Can I use super to buy a house?

A jar with cash in it on a table.

You cannot use superannuation to form a home loan deposit, unless you're a first home buyer who's made extra super contributions.

In Australia you can't just pull out your compulsory superannuation and use it to buy a house. But first home buyers are now able to access up to $30,000 of voluntary super contributions (extra super paid on top of your compulsory contributions) to use as a deposit on a home, and get some significant tax benefits as well.

There are two other ways you can use superannuation to get a property: using a self-managed super fund to a buy a property, or accessing your super before retirement.

The First Home Super Saver scheme explained

In 2017 the federal government announced a new scheme to help first home buyers get a deposit together for a property purchase. The scheme came into law on 1 July 2018 and applies to voluntary super contributions made since July 2017.

First home buyers can access up to $15,000 in super contributions per year up to $30,000 in total per person. A couple buying a house could therefore use up to $60,000 in voluntary superannuation contributions saved over two years. The biggest benefit of the scheme is that you can earn a higher rate of return on money in a super fund (compared to a savings account) while paying lower tax on the funds (just 15%) while lowering your pre-tax income if you salary sacrifice.

Read finder's full guide to the First Home Super Saver scheme

Buying a home through an SMSF

You can buy an investment property through your self-managed super fund (SMSF) but you can’t use your super balance to buy a home you're going to live in.

This is because superannuation is designed to fund your retirement, not to help you fund the essential purchases you make throughout your life. The purchase of an investment property is allowed because it gives you the potential to earn rental income and also take advantage of a capital gain when you sell the property, thereby increasing your retirement savings.

It’s also worth pointing out that there are limits on how much you can borrow when taking out an investment property loan through an SMSF, and the tax benefits of investing through super are different to when you invest using your own money.

Accessing your super before you retire

There are strict rules in place to prevent Australians accessing their superannuation balance before they retire. These rules are designed to stop Australians dipping into their super, ensuring that a greater percentage of the population has enough money to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle once they stop working.

In order to access your super before your retirement you’ll need to satisfy a condition of release. Some common examples that might allow you to access your super early are if you suffer a serious illness or disability, or if you are experiencing extreme financial hardship (including receiving Commonwealth income support payments).

Wanting to access your super so you can put down a deposit on a house is not a condition of release.

But it’s not all bad news. If you’ve reached the preservation age, which is 55 years for Australians born before July 1960, and at least 56 for people born after June 1960, the rules surrounding early access to your super aren’t quite as strict.

If you fit this category and you want to access your super benefits to put down a deposit on a house, there are two options you can consider to help you get the funds you need:

  • Retire. If you’ve reached your preservation age and you retire, you can withdraw your super benefits. However, you should be aware that you may need to pay tax on any super benefits you withdraw before reaching 60 years of age.
  • Set up a transition to retirement (TTR) pension. This option is designed to allow Australians who have reached their preservation age to keep working while also accessing some of their super benefits – you can withdraw between 4% and 10% of your pension account balance each year.

There is a range of financial and taxation implications to consider if you choose either of these approaches, so ask your accountant for their expert advice.

Want to find out more about super? Check out our super funds guide

If I can't use my super to get a house deposit what are my options?

If none of the options above work for you here are some other tips you can put into practice. These include:

