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Can I buy a property with a 5% deposit?

While most home loans expect a deposit of at least 20 per cent of the property value, it is possible to get a mortgage with just a 5 per cent deposit.

A variety of Australian mortgage lenders offer home loan options for borrowers with smaller deposits, which could allow you to enter the property market sooner and with less savings. These mortgage offers are often called 95 per cent LVR home loans, as you’ll have a Loan-to-Value Ratio of 95 per cent.

It’s important to remember that having a smaller deposit may still mean paying extra costs. Buying a property with a 5 per cent deposit may mean paying more in Lender’s Mortgage Insurance (LMI), and the interest rate you're offered may be higher than if you had a deposit of 20 per cent or more.

It’s important to learn more about 95 per cent LVR home loans, compare the available options, and to consider seeking professional advice from a mortgage broker before making a home loan application.

What is a 95% LVR home loan?

A 95 per cent LVR home loan is a type of low-deposit home loan for which you are only required to have 5 per cent of the total purchase price to put towards a deposit.

‘LVR’ is an acronym for 'loan-to-value ratio' or 'loan to valuation ratio', which refers to the loan amount you are borrowing, represented as a percentage of the property's value being used as security for the loan. When a lender looks at how much you want to borrow in your loan application, they will compare their own valuation of the property to how much of a deposit you can put down. That’s why a 95 per cent LVR home loan only requires a 5 per cent deposit.

Many standard home loans in Australia require a 20 per cent deposit, but there are other types of home loans available for owner occupiers and investors. They include 70 per cent LVR home loans, 90 per cent LVR home loans and 95 per cent LVR home loans.

For example:

If Leigh wants to buy a new home with a property price of $500,000, but only has $25,000 of savings available as a deposit, then their deposit would cover only 5 per cent of the property's value. To buy the property, they would require a mortgage covering the remaining 95 per cent of the property's value - a 95% LVR home loan.

What are the benefits of 95% LVR home loans?

Some of the potential advantages for borrowers taking out a 95 per cent LVR home loan include:

  • Entering the property market quickly: Because you only need a 5 per cent deposit, you can take out a loan and buy a home faster than waiting to save up the standard 20 per cent deposit of genuine savings.
  • Easing short-term financial pressures: If you want to a buy a home but saving a lump sum for a deposit isn’t feasible in the short term, a 95 per cent LVR home loan could temporarily relieve some of the financial burden.
  • Taking advantage of low interest rates: You could be able to enter the property market when favourable interest rates are available even if you don’t yet have enough money saved for a standard 20 per cent deposit.

What are the risks of 95% LVR home loans?

There are a few important risks to consider when looking for a mortgage with a 5 per cent deposit:

  • Lender's Mortgage Insurance (LMI): LMI is an insurance policy required by most lenders if a borrower has a deposit of less than a 20 per cent. It covers the lender (and not the borrower) if the borrower defaults on their home loan repayments. Most lenders pass on the cost of LMI to the borrower. This can potentially add tens of thousands of dollars to your home loan's upfront costs - the higher the LVR, the more you may need to pay for LMI. 
  • Fewer home loan options: Not every lender offers 95 per cent LVR home loans, as most lenders consider these loans riskier than mortgages with LVRs of 80 per cent or lower. You may have fewer mortgage lenders to choose from if you have a low home loan deposit.
  • Higher interest rates and/or fees: Generally, the higher your LVR, the higher the interest rate and/or fees you may have to pay on your mortgage. This is because lenders often consider these loans riskier than lower LVR mortgages. 

What is Lender’s Mortgage Insurance (LMI)?

Lender’s Mortgage Insurance (LMI) is an insurance policy that covers the risk of a borrower defaulting on their home loan repayments. LMI only protects the lender providing the mortgage - it does NOT protect the borrower.

Most mortgage lenders require LMI whenever a borrower applies for a mortgage with less than 20 per cent deposit or equity. Most lenders also pass on the cost of LMI to the borrower - the lower your deposit, the more you may have to pay for LMI. 

What other features should I look for in a 95% LVR home loan?

Home loans with a 95 per cent LVR typically have similar features to other types of home loans, but the associated rates and fees may differ. For example, a lender might choose to offer a lower interest rate to customers who can put down a larger deposit.

