Islamic Home Loans

You can fulfil the dream of buying a home while living in accordance with Islamic law.

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Islam prohibits interest being charged on home loans. Islamic home loans enable you to finance your property purchase with a different financial product that doesn't accrue interest in quite the same way. However, Australia’s credit laws still apply and the lender will still charge you for borrowing money.

Islamic home loans are available for many purposes such as construction and purchasing vacant land, although they are not typically used for refinancing purposes. They also come in full documentation and low documentation versions, depending on your leasing needs.

How does an Islamic home loan work?

With an Islamic home loan, you can choose the home and then the financial institution will buy it from the seller. This same financial institution then makes an agreement to lease the home for a pre-determined period of time, which is known as Ijarah Muntahiyah Bittamlik. At the time of the final lease payment, ownership of the home will be transferred to you in the form of a promissory gift, or hiba.

As General Manager of Iskan Finance, Russell Murphy confirms: “For our customers, at the date of settlement, they are registered as the owner. We’ve taken the mortgage from them, and secured a transaction agreement that doesn’t express principal or interest.”

“This style of mortgage financing has many of the hallmarks of an operating lease with the object of better alignment with Sharia law, hopefully providing financing alternatives for Muslim’s otherwise uncomfortable to pursue home ownership.”

Compare a wider range of mortgages here

What place do Sharia-compliant home loans have in the Australian market?

With just 1.7% of the Australian population being Muslim, there are limited Sharia compliant home finance programmes on the market.

However, according to Ernst & Young (2010), Islamic banking assets have experienced rapid growth and are forecast to increase by an average of 19.7% a year until 2018, and a number of Australian financial institutions have examined Muslim financing concepts such as profit sharing and rent to buy, whilst trying to avoid terms such as ‘interest’ in contractual agreements.

Which core Sharia principles come into play?

Islamic finance is underpinned by Sharia values that are consistent with Islamic legislation. The fundamental principles concerned with Islamic home loans are outlined below.

  • Prohibition of paying and receiving interest (ribā): Interest cannot be charged or paid in any financial transaction under Islamic law.
  • Prohibition of uncertainty (gharār): While ambiguity is forbidden, risk-taking is permitted when the leasing agreement terms are clearly laid out between all parties involved.
  • Profit and loss sharing: Under Islamic law, all parties must share the risks and rewards associated with the financial transaction.
  • Musharakah (profit and loss sharing partnership): Under this contract, a partnership is established in which the parties agree to contribute to the capital of the partnership and agree to share the associated profit or loss.
  • Musharakah Mutanaqisah (diminishing partnership): This is a musharakah contract in which one of the parties agrees to purchase the equity share of the other party in the form of rental installments until the title of equity is transferred to the buyer in full.

How does a traditional home loan differ from an Islamic home loan?

The purchase of a property is typically financed through a mortgage agreement where the property is financed through borrowed funds from the lender. The borrower is required to repay this loan amount, plus interest, via a predetermined repayment schedule.

The bank has security over the property, which means that if the borrower defaults on their home loan, the lender can enforce a sale of the property to recover the outstanding funds that are owed.

In contrast, some of the earlier Islamic home finance programmes in Australia involved the institution partnering in the purchase of the property and then selling it to the buyer at a cost plus profit, or joining in a capital gain on sale. For the period of the transaction, the buyer amortised the outstanding debt through rental installments.

More recent product developments, however, have had stamp duty and capital gains tax implications, and have looked to the Islamic principles of Ijara (lease) or Murabaha (sale with profit) where the financial institution enters into a virtual rent to buy arrangement with the buyer over a specified time frame.

Mr Murphy states: This means that every rental payment the customer makes will increase their equity in the property and subsequently decrease the provider’s equity. Once the customer has fully repaid the amount, there’s no actual transfer of title involved and this addresses tax implications.

Islamic finance is largely about the philosophical side of things- it’s where Western banking meets Islamic banking. We offer an alternative solution for Muslims in an Australian landscape.”

