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Find and compare cheap investor home loans

Loan purpose

Loan amount

$

Deposit

Loan Term

151015202530

25 years

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Product

Low Rate Home Loan - Prime (Investment) (Interest Only)

Real Time Rating™

2.43

/ 5
Interest Rate

2.59

% p.a

Variable

Comparison Rate*

2.39

% p.a

Company
Repayment

$648

monthly

Features
Redraw facility
Offset Account
Borrow up to 60%
Extra Repayments
Interest Only
Owner Occupied
Real Time Rating™

2.43

/ 5
Go to site
Product

Low Rate Home Loan - Prime (Investment) (Interest Only)

Real Time Rating™

2.17

/ 5
Interest Rate

2.69

% p.a

Variable

Comparison Rate*

2.49

% p.a

Company
Repayment

$673

monthly

Features
Redraw facility
Offset Account
Borrow up to 80%
Extra Repayments
Interest Only
Owner Occupied
Real Time Rating™

2.17

/ 5
Go to site
Product

Low Rate Home Loan - Prime (Investment) (Principal and Interest)

Real Time Rating™

3.30

/ 5

Winner of Best Investor Home Loan, RateCity Gold Awards 2022

Interest Rate

2.39

% p.a

Variable

Comparison Rate*

2.39

% p.a

Company
Repayment

$1,329

monthly

Features
Redraw facility
Offset Account
Borrow up to 80%
Extra Repayments
Interest Only
Owner Occupied
Real Time Rating™

3.30

/ 5
Go to site

Winner of Best Investor Home Loan, RateCity Gold Awards 2022

Product

Yard Investor Bundle Loan

Real Time Rating™

3.81

/ 5
Interest Rate

2.15

% p.a

Variable

Comparison Rate*

2.18

% p.a

Company
Repayment

$1,294

monthly

Features
Redraw facility
Offset Account
Borrow up to 80%
Extra Repayments
Interest Only
Owner Occupied
Real Time Rating™

3.81

/ 5
Go to site
Product

Investment Neat Home Loan

Real Time Rating™

3.52

/ 5
Interest Rate

2.14

% p.a

Variable

Comparison Rate*

2.15

% p.a

Company
Repayment

$1,292

monthly

Features
Redraw facility
Offset Account
Borrow up to 60%
Extra Repayments
Interest Only
Owner Occupied
Real Time Rating™

3.52

/ 5
Go to site

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Whether you're looking at buying your first home for investment, or already have an investment property under your belt, if you want to invest in property, you’ll likely need an investor loan. These home loans for investors (who plan to make money from the property) are different to home loans for owner occupiers (who plan to live in the property).

A mortgage for investment purposes can provide a range of benefits in the right circumstances, including flexible payment options that can help you enjoy capital growth, rental yields and tax advantages.

Of course, like any investment, there are also risks involved when investing in property. You could have trouble attracting tenants, your property could be damaged, or property values in your area could stagnate or decline.

It’s important to compare different investment loan products before you make an application, so you can see which rates, fees, features and benefits may best suit your needs. You may also want to contact a mortgage broker or financial adviser to work out the best property investment strategy to meet your goals.

What is an investor loan?

An investor loan is a type of mortgage, with features and benefits that can help investment borrowers achieve their financial goals for the property.

Some popular features of investment home loans include: 

  • interest-only repayments
  • fixed interest rates
  • extra repayments
  • redraw facilities
  • offset accounts

While investor loans are often more flexible than loans for owner occupiers, they also often charge slightly higher interest rates and/or fees. 

What's the difference between a regular mortgage and an investment mortgage?

Investor home loans are more likely to have features and benefits that property investors may find useful, such as an offset account, additional repayments, a redraw facility, or the option to make interest-only repayments for a limited time. However, they’re also more likely to charge higher interest rates and fees and require tighter lending criteria.

Lenders typically view investors as risker to loan money, which may result in higher ongoing costs. This is because most banks feel that investors are more likely to take financial risks to help maximise returns on their investment (whether through rental yields or capital growth) and are therefore more likely to default on their loans. 

Many banks also feel that because an owner occupier is motivated to keep a roof over their head, they’re more likely to keep up with their repayments and less likely to default on their loan. This means that owner occupiers may be offered lower home loan interest rates than investors.

What does an investor need to do to get a loan?

The process of getting an investor loan is broadly similar to getting a home loan as an owner occupier – you fill in similar forms and provide similar information about your income, expenses, assets and liabilities.

However, there are some important differences between applying for investment home loans and applying for owner occupier home loans to be aware of.

