Indigenous home loans

Home loans for Indigenous Australians

Indigenous Business Australia (IBA), along with other lenders, help Indigenous Australians achieve their goal of home ownership.

The Australian Government has introduced a range of measures to assist Indigenous Australians in realizing this dream through the Indigenous Home Ownership Program. This program is designed to help Indigenous Australians purchase their own home or land with specially designed home loans.

What loans are available for Indigenous Australians?

While Indigenous Australians can access home loans from any financial provider, the Australian Government and IBA have introduced unique schemes and home loan products that are designed to make property purchasing more accessible to them.

One such support program is concessional housing finance and aftercare support for eligible customers. This allows recipients to purchase an established residential property, land and/or construct a new home, or make essential improvements to existing homes. There are also grants for those customers who will be first home owners.

Indigenous Business Australia Home Loans

IBA has introduced the Indigenous Home Ownership Program to provide financial assistance to Indigenous Australians and ensure they have access to the property market.

These loans can be used for the purpose of purchasing a home that meets your family’s needs, including for the construction of a new home. IBA home loans will not be issued for the purpose of purchasing an investment property or a property that will be used for business purposes.

These home loans and incentives are unique and have a few features that make them stand out from other home loans:

  • Low deposit requirement. These types of home loans have lower deposit requirements compared to other loans. This means that applicants don’t have to save up for as much of a deposit, helping them to get into the property market sooner.
  • Low-interest rate. The interest rate for these types of loans is a concessional interest rate. Your interest rate will be linked to your income so you will be able to afford repayments. This interest rate gradually increases to reach the market variable rate, giving you time to adjust spending and get used to making the mortgage repayments.
  • Standard loan terms. These home loans have standard loan terms of up to 32 years, but the loan term may be extended to assist you in repaying your loan.
  • Additional finance assistance. There’s also additional finance assistance available for individuals wishing to build a home on communal land.
What are the eligibility requirements for IBA housing loans?
What are the steps you need to take in order to qualify and apply for an IBA Home Loan?
  • Download and submit an Expression of Interest form, a Confirmation of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Descent form and a completed Consent to use your personal information form, all of which you can find on the IBA website.
  • Along with the forms you will also need proof of income, evidence of your ability to pay legal fees and stamp duty costs, evidence of your ability to pay the deposit and details of current land or home ownership not financed through IBA.
  • If you are deemed eligible, your name will be added to the Expression of interest register and you will be invited to apply for an IBA housing loan as funds become available.
  • When funds become available IBA will contact you and ask you to submit a Housing Loan Application, this will then be used to see if you qualify and how much you may be eligible to borrow.

IBA may only offer you a loan for part of the amount you've requested or need to make your purchase, you will then be required to seek the remainder of the funds from an alternate lender. During the application process, your credit history will be assessed by IBA. You can find out how you stand with your current credit history you can order a credit history check.

What are some of the costs to consider when you are looking to apply for an IBA Home Loan?

There are other fees and charges associated with an IBA Home Loan or purchasing a home in general that will need to be taken into consideration when making this decision.

There are the legal costs associated with home purchase as well as building and pest inspections that should be carried out on the property you are looking at purchasing. You will also have to pay for stamp duty or land tax and mortgage registration fees, if you are a first home buyer you may be eligible for some concessions on some of these.

You can also speak to you lending specialist to discuss any other assistance they can offer for these other costs. Also, speak to IBA about the fees associated with their loans.

Mortgage discharge fee. This fee is applied when you complete your loan whether it be through selling the property or refinancing with another lender.$330
Security dealing fee. Charged at times when IBA is asked to produce the original title of the property, such as if you change the name on the title IBA may be asked to provide the title to the land titles office.$165
Late payment administration fee. When loan repayments are unpaid for a period of 28 days or more beyond their due date and not alternate payment arrangements have been made.$20

These fees are charged by IBA there may be additional government fees and charges to be paid.

Next steps for an IBA Home Loan

If you are interested in finding out more information on the IBA home loans or you want to discuss your options, you can visit the Indigenous Business Australia website. This site contains all relevant information and forms as well as contact details for your nearest IBA office.

Keystart Aboriginal Home Loans

If you live in Western Australia, you can take advantage of a Keystart Aboriginal Home Loan. This gives you two options: to buy the property in a shared ownership scheme with the Department of Housing, or full ownership of the property. The deposit required depends on the size of the loan but begins at 2% for properties below $480,000. No lender’s mortgage insurance (LMI) is charged.

Borrowers can make additional repayments on top of the regular monthly repayments and use a redraw facility.

The maximum amount you can borrow depends on whether or not the property is purchased with the Department of Housing in a shared ownership scheme, or you take full ownership, and where in WA you’re buying the property. The maximum loan term is 30 years.

