How to Get a Home Loan If You’re a Contract Worker

Rates and Fees verified correct on April 26th, 2017

If you are a contract worker it may still be possible for you to get a home loan

Possibly the most important consideration in granting you a loan will be your income. The bank has to make sure that you not only can afford to make payments on your loans, but that you will be able to maintain payments in the future. The last thing the bank needs is to make home loans to people who have a poor employment record.

In fact, banks have been found liable in court for loaning money to people with less than stellar work history. Because of this, a bank will estimate the increasing difficulty of paying a loan and whether or not you will be able to keep up with it.

If you are a contract worker you might think that certain loans are out of your reach. From builders to IT consultants, more and more professions are now offering short term contracts of anywhere between 3 months to two years to workers in different fields. Despite this, many of the major lenders still view contract workers as potentially risky borrowers, considering them unstable and a high risk in terms of loan repayment. That said, there is still a selection of lenders that are willing to offer competitive mortgage products to assist this growing group of workers.

By finding the right lender you will be able to tailor your loan with the right features including additional repayments or redraw facility so you can keep your repayments flexible.

Comparison of Low Doc Home Loans

Rates last updated April 26th, 2017.

Westpac Low doc Self Employed Premier Advantage Fixed Home Loan - 5 Year Fixed Rate (Investor, P&I)

Comparative rate increases by 0.04% | Interest rate decreases by .10%

October 10th, 2016

Adelaide Bank SmartDoc Fix Home Loan - 1 Year Fixed Rate (Owner Occupier)

Comparative rate increases by 0.09% | Interest rate decreases by 0.05%

December 15th, 2016

View latest updates

Jodie Humphries Jodie
Loan purpose
Offset account
Loan type
Your filter criteria do not match any product
Interest Rate (p.a.) Comp Rate^ (p.a.) Application Fee Ongoing Fees Max LVR Monthly Payment
Bank Of Queensland Low Doc Home Loan - Variable (Owner Occupier)
Buy your home even if you're self employed.
6.86% 7.05% $995 $10 monthly ($120 p.a.) 80% Enquire now
Pepper Money Easy Alt Doc Home Loan - LVR 65% to 70%
A competitive rate offered to low doc borrowers.
5.84% 6.25% $995 $15 monthly ($180 p.a.) 70% Enquire now
Pepper Money Easy Alt Doc Home Loan - LVR Up to 60%
Apply even with defaults, judgements and writs registered on your file greater than 36 months ago.
5.69% 6.06% $995 $15 monthly ($180 p.a.) 60% Enquire now
St.George Low Doc Home Loan - 3 Year Fixed (Owner Occupier, P&I)
A low doc home loan with redraw facility.
4.24% 5.32% $750 $12 monthly ($144 p.a.) 80% Enquire now
Pepper Money Advantage Alt Doc Home Loan - Standard LVR 70% to 75%
A competitive rate offered to those who are self-employed.
6.95% 7.42% $995 $15 monthly ($180 p.a.) 75% Enquire now
Adelaide Bank SmartDoc Fix Home Loan - 1 Year Fixed Rate (Owner Occupier)
A low doc loan with a fixed rate for one year and 100% offset account.
5.17% 5.45% $375 $15 monthly ($180 p.a.) 80% Enquire now
Pepper Money Easy Alt Doc Home Loan - LVR 70% to 75%
This loan accepts low doc borrowers who have defaults, judgements and writs on their credit file as long as they were lodged greater than 36 months ago.
6.05% 6.48% $995 $15 monthly ($180 p.a.) 75% Enquire now
Commonwealth Bank Standard Variable Home Loan - Owner Occupier (P&I)
Standard variable home loan with a low doc option for self-employed borrowers.
5.22% 5.36% $600 $8 monthly ($96 p.a.) 80% Enquire now
St.George Low Doc Home Loan - Variable Rate (Owner Occupier, P&I)
A competitive home loan product ideal for small business owners and self-employed borrowers features include redraw, full interest offset or partial interest offset, Deposit Protect Bond and more!
5.45% 5.65% $750 $12 monthly ($144 p.a.) 80% Enquire now
Adelaide Bank SmartDoc Plus Home Loan - Owner Occupier
A low doc home loan with 100% offset account and redraw facility.
5.39% 5.60% $375 $15 monthly ($180 p.a.) 70% Enquire now
Adelaide Bank SmartDoc Home Loan - Owner Occupier
Enjoy a low doc variable rate home loan with offset account.
5.25% 5.46% $375 $15 monthly ($180 p.a.) 80% Enquire now
4.59% 5.33% $355 $395 p.a. 82% Enquire now

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Contractors and home loans

Pay As You Go

This type of contractor typically has jobs that last for a short and fixed period of time. Their contract will have a set date that the job ends or will roll over into a new contract or new job. Sometimes they have benefits like holiday pay and sick leave as well as automatically having taxes withheld and contributions to their super made. It tends to be more difficult for the PAYG to get loans because their income is the most difficult to track. However, with the right lender someone who works pay as you go can get approval for a mortgage. It is very important to shop around to make sure that you get the best rates and terms available, regardless of your PAYG status.

