How much money can I borrow?

When taking out a home loan, everyone’s existing and future financial situations are going to be somewhat unique – so let’s first take a look at what the lending industry thinks before investigating the additional factors that are likely to be applicable to you as an individual.

The lending industry indirectly recommends that people not borrow more than 80% of the property value through the general application of policies which enforce that borrowers pay for Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI) in order to be approved for a loan worth more than that.

Effectively, they are saying that buyers should have at least a 20% property deposit saved. A 20% deposit on a $450,000 house is $90,000!

Essentially, lenders are protecting themselves from a situation where:

  • a borrower ‘defaults’ on the mortgage (unable to pay or ‘service’ the loan), forcing the bank to repossess the property AND
  • the value of the property has fallen to be worth less than what’s owed on the mortgage

In this situation, the lender might not be able to fully recover what’s owed to it by selling the repossessed property – resulting in a loss for the lender.

Can’t afford a 20% deposit?

You may still be able to be approved for a home loan with a deposit of under 20% of the property’s value. For many lenders, the minimum required deposit is often 5%.

But there are two things you should consider when applying for a home loan with a deposit under 20%:  

  1. Lender’s mortgage insurance: Typically, borrowers that don’t have a deposit of at least 20% are required to pay for LMI, which can add tens of thousands to the cost of the mortgage, depending on the lender and what loan-to-value ratio (LVR) percentage you have.  
  2. Guarantors: If you can get one of your family members to act as a guarantor, you may be approved for the mortgage without having to pay LMI. To be successful, the family member must be able to demonstrate either their own capacity to repay your loan and be willing to be liable for your home loan if you default on a payment or to put their own property equity forward as collateral.

How much should you borrow for a mortgage?

No matter which path you take with your deposit and securing a loan approval, it’s essential to calculate your personal finances to give you a better idea of just how much you should (not ‘could’) borrow. Here are five things to consider before taking out a mortgage.

1. Household income

When assessing your finances, ask yourself what kind of lifestyle you want. Are you single? Married? Have a baby on the way? Do you like designer shoes or do you eat out regularly? Ask yourself if you’re willing to make sacrifices and if so, where are you going to reduce your spending? Your household income is one of the first things a lender will look at when determining if you’re eligible for a home loan. If you can show a record or budget of your spending habits per week, this can help prove you’ll be able to meet the repayments required.

2. Credit rating

A credit rating, or credit score, is the next thing a lender will look at to determine how much a risk you are as a borrower. Many people don’t ever check their credit rating and are surprised when their application gets refused. It’s a good habit to check your credit rating once a year to make sure you’re either on the right track or working towards improvement.

3. Property price and value

The next thing a lender will assess is the type of property you’re interested in and what purpose you’re buying the property for. Is it an investment property or are you looking to live in the home as an owner-occupier?

Another important thing to consider is the value or potential future value of the property you’re purchasing. Are you buying a house, apartment or land?

These questions will all have an impact on your borrowing power.

4. Home insurance

Home insurance is designed to protect your property from damage caused by events out of your control. As your home is your biggest investment, it’s important you ensure you’re able to afford home insurance before applying for a home loan.

5. Other costs

Similar to home insurance, there are a number of costs (both upfront and ongoing) associated with buying and owning a property. A few of these include stamp duty, LMI (if applicable), home loan establishment fees, legal and inspection costs, council rates, water utility rates and general property maintenance.

Buying a home is a big decision and should not be taken lightly. Assessing your borrowing capacity is just one of the ways to determine how much you can borrow for a home loan, but working out how much you should borrow will always be a personal decision based on a raft of other individual factors including how much risk you can tolerate and how much you are willing to sacrifice to ensure that you can make the most of your valuable property purchase.


Looking for a home loan?

Buying a home or looking to refinance? The table below features home loans
with some of the lowest interest rates on the market for owner occupiers.

Lender

Variable
More details
GREAT INTEREST RATE
  • Option to add an offset for 0.10%
  • No monthly or ongoing fees
  • Unlimited redraws
GREAT INTEREST RATE

Smart Booster Investor Bundle (Principal and Interest)

  • Option to add an offset for 0.10%
  • No monthly or ongoing fees
  • Unlimited redraws
Variable
More details
NO UPFRONT OR ONGOING FEES
  • No upfront or ongoing fees
  • 100% full offset account
  • Unlimited extra repayments
NO UPFRONT OR ONGOING FEES

Low Rate Home Loan - Prime (Principal and Interest) (Investment) (LVR < 80%)

  • No upfront or ongoing fees
  • 100% full offset account
  • Unlimited extra repayments
Variable
More details
GET APPROVED FASTER WITH A DIGITAL APPLICATION
  • Split Loan Option
  • Unlimited additional repayments
  • Free redraw facility
GET APPROVED FASTER WITH A DIGITAL APPLICATION

