If your family only has one income to live on, you may assume it’s impossible for you to get a home loan. However, that may not be the case. 

Getting a home loan on a single income can be more challenging than applying for a mortgage as a dual income household, but it’s still possible to meet your monthly repayments and own your own home. 

Single income home loans may require careful financial planning, so it’s often worth getting advice from a mortgage broker before making an application.

Find and compare single income home loans

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Advertised Rate

1.94%

Variable

Comparison Rate*

1.98%

Company
Mortgage House
Repayment

$1,263

monthly

Features
Redraw facility
Offset Account
Borrow up to 60%
Extra Repayments
Interest Only
Owner Occupied
Real Time Rating™

4.23

/ 5
Go to site

Winner of Best refinance home loan, RateCity Gold Awards 2021

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Advertised Rate

2.09%

Variable

Comparison Rate*

2.12%

Company
Yard
Repayment

$1,285

monthly

Features
Redraw facility
Offset Account
Borrow up to 70%
Extra Repayments
Interest Only
Owner Occupied
Real Time Rating™

4.08

/ 5
Go to site

Winner of Best refinance home loan, RateCity Gold Awards 2021

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Advertised Rate

2.29%

Variable

Comparison Rate*

2.23%

Company
Athena Home Loans
Repayment

$1,314

monthly

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

3.63

/ 5
Go to site
More details
Advertised Rate

1.95%

Fixed - 3 years

Comparison Rate*

2.27%

Company
UBank
Repayment

$1,264

monthly

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

3.38

/ 5
Go to site
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
Go to site
More details
Advertised Rate

2.48%

Variable

Comparison Rate*

2.50%

Company
loans.com.au
Repayment

$1,343

monthly

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

3.31

/ 5
Go to site
More details
Advertised Rate

2.54%

Variable

Comparison Rate*

2.54%

Company
Athena Home Loans
Repayment

$1,352

monthly

Features
Redraw facility
Offset Account
Borrow up to 60%
Extra Repayments
Interest Only
Owner Occupied
Real Time Rating™

3.04

/ 5
Go to site
More details
Advertised Rate

2.64%

Variable

Comparison Rate*

2.59%

Company
Athena Home Loans
Repayment

$1,367

monthly

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

2.81

/ 5
Go to site
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
Go to site
More details
Advertised Rate

2.59%

Variable

Comparison Rate*

2.60%

Company
Greater Bank
Repayment

$1,359

monthly

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

3.23

/ 5
Go to site
More details
Advertised Rate

2.59%

Variable

Comparison Rate*

2.60%

Company
HSBC
Repayment

$1,359

monthly

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

3.13

/ 5
Go to site
More details
Advertised Rate

2.59%

Variable

Comparison Rate*

2.63%

Company
Newcastle Permanent
Repayment

$1,359

monthly

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

3.47

/ 5
Go to site

Winner of Best home loans over 1m, Best variable, RateCity Gold Awards 2021

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Advertised Rate

2.05%

Fixed - 2 years

Comparison Rate*

2.65%

Company
Adelaide Bank
Repayment

$1,279

monthly

Features
Redraw facility
Offset Account
Borrow up to 94.9999%
Extra Repayments
Interest Only
Owner Occupied
Real Time Rating™

2.68

/ 5
Go to site
More details
Advertised Rate

2.29%

Fixed - 3 years

Comparison Rate*

2.65%

Company
UBank
Repayment

$1,314

monthly

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

2.51

/ 5
Go to site
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
Advertised Rate

2.69%

Variable

Comparison Rate*

2.69%

Company
NAB
Repayment

$1,375

monthly

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

2.96

/ 5
Go to site
More details

Learn more about home loans

What are single income home loans?

Almost any home loan could serve as a single income home loan if your income is sufficient to service the debt. If you have a lower income, you may only be able to borrow a smaller sum, which could limit the types of properties you can purchase. But if you’re on a higher income (for example, if you’re a doctor), you may be able to borrow more and have more property choices available to you. 

However, if you’re managing not just your home loan repayments, but also all of your other day-to-day living expenses on a single income, you may find yourself at a higher risk of ending up in mortgage stress. You may need to provide plenty of documentation regarding your income, debts and other assets to demonstrate you can comfortably afford the loan repayments.  

Saving up a home loan deposit on a single income can also be a challenge, especially if you’re already juggling other household expenses. Support from a guarantor may be able to help you apply for a home loan sooner. 

How do I compare home loans on a single income?

It’s important to research which home loan options may best suit your financial circumstances when you’re on a single income. 

Many borrowers start their home loan search by looking at the interest rates of different home loan deals – the lower the rate, the cheaper the repayments may be. Keep in mind that the lowest interest rates are typically offered to the “safest” borrowers, with higher incomes and larger deposits. 

