Sketch of a house and some home loan calculations under a coffee cup

Compare Australian Home Loans

Whether you’re getting your first home loan, refinancing or investing, Mozo’s home loan comparisons will help you get started. Try our easy-to-use comparison tool below to see interest rates and fees side-by-side, check deposit requirements or calculate loan repayments. 

With over 500 home loans from more than 80 lenders in Mozo’s database, our experts have done the hard work for you. All you have to do is start comparing!

Fact Checked

Home loan comparisons on Mozo - last updated 20 September 2021

Search promoted home loans below or do a full Mozo database search. Advertiser disclosure.
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    Mozo Experts Choice 2021
    Smart Booster Home Loan

    2 Year Discounted Variable Rate, Owner Occupier, Principal & Interest, <80% LVR

    interest rate
    comparison rate
    Initial monthly repayment
    1.85% p.a.variable for 24 months and then 2.25% p.a. variable
    2.21% p.a.

    New super low introductory rate home loan for two years. Min 20% deposit. No monthly or ongoing fees. Fast settlement times. Mozo award-winning online lender. Friendly, local Australian based team.

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    Mozo Experts Choice 2021
    UHomeLoan

    Owner Occupier, Principal & Interest

    interest rate
    comparison rate
    Initial monthly repayment
    1.85% p.a.
    fixed 3 years
    2.24% p.a.

    $0 fees and easy application. Choose between weekly, fortnightly or monthly repayments. 3 year fixed rates are for new Owner Occupier Principal & Interest loans.

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  • Hot DealFor a chance to win $100K towards your home loan, apply with Athena before Oct 31 & approved by Dec 15 (Please read the full T&C's)
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    Mozo Experts Choice 2021
    Celebrate Variable Home Loan

    <60% LVR, Owner Occupier, Principal & Interest

    interest rate
    comparison rate
    Initial monthly repayment
    1.99% p.a. variable
    1.99% p.a.

    Fast and efficient online application. Automatic discounts as loan is paid down. Free extra repayments and redraw facility. Zero fees. Min 40% deposit required. Winner of three Mozo Expert's Choice Awards for 2021.

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    Variable Home Loan

    Owner Occupier, Principal & Interest

    interest rate
    comparison rate
    Initial monthly repayment
    1.99% p.a. variable
    1.99% p.a.

    Refinance only. Super-fast digital application process. Zero upfront fees. No on-going service fees. Free 100% offset sub account. Apply Online & Refinance before 29 October 2021 for the chance to WIN your home loan interest free - Save up to $1.1 million. T&Cs apply.

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    Basic Home Loan

    Fixed, Owner Occupier, Principal & Interest, LVR<70%

    interest rate
    comparison rate
    Initial monthly repayment
    2.09% p.a.
    fixed 3 years
    2.32% p.a.

    No upfront or ongoing fees. Free extra repayments and redraw facility. Option to earn Qantas points. Min 30% deposit required. Borrow up to $750,000.

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    Details
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    Mozo Experts Choice 2021
    Variable Home Loan Special

    Owner Occupier, Principal & Interest, LVR <70%

    interest rate
    comparison rate
    Initial monthly repayment
    1.99% p.a. variable
    2.02% p.a.

    Special rate applies to home loan applications submitted by 31 October 2021. Unlimited additional repayments, free redraw, 100% offset account. 30% deposit required. Simple online application. Low Cost Home Loan winner in the Mozo Expert's Choice Awards for 2021.

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  • Hot Deal$3,000 cashback offer when you refinance your home loan to BOQ. To qualify, apply by 31 October 2021, T&Cs apply.
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    Economy Variable Home Loan

    Owner Occupier, Principal & Interest, <70% LVR, Debt to Income ratio <6

    interest rate
    comparison rate
    Initial monthly repayment
    1.98% p.a. variable
    2.15% p.a.

    An ongoing low variable interest rate with free redraw, flexible repayment options and one free valuation. Discounted Economy variable rate available for owner occupier lending with max LVR of 70%.

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    Details
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    Special Fixed Rate Home Loan

    Owner Occupier, Principal & Interest

    interest rate
    comparison rate
    Initial monthly repayment
    1.89% p.a.
    fixed 2 years
    3.67% p.a.

    Lock in a low fixed rate or choose to split your loan between fixed and variable. Insurance discounts and no fee credit card or zero fee personal loan available. $2,000 cashback offer for investor & owner occupied home loans over $250k with LVR ≤80% when refinancing to Newcastle Permanent. Limited time offer extended, T&Cs apply.

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  • Hot DealGet a decision on your application fast
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    Prime Home Loan

    Owner Occupier, Principal & Interest, LVR <70%

    interest rate
    comparison rate
    Initial monthly repayment
    2.44% p.a. variable
    2.49% p.a.

    Competitive low variable rates for borrowers with 30% deposit. Flexible home loan with no ongoing fees. Extra repayments and redraw available. Get a dedicated specialist for the loan application process.

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    Discount Variable Home Loan

    Owner Occupier, LVR<70%, over $700,000

    interest rate
    comparison rate
    Initial monthly repayment
    2.39% p.a. variable
    2.44% p.a.

    No monthly administration fees. Ability to make extra repayments and redraws. A great low rate. No ongoing fees. Experience the difference this established bank has to offer.

