Family Home Guarantee

What kind of Government assistance is available to first home buyers?

Both the federal and state governments provide assistance to first home buyers as a means of helping them build or purchase their first property.

The Australian Government supports eligible home buyers to purchase a home sooner. NHFIC administers these three Schemes on behalf of the Australian Government:

  • First Home Loan Deposit Scheme supports you to buy your first home sooner, with a deposit of as little as 5%.
  • New Home Guarantee supports you to build or buy a new home, with higher property price caps available in selected areas.
  • Family Home Guarantee aims to support eligible single parents with at least one dependent child in purchasing a family home, with a deposit of as little as 2%.

Family Home Guarantee

The Family Home Guarantee aims to support eligible single parents with at least one dependent child in purchasing a family home, regardless of whether that single parent is a first home buyer or a previous home owner.

10,000 Family Home Guarantees will be made available over four financial years from 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2025.

Usually, first home buyers with less than a 20% deposit need to pay lenders mortgage insurance.

Under this Scheme, part of an eligible first home buyer’s home loan from a Participating Lender will be guaranteed by NHFIC. This is aimed at enabling you to purchase your first home sooner with as little as a 2% deposit.

Any guarantee of your home loan is for up to a maximum amount of 18% of the value of your property (as assessed by your lender). This guarantee is not a cash payment or a deposit for your home loan.

View the Family Home Guarantee fact sheet to learn more.

If your home loan is covered by this Scheme, you can also access other government programs – like the Australian Government’s First Home Super Saver Scheme, Home Builder Grant or First Home Owner Grant and concessions that may be offered by State and Territory governments. These other programs apply their own criteria and conditions, and you should make your own enquiries on their terms.

Who is eligible?

Am I a single parent?

You will only be eligible to participate if you:

  1. are single. A person is considered to be single if they don’t have a spouse and/or the person does not have a de facto partner
  2. have at least one dependent child. To have a dependent child, you must be the natural or adoptive parent of the child and the child must either be
    • a “dependent child” within the meaning of subsections (2), (3), (4),(5), (6) and (7) of section 5 of the Social Security Act 1991 or
    • at least 16 but under 22 years of age, receive a disability support pension within the meaning of the Social Security Act 1991 and live with you.

Generally speaking, for the purposes of the Social Security Act 1991, this means that you must show that you are legally responsible (whether alone or jointly with another person) for the day-to-day care, welfare and development of the dependent child and the dependent child is in your care.

What if I used to own a home?

Family Home Guarantee applicants can be either first home buyers or previous owners who do not currently own a home.

To be eligible, you must not currently have:

  • a freehold interest in real property in Australia
  • a lease of land in Australia
  • a company title interest in land in Australia

If you are unsure of your personal circumstances, you should ask a professional adviser.

 

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General Insurance

General insurance is usually defined as any form of insurance that is not health or life insurance. Essentially there are there is a broad range of general insurance categories:

In most cases, you are able to make additional payments over and above the minimum requirement, and this can significantly reduce the amount of interest you have to pay and thus shorten the length of the loan and improve your cash flow.

Home and contents insurance

Home and contents insurance covers you against damage or loss to a property you own, as well as the loss, theft or damage of your personal possessions.

Landlord Insurance

Landlord Insurance is designed to cover your investment properties with the cost of replacement or repair required when certain events occur that damage your residential investment property, and any contents you provide for your tenant’s use.

Motor vehicle insurance

There are four main types of motor vehicle insurance in Australia: Compulsory Third Party (CTP) Insurance; Comprehensive Insurance; Fire and Theft Only; and Third-Party Property Onl

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance covers you for loss of goods, medical expenses etc., which may occur during your travel for business or personal trips. 

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SMSF Loans

What is a SMSF?

A Self Managed Super Fund (SMSF) is a form of trust that is designed to provide a retirement income for its members, who are also its trustees. Members of the fund direct their superannuation contributions into the SMSF account.

