What size deposit will I need? What can I do if I have less than required? How does it benefit me if I have more than what’s required?

| 3 minute read

They’re some big questions! Let’s take them one by one.

  1. You will generally need at least 10% deposit, which is payable at the exchange of contracts when you begin the process of buying a property. It’s usually paid to the real estate agent, who holds it in trust for the vendor until settlement. This is usually 42 days after exchange of contracts.
  2. If you have less than 10% deposit available in cash, you can ask the vendor, via your conveyancer, to accept a deposit bond. This is a guarantee made by a third party provider to pay the deposit amount to the vendor should you default on the property purchase contract. It’s priced as a percentage of the deposit required (usually a few hundred dollars) and readily available through conveyancers and credit assistance providers (including uno). A deposit bond is usually a simple tick box, or commonly requested additional condition, in the contract of sale. In most cases it’ll be possible to use one, but you’ll need to double check on the contract before you sign.
  3. Having more than 10% deposit generally means you can borrow less to buy the property. This is a good thing because you could pay the home loan off earlier that way. Having more than 20% deposit generally means you may be able to access low-documentation home loans, which is also commonly viewed as a good thing as it means less paperwork for you (but other conditions may apply).

More about deposit sizes

When searching for the widest range of home loans, we think it’s ideal to have a 20% deposit. While there are home loan products that cater for any size deposit, they generally cost more in fees if your deposit is less than 20%. As a credit assistance provider, uno can help organise a loan for you regardless of the size of your deposit.

When a bank lends money, it takes a risk on both your capacity to repay and the market value of the property secured by the loan. A “mortgage” means the lender has a legal right to sell the property if you “default”, or fail to repay the loan according to your lender agreement. The lender is much happier for you to pay more as a deposit because it means it will be taking less of a risk on the loan.

Not only that but if you genuinely save up a deposit over six months or so, the lender may take that as a good sign of your ability to meet financial obligations and responsibilities.

If you have less deposit than required by one lender, you could try another. You need to be careful, though. Not only does shopping around take time, every lender you approach will conduct a credit history check. Every check is recorded on your credit history record and it may not look great to have too many in succession. Planning your home loan selection through uno could help you avoid this.

Low-documentation home loans are generally available for self-employed applicants with a deposit of 20% or more. They’re also available for PAYG applicants in certain circumstances.