Aside from the interest rate and deposit amount, though, here are some of the other common features to consider:

  • Fixed rate or variable rate home loan: You can usually decide whether to lock in an interest rate for a set period or have a variable interest rate. Remember to also check the comparison rate, which indicates the loan's overall cost, including interest and standard fees and charges.
  • Repayment options: Some lenders will allow you to make additional repayments above the minimum, so you can pay off your loan faster and avoid interest.
  • Redraw facility: Some home loans come with the option to redraw additional repayments you’ve made if you need the money down the track.
  • Offset account: You may be able to have a bank account linked to your home loan, known as an ‘offset account’. Your lender attributes your account balance towards your loan so you only have to pay interest on the difference.
  • Loan term: Usually, the term for a home loan is 25-30 years.

Will a low deposit home loan be right for me?

It’s important to choose the right type of home loan for your personal financial circumstances. For example, you may want to consider a low deposit home loan if you could afford to manage mortgage repayments on your income and expenses, but haven’t yet saved up a large deposit on the property of your choice. But be mindful of the potential costs involved with a low deposit home loan, such as upfront LMI charges, or higher interest rates compared to some other mortgage deals.

Keep in mind that even if a 95 per cent LVR home loan may not tick all of your boxes when it comes to what you want from a mortgage, it might offer a path to one day reaching those goals. Once you have your mortgage and can start building up equity in a property, you may be able to refinance to a home loan that more closely suits your needs in the future. 

How can I get a home loan approved with a 5% deposit?

Much like other types of home loans, your application is more likely to be approved if you can fulfil the terms and conditions of the lender’s eligibility criteria. 

For example, proving that you have a reliable income and manageable expenses may show the lender that you can comfortably afford the mortgage repayments.

What support can I get when applying for a 5% deposit home loan?

There are also options available to receive additional support when applying for a low deposit home loan, such as:

  • First home owners grants (FHOGs): Eligible first home buyers may be able to apply for a grant to go towards the deposit on their first home. Contact your state or territory government for more information. 
  • First home loan deposit scheme (FHLDS): This Australian government program from the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC) allows first home buyers to purchase a property with a deposit of just 5 per cent, without having to pay for LMI. A limited number of scheme places are available each financial year, and both the borrowers and the property being purchased will need to satisfy eligibility criteria, such as property price thresholds. 
  • First Home Super Saver (FHSS) Scheme: This program allows you to make extra contributions to your superannuation fund and withdraw up to $10,000 ($20,000 for couples) of these extra contributions to go towards your home loan deposit. 

What is a guarantor home loan?

Your parents or other relatives may be able to guarantee your home loan with the value of their own property. This may allow you to get a mortgage while paying low or no deposit, and without having to pay for LMI. 

Your guarantor may become responsible for paying your mortgage if you default on your repayments, so it's important that everyone is aware of the risks and responsibilities involved. 

Once you’ve held your mortgage for some time and have had a chance to build up some equity, you may be able to refinance your mortgage and remove the guarantee.

Are 95% LVR home loans just for first home buyers?

Because first home buyers often struggle to save their first deposit and enter the property market, many 95 per cent LVR home loan offers are structured with first home owners in mind, with features and benefits intended to help new home owners to start their mortgage journey. Additionally, many of the support options for borrowers with low deposits (e.g. FHOGs, FHLDS) are also intended for first home buyers.

That said, it may still be possible for other property buyers to get a mortgage with a 95 per cent LVR. If you’re already a home owner and are looking to buy an investment property or refinance, you may be able to do so with a deposit or equity of 5 per cent, provided you’re comfortable with also paying the necessary LMI charges. You may also not be eligible for the same support or special offers as a first home buyer.

Be sure to compare home loan options and consider seeking financial advice before you apply. 

Where can I find a mortgage broker near me?

Whether you’re buying your first home or an investment property, it’s handy to have help available when you’re looking for a 95 per cent LVR home loan. 

Mortgage brokers are home loan experts that may be able to help you work out which mortgage lenders offer home loans that may suit your needs, that are available with a 5 per cent deposit. They can also manage your home loan application and help you access grants and other support services to make your buying journey easier. 

You can quickly compare mortgage brokers in your area at RateCity, so you can take advantage of their experience and local knowledge. 

Frequently asked questions

What is a loan-to-value ratio (LVR)?

A loan-to-value ratio (otherwise known as a Loan to Valuation Ratio or LVR), is a calculation lenders make to work out the value of your loan versus the value of your property, expressed as a percentage.   Lenders use this calculation to help assess your suitability for a home loan, and whether you need to pay lender’s mortgage insurance (LMI). As a general rule, most banks will require you to pay LMI if your loan-to-value ratio is 80 per cent or more.   LVR is worked out by dividing the loan amount by the value of the property. If you are looking for a quick ball-park estimate of LVR, the size of your deposit is a good indicator as it is directly proportionate to your LVR. For instance, a loan with an LVR of 80 per cent requires a deposit of 20 per cent, while a 90 per cent LVR requires 10 per cent down payment. 