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    Mozo Experts Choice 2021
    Fixed Rate Home Loan

    Owner Occupier, Principal & Interest, LVR<80%

    interest rate
    comparison rate
    Initial monthly repayment
    1.99% p.a.
    fixed 3 years
    2.59% p.a.

    Competitive fixed rates across 1 to 5 year terms. No application fee or annual fee. Free extra repayments (up to $10,000 per year). Winner of Australia's Best Large Mutual Bank 2021.

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    Details
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    Fixed Rate Loan

    Owner Occupier, Principal & Interest

    interest rate
    comparison rate
    Initial monthly repayment
    1.89% p.a.
    fixed 2 years
    4.04% p.a.

    No annual or ongoing monthly fees. Fee free extra repayments. Free redraw facility.

    Compare
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    Details
  • Hot DealReceive $3,000 cashback when you refinance to ING, apply by 30 Sep 2021, settle by 31 Dec 2021 (T&Cs apply).
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    Fixed Rate Loan with Orange Advantage

    Owner Occupiers, Principal & Interest, LVR <80%

    interest rate
    comparison rate
    Initial monthly repayment
    1.84% p.a.
    fixed 2 years
    3.73% p.a.

    Know exactly what your repayments will be, and you can fix your rate for up to 5 years. No monthly, annual fee or transaction fees. Receive $3,000 cashback when you refinance your home loan from another lender, apply by 30 Sep 2021, settle by 31 Dec 2021 (T&Cs apply).

    Compare
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    Green Home Loan

    Owner Occupier

    interest rate
    comparison rate
    Initial monthly repayment
    2.08% p.a. variable
    2.36% p.a.

    Great low rate on investment loans when you package with your owner-occupied loan.

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    UHomeLoan (1 Yr Fixed)

    Owner Occupier, Principal & Interest

    interest rate
    comparison rate
    Initial monthly repayment
    1.79% p.a.
    fixed 1 year
    2.32% p.a.

    Fast, easy to apply and no ongoing fees. Choose between weekly, fortnightly or monthly repayments. 1 year fixed rates are for new Owner Occupier Principal & Interest loans.

    Compare
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    Equity Plus

    Owner Occupier, Principal & Interest, LVR <60%

    interest rate
    comparison rate
    Initial monthly repayment
    1.87% p.a. variable
    1.90% p.a.

    Low rate variable home loan with optional offset. Free online redraw. No valuation fee. Purchase, refinance or equity release purposes allowed. Min 40% deposit.

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    Mozo Experts Choice 2021
    Liberate Variable Home Loan

    70-80% LVR, Owner Occupier, Principal & Interest

    interest rate
    comparison rate
    Initial monthly repayment
    2.19% p.a. variable
    2.08% p.a.

    Fast online application with no fees. Free extra repayments and redraw facility. Min 20% deposit. Athena automatically lowers the rate as the loan is paid down. Winner of three Mozo Expert's Choice Awards for 2021.

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    Variable Home Loan

    Owner Occupier, Interest Only

    interest rate
    comparison rate
    Initial monthly repayment
    2.49% p.a. variable
    2.17% p.a.

    Refinance only. Super-fast digital application process. Zero upfront fees. No on-going service fees. Free 100% offset sub account. Comes with Visa debit card and the ability to use digital wallets; Apple and Google Pay. 25% deposit required.

    Compare
    Go to site
    Details
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    Fixed Rate Home Loan

    Owner Occupier, Principal & Interest, LVR <80%

    interest rate
    comparison rate
    Initial monthly repayment
    2.09% p.a.
    fixed 3 years
    2.86% p.a.

    Ability to split your home loan between Fixed and Variable. Dedicated Relationship Manager. Min 20% deposit. Refinancers borrowing $250,000 or more could receive $3,288 cashback (T&Cs, eligibility and lending criteria apply).

    Compare
    Go to site
    Details
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    Basic Home Loan

    Owner Occupier, LVR<60%, Principal & Interest

    interest rate
    comparison rate
    Initial monthly repayment
    2.14% p.a. variable
    2.14% p.a.

    Competitive low variable rate. No application or account management fees. Flexibility to split your loan and set different repayment types. Fee free withdrawals of your savings.

    Compare
    Go to site
    Details
  • Hot Deal$3,000 cashback offer when you refinance your home loan to BOQ. To qualify, apply by 31 October 2021, T&Cs apply.
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    Mozo Experts Choice 2021
    Discount Fixed Rate

    Owner Occupier, Principal & Interest, <80% LVR

    interest rate
    comparison rate
    Initial monthly repayment
    1.99% p.a.
    fixed 2 years
    3.07% p.a.

    Lock in a competitive rate for 2 years. Only 20% deposit required. Flexible repayment options and make up to $5,000 in additional repayments annually. Refinance to BOQ by 31 October 2021 and get $3,000 cashback (T&Cs apply).

    Compare
    Details
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    Fixed Home Loan Special Offer

    Owner Occupier, Principal & Interest, <80% LVR

    interest rate
    comparison rate
    Initial monthly repayment
    1.89% p.a.
    fixed 2 years
    2.85% p.a.

