Low deposit home loans

You can get a home loan with a deposit as low as 10% or even 5%. This means you can enter the property market sooner, but there are a few extra costs in the mix.

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Name Product Interest Rate (p.a.) Comp. Rate^ (p.a.) Application Fee Ongoing Fees Max LVR Monthly Payment
Greater Bank Great Rate Fixed Home Loan
1.69%
3.49%
$0
$0 p.a.
110%
$532.6
Get one of the lowest rates on the market with this fixed rate mortgage. NSW, QLD and ACT residents only.
St.George Basic Home Loan
2.54%
2.56%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
$596.91
$2,000 cashback.
With this competitive variable rate loan from St.George, refinancers borrowing $250,000+ can get a $2,000 cashback (terms, conditions & exclusions apply)
Westpac Flexi First Option Home Loan
2.29%
2.72%
$0
$8 monthly ($96 p.a.)
95%
$577.55
Up to $3,000 refinance cashback.
A flexible and competitive variable rate loan. Eligible borrowers refinancing $250,000 or more can get $2,000 cashback per property plus a bonus $1,000 for their first application. Other conditions apply.
Suncorp Back to Basics Home Loan
2.59%
2.60%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
$600.83
A competitive variable interest rate loan with low fees. The establishment fee is waived if you borrow $150,000 or more.
Newcastle Permanent Building Society Fixed Rate Home Loan
2.49%
3.83%
$0
$0 p.a.
95%
$593.01
$2,000 refinance cashback
A low 3-year fixed rate with the option to split your loan for free. $2,000 cashback for eligible refinancers borrowing $250,000 or more.
Mortgage House Fix and Save
1.99%
3.19%
$600
$395 p.a.
95%
$554.81
Lock in a competitive rate for 3 years. Available with a 5% deposit.
Newcastle Permanent Building Society Fixed Rate Home Loan
2.29%
3.94%
$0
$0 p.a.
95%
$577.55
$2,000 refinance cashback
Borrow up to 95% LVR of the value of the property you're buying and pay no ongoing fees. $2,000 cashback for eligible refinancers borrowing $250,000 or more.
Great Southern Bank Fixed Rate Home Loan
1.97%
3.86%
$600
$0 p.a.
95%
$553.31
Pay no ongoing fees and lock in your rate for 3 years to organise your budget.
homeloans.com.au Low Rate Home Loan with Offset
2.59%
2.61%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
$600.83
Save on interest with a free 100% offset account and buy your property with just a 10% deposit. This loan is not available for construction.
IMB Fixed Rate Home Loan
1.97%
2.81%
$449
$6 monthly ($72 p.a.)
95%
$553.31
NSW and ACT customers only. 3 years fixed interest terms and free access to redraw facility online. Available with a 10% deposit.
Newcastle Permanent Building Society  Premium Plus Package Fixed Rate
2.19%
3.83%
$0
$395 p.a.
95%
$569.91
$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.
homeloans.com.au Low Rate Home Loan with Offset
2.74%
2.76%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
$612.67
Access a fee-free offset account and a special interest rate for investors. This loan is not available for construction.
IMB Budget Home Loan
2.68%
2.74%
$449
$0 p.a.
95%
$607.92
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 Real Deal Home Loan
2.59%
2.63%
$595
$0 p.a.
80%
$600.83
$2,000 refinance cashback
$2,000 cashback for eligible refinancers borrowing $250,000 or more.
HSBC Home Value Loan
2.54%
2.55%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
$596.91
A competitive value home loan with no ongoing fee.
IMB Fixed Rate Home Loan
2.35%
3.33%
$449
$6 monthly ($72 p.a.)
90%
$582.16
NSW and ACT customers only. A 3 years fixed rate investor which allows extra repayments to be made.
Virgin Money Reward Me Fixed Rate Home Loan
2.53%
2.78%
$300
$10 monthly ($120 p.a.)
90%
$596.13
Enjoy a competitive fixed rate with no application fee.
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What is a low deposit home loan?

Most Australian home loans require a 20% deposit. If your deposit is less than 20% of the property's purchase price, you'll need a low deposit home loan. In the past, it was possible to get a no deposit home loan, but they're no longer available.

