line of equity house

Refinancing a home loan without equity

How can refinancing a home with minimal equity become a reality?

Home Loan Tip

Refinancing a home involves moving from your existing home loan to a new home loan. During the process, many lenders allow you to borrow more, provided that your property value has increased and you've paid off enough of your mortgage.

As a rule of thumb, you typically need at least 20% equity build up in your property to qualify for a refinance home loan. However, there many be some niche or specialist lenders that will approve your refinance application with less than this amount.

Keep in mind that it may not be possible to refinance your home loan with no equity.

While 100% home loans are no longer available, there are ways that you can apply for a refinanced mortgage with little equity such as through a guarantor loan.

Read on to find out how you can switch lenders with minimal equity.

Information about low deposit home loans

The loans below are not 0% deposit or no equity home loans, but allow applications from borrowers with 5 - 10% deposit or equity.

Compare 90 - 95% LVR home loans

Rates last updated August 18th, 2018
$
Loan purpose
Offset account
Loan type
Your filter criteria do not match any product
Name Product Interest Rate (p.a.) Comp Rate^ (p.a.) Application Fee Ongoing Fees Max LVR Monthly Payment Short Description
3.74%
3.74%
$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.
3.49%
3.52%
$500
$0 p.a.
95%
This mortgage combines a very sharp interest rate with a 100% offset account and it's available with a 5% deposit.
3.59%
3.99%
$600
$395 p.a.
95%
Get interest rate discounts and waived fees on this package loan with a 100% offset account.
3.94%
3.99%
$600
$0 p.a.
95%
A low deposit mortgage for aspiring home owners. Fees are low and you can make extra repayments.
4.08%
4.09%
$0
$0 p.a.
95%
Special Owner Occupier Rate. Free Offset Account.
4.64%
4.69%
$600
$0 p.a.
95%
New customers can score a discounted rate and access to a redraw facility.
4.48%
4.70%
$595
$0 p.a.
95%
Discount off the standard variable rate and no application fee.
4.33%
4.34%
$0
$0 p.a.
95%
A special investment rate and an offset account.
3.94%
4.85%
$595
$0 p.a.
95%
Split you home loan for free with one of the lowest fixed home loan rates.
3.75%
4.92%
$0
$395 p.a.
95%
This 2 year fixed ANZ Breakfree Package rate comes with package discount and product bundle. Terms and conditions, package fee and fees, charges & eligibility criteria apply.
3.99%
4.93%
$0
$0 p.a.
95%
A low deposit investor mortgage with a discounted, competitive rate from one of the big 4 banks.
3.99%
4.00%
$0
$0 p.a.
95%
Commonwealth Bank are currently waiving the $600 establishment fee for customers who take out this home loan.
3.98%
4.30%
$0
$299 p.a.
95%
Borrow more than $1 million and enjoy a 100% offset account and rate discount.
3.99%
4.92%
$0
$395 p.a.
95%
Borrow up to 95% LVR (subject to approval) and fix your interest repayments for the next 3 years.
3.99%
4.90%
$0
$395 p.a.
95%
Pay no application fee and fix your interest for 3 years with this ANZ package home loan.
3.89%
4.94%
$0
$395 p.a.
95%
Fix your rate for 2 years and know your repayments giving you ease in budgeting.
3.89%
4.88%
$0
$395 p.a.
95%
Low deposit package loan with a range of discounts. Earn up to 500,000 Velocity Points to spend on flights, hotels and more.
4.19%
4.20%
$0
$0 p.a.
95%
Borrow up to 95% LVR and pay no application fee if your loan is over $150K for a limited time.
3.95%
5.43%
$0
$395 p.a.
95%
Fund your property portfolio with a low deposit package loan from ANZ. Bundle your loan with credit card and bank account for discounts.
3.99%
4.85%
$0
$395 p.a.
95%
Competitive fixed rate package loan. For a limited time you can earn Velocity Points to spend on hotels and flights.
4.24%
4.27%
$0
$0 p.a.
95%
Buy a home with just a 5% deposit and get flexible repayment options and a redraw facility.
4.09%
4.46%
$0
$350 p.a.
95%
4.10%
5.54%
$600
$10 monthly ($120 p.a.)
95%
Borrow up to 95% LVR and enjoy a 100% offset account with a low ongoing fee.
4.19%
5.46%
$0
$395 p.a.
95%
A package investment loan with a competitive, discounted interest rate and 0 application fees.
4.19%
5.37%
$0
$395 p.a.
95%
4.45%
4.85%
$0
$395 p.a.
95%
Pay no application fee with 100% offset account with redraw facility and borrow up to 95% LVR.
4.89%
4.90%
$0
$0 p.a.
95%
Borrow up to 95% LVR and pay no application fee if your loan is over $150K for a limited time.
4.39%
4.77%
$0
$395 p.a.
95%
A package home loan with 100% offset account.