While this all sounds simple enough, it is worth doing a more accurate calculation of LVR before you commit to buying a place as there are some traps to be aware of. Firstly, the ‘loan amount’ is the price you paid for the property plus additional costs such as stamp duty and legal fees, minus your deposit amount. Secondly, the ‘property value’ is determined by your lender’s valuation of the property, not the price you paid for it, and sometimes these can differ so where possible, try and get your bank to evaluate the property before you put in an offer.

How do I know if I have to pay LMI?

Each lender has its own policies, but as a general rule you will have to pay lender’s mortgage insurance (LMI) if your loan-to-value ratio (LVR) exceeds 80 per cent. This applies whether you’re taking out a new home loan or you’re refinancing.

If you’re looking to buy a property, you can use this LMI calculator to work out how much you’re likely to be charged in LMI.

How much deposit do I need for a home loan from ANZ?

Like other mortgage lenders, ANZ often prefers a home loan deposit of 20 per cent or more of the property value when you’re applying for a home loan. It may be possible to get a home loan with a smaller deposit of 10 per cent or even 5 per cent, but there are a few reasons to consider saving a larger deposit if possible:

  • A larger deposit tells a lender that you’re a great saver, which could help increase the chances of your home loan application getting approved.
  • The more money you pay as a deposit, the less you’ll have to borrow in your home loan. This could mean paying off your loan sooner, and being charged less total interest.
  • If your deposit is less than 20 per cent of the property value, you might incur additional costs, such as Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI).

What are the pros and cons of no-deposit home loans?

It’s no longer possible to get a no-deposit home loan in Australia. In some circumstances, you might be able to take out a mortgage with a 5 per cent deposit – but before you do so, it’s important to weigh up the pros and cons.

The big advantage of borrowing 95 per cent (also known as a 95 per cent home loan) is that you get to buy your property sooner. That may be particularly important if you plan to purchase in a rising market, where prices are increasing faster than you can accumulate savings.

But 95 per cent home loans also have disadvantages. First, the 95 per cent home loan market is relatively small, so you’ll have fewer options to choose from. Second, you’ll probably have to pay LMI (lender’s mortgage insurance). Third, you’ll probably be charged a higher interest rate. Fourth, the more you borrow, the more you’ll ultimately have to pay in interest. Fifth, if your property declines in value, your mortgage might end up being worth more than your home.

How much deposit do I need for a home loan from NAB?

The right deposit size to get a home loan with an Australian lender will depend on the lender’s eligibility criteria and the value of your property.

Generally, lenders look favourably on applicants who save up a 20 per cent deposit for their property This also means applicants do not have to pay Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI). However, you may still be able to obtain a mortgage with a 10 - 15 per cent deposit.  

Keep in mind that NAB is one of the participating lenders for the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme, which allows eligible borrowers to buy a property with as low as a 5 per cent deposit without paying the LMI. The Federal Government guarantees up to 15 per cent of the deposit to help first-timers to become homeowners.

What is a low-deposit home loan?

A low-deposit home loan is a mortgage where you need to borrow more than 80 per cent of the purchase price – in other words, your deposit is less than 20 per cent of the purchase price.

For example, if you want to buy a $500,000 property, you’ll need a low-deposit home loan if your deposit is less than $100,000 and therefore you need to borrow more than $400,000.

As a general rule, you’ll need to pay LMI (lender’s mortgage insurance) if you take out a low-deposit home loan. You can use this LMI calculator to estimate your LMI payment.

Will I have to pay lenders' mortgage insurance twice if I refinance?

If your deposit was less than 20 per cent of your property’s value when you took out your original loan, you may have paid lenders’ mortgage insurance (LMI) to cover the lender against the risk that you may default on your repayments. 

If you refinance to a new home loan, but still don’t have enough deposit and/or equity to provide 20 per cent security, you’ll need to pay for the lender’s LMI a second time. This could potentially add thousands or tens of thousands of dollars in upfront costs to your mortgage, so it’s important to consider whether the financial benefits of refinancing may be worth these costs.

Does Australia have no-deposit home loans?

Australia no longer has no-deposit home loans – or 100 per cent home loans as they’re also known – because they’re regarded as too risky.