It is required to have to have a separate bank account, as well as a Tax File Number (TFN) and Australian Business Number (ABN). A SMSF must lodge an annual tax return, and an approved auditor is required to audit its financial statements and the operations of the fund each year.

As a member and trustee of the fund, you are responsible for choosing how money is invested and benefits paid out. Therefore, there needs to be a clearly formulated investment strategy in place.

As part of such a strategy, it is possible for a SMSF to be used to buy investment property — either residential or commercial. However, there are strict rules and regulations in place as to how funds can be used for this purpose.

Investing in property through a SMSF

Before investing in property using a SMSF, it is important to know that there are significant rules and regulations in place as to how that property can be used.

Investing in residential property

Any residential property owned by a SMSF is not able to be leased to anyone who is a member of the fund, or a relative or business partner of a member, all of whom are considered to be a ‘related party’ of the fund.

Residential property purchased by a SMSF cannot be lived in by any trustee, or anyone related to a trustee, for any period of time. Likewise, a trustee or anyone related to a trustee cannot rent the property. This therefore precludes a SMSF being used to purchase a second home or holiday property, for instance.

Furthermore, your SMSF is not permitted to purchase or receive via transfer from you a residential property that you already own.

Investing in commercial property

As long as it is being used solely for business purposes, a commercial property purchased through a SMSF can be leased to a business owned/operated by a member of the fund, provided it is done at arm’s length, with all rents being at market rate and paid on time.

Unlike residential property, a commercial property owned by a member can be contributed to a SMSF, provided the transaction is at market value and is subject to contribution caps. The transfer may also be subject to stamp duty, capital gains and tax.

In order to purchase a commercial property using a SMSF, a specific type of loan is required. This will have stricter criteria than other types of loan, particularly with regard to loan to value ratio (LVR).

Using a SMSF to purchase a commercial property can be a potentially useful investment strategy for small business owners, as it means they can own the premises out of which their business operates. However, it must at all times satisfy what is known as the sole purpose test, i.e. the prime function of a SMSF is to provide retirement benefits to its members (or to their dependants if a member dies before retirement).

Tax liabilities when purchasing property through a SMSF

The fund will be required to pay 15% tax on any rental income derived from the property. Once a property has been held for twelve months, capital gain tax liability is reduced to 10% if the property is subsequently sold.

If the gross rental income froma commercial property is in excess of $75,000 per annum, the fund will need to register for GST, 100% of which can be claimed for expenses associated with theproperty.

The interest payments on any property purchased with a loan are tax deductible to the fund. If there is a taxable loss on the property (i.e., expenses associated with owning the property exceed the income derived), this can be carried forward each year and offset on future taxable income (however, losses cannot be offset against personal taxable income derived from outside the fund).

Once the fund’s trustees retire and start receiving a pension, rental income or capital gains arising in the fund are tax free.

SMSF borrowing and loans process

Strict rules apply to a SMSF borrowing money to acquire an asset, including property. Loans can only be undertaken through a limited recourse borrowing arrangement (LRBA); this minimises risk to other assets in the fund, as the lender’s rights are limited only to the asset that is being acquired.

Under LRBA rules, improvements and renovations to a property cannot be undertaken using borrowed money (although everyday repairs and maintenance are allowed); however, money that has not been borrowed can be used to make improvements to an asset.

A loan undertaken by a SMSF to purchase property will usually come with higher borrowing costs, and so this needs to be factored in to any investment decisions, as does the fact that all loan repayments can only be made by the SMSF (with funds derived either from rental income or superannuation contributions).

How we can help?

As can be seen from the above, managing a SMSF and purchasing property is notstraightforward. There are numerous rules and regulations which you mustadhere to, and as a member and trustee of the fund, you are responsible for ensuring compliance with all relevant laws and regulations. Serious penalties can result from the mismanagement of a SMSF.

For this reason, it is strongly recommended that you seek specialist advice before purchasing property if you have already established a SMSF, or if you are considering setting up a SMSF with the sole purpose of purchasing an investment property through borrowing.

As specialist mortgage brokers, Finncitti can advise you on setting up a SMSF in order to buy an investment property, and help you to decide whether this is the right investment strategy for you.

