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How to get a home loan if you’re a casual worker

Low doc home loans are the most common type of home loans for casual workers.

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It's harder to get a home loan as a casual worker because lenders consider borrowers with casual incomes to be "higher risk". This is not always the case in reality, but all lenders create policies based around their risk perceptions. Some banks and lenders have friendlier policies towards casual works, and for the most part, the most common home loan option for casual workers is a low doc home loan.

Let's explore how these loans work and how to improve your chances of being approved for a home loan as a casual worker.

How does a home loan for a casual employee work?

If you're a casual worker applying for a home loan, you'll need to show that you've been working steadily by providing the last 2 years' worth of ATO Notice of Assessments.

From there, the lender will often take the lesser of the 2, and consider that to be an indication of your income. By taking a conservative approach and accepting the lower amount as your regular income, they can make sure they are meeting their legal responsbility of ensuring you can afford the loan.

If you have not been with the same job for several years, it can be more difficult demonstrating proof of consistent income. Ongoing employment in the same industry can help. For instance, if you've had 2 casual jobs in the last 3 years, but they both involved working in hospitality, that can help provide evidence of consistency in employment to the bank.

The most common type of home loan for casual workers is a low doc home loan, which is a mortgage that is designed for the self-employed or those who receives an irregular income, rather than a consistent PAYG income. These types of loans are considered to be riskier than a regular home loan, so they often charge slightly higher interest rates. In some cases, lenders may apply a lower maximum LVR, which means they require you to save a larger deposit.

Restaurant worker Jafar applies for a low doc home loan

Our hypothetical borrower Jafar has worked as a casual worker in the same industry for 3 years and wanted to apply for a home loan. He had $40,000 in savings, and has been able to comfortable cover the cost of his rent and monthly expenses with his income.

The lender he chose looked at his gross income and felt confident that he could afford monthly repayments of around $1600 a month.

This allows Jafar to borrow $350,000 at an interest rate of 2.5% for 30 years. He qualifies for a stamp duty exemption, because he's a first home buyer.

Comparing mortgages for casual workers

Consider the following when applying for your loan:

  • Documentation. You don’t need as much documentation with a low doc loan as you would with a full documentation loan, but the more income evidence you can provide, the better. Any income you receive cash in hand won't be considered as genuine income – you need a paper trail as income evidence.
  • Interest rate. If the bank considers you to be a riskier borrower, they may charge a slightly higher interest rate than PAYG borrowers. This could be a small price to pay in order to buy your own home; make sure you shop around for the best deal.
  • Loan type. You should consider whether the flexibility of a variable rate or the certainty of a fixed rate is better suited to your circumstances. Some loans will allow you to split your loan into variable and fixed rate portions.
  • Features. Check the list of features being offered and try to find the ones that will be most beneficial to you. Things to look for might be a 100% offset account, redraw facilities and flexible repayment options.

Pros and cons of a home loan for a casual worker

Pros

  • Availability. Home loans are available for all types of casual workers, including those with fluctuating hours, freelancers, contracts and locum positions. As long as your income is taxed and you can show proof, then a low doc loan could be suitable.
  • Options. You will be able to choose from a number of different lenders who specialise in home loans for casual workers.

Cons

  • Higher fees and rates. Some lenders may charge you extra fees or higher interest rates for the higher risk they perceive you to have.
  • You may need an accountant. Lenders could request the contact details of an accountant to verify your income. If you don’t have an accountant, you may want to consider one just to sort out your documentation.

Try comparing your mortgage options from across the market

$
years
Name Product Interest Rate (p.a.) Comp. Rate p.a. Fees Monthly Payment

Yard Variable Home Loan P&IHome≥ 40% Deposit

Yard Variable Home Loan
2.64%
2.66%
  • App: $0
  • Ongoing: $0 p.a.
$605
Get a low variable rate loan with this online lender. 100% offset account. Requires a 40% deposit.

Ubank Neat Variable Home Loan P&IHome≥ 40% Deposit

Ubank Neat Variable Home Loan
2.64%
2.65%
  • App: $0
  • Ongoing: $0 p.a.
$605
Get flexibility and the option to make unlimited extra repayments with this variable rate loan.

loans.com.au Smart Booster Discount Variable Home Loan P&IHome≥ 20% Deposit

loans.com.au Smart Booster Discount Variable Home Loan
2.60%
2.96%
  • App: $0
  • Ongoing: $0 p.a.
$602
Get a low discounted variable rate loan. Requires a 20% deposit. Get your loan processed fast and settle within 30 days.

Unloan Variable Home Loan P&IHome≥ 20% Deposit Refinancers only

Unloan Variable Home Loan
2.64%
2.56%
  • App: $0
  • Ongoing: $0 p.a.
$605
A low-rate variable home loan from a 100% online lender. Backed by the Commonwealth Bank.