    Competitive low fixed rates for owner occupiers. No monthly account keeping or loan establishment fees. 20% deposit required. Get $3K cash when you refinance to a Suncorp Bank home loan of $750K+ with LVR <= 90%. Apply by 30/11/21, settle by 28/02/22. (T&Cs apply).

    Compare
    Go to site
    Details
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    Smart Home Loan 80

    Owner Occupier, Principal & Interest

    interest rate
    comparison rate
    Initial monthly repayment
    2.48% p.a. variable
    2.50% p.a.

    Low-rate variable home loan that could save you thousands. No ongoing fees. Unlimited extra repayments and free redraws. Maximum borrowing $1 million and at least a 20% deposit required.

    Compare
    Go to site
    Details
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    Well Balanced Fixed

    Owner Occupier, Principal & Interest, LVR <80%

    interest rate
    comparison rate
    Initial monthly repayment
    1.84% p.a.
    fixed 1 year
    2.01% p.a.

    Super low fixed rate and only 20% deposit required. Optional 100% offset account. Free extra repayments and redraw facility. Flexible repayment schedule.

    Compare
    Go to site
    Details

^See information about the Mozo Experts Choice Home loans Awards

*WARNING: This comparison rate applies only to the example or examples given. Different amounts and terms will result in different comparison rates. Costs such as redraw fees or early repayment fees, and cost savings such as fee waivers, are not included in the comparison rate but may influence the cost of the loan. The comparison rate displayed is for a secured loan with monthly principal and interest repayments for $150,000 over 25 years.

Mozo provides general product information. We don't consider your personal objectives, financial situation or needs and we aren't recommending any specific product to you. You should make your own decision after reading the PDS or offer documentation, or seeking independent advice.

While we pride ourselves on covering a wide range of products, we don't cover every product in the market. If you decide to apply for a product through our website, you will be dealing directly with the provider of that product and not with Mozo.

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News

September home loan rates update 

Ultra-low home loan rates continue to support the property market, but the prospect of increased funding costs is already forcing many lenders to reverse course.

Increases to long-term fixed rates have made up the majority of changes we’ve recorded in recent months, lifting the average 4-year rate among lenders we track to 2.58% p.a. and the average 5-year rate to 2.79% p.a.

As for variable home loan rates, Reduce Home Loans currently leads among lenders we track with rates as low as 1.88% p.a. (1.97% p.a. comparison rate*) for owner occupiers. Meanwhile, the best value investor loan comes from Queensland Country Bank, which offers rates as low as 1.99% p.a. (2.39% p.a. comparison rate*).

While pressure to raise fixed rates mounts, lenders have taken to cutting variable rates to retain their competitive edge. In fact, there were enough cuts last month to bring the average variable rate for owner occupiers down to 3.15% p.a. — the lowest it has been since we began tracking in 2015.

A handful of lenders have also rolled out lower rates for borrowers with debt to income ratios of less than six. Given the prolonged lockdowns and economic uncertainty, we might see more lenders targeting less risky borrowers in the coming months.

Updated by:Niko Iliakis, home loans writer, 3 September, 2021.

Home loan comparison made easy

Show transcript

Getting the best deal on your home loan

Saving you money is the reason we get out of bed in the morning, here at Mozo. One of the best ways to save some serious money is to get the best deal you possibly can on your home loan. For buyers entering the market, or those looking to refinance, that means researching the lowest rate on the market, from a range of credible lenders.

Naturally, we think we know the best place to do that.

Our comparison tables show important info, like interest rates and fees, to help you compare loans, side by side.

Knowing your repayment amount is vital to ensure you can afford the loan. To get an instant estimate of your repayments simply enter the amount you want to borrow in the Mozo calculator and the repayment amount will appear right in the table.

If this is all new to you, there’s a stack of info in the home loan guides. Things like how much deposit you’ll need and handy features like an offset account, which is a great way you can use your savings to reduce the amount of interest you pay. If you already have a mortgage, chances are you haven’t thought about it again, beyond making your monthly repayments. By refinancing your home loan, you could make serious savings. It’s surprising to know that most people never think of this, despite finding a multitude of ways to save money elsewhere.

It does take research and some work to refinance, but not really more than you spend shopping for other… things.

Head to Mozo.com.au to find out how you can save serious money and get the best deal on your home loans.

These days there are plenty of home loan options on the market, which means there’s sure to be one that suits your needs. Mozo’s simple comparison tools can help you find it.

We compare home loans from lenders all over Australia to help you find the best mortgage rates, whether you’re buying your first family home, refinancing, or adding to your property portfolio.

What is a home loan? 

A home loan (or mortgage) is money borrowed from a bank or lender to fund the purchase of a property. 

Australia has one of the most expensive real estate markets in the world, so the vast majority of people who want to buy a home will need to take out a loan to do so.

Borrowed money is paid off in instalments over a 25 to 30 year period. During this time, you will pay back the loan principal (the amount borrowed) plus interest (the rate charged by your bank to borrow money).

Every cent that you can save on interest and fees is more money that can be put towards paying off your home loan. This is why it’s so important to do your research and compare what’s currently on the market before making any decisions.

How are home loan interest rates calculated?

On the first Tuesday of every month (except for January), the Reserve Bank of Australia meets to decide whether official interest rates, also known as the cash rate, should be changed.

