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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™

2.48

/ 5
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More details
Advertised Rate

2.84%

Variable

Comparison Rate*

2.46%

Company
Athena Home Loans
Repayment

$710

monthly

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

1.96

/ 5
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More details
Advertised Rate

3.39%

Variable

Comparison Rate*

3.59%

Company
Pepper
Repayment

$1,484

monthly

Features
Redraw facility
Offset Account
Borrow up to 85%
Extra Repayments
Interest Only
Owner Occupied
Real Time Rating™

2.03

/ 5
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More details
Advertised Rate

2.55%

Variable

Comparison Rate*

2.60%

Company
CUA
Repayment

$1,353

monthly

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

3.10

/ 5
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More details
Advertised Rate

2.94%

Variable

Comparison Rate*

3.34%

Company
Newcastle Permanent
Repayment

$1,413

monthly

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

2.57

/ 5
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More details
Advertised Rate

2.84%

Variable

Comparison Rate*

2.68%

Company
Athena Home Loans
Repayment

$710

monthly

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

1.96

/ 5
Go to site
More details
Product
Advertised Rate

2.79%

Fixed - 3 years

Comparison Rate*

4.46%

Company
CUA
Repayment

$698

monthly

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

1.71

/ 5
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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
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Winner of Best investment home loan, RateCity Gold Awards 2021

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Advertised Rate

2.68%

Variable

Comparison Rate*

2.73%

Company
Heritage Bank
Repayment

$1,373

monthly

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

3.14

/ 5
Go to site
More details

Learn more about home loans

Planning to buy your first home? Here’s our step by step checklist to help walk you through the questions you’ll need to answer before you sign on the dotted line:

1. How much can I afford to borrow?

When you apply for a home loan, the mortgage lender will assess whether you’ll be able to realistically afford the repayments on your household budget. The higher your income and the lower your expenses, the more money you may be able to borrow.

For example, if you and your partner apply for a mortgage jointly as a couple, you may be able to afford a bigger loan as you’ll have two incomes to help cover the repayments. But if you have dependent children together, your extra expenses could limit the maximum size of your home loan.

You can estimate the size of your first home loan using RateCity’s Borrowing Power Calculator. Simply enter a few details about your finances to estimate how much a bank may agree to lend you. This can give you a better idea of what type of properties and locations you may be able to consider for buying your first home.

2. How much do I need to save for a deposit and upfront fees?

To get some of the best home loan interest rates, your lender may want you to pay a deposit of 20 per cent or more of the property’s value. This can be a big ask for a first home buyer, especially if you’re purchasing property in one of Australia’s capital cities where house prices are high.

You may be able to apply for a home loan with a deposit of 10 or even 5 per cent of the property’s value, which could take less time and effort to save up. However, this means your lender will take out a lender’s mortgage insurance (LMI) policy, which helps cover their financial risk if you default on the loan.

LMI protects the lender, not the borrower, and lenders typically pass the cost of LMI on to the borrower – the lower your deposit, the more you may have to pay for LMI. RateCity’s LMI Calculator can give you an estimate of what you’ll need to pay, either as an upfront cost or added to your home loan balance (which may cost you more in long-term interest charges).

You may also need to budget for other upfront costs when you apply for your first home loan, such as: 

  • Stamp duty
  • Conveyancing fees
  • Application fees
  • Valuation fees

The cost of these fees and charges may vary depending on your location and situation.

3. What do I want from my first home loan?

Rather than going straight to your local bank, consider comparing home loan options from a range of different mortgage lenders. You may be surprised by the number of alternatives available!

A lot of first home buyers start by comparing the interest rates of different home loans, as the lower the interest rate, the cheaper the loan’s repayments. However, there may also be annual fees or other charges to consider – look at the comparison rate to get an indication of a loan’s overall cost.

Some home loans offer extra features and benefits that can help you manage your repayments and enjoy more value from the mortgage. For example:

  • A home loan that lets you make extra repayments means you have the option to clear your balance faster, so you pay less in interest charges.
  • A redraw facility lets you take any extra repayments you make back out of your mortgage, in case you need to access this money in a hurry.
  • An offset account is a savings or transaction account linked to your home loan. Any money saved in this account is used to “offset” your loan when calculating your interest charges. For example, if you had a $500,000 mortgage, and had $20,000 saved in your offset account, you’ll be charged interest as if you only owed $480,000.

Keep in mind that home loans which offer more features and benefits often charge higher interest rates and fees.

4. Where can I get more help?

Applying for your first home loan can be tough, but you don’t have to go it alone:

  • A guarantor is a family member who offers to guarantee your home loan using the value of their own property as security. This may allow you to apply for a mortgage with low or no deposit without having to pay LMI. However, if you don’t keep up with your repayments and end up defaulting on your loan, the guarantor will become responsible for your mortgage.
  • The Bank of Mum & Dad is a nickname for when your parents (or other relatives or close friends) offer to help pay for your mortgage, such as covering part or all of your deposit. While this offer can be very generous, it may not always be helpful. Lenders often prefer that your deposit is mostly made up of income earned at your job, as this demonstrates your financial responsibility. Gifted money may need to stay in a savings account for six months or longer to be counted as “genuine savings” for use as a house deposit. Alternatively, you could draw up a formal agreement to repay the gifted money as a loan, to show your bank you’re taking this responsibility seriously.
  • First home owner grants (FHOGs) are available from state and territory governments. These may help cover part of the cost of a deposit, or waive some of the other upfront fees and charges. Contact your local government office to learn more about what grants and support services may be available to you, and what you may be eligible to claim.
  • A mortgage broker can offer more personal advice on your best first home loan options. It’s usually free to visit a mortgage broker, who can walk you through finding a loan, and take care of managing your application. They may even be able to tell you about special home loan offers that aren’t normally advertised.