This can include advising you on the sums of money required to set up a SMSF, as well as what is needed to cover auditing, tax, legal charges and other running costs. Our advisers can also assist you in ensuring you have the requisite insurance in place, as well as helping to prepare for audits and submitting annual tax returns.

You can also call on our extensive experience to help you secure a loan to purchase an investment property for your fund. As this is required to be done via a LRBA, this is a more complex task than securing a regular home loan or investment loan, and so requires a degree of specialist industry knowledge.

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Personal Loans

What is a personal loan?

A personal loan is when you borrow a sum of money which you then repay with interest in equal instalments over a fixed time frame. The loan can be used for a variety of purposes, such as holidays, home improvements, or to consolidate other existing debts.

You get a sense of financial stability when you take out a personal loan, as you know each month how much has to be repaid and when, it may also be a cheaper option than other forms of borrowing such as credit cards.

In most cases, you are able to make additional payments over and above the minimum requirement, and this can significantly reduce the amount of interest you have to pay and thus shorten the length of the loan and improve your cash flow.

Secured and unsecured personal loans

Personal loans are usually either classified as secured or unsecured.

Secured personal loan

If you take out a secured personal loan, the lender will require an asset (Car, motorcycle etc) to be held as security against the debt. Generally, they are cheaper than unsecured personal loans.

Unsecured personal loan

With an unsecured personal loan, the lender will not require any security. The rate of interest you pay on an unsecured personal loan will be higher than with a secured loan to compensate the lender for the greater risk.

How to apply for a personal loan?

When you are applying for a personal loan, you need to be clear whether the loan is to be secured or unsecured. Also it is good idea to obtain a copy of your credit report beforehand as your credit rating can affect the interest terms you are offered.

You should also ensure that you know whether there are any set up or ongoing fees associated with administering the loan, and whether there are any early repayment or termination charges.

To have the best chance of success, you should also calculate what is a reasonable and realistic amount for you to borrow, based on your income, assets and credit history, and it can also be helpful if you can demonstrate a positive savings history as well.

How we can help?

Finnciti can help you find the best secured and unsecured personal loans according to your current financial circumstances and negotiate with the lenders on your behalf to secure a competitive proposition for you. 

The Finnciti team with its experience can get your loan approved within 48 hours in most instances.

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Vehicle Loans

Car Loans

A car loan is usually a secured loan, which means that the vehicle you are buying is considered as security. This means that if you are unable to meet your repayment commitments, the lender is entitled to repossess the vehicle.

You can use a secured car loan to purchase a brand new car, or in some cases a car up to 3 years old. It may be that the higher the value of the car, the lower the interest rate on the loan.

A used car loan will usually be used to purchase a vehicle that is up to 6 years old, and so does not qualify for a new car loan; the loan will, however, usually be secured against the vehicle.

An unsecured car loan is generally used to buy a vehicle more than 6 years old, and will usually have a higher interest rate than a secured car loan.

There is a huge variety of car loan providers in Australia and as a consequence a multitude of different products. Therefore, it is important to choose a car loan that meets your specific needs and circumstances.

Car loan pre-approved finance

Conditional approval for a car loan means that a lender has pre-approved in principle to lend you up to a certain sum to buy a car. Unconditional approval means that a lender agrees to a loan so that you can buy a specific vehicle.

Getting pre-approved for a car loan is an efficient way of going about things, as it means you don’t waste time looking at vehicles that you are not realistically going to be able to afford. It also puts you in a position where you might be able to negotiate a better price with a dealer or seller.

Car loan interest rates

Car loan interest rates tend to be fixed for the entirety of the agreement, which means you know in advance how much your borrowing will cost you, as well as what your monthly repayments are going to be. However, it is nevertheless possible to get variable rate car loans as well, if that better suits your circumstances.

Most fixed rate car loans are over up to five years, but a variable rate a car loan can be over a period of up to seven years, depending on the vehicle and lender. You are generally able to choose to make either weekly, fortnightly or monthly repayments.