Low deposit home loans are exactly the same as other home loans, but they may have slightly higher interest rates to compensate for the fact that the bank is taking on a higher risk when accepting your loan.

Borrowers who take out low deposit home loans generally have to pay lenders mortgage insurance (LMI), although there are ways to avoid it – more on that soon.

Loan to value ratio, or LVR, is home loan jargon for minimum deposit size. Most home loans have maximum LVRs of 80%, which means you need to provide 20% of the property purchase price as a deposit. But home loans also have a maximum insured LVR, which can be 80% or higher.

If a home loan has a maximum insured LVR of 90% or 95%, then it's a low deposit home loan.

Here's a simple breakdown:

  • A loan has a maximum LVR of 80% and a maximum insured LVR of 80%. You need a 20% deposit. This loan is not a low deposit home loan.
  • A loan has a maximum LVR of 80% and a maximum insured LVR of 90%. You can get this loan with a 20% deposit (and pay no LMI) or a 10% deposit (and pay LMI). This is a low deposit home loan.

Can I get a home loan with a 5% deposit?

Susan Mitchell on low deposit home loans

According to Mortgage Choice CEO Susan Mitchell, yes, it is possible to get a home loan with as little as just 5% deposit saved.

"You can secure a home loan with a 5% deposit, plus stamp duty and other costs associated with property buying, but you may be required to pay Lender's Mortgage Insurance (LMI)," she says.

"The cost of LMI will vary depending on the size of your deposit and the purchase price of the property you're buying."

First home buyers who meet the eligibility criteria may be also be able to secure a home loan with a 5% deposit without paying LMI, thanks to the government's First Home Loan Deposit Scheme (FHLDS). There are 10,000 places available under the scheme each financial year.

Mitchell says to keep in mind that the interest rate may go up if your home loan loan deposit is lower than 20%.

"Most lenders will price home loans based on LVR bands, so you may face a higher interest rate if you contribute a smaller deposit," she says.

What is lenders mortgage insurance?

If you buy a property with a small deposit your lender views you as a higher risk borrower. This means you have to pay an LMI premium when you get the loan. A few things to know about LMI:

  • Even though you pay the premium, LMI does not protect you as a borrower.
  • It protects your lender and allows them to recoup their money if you can't repay your loan.
  • You take out this insurance to reassure the bank that if you can't repay the loan for any reason, insurance will kick in and the lender won't be left out of pocket.
  • Importantly: even if the bank recoups their money through LMI, the insurer will still chase YOU for the outstanding money.
  • Therefore, LMI helps you get a loan by giving guarantees to the bank – but it doesn't mean you can walk away from your home loan if your financial situation changes.

LMI premiums vary depending on your deposit size, property value and loan amount. It can add thousands or even tens of thousands to your loan. Your LMI premium can often be added on top of your loan, so you pay it off over time rather than upfront as a lump sum.

For example, a $600,000 loan with a $60,000 (10%) deposit could generate an LMI premium of around $13,000. Understandably, LMI is one of the biggest costs of buying a property that low deposit borrowers need to budget for.

Can I get a low deposit mortgage and avoid paying LMI?

If you have a parental guarantor to guarantee part of your deposit you can get a low deposit home loan while avoiding LMI.

Eligible first home buyers may also be able to borrow 95% of their home's value under the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme. In this scheme, the federal government acts like a guarantor, in partnership with specific lenders, and the borrower can avoid paying LMI premiums. The cost savings here can be significant and help you buy your own home sooner.

How do I compare low deposit mortgages?

When looking at low deposit home loans, the same basic principles apply for any home loan comparison. The biggest difference is you need to pay more attention to the maximum insured LVR that is on offer.