As well as looking at the interest rates of different home loans, it’s also worth considering what fees different lenders may charge. Each home loan has a comparison rate that combines the cost of interest with its standard fees and charges, to give you a better idea of the offers that may prove more expensive overall. 

Some home loan special offers may appeal to borrowers on a single income. Some lenders don’t charge upfront fees on their home loans, or offer special discounted introductory rates that could help you save money at the start of your mortgage. Remember that these introductory “honeymoon” rates will eventually revert to a higher interest rate, so make sure you’re confident you’ll still be able to afford the loan in the future. 

What features should I look for in a single income home loan?

The best home loan features for you will depend on your financial situation and personal preferences.  

Some borrowers on single incomes prefer a home loan with a fixed interest rate for simpler budgeting, as this will keep the repayments consistent for a limited time. Others prefer a variable interest rate, which may rise or fall during your loan term, but is more likely to have flexible payment options available. 

The ability to make extra home loan repayments can help you pay off your home faster and save money on interest charges. If you find yourself in a tough spot, you may be able to use a redraw facility to take these extra repayments back out of your loan when you need them. And an offset account lets you use your spare savings to help reduce the interest charged on your mortgage.  

What are the risks to consider with a single income home loan?

Being on a single income means that lenders are more likely to consider you a riskier prospect than families with dual incomes – if something happens to your single income, you could quickly find yourself unable to afford your repayments, and end up defaulting on your loan. This means that when you apply for a home loan on a single income, your lender may undertake some fairly forensic investigation of your personal finances to help make sure you can comfortably afford the mortgage. 

Being on a single income could also mean that unexpected fees, charges and other costs could affect you more than they might affect dual-income households. It’s important to check the terms and conditions of any mortgage offer before making an application to help ensure that you’re aware of all the potential costs involved, and can budget accordingly. 

If you’re concerned about the potential risks of applying for a home loan on a single income, consider contacting a mortgage broker first. These home loan experts can help you find and compare mortgage offers that can suit your financial situation, and walk you through the application process to help you save time and effort. 

Frequently asked questions

Monthly Repayment

Your current monthly home loan repayment. To accurately calculate how much you could save, an accurate payment figure is required. If you are not certain, check your bank statement.

Mortgage Balance

The amount you currently owe your mortgage lender. If you are not sure, enter your best estimate.

Savings over

Select a number of years to see how much money you can save with different home loans over time.

e.g. To see how much you could save in two years by switching mortgages,  set the slider to 2.

Interest Rate

Your current home loan interest rate. To accurately calculate how much you could save, an accurate interest figure is required. If you are not certain, check your bank statement or log into your mortgage account.

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

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.

Are bad credit home loans dangerous?

Bad credit home loans can be dangerous if the borrower signs up for a loan they’ll struggle to repay. This might occur if the borrower takes out a mortgage at the limit of their financial capacity, especially if they have some combination of a low income, an insecure job and poor savings habits.

Bad credit home loans can also be dangerous if the borrower buys a home in a stagnant or falling market – because if the home has to be sold, they might be left with ‘negative equity’ (where the home is worth less than the mortgage).

That said, bad credit home loans can work out well if the borrower is able to repay the mortgage – for example, if they borrow conservatively, have a decent income, a secure job and good savings habits. Another good sign is if the borrower buys a property in a market that is likely to rise over the long term.

How much money can I borrow for a home loan?

Tip: You can use RateCity how much can I borrow calculator to get a quick answer.

How much money you can borrow for a home loan will depend on a number of factors including your employment status, your income (and your partner’s income if you are taking out a joint loan), the size of your deposit, your living expenses and any other debt you might hold, including credit cards. 

A good place to start is to work out how much you can afford to make in monthly repayments, factoring in a buffer of at least 2 – 3 per cent to allow for interest rate rises along the way. You’ll also need to factor in additional costs that come with purchasing a property such as stamp duty, legal fees, building inspections, strata or council fees.

If you are planning on renting the property, you can factor in the expected rental income to help offset the mortgage, but again it’s prudent to add a significant buffer to allow for rental management fees, maintenance costs and short periods of no rental income when tenants move out. It’s also wise to factor in changes in personal circumstances – the typical home loan lasts for around 30 years and a lot can happen between now and then.

What is the difference between fixed, variable and split rates?

Fixed rate

A fixed rate home loan is a loan where the interest rate is set for a certain amount of time, usually between one and 15 years. The advantage of a fixed rate is that you know exactly how much your repayments will be for the duration of the fixed term. There are some disadvantages to fixing that you need to be aware of. Some products won’t let you make extra repayments, or offer tools such as an offset account to help you reduce your interest, while others will charge a significant break fee if you decide to terminate the loan before the fixed period finishes.

Variable rate

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.