Increases or decreases to the cash rate have important implications for the Australian economy, as they have direct and indirect effects on things like spending, employment, investment and inflation. 

Importantly, the cash rate serves as a benchmark rate for home loans, meaning any changes will usually flow through to mortgage holders in the form of higher or lower rates. 

That said, it’s one of many factors that inform banks’ pricing decisions (including market competition, funding costs, and shareholder returns), and out-of-cycle rate changes are not uncommon. Even in the event of an RBA cut banks are not necessarily obligated to pass it on to customers in full.

How much should I save as a deposit?

Banks and lenders recommend that you have at least 20% of a property’s value saved up for a deposit. That means if you intend to buy a home that’s valued at $800,000, you should ideally have $160,000 upfront. This gives you a loan-to-value ratio (LVR) of 80%. 

The good news is that many lenders offer loans that allow you to borrow up to 95% of the property value. 

However, this will require you to purchase Lenders Mortgage Insurance, which protects your lender in case you default on your loan. LMI can cost up to 3% of your home loan amount, and will be included either as an upfront cost or built into your loan repayments.

How do I apply for a home loan?

The question of how to take out a mortgage might feel completely overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be. Here are four steps to follow in the process of applying for a home loan.

Step 1: Figure out what type of mortgage you need

This is the question of whether you plan to live in the home you buy, making you an owner occupier, or rent it out as an investment property. You’ll see these different borrower types listed on home loans, so it’s clear what is available to you.

Owner occupiers and investors are usually offered varying interest rates and mortgage features to match their circumstances and the risks associated with each.

Step 2: Compare home loan interest rates and features

When comparing home loans, advertised interest rates offer a handy starting point but it's the comparison rate you should pay attention to. This combines the interest rate with most other associated fees, giving you the 'true' cost of the loan. 

Mozo’s home loan comparison tables show these costs across numerous mortgages side-by-side. You’ll also be able to see the differences between fixed and variable rate home loans (more on this later).

You should also compare home loan features available between lenders’ products. This includes things like being able to make free extra repayments on the loan and redraw on that cash without penalty, splitting the loan between fixed and variable rates, and having access to an offset account (more details about these features below).

How to compare home loans

Step 3: Find out how much you can borrow

The process of figuring out what size loan you’re eligible for before putting down a deposit is known as mortgage ‘pre-approval’ or ‘conditional approval’. While it’s not a guarantee you’ll be granted the loan, it does give you a ballpark figure of how much you can borrow from specific lenders for a better idea of your buying budget. 

To get mortgage pre-approval you’ll need to supply documents that show you can manage your finances well, making you a reliable borrower. This includes:

  • Proof of income (like payslips & tax returns)

  • Bank statements & proof of savings (i.e. your home loan deposit)

  • A list of your current assets (like a car or investments) and liabilities (like credit card or personal loan debt)

  • Multiple forms of ID (e.g. driver’s license, passport, birth certificate & Medicare card)

Some borrowers wait to approach lenders until after they’ve put a deposit down on a home. Generally, this will involve signing a contract with the seller known as a ‘finance clause’ which states the sale is dependent on you securing a loan within a set time period. 

Without this you could be at risk of losing your deposit or even being sued if you can’t come up with the money. You may want to employ a conveyancer (lawyers who specialise in property law) at this time to guide you through the contract of sale and other legal preparations with your lender.

Step 4: Prepare the mortgage application

Once you’ve settled on a lender and home loan, it’s time to get into the practical side of applying for a mortgage. Whether you’re doing it off the back of pre-approval or applying after putting down a deposit, the application process will usually involve:

  • An assessment by the lender of your current financial situation

  • You officially submitting your application for a home loan to the lender

  • The lender completing a valuation of the property you intend to buy

  • The lender approving the loan and sending an offer (or rejecting the application)

Then the loan will be settled and the funds advanced to you for this very big, important purchase. Before settlement, your conveyancer or solicitor will organise the necessary legal checks to transfer the property title from the seller to you, and communicate with your lender around the supplying of funds.

Should I pick a fixed or variable rate?

When signing up for a home loan, you’ll have two types of interest rate to choose from: variable or fixed. A variable rate can fluctuate over the life of the home loan, while a fixed rate stays the same for a set period. 

Variable rate home loans

A home loan with a variable rate can be increased or decreased at your lender’s discretion, either in response to decisions by the RBA or simply due to business demands. 

Even a modest increase will translate to higher repayments, so make sure you have a strong idea about where rates are heading before you sign up.

Variable rate home loans tend to suit borrowers who prefer flexibility and aren't too concerned about their interest rate going up or down over the course of the loan. Some of the main benefits are:

  • They often come with more features than fixed rate loans, such as offset accounts and redraw facilities.

  • Most allow you to make extra repayments without being penalised, meaning you can pay off your loan ahead of schedule.

  • Your repayments will decrease if your bank decides to lower rates.

Fixed rate home loans

A fixed rate home loan lets you lock in a rate for a set period of time (usually between one and five years). This ensures your repayments will remain the same for the duration of the fixed period.

Some of the main benefits of fixed rates are:

  • Knowing exactly how much you’ll be paying each month can be useful, particularly if you don’t have much wiggle room in your budget.

