Home loans for veterans
Many lenders consider veterans to be high-risk borrowers, owing to their advanced age or a lower-income if they are no longer in the workforce. Yet, some lenders are willing to offer loans to veterans with pension benefits, even if aged 60 or more.
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Veterans who have an alternate source of income or are engaged in another profession can also apply for standard home loans. This means they may be eligible for the same terms as other individuals who have not served in the armed forces.
What is a veteran?
A veteran is someone who has served in the Australian Defence Force (ADF), often serving the country overseas. The government usually pays an allowance to assist with the well-being of service members who are no longer actively serving in the military. Such payments are made periodically and can be shown as part of your income when you’re applying for a home loan.
The defence pension, or a veteran’s pension, is one such type of regular financial support offered by the government to service members who once served in the armed forces. When the individual who served passes away, the money is paid to their beneficiaries, such as a war veteran widow or their children.
Some veterans also receive a disability pension, to support and compensate for any injury or long-term diseases that were caused or aggravated by their service with the ADF.
What you need to know about Veterans home loans
Most discussions around purchasing a home focus on young people. But what are the options for pensioners and veterans who couldn’t climb the property ladder while serving in the defence force?
Veterans are generally entitled to a government pension that is considered a part of their income during the home loan application process. However, veterans that are solely dependent on a government pension fall into the category of non-standard borrowers. Lenders are extra cautious while evaluating such borrowers for a home loan. Therefore, as a pensioner, you need to prove two things to increase the chances of getting your home loan application over the line:
- You’ll be able to meet your loan repayments on time.
- Your income (or government pension) will continue until the end of the loan term.
It would help if you also had a good credit score to support your home loan application. Your credit score is a number, mostly between 1 and 1000, that represents your credit history and enables lenders to assess your level of risk as a borrower. Simply put, your credit score tells lenders whether you have been paying your debts and utility bills on time. A higher credit score indicates financial discipline, which means lenders can trust you to repay a loan or debt in the future, improving your chances of mortgage approval.
You can check your credit score online by providing a few personal details. It’s also a good idea to order a free copy of your credit report every year to understand your credit score better and get ahead of any potential issues. When you’re applying for a home loan, it helps to review your credit report in advance. This allows you to look for any discrepancies that may impact your credit score adversely and work to fix them.
Tips for improving your credit score
Paying all your bills on time is an excellent way to keep your credit score in check. You can also use the following tips to help improve your credit score and credibility in the eyes of lenders and other credit providers:
- Reduce your credit card limit if possible
- Close extra credit cards, unless you have a strong reason to keep more than one credit card
- Try to pay your entire credit card bill each month
- Don’t delay or default on your loan repayments
- Pay utility bills on time. You can select an auto-debit option to ensure timely payments
- Minimise credit applications. You can always check your eligibility for a home loan with specific lenders or speak with a mortgage broker before filing out your home loan application to minimise the number of enquiries on your credit file
Getting a home loan on a veteran’s pension
Your income and financial position play a vital role in the success of your home loan application. Pensioners applying for a home loan must keep this in mind and try to make their application stronger. They can do this with a sizeable deposit (preferably 20 per cent of the property price) and clean credit history. However, some lenders specialise in non-standard home loans and offer home loans specifically for veterans and pensioners in Australia.
As a veteran applying for a home loan, you may opt for a standard home loan or apply with a specialist lender that offers unique solutions for veterans. Generally speaking, if you have other sources of income apart from your veteran’s pension or are only borrowing a small percentage of the property value. In this case, you may be able to apply for a standard home loan and access more home loan options.
If you’re applying with your veteran’s pension as the only source of income or borrowing at an advanced age. In this situation, you may be better to look at a lender that specialises in veteran home loans or non-standard home loans.
If you can't decide the next course of action, you can discuss your unique circumstances with a mortgage broker that has access to a wide range of lenders. A broker will provide you with expert financial advice regarding your home loan and help you look for lenders that suit your personal circumstances. If you wish to speak with a mortgage broker, fill up this short contact form, and a verified mortgage broker will contact you at your preferred time.
Who is eligible for a veterans home loan?
To be eligible for a veterans home loan, you must be receiving one of a select few permanent veteran pensions as income from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. Generally, lenders accept the following types of veterans pension:
- Service pension
- War widow’s or widower’s pension
- Veteran’s affairs age pension
- Other permanent and ongoing pension income on a case-to-case basis
Veterans home loans are specifically tailored for veterans who have served in the Australian Defence Force and receive a regular pension from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. Some lenders also offer home loans for veterans families to individuals receiving a war widow’s or widower’s pension. Some specialist lenders also provide disabled veteran home loans. These loans are for veterans who suffered a disability during their time serving as a member of the Defence Force and receive the Incapacity Pension from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
What documents do veteran pensioners need to apply for a home loan?