IMB Budget Home Loan P&IHome≥ 20% Deposit

IMB Budget Home Loan
2.84%
2.85%
  • App: $449
  • Ongoing: $0 p.a.
$621
A low-rate, no-frills home loan for borrowers with a good deposit and unrestricted repayments. $0 application fee for eligible borrowers with principal-and-interest repayments and deposits of at least 20%.

Greater Bank Great Rate Discount Variable with Family Pledge Home Loan P&IHome≥ -10% Deposit

Greater Bank Great Rate Discount Variable with Family Pledge Home Loan
2.79%
2.80%
  • App: $0
  • Ongoing: $0 p.a.
$617
Pay no deposit or LMI and get a discounted rate with this family pledge loan. Requires a family member to act as guarantor. NSW, QLD and ACT only.

homeloans.com.au Low Rate Home Loan with Offset P&IHome≥ 40% Deposit

homeloans.com.au Low Rate Home Loan with Offset
2.64%
2.64%
  • App: $0
  • Ongoing: $0 p.a.
$605
A competitive rate with no application or ongoing fees. This loan is not available for construction.

Macquarie Bank Basic Home Loan P&IHome≥ 40% Deposit

Macquarie Bank Basic Home Loan
2.84%
2.84%
  • App: $0
  • Ongoing: $0 p.a.
$621
This flexible variable rate loan requires a 40% deposit or equity. Get fast online approval and $0 application fee and $0 ongoing fees.

HSBC Home Value Loan P&IHome≥ 30% Deposit

HSBC Home Value Loan
2.77%
2.78%
  • App: $0
  • Ongoing: $0 p.a.
$616
$3,288 refinance cashback offer
This competitive variable rate loan is available for borrowers with 30% deposits. Eligible refinancers borrowing $250,000 or more can get a $3,288 cashback. Terms and conditions apply.

Newcastle Permanent Building Society Real Deal Home Loan P&IHome≥ 20% Deposit

Newcastle Permanent Building Society Real Deal Home Loan
2.87%
2.91%
  • App: $595
  • Ongoing: $0 p.a.
$624
Get up to $3,000 refinance cashback when your LVR is 90% or lower ($2,000 cashback for loan amounts of $250K+ and above, $3,000 for $500K+). Other conditions apply. This variable rate loan requires a 20% deposit and has an offset account.
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4 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    AlfredJuly 13, 2021

    I have been working for a company for 4 year’s and recently moved to the same position but as a casual. I have been in this role as a casual for 6 weeks and will continue for another 5 Months until I take up a new role with a different company.
    I want to buy a property with My Parent who is retired but wants to do this as joint tenancy so if she passes her half will pass onto me.
    Can this be done?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      SarahJuly 16, 2021Staff

      Hi Alfred,

      It is possible to get a loan as a casual employee. Partnering up with your parent could help you demonstrate to the bank that you have the capacity to pay your mortgage payments.

      Keep in mind that there are a number of factors that come into play when it comes to loan approvals and co-owning a property. Typically, a bank or lender will ask you for the last two years’ worth of tax records to prove that you have been continuously employed.

      If you’re planning to submit a joint application together with a parent, it’s best to check the lender’s eligibility, requirements and relevant terms and conditions. You may also want to consult a mortgage broker. On the top left of this page you’ll notice an option that says ‘Brokers’. Click on this to get a dropdown list of brokers; click on the name of the broker you want to learn more about, and you’ll be redirected to the Finder review page. From there, you can select your area and you’ll be connected to a broker in your area to help you with your home loan.

      As for joint tenancy arrangement, under this arrangement, the ownership of the property is split 50/50. If one joint tenant dies, their share of the property is automatically passed to the surviving joint tenant regardless of what their will says. Given your unique situation, it’s worth considering getting professional advice from a solicitor or conveyancer.

      Cheers,
      Sarah

  2. Default Gravatar
    EllieMarch 26, 2016

    Hi, I have a causal job and wounding to brow around 70,000 to 80,000 is there any that could help me,Regards Ellie

    • Default Gravatar
      BelindaMarch 29, 2016

      Hi Ellie,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      Typically, it can be difficult to qualify for a home loan as a casual worker as most lenders view you as a high-risk borrower as you do not have a stable source of income. But do not worry, each lender will treat these types of applications on a case-by-case basis so it will depend on the lender’s eligibility criteria and the type of home loan that you’re applying for.

      Keep in mind that the lender will review your income sources, assets, liabilities and debts (e.g. personal loans or credit cards) to determine your propensity to repay the loan.

      To further help you, we have a guide that explains how banks treat bonus or irregular income which you might find useful. Generally, if you can prove to the lender that your income is paid regularly and if you provide them with a letter from your employer outlining the nature of your employment, then the lender may view your application more favourably.

      I suggest that you enquire with a mortgage broker who will help you understand your borrowing options. However, you may want to consider approaching specialist lenders as they may have more lenient eligibility criteria.

      All the best,
      Belinda

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