However, some lenders allow some borrowers to take out mortgages with a 5 per cent deposit.

Another option is to source a deposit from elsewhere – either by using a parental guarantee or by drawing out equity from another property.

Can I get a NAB first home loan?

The First Home Loan Deposit Scheme of NAB helps first home buyers purchase a property sooner by reducing the upfront costs required. This scheme is offered based on a Government-backed initiative, with10,000 available places announced in October 2020.

Suppose your application for the NAB first home buyer loan is successful. In that case, you’ll only need to pay a low deposit, between 5 and 20 per cent of the property value and won’t be asked to pay lender's mortgage insurance (LMI). You’ll also receive a limited guarantee from the Australian government to purchase the property.

If you’re applying for the NAB first home buyer home loan as an individual, you need to have earned less than $125,000 in the last financial year. Couples applying for the NAB first home loan need to have earned less than $200,000 to be eligible. To be considered a couple, you need to be married or in a de facto relationship. A parent and child, siblings or friends are not considered a couple when applying for a NAB first home loan.

The NAB First Home Loan Deposit Scheme is currently offered only to purchase a brand new property, rather than an established property.

What is a secured home loan?

When the lender creates a mortgage on your property, they’re offering you a secured home loan. It means you’re offering the property as security to the lender who holds this security against the risk of default or any delays in home loan repayments. Suppose you’re unable to repay the loan. In this case, the lender can take ownership of your property and sell it to recover any outstanding funds you owe. The lender retains this hold over your property until you repay the entire loan amount.

If you take out a secured home loan, you may be charged a lower interest rate. The amount you can borrow depends on the property’s value and the deposit you can pay upfront. Generally, lenders allow you to borrow between 80 per cent and 90 per cent of the property value as the loan. Often, you’ll need Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI) if the deposit is less than 20 per cent of the property value. Lenders will also do a property valuation to ensure you’re borrowing enough to cover the purchase. 

How do I apply for a home improvement loan?

When you want to renovate your home, you may need to take out a loan to cover the costs. You could apply for a home improvement loan, which is a personal loan that you use to cover the costs of your home renovations. There is no difference between applying for this type of home improvement loan and applying for a standard personal loan. It would be best to check and compare the features, fees and details of the loan before applying. 

Besides taking out a home improvement loan, you could also:

  1. Use the equity in your house: Equity is the difference between your property’s value and the amount you still owe on your home loan. You may be able to access this equity by refinancing your home loan and then using it to finance your home improvement.  Speak with your lender or a mortgage broker about accessing your equity.
  2. Utilise the redraw facility of your home loan: Check whether the existing home loan has a redraw facility. A redraw facility allows you to access additional funds you’ve repaid into your home loan. Some lenders offer this on variable rate home loans but not on fixed. If this option is available to you, contact your lender to discuss how to access it.
  3. Apply for a construction loan: A construction loan is typically used when constructing a new property but can also be used as a home renovation loan. You may find that a construction loan is a suitable option as it enables you to draw funds as your renovation project progresses. You can compare construction home loans online or speak to a mortgage broker about taking out such a loan.
  4. Look into government grants: Check whether there are any government grants offered when you need the funds and whether you qualify. Initiatives like the HomeBuilder Grant were offered by the Federal Government for a limited period until April 2021. They could help fund your renovations either in full or just partially.  

Can first home buyers apply for an ING home loan?

First home buyers can apply for an ING home loan, but first, they need to select the most suitable home loan product and calculate the initial deposit on their home loan. 

First-time buyers can also use ING’s online tool to estimate the amount they can borrow. ING offers home loan applicants a free property report to look up property value estimates. 

First home loan applicants struggling to understand the terms used may consider looking up ING’s first home buyer guide. Once the home buyer is ready to apply for the loan, they can complete an online application or call ING at 1800 100 258 during regular business hours.

How much deposit will I need to buy a house?

A deposit of 20 per cent or more is ideal as it’s typically the amount a lender sees as ‘safe’. Being a safe borrower is a good position to be in as you’ll have a range of lenders to pick from, with some likely to offer up a lower interest rate as a reward. Additionally, a deposit of over 20 per cent usually eliminates the need for lender’s mortgage insurance (LMI) which can add thousands to the cost of buying your home.

While you can get a loan with as little as 5 per cent deposit, it’s definitely not the most advisable way to enter the home loan market. Banks view people with low deposits as ‘high risk’ and often charge higher interest rates as a precaution. The smaller your deposit, the more you’ll also have to pay in LMI as it works on a sliding scale dependent on your deposit size.