  • Recent activity by the Reserve Bank has seen fixed rates overtake variable rates as the cheaper of the two. Among lenders we track, the average 2-year fixed rate currently sits at 2.25% p.a.

Of course, locking in your rate means you won't see any benefits if rates fall. Fixed rate loans can also be less flexible than variable options when it comes to making extra repayments, and high fees might apply if you pay out the loan early.

You should also be mindful of the revert rate. This is the variable rate that automatically kicks in once your fixed term expires. As it’s usually much higher than the market rate, it pays to shop around or negotiate a better deal with your lender before the fixed term ends.

What types of home loan repayments can be made? 

Like it or not, you’ll need to pay back the money you’ve borrowed with your home loan. To do that, most lenders will offer borrowers two different types of repayment options: principal and interest repayments or interest-only repayments. 

  • Making principal and interest repayments means that you’ll be paying back both the principal (the amount you borrowed) and the interest (what the lender charges for the privilege of borrowing that money). This type of loan is usually the most common for owner-occupiers.

  • Interest-only repayments only cover the ‘interest’ portion of the loan, meaning you won’t be making a dent into the ‘principal’ portion. Interest-only loans also generally come with higher rates than principal and interest loans, plus they can only be made for a limited time (e.g. 5 years) before borrowers are required to switch over to principal and interest repayments. These loans are usually more popular with property investors. 

What home loan features are available in Australia?

Important features to consider when comparing home loans include extra repayments, redraw, offset account and split loan functionality. 

Basic features like the ability to make free extra repayments are quite standard these days, even among the cheaper home loans on the market. However, if you want an offset account you may find your choice of home loan more limited.

Below are the main features to look out for:

  • Free extra repayments: Making extra contributions to your loan reduces your outstanding balance at a faster pace, potentially saving you thousands in interest over the long-run. Most variable rate loans allow you to make extra repayments; while some fixed rate loans offer this feature, annual limits might apply.

  • Redraw facility: On loans they allow you to make extra repayments, a redraw facility will often be available in the event you need to retrieve those funds. 

  • Split loan: If you can't decide between the certainty of a fixed rate and the flexibility (and features) of a variable rate, consider splitting your loan. This will divide your loan into two smaller accounts, one assigned a fixed rate and the other a variable rate. 

  • Offset account: An offset account functions like a normal bank account, except that every dollar held there is offset against your loan amount. So if you have a home loan of $500,000 and have $10,000 savings in your offset, you’ll only be charged interest on $490,000.

Home Loan Offset Account

How much money will I be able to borrow?

The amount a bank will agree to lend you to purchase property depends on a number of factors, chief among them your serviceability. To calculate your serviceability, banks will examine your after-tax income as well as any expenses and liabilities.

Your spending habits over the three months prior to applying for a home loan will be scrutinised quite heavily, so if you want to increase your borrowing power you’ll need to show you can be responsible with your money and rein in any unnecessary expenses.

Banks will also add a buffer to your interest rate to account for any future interest rate hikes. That means if you sign up for a home loan with an interest rate of 2.5% p.a., you might be assessed on your ability to pay it off at 5% p.a.

Before you set your heart on a property, use our home loan borrowing calculator to get an idea of how much a bank might lend you.

Do home loans come with fees?

There are a number of fees that may apply to your home loan and which you’ll need to budget for. These include:

  • Application fee: This is an upfront fee that you pay in order to first apply for a home loan.

  • Service fee: This might be charged monthly or annually, and covers the cost of maintaining your loan. Generally, the more bells and whistles are included in your loan, the more likely it is to include a service fee.

  • Legal, valuation and settlement fees: These fees cover the cost of legal paperwork, as well as the cost for someone to value your property and be present at the settlement of your loan.

  • Discharge fee: You might wind up paying a discharge fee when you pay your loan off in full.

  • Feature fees: Some loans charge a fee for use of certain features, such as a redraw facility, offset account or the ability to make extra repayments.

What’s the difference between home loan lenders? 

There are plenty of mortgage lenders to choose from in Australia, all of which are subject to relevant regulations and guidelines enforced by the likes of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA).  

In fact, we track 500 home loan rates from 80 lenders right here in the Mozo database. Each lender is different, but they can be broadly split up into categories which will cater to the needs of different borrowers.

The Big Four 

ANZ, Commonwealth Bank, NAB and Westpac are all significant players in the mortgage market, accounting for a large proportion of home loans in the country. 

Aside from name recognition, part of the appeal of the major banks is the wide range of home loan products they have available, plus the extensive branch networks and customer service teams that mortgage customers can utilise. 

The downside of the big four is that they don’t always offer the most competitive interest rates, which can make a lot of difference when you’re paying off a loan for more than 20 years. For this reason, it’s always a good idea to compare their offers to those of other lenders on a regular basis. 

Large and ‘challenger’ banks

There are also plenty of large or ‘challenger’ banks that offer home loans to Australians - many of which will be just as familiar as the big four:  

Like the major banks, these lenders often have extensive customer service operations or  branches, plus well developed apps and online platforms. Some of the challenger banks above also offer more competitive rates than the big four on many of their home loans. 