With a variable rate pre-approved car loan, you can generally make additional repayments without being charged a fee, and some loans will offer a redraw facility as well.

Finding your new car just got easier

Our specialist loan advisers can make the whole process of buying a new car a great deal easier.

We can assist you in gaining pre-approval for a car loan by helping you prepare the relevant financial information required, as well as connect you with the right lenders and products to meet your specific needs.

In addition, as Finnciti is a car loan broker, we have access to a range of loans wth interest rates that individual borrowers are generally unable to obtain.

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Private Loans

What is a private loan?

A private loan is a loan offered by a lender who is not your traditional lender like a bank, building society or credit union. Instead, you are borrowing money from an individual or company that has access to its own private funds.

Generally speaking, private loan providers specialise in offering short term borrowing and finance solutions that traditional banks are unable to assist with.

When would you need a private loan?

It is usually the case that people turn to private mortgages and loans when they find themselves unable to obtain finance through more conventional channels. When it comes to private home loans, these generally fail into one of four categories:

Poor Credit history

If you have a poor credit history, particularly if you have defaulted on any of your liabilities, you will get knocked back by the traditional lenders. Private loan providers can assist you in this instance. These loans come with a higher rate of interest and will usually be short term and designed to give you an opportunity to improve your credit history, e.g., through consolidating existing debts.

Low documents or low serviceability

If you do not have sufficient financial history in terms of your income as required by the conventional lenders, or you do not qualify for a loan through the bank’s assessment criteria, you may then have an option of using the services of a private lender.

Loan Purpose

If the purpose of the loan does not fit under the normal criteria of the banks, you can use the private lender services.

Security

If your property is not accepted as a valid security by lenders, e.g. half completed house, private lenders can assist you secure your finances

How can we help?

Finnciti has a range of private lenders on the panel who can assist you secure short term finances. We negotiate rates on your behalf and make the lending experience seamless.

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Equipment Finance

What It Includes

Equipment loans are available to Australian businesses across all sectors and industries and can be used to finance a range of plant, machinery and equipment purchases that are required for a business’ operations.

A business equipment loan can be used for:

  • Vehicles, including vans, Utes and cars.
  • Heavy duty vehicles, such as trucks, trailers, and buses
  • Construction equipment, such as forklifts, excavators, front end loaders, etc.
  • Agricultural machinery, including vehicles.
  • Fitting out commercial, retail, or other business premises
  • Purchasing or upgrading IT equipment and infrastructure

Equipment loans are generally secured loans, and most lenders will require your business to have a minimum turnover figure before they will consider writing a business vehicle or equipment loan.

Heavy vehicles

Your business can take out a loan to purchase heavy duty vehicles suitable for use in all types of industries. This includes finance for:

  • Mining vehicles
  • Trucks and trailers
  • Construction vehicles
  • Earthmoving equipment
  • Agricultural and farm vehicles

Plant, equipment, and machinery

Plant and heavy machinery loans are designed to provide finance to a range of industries in order to develop operational capacity.

For instance, you can arrange a loan to purchase all types of plant and equipment for:

  • Mining
  • Energy
  • Heavy industry
  • Materials handling
  • Construction
  • Rail
  • Aviation

In some cases, if you take out a chattel mortgage to purchase plant and other heavy machinery, you can borrow more than 100% of the cost to be able to fund training for staff, insurance, and other coast associated with the set up.

Premises fit outs

Businesses in a range of sectors can get financing to undertake a fit out of their premises. You can also get finance for retrofitting your existing premises or use a loan to re-locate to new business premises.

Refit finance is available for refurbishing all types of business premises, including:

  • Commercial and office spaces
  • Shops and retail outlets
  • Cafes and restaurants
  • Medical facilities
  • Warehouses and factories
  • Function and entertainment centre’s

The amount you are able to borrow will depend on the lender and your business’ specific circumstances (e.g., how long in business, turnover, etc.) You will usually be charged a set-up fee for the loan, and most agreements are available for up to five years.