Compare your mortgage options now

Rates last updated November 15th, 2018
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Name Product Interest Rate (p.a.) Comp Rate^ (p.a.) Application Fee Ongoing Fees Max LVR Monthly Payment Short Description
3.59%
3.59%
$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.
3.59%
3.61%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
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3.87%
3.91%
$600
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A home loan with no ongoing fee and a redraw facility that you can borrow up to 95% LVR.
3.64%
3.66%
$0
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80%
A simple mortgage with a competitive interest rate and no application or monthly fees. Borrow up to $2000000 from a convenient online lender.
3.57%
3.58%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Get a very low interest rate and avoid big fees. Apply online for full approval in under 30 minutes and add a 100% offset account for $10 a month.
3.54%
3.58%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Get a competitive rate, save on fees and access a 100% offset account plus redraw facility. $900 cashback offer.
3.68%
3.70%
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80%
This loan offers a competitive variable rate and a 100% offset account to help save you on interest repayments.
3.75%
3.80%
$600
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90%
Competitive variable rate mortgage with a partial offset account. Get this loan with a 10% deposit.
3.49%
4.57%
$0
$395 p.a.
90%
Loans over $150000 get a discount off an already low fixed rate. Available for NSW, QLD and ACT residents only.
3.54%
3.57%
$0
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80%
A competitive variable essentials interest rate product aimed at refinancers looking to switch to a lower rate.
3.68%
3.82%
$0
$10 monthly ($120 p.a.)
80%
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3.59%
4.00%
$845
$350 p.a.
90%
Get a low variable interest rate and buy a property with just a 10% deposit. 100% offset account attached.
3.88%
3.89%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
Save on interest with a free 100% offset account and buy your property with just a 10% deposit.
3.69%
4.86%
$0
$395 p.a.
90%
Special discounted rate for first home buyers. Start your home buying journey with 2 years of fixed repayments at a competitive rate plus package discounts. Available with a 10% deposit.
3.69%
4.12%
$0
$395 p.a.
80%
Unlock a range of savings with this competitive package home loan offer. Offset account and redraw facility included.
3.64%
3.64%
$0
$0 p.a.
70%
A low interest rate home loan with no application or ongoing fees.
3.68%
3.70%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
A competitive variable rate mortgage for owner occupiers that comes with a no fee debit card with a $5,000 limit.
3.79%
3.82%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
An essentials variable investor mortgage with a high borrowing amount so you can fund a large purchase.
3.75%
3.75%
$0
$0 p.a.
70%
A simple mortgage with no application or ongoing fees that has extra repayments plus split and redraw options. Requires a 30% deposit.
3.67%
3.72%
$600
$0 p.a.
80%
Family guarantee option available. Enjoy flexible repayments and a low minimum loan amount.
3.75%
4.72%
$0
$299 p.a.
95%
Owner-occupiers can enjoy a discounted fixed rate, a rate lock feature and the ability to make additional repayments.
3.64%
3.78%
$0
$10 monthly ($120 p.a.)
80%
Earn double Velocity Frequent Flyer Points on your mortgage for a limited time (subject to eligibility requirements). Plus, access a 100% offset account to save on interest.
3.74%
4.13%
$0
$349 p.a.
90%
Get a sharp rate plus package discounts and a 100% offset account.
3.79%
3.80%
$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. Plus $1,500 cashback offer for eligible refinancers.
3.84%
3.85%
$0
$0 p.a.
70%
Keep your LVR at 70% or below and enjoy a special discounted rate. Also, pay no application or ongoing fees.
3.64%
3.59%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Fast, 100% online application process. Very limited fees. Optional offset account (with fee).
3.79%
3.79%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Access an offset account and pay no application or ongoing fees on this special variable rate for owner-occupiers.
3.80%
3.80%
$0
$0 p.a.
70%
Earn tens of thousands of Qantas Points to spend on flights, hotels and more with this variable owner occupier mortgage. Competitive variable rate mortgage that requires a 30% deposit.
3.59%
3.99%
$600
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Get interest rate discounts and waived fees on this package loan with a 100% offset account.
3.71%
3.71%
$0
$0 p.a.
70%
A variable rate home loan that has a lot of flexible features. This loan has a 100% offset account.
3.72%
3.74%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Save on interest by taking advantage of a 100% offset account along with no ongoing fees or application fees.
3.85%
3.85%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Low fee loan with extra repayments. Pay no application and ongoing fees and take advantage of split and redraw options.
3.83%
4.89%
$0
$395 p.a.
80%
A flexible 3 year fixed rate loan you can use to buy your own home.
3.64%
3.64%
$0
$0 p.a.
70%
A basic variable home loan that offers a competitive interest rate with no application fees and no ongoing fees.
3.84%
3.84%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Pay no application or ongoing fees and get access to a free redraw facility with this innovative online lender.
3.87%
3.91%
$0
$10 monthly ($120 p.a.)
90%
Get Velocity Frequent Flyer Points at settlement, monthly and every three years, plus the option to make up to $10,000 a year in extra repayments.
3.59%
4.14%
$395
$0 p.a.
80%
A one year fixed rate offer with no ongoing bank fees.
3.84%
4.22%
$345
$0 p.a.
80%
Flexible, competitive variable rate that has flexible repayments, split and redraw facilities.
3.85%
4.69%
$0
$349 p.a.
90%
A package home loan with a sharp fixed rate and a 10% deposit option for low deposit borrowers.
3.70%
3.90%
$0
$0 p.a.
70%
Enjoy all the benefits of the Basic Home Loan and take advantage of an offset account.
3.85%
4.18%
$500
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95%
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3.74%
3.74%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
A basic owner-occupier home loan with a low variable rate that requires a 20% deposit.
3.72%
4.10%
$0
$395 p.a.
80%
New borrowers or refinancers can get a discounted rate with this package loan. Bonus $1,500 cashback for refinancers.
3.59%
3.58%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
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3.99%
4.13%
$0
$10 monthly ($120 p.a.)
80%
A competitive variable rate home loan with no application fee.
3.62%
3.62%
$0
$0 p.a.
95%
A low deposit mortgage with a competitive rate and plenty of flexibility. QLD residents only. Eligible borrowers can get a 15% discount on home and contents insurance for the life of their loan.
3.84%
3.82%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
A fixed rate loan with free redraws, few ongoing fees. Apply online with a fast approval process.
3.89%
3.94%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Pay no application or ongoing fee and borrow up to 80% LVR.
3.73%
3.87%
$0
$10 monthly ($120 p.a.)
80%
Borrow up to $500000 and earn Velocity Frequent Flyer Points (terms and conditions apply).
3.75%
4.00%
$0
$248 p.a.
70%
Borrowers with a 30% deposit can get this competitive rate. Cut down on interest costs with a 100% offset account.
3.69%
4.75%
$0
$395 p.a.
90%
Enjoy a competitive rate with no application fee for this package loan.
3.79%
4.87%
$0
$395 p.a.
95%
Low deposit home loan. Enjoy flexible repayment options while paying limited fees.
3.74%
3.74%
$0
$0 p.a.
110%
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3.81%
3.81%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
A home loan with a competitive rate and plenty of handy features. This product comes with a 100% offset account.
4.04%
4.07%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
For a limited time, pay no application or settlement fees. You can also take advantage of a free redraw facility.
3.97%
3.99%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Package your owner occupied loan with investment loan and receive a discounted investment rate. 100% offset account included.
3.69%
4.08%
$0
$349 p.a.
90%
Package your loan with other AMP products and save on rates and fees.
3.93%
3.94%
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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.
3.89%
3.91%
$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.
3.99%
5.35%
$600
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90%
Competitive rates for fixed for 3 years with redraw facility.
3.99%
3.99%
$0
$0 p.a.
70%
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3.89%
3.94%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
Borrow up to 90% of the value of the property you're buying, and pay no application fee.
4.13%
4.14%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
Access a fee-free offset account and a special interest rate for investors.
4.18%
4.18%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Investors get a 100% offset account and pay no application or ongoing fees on this loan from an innovative online lender.
3.72%
3.72%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
New customers can get a discounted variable rate and a fee-free redraw facility. NSW, QLD and ACT residents only.
3.94%
4.95%
$595
$0 p.a.
95%
Borrow up to 95% LVR of the value of the property you're buying and pay no application or ongoing fees.
3.74%
4.01%
$395
$0 p.a.
80%
A competitive fixed interest rate product with no ongoing bank fees.
3.70%
3.70%
$0
$0 p.a.
70%
Get a discount for keeping your LVR at $70% or below with this innovative online lender.
3.99%
4.86%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Access a fee-free 100% offset account and pay no application or ongoing fees.
3.99%
4.62%
$395
$0 p.a.
80%
Investors can enjoy flexible repayments and an easy application process with this pioneering online lender.
3.69%
4.54%
$0
$395 p.a.
90%
A fixed rate loan with a 100% offset account and the option to make additional repayments. Loans over $150000 receive a discounted rate. NSW, QLD and ACT residents only.
4.29%
4.26%
$0
$0 p.a.
95%
A competitive 3-year fixed rate loan with a high max insured LVR.
3.99%
3.99%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Get a discounted, low-fee investor loan from a convenient online lender. 20% deposit required.