Neat Variable Investment Loan (Principal and Interest) (LVR < 60%)

  • Split Loan Option
  • Unlimited additional repayments
  • Free redraw facility
Variable
More details
BUNDLE YOUR HOME LOAN AND YOUR INVESTMENT LOAN FOR MORE SAVINGS
  • Split Loan Option
  • Unlimited additional repayments
  • Free redraw facility
BUNDLE YOUR HOME LOAN AND YOUR INVESTMENT LOAN FOR MORE SAVINGS

Yard Investor Bundle Loan (Bundled with Home Loan)

  • Split Loan Option
  • Unlimited additional repayments
  • Free redraw facility
Variable
More details
REFINANCE ONLY
  • A low-rate variable investment home loan from a 100% online lender. Backed by the Commonwealth Bank.
REFINANCE ONLY

Variable Rate Investment Loan – Refinance Only

  • A low-rate variable investment home loan from a 100% online lender. Backed by the Commonwealth Bank.
Variable
More details
FREE REDRAW FACILITY
  • Pay more to reduce the amount of interest you pay
  • Easily access additional funds in your redraw
  • Great rates and low fees
FREE REDRAW FACILITY

Basic Investment Loan (Principal and Interest) (LVR < 60%)

  • Pay more to reduce the amount of interest you pay
  • Easily access additional funds in your redraw
  • Great rates and low fees
Variable
More details
100% FULL OFFSET ACCOUNT
  • Free redraw facility
  • Split account option
  • Unlimited extra repayments
100% FULL OFFSET ACCOUNT

Ocean Investment (Amounts < $1m, LVR < 60%)

  • Free redraw facility
  • Split account option
  • Unlimited extra repayments
Variable
More details
FAST TURNAROUND TIMES AND FLEXIBLE LOAN OPTIONS
FAST TURNAROUND TIMES AND FLEXIBLE LOAN OPTIONS

Basic Investment Loan (Principal and Interest) (LVR 60%-70%)

    Variable
    More details

    Budget Investment Loan (Principal and Interest) (LVR ≤ 80%)

      Variable
      More details
      GET A FULL OFFSET ACCOUNT FOR NO EXTRA COST
      • No upfront or ongoing fees
      • 100% full offset account
      • Extra repayments + redraw services
      GET A FULL OFFSET ACCOUNT FOR NO EXTRA COST

      Low Rate Home Loan - Prime (Principal and Interest) (Investment) (LVR < 60%)

      • No upfront or ongoing fees
      • 100% full offset account
      • Extra repayments + redraw services
      Variable
      More details
      • No upfront or ongoing fees
      • 100% full offset account
      • Extra repayments + redraw services

      Ocean Investment (Amounts < $1m, LVR < 70%)

      • No upfront or ongoing fees
      • 100% full offset account
      • Extra repayments + redraw services
      Variable
      More details
      UNLIMITED EXTRA REPAYMENTS
      UNLIMITED EXTRA REPAYMENTS

      Budget Investment Loan (Principal and Interest) (LVR 80%-90%)

        Variable
        More details

        Yard Investment Loan (Principal and Interest) (LVR > 80%)

          Variable
          More details

          Basic Investment Loan (Principal and Interest) (LVR 70%-80%)

            Variable
            More details

            Ocean SMSF (No Offset) (Metro) (Principal and Interest) (LVR < 60%)

              Variable
              More details

              Base Variable Investment Loan Special Offer (Principal and Interest) (LVR > 80%)

                Variable
                More details

                Standard Variable Investment Loan (Principal and Interest) (LVR > 80%)

                  Variable
                  More details

                  Ocean SMSF (With Offset) (Metro) (Principal and Interest) (LVR 60%-65%)

                    Variable
                    More details

                    Base Variable Investment Loan (Principal and Interest)

                      Variable
                      More details
                      SELF MANAGED SUPER FUND LOAN
                      • Easy refinance process
                      • No application fee and no settlement fee
                      • No monthly, annual or ongoing fees
                      SELF MANAGED SUPER FUND LOAN

                      SMSF 80

                      • Easy refinance process
                      • No application fee and no settlement fee
                      • No monthly, annual or ongoing fees

                      Base criteria of: a $400,000 loan amount, variable, fixed, principal and interest (P&I) home loans with an LVR (loan-to-value) ratio of at least 80%. However, the ‘Compare Home Loans’ table allows for calculations to be made on variables as selected and input by the user. All products will list the LVR with the product and rate which are clearly published on the Product Provider’s web site. Monthly repayments, once the base criteria are altered by the user, will be based on the selected products’ advertised rates and determined by the loan amount, repayment type, loan term and LVR as input by the user/you. *The Comparison rate is based on a $150,000 loan over 25 years. Warning: this comparison rate is true only for this example and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees or other loan amounts might result in a different comparison rate. Rates correct as of June 29, 2022. View disclaimer.

                       

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