“Ours is a common mortgage transaction that’s fully functional. It has all the bells and whistles of a traditional banking facility, such as an offset with a debit card attached to it and the ability to transact over the internet, but the main difference is that although we refer to capital, we don’t express principal and interest. Rather, we charge a rental facility fee.”

In a highly regulated environment you have to be pragmatic about what you can, and can’t offer. When people have English as a second language, you have to place yourself on the moral high ground, as people often misunderstand what they’ve been told, so National Consumer Credit obligations aside, we’re very careful to disclose all the costs involved.”

Therefore the fundamental difference between a typical home loan and a Sharia-compliant home loan is underpinned by the borrowing terms (i.e. interest with a typical home loan, and rental or profit fee with an Islamic home loan).

Aaban wants to own a home in Australia

As a hard working Australian resident, Aaban has decided that he would like to settle down and buy a home in the outskirts of Auburn, Sydney.

As the Islamic religion forbids borrowing money to be repaid with interest, Aaban approaches a local financial institution that provides alternative forms of lending. The lender conducts a preliminary assessment of Aaban’s financial situation and issues a conditional letter of approval on behalf of the funder.

The property he’d like to purchase is valued at $310,000 and with his $60,000 deposit, he needs help coming up with the $250,000 difference, before the house can be transferred to him.

With the lowest variable rate offered by the lender of 5.2%, he’ll have to pay an extra $197,225 on top of the $310 000 principal over 25 years. Aaban enters into a rent to buy mortgage agreement and his monthly rental payments are made through direct debit from his nominated bank account.

A representative from the financial institution tells Aaban that as he makes rental payments, the funders’ equity in the property will diminish whilst Aabans equity will increase so that by the time the debt is extinguished, or if he wishes to sell in the meantime, ownership of the property transfers solely to Aaban.

How to compare Islamic home loans

Mr Murphy stresses that when comparing Islamic home loans, you keep an eye out for the service level offered by the provider :

“Just like any conventional facility in any other organisation, customers should be alert to the service aspect of the product. I believe Iskan Finance operates as an ethical business and we’re firm on NCCP (National Consumer Credit Protection Act) compliance so people should take the comfort in the fact that we, and other providers, respect people’s rights under Australian law.

Additionally, Mr Murphy recommends that you conduct thorough research regarding the regulations, laws and associated costs of a home loan:“Do your research and have a look at the legislation in your state, particularly in regards to stamp duty. We always ask the customer to have a chat to a conveyancer so they fully understand what the costs will be. There’s no point in slapping together an application that has no chance of approval, so we teach people the discipline of submitting an application that will be approved.”

Islamic home loans come with many of the features that are also offered with traditional home loans. Compare the features among different lenders before deciding which home loan is right for you.

  • Early payoff. You should ensure that you may make a lump sum payment in the future. Mr Murphy says that the vast bulk of Iskan customers are happy to pre-pay their facilities if they are able to do so “It doesn’t matter whether it’s a customer of Iskan or any other institution, people are wary of exposure to debt and we find customers are pre-paying their way out of their mortgage as a common defensive strategy” .
  • Loan to Value Ratio (LVR). The LVR ratio refers to the amount of the property value or purchase price you can borrow with the lender. A loan with a high insured LVR allows you to borrow funds without paying Lender’s Mortgage Insurance (LMI).
  • Repayments. There should be options for the frequency in which you make your repayments to the financial institution. Look for a lender that offers weekly, fortnightly or monthly payments so you can arrange your payments to suit your income.
  • Rate. Although technically interest isn’t charged for an Islamic home loan, the financial institution will still be charging in the form of a rental or perhaps profit. Make sure you have a clear understanding of exactly how much extra you’re being charged as a result of the profit rate.
  • Ongoing Fees. Some institutions will charge annual fees which will increase the amount of your payments. Look for financial institutions with low or no account-keeping fees so you can focus on meeting your repayments and paying out your lease in full.

