Bank of mum and dad still a key property option for new buyers

Posted: 13 September 2017 3:16 pm News

Mother and father signing contract

Learn how you can help your kids get into the property market while avoiding risk.

It’s becoming increasingly common for parents to help their kids get a foot on the property ladder. And with house prices soaring, it’s easy to see why.

The latest figures from CoreLogic show the median capital city dwelling price in Australia is now $645,405. The situation becomes even more dire when examining Sydney, where the median price is an astounding $909,914.

With lenders requiring at least a 5% deposit in order to qualify for a home loan, it’s little wonder kids are turning to their parents for help. Here’s what you need to know before you open up your wallet.

Guarantor loans can be a solution

Few people are so fortunate as to have large amounts of cash readily accessible. So if you want to help your kids get into the market but don’t have liquid assets to hand them for a deposit, you could consider a guarantor loan.

A guarantor loan is structured to take the place of a deposit by using your property as security. Basically, a second mortgage on your home acts as the deposit for the mortgage on your child’s property.

There are a few notable upsides to this:

  • Deposit. You don’t have to come up with cash to help cover a deposit. The equity in your home does the work for you.
  • Avoid LMI. A guarantor loan can help your kids avoid paying costly lenders mortgage insurance (LMI) premiums. LMI is charged on home loans with a loan-to-value ratio (LVR) below 20%. If you use the equity in your home as a guarantee, it can serve as the 20% deposit, eliminating the need for LMI.
  • Temporary. Guarantor loans are a temporary situation. You aren’t on the hook for the long-term. Instead, as soon as your child has built up 20% equity, you can be released as guarantor and your obligation ends.

Now, the primary drawback of these loans is that you’re risking the equity in your home. If your child defaults on their home loan, you’re liable for part of the debt. This can be a risky proposition, so it’s important to be realistic about your child’s financial discipline and ability to repay.

Learn more about guarantor home loans

Gifting a deposit

Illustrated hand holding a present
If you are in the position to give your kids a sum of cash to help make up a deposit, this is certainly an option. However, there are a couple details you’ll need to consider.

First, your child will still need to come up with some genuine savings on their own. Lenders are generally happy to accept a monetary gift as a portion of a deposit, so long as the borrower has some genuine savings. Usually, the threshold is 5%. Genuine savings generally means money held in an account for three months or longer. If your child can come up with 5% of the purchase price of a property, you’re free to help fund a bigger deposit.

Second, the gift has to actually be a gift. This means you can’t just lend your child money with the expectation that it will be paid back. Lenders would look at this as another debt, which would reduce your child’s borrowing power. Instead, you’ll need to sign a statutory declaration indicating that the funds you’re supplying are a gift and do not have to be repaid.

It’s good to have skin in the game

While helping your child get into the property market can be emotionally rewarding, it can also be dangerous if they don’t have any of their own funds on the line.

Research from the Reserve Bank of Australia shows that 30% of borrowers who need help from their parents to pay for a deposit later find themselves in financial stress.

Making sure your kids supply some up-front funds themselves can help them develop the financial discipline they’ll need in order to keep on top of home loan repayments.

Get it in writing

Helping your kids get into the property market is a big commitment. In order to safeguard your own financial future you need to make sure you outline clear expectations.

If you’re giving deposit funds as a gift, there may be no strings attached. However, if you’re serving as a guarantor for your child’s home loan it can be crucial to lay out your expectations in writing.

It could be worth consulting a solicitor before you choose to serve as a guarantor. They can help you outline clear expectations and a timeline in which you expect to be released from your guarantor obligations. Being clear and transparent about your expectations can not only protect your financial future, it can protect your relationship with your kids.

Ready for the next step? Compare guarantor and low deposit home loans

Rates last updated October 17th, 2019
$
Loan purpose
Offset account
Loan type
Repayment type
Your filter criteria do not match any product
Name Product Interest Rate (p.a.) Comp Rate^ (p.a.) Application Fee Ongoing Fees Max LVR Monthly Payment Short Description
2.79%
3.82%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
Get one of the lowest rates on the market with this fixed rate mortgage. Available with just a 10% deposit. Guarantor option available. NSW, QLD and ACT residents only.
3.15%
3.99%
$600
$0 p.a.
95%
Fix a competitive rate for 3 years, get a 100% offset account and pay no ongoing fees. Available with a 5% deposit.
4.15%
4.53%
$0
$395 p.a.
95%
No application fee and 100% offset account.
3.24%
3.24%
$0
$0 p.a.
95%
$2,000 cashback for eligible refinancers. This flexible, basic home loan offers a very low rate and you only need a 5% deposit.
3.72%
3.72%
$0
$0 p.a.
95%
Fund the construction of your new family home with a very competitive variable interest rate. Available with a 5% deposit.
3.15%
3.19%
$500
$0 p.a.
95%
This mortgage combines a very sharp interest rate with a 100% offset account and it's available with a 5% deposit.
3.15%
3.89%
$500
$0 p.a.
95%
Lock in a low mortgage rate for 2 years and pay no ongoing fees. Includes a 100% offset account. Available with a 5% deposit.
3.09%
4.26%
$595
$0 p.a.
95%
Split you home loan for free with one of the lowest fixed home loan rates.

