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How you can save for a property while renting

Stuck in the rent trap? By setting a realistic savings target, trimming your costs and understanding your mortgage options you can save a deposit for a home.

Saving to buy a property while getting slugged for rent? It's hard, but there's a clear, simple set of steps you can take to start putting away cash for a place of your own. It takes discipline, careful planning and a little bit of financial knowledge.

Here's how you can do it.

Work out how much you need to buy a house

This consists of two question: how much are you willing to spend on a property, and how big will your deposit be?

Property price

Do some research on where you want to buy, what sort of property you're interested in, and be realistic about how much you can afford to pay in monthly home loan repayments. This will help you determine your deposit size and give you a realistic saving target.

Deposit size

Once you have a rough idea of the amount you want to spend on a property you can determine your deposit size. For example, if you wanted to purchase a $750,000 property, the standard 20% deposit would equal $150,000.

But many lenders offer low deposit mortgage options for borrowers who have saved deposits of 10 or 5%. The only downside is you will need to pay lenders mortgage insurance when borrowing more than 80% of a property's value.

Speak to an accountant and mortgage broker during this stage so they can help you understand your borrowing power, which can dictate your savings goal.

Create a budget strategy

Step back and take the time to understand your finances and spending habits. Do the following:

  • Check your credit score so you can see if you any outstanding debts or other credit problems. This helps you work out whether there is room to consolidate or eliminate any debts, such as credit cards or personal loans.
  • Identify your living expenses such as utility bills, transport and food to see whether you can minimise any of these costs. For instance, if you’ve been spending $80 on petrol every week, think about taking public transport or cycling to work. (It’s better for the environment too.)
  • Think about unnecessary expenses that you could forego such as coffee, gym memberships or alcohol. This is where you can potentially save a lot of money. Instead of buying a daily coffee, have one at home, and make your own meals more often.

From here, you should work out your budget plan. As a general guide (and depending on your lifestyle needs), you should allocate around 50% of your income on living expenses (such as rent, transport, insurance and utilities), 25% of your income on entertainment (such as dining out, movies and concerts) and roughly 25% should go towards your savings.

Around 15% of the amount you’re saving should go directly towards your deposit fund.

Trim your expenses

Find more ways to trim your debt; this should be a continuous habit. If you’re still a member of an expensive gym, it might be time to move to a smaller gym. If you’re paying $85 per month on a phone plan, consider downgrading to a cheaper plan.

  1. Minimise rent. Find a roommate, move to a cheaper suburb or consider downsizing to a smaller or older place. If you’re currently paying $300 per week in an inner-city location, consider moving to an outer suburb location where you might pay just $200 per week. A $100 weekly saving may not seem like much, but this could add over $5,000 to your savings account each year, which could fast-track your way into the real estate market.
  2. Demand a better deal. You can also try negotiating with your utility and service providers. Approach your electricity, gas and internet providers and ask for a better deal. You may be surprised to find out just how much providers want to retain loyal customers. And if they won't offer you a better deal, compare and switch to a cheaper option.
  3. Be efficient. Another way to lower your expenses is to be conscious about your energy use. Turn off the air conditioner or heater when you’re not in the room, and switch to energy-efficient lighting to lower your monthly utility bills.

Open a dedicated savings account

Open a high interest account that is dedicated to your deposit savings. You can separate your deposit funds from your other accounts and keep track of how much interest you're earning each month. When it comes to applying for a home loan, making regular deposits into a high interest savings account will demonstrate to the lender that you have good financial discipline.

Get a co-borrower or guarantor

If you can invest in property with a close family member or friend, saving for a deposit becomes much easier, as the amount you need is halved. However, there are other factors to consider before you purchase property with someone else, so make sure you do your homework.

Finding a guarantor for a home loan is another way to relieve some of the pressure of saving up for a home, which can also help you get into the property market sooner.

