First Home Loan Deposit Scheme: How to secure your spot

Niko Iliakis

Monday 22 June 2020

The next round of the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme will go live on 1 July. That means a further 10,000 places will be made available for Australians hoping to take their first steps up the property ladder. 

Typically, Australians looking to buy a home will have to save up a deposit worth 20% of the property’s value. Smaller deposits require you to purchase Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI), which can be quite costly, especially for young borrowers. 

But under the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme, first homebuyers will be able to purchase a home with a deposit of only 5%, with the remaining amount guaranteed by the government. This allows homebuyers to bypass the need for LMI and begin their home ownership journey sooner.

The first round kicked off on 1 January 2020, and so far 5,500 applicants have used the Scheme to buy a home, while a further 4,500 have secured their spots but are still looking for the right property. 

With the second round of the Scheme only a few weeks away, eager homebuyers looking to snap up one of the available spots should be doing all they can to put themselves in the best possible position. Here are just a few things that can help.

Read over the eligibility criteria carefully

Places in the Scheme are limited - there are only 10,000 available per round - so to be eligible you’ll need to tick a few boxes. 

  • You must be an Australian citizen and at least 18 years of age.
  • You must be a first home buyer, meaning you haven’t previously owned or had an interest in a residential property, either separately or jointly.
  • You must have a deposit of between 5% and 20% of the property you intend to buy.
  • Individuals must have a taxable income of no more than $125,000 per annum, while couples must have a combined taxable income of no more than $200,000.
  • Couples must be married or in a de facto relationship.
  • You must be taking out an owner occupied loan and making principal and interest repayments. Investment and interest only loans are not eligible under the Scheme. 
  • The total value of the property must not exceed the NFIC’s price threshold, which varies by region.

Find a participating lender

To secure your spot, you’ll need to speak directly with a participating lender (or an authorised representative such as a mortgage broker). A full list of banks and lenders involved in the Scheme is available here. You can send applications to multiple institutions but you’ll only be given one spot under the Scheme if successful.

Have your documents ready

To make sure the application process goes smoothly, you should have all the necessary documents ready when you first contact your lender. This includes identification details, Medicare card and either a valid Australian passport or proof of Australian citizenship.

Lodge your tax return early

Another key document you’ll need is a Notice of Assessment from the Australian Taxation Office for the last income year. This will have to be provided by 1 July 2020, so make sure you’re quick to lodge your tax return this year if you want to get ahead of the competition.

Make sure you have proof of genuine savings

You’ll also need to show evidence of genuine savings. What’s considered genuine savings might differ between lenders, but generally any large sums of money you’ve received as a gift, inheritance, or through the sale of assets isn’t included.

For more information, read our First Home Loan Deposit Scheme guide. And if you’re looking for a home loan that’s right for you, head over to our home loan comparison page or browse the selection below.

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