Getting a home loan will cost you money, and not just in interest charges. Many mortgage lenders charge upfront fees when you successfully apply for a home loan, to help cover a range of costs. While these are one-off charges, they can make applying for a home loan more expensive than you may expect. 

Choosing a home loan with low upfront fees may help you minimise your home loan’s initial cost, though it’s important to also compare interest rates and ongoing fees before you apply.  

Find and compare home loans with low upfront fees

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Advertised Rate

2.55%

Fixed - 1 year

Comparison Rate*

3.21%

Company
Adelaide Bank
Repayment

$638

monthly

Features
Redraw facility
Offset Account
Borrow up to 79.9999%
Extra Repayments
Interest Only
Owner Occupied
Real Time Rating™

2.67

/ 5
Go to site
More details
Advertised Rate

2.74%

Variable

Comparison Rate*

2.74%

Company
UBank
Repayment

$1,382

monthly

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

2.76

/ 5
Go to site
More details
Advertised Rate

3.29%

Variable

Comparison Rate*

3.71%

Company
NAB
Repayment

$823

monthly

Features
Redraw facility
Offset Account
Borrow up to 90%
Extra Repayments
Interest Only
Owner Occupied
Real Time Rating™

1.46

/ 5
Go to site
More details
Advertised Rate

2.59%

Variable

Comparison Rate*

2.60%

Company
Greater Bank
Repayment

$1,359

monthly

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

3.23

/ 5
Go to site
More details
Advertised Rate

1.89%

Fixed - 1 year

Comparison Rate*

3.51%

Company
Greater Bank
Repayment

$1,256

monthly

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

1.97

/ 5
Go to site
More details
Advertised Rate

2.05%

Fixed - 2 years

Comparison Rate*

2.65%

Company
Adelaide Bank
Repayment

$1,279

monthly

Features
Redraw facility
Offset Account
Borrow up to 94.9999%
Extra Repayments
Interest Only
Owner Occupied
Real Time Rating™

2.86

/ 5
Go to site
More details
Advertised Rate

2.69%

Variable

Comparison Rate*

2.69%

Company
NAB
Repayment

$1,375

monthly

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

2.96

/ 5
Go to site
More details
Advertised Rate

1.89%

Fixed - 2 years

Comparison Rate*

2.94%

Company
Suncorp Bank
Repayment

$1,256

monthly

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

3.54

/ 5
Go to site
More details
Advertised Rate

1.95%

Fixed - 3 years

Comparison Rate*

2.27%

Company
UBank
Repayment

$1,264

monthly

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

3.52

/ 5
Go to site
More details
Advertised Rate

2.29%

Fixed - 5 years

Comparison Rate*

2.73%

Company
Virgin Money
Repayment

$1,314

monthly

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

4.28

/ 5
Go to site
More details
Advertised Rate

2.04%

Fixed - 2 years

Comparison Rate*

2.79%

Company
Virgin Money
Repayment

$1,277

monthly

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

3.97

/ 5
Go to site
More details
Advertised Rate

2.79%

Fixed - 5 years

Comparison Rate*

3.87%

Company
NAB
Repayment

$1,390

monthly

Features
Redraw facility
Offset Account
Borrow up to 95%
Extra Repayments
Interest Only
Owner Occupied
Real Time Rating™

2.70

/ 5
Go to site
More details
Advertised Rate

2.29%

Fixed - 3 years

Comparison Rate*

2.65%

Company
UBank
Repayment

$1,314

monthly

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

2.68

/ 5
Go to site
More details

Learn more about home loans

What are the types of upfront fees?

There are several different types of upfront fees that your mortgage lender may charge, such as:

  • Application or establishment fee: Charged by your mortgage lender to help cover the admin costs of processing your home loan application.
  • Valuation fee: Covers the cost of an accredited valuer assessing a property as part of your mortgage application’s approval process. 
  • Legal fees: If your mortgage provider uses a legal team to help prepare and organise documents for your application, you may be charged a fee. This is separate to the fees charged by your own solicitor or conveyancer, who helps you manage the exchange of contracts and settlement process. 

As well as fees, there may be other upfront costs you’ll need to consider, such as:

  • Lender’s Mortgage Insurance (LMI): If you have a low home loan deposit, your lender may take out an insurance policy to cover themselves against the risk that you may default on your mortgage payments, and pass the cost on to you. The smaller you home loan deposit, the higher the potential cost of LMI. 
  • Stamp duty: A tax on the sale and exchange of property. Check with your local state government to find out how much you can expect to pay in stamp duty. 
  • Transfer fee: Another state government fee, covering the cost of transferring a property’s title from one owner to another. Varies from state to state. 
  • Mortgage registration fee: Covers the cost of registering your home loan with the state government. Varies from state to state. 

Which home loans come with low upfront fees?

While many home loans come with some upfront fees or administration fees, it’s also possible to find home loans with low or no upfront charges.