Veteran pensioners need to provide some additional documents on top of the standard documentation required for a home loan application. Different lenders may have specific requirements in this regard, but you’d generally need to provide them with the following documents:
- Proof of genuine savings amounting to at least 5 per cent of the property value to be cover the minimum deposit
- Bank statements showing your pension payments or a current Department of Veterans’ Affairs statement
- When applying for a home loan on a disability pension, you’ll need a letter from Centrelink confirming the nature and status of your disability pension.
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Frequently asked questions
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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
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.
Can I get a home renovation loan with bad credit?
If you're looking for funds to pay for repairs or renovations to your home, but you have a low credit score, you need to carefully consider your options. If you already have a mortgage, a good starting point is to check whether you can redraw money from that. You could also consider applying for a new home loan.
Before taking out a new loan, it’s good to note that lenders are likely to charge higher interest rates on home repair loans for bad credit customers. Alternatively, they may be willing to lend you a smaller amount than a standard loan. You may also face some challenges with getting your home renovation loan application approved. If you do run into trouble, you can speak to your lender and ask whether they would be willing to approve your application if you have a guarantor or co-signer. You should also explain the reasons behind your bad credit rating and the steps that you’re taking to improve it.
Consulting a financial advisor or mortgage broker can help you understand your options and make the right choice.
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.
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.
Can I get a NAB home loan on casual employment?
While many lenders consider casual employees as high-risk borrowers because of their fluctuating incomes, there are a few specialist lenders, such as NAB, which may provide home loans to individuals employed on a casual basis. A NAB home loan for casual employment is essentially a low doc home loan specifically designed to help casually employed individuals who may be unable to provide standard financial documents. However, since such loans are deemed high risk compared to regular home loans, you could be charged higher rates and receive lower maximum LVRs (Loan to Value Ratio, which is the loan amount you can borrow against the value of the property).
While applying for a home loan as a casual employee, you will likely be asked to demonstrate that you've been working steadily and might need to provide group certificates for the last two years. It is at the lender’s discretion to pick either of the two group certificates and consider that to be your income. If you’ve not had the same job for several years, providing proof of income could be a bit of a challenge for you. In this scenario, some lenders may rely on your year to date (YTD) income, and instead calculate your yearly income from that.
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 do you qualify for a CBA home loan with casual employment?
Qualifying for a home loan without a full-time job may be challenging, but it can be done. The first step is to understand how a CBA home loan is assessed when you have casual employment.
Most lenders will assess your expenses and savings while checking your loan eligibility, checking on factors crucial to home loan approval, such as if your bills are paid on time and what your credit score presently looks like.
Your income can be one of the most critical factors to determine your final approved home loan amount. As such, you’ll need to provide payslip copies to lenders to assist them in assessing your income during the loan tenure, regardless of your employment status, full-time, part-time, or otherwise.
Casual employees will want to be casually employed for at least 12 months to be eligible for a home loan. Alternatively, you want to have worked as a permanent casual worker (working for a fixed number of hours per week) for at least one month, or you should have been in your current job for a minimum of three months (if the hours are irregular) to be eligible for the loan.
Why does Westpac charge an early termination fee for home loans?
The Westpac home loan early termination fee or break cost is applicable if you have a fixed rate home loan and repay part of or the whole outstanding amount before the fixed period ends. If you’re switching between products before the fixed period ends, you’ll pay a switching break cost and an administrative fee.
The Westpac home loan early termination fee may not apply if you repay an amount below the prepayment threshold. The prepayment threshold is the amount Westpac allows you to repay during the fixed period outside your regular repayments.
Westpac charges this fee because when you take out a home loan, the bank borrows the funds with wholesale rates available to banks and lenders. Westpac will then work out your interest rate based on you making regular repayments for a fixed period. If you repay before this period ends, the lender may incur a loss if there is any change in the wholesale rate of interest.
Remaining loan term
The length of time it will take to pay off your current home loan, based on the currently-entered mortgage balance, monthly repayment and interest rate.
Cash or mortgage – which is more suitable to buy an investment property?
Deciding whether to buy an investment property with cash or a mortgage is a matter or personal choice and will often depend on your financial situation. Using cash may seem logical if you have the money in reserve and it can allow you to later use the equity in your home. However, there may be other factors to think about, such as whether there are other debts to pay down and whether it will tie up all of your spare cash. Again, it’s a personal choice and may be worth seeking personal advice.
A mortgage is a popular option for people who don’t have enough cash in the bank to pay for an investment property. Sometimes when you take out a mortgage you can offset your loan interest against the rental income you may earn. The rental income can also help to pay down the loan.
When do mortgage payments start after settlement?
Generally speaking, your first mortgage payment falls due one month after the settlement date. However, this may vary based on your mortgage terms. You can check the exact date by contacting your lender.
