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2.19%

Fixed - 3 years

2.45%

Macquarie Bank

$1.3k

Redraw facility
Offset Account
Borrow up to 70%
Extra Repayments
Interest Only
Owner Occupied

3.57

/ 5
More details

2.68%

Variable

2.69%

Suncorp Bank

$1.4k

Redraw facility
Offset Account
Borrow up to 80%
Extra Repayments
Interest Only
Owner Occupied

3.56

/ 5
More details

2.29%

Variable

2.33%

Mortgage House

$1.3k

Redraw facility
Offset Account
Borrow up to 60%
Extra Repayments
Interest Only
Owner Occupied

3.47

/ 5
More details

1.98%

Fixed - 1 year

2.38%

Homestar Finance

$1.3k

Redraw facility
Offset Account
Borrow up to 80%
Extra Repayments
Interest Only
Owner Occupied

3.46

/ 5
More details

2.06%

Fixed - 3 years

2.38%

Homestar Finance

$1.3k

Redraw facility
Offset Account
Borrow up to 80%
Extra Repayments
Interest Only
Owner Occupied

3.66

/ 5
More details

2.18%

Fixed - 1 year

2.58%

Homestar Finance

$1.3k

Redraw facility
Offset Account
Borrow up to 80%
Extra Repayments
Interest Only
Owner Occupied

3.15

/ 5
More details

3.02%

Variable

3.05%

Yard

$1.4k

Redraw facility
Offset Account
Borrow up to 90%
Extra Repayments
Interest Only
Owner Occupied

2.18

/ 5
More details

Learn more about home loans

Many lenders offer special deals and discounts to professionals like doctors that are considered low-risk borrowers. Other well-paid professionals, like lawyers and solicitors, can also access these offers. One of these special offers includes being able to borrow with just a 10 per cent deposit. 

If you work in the field of law, it’s worth checking your eligibility for a professional discount with various lenders. You may be able to access the following benefits when you apply for a home loan as a lawyer:

  • Waived Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI) for a loan size up to 90 per cent of the property value
  • Discounted interest rates and fees 
  • Flexible lending criteria
  • Increased borrowing capacity with a maximum loan size of $2.7 million rather than the typical $2 million

Perhaps the most significant advantage of home loans for lawyers is the LMI waiver, which can save you thousands while also moving forward your entry into the property market.

Saving up for the big deposit

The latest research indicates that even Australians with healthy savings often don’t have enough to put together a 20 per cent deposit for their dream home. In 2017, the ABC indicated that an average buyer needs to save for a little over six years to build up an adequate deposit for a median-priced house in Sydney. Or they would have to pay LMI if they wish to buy a home sooner. 

Many lenders will offer you a loan with just a 10 per cent deposit without the expectation of LMI if you’re a law professional. This waiver of LMI will save you considerable money in upfront costs and rent paid whilst building a larger deposit. The money saved can go towards paying off your dream home sooner. Besides an LMI waiver, you may also be eligible for interest rate discounts to bring down the total cost of the loan further. 

Some lenders tend to be more flexible with their lending criteria for legal professionals. You can access an LMI waiver and interest rate discounts for both owner-occupied and investment property purchases.

It’s also possible to take out a home loan in the name of a company or trust structure. Some lenders will even consider you for an LMI waiver if the home is owned jointly by you and your spouse. You can always connect with a mortgage broker to check your eligibility or seek assistance with your home loan application.

Lawyers, barristers and solicitors all qualify for discounted rates on their home loans. With everything else in order, they can borrow up to 90 per cent of the property price without paying any LMI. Other law professionals applications are considered on a case-to-case basis. They would need to meet all the other criteria for home loans for lawyers, including the minimum income requirement in their state or territory.

Depending on your lender and your state or territory of residence, the income requirements may vary. In general, most lenders will consider you for an LMI waiver on your home loan if you earn $150,000 or more per annum. Your income can also include rental income from your investment portfolio. This income won’t include your spouse’s income unless they’re also working in the legal industry and qualify for an LMI waiver with your lender.

How do I qualify for an LMI waiver as a lawyer applying for a home loan?