The main considerations are:

  • Interest rate. With every home loan, a low interest rate means a cheaper home loan with lower repayments. Review and compare the most competitive interest rates available.
  • LVR. Make sure the loan you are looking at has a maximum insured LVR of 90% or higher, if you don't have a 20% deposit saved.
  • Loan type and repayments. Your loan has a purpose: to fund an investment property or your own home. Depending on this purpose, your loan type and repayment type may be principal and interest or interest only.
  • Fixed or variable. You can choose between a fixed home loan rate or a variable rate. Fixed rates offer more certainty but less flexibility. Variable rates can change up or down, but tend to have more features and are less costly to refinance.
  • Loan fees. Most home loans have fees, such as ongoing monthly account keeping fees or annual package fees.
  • Features. Some home loans allow you to make extra repayments or come with an offset account. These features can help you pay less interest and/or pay off your home loan sooner, so look for a loan with features you can benefit from.
  • Lender. Some lenders are small with few branches or "bricks and mortar" premises. Others are entirely online, while some still have extensive branch networks and in-person support. Different lenders may be willing to lend you more than others, or may be more accepting of low deposit borrowers. Some lenders don't offer any home loans to borrowers with deposits under 20% – which is why you need to focus your research on those lenders whose loan criteria suits low deposit borrowers.

How to apply for a low deposit home loan

It can be harder to get a loan with a lower deposit as the bank wants to make sure it's not taking on a big risk. This means you need to ensure your mortgage application is strong, with your paperwork in order and your everyday spending under control.

If your bank sees high credit card debt, low savings and a lot of Uber Eats, bar tabs and retail shopping in your bank statements, it may be worried about your spending habits, and less convinced that you will be responsible in repaying your loan on time every month.

Here are some tips to help you succeed when putting together your low deposit home loan application:

  • Check your credit score. Strengthen your chances of success by making sure there are no issues with your credit history.
  • Check where and what you're buying. Some lenders impose higher lending requirements on apartment purchases in certain postcodes. They might require a 20% deposit or even 30%, so check the credit policy with prospective lenders before shopping for property.
  • Employment history. If you've been employed by the same company for several years, you'll be in a better position from a lender's point of view, because they'll view this as being steady employment. Lots of job changes can make them more nervous about your reliability.
  • Examine your debts and spending. Strengthen your application by paying down debts such as credit cards – and as you repay them, lower the limits to avoid over-spending again. Try to limit your spending as much as you feasibly can before applying.
  • Talk to a mortgage broker. Mortgage brokers don't just connect you to a lender, they help you find one that is likely to accept your application based on their eligibility requirements. Professional help might be just the thing you need.

Organise a free chat with a broker now

Advice from an expert

Three tips from Marissa Schulze, mortgage broker, property developer and director of Rise High Financial Solutions.

Marissa Schulze on low deposit home loansTighten up your spending

The most important thing for applicants of low deposit home loans is to review their living expenses and if they can, to tighten up their spending. Applicants should rein in their spending for the six months prior to applying for the loan.

Genuine savings and rental history

Some lenders like to see "genuine savings". That means the applicant has been consistently saving each month or fortnight to build up their savings bucket. If that's not the case and they've been given the deposit as a gift from parents then lenders often want to see that sum of money sitting in the applicant's account for three to six months before applying.

If the applicant is renting they can actually prove they have good rental history and use that to boost their application in place of genuine savings. Now that really only works for applicants who are actually renting through a property manager. Sometimes applicants renting from a private landlord will find that hard for the bank to accept. The banks trust the feedback from a property manager more than they would from a private landlord.

Don't make any big changes between pre-approval and settlement

Make sure your financial circumstances don't change from the time you apply for finance to at least settlement. A common mistake is that buyers get pre-approval and then quit their job or apply for a car loan or increase their credit card limit. People don't realise how that impacts their application. You need to keep your financial and employment situations stable from the time you apply until you settle and move in. Then you can do what you like.

The pros and cons of a low deposit home loan

There are benefits and drawbacks to buying property with a smaller deposit, so it's a good idea to work out exactly what suits your own situation.

The benefits

Home buyers applying for a mortgage with a small deposit.Low deposit home loans allow you to buy a property faster. If you're buying a property for $500,000, a 20% deposit is $100,000. A 5% deposit is only $25,000 while a 10% deposit is $50,000.

It's far more realistic and achievable to save up $25,000 than $100,000, so low deposit loans enable you to get on the property ladder sooner.

Buying a property sooner means borrowing more and having a higher overall mortgage amount, but getting into the property market faster. If prices increase this puts you in a better position, because even with a small deposit, you're actually growing your equity and wealth via the property's capital gain in value.