If you are a Pay As You Go applicant, your salary per annum is analyzed, along with overtime pay. The overtime pay, however, must be proven to be a regular occurrence. If you do shift work, that to will be allowed, but once again, you must prove that this is typical of your employment and not just a one-time occurrence. If you receive Centrelink payments, they will be considered as income. However, the loan will dictate that the children involved are eligible for Centrelink for 3 years into the loan. Therefore, income from children 15 years old or older will not be considered.

Self employed

Unlike PAYG, these contractors do not typically have benefits from the company with whom they work. They are traders themselves who register with ABN and invoice their employer for wages and any other expenses which they incur. These contractors have a less difficult time finding lenders willing to take a chance on them. Because they can track their employment just like any other self employed person they can prove that they have regular income and the lender can easily calculate how much they can afford each month. Most mortgage brokers are actually self employed contractors themselves, so they tend to know exactly how to get the right product for this type of worker. Self-employed contractors must a registered ABN for their current role two years prior to loan application.

About home loans for self employed borrowers


The subcontractor is unique in that he or she is employed by either the PAYG contractor or the self employed contractor. The most common subcontractors are in the areas of mining and information technology. Since it is well known that miners make excellent salaries and can easily find work they can usually get an approval without much hassle. Likewise, information technology workers tend to earn high salaries and there is a high demand for their job skills so they pose little risk to lenders.

Calculating liability

When your income is firmly established, whether you are PAYG or self employed, your lender will balance your income with your expenses. These will include monthly bills for which you receive statements. Cost of living and HECS are also considered in these calculations. Your lender has several options in considering your estimated cost of living, which will include, among other things, utilities, clothes, loans and insurance policies. The Bureau of Statistics has established the Henderson Poverty Line, which is used by some lenders to determine what your cost of living will be. Other lenders will use their own standards.

Now the bank has a clear image of how much you make, how much you spend and how much you can afford to pay on a loan. From this point, the lender will consider the impact of the loan for which you’ve applied on all of these figures.

Once all of these calculations have been made, the grand total is subtracted from your income. The amount of cash remaining must be enough to make regular payments on the loan.

Tips to give yourself the best chance of approval


  • Use a home loan calculator to determine how much you can afford on your new home
  • Work hard to save for your deposit. Showing your lender a strong deposit will give you a better chance of approval. Aim for about 25% of the purchase value.
  • Show reliability with your credit score.
  • Be honest in your application. Lenders will look very poorly on your application if they discover a loan on your credit file that you neglected to tell them about.
  • Compare a range of different lenders willing to lend to low-doc borrowers. Most major banks have specialists who deal exclusively with the needs of both self employed and pay as you go contractors.
  • Look for a mortgage that offers features like interest-only, fixed rates, offset at one hundred percent, redraw and extra repayments. Just because you are a contract worker does not mean your mortgage should be short on valuable features.

Looking for income protection for contract workers?

If your a contract worker looking to keep your income secure, you may want to look into taking out income protection cover. Contract workers often won't have the same if any financial support from their organisation in the event that they are seriously injured or become ill while overseas. Insurers will have different entry requirements for contract workers so it can be worth looking at a few different options. An insurance consultant can discuss the different options available to you and provide a quote from a range of insurers free of charge.

Receive a quote for income protection if you are a contract worker

Marc Terrano

A passionate publisher who loves to tell a story. Learning and teaching personal finance is his main lot at Talk to him to find out more about home loans.

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4 Responses to How to Get a Home Loan If You’re a Contract Worker

  1. Default Gravatar
    Pam | March 25, 2014

    Good morning. I approached my mortgage broker about my son getting a loan to buy a property with me. We have a decent deposit. The mortgage broker told me that subcontractors cannot get loans anymore under the new legislation. If they have no holiday pay, sick leave, do not work for an employer they cannot get loans, not even a car loan or personal loan ever. They will not be looked at and no lender in Australia will even look at him. Is this true?

    • Staff
      Marc | March 26, 2014

      Hi Pam,
      thanks for the question.

      Contractors can still obtain loans although these might come with extra conditions. I’d consider comparing loans and then speaking to a lender directly regarding this matter to find out what loans you might be able to take out.

      I hope this helps,

  2. Default Gravatar
    Marcell | January 22, 2014

    My son is a sub contractor lives in NSW wants to buy his first home a home & land package who would he be best to try for finance?

    • Staff
      Marc | January 23, 2014

      Hello Marcell,
      thanks for the question!

      Unfortunately I’m not able to give personal advice regarding which lender is better to approach then another lender. I’d recommend researching different loan products until you get one that suits how your son is paid, and then contact the lender to discuss your options. Alternatively, you may wish to speak to a mortgage broker who is experienced in finding loans for sub-contractors. You can fill out a form to speak with a mortgage broker from eChoice on our home loans page by clicking the ‘speak to a mortgage broker’ tab.

      I hope this helps,

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