Just like when you apply for an owner occupier home loan, you’ll need to pay a deposit on an investor mortgage. However, it’s often harder to find low-deposit investor loans, and much more likely that you’ll need to pay an upfront deposit of 20 per cent or more of the property’s value as part of the eligibility criteria. This deposit can be covered by your savings, or by the value of equity you own in a property. Investors may also have to pay stamp duty, depending in any exceptions or concessions in your state, so keep this additional cost in mind. 

Investors will need to provide evidence that they earn enough income from their employment to cover the cost of mortgage repayments. Other sources of income, such as rents from other investment properties, may only be partially included when calculating your income, as these income streams are typically less consistent than your wage or salary. Most banks will not include the income you hope to receive from rent on your investment property, as they’ll want to be confident you can still afford the loan even if the property is untenanted for any reason.

You’ll also need to provide details of any other debts or lines of credit, such as car loans or credit cards. Because banks often consider investment home loans to be riskier than owner occupier home loans, your lender may pay close attention to these potential liabilities, which could affect your borrowing power as an investor.

How do investors get the best rates?

Getting the best interest rate as a property investor often requires you to demonstrate that you’re a reliable borrower. The less risk you represent to a lender, the more likely you are to be offered a lower interest rate on your mortgage. This is also true for owner occupiers.

The larger a deposit you can afford on your mortgage, the more likely you are to be offered a lower interest rate. If you already own another property, you may be able to use your equity in place of saving up a deposit.

You’ll typically need to pay a deposit of 20 per cent or more of the property’s value. Any less than this, and you’ll need to pay for a lender’s mortgage insurance (LMI) policy, or get help from a guarantor to secure your mortgage with the value of equity in their own property. This is sometimes called having a loan to value ratio (LVR) of 80 per cent or less. 

It’s important for property investors to compare investment loans from different lenders, instead of just sticking with their current bank. There are many banks and mortgage lenders to choose from, each with a variety of investor loan options to consider. You may be surprised by the rates that are available from different lenders.

The more features and benefits a home loan offers the higher its interest rate may be. While an investor loan with options such as interest-only payments and an offset account may appeal to you, you may also find that a more basic “no frills” investment loan with a lower interest rate offers you more value.

A mortgage broker may be able to help you find lower investment home loan rates. Some brokers have access to exclusive mortgage deals that aren’t normally advertised and can negotiate with lenders on your behalf to help you get an even better deal for your financial situation.

Fixed interest rates for investment property loans

Investment property buyers can choose between fixed or variable interest rates.

  • A fixed interest rate allows you to lock in a set repayment amount for a set period of time – usually between 1 and 5 years.
  • A variable interest rate may be changed by the lender to better suit the current economy, meaning your mortgage repayments could increase or decrease.

So which is the best option? It depends on your circumstances and preferences.

  • A fixed interest rate may keep your repayments stable for simpler budgeting, though you may miss out on interest savings if the lender lowers its variable rates, such as if the RBA cuts the cash rate.
  • A variable rate home loan may save you money if rates fall, though your minimum repayments could end up increasing if rates rise. Also, variable rate loans may offer flexible home loan features, which could help you better manage your repayments and potentially save money on interest charges.

If you want to keep the budgeting on your investment property simple, you may want to consider an investment home loan with a fixed interest rate. There are often a range of fixed rate home loan options to choose from, including one-year, two-year, and three-year fixed rate loans. Once this fixed rate period ends, the loan will revert to a variable interest rate.

Fixing your interest rate means that even if the lender hikes or cuts rates on its variable home loans, your loan repayments will remain the same for a limited time. These consistent repayments can help keep your budgeting simple, and you may save some money in interest charges if your lender raises variable rates. On the other hand, it also means you could miss out on some interest savings if your lender instead chooses to cut variable rates.

What are the potential rewards of property investment?

Return on investment

The ultimate goal of investing in real estate property is enjoying a return above the original investment, and therefore increasing your cash flow. There are two main ways to achieve this:

  1. Rental property income: The money your tenant pays you, usually on a monthly basis, to live in your property. Also known as earning a passive income.
  2. Capital growth: The increase in value of your property over time. If your property sells for more than what you bought it for, you have achieved capital growth.

For example, if you bought a unit for $600,000 and later sold it for $750,000, your capital growth would be $150,000.

Less volatility

While no investment is ever 100 per cent safe, the property market is generally less volatile than other investment options, such as the share market, which can rapidly lose value due to circumstances beyond the investor’s control.

Property transactions are also generally slower than share market transactions, so they can be more carefully considered.

