First home buyer loans

The best home loan for any first home buyer combines a low rate with features you can use to repay the loan faster.

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The table below contains a range of home loans that are suitable for most first home buyers. This means the loans have competitive interest rates, and many are available with deposits under 20%, making them ideal for borrowers with small deposits.
$
years
Name Product Interest Rate (p.a.) Comp. Rate (p.a.) Fees Monthly Payment

HSBC Home Value Loan P&IHome≥ 10% Deposit

HSBC Home Value Loan
2.54%
2.55%
  • App: $0
  • Ongoing: $0 p.a.
$597
$3,288 refinance cashback offer
A competitive value home loan with no ongoing fee. Eligible refinancers borrowing $250,000 or more can get a $3,288 cashback. Terms and conditions apply.

Westpac Fixed Option Home Loan Premier Advantage Package P&IHome 2Y Fixed≥ 5% Deposit

Westpac Fixed Option Home Loan Premier Advantage Package
2.09%
3.50%
  • App: $0
  • Ongoing: $395 p.a.
$563
$3,000 refinance cashback
Lock in a low fixed rate for 2 years that allows you to make up to $30,000 in extra repayments and buy your home with a 5% deposit. $3,000 cashback for eligible refinancers. Apply by 30 November 2021. Terms and conditions apply.

HSBC Home Value Loan P&IHome≥ 30% Deposit

HSBC Home Value Loan
2.19%
2.20%
  • App: $0
  • Ongoing: $0 p.a.
$570
$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.

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

loans.com.au Smart Booster Discount Variable Home Loan
1.99%
2.47%
  • App: $0
  • Ongoing: $0 p.a.
$555
Home buyers can get a very low discounted variable rate for the first year. Requires a 20% deposit. Add an offset sub-account for an additional 0.10% on your interest rate. Get your loan processed fast and settle within 30 days.

UBank UHomeLoan Variable Rate P&IHome≥ 20% Deposit

UBank UHomeLoan Variable Rate
2.19%
2.19%
  • App: $0
  • Ongoing: $0 p.a.
$570
Enjoy flexible repayments, a redraw facility and the ability to split your loan. Plus, pay no application or ongoing fees.

Suncorp Back to Basics Home Loan P&IHome≥ 20% Deposit

Suncorp Back to Basics Home Loan
2.44%
2.45%
  • App: $0
  • Ongoing: $0 p.a.
$590
A competitive variable interest rate loan with low fees. The establishment fee is waived if you borrow $150,000 or more.

loans.com.au Green Home Loan P&IHome≥ 10% Deposit

loans.com.au Green Home Loan
2.08%
2.36%
  • App: $0
  • Ongoing: $0 p.a.
$562
Buying an energy-efficient home to live in? Get a discounted rate and borrow up to 90%.

Westpac Flexi First Option Home Loan P&IHome≥ 5% Deposit

Westpac Flexi First Option Home Loan
2.09%
2.52%
  • App: $0
  • Ongoing: $0 per month
$563
A flexible and competitive variable rate loan from Westpac. This loan is available with a low deposit.

IMB Budget Home Loan P&IHome≥ 5% Deposit

IMB Budget Home Loan
2.68%
2.74%
  • App: $449
  • Ongoing: $0 p.a.
$608
NSW and ACT customers only. You can get an interest rate discount for a limited time with this competitive variable mortgage.

Newcastle Permanent Building Society Premium Plus Package Fixed Rate P&IHome 1Y Fixed≥ 5% Deposit

Newcastle Permanent Building Society  Premium Plus Package Fixed Rate
2.19%
3.83%
  • App: $0
  • Ongoing: $395 p.a.
$570
$2,000 refinance cashback
Enjoy a competitive rate with no application fee for this package loan. $2,000 cashback for eligible refinancers borrowing $250,000 or more.

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

loans.com.au Smart Booster Discount Investor Variable Home Loan
1.99%
2.71%
  • App: $0
  • Ongoing: $0 p.a.
$555
If you have an owner occupier loan with loans.com.au you can also get this very low rate variable mortgage for your investment property. Principal and interest repayments. Add an offset sub-account for an additional 0.10% on your interest rate. Get your loan processed fast and settle within 30 days.