The risks

A low deposit home loan means you may have to pay LMI premiums. This cost can range from several thousand dollars into the tens of thousands, depending on your deposit size and the cost of the property.

You may also pay more interest with a low deposit loan, simply because you're borrowing more money. Let's look at a basic example.

Full vs low deposit home loans

DetailsLow depositFull deposit
Property value$500,000$500,000
Deposit size$25,000 (5%)$100,000 (20%)
Loan amount$475,000$400,000
LMI costs$14,871*$0
Interest rate (30-year loan)2.60%2.60%
Monthly repayments$1,901$1,601

*LMI costs are estimates only and come from the Genworth LMI premium estimator.

The difference in cost is clear. With a 5% deposit you'll pay $14,871 in LMI (although you may be able to capitalise this cost onto your loan and borrow the LMI money along with your mortgage, so you don't need to pay the full amount upfront).

You'll also pay $300 more in repayments per month, or $3,600 a year.

You also need to consider how long it would take you to save $100,000 versus $25,000. It could take several more years to save a full $100,000 deposit in the example above, by which time home prices may have increased, meaning you need an even bigger deposit – or you have to pay LMI anyway, as your deposit is now worth less than 20%.

No deposit loans, guarantors and other questions

You can't borrow 100% anymore. These loans were available pre-GFC, but these days lenders just consider it too risky.

The exception to this is a parental guarantee. If your parents own a property they could potentially guarantee a portion of your deposit for you.

It's a little complicated and it's not an option for everyone; our guide more thoroughly explains how guarantor home loans work.

If your parents are even more generous and financially comfortable, they could gift you the deposit.

I need help saving a deposit

Whether you're saving up for a low deposit home loan or you want to build up a 20% deposit, the same savings principles apply. Build your deposit by:

Get more tips on saving a deposit for a house

Insights in the Finder app

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The Finder app hunts down personalised ways for you to save cash. You could save on your bills, mobile plan, credit card, insurance, plus more. Pop in your phone number below to get your download link.

Can I use super as part of my deposit?

Short answer: not directly. However, first home buyers can use extra super contributions to minimise tax and put it towards a deposit under the first home super saver scheme.

Investors can purchase investment properties through a self-managed super fund loan.

Can I buy a property with a $10,000 deposit?

It is possible to get a property with such a small deposit but there are other costs to take into account.

Let's say you were looking to buy a $200,000 property in regional Australia and you had $10,000 saved as a deposit. That's 5% of the property's value. If you successfully applied for a home loan with a maximum insured LVR of 95% then you could actually buy a home for $10,000.

If you were a first home buyer buying a newly built property and you qualified for a first home owner grant, you could even use this money as your deposit.

But if you only had $10,000 saved up for all your costs then you might fall short. Consider these additional costs:

  • Stamp duty: If you're a first home buyer you may be able to avoid stamp duty with a property price this low. Check out our stamp duty guide to learn more.
  • LMI: According to Genworth's LMI premium estimator, buying a $200,000 property with a $10,000 deposit means you also need to pay $4,727 in LMI premiums. This cost may be waived if you're a first home buyer and eligible for the FHLDS.
  • Conveyancing costs: You'll need a conveyancer to handle the legal aspects of the sale. Conveyancers charge around $1,000-$2,000.
  • Mortgage fees: Your lender may charge some upfront fees, plus a valuation fee. This could cost you several hundred dollars or more. And then there's the mortgage registration fee, too (around $100).

Find a low deposit home loan in your state or territory

Here's some more information about finding lenders, brokers and government support options for low deposit borrowers in your state or territory.

More guides on Finder

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53 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    ArmandoSeptember 23, 2019

    We want to buy our first house and we have 5% of the deposit for a house of 450000. We want to know what we must do to enter the government program of the first 10,000 buyers of the year 2020 and not pay the LMI. Could you guide us on how to buy the house to be considered in this program? what to do and how?

      Default Gravatar
      AshSeptember 23, 2019

      Hi Armando,

      Thank you for contacting Finder.

      Yes, the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme can help you to avoid the Lender’s Mortgage Insurance (LMI) as if you only have 5% for the deposit, the government will guarantee you the 15%. You can check the FHLDS requirements and how you can apply for FHLDS for more details.