Things you should consider about an Islamic Home Loan

Pros
  • Sharia acceptance. This alternative method of obtaining a home is designed to better align with sharia law to offer Muslims a means of pursuing home ownership without offending their religious values.
  • Features. In most cases you are offered the same features as a typical home loan. Some of these help you in achieving property ownership sooner, while others can give you the option of lower payments if you make lease payments only.
  • Pre-approval. Your lending institution may approve your circumstance beforehand, allowing you to immediately choose a home that is within the price range they agreed upon, thereby facilitating your application process.
Cons
  • Could be more expensive. The unique circumstances surrounding an Islamic home loan and the limited size of the market can make lenders charge more compared to a typical home loan in the form of a profit.
  • Documentation. The providers of this style of finance all operate under the National Consumer Credit Protection Act and are unambiguous about obligations to make independent enquiries as to a your ability to meet the financial commitments without undue hardship. This often means Islamic finance comes in the form of a “ full doc” application process.

Are there any Islamic banking institutions in Australia?

While there are several foreign banks in Australia, including the Arab Bank and HSBC, few of them offer Islamic home loans. However, Westpac and National Australia Bank (NAB) have introduced Shariah compliant products to the market. In 2010, Westpac introduced a Special Interbank Placement for Islamic Financial Institutions while NAB offers an interest-free personal loan for low-income earners that receive Centrelink benefits, which could be an alternative for Islamic Australians. Currently, the main Australian financial institutions offering Sharia-compliant products or assistance are Iskan Finance, Equitable Financial Solutions, Amanah Islamic Finance, the MCCA Islamic Finance and Investments, and the Islamic Cooperative Finance Australia Limited (ICFAL).

How do I qualify for an Islamic home loan?

Generally Islamic home loans are offered as full-documentation products. This means you’ll need to provide evidence of funds for your deposit, your savings history, employment history as well as information related to any other assets or liabilities you have. In regards to Iskan Finance and their application process, Mr Murphy states: “We generally start the application process with a deposit equation. We’re inclined to let the customer know that there will be costs accountable such as stamp duty, legal fees and conveyancing costs.” “As full-doc loans, people need to have adequate income and they need to be able to document their income. We talk about what will happen over the next 30 years or so, we discuss how they’ll set their lease payments and whether or not they like the arrangement is up to them to decide.”

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Click here to read a full interview with Russell Murphy from Iskan Finance *Please note that the home loan offers listed below are generic site-wide offers, and these lenders currently do not offer Islamic home loans.

Compare a wider range of home loans from non-Islamic lenders

Name Product Interest Rate (p.a.) Comp. Rate (p.a.) Fees Monthly Payment

UBank UHomeLoan Fixed P&IHome 1Y Fixed≥ 20% Deposit

UBank UHomeLoan Fixed
1.79%
2.32%
  • App: $0
  • Ongoing: $0 p.a.
Fix your mortgage for 1 year with a very competitive rate and no ongoing fees.

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

loans.com.au Smart Booster Discount Variable Home Loan
1.85%
2.21%
  • App: $0
  • Ongoing: $0 p.a.
Get a low discounted variable rate loan. Requires a 20% deposit. Get your loan processed fast and settle within 30 days.

Athena Variable Home Loan P&IHome≥ 40% Deposit

Athena Variable Home  Loan
1.99%
1.99%
  • App: $0
  • Ongoing: $0 p.a.
Owner occupiers with 40% deposits or equity can get this competitive variable rate loan. No upfront or ongoing fees.

Nano Variable Home Loans P&IHome≥ 25% Deposit Refi Only

Nano Variable Home Loans
1.99%
1.99%
  • App: $0
  • Ongoing: $0 p.a.
Switch to this competitive variable rate with zero fees. Requires a 25% deposit.

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

HSBC Fixed Rate Home Loan Package
1.88%
2.86%
  • App: $0
  • Ongoing: $390 p.a.
$3,288 refinance cashback offer
Lock in a low fixed rate for 2 years and buy your home with a 20% deposit. Eligible refinancers borrowing $250,000 or more can get a $3,288 cashback. Terms and conditions apply.