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4 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    AARONApril 11, 2018

    Hi is it possible for me to use my superannuation as a deposit for my daughter to use as deposit for her house

    • finder Customer Care
      NikkiApril 11, 2018Staff

      Hi Aaron,

      Thanks for your message and for visiting finder – the leading comparison website & general information service built to give you advice in your buying decision needs. How are you doing today?

      Please note that we’re a product comparison website and we hold no affiliation with any company we feature on our site. We provide general information on products to assist you in your buying decision process hence we cannot recommend product / service that is rightfully fit for you.

      It’s possible to buy property through your self-managed super fund (SMSF)? However, you can’t use your super balance to buy a principal place of residence, only an investment property.

      This is due to the simple fact that superannuation is designed to fund your retirement, not to help you fund the essential purchases you make throughout your life. The purchase of an investment property is allowed because it gives you the potential to earn rental income and also take advantage of a capital gain when you sell the property, thereby increasing your retirement savings.

      It’s also worth pointing out that there are limits on how much you can borrow when taking out an investment property loan through an SMSF, and the tax benefits of investing through super are different to when you invest using your own money. The finder.com.au guide to investing in property through your SMSF explains all the ins and outs.

      In the case of purchasing the house for your daughter, you may consult this with a mortgage broker for technicalities. Otherwise, the property owner would be under you.

      Hope this helps! Feel free to message us anytime should you have further questions.

      Cheers,
      Nikki

  2. Default Gravatar
    KristinaJanuary 21, 2017

    I am 37 years old with a 14 month old daughter and another one due shortly.
    I was renting but couldn’t save for a house deposit so I have moved back to my parents with my partner to save. I still find it hard to save the money I need for a deposit quick enough and was wanting to see if I can access my super to take out enough for a deposit for a house.
    It’s hard to be all living in a house together with 4 adults and 2 kids.

    • finder Customer Care
      MayJanuary 23, 2017Staff

      Hi Kristina,

      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 so can only offer general advice.

      I’m afraid that currently, it’s not possible to use your super balance as a deposit to buy a principal place of residence. This is because your superannuation is designed to fund your retirement and not to help you fund the essential purchases you make throughout your life.

      If you’d like to check your options for a home loan, you’d be best to speak to a mortgage broker who will take all your circumstances into account and offer you a range of lending options.

      Regards,
      May

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