      I hope this helps.

      Please do not hesitate to reach out again to us if you have additional questions.

      Cheers,
      Ash

    Default Gravatar
    AndrewAugust 11, 2019

    If pay 20% deposit, does it need to look at income?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      FayeAugust 13, 2019Staff

      Hi Andrew,

      Thanks for contacting Finder.

      Yes, when you apply for a home loan, most lenders will have to look at your income. They are interested in how much you make and how likely you are able to repay your loan and manage all your obligations every month.

      Please review our guide about applying for a home loan as well as the documents needed for a home loan. Once done, you may refer to the table above to compare low deposit home loans. When you are ready, press the ‘Go to site’ button to apply.

      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. You can also contact the provider if you have specific questions.

      I hope this helps.

      Kind Regards,
      Faye

    Default Gravatar
    SantoApril 5, 2019

    looking to buy a country farmlet between5 to 10 acres with a 4bed dwelling and much shedding , property located in country Victoria and I only have 5% for deposit. Could you direct me to institutions that could provide finance just under $300.000

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JohnApril 8, 2019Staff

      Hi Santo,

      Thank you for reaching out to Finder.

      The page we are on offers lenders that you could reach out to specific to the loan you are requesting but for the property you are looking for you may want to reach out to a real estate specialist who can further assist you in locating that type of property. You may also reach out to a mortgage broker who can assist you in providing lender options. Hope this helps!

      Cheers,
      Reggie

    Default Gravatar
    MariaMarch 19, 2019

    I own my unit (will rent the unit at $600 a week) and a 3-bed house rented for $360 (all fully paid). I have part pension. I would like to buy a unit near my children. Can I get a loan on my properties, rent, and pension to more than enough to pay for a mortgage?
    Which lender should I approach?
    Thank you.

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaMarch 20, 2019Staff

      Hi Maria,

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

      Since you own a few properties, you can opt for a reverse mortgage. This type of loan allows you to borrow equity from your property and spend it on a new home. If this interests you, you can use our comparison table to compare your options. You can compare your options based on the interest rate, application fees, and ongoing fees, to name a few.

      Alternatively, you can also check our pensioners home loan guide to learn more about how to get a home loan while you are on a pension. On that page, you will learn more about the considerations when applying for a home loan on a pension, what types of home loans might be available to pensioners, and how to compare home loans, to name a few.

      Finally, please speak to a mortgage broker. They have the necessary knowledge and experience to help you explore your options. They will also take into consideration your whole situation before giving advice.

      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
    DavidMarch 12, 2019

    We have almost paid off our home in SE Brisbane (have about $10,000 to go). We are both aged pensioners with no savings as such. We are considering moving to a new place but want to build rather than buy a pre-existing home, as I did 30 years ago. One idea I had was to rent out our existing house and use the rent to pay off the new one if the bank will let us and taking into account what Centrelink says about it. Otherwise we would have to juggle contracts around selling and moving. Can we get a loan to buy a new place before our old one is sold if we go that way? I think they used to be called Bridging Loans?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaMarch 14, 2019Staff

      Hi David,

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

      Interesting thoughts and questions you got there, David. As for now, if you are planning to get a loan or what you mentioned, bridging loan, one of the main criteria lenders will look at is your source of income. There are not a lot of lenders who lend money to aged pensioners. However, there are still those who can help. If you want to know how to get a home loan while on an aged pension, please refer to our guide on pensioner loans.

      It is true that you can rent out your existing property and the money you earn from it can also be considered by the lender and will increase your chance of getting approved.

      Regarding your last question, a bridging loan can be a good option while you wait for your property to be sold. Since your main source of income is coming from Centrelink, you might have limited options. However, you can still give it a try. On the page I just gave you, there are lenders listed that you can compare based on the interest rate, application fee, and monthly payment, to name a few.

      Please make sure that you’ve read the relevant T&Cs or PDS of the loan products before making a decision. Moreover, check the eligibility requirements as well and consider whether the product is right for you.

      Finally, please consider speaking to a mortgage broker. They have the right knowledge and experience to help you explore available options.

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

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

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