In order to complete the purchase, you may be required to pay stamp duty (a state government tax), as well as conveyancer and/or solicitor fees.

In terms of additional, regular costs besides the repayments on your home loan, you might also decide to take out mortgage protection insurance, a form of personal insurance that covers you in case you default on your mortgage, and can cover the cost of your regular monthly repayments if you die, become seriously ill with a medical condition, or lose your job. This will add to your regular outgoings as well.

How to get vehicle and equipment finance

To get vehicle and equipment finance, you will usually require an ABN, and for the product to be intended primarily for business use.

You will generally be charged a set-up fee for a business machinery loan, and there can be additional charges under certain circumstances. These can include if you are buying the vehicle or equipment from someone without an ABN or who is not registered for GST. You may also be charged a fee if you want to make a change to the loan after it has been drawn down.

Once your loan has been approved, you are able to buy new or used vehicles and/or equipment, and you can make your purchase from a dealer, through private sale, or at auction.

How we can help

As business loan brokers, Finnciti can advise you on all aspects of business machinery and equipment finance.

In addition, with our experience in the industry we are able to connect you with the right lender to suit your needs and there by secure better rates and other benefits that the individual business owner may not be able to access.

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Commercial Loans

What is commercial loan ?

A commercial loan is generally classified as a loan that is used for business or investment purposes, and where no residential property is involved.

 Unlike home loans, where the rates and terms tend to be set and inflexible, commercial loans generally have more scope for negotiation, depending on the lender, the purpose of the loan, the perceived risks, and the overall financial position of your business.

 Commercial loans are available both for short term financing or over extended periods of time as required and can be written either as fixed rate or as variable rate loans.

What can a commercial loan be used for?

A commercial loan can be used to purchase a range of different assets to grow your business. This can include building or moving to new or expanded premises, extending your product and stock range, or purchasing new equipment, plant or machinery.

In addition, you can use a commercial loan to pay for the hiring and training of new staff, improving your cash flow, or for meeting the costs of marketing and advertising.

How to apply for a commercial loan?

To apply for a commercial loan, you will generally need to demonstrate a thorough understanding of your business’ current financial position, as well as having a business plan in place to indicate its future direction.

As a starting point, you will need to have prepared a cash flow statement, that includes information such as current income, net profit, expenses and future projections.

You will also need to make clear to potential lenders whether finance is required up front or on a needs basis, as well as any assets that can be offered as security. You should also aim to demonstrate that you have taken into account the costs associated with a commercial loan in your calculations, such as set up and ongoing administrative fees, as well as the interest payments on the loan.

How we can help

Finnciti can provide you with a wide range of commercial loan options, and connect you with specialist lenders who understand your business needs.

Our expert advisers are always on hand to ensure you have all the information and data you need to be able to choose the right commercial loan for your business.

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Business Loans

What can you do with a business loan?

Both new and existing businesses are likely to need finance at some time, for a variety of purposes. There are always costs and overheads associated with running a business, and capital can be needed at any time. As a consequence, it is fairly commonplace for enterprises of all sizes to take out a business loan at some period in their development and/or expansion.

You might, for instance, need additional funds to purchase new equipment, or upgrade or move premises. Your business might need to expand its stock and inventory levels, you may require new office furniture, or it might be necessary to upgrade your IT.

Both new and existing businesses will at times require additional funding to be able to undertake a marketing campaign, or update their website. Alternatively, you might require some additional funding in order to stay on top of cash flow or to consolidate high interest debt.

These are just some examples of the circumstances in which you might need to apply for a business loan in order to cover expenses that the business is not able to pay for itself at that time.

What you will need to get a business loan?

If you are considering applying for a business loan, potential lenders will need to understand your business, its financial position, and what its plans are for the future.

The first step should be to ask yourself some important questions about any potential business loan, and why you might need it. For instance:

  • How much does the business need to borrow?
  • Is finance required up front, or on a needs basis?
  • What type of loan is going to be right for the business?
  • What length of time is required?
  • What can the business afford to repay, taking into account interest, set up fees, ongoing costs, etc?
  • Do you have any other debts or liabilities?
  • Will you be required to offer the lender security?

