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.

Find and compare cheap investor home loans

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2.89%

Variable

2.92%

Reduce Home Loans

$1.4k

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

2.58

/ 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

2.29%

Fixed - 3 years

2.74%

UBank

$1.3k

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

2.22

/ 5
More details

2.74%

Fixed - 5 years

2.83%

UBank

$1.4k

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

2.29

/ 5
More details

2.69%

Variable

2.69%

Athena Home Loans

$1.4k

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

2.90

/ 5
More details

2.74%

Variable

2.71%

Athena Home Loans

$1.4k

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

2.79

/ 5
More details

2.79%

Variable

2.74%

Athena Home Loans

$1.4k

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

2.67

/ 5
More details

2.99%

Variable

2.81%

Athena Home Loans

$748

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

1.85

/ 5
More details

2.73%

Fixed - 1 year

3.23%

Adelaide Bank

$683

Redraw facility
Offset Account
Borrow up to 79.9999%
Extra Repayments
Interest Only
Owner Occupied

2.20

/ 5
More details

3.29%

Variable

3.71%

NAB

$823

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

1.60

/ 5
More details

Learn more about home loans

Why are there different mortgages for investors and owner occupiers?

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.

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.

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?

Frequently asked questions

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.

What is an interest-only loan? How do I work out interest-only loan repayments?

An ‘interest-only’ loan is a loan where the borrower is only required to pay back the interest on the loan. Typically, banks will only let lenders do this for a fixed period of time – often five years – however some lenders will be happy to extend this.

Interest-only loans are popular with investors who aren’t keen on putting a lot of capital into their investment property. It is also a handy feature for people who need to reduce their mortgage repayments for a short period of time while they are travelling overseas, or taking time off to look after a new family member, for example.

While moving on to interest-only will make your monthly repayments cheaper, ultimately, you will end up paying your bank thousands of dollars extra in interest to make up for the time where you weren’t paying off the principal.

What is equity? How can I use equity in my home loan?

Equity refers to the difference between what your property is worth and how much you owe on it. Essentially, it is the amount you have repaid on your home loan to date, although if your property has gone up in value it can sometimes be a lot more.

You can use the equity in your home loan to finance renovations on your existing property or as a deposit on an investment property. It can also be accessed for other investment opportunities or smaller purchases, such as a car or holiday, using a redraw facility.

Once you are over 65 you can even use the equity in your home loan as a source of income by taking out a reverse mortgage. This will let you access the equity in your loan in the form of regular payments which will be paid back to the bank following your death by selling your property. But like all financial products, it’s best to seek professional advice before you sign on the dotted line.

What is a line of credit?

A line of credit, also known as a home equity loan, is a type of mortgage that allows you to borrow money using the equity in your property.

Equity is the value of your property, less any outstanding debt against it. For example, if you have a $500,000 property and a $300,000 mortgage against the property, then you have $200,000 equity. This is the portion of the property that you actually own.

This type of loan is a flexible mortgage that allows you to draw on funds when you need them, similar to a credit card.

What happens to my home loan when interest rates rise?

If you are on a variable rate home loan, every so often your rate will be subject to increases and decreases. Rate changes are determined by your lender, not the Reserve Bank of Australia, however often when the RBA changes the cash rate, a number of banks will follow suit, at least to some extent. You can use RateCity cash rate to check how the latest interest rate change affected your mortgage interest rate.

When your rate rises, you will be required to pay your bank more each month in mortgage repayments. Similarly, if your interest rate is cut, then your monthly repayments will decrease. Your lender will notify you of what your new repayments will be, although you can do the calculations yourself, and compare other home loan rates using our mortgage calculator.

There is no way of conclusively predicting when interest rates will go up or down on home loans so if you prefer a more stable approach consider opting for a fixed rate loan.

How can I calculate interest on my home loan?

You can calculate the total interest you will pay over the life of your loan by using a mortgage calculator. The calculator will estimate your repayments based on the amount you want to borrow, the interest rate, the length of your loan, whether you are an owner-occupier or an investor and whether you plan to pay ‘principal and interest’ or ‘interest-only’.

If you are buying a new home, the calculator will also help you work out how much you’ll need to pay in stamp duty and other related costs.

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.

Who has the best home loan?

Determining who has the ‘best’ home loan really does depend on your own personal circumstances and requirements. It may be tempting to judge a loan merely on the interest rate but there can be added value in the extras on offer, such as offset and redraw facilities, that aren’t available with all low rate loans.

To determine which loan is the best for you, think about whether you would prefer the consistency of a fixed loan or the flexibility and potential benefits of a variable loan. Then determine which features will be necessary throughout the life of your loan. Thirdly, consider how much you are willing to pay in fees for the loan you want. Once you find the perfect combination of these three elements you are on your way to determining the best loan for you. 

What is a variable home loan?

A variable rate home loan is one where the interest rate can and will change over the course of your loan. The rate is determined by your lender, not the Reserve Bank of Australia, so while the cash rate might go down, your bank may decide not to follow suit, although they do broadly follow market conditions. One of the upsides of variable rates is that they are typically more flexible than their fixed rate counterparts which means that a lot of these products will let you make extra repayments and offer features such as offset accounts.