Mutual banks and credit unions

One of the strengths of our banking system is the abundance of mutual banks and credit unions which not only cater to Australians in specific regions or industries, but really focus on their customers and the competitiveness of their banking products - including home loans. 

There are plenty out there (we’re tracking over 50 in our database) including the likes of Bank Australia, Great Southern Bank, Heritage Bank, Newcastle Permanent, Peoples Choice, Qudos Bank and Teachers Mutual Bank.

Online or specialist lenders 

This last group of online or ‘specialist’ lenders aren’t banks, as they tend to only offer home loans, but they’re still subject to strict credit legislation governed by ASIC. 

Because they operate predominantly online with fewer overheads the major benefit is that they are able to offer some of the lowest home loan rates on the market, plus they often have quick and simple application processes. Some of Australia’s online lenders include Athena, Homestar, loans.com.au, Tic:Toc, Yard and Well Home Loans

Is there any help for first home buyers?

There are a number of Australian state and federal government programs in place to help first home buyers break into the property market. These include: 

  • First Home Loan Deposit Scheme

  • First Home Owners Grant

  • Family Home Guarantee

  • First Home Super Saver Scheme

Many of these can be used in tandem with other grants and concessions you might be eligible for, potentially allowing you to purchase a home even sooner. We explore the main ones below.

First Home Loan Deposit Scheme

The First Home Loan Deposit Scheme (FHLDS) lets eligible first home buyers purchase a home with a deposit of as little as 5%, with the remaining amount guaranteed by the government.

As part of the 2021-22 Federal Budget, the Australian Government announced it will make an additional 10,000 places available on 1 July 2021. This version of the scheme will be known as the New Home Guarantee, and will cater specifically to first home buyers building or purchasing new homes.

To apply, you’ll need to register your interest with a participating lender or one of their authorised representatives, such as a mortgage broker. 

First Home Owners Grant

The First Home Owners Grant (FHOG) is a national scheme that subsidises the purchase or construction of homes that are newly built, substantially renovated or purchased off the plan. 

Like the FHLDS, it is only available to those who have not owned a home or other residential property before. The amount on offer will differ depending on the state or territory and whether you’re purchasing or building a new home, so be sure to look over the details on the relevant revenue office website.

Family Home Guarantee

Announced as part of the 2021-22 Federal Budget, the Family Home Guarantee will allow single parents to purchase a property with a deposit of as little as 2%. It is due to commence on 1 July 2021, and hopes to eliminate some of the obstacles single parents face when saving to purchase a home.

To qualify, applicants must be single parents with dependents, above the age of 18, and have an annual taxable income below $125,000. Property price thresholds will apply, with amounts varying between capital cities, regional centres with a population of more than 250,000, and other regional areas.

Importantly, the scheme can be used to purchase new builds or existing homes, and is open to both first home buyers and those re-entering the market.

 

Picture of JP Pelosi
JP Pelosi
Managing editor

Jean-Paul (JP) Pelosi is an experienced journalist and editor who has contributed to many of Australia's leading media outlets including The Guardian, News.com.au, Domain.com.au, Investment Magazine and ANZ's Bluenotes. He has also edited news and communications for large financial services companies such as CommBank, Suncorp, Allianz and Amex. He loves a well told story and applying his editorial experience to content that readers both care about and enjoy. JP heads up our writing team.

Home loan FAQs

What is a home loan? 

A home loan or mortgage is a loan agreement between a borrower and a lender for the purpose of buying a home or property. Australia has some of the most expensive real estate in the world, so for the majority of people who want to purchase a property, they need to borrow money from a bank or lender to do it.

Why should I take out a home loan?

Property is among life’s biggest investments. So a home loan is typically used to finance your home or investment property so that you don't need to pay the entire amount upfront. As the borrower, you will then pay back the loan - with interest and principal - over a period of time through a series of ‘repayments’. The lender is usually listed on the title of the property until the borrower repays the entire loan.

Who has the best home loans in Australia?

According to Mozo's analysis of the home loan market for the 2021 Mozo Experts Choice Home Loans Awards, competition is fierce among Australia's lenders. Some award winners for the best low cost home loan in 2021 include :

  • loans.com.au - Smart Booster home loan
  • Athena - Liberate Home Loan
  • Tic:tok - Variable Home Loan
  • Homestar - Essential Home Loan
  • Ubank - UHomeloan

To learn more, you can read product reviews of Australia's Best Home Loans or view the full list of Mozo Experts Choice Home Loan Award winners.  

What is the typical length of a mortgage?

In Australia, the most common length of a mortgage is 25 or 30 years. Borrowers are able to select a loan term that is less than this as long as they can afford to make the repayments.

If you're opting for an interest only home loan, lenders will generally only let you take out this loan for a limited time period (usually 5 years) after which you'll be moved across to paying off an interest and principle loan for the remainder of the mortgage.

Am I eligible for a home loan?

There are heaps of home loans on offer these days, designed to cater to a wide variety of borrowers and their needs. That means that if you’re over 18 years old and an Australian citizen or resident, chances are you’ll be able to find a mortgage suitable for you.

The best home loan rates are often reserved for the best quality borrowers, but how does a lender determine whether you're good quality or not? Much of it comes down to what type of borrower you are and how much deposit you have. Owner occupier borrowers looking for a principal and interest loan can generally access the lowest rates. By contrast, investor borrowers and those after an interest only home loan may find they have to pay higher interest rates.