How can I apply for a first home buyers loan with Commonwealth Bank?

Getting a home loan requires planning and research. If you are considering a home loan with the Commonwealth Bank, you can find the information you need in the buying your first home section of the bank’s website.

You can see the steps you should take before applying for the loan and use the calculators to work out how much you can borrow, what your monthly repayments would be and the upfront costs you’d likely pay.

You can also book a time with a Commonwealth first home loan specialist by calling 13 2221.

CommBank publishes a property report that may help you understand the real estate market. The bank has also created a CommBank Property App that you can use to search for property.  The link to download this app is available on the same webpage.

If you are eligible for the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme, CommBank will help you process your application. The scheme helps first home buyers to purchase a home with a low deposit. You can read details about this scheme here and speak with a CommBank home lending specialist to understand your options.

Can I take a personal loan after a home loan?

Are you struggling to pay the deposit for your dream home? A personal loan can help you pay the deposit. The question that may arise in your mind is can I take a home loan after a personal loan, or can you take a personal loan at the same time as a home loan, as it is. The answer is that, yes, provided you can meet the general eligibility criteria for both a personal loan and a home loan, your application should be approved. Those eligibility criteria may include:

  • Higher-income to show repayment capability for both the loans
  • Clear credit history with no delays in bill payments or defaults on debts
  • Zero or minimal current outstanding debt
  • Some amount of savings
  • Proven rent history will be positively perceived by the lenders

A personal loan after or during a home loan may impact serviceability, however, as the numbers can seriously add up. Every loan you avail of increases your monthly installments and the amount you use to repay the personal loan will be considered to lower the money available for the repayment of your home loan.

As to whether you can get a personal loan after your home loan, the answer is a very likely "yes", though it does come with a caveat: as long as you can show sufficient income to repay both the loans on time, you should be able to get that personal loan approved. A personal loan can also help to improve your credit score showing financial discipline and responsibility, which may benefit you with more favorable terms for your home loan.

How do I apply for Westpac’s first home buyer loan?

If you’re a first home buyer looking to apply for a home loan with Westpac, they offer an online home loan application. They suggest the application can be completed in about 20 minutes. Based on the information you provide, Westpac will advise you the amount you can borrow and the costs associated with any possible home loan. 

You can use Westpac’s online mortgage calculators to estimate your borrowing power. You can also work out the time it might take to save up for the deposit, and the size of your home loan repayments

When applying for a home loan with Westpac, you’re assigned a home finance manager who can address your concerns and provide information. The manager will also offer guidance on any government grants you may be eligible for. 

Is a home equity loan secured or unsecured?

Home equity is the difference between its current market price and the outstanding balance on the mortgage loan. The amount you can borrow against the equity in your property is known as a home equity loan.

A home equity loan is secured against your property. It means the lender can recoup your property if you default on the repayments. A secured home equity loan is available at a competitive rate of interest and may be repaid over the long-term. Although a home equity loan is secured, lenders will assess your income, expenses, and other liabilities before approving your application. You’ll also want  a good credit score to qualify for a home equity loan. 

How do you determine which home loan rates/products I’m shown?

When you check your home loan rate, you’ll supply some basic information about your current loan, including the amount owing on your mortgage and your current interest rate.

We’ll compare this information to the home loan options in the RateCity database and show you which home loan products you may be eligible to apply for.


How do I take out a low-deposit home loan?

If you want to take out a low-deposit home loan, it might be a good idea to consult a mortgage broker who can give you professional financial advice and organise the mortgage for you.

Another way to take out a low-deposit home loan is to do your own research with a comparison website like RateCity. Once you’ve identified your preferred mortgage, you can apply through RateCity or go direct to the lender.

How is interest charged on a reverse mortgage from IMB Bank?

An IMB Bank reverse mortgage allows you to borrow against your home equity. You can draw down the loan amount as a lump sum, regular income stream, line of credit or a combination. The interest can either be fixed or variable. To understand the current rates, you can check the lender’s website.

No repayments are required as long as you live in the home. If you sell it or move to a senior living facility, the loan must be repaid in full. In some cases, this can also happen after you have died. Generally, the interest rates for reverse mortgages are higher than regular mortgage loans.

The interest is added to the loan amount and it is compounded. It means you’ll pay interest on the interest you accrue. Therefore, the longer you have the loan, the higher is the interest and the amount you’ll have to repay.