Suncorp Home Package Plus Fixed P&IHome 2Y Fixed≥ 20% Deposit

Suncorp Home Package Plus Fixed
1.89%
2.85%
  • App: $0
  • Ongoing: $0 p.a.
$3,000 refinance cash bonus
Lock in a low fixed rate for 2 years. Available with a 20% deposit. Eligible new borrowers can get the annual package fee reimbursed for the life of the loan. $3,000 refinance cash bonus for eligible borrowers. Other terms, conditions and eligibility criteria apply.

Well Home Loans Equity Plus P&IHome≥ 40% Deposit

Well Home Loans Equity Plus
1.87%
1.90%
  • App: $250
  • Ongoing: $0 p.a.
Borrowers with 40% deposits or equity can get this low variable rate loan. 100% offset account included.

Homestar Star Gold P&IHome≥ 40% Deposit

Homestar Star Gold
1.79%
1.84%
  • App: $395
  • Ongoing: $0 p.a.
Refinancers and buyers with 40% deposits can get this very competitive variable rate. It even comes with a 100% offset account.

Virgin Money Reward Me Fixed Rate Home Loan P&IHome 2Y Fixed≥ 20% Deposit

Virgin Money Reward Me Fixed Rate Home Loan
1.98%
2.66%
  • App: $300
  • Ongoing: $10 per month
$3,000 refinance cashback.
Buy your home and lock in a low rate for the first two years. Get a $3,000 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 30 November 2021 and settle by 28 February 2022.

Macquarie Bank Basic Fixed Home Loan P&IHome 3Y Fixed≥ 30% Deposit

Macquarie Bank Basic Fixed Home Loan
2.09%
2.17%
  • App: $0
  • Ongoing: $0 p.a.
Get a low interest rate and a mortgage with flexible, basic features. No application or ongoing fees. Requires a 30% deposit. Refinancers can switch with a convenient digital application.

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
NSW and ACT customers only. Lock in a low fixed rate for two years. Available with a 5% deposit.

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.
$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.

Newcastle Permanent Building Society Premium Plus Package Fixed Rate P&IHome 3Y Fixed≥ 20% Deposit

Newcastle Permanent Building Society  Premium Plus Package Fixed Rate
2.09%
3.58%
  • App: $0
  • Ongoing: $395 p.a.
$2,000 cashback for eligible refinancers borrowing $250,000 or more.

Greater Bank Great Rate Fixed Home Loan P&IInvestment 1Y Fixed≥ 20% Deposit

Greater Bank Great Rate Fixed Home Loan
1.89%
2.27%
  • App: $0
  • Ongoing: $0 p.a.
Lock in your interest rate for 1 year and pay no application or ongoing fees.

Well Home Loans Balanced Fixed Home Loan P&IHome 1Y Fixed≥ 10% Deposit

Well Home Loans Balanced Fixed Home Loan
1.84%
2.01%
  • App: $250
  • Ongoing: $0 p.a.
Owner occupiers can get a sharp fixed rate for the first year, plus an offset account. Available with a 10% deposit.

homeloans.com.au Low Rate Home Loan with Offset P&IHome≥ 40% Deposit

homeloans.com.au Low Rate Home Loan with Offset
2.14%
2.16%
  • App: $0
  • Ongoing: $0 p.a.
A competitive rate with no application or ongoing fees. This loan is not available for construction.

Australian Unity Health, Wealth and Happiness Package Fixed Home Loan P&IHome 3Y Fixed≥ 30% Deposit

Australian Unity Health, Wealth and Happiness Package Fixed Home Loan
2.14%
2.69%
  • App: $0
  • Ongoing: $399 p.a.
Home buyers can lock in a low rate for 3 years. Requires a 30% deposit.

Macquarie Bank Basic Home Loan P&IHome≥ 40% Deposit

Macquarie Bank Basic Home Loan
2.14%
2.14%
  • App: $0
  • Ongoing: $0 p.a.
Apply for the Macquarie Bank Basic Home Loan - LVR ≤ 60% (Owner Occupier, P&I) and get a low variable interest rate, plus no application and ongoing fees. Requires a 40% deposit.

