Home loans for Indigenous Australians
If you’re an Indigenous Australian you can of course apply for any loan that appeals to you, but you may also be eligible for extra support to help you buy the home you want. You could get a grant to help with your purchase, lower rates on loans, or support to help you manage your finances and keep up with your monthly payments after you buy.
The Indigenous Home Ownership Program
The Indigenous Home Ownership Program from Indigenous Business Australia is a scheme designed to help you buy an existing property or build a new one. You won’t need a big deposit to get a loan this way and you can benefit from a low interest rate. Lengthy loan terms are available to keep your monthly payments low and in some case the loan term can be extended further to make it easier for you to manage. You could be eligible for extra help if you want to build on communal land.
Are you eligible for an IBA loan?
IBA loans are available to people with Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander backgrounds. You’ll have to be over 18 and have enough income to be able to meet the minimum payment threshold, as well as some savings you can put into a deposit – you may be able to get help with the latter.
How to apply for an IBA loan
You can download the forms you need to register an interest in an IBA home loan from the IBA website. After you have returned them you will have to wait in a queue until the IBA has enough funding free to assist you, at which point you will be invited to make a formal application. In some cases the IBA will be able to loan you all the money you need directly; in others it will lend you part of it and you can arrange to borrow the rest from another lender.
KeyStart Aboriginal Home Loans
Western Australians can take advantage of the KeyStart Aboriginal Home Loan scheme. This offers you two options: you can buy your home in the usual way or you can opt to share ownership with the Department of Housing. Deposits can be as low as 2% and you will have the facility to make as many early repayments as you are able to at no extra charge.
The right loan for you
Whether or not you choose to make use of the home loans for Indigenous Australians program, you will need to weigh up your priorities before deciding what is right for you. Do you want low interest rates to keep your payments manageable, low fees so extra costs, or extra features such as the ability to pay back your loan early without penalty? Do you want a short loan term or a long one? The clearer you are about this when you start looking, the better your chance of getting your ideal home loan.