Owner occupier home loans offer lower rates than investor loans. Find out how they work and how to compare them here.
If you’re looking for a home loan as an owner occupier, lenders offer a broad variety of options. Check out the table below to compare the loans available to owner occupiers.
What is an owner occupier loan?
As the name suggests, an owner occupier home loan is a loan for a property you intend to live in. A home loan is a loan offered by a lender for the purpose of purchasing a residential property. Owner occupier home loans are specific to borrowers who wish to make the property they’re buying their primary place of residence. Owner occupier home loans generally carry a lower interest rate than loans offered to investors.
Compare owner occupier loans below
You can sort owner occupier loans in the table below by clicking the 'Advanced Search' button in the table and selecting 'Owner Occupier' from the loan purpose dropdown.
How do loans for owner occupiers differ?
Owner occupier home loans differ from other home loans in that they are geared specifically toward people looking to live in the property they’re purchasing. This is in contrast to property investors, who are purchasing a property either to find tenants to generate rental income, or to sell for a capital gain. Lenders offer a specific type of home loan to investors. The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA), the body that monitors and regulates banks in Australia, has placed restrictions on lending to investors. As mentioned above, lenders often offer a lower interest rate to owner occupiers than investors, as investors are seen as riskier borrowers.
Can I get an investment loan as an owner occupier, or an owner occupier loan as an investor?
The type of loan that’s appropriate for you depends on your circumstances, and what you intend to do with the property you’re purchasing. Therefore, if you intend to live in the property you’re purchasing you’ll need to get a loan tailored to owner occupiers. Likewise, if you don’t plan on living in the property and instead want to use it to generate rental income, you’ll have to get an investor loan.
Just because you start your home loan journey as an owner occupier, though, doesn’t mean you can’t change your mind. It just means you’ll have to make your lender aware of your change in circumstances. If you decide to move out of your property and treat it as an investment, you’ll need to contact your lender so they can change the terms of your loan accordingly.
What loans are available to owner occupiers?
Lenders offer a wide variety of home loans to owner occupiers, including:
Variable rate home loans
A variable rate home loan is one where the interest rate can change depending on a variety of factors. A few of these factors include the Reserve Bank’s official cash rate, the cost of overseas funding and the lender’s appetite for home loans. There are various reasons variable rates might change.
Variable rates can have benefits and drawbacks. They often come with the flexibility of making extra repayments, and can have money-saving features such as offset accounts and redraw facilities. But if interest rates rise, you could also find your regular repayments getting more expensive.
Fixed rate home loans
A fixed rate home loan is a home loan where the interest rate is locked in for a predetermined period of time, usually between one and five years. This gives you the peace of mind of a steady repayment that won’t change, regardless of the Reserve Bank’s interest rate decisions or external funding pressures.
The drawback of fixed rate home loans is that they often don’t come with the added features available with variable rate products. They are also unlikely to let you make additional repayments, and can carry heavy penalties for doing so. Also, if variable rates do fall, you can find yourself locked into a less competitive home loan rate.
Low doc home loans
Low documentation, or low doc, home loans are geared specifically toward self-employed borrowers. If you don’t have PAYG statements to prove your income, a low doc loan might be the best option for you. These loans allow you to present alternative forms of documentation to prove your income and ability to service the loan.
Specialist home loans
Specialist home loans are for people who might have had some negative marks on their credit file. They can be particularly helpful to borrowers who have had defaults or missed bill payments. Specialist lenders will look at the extenuating circumstances surrounding your defaults, and assess your loan on a much more personalised basis. These loans can, however, carry higher interest rates than normal owner occupier home loans.
What should I keep in mind when comparing owner occupier home loans?
There are a number of things you’ll need to think about when comparing owner occupier home loans:
- Am I an owner occupier? First you’ll need to decide if you’re purchasing a property to live in, or for the purposes of investment. If you’re buying as an investor, you’ll need a home loan specific to your purposes.
- How much can I afford? Look at your budget and make an honest assessment about the size of repayment you can afford. You can use our home loan borrowing calculator.
- How big a deposit have I saved? Most lenders prefer you to have a deposit at least 20% the value of the property you’re purchasing, though some lenders will allow you to borrow up to 95% of the property’s value.
- What are the fees? A home loan’s interest rate isn’t the only indication of how expensive it will be. Some loans carry annual fees that can quickly add up. Pay attention to these fees when deciding on a home loan. You can get a good idea of the true expense of a home loan by paying attention to the comparison rate, which takes into account the loan’s rate and all its fees and expresses it as a percentage.
- Is the loan suited to my needs? You’ll want to ensure the loan has the features and flexibility that suit your situation.