Greater Bank Great Rate Fixed Home Loan P&IHome 1Y Fixed≥ -10% Deposit

Greater Bank Great Rate Fixed Home Loan
1.59%
2.15%
  • App: $0
  • Ongoing: $0 p.a.
Get one of the lowest rates on the market with this fixed rate mortgage. NSW, QLD and ACT residents only.

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

UBank UHomeLoan Fixed
1.85%
2.24%
  • App: $0
  • Ongoing: $0 p.a.
A competitive fixed rate loan with no ongoing fees. Requires a 20% deposit.
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36 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    HASANMarch 16, 2019

    Hi! Is it safe to take home loans from other institutions rather than the bank?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaMarch 17, 2019Staff

      Hi Hasan,

      Thanks for getting in touch with Finder. I hope all is well with you. 😃

      If you are asking about the level of safeness and security of applying for a loan from institutions other than banks, the answer is yes. Most non-bank home loan providers would provide a safe environment for you to obtain a loan from. Of course, you should do independent research to confirm that the lender you are working with is registered and legitimate.

      If you need to explore your options, you may want to speak to a mortgage broker. They have the necessary knowledge and experience to help you find the best lender that meets your needs, preference, and budget.

      Moreover, before you apply for a specific loan, please make sure that you’ve read the relevant T&Cs or PDS of the loan products. You can also check the eligibility requirements to determine whether the product is right for you or not.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out again.

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

    Default Gravatar
    ANJuly 9, 2017

    Hi. I am a Muslim women engineer. I recently have got a permanent job in ACT. Before this job, I was jobless for more than 1 year. I am living here on permanent residency. I have some savings of about AUS $ 40,000 and my annual salary is more than $ 90,000/=. I want to buy a property while fulfilling my religious restrictions regarding Ribah/ interest. Please intimate how I can proceed.

    Kind regards

      Default Gravatar
      LiezlJuly 10, 2017

      Hi AN,

      Thanks for your question.

      You may approach any of the Islamic banking institutions listed above that offer Sharia-compliant products to know your options. Better still, you enlist the services of a mortgage broker who can best help you find a suitable financing.

      Cheers,
      Liezl

    Default Gravatar
    AnwarJanuary 18, 2017

    how the accounting treatement for islamic home finance should post?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      MayJanuary 19, 2017Staff

      Hi Anwar,

      Thank you for your question and for contacting finder.com.au we are a financial comparison website and general information service we are not mortgage specialists/home loan providers so can only offer general advice.

      I’m afraid we may not be able to provide you with an answer to that question. The accounting treatment will be determined by the lender/bank that offers the Islamic Home Loan.

      Regards,
      May

    Default Gravatar
    AbdulNovember 2, 2016

    I am a Muslim who lives in Indoensia, Looking for Loan amount of U$55,000, I urgently Need to Recover my Family and Establish Muslim Fashion Store

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      HaroldNovember 3, 2016Staff

      Hello Abdul,

      Thank you for your question.

      Basically, to qualify for an Islamic home loan. An Islamic home loans are offered as full-documentation products. This means you’ll need to provide evidence of funds for your deposit, your savings history, employment history as well as information related to any other assets or liabilities you have.

      If you wish to compare your Islamic home loans, in the above section “Are there any Islamic banking institutions in Australia?” you’ll find list brokers and providers that specialize in Islamic home loans.

      I hope that helps.

      Cheers,
      Harold

    Default Gravatar
    skabbashussuainAugust 16, 2016

    may i get interest free home lone

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      MayAugust 19, 2016Staff

      Hi Skabbashussuain,

      Thank you for your comment.

      To be eligible Islamic home loans, apart from having the Muslim faith, you’ll also need to provide proof of funds for your deposit, savings and employment history as well as information related to any other assets or liabilities you have.

      If you wish to compare your Islamic home loans, in the above section “Are there any Islamic banking institutions in Australia?” you’ll find list brokers and providers that specialise in Islamic home loans.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      May

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