How do I calculate monthly mortgage repayments?

Work out your mortgage repayments using a home loan calculator that takes into account your deposit size, property value and interest rate. This is divided by the loan term you choose (for example, there are 360 months in a 30-year mortgage) to determine the monthly repayments over this time frame.

Over the course of your loan, your monthly repayment amount will be affected by changes to your interest rate, plus any circumstances where you opt to pay interest-only for a period of time, instead of principal and interest.

What is the difference between fixed, variable and split rates?

Fixed rate

A fixed rate home loan is a loan where the interest rate is set for a certain amount of time, usually between one and 15 years. The advantage of a fixed rate is that you know exactly how much your repayments will be for the duration of the fixed term. There are some disadvantages to fixing that you need to be aware of. Some products won’t let you make extra repayments, or offer tools such as an offset account to help you reduce your interest, while others will charge a significant break fee if you decide to terminate the loan before the fixed period finishes.

Variable rate

A variable rate home loan is one where the interest rate can and will change over the course of your loan. The rate is determined by your lender, not the Reserve Bank of Australia, so while the cash rate might go down, your bank may decide not to follow suit, although they do broadly follow market conditions. One of the upsides of variable rates is that they are typically more flexible than their fixed rate counterparts which means that a lot of these products will let you make extra repayments and offer features such as offset accounts.

Split rates home loans

A split loan lets you fix a portion of your loan, and leave the remainder on a variable rate so you get a bet each way on fixed and variable rates. A split loan is a good option for someone who wants the peace of mind that regular repayments can provide but still wants to retain some of the additional features variable loans typically provide such as an offset account. Of course, with most things in life, split loans are still a trade-off. If the variable rate goes down, for example, the lower interest rates will only apply to the section that you didn’t fix.

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.

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.

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.

Do mortgage brokers need a consumer credit license?

In Australia, mortgage brokers are defined by law as being credit service or assistance providers, meaning that they help borrowers connect with lenders. Mortgage brokers may not always need a consumer credit license however if they’re operating solo they will need an Australian Credit License (ACL). Further, they may also need to comply with requirements asking them to mention their license number in full.

Some mortgage brokers can be “credit representatives”, or franchisees of a mortgage aggregator. In this case, if the aggregator has a license, the mortgage broker need not have one. The reasoning for this is that the franchise agreement usually requires mortgage brokers to comply with the laws applicable to the aggregator. If you’re speaking to a mortgage broker, you can ask them if they receive commissions from lenders, which is a good indicator that they need to be licensed. Consider requesting their license details if they don’t give you the details beforehand. 

You should remember that such a license protects you if you’re given incorrect or misleading advice that results in a home loan application rejection or any financial loss. Brokers are regulated by the Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC), as per the National Consumer Credit Protection (NCCP) Act. 

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 to break up with your mortgage broker

If you find a mortgage broker giving you generic advice or trying to sell you a competitive offer from an unsuitable lender, you might be better off  breaking up with the mortgage broker and consulting someone else. Breaking up with a mortgage broker can be done over the phone, or via email. You can also raise a complaint, either with the broker’s aggregator or with the Australian Financial Complaints Authority as necessary.

As licensed industry professionals, mortgage brokers have the responsibility of giving you accurate advice so that you know what to expect when you apply for a home loan. You may have approached the mortgage broker, for instance, because you have questions about the terms of a home loan a lender offered you. 

You should remember that mortgage brokers are obliged by law to act in your best interests and as part of complying with The Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s (ASIC) regulations. If you feel you didn’t get the right advice from the mortgage broker, or that you lost money as a result of accepting the broker’s suggestions regarding a lender or home loan offer, you can file a complaint with the ASIC and seek compensation. 

When you first speak to a mortgage broker, consider asking them about their Lender Panel, which is the list of lenders they usually recommend and who may pay them a commission. This information can help you decide if the advice they give you has anything to do with the remuneration they may receive from one or more lenders.

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.

What happens when you default on your mortgage?

A mortgage default occurs when you are 90 days or more behind on your mortgage repayments. Late repayments will often incur a late fee on top of the amount owed which will continue to gather interest along with the remaining principal amount.

If you do default on a mortgage repayment you should try and catch up in next month’s payment. If this isn’t possible, and missing payments is going to become a regular issue, you need to contact your lender as soon as possible to organise an alternative payment schedule and discuss further options.

You may also want to talk to a financial counsellor. 

How personalised is my rating?

Real Time Ratings produces instant scores for loan products and updates them based what you tell us about what you’re looking for in a loan. In that sense, we believe the ratings are as close as you get to personalised; the more you tell us, the more we customise to ratings to your needs. Some borrowers value flexibility, while others want the lowest cost loan. Your preferences will be reflected in the rating. 

We also take a shorter term, more realistic view of how long borrowers hold onto their loan, which gives you a better idea about the true borrowing costs. We take your loan details and calculate how much each of the relevent loans would cost you on average each month over the next five years. We assess the overall flexibility of each loan and give you an easy indication of which ones are likely to adjust to your needs over time.