Split rates home loans

A split loan lets you fix a portion of your loan, and leave the remainder on a variable rate so you get a bet each way on fixed and variable rates. A split loan is a good option for someone who wants the peace of mind that regular repayments can provide but still wants to retain some of the additional features variable loans typically provide such as an offset account. Of course, with most things in life, split loans are still a trade-off. If the variable rate goes down, for example, the lower interest rates will only apply to the section that you didn’t fix.

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 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 is a fixed home loan?

A fixed rate home loan is a loan where the interest rate is set for a certain amount of time, usually between one and 15 years. The advantage of a fixed rate is that you know exactly how much your repayments will be for the duration of the fixed term. There are some disadvantages to fixing that you need to be aware of. Some products won’t let you make extra repayments, or offer tools such as an offset account to help you reduce your interest, while others will charge a significant break fee if you decide to terminate the loan before the fixed period finishes.

How can I get ANZ home loan pre-approval?

Shopping for a new home is an exciting experience and getting a pre-approval on the loan may give you the peace of mind that you are looking at properties within your budget. 

At the time of applying for the ANZ Bank home loan pre-approval, you will be required to provide proof of employment and income, along with records of your savings and debts.

An ANZ home loan pre-approval time frame is usually up to three months. However, being pre-approved doesn’t necessarily mean you will get your home loan. Other factors could lead to your home loan application being rejected, even with a prior pre-approval. Some factors include the property evaluation not meeting the bank’s criteria or a change in your financial circumstances.

You can make an application for ANZ home loan pre-approval online or call on 1800100641 Mon-Fri 8.00 am to 8.00 pm (AEST).

Remaining loan term

The length of time it will take to pay off your current home loan, based on the currently-entered mortgage balance, monthly repayment and interest rate.

How personalised is my rating?

Real Time Ratings produces instant scores for loan products and updates them based what you tell us about what you’re looking for in a loan. In that sense, we believe the ratings are as close as you get to personalised; the more you tell us, the more we customise to ratings to your needs. Some borrowers value flexibility, while others want the lowest cost loan. Your preferences will be reflected in the rating. 

We also take a shorter term, more realistic view of how long borrowers hold onto their loan, which gives you a better idea about the true borrowing costs. We take your loan details and calculate how much each of the relevent loans would cost you on average each month over the next five years. We assess the overall flexibility of each loan and give you an easy indication of which ones are likely to adjust to your needs over time. 

Do other comparison sites offer the same service?

Real Time RatingsTM is the only online system that ranks the home loan market based on your personal borrowing preferences. Until now, home loans have been rated based on outdated data. Our system is unique because it reacts to changes as soon as we update our database.

How does Real Time Ratings work?

Real Time RatingsTM looks at your individual home loan requirements and uses this information to rank every applicable home loan in our database out of five.

This score is based on two main factors – cost and flexibility.

Cost is calculated by looking at the interest rates and fees over the first five years of the loan.

Flexibility is based on whether a loan offers features such as an offset account, redraw facility and extra repayments.

Real Time RatingsTM also includes the following assumptions:

  • Costs are calculated on the current variable rate however they could change in the future.
  • Loans are assumed to be principal and interest
  • Fixed-rate loans with terms greater than five years are still assessed on a five-year basis, so 10-year fixed loans are assessed as being only five years’ long.
  • Break costs are not included.

What fees are there when buying a house?

Buying a home comes with ‘hidden fees’ that should be factored in when considering how much the total cost of your new home will be. These can include stamp duty, title registration costs, building inspection fees, loan establishment fee, lenders mortgage insurance (LMI), legal fees and bank valuation costs.

Tip: you can calculate your stamp duty costs as well as LMI in Rate City mortgage repayments calculator

Some of these fees can be taken out of the mix, such as LMI, if you have a big enough deposit or by asking your lender to waive establishment fees for your loan. Even so, fees can run into the thousands of dollars on top of the purchase price.

Keep this in mind when deciding if you are ready to make the move in to the property market.

What is the flexibility score?

Today’s home loans often try to lure borrowers with a range of flexible features, including offset accounts, redraw facilities, repayment frequency options, repayment holidays, split loan options and portability. Real Time Ratings™ weights each of these features based on popularity and gives loans a ‘flexibility score’ based on how much they cater to borrowers’ needs over time. The aim is to give a higher score to loans which give borrowers more features and options.

How can I avoid mortgage insurance?

Lenders mortgage insurance (LMI) can be avoided by having a substantial deposit saved up before you apply for a loan, usually around 20 per cent or more (or a LVR of 80 per cent or less). This amount needs to be considered genuine savings by your lender so it has to have been in your account for three months rather than a lump sum that has just been deposited.

Some lenders may even require a six months saving history so the best way to ensure you don’t end up paying LMI is to plan ahead for your home loan and save regularly.

Tip: You can use RateCity mortgage repayment calculator to calculate your LMI based on your borrowing profile