If you work in the legal industry, you may be eligible for special rates and discounts on your home loan. One such offer is an LMI waiver when borrowing up to 90 per cent of the property price. To qualify for an LMI waiver, you must meet all the regular conditions for home loan approval as well as the minimum income requirement explained below:

  • You must be earning a minimum of $120,000 per annum in WA, SA, NT and TAS and $150,000 per annum in NSW, ACT, VIC and QLD to qualify for an LMI waiver. However, some lenders will waive off the minimum income requirement if you have a clean credit history with no previous defaults on your file. 
  • If you don’t meet the minimum income requirement, some lenders will still consider you for an LMI waiver. Your total household income, including your spouse’s income, must exceed $150,000 per annum. You can speak with a mortgage broker for suggestions on lenders that are most likely to approve your application.

To qualify for an LMI waiver, most lenders also require you to be a member of an industry association, such as:

  • Law Council of Australia
  • Law Society of NSW
  • Law Society of South Australia
  • Queensland Law Society
  • The Australian Bar Association
  • Law Institute of Victoria
  • Australian Labour Law Association
  • Australian Corporate Lawyers Association
  • The Commercial Law Association of Australia
  • Australian Insurance Law Association

Lenders may accept other industry bodies on a case-to-case basis. You can provide any of the following documents to prove your industry association membership:

  • A receipt for the payment of annual membership for the respective association
  • A current valid membership card
  • A written statement from the listed association confirming your membership 
  • A practising certificate

You’ll also need to provide all the standard home loan documentation like identification details, proof of income and employment, expenses, etc., to qualify for a home loan.

How Linda saved thousands with the right home loan

Linda is a lawyer based in Sydney. She earns $160,00 per annum and plans to buy a house for $800,000. After saving scrupulously over the past couple of years, Linda has a 10 per cent deposit of $80,000 ready to fund her purchase. Because Linda doesn’t have a 20 per cent deposit, she will have to pay LMI or find a guarantor to get her home loan approved with her current deposit. By crunching the numbers using an online LMI calculator, Linda finds out that she’d be paying $17,000 or more as LMI on a loan term of up to 30 years if she doesn’t find a guarantor.

She decides to research her options and soon finds out that she meets the eligibility criteria for an LMI waiver as a lawyer applying for a home loan. With an annual income exceeding $150,000 and requisite association memberships in place, she can borrow up to 90 per cent of the property price without any LMI, saving her thousands. 

Like Linda, you may also be eligible for special discounts from lenders owing to your occupation and professional standing. Legal professionals are some of the better-paid professionals in the country. They generally enjoy a higher level of job security with regular pay increases. Lenders consider them low risk and are willing to lend them more as legal professionals, without any LMI, as long as they meet specific criteria. If you’re a legal professional, you can always talk to a mortgage broker to check your eligibility for an LMI waiver or find out about lenders that offer discounts to lawyers.

A quick checklist for lawyers looking for a mortgage

What are the benefits of home loans for lawyers?

Lawyers, barristers and solicitors can qualify for the following discounts on their home loan:

  • Waived LMI when borrowing up to 90 per cent of the property value
  • Higher exposure limit when building an investment property portfolio
  • Increased loan limit of $2.7 million against a single property
  • Flexible lending criteria and negotiable interest rate discounts
  • Ability to take out the loan in the name of a company or trust structure

Which banks offer discounted home loans to lawyers?

There are several lenders in Australia, including the Big 4, that offer home loans to lawyers. Specialist firms like Legal Home Loans also provide tailored financial solutions for law professionals such as investment and owner-occupied home loans as well as deals when refinancing.

Will I have access to any special benefits if I borrow less than 80 per cent?

You won’t be required to pay an LMI premium if you borrow less than 80 per cent of the property price. In such cases, you may be able to use your strong financial position to negotiate a lower interest rate and other discounts on your home loan. You can contact lenders directly or seek help from a mortgage broker to negotiate a competitive deal on your behalf.

Do lawyers also get special rates when refinancing?

It’s always good to revisit your home loan regularly to check how your interest rate stacks up against the market average. Suppose you meet the eligibility criteria for special home loans for lawyers.

In that case, you can refinance your home loan to a potentially lower rate or leverage your equity to undertake those pending renovations you’ve wanted to do. As a law professional, you can refinance up to 90 per cent of your property’s value and access an LMI waiver to use more of your equity.

Are judges and magistrates eligible for an LMI waiver?