UBank UHomeLoan Fixed P&IInvestment 3Y Fixed≥ 20% Deposit

UBank UHomeLoan Fixed
2.09%
2.46%
  • App: $0
  • Ongoing: $0 p.a.
$563
Pay no ongoing fees on this competitive investment loan and fix your rate for 3 years.

Well Home Loans Balanced Variable P&IHome≥ 20% Deposit

Well Home Loans Balanced Variable
1.99%
2.02%
  • App: $250
  • Ongoing: $0 p.a.
$555
A very low interest rate for home buyers with 20% deposits saved. Add an offset account for a small fee.

ME Flexible Home Loan Fixed with Members Package P&IHome 2Y Fixed≥ 20% Deposit

ME Flexible Home Loan Fixed with Members Package
1.89%
3.17%
  • App: $0
  • Ongoing: $395 p.a.
$548
$3,000 cashback when refinancing a loan of $250,000 or more. Other conditions apply. Lock in a competitive rate for owner occupiers for two years. Comes with a 100% offset account.

IMB Fixed Rate Home Loan P&IHome 2Y Fixed≥ 5% Deposit

IMB Fixed Rate Home Loan
1.97%
2.88%
  • App: $449
  • Ongoing: $6 per month
$554
NSW and ACT customers only. Lock in a low fixed rate for two years. Available with a 5% deposit.

Bank of Melbourne Basic Variable Rate Home Loan P&IHome≥ 20% Deposit

Bank of Melbourne Basic Variable Rate Home Loan
2.29%
2.31%
  • App: $0
  • Ongoing: $0 p.a.
$578
A low fee, low rate variable rate loan for home buyers. Requires at least a 20% deposit.

HSBC Fixed Rate Home Loan Package P&IHome 2Y Fixed≥ 20% Deposit

HSBC Fixed Rate Home Loan Package
1.88%
2.87%
  • App: $0
  • Ongoing: $390 p.a.
$547
Lock in a low fixed rate for 2 years and buy your home with a 20% deposit. This loan also lets you make extra repayments.

Well Home Loans Balanced Fixed Home Loan P&IHome 3Y Fixed≥ 10% Deposit

Well Home Loans Balanced Fixed Home Loan
2.14%
2.06%
  • App: $250
  • Ongoing: $0 p.a.
$567
A low 3 year fixed rate for home buyers. Add a 100% offset account with a $10 monthly fee. Not available for construction purposes.

IMB Fixed Rate Home Loan P&IInvestment 3Y Fixed≥ 10% Deposit

IMB Fixed Rate Home Loan
2.35%
3.33%
  • App: $449
  • Ongoing: $6 per month
$583
NSW and ACT customers only. A 3 years fixed rate investor which allows extra repayments to be made.

UBank UHomeLoan Fixed IOInvestment 3Y Fixed≥ 20% Deposit

UBank UHomeLoan Fixed
2.24%
2.50%
  • App: $0
  • Ongoing: $0 p.a.
$574
Pay no ongoing fees on this investment loan fixed for 3 years.
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*The loans in the table above may also be available for non-first home buyers. But first home buyers may find these loans useful because many have low interest rates or max insured LVRs above 80%, meaning you can get them with a smaller deposit.

How to find the right home loan as a first homebuyer

First home buyers, like all other borrowers, are in the market for a home loan that suits their needs and has a low interest rate, so they're not paying more than they need to.

Here's how to find the best loan for you:

  • Start with the interest rate. No one wants to be stuck with a higher interest rate than they need to pay, especially first home buyers. A lower rate means lower repayments, which makes it a cheaper mortgage. Interest rates are very low right now, especially for new customers, so it's a good time for new buyers to shop around for their first home loan.
  • Decide on fixed versus variable. Both fixed rate and variable rate loans are very affordable at the moment, with fixed loans now lower than variable loans in many cases. But it's not just about getting a low rate. Variable loans typically offer more features and flexibility. With a fixed rate loan you know that the rate will never move up (or down) during the fixed period.
  • Work out your deposit size. Having a bigger deposit lowers your monthly repayments and it also makes it easier to get a home loan approved. This will impact the type of home loan you're eligible for.
  • Consider your repayment type. Most first home buyers will choose a loan with principal and interest repayments. With these home loans you repay the principal and the interest together. These loans often have lower interest rates too. But you could consider an interest-only loan as well. Your interest rate will be higher but your repayments will be lower in the short term. This can help if you are struggling to make repayments but it's a big risk because it costs you more in the long run.
  • Think about the features that matter to you. First homebuyer loans are often basic home loans, without extra features like an offset account. This is fine if you're really just concerned with getting a low deposit loan with a low interest rate. But if you have extra money to put into an offset account you might want to consider a home loan that comes with one. Be sure to ask your bank about any features that come with your loan, how they work, and how much they cost.

Working out your costs and borrowing power

Before you can get your first home loan or even try to buy a home you need to know how much it will all cost you. Your deposit is usually the biggest cost, and the size of your deposit affects which home loans you can get (we'll cover deposit saving in the next section).

But there are many other costs to consider beyond the deposit:

  • Stamp duty. Every property purchase attracts stamp duty, a tax charged by state and territory governments. Stamp duty can add thousands or tens of thousands of dollars to your purchase costs. Luckily, many first home buyers can get a discount or exemption if they're buying their first home.
  • Inspections. While not compulsory, getting a professional building and pest inspection before buying a property is always a good idea.
  • Conveyancing. You need a legal expert to review your contract of sale (for the property purchase), check the property title is correct and represent you at settlement. The services of a conveyancer can cost around $1,000-$2,000.
  • Fees. There's a fee to register your mortgage and your lender may charge other upfront fees at settlement.
  • Council rates and strata. When you take ownership of a property you have to pay council and water rates. If you're buying a property on a strata title there will be strata costs too.
  • Insurance. You need to take out a home insurance policy on your home before settlement occurs and you take ownership of the property. If you're buying a strata property (an apartment or townhouse), strata insurance is usually included in the strata fees and covers the building.

How much can you borrow?

You can use a borrowing power calculator to get a clear idea of how much a bank will lend you.

You will need to enter your income (and your partner's income if making a joint application), plus the number of dependents and any debts you have. The calculator will then estimate your expenses using a standard cost of living index. The end result will only be an estimate but it gives you a better idea of how much you can borrow.

You can also check out our guide on how to increase your maximum borrowing capacity.

Save your deposit

Once you have a good understanding of your property buying costs and how much you can borrow, it's time to think about the deposit.

Loan to value ratio (LVR) is a fancy mortgage term for your deposit size in relation to your property's value. If you bought a $500,000 property with a $100,000 deposit, that would be a 20% deposit, or 80% LVR. Having a 20% deposit means you can avoid paying lenders mortgage insurance.

Max Phelps, founder of Golden Eggs and creator of the FIVE 2 Money Diet, says first home buyers also need to prepare themselves for the financial responsibilities that come with owning a home, which goes much further than just saving the deposit.

"How good are you at managing your expenses and building up savings? If you've gotten into bad spending habits and money feels a little out of control, imagine how much worse it would feel with a giant mortgage hanging over your head," Phelps says.

"People spend an average 30% of their income on a mortgage, but to get ahead, you should plan to still save 20% of your income as well – this will set you apart in the long run."

For those who are considering asking their parents for help with a home loan deposit, Phelps is cautious.

"My advice to parents thinking about putting their property on the line for their kids would be to make sure the kids are good savers first," he says.

"We find that having a few bank accounts spread across at least two banks dramatically increases savings and improves confidence in buying a first home."

Lenders mortgage insurance (LMI)

If your deposit is smaller than 20% of the property's value (so, your LVR is 81% or higher), your lender will charge you lenders mortgage insurance. This can cost you thousands or tens of thousands on top of all your other expenses (although you can often borrow it alongside your loan amount).

LMI costs vary depending on your loan amount and deposit size. If your LVR is 85% (a 15% deposit) then your LMI will be less than if you have an LVR of 95%.

Here are some examples.

