Compare popular home loans

Sort By
Product
Advertised Rate
Comparison Rate*
Company
Monthly Repayment
Features
Real Time Rating™
Go to site

2.19%

Fixed - 3 years

2.45%

Macquarie Bank

$1.3k

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

3.57

/ 5
More details

2.68%

Variable

2.69%

Suncorp Bank

$1.4k

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

3.56

/ 5
More details

2.29%

Variable

2.33%

Mortgage House

$1.3k

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

3.47

/ 5
More details

1.98%

Fixed - 1 year

2.38%

Homestar Finance

$1.3k

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

3.46

/ 5
More details

2.06%

Fixed - 3 years

2.38%

Homestar Finance

$1.3k

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

3.66

/ 5
More details

2.18%

Fixed - 1 year

2.58%

Homestar Finance

$1.3k

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

3.15

/ 5
More details

3.02%

Variable

3.05%

Yard

$1.4k

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

2.18

/ 5
More details

Learn more about home loans

Are there special home loans for public servants?

The Australian Public Service is one of the country’s largest employers. With public servants typically earning more on average than most others many home loan lenders count public servants among those professionals more likely to repay their loans.

However, lenders don't offer any specific loans for public servants. Many bureaucrats also aren’t in the high-income bracket which means they may not meet the minimum annual income threshold to qualify for special discounts. Top-level public servants, on the other hand, can earn a much higher salary than those working at the middle and lower levels and may be eligible for such discounts.

What home loan discounts are available for public servants?

If you’re one of the over 2 million public servants in Australia chances are you’re working in the Commonwealth public service, a state or territory government department, or a local council. Public service jobs range from topmost level roles like an executive agency head or a departmental secretary in the Government of Australia to lower-level roles such as research scientist, medical professional or meat inspector. What you earn as a public servant can vary greatly with your specific role. Your income in turn affects the kind of deals you can expect from home loan lenders.

Suppose you make over $200,000 a year, which may be more than twice the median wage for a public servant but is not uncommon. Add to this, public servants are usually seen as borrowers posing a lower risk of failing to repay their loans. In this instance, lenders may offer you the same discounted interest rates offered to other high-income professionals such as doctors. The exact discount can depend on other factors, such as the amount you plan to borrow. 

For instance, some lenders offer professionals seen as low-risk borrowers an interest rate that is at least 1 per cent lower than their standard variable rate (SVR), irrespective of the loan amount. So if you borrow over $1,000,000, you could get a rate that is as much as 1.5 per cent lower than the SVR. Don’t forget that your credit rating can affect the amount you can borrow or even whether your loan application will be approved, so check it often.

Even if you don’t earn over $200,000, lenders may offer you attractive options based on the amount you’re borrowing. For instance, if you’re in line for a promotion that means a  pay increase, you may feel confident about buying a home that seems expensive based on your current income. If you can show a lender that such a change in your financial situation will mean you can repay the larger loan. It may even mean you would be eligible for discounts given to those borrowing higher amounts such as $500,000 or more. And since the public service comprises a range of professions, lenders will probably look at your exact job profile when verifying your income. For instance, you could be a solicitor in government service, and your income may not be as high as that of a solicitor in private practice. For this reason, lenders may not offer you the same deals.

What options do public servants have if they don’t qualify for home loan discounts?

Apart from the discounts offered by lenders, you should consider checking if you’re eligible for government grants such as the Commonwealth HomeBuilder Grant. While this grant doesn’t provide a large amount, it can lower the amount you need to borrow and, consequently, the cost of your home loan. 

The HomeBuilder grant, which is among the Australian government’s economic responses to the Coronavirus pandemic, offers $25,000 to eligible borrowers. This amount could be used to either buy a new home or significantly renovate your current one. However, your home must be worth $750,000 or less or if renovating the cost of renovation needs to be between $150,000 and $750,000. The eligibility criteria for the HomeBuilder grant can vary depending on your location. Still, you need to have signed your home buying agreement or contract for renovation between 4 June 2020 and 31 December 2020. 

In most states and territories, you may be eligible for the HomeBuilder grant as an individual if your taxable income was below $125,000 in either 2018-19 or 2019-2020 financial years. If you’re in a couple, you and your partner may be eligible to apply for the grant if you together earned less than $200,000 in either of those financial years. Consider checking your state’s revenue department webpage for more details on qualifying for the HomeBuilder grant. You can also check whether your state offers its grant complementing the Commonwealth one.

You can also check if your state or territory offers grants or concessions to first-time homeowners such as the First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) or the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme (FHLDS). In Tasmania, for instance, eligible individuals can get an FHOG worth as much as $20,000. Tasmania also offers eligible first-time homeowners a 50 per cent concession on property transfer duty if they buy a home that’s value doesn’t exceed $400,000. Check what your state or territory offers by checking their revenue website.

The FHLDS, on the other hand, is a scheme which allows eligible home loan applicants to pay a deposit as low as 5% without paying for Lender’s Mortgage Insurance (LMI), rather than the  20% stipulated by lenders. As part of the scheme, the government acts as a limited guarantor for the home loan. And if approved, they underwrite as much as 15 per cent of the value of the property. This scheme, however, is only available through a limited number of lenders, and you may not qualify if you have savings that cover 20 per cent of your home’s value. This scheme is also only open to individuals making less than $125,000 and couples with a total income below $200,000.

Are there limits on how large a home loan public servants can borrow?

