New online eligibility tool launched for First Home Loan Deposit Scheme

author-avatar By on December 05,2019
New online eligibility tool launched for First Home Loan Deposit Scheme

Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash

The National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC) has today launched an interactive online tool to help first home buyers assess their eligibility for the scheme, which kicks off 1 January 2020.

The new interactive questionnaire will indicate whether potential applicants are eligible to apply by asking questions relating to citizenship, whether or not they have ever owned or had an interest in residential property in Australia, and what their taxable income is.

To be eligible for the scheme, you must be a first home buyer on an income of up to $125,000 for singles, or a combined income of up to $200,000 for couples (both must be first home buyers).

“The tool is provided as a guide only and does not mean that people using it will receive either a guarantee or a loan from a participating lender,” the NHFIC said in a statement.

“It is your responsibility to find out whether or not your particular circumstances make you eligible for the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme. If in doubt, it is your responsibility to get the advice you need from a participating lender or otherwise to be sure of your position.”

The table below displays a selection of variable-rate home loans on offer, featuring a low-rate pick from each of the following three categories: the big four banks, the top 10 customer-owned banks, and the larger non-banks.

Ad rate
Comp rate*

Base criteria of: a $400,000 loan amount, variable, principal and interest (P&I) home loans with an LVR (loan-to-value) ratio of at least 80%. Introductory rate products were not considered for selection. Monthly repayments were calculated based on the selected products’ advertised rates, applied to a $400,000 loan with a 30-year loan term. Rates correct as at 16 January 2020. View disclaimer.

The eligibility tool will complement the existing property price lookup tool that has been developed to assist first home buyers to determine the property price threshold that applies under the scheme.

The scheme will be targeted to ‘entry-level’ properties, with a maximum eligible loan size determined on a regional basis to reflect the median house prices and stamp duty concessions in each of the states and territories.

First Home Loan Deposit Scheme property price caps:

Region Price Cap ($AUD)
NSW – capital city $700,000
NSW – regional centre (Newcastle and Lake Macquarie) $700,000
NSW – regional centre (Illawarra) $700,000
NSW – other $450,000
VIC – capital city $600,000
VIC – regional centre (Geelong) $600,000
VIC – other $375,000
QLD – capital city $475,000
QLD – regional centre (Gold Coast) $475,000
QLD – regional centre (Sunshine Coast) $475,000
QLD – other $400,000
WA – capital city $400,000
WA – other $300,000
SA – capital city $400,000
SA – other $250,000
TAS – capital city $400,000
TAS – other $300,000
ACT $500,000
Northern Territory $375,000
Jervis Bay Territory & Norfolk Island $450,000
Christmas Island & Cocos (Keeling) Island $300,000

Applications for the scheme open on 1 January 2020 and will be lodged directly through participating lenders and their brokers.

“NHFIC has received strong interest from both potential first home buyers and lenders in the scheme, having responded to more than 1,300 enquiries about the scheme to date,” the NHFIC said.

Last week, NAB was announced as the first lender to be appointed to the panel with the remainder of the panel to be announced in the coming weeks.

Westpac was allegedly axed as the second major lender for the scheme after being accused of 23 million money-laundering breaches by watchdog AUSTRAC, some of which may have funded child exploitation in Southeast Asia.


The entire market was not considered in selecting the above products. Rather, a cut-down portion of the market has been considered which includes retail products from at least the big four banks, the top 10 customer-owned institutions and Australia’s larger non-banks:

  • The big four banks are: ANZ, CBA, NAB and Westpac
  • The top 10 customer-owned Institutions are the ten largest mutual banks, credit unions and building societies in Australia, ranked by assets under management in November 2019. They are (in descending order): Credit Union Australia, Newcastle Permanent, Heritage Bank, Peoples’ Choice Credit Union, Teachers Mutual Bank, Greater Bank, IMB Bank, Beyond Bank, Bank Australia and P&N Bank.
  • The larger non-bank lenders are those who (in 2019) has more than $9 billion in Australian funded loans and advances. These groups are: Resimac, Pepper, Liberty and Firstmac.

Some providers' products may not be available in all states.

In the interests of full disclosure, and are part of the Firstmac Group. To read about how manages potential conflicts of interest, along with how we get paid, please click through onto the web site links.

*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.

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Emma joined as a Finance Journalist in 2019. She is a journalist with more than five years experience across print, broadcast and digital media, with previous stints at Style Magazines, 4ZZZ radio, and as editor of The Real Estate Conversation. She's most passionate about improving the financial literacy of young women and millennials by writing about complex financial topics in a way that's easy for the average Joe (or Jill) to understand. When she's not writing about finance she's watching Greys Anatomy (again).

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