Compare up to 4 providers

  • refinance home loanConsider specialist lenders. If you're looking to refinance and you've only built up a small amount of equity in your home, think about refinancing to specialist lenders or building societies. These lenders may have more lenient eligibility criteria when it comes to determining your serviceability potential. If you can demonstrate that you have enough savings, income or assets to service the loan, the lender may overlook the minimal amount of equity that you have.
  • Find a guarantor. With a small amount of equity in your existing home, you may want to refinance to a guarantor loan. This can boost your borrowing capacity as the guarantor essentially takes responsibility for servicing the loan if you default.
  • Independent valuation. If you can prove that your property has increased in value, then the lender may be more inclined to let you refinance and borrow a larger amount of funds.
  • Request a copy of credit file. With a small amount of equity, you present a larger risk to the lender. This is why it may be a good idea to take measures to trim your existing debt and clean up your credit file. If you can show the lender that you make a conscious effort to meet your repayments on time and make extra repayments in the past, then they may be more likely to approve your refinance application.

What's equity?

Equity refers to the portion of your property that you actually own, which can be worked out by subtracting the outstanding loan amount from the market value of the property.

Calculating your equity

Calculate your equity

For example, if you purchased a home for $450,000 with a $70,000 deposit and five years later had paid off $35,000 from your principal, you'd be left with a principal of $345,000. If your property had increased in value, let's say by 10%, you'd have $150,000 in equity in your home.

How to work out principal remaining

$450,000 (original purchase price) - $70,000 (deposit) = $380,000

$380,000 - $35,000 (amount of principal paid off after five years) = $345,000

10% (value increase) of $450,000 = $45,000

$450,000 + $45,000 = $495,000

$495,000 - $345,000 (principal remaining) = $150,000.

How much equity do I need to refinance?

The amount of equity that you need to refinance will depend on the lender's individual criteria. However, it's important to note that many loans come with a maximum LVR of 95%, which means you cannot borrow more than 95% of the value of your home.

As a result, if you wish to refinance you need to have at least 5% equity in your home. Generally, you need at least 20% equity build up in order to qualify for a refinanced mortgage.

If you've only had your existing home loan for 5-10 years, refinancing may be risky as you may not have built up enough equity to qualify with a new lender and switching lenders may not benefit you financially. This is why it may be important to speak with your accountant or mortgage broker to ensure that refinancing is the right decision for you.

Learn more about the amount of equity that you need to refinance your mortgage.

Why do we need equity to refinance or purchase a property?

Equity is important to a lender because it indicates the amount of risk you have as a borrower. A smaller amount of equity means you own less of your home and therefore means there's a greater chance that if you defaulted on your loan and had to sell your property, the value of the property wouldn't be enough to cover the outstanding principal.

Prior to the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), 100% loans where you needed no deposit were common within the home loan market. However, following the GFC, many banks have tightened their lending criteria as they recognise the importance for borrowers to complete a deposit as it protects the lender in the event that they default on the loan.

Marc Terrano

Marc Terrano is a content marketer manager at finder. He's been writing and publishing personal finance content for over five years and loves to help Australians get a better deal.

Was this content helpful to you? No  Yes

Related Posts

Home Loan Offers

Important Information*
UBank UHomeLoan Variable Rate - Discount offer for Owner Occupiers, P&I Borrowing over $200,000

Take advantage of a low-fee mortgage with a special interest rate of just 3.59% p.a. and a 3.59% p.a. comparison rate.

loans.com.au Essentials - Variable (Owner Occupier, P&I)

A competitive interest rate home loan with interest only options. Interest rate 3.64% p.a.
comp rate of 3.66% p.a.

Greater Bank Ultimate Home Loan - Discounted 1 Year Fixed LVR ≤90% ($150K+ Owner Occupier)

Loans over $150k get a discount off an already low fixed rate. Available for NSW, QLD and ACT residents only.

Newcastle Permanent Building Society Premium Plus Package Home Loan - New Customer Offer ($150k+ Owner Occupier, P&I) Discount 1

New borrowers or refinancers from another lender get a discounted rate with this package loan.

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Privacy & Cookies Policy and Terms of Use, Disclaimer & Privacy Policy.

4 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    JamesJuly 31, 2018

    I want to increase my mortgage with little equity to pay credit cards off. Is this possible?

    • finder Customer Care
      JeniAugust 9, 2018Staff

      Hi James,

      Thank you for getting in touch with finder.

      Yes, that is possible. If you’ve paid down your loan or your home has increased in value, you may be able to use your equity to refinance or increase your home loan. Refinancing to a debt consolidation loan involves reviewing your existing debts (and mortgage), and combining them into a new mortgage so that you have one monthly repayment, instead of several repayments.

      I suggest that you speak with your bank regarding this. In addition, you may learn more about refinancing your home loan to consolidate debt on this page.

      I hope this helps.

      Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any other enquiries.

      Thank you and have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Jeni

  2. Default Gravatar
    RachelAugust 21, 2014

    We want to refinance our mortgage.
    Current professional evaluation came in at $865,000 resale and we currently have a home loan of $715,000 and wish to increase it to $780,000.
    We also have a guarantor willing to put up an unmortgaged property over the loan. We have already been rejected by Westpac as they apparently don’t allow guarantee on a refinance only a new home purchase.
    I had never heard of this, please advise your thoughts……

    • finder Customer Care
      ShirleyAugust 22, 2014Staff

      Hi Rachel,

      Thanks for your question.

      In general, guarantors are designed to help first home buyers purchase a property. Some banks might not be able to offer this feature when it comes to refinancing.

      If you’d like, you might want to speak to a mortgage broker; they may be able to point you in the right direction and help you with your application.

      Cheers,
      Shirley

Ask a question
Go to site