Usually your settlement agent will meet the seller’s representatives to exchange documents at an agreed place and time. The balance purchase price is paid to the seller. The lender will register a mortgage against your title and give you the funds to purchase the new home.
Once the settlement process is complete, the lender allows you to draw down the loan. The loan amount is debited from your loan account. As soon as the settlement paperwork is sorted, you can collect the keys to your new home and work your way through the moving-in checklist.
How to use the ME Bank reverse mortgage calculator?
You can access the equity in your home to help you fund your needs during your senior years. A ME Bank reverse mortgage allows you to tap into the equity you’ve built up in your home while you continue living in your house. You can also use the funds to pay for your move to a retirement home and repay the loan when you sell the property.
Generally, if you’re 60 years old, you can borrow up to 15 per cent of the property value. If you are older than 75 years, the amount you can access increases to up to 30 per cent. You can use a reverse mortgage calculator to know how much you can borrow.
To take out a ME Bank reverse mortgage, you’ll need to provide information like your age, type of property – house or an apartment, postcode, and the estimated market value of the property. The loan to value ratio (LVR) is calculated based on your age and the property’s value.
What do people do with a Macquarie Bank reverse?
There are a number of ways people use a Macquarie Bank reverse mortgage. Below are some reasons borrowers tend to release their home’s equity via a reverse mortgage:
- To top up superannuation or pension income to pay for monthly bills;
- To consolidate and repay high-interest debt like credit cards or personal loans;
- To fund renovations, repairs or upgrades to their home
- To help your children or grandkids through financial difficulties.
While there are no limitations on how you can use a Macquarie reverse mortgage loan, a reverse mortgage is not right for all borrowers. Reverse mortgages compound the interest, which means you end up paying interest on your interest. They can also affect your entitlement to things like the pension It’s important to think carefully, read up and speak with your family before you apply for a reverse mortgage.
How long does ANZ take to approve a home loan?
The process of applying for a home loan usually stays the same across all lenders. On the other hand, the time it takes for a lender to approve the home loan differs from lender to lender. When it comes to ANZ, it takes anywhere between 15 to 18 business days to approve a home loan from the day of the application to approval. This timeframe is highly dependent on the credibility and availability of your documentation. You can apply for an ANZ home loan in two ways; a Quick Start home loan application or a full online application.
If you opt for the Quick Start home loan option, you’ll need to fill out a form with basic details. During this stage, you don’t need to add any supporting information. An ANZ representative will then call you within 48 hours. The representative will help take your application forward, including assessing all relevant information, documentation and conducting a credit check.
You can also submit your entire home loan application with ANZ online by filling out a comprehensive form with all the information and documentation needed.
Once ANZ has conducted the preliminary checks, you’ll be informed of the pre-approved amount they’re willing to offer. Based on this amount, you can set a budget for your property search and make sure you stay inside your budget. Pre-approval will last for three months but can be extended by applying with ANZ if you don’t find a property. But it’s best to find a property as soon as possible as ANZ may decide to change the amount if your financial situation changes.
After you find a property and have your offer accepted, ANZ may send an assessor to the property to verify it’s value. If everything is per their terms and conditions, ANZ will finalise your home loan’s approval and release the funds.
How to apply for a home loan pre-approval from St. George?
By applying for a home loan pre-approval, you can establish how much you can afford to borrow and look for houses within that pre-approved budget. Getting home loan pre-approval from St. George is a fairly simple process that can be completed within 15 minutes.
The first step in this process is completing a home loan application. Once that application is submitted, a home loan expert from St. George will contact you to understand your requirements and your current financial position. You could also directly contact a home loan expert at the bank by calling 13 33 30 or by visiting your nearest branch.
Once the application has been processed, the home loan expert will ask for some basic documentation to confirm your borrowing capacity. After this, you should be issued a home loan pre-approval, subject to certain conditions.
Based on your home loan pre-approval from St. George, you can then find a property and make an offer. Your home loan expert will arrange to have the property valued and may request for more documentation, taking your home loan application to the next step.
How to apply for a pre-approval home loan from Bendigo Bank?
Applying for pre-approval on your home loan gives you confidence in your ability to secure finance while looking at potential new homes. You can get a free and personalised pre-approval home loan from Bendigo Bank in just a few minutes, without any credit checks or paperwork.
Bendigo Bank offers pre-approval for home loans that allow you to understand the home loan size you may be able to get before looking for a new home.
With the pre-approval, Bendigo Bank provides an estimate of your borrowing power. This figure incorporates stamp duty, lenders mortgage insurance (LMI) and any first home buyer incentives you may be eligible for. You may also qualify for the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme initiative, depending on your circumstances.
To apply for a pre-approval on your home loan from Bendigo Bank, all you need to do is fill in a smart form. You could also contact the bank directly on 1300 236 344.
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.
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
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).