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HomeStart home loans

HomeStart offers unique mortgage packages to South Australian borrowers who might struggle to get a home loan through a mainstream lender.

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Created by the South Australian Government in 1989, HomeStart offers home loans with less upfront costs, a lower initial deposit and an innovative repayment system that keeps monthly payments at a stable amount despite changes in variable interest rates. It's a for-profit service, but also has an ethic of social responsibility.

Home loans provided by HomeStart home loans

Graduate loan

This low deposit loan is available to residents who have obtained a Certificate III level qualification or higher. Borrowers can get the loan with a 3% deposit and avoid paying LMI with this loan.

Borrowers have the option of a variable, fixed or split interest rate, with the fixed rates being available from one to three years.

HomeStart has a unique repayment system where your charges remain constant despite any fluctuations in the variable rate. Unlimited additional repayments can be made on variable rate loans without penalty, or up to $10,000 a year during the fixed-rate period. A redraw facility is available for variable rate loans.

Low deposit loan

The low deposit loan is available to all South Australian residents towards the purchase of a new home in a metropolitan area. It is not available for construction purposes. These loans require a deposit of only 3%.

Borrowers may choose a fixed interest rate for up to 3 years, a variable rate or a combination of the 2. A redraw facility is available for variable rate loans.

HomeStart home loan

The HomeStart home loan is available to anyone and anywhere in South Australia. You can purchase an existing home with as little as a 5% deposit, or put 8% down to build a new home from the ground up. The HomeStart loan provision charge will take the place of the LMI which typically accompanies these types of low deposit home loans.

You can choose whether you want a fixed, variable or split interest rate for your loan. Unlimited additional repayments can be made on variable rate loans without penalty, or up to $10,000 a year during the fixed-rate period. A redraw facility is available for variable rate loans.

Equity loans

Seniors equity loan

South Australian seniors can tap into the equity of their existing home and obtain the financing they need towards a dream vacation or even to just supplement their retirement income. The seniors equity loan is a reverse mortgage.

You choose whether you want to make repayments with the security of knowing that your home’s value will never become less than the amount of money owed on it. The amount of money available will depend on the value of the home and your age and increases each year from the time you are 60 until you reach 85.

Home equity loan

Existing HomeStart borrowers may qualify to tap into their home's equity to fund certain home improvement projects. These could include renovations, landscaping projects and major installations such as HVAC systems.

Borrowing boost loans

These loans are designed to help you stretch your borrowing power further or get a deposit together.

Shared equity option

This loan lets you borrow up to 25% of your property's value, in addition to a regular home loan. It effectively boosts your borrowing power. As a shared equity loan, HomeStart lends you the money without charging interest. Instead, HomeStart takes a share of your property's future value when you sell.

If HomeStart contributed 20% of the purchase price, then it gets 20% of the sale price. However, you do have the option to make voluntary repayments over time.

Advantage loan

You can combine your other HomeStart home loan with an advantage loan to increase your buying power without increasing your monthly repayments. With as little as a 3% deposit, you could increase the value of your other HomeStart home loan by as much as $45,000.

This loan is available to households who earn up to $60,000 each year and is not subject to repayments until the primary home loan has been repaid. Unlimited additional repayments can be made on variable rate loans without penalty, or up to $10,000 a year during the fixed-rate period.

Wyatt loan

The Wyatt loan works in conjunction with a HomeStart home loan and allows you a period of 5 years without any interest accumulation or repayments towards its value. To qualify, you have to be a South Australia resident for at least 5 years and have a yearly salary of less than $42,500.

Starter loan

This loan offers borrowers $10,000 to help cover the deposit and other upfront home-buying costs. No interest is charged and you don't have to make any repayments for 5 years after getting this loan.

To be eligible, you need a household income of less than $65,000 (single) or $90,000 (couple).

Find more government home loan support options

How to apply for a HomeStart home loan

If you'd like to apply for a home loan from HomeStart, please speak to your local mortgage broker or contact HomeStart directly. You'll need some documentation when applying:

Documentation required

You need to provide the following information to apply for a HomeStart home loan:

  • Employment. The nature and duration of your employment, such as full- or part-time.
  • Income. Details regarding all of your household income, including any Centrelink income.
  • Debt. Other financial liabilities you may have, including loans and credit card debts.

HomeStart will also use a phone interview to determine if you are eligible for one of their home mortgage products. They will ask that you fulfill the following criteria:

  • Residence. You must be purchasing a residential property in Southern Australia.
  • Age. You must be at least 18 years of age.
  • Savings. You must have at least $3,000 in savings or have a good rental history for the previous 12 months.

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