In addition to lawyers, solicitors and barristers, judges and magistrates are also eligible for an LMI waiver with the same income requirements as laid down for other legal professionals. They must also provide evidence that their employment conditions prohibit them from holding a practising certificate.

Can lawyers working with the government apply for an LMI waiver?

Lawyers working for the federal or state government are eligible for the same benefits as private or self-employed lawyers. They are just required to meet the minimum income requirement of  $120,000 per annum in WA, SA, NT and TAS and $150,000 per annum in NSW, ACT, VIC and QLD as well as other eligibility criteria.

Do I need a mortgage broker when applying for a home loan as a lawyer?

There is no requirement for you to work with a mortgage broker when getting a home loan unless you want to. Yet, if you do decide to work with a mortgage broker, you’ll simplify your home loan journey to a great extent through expert assistance from start to finish.

At the beginning of your home loan search, you might notice that lenders often don’t advertise the benefits offered to various professionals. A mortgage broker works with multiple lenders and is aware of the ongoing offers and deals. This knowledge can help you understand what you may be eligible for based on your profession and the state of your finances.

Besides LMI waivers and interest rate discounts, some lenders offer several other inclusions in professional home loan packages for legal professionals. These additional inclusions can increase savings you can make over the life of your home loan. A broker will help you understand these extras better and negotiate with lenders on your behalf for competitive home deals that meet your specific requirements. A broker will also arrange to meet with you at a time and place that is convenient for you. Which will save you the time and hassle of worrying about contacting individual lenders during work hours. 

Ultimately, the decision to use a broker or apply for a home loan on your own, if you feel confident about the process, is up to you.  If you want to work with a broker, fill out our short form to find a verified mortgage broker near you.

Frequently asked questions

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.

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.

What are the responsibilities of a mortgage broker?

Mortgage brokers act as the go-between for borrowers looking for a home loan and the lenders offering the loan. They offer personalised advice to help borrowers choose the right home loan for their needs.

In Australia, mortgage brokers are required by law to carry an Australian Credit License (ACL) if they offer credit assistance services. Which is the legal term for guidance regarding the different kinds of credit offered by lenders, including home loan mortgages. They may not need this license if they are working for an aggregator, for instance, as a franchisee. In both these situations, they need to comply with the regulations laid down by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

These regulations, which are stipulated by Australian legislation, require mortgage brokers to comply with what are called “responsible lending” and “best interest” obligations. Responsible lending obligations mean brokers have to suggest “suitable” home loans. This means loans that you can easily qualify for,  actually meet your needs, and don’t prove unnecessarily challenging for you.

Starting 1 January 2021, mortgage brokers must comply with best interest obligations in addition to responsible lending obligations. These require mortgage brokers to act in the best interest of their customers and also requires them to prioritise their customers’ interests over their own. For instance, a mortgage broker may not recommend a lender who gives them a commission if that lender’s home loan offer does not benefit that particular customer.

How can I get a home loan with bad credit?

If you want to get a home loan with bad credit, you need to convince a lender that your problems are behind you and that you will, indeed, be able to repay a mortgage.

One step you might want to take is to visit a mortgage broker who specialises in bad credit home loans (also known as ‘non-conforming home loans’ or ‘sub-prime home loans’). An experienced broker will know which lenders to approach, and how to plead your case with each of them.

Two points to bear in mind are:

  • Many home loan lenders don’t provide bad credit mortgages
  • Each lender has its own policies, and therefore favours different things

If you’d prefer to directly approach the lender yourself, you’re more likely to find success with smaller non-bank lenders that specialise in bad credit home loans (as opposed to bigger banks that prefer ‘vanilla’ mortgages). That’s because these smaller lenders are more likely to treat you as a unique individual rather than judge you according to a one-size-fits-all policy.

Lenders try to minimise their risk, so if you want to get a home loan with bad credit, you need to do everything you can to convince lenders that you’re safer than your credit history might suggest. If possible, provide paperwork that shows:

  • You have a secure job
  • You have a steady income
  • You’ve been reducing your debts
  • You’ve been increasing your savings

How much can I borrow with a guaranteed home loan?

Some lenders will allow you to borrow 100 per cent of the value of the property with a guaranteed home loan. For that to happen, the lender would have to feel confident in your ability to pay off the mortgage and in the security provided by your guarantor.