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Name Product Interest Rate (p.a.) Comp Rate^ (p.a.) Application Fee Ongoing Fees Max LVR Monthly Payment Short Description
Suncorp Back to Basics Home Loan - Better Together Special Offer $150k+ LVR<=90% Incl. LMI (Owner Occupier, P&I)
2.78%
2.79%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
Get one free online redraw per month and pay no ongoing fees. Application fees are waived for loans above $150,000. Eligible refinancers can receive a cashback of $2,000 or more.
UBank UHomeLoan Variable Rate - Discount offer for Owner Occupiers, P&I Borrowing over $200,000
2.59%
2.59%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Enjoy flexible repayments, a redraw facility and the ability to split your loan. Plus, pay no application or ongoing fees.
HSBC Home Value Loan - Promotional Offer (Owner Occupier P&I)
2.65%
2.66%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Get a low interest rate loan with no ongoing fees. Plus you can make extra repayments and free redraw online.
Commonwealth Bank Wealth Package Fixed Home Loan - 2 Year Fixed Rate With Wealth Package (Owner Occupier, P&I, $150k+)
2.29%
3.99%
$0
$395 p.a.
95%
A competitive fixed rate package loan for home buyers. $2,000 cashback offer for eligible refinancers.
St.George Basic Home Loan - LVR 60% to 80% (Owner Occupier, P&I)
2.64%
2.66%
$500 (waived for loans above $150,000)
$0 p.a.
80%
Refinancers borrowing $250,000 or more can get a $2,000 cashback per property (Other terms, conditions and exclusions apply). A low variable interest rate for home buyers and refinancers. Application fee waived for loans above $150,000.
NAB Choice Package Home Loan - 2 Year Fixed (Owner Occupier, P&I)
2.19%
4.02%
$0
$395 p.a.
95%
Low deposit home loan. Enjoy flexible repayment options while paying limited fees.
ING Mortgage Simplifier Home Loan - $1M+ (LVR <=80% Owner Occupier, P&I)
2.55%
2.58%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
This basic owner occupier home loan keeps rates and fees low.
ME Flexible Home Loan Fixed with Members Package - 2 Year Fixed Rate LVR <= 80% (Owner Occupier, P&I)
2.49%
3.41%
$0
$395 p.a.
80%
Lock in a competitive rate for owner occupiers for two years. Comes with a 100% offset account.
Virgin Money Reward Me Fixed Rate Home Loan - 2 Year $300k+ Special offer (Owner Occupier, P&I)
2.29%
2.91%
$300
$10 monthly ($120 p.a.)
80%
Buy your home and lock in a low rate for the first two years. Get a $2,500 cashback when you switch to Virgin Money with a loan amount of $300,000 or more with an LVR up to 80%. You must apply by 28 August and settle by 30 October 2020.
Bankwest Complete Home Loan Package Variable - $200k to <$750k LVR <=80% (Owner Occupier, P&I)
2.73%
3.18%
$0
$395 p.a.
80%
A low variable rate loan with a 100% offset account and package discounts.
Bank of Melbourne Basic Home Loan - Special Offer (Owner Occupiers, P&I) LVR above 60% up to 80%
2.64%
2.66%
$500 (waived for loans above $150,000)
$0 p.a.
80%
Refinancers borrowing $250,000 or more can get a $2,000 cashback per property (Other terms, conditions and exclusions apply). A low variable interest rate for home buyers and refinancers. Application fee waived for loans above $150,000.
Bluestone Prime Direct (Owner Occupier, P&I)
2.59%
2.86%
$590
$15 monthly ($180 p.a.)
70%
Bluestone's Prime Direct is a competitive variable rate home loan for borrowers with 30% deposits.
State Custodians Low Rate Home Loan with Offset - LVR up to 60% (Owner Occupier, P&I)
2.49%
2.51%
$0
$0 p.a.
60%
A competitive rate with no application or ongoing fee. This loan is not available for construction.
HSBC Home Value Loan - Promotional Offer LVR 90% (Owner Occupier, P&I)
2.80%
2.81%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
A competitive value home loan with no ongoing fee.
Virgin Money Reward Me Variable Home Loan - LVR <= 60% ($750k+ Owner Occupier, P&I)
2.60%
2.77%
$300
$10 monthly ($120 p.a.)
60%
A competitive variable rate loan for home buyers with large deposits. Get a $2,500 cashback when you switch to Virgin Money with a loan amount of $300,000 or more with an LVR up to 80%. You must apply by 28 August and settle by 30 October 2020.
Greater Bank Great Rate Discount Variable with Family Pledge Home Loan - Up to 110% LVR
2.94%
2.95%
$0
$0 p.a.
110%
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.
ME Flexible Home Loan Fixed with Members Package - 3 Year Fixed Rate LVR <= 80% (Owner Occupier, P&I)
2.59%
3.39%
$0
$395 p.a.
80%
Get a low 3 year fixed rate with a 100% offset account and package discounts.
BankSA Basic Home Loan - Promotional Rate (Owner Occupier, P&I)
2.64%
2.66%
$500 (waived for loans above $150,000)
$0 p.a.
80%
Refinancers borrowing $200,000 or more can get a $2,000 cashback per property (Other terms, conditions and exclusions apply). Buyers and refinancers can get this competitive variable interest rate. A low variable interest rate for home buyers and refinancers. Application fee waived for loans above $150,000.