Intergenerational wealth transfer

Some families make property investments in order to bestow wealth to their beneficiaries through these bricks and mortar assets.

Tax benefits

Property investors may be eligible for a number of tax benefits, including capital gains discounts, capital gains offsets, deductions for repairs and maintenance if and when the property is tenanted, and negative gearing tax deductions, all of which can affect your taxable income. Contact the ATO and/or a tax accountant to learn more.

What are the risks of property investment?

Negative capital growth

Not all property markets rise and there is a risk that your investment may not yield the results you expect. This risk may be more pronounced in areas that are exposed to boom and bust sectors, such as mining, and property prices may not yield a positive result.

Costs outweigh return

Sometimes property investors have to spend a lot to prepare their investment property for tenants, or to help improve the property’s value for sale. These costs may include maintenance costs, and could outweigh the return you receive on your investment if they do not improve the property’s capital growth or rentability.

Unable to sell or lease

If your investment property doesn’t appeal to buyers or renters, you may not receive a return on your investment. Vacancy rates can have a serious impact on property investing, and may see a big difference in the results when real estate agents are unable to find tenants who can supply you with rental income.

Where should I invest?

Unlike when you buy a property as an owner-occupier, an investment property does not have to match your taste or even be located in an area where you’d like to live. However, there are other factors to consider, including:

  • Growth factors: Have property values in the local area increased or decreased in recent years? While past performance does not guarantee future performance, this can give you a better idea of what you could expect from your investment.
  • Economic factors: Is the property located in an area exposed to one industry? If so, is that industry growing or declining?
  • Social factors: Is the area appealing to potential renters? Does it have good public transport infrastructure? Is it close to schools and medical facilities?

Can investors get interest-only home loans?

Paying only the interest charges on your home loan appeals to many property investors. This repayment type can help keep your monthly costs down, relieve pressure on your finances, and help make your budgeting a little bit simpler. 

You can typically only make interest-only mortgage payments for a limited time before the loan reverts to principal and interest repayments. Once your loan reverts to paying principal and interest, your repayments will cost more from month to month. And once you’ve fully paid off the loan amount for your investment property, you’ll have paid more in total interest on the loan than if you’d been on a principal and interest loan from the start.

Some property investors use interest-only home loans to deliberately avoid paying down their home loan principal, as they’re not really interested in owning the property outright one day. Instead, they minimise their mortgage payments to maximise their rental yield in the short term, and wait for the property to increase in value over the long term. This capital growth may allow the investor sell the property for more than they bought it for, or they could use the equity to refinance their mortgage, or even apply for a second loan on another investment property.

There are risks involved with interest-only loans, especially when they’re used to pursue a property investment strategy. Consider contacting a mortgage broker before you enquire about an interest-only loan.

Positive and negative gearing the right property

If you earn more in rental yield and/or capital growth from your investment property in one year than you spend on interest payments and maintenance, your investment property is positively geared. Similarly, if you spend more money on an investment property than you earn from it in a year, then your investment property is negatively geared.

Positive gearing means you’re making money from your investment property whether it's a short-term or a long-term investment. Of course, this also means paying taxes on this extra income. Negative gearing means you’re losing money on your investment property. However, because this effectively reduces your annual income, this can affect how much tax you’ll pay. 

If you sell a capital asset, such as real estate or shares, you usually make a capital gain or a capital loss. This is the difference between what it cost you to acquire the asset and what you receive when you dispose of it. Keep in mind that if you decide to sell the property, and you made a capital gain on this asset, you will need to pay capital gains tax.

Some investors deliberately pursue a negative gearing strategy to enjoy the tax benefits in the short term, while waiting for the property’s long-term capital growth to one day make up for their losses. However, this can be risky, as there’s no guarantee that a property will increase in value – if your investment’s value stagnates or declines, you’re basically just losing money. Also, the Australian Tax Office (ATO) regularly updates tax laws, which may affect the effectiveness of any negative gearing strategy.

How often should property investors check their rates?

An investment home loan isn’t something to simply set and forget. Even if you don’t get the best home loan available when you first buy your investment property, you’ll still have the option to refinance your loan in the future. This may let you get a lower interest rate, access more useful features or benefits, or switch to another lender whose customer service you prefer.

You can check your home loan interest rate and compare alternative options in the market as often as you like, though you don’t need to stress about it daily. There are no rules around how often a borrower should look into refinancing their home loan, though previous studies have found that many Australians look seriously at refinancing after five years.