Find out more about Keystart Aboriginal Home Loans

Other home loan types

If the loans mentioned above aren’t available to you, there's still a large number of different home loans which you might want to compare. Some of these include:

  • First home buyer loans. First home buyer loans are designed to assist those purchasing their first property. These loans can offer low-interest rates for the first year of the loan and flexible repayments and minimum deposits.
  • No frills loans. These are fixed or variable rate home loans with fewer features than regular home loans but lower interest rates and fees.
  • Investment loans. Investment loans are for investors who need to borrow additional money when making an investment (typically land or property). These loans can either have a fixed or variable interest rate and are designed to meet investment needs.
  • Low deposit home loans. Low deposit home loans allow you to borrow money for a home with a minimal deposit. Typically, you can borrow as much as 95% of the amount required upfront. These loans are common for first home owners who want to fast track entering into the market.

About Compare home loans today

What should you look for when you are comparing any home loans?

  • Interest rate. One of the most important aspects of a loan is the interest rate. You may want to look for a home loan with a low interest rate. Also, decide upfront if a fixed or variable interest rate is better for you and select a loan product accordingly.
  • Flexibility in repayments. Some home loans offer greater flexibility in repayments than others. You may be able to make additional repayments when you have the funds as it helps you save on interest. Also, look out for whether you can make weekly, fortnightly or monthly repayments and whether this will line up with your budget.
  • Loan term. Term lengths will vary depending on what home loan you decide to go with. This is how long your loan is for and the period of time you have to pay it back. This can vary depending on how much money you borrow so ensure you select a loan with a long enough term length for you to pay off your loan.
  • Restrictions Some loans have various restrictions in terms of repayments, redraws, and deposits. Take a look at the terms and conditions imposed by the lender and if this will affect your ability to make repayments. Some of the government schemes also require you to meet certain requirements and terms, so ensure you meet all of these to avoid any penalties.

One of the most important things to avoid when borrowing is not to borrow more than you can afford. Make sure you don’t fall into too much debt and don’t borrow beyond your means. Know how much you can make in repayments and how much of a deposit you can put forward without damaging your ability to cover your living costs.

Not what you're looking for? Compare a wide range of home loans here

Frequently Asked Questions about Indigenous Home Loans

Marc Terrano

Marc Terrano is a content marketer manager at finder. He's been writing and publishing personal finance content for over five years and loves to help Australians get a better deal.

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76 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    LindaJuly 9, 2018

    Hi I’m aboriginal and looking at buying a house needing to know what I would need to apply for a home loan…
    Thanks in advance

    • finder Customer Care
      NikkiJuly 13, 2018Staff

      Hi Linda!

      Here are the eligibility requirements for IBA housing loans:

      -Over 18 years of age.
      -At least one applicant must be of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent.
      -Must be able to meet minimum deposit requirements, may be able to get assistance from the first home buyers grant scheme of your state or territory.
      -Be able to have the capacity to meet housing loan repayments.
      -Meet further housing loan requirements that are relevant to your home purchase.

      Here are the steps you need to take in order to qualify and apply for an IBA Home Loan:

      1. Download and submit an Expression of Interest form, a Confirmation of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Descent form and a completed Consent to use your personal information form, all of which you can find on the IBA website.
      2. Along with the forms you will also need proof of income, evidence of your ability to pay legal fees and stamp duty costs, evidence of your ability to pay the deposit and details of current land or home ownership not financed through IBA.
      3. If you are deemed eligible, your name will be added to the Expression of interest register and you will be invited to apply for an IBA housing loan as funds become available.
      4. When funds become available IBA will contact you and ask you to submit a Housing Loan Application, this will then be used to see if you qualify and how much you may be eligible to borrow.

      Hope this helps!


  2. Default Gravatar
    February 19, 2018

    If I already have a home loan through iba can I unlock equity in current home to buy investment property using iba

    • finder Customer Care
      LiezlMarch 13, 2018Staff

      Hi Rene,

      Thank you for reaching out to us.

      I’m afraid IBA does not grant loans for business or investment purposes. You may want to consider other lenders offering home equity loans such as those listed on this page. Better still, speak to a mortgage broker who can take into consideration your current situation and find a suitable loan or lender for you.

      Best regards,

  3. Default Gravatar
    PennyJuly 16, 2017

    Hello My daughter-in-law is of Aboriginal descent and she and our son have a home which is not now suitable for their new-born baby. They have about $300k equity and now wish to look elsewhere and if possible use the Indigenous scheme, but do not have the capacity to borrow what is needed. might they be eligible under your scheme?..

    Thanks Penny

    • Default Gravatar
      JonathanJuly 27, 2017

      Hello Penny,

      Thank you for your inquiry today.