IMB Budget Home Loan - Special LVR <=90% (Owner Occupier, P&I, NSW and ACT borrowers only)
2.78%
2.84%
$449
$0 p.a.
90%
NSW and ACT customers only. You can get an interest rate discount for a limited time with this competitive variable mortgage.
ME Flexible Home Loan Fixed - 2 Year Fixed Rate LVR <= 80% (Owner Occupier, P&I)
2.64%
4.03%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Get a low fixed rate and pay no application or ongoing fees.
State Custodians Low Rate Home Loan with Offset - LVR up to 80% (Owner Occupier, P&I)
2.65%
2.67%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
This loan offers a competitive variable rate and a 100% offset account to help save you on interest repayments. This loan is not available for construction.
Newcastle Permanent Building Society Fixed Rate Home Loan - 1 Year Fixed (Owner occupier, P&I)
2.49%
4.12%
$595
$0 p.a.
90%
Investors can take advantage of a short term fixed rate with no ongoing fees.
Greater Bank Great Rate Home Loan - Discounted 1 Year Fixed LVR ≤80% ($150K+ Owner Occupier)
2.09%
3.53%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Get one of the lowest rates on the market with this fixed rate mortgage. Available with just a 10% deposit. Guarantor option available. NSW, QLD and ACT residents only.
UBank UHomeLoan - 1 Year Fixed Rate (Owner Occupier, P&I)
2.29%
3.12%
$395
$0 p.a.
80%
Fix your mortgage for 1 year with a very competitive rate and no ongoing fees.
CUA Achieve Variable Home Loan - $500k+ (Owner Occupier, P&I)
2.73%
2.78%
$600
$0 p.a.
95%
Home buyers can get a competitive, low-fee variable rate plus a 100% offset account. Low deposit option available. Eligible new home buyers with low deposits can apply for the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme with this lender and avoid LMI costs.
Suncorp Home Package Plus Fixed - 2 Year Fixed Rate Special Offer $150k+ LVR ≤90% (Owner Occupier, P&I)
2.29%
3.32%
$0
$375 p.a.
90%
Eligible refinancers can receive a cashback of $2,000 or more.
UBank UHomeLoan - 3 Year Fixed Rate (Owner Occupier, P&I)
2.29%
2.90%
$395
$0 p.a.
80%
A competitive fixed interest rate loan with no ongoing fees. Requires a 20% deposit.
IMB Fixed Rate Home Loan - 2 Year Fixed (LVR 90% Owner Occupier, P&I, NSW and ACT borrowers only)
2.39%
3.14%
$449
$6 monthly ($72 p.a.)
90%
NSW and ACT customers only. 2 years fixed interest terms and free access to redraw facility online. Available with a 5% deposit.
UBank UHomeLoan - 1 Year Fixed Rate (Investor, P&I)
2.44%
3.57%
$395
$0 p.a.
80%
Investors can enjoy flexible repayments and an easy application process with this pioneering online lender.
IMB Fixed Rate Home Loan - 3 Year Fixed (LVR 90% Owner Occupier, P&I, NSW and ACT borrowers only)
2.39%
3.08%
$449
$6 monthly ($72 p.a.)
90%
NSW and ACT customers only. 3 years fixed interest terms and free access to redraw facility online. Available with a 10% deposit.
Well Home Loans Balanced Variable - LVR 90% (Owner occupier, P&I)
2.67%
2.70%
$250
$0 p.a.
90%
A very low variable interest rate for borrowers with a 10% deposit. Add a 100% offset account for $10 a month. Not available for construction purposes.
CUA Fixed Rate Home Loan - 3 Year Fixed (Owner Occupier, P&I)
2.69%
4.04%
$600
$0 p.a.
95%
Pay no ongoing fees and lock in your rate for 3 years to organise your budget. Eligible new home buyers with low deposits can apply for the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme with this lender and avoid LMI costs.
State Custodians Low Rate LOC - LVR up to 80% (Owner Occupier, IO)
2.90%
2.92%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
A low-fee line of credit loan from an online lender. Unlock the equity in your home and make interest-only repayments with a competitive rate. This loan is not available for construction.
Newcastle Permanent Building Society  Premium Plus Package Fixed Rate - 1 Year Fixed (Owner Occupier, P&I)
2.39%
3.85%
$0
$395 p.a.
95%
Enjoy a competitive rate with no application fee for this package loan.
ME Flexible Home Loan With Member Package - LVR <=80% $400k up to $699,999 (Owner Occupier, P&I)
2.84%
3.29%
$0
$395 p.a.
80%
Unlock a range of savings with this competitive package home loan offer. Offset account and redraw facility included.
Newcastle Permanent Building Society Real Deal Home Loan - Special Offer 1 (Owner Occupier, P&I)
2.72%
2.76%
$595
$0 p.a.
80%
A discounted variable rate with low ongoing fees and redraw facility. Low deposit option available.
IMB Fixed Rate Home Loan - 3 Years Fixed (LVR ≤90% Investor, P&I, NSW and ACT borrowers only)
2.74%
3.59%
$449
$6 monthly ($72 p.a.)
90%
NSW and ACT customers only. A 3 years fixed rate investor which allows extra repayments to be made.
ME Basic Home Loan - LVR <=80% (Owner Occupier, P&I)
3.17%
3.19%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
This variable rate loan keeps the features simple and fees low. This loan is offered by a 100% online lender.
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