If you couldn’t afford a 20 percent deposit when you first bought your investment property, and had to pay LMI or get help from a guarantor, you may want to wait until you’ve built up at least 20 percent equity in your property before you think too hard about refinancing. Having equity available means you won’t have to pay LMI a second time (refinancing effectively means taking out a new loan, and LMI is not transferable), and having 20 percent equity or more as security may make it easier to qualify for lower home loan interest rates.

You may want to check if your interest rate is still competitive when there are changes in Australia’s economy, such as when the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) adjusts the nation’s cash rate. It’s also often worth checking your rates when your lifestyle or finances are changing, such as if you change jobs and income, or if you have children. A change to your circumstances often means a change to your finances, which may mean your interest rate also needs to change.

Keep in mind that when you refinance your investment loan, you may need to pay fees and charges when you switch lenders. It’s important to compare the cost of refinancing to the potential value you could enjoy from lower rates and see how long it would take for the savings to outweigh the costs.

How to compare investment loans

To compare mortgages for investing in property at RateCity, start by looking at one of our rate tables. To make sure you’re only seeing home loans that are suitable for investors, select that you’re looking for a loan to invest in property, or open the Filters and select that you are an Investor.

The rate table will show you a selection of investment home loans, starting with those that have an option to View Now or Enquire Now, putting you directly in touch with the lender. To see even more investment mortgage choices, use the Filters and select Include All Products.

You can use the Filters to further narrow down your search options, such as by entering:

  • how much you intend to borrow;
  • the value of the property;
  • your preference between a fixed or variable interest rate;
  • your preference between principal and interest or interest only repayments,
  • your location, and;
  • what home loan features and benefits you’d like to see included, such as offset and redraw.

Once you’ve filtered the table to show a shortlist of mortgage lenders, you can compare their interest rates, fees, features and benefits side by side. The comparison rate combines the cost of a home loan’s interest and standard fees, to give you a better idea of its potential overall cost. You can also check the Real Time Ratings™, which combine a loan’s cost and flexibility into a simple star rating.

If you find a mortgage offer you’d like to apply for, you can click View Now or Enquire Now to instantly contact the lender, or More Info to read through its details. You can also contact a mortgage broker who may be able to help you choose a suitable home loan, manage the application process, and more.

Fact Check Verification

The information on this page was fact checked by Tony Harris, a broker in New South Wales specialising in home loans, go-between loans, and commercial property loans. For more information on how brokers like this can assist you, look for a broker near you

What is an investment loan?

An investment loan is a home loan that is taken out to purchase a property purely for investment purposes. This means that the purchaser will not be living in the property but will instead rent it out or simply retain it for purposes of capital growth.

Is a second mortgage tax deductible?

If you take out a loan to invest in a property, you can claim a tax deduction on the interest you pay as long as the property is earning income. In other words, if you rent the property for the entire year, you can claim a tax deduction for 12 months of interest payments. But, if you use the home for six months and rent it for the other six months, you can claim deduction only for 50 per cent of the interest amount.

You also get tax benefits for items that lose value over the years. But, the entire amount is not allowed as a tax deduction in the same year; instead you’ll have to claim a portion each year over a number of years. 

Additional borrowing costs, such as maintenance fees, stamp duty, offset account setting up fees, Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI), and establishment fees, can also be claimed as tax deductions.

Before you claim second mortgage tax deductions, it’s often worth checking with an experienced tax expert.

Do first-time home loan applicants qualify for tax benefits?

If you’re a first-time homebuyer applying for a home loan, you could qualify for some tax deductions, but only if your property is a source of income for you. For instance, if you rent out the property, you could get tax deductions on the cost of constructing or renovating it, the loss in value of depreciating assets such as furniture or electrical fixtures, and the home loan interest. 

Homeowners using their property as a residence could also get a tax deduction if a part or all of it is used for business. These deductions include tax write-offs for depreciating assets and deductions for operating expenses like utilities’ payments and service charges for phones and the internet. However, people running businesses from their residences don’t qualify for a tax deduction on the interest paid on their home loans.

What is a mortgage rate?

The interest rate on a home loan is sometimes called the mortgage rate. This percentage indicates how much interest the lender will charge you with each home loan repayment. Your interest rate is effectively the “cost” of “buying” the money you’re using to buy a property – the higher your mortgage rate, the more your home loan repayments may cost.

Using a home loan calculator, you can estimate how much your home loan repayments may cost, based on your mortgage rate, loan term, and loan amount. This may also be affected by whether you’re making principal and interest repayments or interest-only repayments, if you have a fixed rate or variable rate mortgage, and any fees and other charges that may apply.

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.

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