      They should be eligible since joint applicants, only one person is required to meet the required Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent.

      If you wish to know more, you can visit this page.

      Hope this helps.


  4. Default Gravatar
    TerranceJune 25, 2017

    Hi my dad is English and my mom is Aboriginal. She hasn’t been here for 24 years and I am 25. I have always identified as Aboriginal . But my birth certificate states nothing about being Aboriginal. Do I qualify? Thanks.

    • Default Gravatar
      JonathanJune 25, 2017

      Hi Terrance!

      One important requirement is Confirmation of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Descent form. On this document, you need to accomplish statutory declaration that you are:

      ● is of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent, or both
      ● identifies as an Aboriginal person or Torres Strait Islander, or both and
      ● is recognized as such by their community

      You can visit this page for further information.

      Hope this helps.


  5. finder Customer Care
    BelindaApril 12, 2016Staff

    Hi Carmine,

    I’ve sent you an email to follow up with this enquiry.


  6. Default Gravatar
    deeApril 6, 2016

    Im looking at a home loan like keystart are you the same rates?
    How do you prove you are aboriginal? I have family pictures and know about what tribe is that enough?
    Can you still be eligible if im a single parent who works part time on and off?

    • finder Customer Care
      MarcApril 7, 2016Staff

      Hi Dee,
      thanks for the question.

      You’ve come through to, a comparison service. The page you’re reading is a general page on home ownership schemes and grants available to indigenous Australians, and it lists schemes from both IBA and Keystart. The interest rates from IBA are linked to your income, and gradually increase to the market rate, so to find out what interest rate you would receive, visit the IBA site directly.

      IBA requires all applicants fill out a Confirmation of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Descent form, which can be found here.

      On the IBA website no specific work requirements are listed, but it does mention that all applicants must “have the capacity to meet housing loan repayments”.

      I hope this helps,

      I hope this helps,

  7. Default Gravatar
    brianDecember 10, 2015

    I’m a working aborigine, father of three, how do I apply for the home loan, I wish to buy the home I live in now with my partner an children, dose the rental history help with the loan process, what requirements need to be met, thank you

    • Default Gravatar
      MichelleJune 6, 2017

      Hi, I’m in interested in getting a IMB Loan. I and my partner are both aboriginal. My question is do we both need to be working full time to apply for a loan?

      Thanks Michelle

    • Default Gravatar
      JonathanJune 6, 2017

      Hi Michelle!

      Thanks for the comment.

      Applying for IMB Home loan just like other loans, is being approved based on your overall capacity to repay the said loan. Therefore, other employment types such as part-time or casual can be considered as long as you meet the minimum credit approval.

      You can check this page to know more how it works. Click “Go to Site” green button to proceed with your application

      Hope this helps.


    • finder Customer Care
      BelindaDecember 11, 2015Staff

      Hi Brian,

      Thanks for your enquiry.

      If you’d like to apply for an Indigenous Business Australia (IBA) home loan, you’ll need to download and submit an Express of Interest (EOI) form from their website. You’ll also need to provide supporting evidence including an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Descent form, proof of income, evidence of funds, as well as your personal details.

      If you’re eligible, then you’ll be added to the EOI register and you’ll be able to apply as soon as the funds become available.

      IBA may also consider your rental history as this may demonstrate evidence of financial discipline.

      All the best,

  8. Default Gravatar
    November 12, 2015

    Hi if you are lucky enough to get an IBA home loan, is there a time limit in which you have to use it to find a house?

    • finder Customer Care
      BelindaNovember 13, 2015Staff

      Hi Rick,

      Thanks for your enquiry.

      Once you’ve lodged the expression of interest form with Indigenous Business Australia (IBA), a representative will get in touch with you in about 1 week to discuss your eligibility. If you are eligible for the loan, you’ll then be placed on the waiting list and in 2-3 weeks time, you’ll be notified of your approval status.
      Generally, IBA gives you 4 months to find a property after applying for pre-approval.

      I hope you find this useful.


  9. Default Gravatar
    rickOctober 25, 2015

    Hi if I have owned a house befor can I still get home loan at the low the first home buyers.

    • finder Customer Care
      MarcOctober 26, 2015Staff

      Hi Rick,
      thanks for the question.

      IBA Home Loans and assistance is offered for those who have previously or currently own a home, although their specific low introductory rate is only offered for first home buyers. You can contact them here.

      I hope this helps,

  10. Default Gravatar
    September 14, 2015

    how do I find out about my last home loan through IBA thanks

    • finder Customer Care
      BelindaSeptember 14, 2015Staff

      Hi Christine,

      Thanks for your enquiry.

      I’ve sent you an email about how you can get in touch with Indigenous Business Australia (IBA).


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