Lenders also look at a number of factors including your credit history, your income, your regular expenses and other financial commitments and how much you’re hoping to borrow when deciding whether you’re a reliable borrower.

How are monthly home loan repayments calculated?

There are two different types of home loan repayments: interest-only and principal and interest. Which one you choose will make a difference to your monthly repayments.

  • Interest-only

An interest-only home loan is just what it sounds like - your monthly repayments will only be paying off the interest you owe, and not chipping away at your principal loan amount. While this means your monthly repayments will be lower, keep in mind you’ll also wind up with the lump loan amount to pay off at the end.

The other thing to remember is that usually, an interest-only term lasts for up to 5 years - after that, your lender may let you roll over into another interest-only term, or you might have to start making principal and interest repayments.

  • Principal and interest loans

This is what’s called an amortizing loan, which means your bank has done the math so that if you pay the same amount each month of your loan, by the end of the loan term, you’ll have paid off all the interest, along with the initial loan principal.

This means that your monthly repayments will be a bit higher than with an interest-only loan, but the good news is you won’t have a lump sum to pay off at the end.

What is LVR?

LVR stands for loan-to-value ratio, and reflects as a percentage the deposit you hold against the value of the property you intend to buy. This figure is also known as the equity you hold in a property, and can influence how much you’re able to borrow for a home loan as well as the interest rates and fees you’re offered by lenders.

Let’s say a borrower is looking to buy a home worth $750,000 and they have $60,000 to put towards the purchase. Their loan-to-value ratio would be 92%, as the deposit is 8% of the property’s value. 

Generally, headline mortgage rates are aimed at borrowers with a minimum 80% LVR, as having this much of a deposit or equity signals that you’re more likely to be a reliable borrower and pay back what’s owed. However, those with higher LVRs are generally still able to take out home loans (often at higher interest rates) by paying additional fees like lenders mortgage insurance or getting a guarantor as a kind of security on the loan.

What home loan features will help me save money?

A home loan is a huge financial commitment, so every dollar you can save makes a difference! Apart from finding an offer with a killer interest rate, there are a few money-saving home loan features that you can look for when choosing a mortgage.

  • Free extra repayments. One of the most common features included with home loans is the chance to make free extra repayments. By using any spare cash you have to pay a bit more off your loan, you’re lowering your loan amount quicker, and therefore saving on interest. Check out our extra repayments calculator to see how much of a difference it will make.
  • Redraw facility. While having access to a redraw facility won’t necessarily save you money, it is handy to have. If you’ve been making extra repayments and find you need that money back for an unexpected bill, you can get it through the redraw facility.
  • Offset account. An offset account is a great, low effort way to save on interest. It works more or less like a normal bank account, except that every dollar in your account is offset against your loan amount, so that you pay less interest.
  • Split rate option. Another common feature is the option to have half of your loan on a fixed rate, and the other half on a variable rate. This means you can get the best of both worlds - the certainty of fixed rate repayments, combined with the flexibility (and often lower interest rate) of a variable loan.

One last thing to remember - variable rate loans usually come with more features and flexibility than fixed rate options, which might not include any of these features.

What is the comparison rate?

The comparison rate is shown next to the interest rate in our table and is designed to help you get an accurate idea of the ‘true’ cost of a home loan. It takes into account both interest and guaranteed fees that apply to a loan.

There are a lot of different home loans options out there, but when you compare based on the comparison rate, you know you’re looking at different options on equal footing.

One thing to remember is that the comparison rate can’t reflect things like offset accounts or other features that might save you money, so while it’s an important part of home loan comparison, it’s not the only thing you need to consider.

You should also keep in mind that the comparison rates shown in Mozo’s tables are based on a specific example of a secured loan of $150,000 with monthly principal and interest repayments over 25 years, just to help you compare your options. You’ll likely have a different loan amount or loan term, so your personal comparison rate may be considerably different to what’s shown here.

How much stamp duty will I need to pay? 

The amount of stamp duty that you'll need to pay depends on a number of factors. Each Australian state and territory has different stamp duty rates and concessions so to help you to find out how much you'll need to pay, we've developed a range of Stamp Duty Calulators to help you crunch the numbers:

What is Lender’s Mortgage Insurance or LMI? 

LMI is an insurance that the borrower pays if they do not have at least 20% equity or a 20% deposit, to insure the bank or lender in case of a loan default. Lenders Mortgage Insurance is different to mortgage protection insurance, as this covers the borrower if they are unable to meet repayments.

What is a green home loan?

green home loan is a special type of loan that enables borrowers to build or buy their future homes in an environmentally friendly manner. These type of loans usually offer discounted or special rates for homes that meet certain eco-friendly standards specified by the lender.

What is the first home super saver scheme?

The First Home Super Saver Scheme (FHSSS) was introduced by the Australian Government to reduce pressure on housing affordability.

The FHSS scheme allows Australians to save money for their first home inside their super fund. This scheme is designed to help first home buyers save faster with the concessional tax treatment of superannuation.