Compare up to 4 providers

Rates last updated October 17th, 2019
$
Loan purpose
Offset account
Loan type
Repayment type
Your filter criteria do not match any product
Name Product Interest Rate (p.a.) Comp Rate^ (p.a.) Application Fee Ongoing Fees Max LVR Monthly Payment Short Description
2.99%
3.45%
$0
$10 monthly ($120 p.a.)
90%
Buy your home and lock in a low rate for the first two years. Available with a 10% deposit. Earn Velocity Frequent Flyer Points at settlement, monthly and every three years, plus extra bonus points for a limited time.
3.02%
3.04%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
This rate is effective from 21 October for all HSBC customers. Get a low interest rate loan with no ongoing fees. Plus you can make extra repayments and free redraw online. Available with just a 10% deposit.
2.79%
3.82%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
Get one of the lowest rates on the market with this fixed rate mortgage. Available with just a 10% deposit. Guarantor option available. NSW, QLD and ACT residents only.
3.19%
3.22%
$600
$0 p.a.
90%
A competitive variable rate for PAYG home buyers. Available with a 10% deposit.
3.31%
3.37%
$449
$0 p.a.
90%
NSW and ACT customers only. Get a special discount for a limited time when you open an IMB Transaction Account.
2.99%
3.42%
$0
$10 monthly ($120 p.a.)
90%
A competitive fixed rate mortgage available with a 10% deposit. Earn Velocity Frequent Flyer Points at settlement, monthly and every three years, plus extra bonus points for a limited time.
3.15%
4.16%
$600
$0 p.a.
95%
Lock in a competitive interest rate for 1 year and pay no ongoing fees. Available with just a 5% deposit and includes a 100% offset account.
3.24%
3.24%
$0
$0 p.a.
95%
$2,000 cashback for eligible refinancers. This flexible, basic home loan offers a very low rate and you only need a 5% deposit.
3.15%
3.19%
$500
$0 p.a.
95%
This mortgage combines a very sharp interest rate with a 100% offset account and it's available with a 5% deposit.
3.39%
4.29%
$600
$395 p.a.
95%
A package loan that offers discounts and a 100% offset account.
3.32%
3.36%
$595
$0 p.a.
90%
A discounted variable rate with low ongoing fees and redraw facility. Low deposit option available.
3.15%
4.07%
$600
$0 p.a.
95%
Fix your rate for the first two years with this competitive, low-fee loan. Includes a 100% offset account. Get this loan with a 5% deposit.
2.88%
4.11%
$0
$375 p.a.
95%
$2,000 cashback for eligible refinancers. Get a very low fixed interest rate for two years plus package discounts. Available with a 5% deposit.
3.15%
3.82%
$500
$0 p.a.
95%
Competitive 3-year rate for homeowners. Comes with a low deposit option and 100% offset account. No ongoing fees.
2.84%
3.47%
$449
$6 monthly ($72 p.a.)
90%
NSW and ACT customers only. 3 years fixed interest terms and free access to redraw facility online.
3.15%
3.99%
$600
$0 p.a.
95%
Fix a competitive rate for 3 years, get a 100% offset account and pay no ongoing fees. Available with a 5% deposit.
3.15%
3.89%
$500
$0 p.a.
95%
Lock in a low mortgage rate for 2 years and pay no ongoing fees. Includes a 100% offset account. Available with a 5% deposit.
3.54%
3.55%
$0
$10 monthly ($120 p.a.)
90%
Enjoy a competitive fixed rate with no application fee. Eligible borrowers can earn Velocity Frequent Flyer Points with this mortgage, and extra bonus points for a limited time.
3.49%
4.06%
$449
$6 monthly ($72 p.a.)
90%
NSW and ACT customers only. A 3 years fixed rate investor which allows extra repayments to be made.

Compare up to 4 providers

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