 

Understanding your finances

In order for a potential lender to be able to understand your finances, you will need to have a thorough grasp of the current position of the business as well.

A cash flow statement is an important tool, as it shows how money comes into the business, and where it goes. This might include current income, net profit, expenses and future projections, for instance. Any business seeking finance will also need to have in place a business plan.

Other things to consider

When you take out a business loan, interest is charged differently to other types of loan, as the lender will likely be factoring in how they view the business’ future success.

However, the interest rates charged for a business loan will be lower than the rate charged on credit cards, and you won’t be required to give up a share of your business as you might when you obtain finance via an investor.

There may also be other fees associated with a business loan. These can include an upfront fee for establishing the loan (the size of this will depend on the size of the loan), and ongoing fees for the administration of the loan.

Business loans also have tax and GST implications, and it is advisable to discuss these with an experienced financial adviser before seeking finance.

How to apply for a business loan?

You will likely be more successful in obtaining a business loan if you are well prepared, have a clear understanding of your current financial position, along with plans in place for the future growth and development of the business.

Therefore, you will need to have a clear picture of the amount of money you want to borrow and what you intend to use it for. Having a business plan will help in this regard. It will also be helpful to have your latest credit report, as a potential lender will reference this. A lender will also want to see your financial statements, including balance sheet, income statement, cash flow statement and statement of retained earnings.

You will also need to be able to discuss with potential lenders your current position with the ATO regarding any tax debt. This is especially important if you are currently in a payment arrangement with the ATO, as this may mean that a lender is unwilling to offer a business loan.

Part of the process of applying for a business loan may also include providing proof of your identity and personal income.

Business loan interest rate types and repayments

What is the difference between a fixed and variable rate?

In essence, a fixed interest rate loan means that the rate at which you pay interest on the loan is set for a predetermined period of time, and will not change regardless of any alteration in the official Reserve Bank rate. You will generally pay a higher rate of interest with a fixed rate loan than a variable rate business loan.

A variable rate business loan means that the rate of interest changes in line with fluctuations in the Reserve Bank rate. This will then impact on your monthly repayments, which can rise or fall in line with the changes in the official rate.

Fixed interest rate loans

With a fixed interest rate business loan, your payments are the same and predictable, and you know in advance what you will be charged over the entire life of the loan. This can be helpful in managing your cash flow and planning for the future.

Variable interest rate loans

A variable interest rate business loan means that your monthly repayments can change, and so at the outset the overall cost of the borrowing won’t be known. It does, however, give you flexibility and the opportunity to capitalise on any interest rate falls, but you also need to be aware of the possibility that interest rate rises impede your ability to repay the loan.

Which type of business loan is going to be right for you?

Both loan types have advantages and disadvantages, depending your particular circumstances. Whether you opt for a fixed rate or variable rate loan will affect the stability of the repayments, the overall cost of the loan, and the features that come with the loan.

You will generally pay a higher rate of interest with a fixed rate loan than a variable rate business loan. This is because the lender is bearing the risk for interest rate changes, as opposed to a variable rate loan, where you as the borrower are bearing that risk.

If your business is in an early growth phase, a fixed rate loan may be the right option, as it gives you stability and the ability to look forward and plan ahead. If you are more established, and/or have some capital reserves, a variable rate business loan might be the answer, as you will likely be paying a lower rate of interest and have the flexibility to capitalise on changes in the official interest rate.

What is a balloon payment?

A balloon payment (sometimes called a residual amount) is a payment that you are required to make at the end of a loan period to cover the remaining part of the loan that has not been paid off.

If a business loan is structured so that a ballon payment is required at the end of the agreement, the monthly repayments over the life of the loan will be lower. If there is no ballon payment, you can expect to repay more of your loan each month.

Including a ballon payment in a loan can be useful as means of managing cash flow, although it is important to ensure that you have budgeted to be able to repay the residual amount when it falls due.