Frequently asked questions

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 you determine which home loan rates/products I’m shown?

When you check your home loan rate, you’ll supply some basic information about your current loan, including:

  • the amount owing on your mortgage
  • the value of your property
  • your current interest rate
  • name of existing lender
  • property address

We’ll compare this information to the home loan options in the RateCity database, and show you which home loan products you may be eligible to apply for.

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.

What is a low-deposit home loan?

A low-deposit home loan is a mortgage where you need to borrow more than 80 per cent of the purchase price – in other words, your deposit is less than 20 per cent of the purchase price.

For example, if you want to buy a $500,000 property, you’ll need a low-deposit home loan if your deposit is less than $100,000 and therefore you need to borrow more than $400,000.

As a general rule, you’ll need to pay LMI (lender’s mortgage insurance) if you take out a low-deposit home loan. You can use this LMI calculator to estimate your LMI payment.

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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.

Home Loans Frequently Asked Questions

What if I can't pay off my guaranteed home loan?

If you can’t pay off your guaranteed home loan, your lender might chase your guarantor for the money.

A guaranteed home loan is a legally binding agreement in which the guarantor assumes overall responsibility for the mortgage. So if the borrower falls behind on their mortgage, the lender might insist that the guarantor cover the repayments. If the guarantor fails to do so, the lender might seize the guarantor’s security (which is often the family home) so it can recoup its money.

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.

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.

The fine print – what are the eligibility criteria?

This competition is only available to Australian residents who are over 18 and check their home loan interest rate at RateCity. However, you are not required to refinance your home loan or apply for any financial products.

You can still enter if you don’t have a home loan yet – enter how much you plan to borrow and the details of the property you’re considering, and we’ll compare mortgage offers that may suit your needs and estimate how much you could save compared to a loan with an average interest rate. 

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

How can I calculate interest on my home loan?

You can calculate the total interest you will pay over the life of your loan by using a mortgage calculator. The calculator will estimate your repayments based on the amount you want to borrow, the interest rate, the length of your loan, whether you are an owner-occupier or an investor and whether you plan to pay ‘principal and interest’ or ‘interest-only’.

If you are buying a new home, the calculator will also help you work out how much you’ll need to pay in stamp duty and other related costs.

You couldn’t beat my current rate – how do I claim my reward?

If we can’t beat your current home loan rate, you can claim your $100 gift card by confirming your home loan details with us.*

To do this, on your results page you’ll need to securely upload a bank statement or similar home loan document that can be used to confirm the home loan details you provided. We’ll keep your information private and confidential and only use your document to confirm your entry.

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.

Is the competition just for home loans? What about personal/car loans and credit cards?

This competition is currently for home loans only.

You may still be able to save money by checking the interest rates, fees, and charges on your personal loan, car loan or credit card – compare your options at RateCity.

But keep your eyes open – we may add options for car loans, personal loans, credit cards and more in the future.

How much is the first home buyer's grant?

The first home buyer grant amount will vary depending on what state you’re in and the value of the property that you are purchasing. In general, they start around $10,000 but it is advisable to check your eligibility for the grant as well as how much you are entitled to with your state or territory’s revenue office.

How do guaranteed home loans work?

A guaranteed home loan involves a guarantor (often a parent) promising to pay off a mortgage if the principal borrower (often the child) fails to do so. The guarantor will also have to provide security, which is often the family home.

The principal borrower will usually be someone struggling to find the money to enter the property market. By partnering with a guarantor, the borrower increases their financial power and becomes less of a risk in the eyes of lenders. As a result, the borrower may:

  • Qualify for a mortgage that they would have otherwise been denied
  • Not be required to pay lender’s mortgage insurance (LMI)
  • Be charged a lower interest rate
  • Be charged less in fees

What happens to my home loan when interest rates rise?

If you are on a variable rate home loan, every so often your rate will be subject to increases and decreases. Rate changes are determined by your lender, not the Reserve Bank of Australia, however often when the RBA changes the cash rate, a number of banks will follow suit, at least to some extent. You can use RateCity cash rate to check how the latest interest rate change affected your mortgage interest rate.

When your rate rises, you will be required to pay your bank more each month in mortgage repayments. Similarly, if your interest rate is cut, then your monthly repayments will decrease. Your lender will notify you of what your new repayments will be, although you can do the calculations yourself, and compare other home loan rates using our mortgage calculator.

There is no way of conclusively predicting when interest rates will go up or down on home loans so if you prefer a more stable approach consider opting for a fixed rate loan.

What is equity and home equity?

The percentage of a property effectively ‘owned’ by the borrower, equity is calculated by subtracting the amount currently owing on a mortgage from the property’s current value. As you pay back your mortgage’s principal, your home equity increases. Equity can be affected by changes in market value or improvements to your property.