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.

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 change jobs while I am applying for a home loan?

Whether you’re a new borrower or you’re refinancing your home loan, many lenders require you to be in a permanent job with the same employer for at least 6 months before applying for a home loan. Different lenders have different requirements. 

If your work situation changes for any reason while you’re applying for a mortgage, this could reduce your chances of successfully completing the process. Contacting the lender as soon as you know your employment situation is changing may allow you to work something out. 

How can I avoid mortgage insurance?

Lenders mortgage insurance (LMI) can be avoided by having a substantial deposit saved up before you apply for a loan, usually around 20 per cent or more (or a LVR of 80 per cent or less). This amount needs to be considered genuine savings by your lender so it has to have been in your account for three months rather than a lump sum that has just been deposited.

Some lenders may even require a six months saving history so the best way to ensure you don’t end up paying LMI is to plan ahead for your home loan and save regularly.

Tip: You can use RateCity mortgage repayment calculator to calculate your LMI based on your borrowing profile

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.

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. 

LOAN AMOUNT / PROPERTY VALUE = LVR%

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 much money can I borrow for a home loan?

Tip: You can use RateCity how much can I borrow calculator to get a quick answer.

How much money you can borrow for a home loan will depend on a number of factors including your employment status, your income (and your partner’s income if you are taking out a joint loan), the size of your deposit, your living expenses and any other debt you might hold, including credit cards. 

A good place to start is to work out how much you can afford to make in monthly repayments, factoring in a buffer of at least 2 – 3 per cent to allow for interest rate rises along the way. You’ll also need to factor in additional costs that come with purchasing a property such as stamp duty, legal fees, building inspections, strata or council fees.

If you are planning on renting the property, you can factor in the expected rental income to help offset the mortgage, but again it’s prudent to add a significant buffer to allow for rental management fees, maintenance costs and short periods of no rental income when tenants move out. It’s also wise to factor in changes in personal circumstances – the typical home loan lasts for around 30 years and a lot can happen between now and then.

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 do I refinance my home loan?

Refinancing your home loan can involve a bit of paperwork but if you are moving on to a lower rate, it can save you thousands of dollars in the long-run. The first step is finding another loan on the market that you think will save you money over time or offer features that your current loan does not have. Once you have selected a couple of loans you are interested in, compare them with your current loan to see if you will save money in the long term on interest rates and fees. Remember to factor in any break fees and set up fees when assessing the cost of switching.

Once you have decided on a new loan it is simply a matter of contacting your existing and future lender to get the new loan set up. Beware that some lenders will revert your loan back to a 25 or 30 year term when you refinance which may mean initial lower repayments but may cost you more in the long run.

Does Australia have no cost refinancing?

No Cost Refinancing is an option available in the US where the lender or broker covers your switching costs, such as appraisal fees and settlement costs. Unfortunately, no cost refinancing isn’t available in Australia.

Can I get a home loan if I am on an employment contract?

Some lenders will allow you to apply for a mortgage if you are a contractor or freelancer. However, many lenders prefer you to be in a permanent, ongoing role, because a more stable income means you’re more likely to keep up with your repayments.

If you’re a contractor, freelancer, or are otherwise self-employed, it may still be possible to apply for a low-doc home loan, as these mortgages require less specific proof of income.

Is there a limit to how many times I can refinance?

There is no set limit to how many times you are allowed to refinance. Some surveyed RateCity users have refinanced up to three times.

However, if you refinance several times in short succession, it could affect your credit score. Lenders assess your credit score when you apply for new loans, so if you end up with bad credit, you may not be able to refinance if and when you really need to.

Before refinancing multiple times, consider getting a copy of your credit report and ensure your credit history is in good shape for future refinances.

I have a poor credit rating. Am I still able to get a mortgage?

Some lenders still allow you to apply for a home loan if you have impaired credit. However, you may pay a slightly higher interest rate and/or higher fees. This is to help offset the higher risk that you may default on your repayments.

I can't pick a loan. Should I apply to multiple lenders?

Applying for home loans with multiple lenders at once can affect your credit history, as multiple loan applications in short succession can make you look like a risky borrower. Comparing home loans from different lenders, assessing their features and benefits, and making one application to a preferred lender may help to improve your chances of success