans riskier than standard home loans.
A good mortgage broker will help you improve every aspect of your application to improve your chances. They may also be able to advise you which lenders are more likely to accept your application.
There are a number of grants and incentives that aim to make it easier for first-home buyers to get on the property ladder. These include the First Home Owner Grant, which you may be able to add to your deposit. Make sure you’re aware of these incentives before you apply as they may increase the size of your deposit and decrease your costs.
Don’t switch jobs or industries before applying for a home loan. If you’ve been in the same job for several years that tells lenders your income is secure and you’ll be able to make repayments.
Your lender may request to look at up to 6 months of your bank transactions. They’ll look at your income VS spending and use what they find to help them assess your application. Spend less before you apply and your lender may be more likely to approve your application.
Genuine savings is money you’ve earned and put aside in account yourself. It shows lenders that you can manage your finances and that you’ll be able to make repayments. The more you save, the better your application will appear.
Once you’ve secured pre-approval for your low deposit loan make sure that you keep your financial and employment situation the same. Your lender can still deny your application when it comes to formal approval if your circumstances have changed.
Thanks to high property prices low deposit loans have become increasingly common in Australia, especially among first-home buyers.
These loans are a great way to buy property sooner without saving a massive deposit, but they also come with a number of risks and extra costs, including:
Before buyers consider a low-deposit home loan they should be aware of all the risks and drawbacks so that they can be sure they’re making the right decision.
Low deposit home loans work the same as normal home loans, although they may include extra costs like LMI as well as higher interest rates. They may also be harder to secure as lenders deem them to be higher risk.
That depends on your unique situation. Low deposit home loans generally cost more than regular home loans so if you’re able to save a 20% deposit you’ll pay less interest and lower fees over the life of your loan. With that said if you have a reliable, high income, low deposit loans can be a good way to buy property sooner.
Low deposit home loans can be more expensive than regular home loans. That’s because they often come with a one-off cost known as lenders mortgage insurance - charged by your lender to protect them against losses if you default on your loan.
Yes, first-home buyers can get low deposit home loans. However, lenders will only approve them if you have a solid stable income that can easily service the repayments. They may also come with extra costs like LMI and higher interest rates.
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