Property priceDepositLMI
$500,00010% ($50,000)$8,428
$500,0005% ($25,000)$15,888
$700,00010% ($70,000)$14,912
$700,0005% ($35,000)$30,676
$900,00010% ($90,000)$20,379
$900,0005% ($45,000)$39,355

The LMI amounts above are taken from Finder's LMI premium estimate calculator and are examples only.

How first home buyers can save a deposit

Saving a deposit for your first home is tough, especially if you're renting. And when house prices rise the amount you need to save only grows. Finding a low deposit home loan can make the task easier. But there are a few other ways to build your deposit:

  • Parental gift or inheritance. Most lenders want to see genuine savings. In other words, money you've earned yourself. But many will accept at least part of a deposit in the form of a cash gift or inheritance from your parents, if you can come to an arrangement. Some lenders only need 5% of your deposit to be genuine savings.
  • Sell assets. You can sell valuable assets and use the cash to boost your deposit. You may need to hold the cash in your account for six months in order for it to qualify as genuine savings.
  • Find a guarantor. As mentioned above, a parent can use their property as security to guarantee part of your deposit. This reduces the amount you have to save and might help you avoid LMI costs too.

Access government support

First home buyers in Australia have access to a large and sometimes confusing range of state and federal grants, concessions and other schemes.

Eligibility for these programs depends on factors like your property value and whether it's newly built or already exists. Every state and territory has different rules and policies.

Here is a list of the various first home buyer grants and concessions:

First home owner grants

Some first-time buyers are eligible for a cash grant. These grants can run up to $10,000 or even more in some cases. To qualify you often need to be purchasing a new or off-the-plan property, with a limit on the overall value of the property.

These grants differ in every state and territory.

Check your eligibility with our state-by-state first home owner guide

Stamp duty exemptions and concessions

Stamp duty is one of the biggest costs associated with buying a property. Luckily, many first-time buyers can avoid stamp duty completely or get a discount on this tax. In NSW, for example, first home buyers don't have to pay stamp duty on properties valued below $650,000, saving them up to $22,000.

Learn more about the stamp duty exemptions and concessions in each state and territory.

The First Home Loan Deposit Scheme

If you only have a 5% deposit saved and you're a first home buyer, you could be eligible for the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme. Under this scheme eligible borrowers can borrow 95% of their property value with a 5% deposit and have the government guarantee the remaining 15% of the deposit, allowing them to avoid LMI costs.

This is a federal government scheme.

The First Home Super Saver Scheme

Another federal scheme, the First Home Super Saver Scheme allows first home buyers to make extra payments into their superannuation and then withdraw them to use for a home deposit. This ends up saving you in tax while helping you build your deposit.

Family Home Guarantee

Up to 10,000 single parents (2,500 per year for four years) are eligible to buy a home with a deposit of just 2%, under the government's Family Home Guarantee, announced as part of the 2021 Federal Budget in May. This means for the purchase of a property worth $700,000, the homebuyer will need to save a deposit of just $14,000.

Stamp duty discounts

As part of the Victorian state budget update in November 2020, it was announced that all homebuyers, including first timers, now have access to a stamp duty discount of up to 50% of the purchase price of residential property in Victoria.

For those purchasing property in Victoria, a full 50% stamp duty discount will apply to all buyers of newly built homes valued at up to $1 million. For those buying existing homes, a 25% stamp duty discount will apply on properties priced up to $1 million.

This discount on stamp duty in Victoria was available for those who entered a purchase contract between 25 November 2020 and 30 June 2021. Importantly for first home buyers, this discount applied in addition to any other waivers or concessions that you may be eligible for. This discount was only valid on contracts that were signed prior to 1 July 2021.

Get expert help

You don't have to find your first home loan all by yourself. Mortgage brokers are experts who have access to home loans from a panel of lenders. They can suggest suitable options for you and help you with the whole application process. Their services are usually free. While most people are perfectly capable of getting their own home loan, a broker can be a useful guide.

Find a mortgage broker today

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    46 Responses

      Default Gravatar
      BriOctober 2, 2017

      Hi team,

      My fiance and I are looking to go into partnership to buy a property with a family friend. The family friend has good borrowing capacity and will be getting a loan to buy the property, so the title will be in his name, but we are wondering if it is possible to enter into a vendor finance agreement with our family friend to buy a portion of the property while he is still paying off the loan to the bank?

