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No Deposit Loans: Pros, Cons and the Truth

It’s hard for first home buyers to save for an upfront deposit, when paying rent, meeting bills and maybe starting a family.

This is frustrating, when you have a good rental record and know you could meet your mortgage repayments.

As the Reserve Bank of Australia found in 2022, first home buyers are no more likely than other types of owner-occupiers to report financial stress over the loan life or be in arrears or negative equity.

If you’re in this situation, you might be wondering about no deposit loans. Here are the pros and cons of these loans, and some alternatives.

Is buying a home with no deposit possible?

Buying a home with no deposit sounds like a great idea, doesn’t it?

You get onto the property ladder now, without the stress of finding that big lump sum.

Not many Australian lenders offer no deposit home loans, although there are options out there if you look hard enough.

Like any type of home loan, there are advantages and drawbacks to think about before you go ahead.

Pros of no deposit loans

  • Get a home without having to save for a deposit.
  • Get your own property sooner rather than later.
  • Set aside savings for other contingencies, like renovations or emergencies, when you don’t have to save for a deposit.
  • Invest in an area of the market that offers fast appreciation. Less of your own money is tied up in your home with a 100% lend.
  • Potentially get tax benefits on interest paid on 100% mortgage.

Cons of no deposit loans

  • Banks set very high interest rates on 100% loans, due to greater risk.
  • Pay costly LMI (Lender’s Mortgage Insurance), potentially adding tens of thousands to your loan.
  • Not many lenders offer 100% loans in Australia.
  • Increased risk of over-borrowing or negative equity.
  • More difficult to refinance or sell the property.
  • Hard to qualify, with banks requiring perfect credit report and high income.
  • Banks set hidden higher closing costs in return for no deposit.

There are also some alternatives to no deposit loans to consider.

5% home loans in Australia

The First Home Guarantee is essentially a 5% home loan in Australia. This federal government program allows first-time buyers to purchase a property using a 5% deposit, without the need for LMI.

The government underwrites the loan and acts as a guarantor.

New places on the scheme are released at the start of each financial year. Places are limited though, and strict eligibility criteria applies.

There are also caps on how much applicants can spend on a property, depending on location.

While the scheme can provide first-time buyers with a low deposit way forward, a shared equity loan may be a more accessible option.

Shared equity home loans

With shared equity home loans, you can:

  • Deposit as little as 2.5%

Shared equity provides the remaining 17.5% to bring the deposit to 20%. With full ownership shared equity, where you are solely on the title, you can reduce the 2.5% further by adding in any government grants you may be eligible for.

  • Avoid LMI

Because the remaining 80% of the loan sits with the bank, you avoid costly LMI, saving between $10,000 and $40,000 on an average mortgage.

  • Get low fixed interest for five years

Pay 3.25% fixed interest on your loan’s shared equity portion for the first five years with HAS. The first three years of monthly payments on the shared equity facility are funded, which means you’re only making monthly mortgage payments on the 80% loan during this time.

What is the best option for you?

All these loan types can help you get onto the property ladder.

At HAS, naturally we think shared equity loans offer the best of both worlds! Buy property with a 2.5% micro deposit, without having to pay LMI. For the first three years, you only make monthly repayments on the 80% of the loan held by the bank.

However, it’s important to talk to your financial advisor about your individual circumstances before you decide on the best path forward. Consider your longer term goals, your current housing conditions, and your individual financial position before making a decision on the right loan for you.

And if you are interested in a shared equity home loan, contact us. We’d love to show you how these loans can be a game-changer for you and your family. By boosting your micro deposit, we can help you increase your serviceability and open up a world of home-buying opportunities.

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