While lenders may relax some home loan terms for public servants, the amount they are willing to lend still depends entirely on the applicant’s borrowing power and the lender’s relevant policies. Even if you’re a reasonably well-to-do government employee, you may not be allowed to borrow more than five times your annual income. Again, lenders will seek to verify and estimate your income based on your recent tax returns. As a public servant, you may also need to check if service rules affect the amount of debt you can take on, compared to your earnings.

Many lenders may also restrict your home loan amount to no more than 80% of the value of the home you’re planning to buy. If you want to borrow more than 80%, lenders may ask you to pay for LMI, which allows them to recover any losses they incur if you fail to pay your home loan back. The only exception to this rule will be if you’re applying to a lender offering the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme, provided you qualify.

You also need to consider your financial circumstances and other debts which will affect your borrowing power.

For instance, lenders may look at your spending patterns to calculate the amount you can reasonably set aside every month or week for repaying the loan. Suppose you have a credit card and are currently also paying off a car loan. This can suggest to a lender that you can’t afford to make any large repayments, at least not until your credit card debt or your car loan is paid off in full. Accordingly, the lender may recommend that you borrow a smaller amount.

How can public servants get cheaper home loans?

As a public servant, you may find yourself not earning enough to qualify for interest rate discounts but earning more than the $125,000 income cut off for most government grants. In such cases, your only option may be to try and bring down the costs of your home loan. For instance, if you can put up a 20% deposit, borrowing the remaining 80% may only require you to pay the lender’s standard variable rate as interest. You won’t have to pay for LMI either. 

If you’re new in your job as a public servant, you can check if lenders will offer you a guarantor home loan, provided someone in your family can guarantee the loan will be repaid. If you qualify for a guarantor loan, you may be able to borrow more than 80%, without needing to pay for LMI or a higher interest rate. You can compare home loan offers online to see which lender may offer you the lowest rate, or consult a mortgage broker about finding a suitable lender. 

An alternative may be to find a lender offering a home loan with a fixed interest rate. This can help you plan your home loan repayments more easily, and keep them steady. However, you may lose out on savings you can make with a variable interest rate which can decrease if the home loan market slows down. If you decide to switch between a fixed and variable rate lenders may charge an additional fee. Especially if you choose to switch from a fixed rate before the fixed period has ended.

If you’re applying for a home loan when you’re anticipating a promotion or a pay rise, you may be tempted to go for an interest-only home loan, which then reverts to larger payments at a later time. This may not be the right option if your ability to repay in the future is affected by adverse circumstances. For instance, public servants’ salaries were frozen this year to keep government expenses low during the Coronavirus pandemic. If you were paying off an interest-only home loan and waiting for a pay rise before switching to principal-plus-interest repayments, you may find that difficult now with the pay freeze.

Can a mortgage broker help public servants get better home loan deals?

Despite the convenience offered by online home loan comparisons, many people still prefer the personalised service offered by Australian mortgage brokers.

Even if a mortgage broker can’t point you to home loans tailored specifically for public servants, they may be able to suggest lenders offering home loans that fit your financial circumstances better. Given how few home loan choices there are for public servants, you may find a broker’s industry experience useful in connecting you to the right lender. You can also save a lot of valuable time by consulting a mortgage broker rather than speaking to various lenders directly.

Brokers generally won’t charge you a consulting fee as they earn a commission from the lender for recommending a home loan. If you’re not sure about the lenders the broker is showing you you should ask about their Lender Panel, which is the list of preferred lenders whom they receive commissions from and usually recommend. This can help you confirm if the mortgage broker is indeed offering you choices based on your needs. You can also request a written quote from the broker as well, which you may then be able to use to negotiate a better deal with your preferred lender.

Frequently asked questions

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.

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. 

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 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

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. 

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.

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.

What is a debt service ratio?

A method of gauging a borrower’s home loan serviceability (ability to afford home loan repayments), the debt service ratio (DSR) is the fraction of an applicant’s income that will need to go towards paying back a loan. The DSR is typically expressed as a percentage, and lenders may decline loans to borrowers with too high a DSR (often over 30 per cent).

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.

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 pay off my home loan faster?

The quickest way to pay off your home loan is to make regular extra contributions in addition to your monthly repayments to pay down the principal as fast as possible. This in turn reduces the amount of interest paid overall and shortens the length of the loan.

Another option may be to increase the frequency of your payments to fortnightly or weekly, rather than monthly, which may then reduce the amount of interest you are charged, depending on how your lender calculates repayments.

How much can I borrow with a guaranteed home loan?

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

Does Australia have no cost refinancing?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I 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

Will I be paying two mortgages at once when I refinance?

No, given the way the loan and title transfer works, you will not have to pay two mortgages at the one time. You will make your last monthly repayment on loan number one and then the following month you will start paying off loan number two.

If I don't like my new lender after I refinance, can I go back to my previous lender?

If you wish to return to your previous lender after refinancing, you will have to go through the refinancing process again and pay a second set of discharge and upfront fees. 

Therefore, before you refinance, it’s important to weigh up the new prospective lender against your current lender in a number of areas, including fees, flexibility, customer service and interest rate.

Can I refinance if I have other products bundled with my home loan?

If your home loan was part of a package deal that included access to credit cards, transaction accounts or term deposits from the same lender, switching all of these over to a new lender can seem daunting. However, some lenders offer to manage part of this process for you as an incentive to refinance with them – contact your lender to learn more about what they offer.

How do I know if I have to pay LMI?

Each lender has its own policies, but as a general rule you will have to pay lender’s mortgage insurance (LMI) if your loan-to-value ratio (LVR) exceeds 80 per cent. This applies whether you’re taking out a new home loan or you’re refinancing.

If you’re looking to buy a property, you can use this LMI calculator to work out how much you’re likely to be charged in LMI.