      Ideally, we would like to buy a portion of the property and also be on the title without having to subdivide. Is this possible?

      We are also wondering if my fiance and I will qualify for the First Home Owners grant and the exception for stamp duty if we go into a vendor finance agreement? We do intend to build our first home.

      Thank you!

        Avatarfinder Customer Care
        JoanneOctober 3, 2017Staff

        Hi Bri,

        Thanks for reaching out to Finder.

        With regard to the option of entering into a vendor finance agreement, it would help you buy a property without having to apply for a bank loan, but there are some major risks involved, including the big risk of losing your home.

        The same fees and taxes are payable with vendor finance as they would be with a standard home loan. So the amount of stamp duty payable will vary depending on which state you live in and the value of the property.

        To sum it up, if you’re thinking of purchasing a property through vendor finance, you should seek a solicitor to run you through the process and legal considerations so that you may be guided accordingly.

        Cheers,
        Joanne

      Default Gravatar
      JoelJune 19, 2017

      Hi, I was wondering if I buy an investment property, whether or not i can claim the fist
      home buyers on my second home that I will live in? I live in Victoria.

        Default Gravatar
        JonathanJune 20, 2017

        Hi Joel!

        Thanks for the comment.

        These are the guidelines for those who wish to claim FHOG on an investment property in Victoria:

        Victoria’s State Revenue Office is responsible for offering the $10,000 grant to applicants buying or building their first new home. To be eligible for the grant, you must not have:

        – Received a First Home Owner Grant in Australia
        – Owned a home in Australia, either jointly or separately, prior to 1 July 2000
        – Occupied an Australian home in which either of you acquired a relevant interest on or after 1 July 2000 for at least six continuous months
        So if you purchased your investment property on or after 1 July 2000 and you didn’t live in it for a period of six consecutive months, you may be eligible for the FHOG.

        You may check the other eligibility criteria for more information.

        Alternatively, you may also contact your local state revenue office for clarification.

        Hope this helps.

        Cheers,
        Jonathan

      Default Gravatar
      KatheyApril 19, 2017

      What is the best search engine in the world?

        Avatarfinder Customer Care
        HaroldApril 19, 2017Staff

        Hi Kathey,

        Thank you for your inquiry.

        Unfortunately, we cannot recommend what is best for you. Our company finder.com.au is a financial comparison website and general information service designed to help consumers to make a better decision. Please note we do not represent any company we feature on our pages.

        However, at the time of this writing, there are three major search engines on the web today. That would be Google, Yahoo, and Bing. I would recommend you check each of them and see which would best meet your needs and preference.

        Regards,
        Harold

      Default Gravatar
      GlendaFebruary 5, 2016

      As a first home buyer, can I buy an investment property, and then when time is right buy a personal living home and qualify for the first buyers home loan on this property?

        Avatarfinder Customer Care
        MarcFebruary 5, 2016Staff

        Hi Glenda,
        thanks for the question.

        The exact requirements and eligibility will depend on what state you’re buying in. Some states do not allow this, such as NSW and QLD, but others, such as WA, TAS, SA, NT and ACT allow this in some circumstances.

        I hope this helps,
        Marc.

      Default Gravatar
      JessSeptember 2, 2015

      Hi, I’m on single parenting payment and I was wondering if it was possible to get a home loan of some sort? I’ve read about something about FTB. My daughter is one and I am looking for a job.

        Default Gravatar
        JodieSeptember 3, 2015

        Hi Jess,

        Thank you for your inquiry.

        You may want to see more information on first home owners grants and how this works and a dedicated page for single parent home loans while receiving Centrelink payments.

        I recommend getting in touch with a licensed mortgage broker. A broker can help you understand your financial position and they can leverage their panel of networks to find a lender that’s more inclined to review your application.

        Before applying, please ensure that you meet all the eligibility criteria and read through the details of the needed requirements as well as the relevant Product Disclosure Statements/Terms and Conditions when comparing your options before making a decision on whether it is right for you.

        I hope these pages assist you and show that there are avenues for you to receive a home loan.

        Regards
        Jodie

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