As part of the 2021–22 federal Budget, the Australian Government announced it will increase the maximum releasable amount up to $50,000 (currently $30,000). Read more about in our First Home Super Saver Scheme Guide.

What is a construction loan?

A construction loan caters to those who want to build their home, rather than buy an existing one. Unlike a traditional home loan, in which a lender gives you a lump sum at the outset, a construction loan is paid out in instalments throughout the construction process. 

These funds go directly to the builder as the home is being built. In the meantime, you will pay only interest on the amount that has been drawn down. When the work is complete, your loan will typically switch from interest only repayments to principal and interest repayments.

Glossary of home loan terms  

Here’s some of the most common jargon you’ll need to be familiar with when shopping for a home loan. For a full list, browse our home loan terms guide. 

  • Comparison rate: this helps you to compare the true cost of loan. It combines the interest rate with fees. 
  • Loan to value ratio (LVR): The percentage of money you borrow  compared to the value of the property. 
  • Offset account: a transaction account linked to your home loan which enables you to offset the balance in this account against the interest you’re charged on your mortgage.  
  • Redraw: If you’re ahead on your mortgage repayments some home loans will allow you to make a redraw if you need access to cash.

I’m still stuck - where should I start?

Right here at Mozo! We’ve got heaps of resources set up to help you work out which home loan is best for you, no matter which stage of the journey you’re at.

If you want some more background on the nitty gritty of borrowing, head over to our home loans guides section where we’ve covered everything from a step-by-step look at buying your first home to how to work out what monthly repayments you can afford.

Or, if you’re trying to sort your budget out, take our home loan calculators for a whirl. You’ll be able to work out what your monthly repayments might be, how much you should budget for stamp duty and how a rate rise will affect your bottom line, no head scratching maths required! For refinancers, make sure you check out our Switch and Save calculator to see just how much you could put back in your pocket by snagging a better deal.

And if you’re ready to dive right in, then our home loan comparison table above is the perfect place to start your home loan search.

Home Loan Reviews

firstmac Home Loan
Overall 1/10
Do not waste your time

Highly unorganised to the point I questioned my broker if they knew what they were doing. In the end, they offered me a loan then withdrew it after I signed the papers. Be very careful with these people.

Read full review

Highly unorganised to the point I questioned my broker if they knew what they were doing. In the end, they offered me a loan then withdrew it after I signed the papers. Be very careful with these people.

Price
2/10
Features
2/10
Customer service
1/10
Convenience
1/10
Trust
1/10
Less
Damian, New South Wales, reviewed 3 days ago
Aussie Select Basic Variable
Overall 10/10
Amazing Ben from Aussie- Gawler

I can not recommend Aussie Gawler any more highly! They were phenomenal in every aspect- completely transparent, always available to discuss any questions I had even after hours and on weekends- would literally reply to me minutes after sending a message! For what is usually a stressful process, Aussie made it seamless and the best part was he was able to get our loan approved in just 4 weeks! This allowed us to move our settlement forward and get in our new house even quicker! I couldn't believe it and I will truly recommend him time and time again for any loan needs.

Read full review

I can not recommend Aussie Gawler any more highly! They were phenomenal in every aspect- completely transparent, always available to discuss any questions I had even after hours and on weekends- would literally reply to me minutes after sending a message! For what is usually a stressful process, Aussie made it seamless and the best part was he was able to get our loan approved in just 4 weeks! This allowed us to move our settlement forward and get in our new house even quicker! I couldn't believe it and I will truly recommend him time and time again for any loan needs.

Price
10/10
Features
10/10
Customer service
10/10
Convenience
10/10
Trust
10/10
Less
Ella, South Australia, reviewed 6 days ago
Mortgage House Home Loan
Overall 1/10
Very bad experience, do not trust.

Very bad experience. Misleading the customer and asking for the refundable application fee $600. I have paid them as they given me the pre-approval of the 80% required loan and confirm that the $600 is refundable. After submitting the application to get the final loan approval they did not reply until few weeks so I inquired so, they sent me the final loan approval and noticed they reduced the loan amount to 70% into the final conditional loan approval. So I applied and got the 80% loan pre-approval from one of the big bank what they provided to me and finally I have submitted the loan application without any cost and proceed to purchase the property. I went back to the mortgage house and asking for refundable $600 ,what they charged to me to process the loan application as per the 80% loan pre approval. Now I am struggling to get the money back. See the below current reply from The mortgage house given me the AFCA contract details.

Read full review

Very bad experience. Misleading the customer and asking for the refundable application fee $600. I have paid them as they given me the pre-approval of the 80% required loan and confirm that the $600 is refundable. After submitting the application to get the final loan approval they did not reply until few weeks so I inquired so, they sent me the final loan approval and noticed they reduced the loan amount to 70% into the final conditional loan approval. So I applied and got the 80% loan pre-approval from one of the big bank what they provided to me and finally I have submitted the loan application without any cost and proceed to purchase the property. I went back to the mortgage house and asking for refundable $600 ,what they charged to me to process the loan application as per the 80% loan pre approval. Now I am struggling to get the money back. See the below current reply from The mortgage house given me the AFCA contract details.

Price
1/10
Customer service
1/10
Convenience
2/10
Trust
1/10
Less
Mp, New South Wales, reviewed 7 days ago
See
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