When you apply for a home loan, you or your mortgage broker may be able to negotiate with your lender to have one or more upfront fees discounted or waived. Banks and mortgage lenders may be happy to give up their upfront fees to secure your business. 

Keep in mind that upfront fees are just one of the many costs involved with a home loan. There may be other fees and charges to consider, including ongoing fees that apply for the rest of the loan’s term. Comparing home loans can give you a better idea of what home loan costs you could expect, and contacting a mortgage broker could let you benefit from personal home loan advice around which costs may offer you the most value in return. 

Should I get a home loan with low upfront fees?

Home loans with low upfront fees may not suit everyone. 

While one home loan may look cheaper due to lower upfront fees, it may have higher interest rates or ongoing fees than the next loan.

Before making a mortgage decision, it’s important to consider all of a home loan’s costs, from beginning to end.

Frequently asked questions

What is upfront fee?

An ‘upfront’ or ‘application’ fee is a one-off expense you are charged by your bank when you take out a loan. The average start-up fee is around $600 however there are over 1,000 loans on the market with none at all. If the loan you want does include an application fee, try and negotiate to have it waived. You’ll be surprised what your bank agrees to when they want your business.

What is an ongoing fee?

Ongoing fees are any regular payments charged by your lender in addition to the interest they apply including annual fees, monthly account keeping fees and offset fees. The average annual fee is close to $200 however there are almost 2,000 home loan products that don’t charge an annual fee at all. There’s plenty of extra costs when you’re buying a home, such as conveyancing, stamp duty, moving costs, so the more fees you can avoid on your home loan, the better. While $200 might not seem like much in the grand scheme of things, it adds up to $6,000 over the life of a 30 year loan – money which would be much better off either reinvested into your home loan or in your back pocket for the next rainy day.

Example: Anna is tossing up between two different mortgage products. Both have the same variable interest rate, but one has a monthly account keeping fee of $20. By picking the loan with no fees, and investing an extra $20 a month into her loan, Josie will end up shaving 6 months off her 30 year loan and saving over $9,000* in interest repayments.

What fees are there when buying a house?

Buying a home comes with ‘hidden fees’ that should be factored in when considering how much the total cost of your new home will be. These can include stamp duty, title registration costs, building inspection fees, loan establishment fee, lenders mortgage insurance (LMI), legal fees and bank valuation costs.

Tip: you can calculate your stamp duty costs as well as LMI in Rate City mortgage repayments calculator

Some of these fees can be taken out of the mix, such as LMI, if you have a big enough deposit or by asking your lender to waive establishment fees for your loan. Even so, fees can run into the thousands of dollars on top of the purchase price.

Keep this in mind when deciding if you are ready to make the move in to the property market.

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.

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.

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).

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 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.

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.

Monthly Repayment

Your current monthly home loan repayment. To accurately calculate how much you could save, an accurate payment figure is required. If you are not certain, check your bank statement.

What are exit and discharge fees?

The Federal Government banned exit fees in 2011, removing one of the biggest barriers to taking switching home loan providers. Lenders can still legally charge a discharge fee, which is payable when you come to the end of your home loan, however these fees are relatively small at an average of $304 while 134 products don’t have them at all.

Can you remove a cosigner from a home loan?

Taking out a home loan is an act of financial responsibility and a cosigner on a home loan shares that responsibility. For this reason, removing a cosigner from a home loan may not be straightforward. Usually, you can add a cosigner, or become a cosigner, when applying for the home loan. In such a circumstance, the lender may ask you to stipulate the conditions for a cosigner release, which are the terms for removing a cosigner from the home loan. For instance, you may agree that you can remove a cosigner once half the loan amount has been repaid.

However, not stipulating such conditions doesn’t mean it’s impossible to remove a cosigner. If the primary home loan applicant has a sufficiently high credit score and has not delayed any repayments, the lender may be willing to remove the cosigner. You should confirm that doing so doesn’t affect the terms of the loan. If the lender doesn’t agree to remove the cosigner, the primary home loan applicant may have to refinance the loan in order to do so. If there were specific reasons for needing a cosigner and those reasons are still valid, then you may have some challenges with refinancing.

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. 

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 get ANZ home loan pre-approval?

Shopping for a new home is an exciting experience and getting a pre-approval on the loan may give you the peace of mind that you are looking at properties within your budget. 

At the time of applying for the ANZ Bank home loan pre-approval, you will be required to provide proof of employment and income, along with records of your savings and debts.

An ANZ home loan pre-approval time frame is usually up to three months. However, being pre-approved doesn’t necessarily mean you will get your home loan. Other factors could lead to your home loan application being rejected, even with a prior pre-approval. Some factors include the property evaluation not meeting the bank’s criteria or a change in your financial circumstances.

You can make an application for ANZ home loan pre-approval online or call on 1800100641 Mon-Fri 8.00 am to 8.00 pm (AEST).

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.

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

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.