Balloon payments are generally used in chattel mortgages, a form of business loan usually used to purchase plant or equipment, and where that asset acts as security for the loan. If you are unable to meet your repayments or the balloon payment, the lender is entitled to repossess the asset.

How we can help?

At Finnciti, we are business loan specialists and can help you to take advantage of the different types of business loans available to you.

As part of the process, we can assist in the preparation of cash flow statements and business plans, and guide you through the business loan application process, connecting you with lenders who can provide the sort of financial products your business requires.

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Investment Loans

As investing in property plays a key role in many Australiansinvestment strategies, lenders offer a wide range of investment home loans designed specifically to meet this need. Investment loans are generally used to buy a property which is then rented out as a means of generating income, but which could not otherwise be purchased without a loan.

The sort of investment loan you finally choose will ultimately depend on a variety of factors, including your age, savings and income, the area in which you purchase a property, your investment goals and strategy, and your retirement plans, as well as others factors that may be specific to your family and circumstances.

Some of the most common sorts of loans taken out by Australian property investors are outlined below.

>Interest only investment loan

Interest-only loans are particularly effective as part of a property investment strategy as the repayments at the outset of the loan are lower, as you are only repaying the interest on the loan, not the principle.

This can be a good strategy because at this time you will likely incur a number of other costs associated with your investment property, meaning you are better able to meet these additional overheads. In addition, an interest only investment loan can be effective because by the time you are required to start paying back the principle as well, growth in the value of the property can compensate for the increased repayments.

> Variable rate investment loan

A fixed rate investment loan gives you greater certainty, as for the term of the agreement your repayments remain the same, regardless of what the Reserve Bank does. Fixed rate loans can usually be written for periods of between six months and ten years, and so they allow you to plan ahead and manage your budget for this period of time.

> Fixed rate investment loan

One of the most significant costs when buying a first home is the deposit. In most cases, you will need to have saved or have access to a sum equivalent to 20% of the purchase price of a property before a lender will consider giving you a home loan.

However, there are also other initial costs that you will incur. For instance, you will need to have any prospective property professionally valued, and you may also be required to undertake a pest and building inspection.

In order to complete the purchase, you may be required to pay stamp duty (a state government tax), as well as conveyancer and/or solicitor fees.

In terms of additional, regular costs besides the repayments on your home loan, you might also decide to take out mortgage protection insurance, a form of personal insurance that covers you in case you default on your mortgage, and can cover the cost of your regular monthly repayments if you die, become seriously ill with a medical condition, or lose your job. This will add to your regular outgoings as well.

> Construction loan

A popular strategy for property investing in Australia is to build a new house and then rent it out immediately. Construction loans are designed specifically for this purpose, as during the building phase you only pay the interest on the loan, rather than the principle. Once the property is completed, you can generally then convert your construction loan to a variable rate, fixed rate or split rate mortgage.

> Self-Managed Super Fund investment loan

A Self-Managed Super Fund (SMSF) can be used to purchase an investment property, albeit under a number of restrictions and conditions. It is important to get expert advice before proceeding too far down this path.

How to go about getting a loan and buying an investment property

One of the most efficient ways of buying an investment property is to use the equity in your home.

Equity is the difference between the current value of your property and the amount remaining to be paid off the mortgage. If your home is worth $500,000 and you have $200,000 outstanding on your home loan, your equity is calculated at $300,000.

As long as you have paid off at least 20% of your mortgage, you may be able to use as much as 80% of the equity in your home in the purchase of an investment property (in the example above, for instance, you would be able to access $240,000).

Therefore, if you have built up some equity in your property, and have some access to additional funds should unexpected costs arise, getting an investment loan in order to invest in real estate may be more attainable than you think.

How can I build equity in my home?

There are a number of ways in which you can proactively build equity in your home. Making additional home loan repayments whenever you can is helpful, as is increasing the size of your regular repayments.

Refinancing can also help in this regard, as renegotiating the terms of your mortgage or changing lenders could lead to lower repayments, which means that if you are still able to repay your home loan at the same rate, you are bringing down the principle quicker and thus growing your equity.

 

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