Frequently Asked Questions

These Frequently Asked Questions contain general information about the Home Guarantee Scheme.

The eligibility checker is a short questionnaire to help home buyers decide which Guarantee may be applicable.

NHFIC does not accept applications for the Home Guarantee Scheme (HGS) or provide personal financial advice.   

Applications for the Guarantees available under the HGS can be made directly with a Participating Lender or their authorised representative (a mortgage broker).   

Home buyers (and those advising them) should consider consulting with a Participating Lender and seek independent financial and legal advice about whether a particular home loan or property, and the terms of the HGS suit personal circumstances and objectives. 

Before entering into a home loan agreement, home buyers should consider talking with their lender (or broker) about the potential implications of changing interest rates or house prices on individual circumstances.

For more information and to discuss individual circumstances, contact a Participating Lender.  

On this page

    Scheme places for 2023–24

    Some Participating Lenders use a waitlist system to help manage the strong demand for the Home Guarantee Scheme.

    If a Participating Lender does not have any available places, applicants may be invited to join a waitlist.

    NHFIC encourages applicants to enquire with other Participating Lenders to secure a place, even if they are on a waitlist. Scheme place availability changes on a regular basis across all Participating Lenders.

    The full list of Participating Lenders is available here.

    Note: The New Home Guarantee (NHG) is no longer available from 1 July 2022. An NHG place reserved on, or before 30 June 2022, will still be able to progress to settlement, subject to meeting eligibility criteria and NHG requirements and timelines.

    Eligibility - General FAQs

    The Home Guarantee Scheme (HGS) has three Guarantees: 

    • First Home Guarantee (FHBG) supports eligible home buyers to buy a home sooner, with a deposit as little as 5%. 
    • Regional First Home Buyer Guarantee (RFHBG) supports eligible regional home buyers to buy a home sooner, in a regional area, with a deposit as little as 5%. 
    • Family Home Guarantee (FHG) supports eligible single parents and eligible single legal guardians of at least one dependent to buy a home, with a deposit as little as 2%. 

    Note - the New Home Guarantee (NHG) is no longer available. An NHG place reserved on, or before 30 June 2022, will still be able to progress to settlement, subject to meeting eligibility criteria and NHG requirements and timelines.

    NHFIC provides a Guarantee to a Participating Lender in respect of an eligible loan provided by that Participating Lender to an eligible home buyer under the First Home Guarantee (FHBG), eligible regional home buyer under the Regional First Home Buyer Guarantee (RFHBG), or eligible single parent or eligible single legal guardian under the Family Home Guarantee (FHG).

    The guaranteed amount is the difference between the eligible borrower’s deposit (of at least 5% for FHBG or RFHBG and at least 2% for FHG) and 20% of the value of the eligible property. This enables an eligible home buyer to buy a home without paying Lenders Mortgage Insurance.

    No. While there are no costs or repayments associated with the Guarantee issued by NHFIC, you are responsible for meeting all costs for and payments on the home loan that is the subject of the Guarantee. 

    You also need to observe the requirements of the Guarantee for as long as you are covered by the Guarantee. 

    Non-arm's length transactions are allowed under the HGS, however the property must have a purchase price and a value under the property price cap for its location.

    Yes. However, Participating Lenders may apply their own additional criteria for loans offered under the Guarantees, such as restrictions on certain properties, suburbs, purchasing property with an existing tenancy, Australian permanent resident visa classes, or a higher percentage deposit based on your circumstances. 

    In addition, not all Participating Lenders will offer the same home loan products. For example, some Participating Lenders may allow you to buy land before entering into a contract with a builder while others may require you to enter into a building contract before you settle on your land. Check with your Participating Lender to see what additional criteria you may need to satisfy. 

    NHFIC does not administer stamp duty and cannot grant any waivers of it. Contact your relevant state or territory authority for more information on stamp duty.

    Eligibility - Borrower FAQs

    Home buyers must meet certain eligibility criteria for the Scheme which differ slightly for each of the Guarantees. To help you identify which Guarantee/s you may be eligible for, access the Eligibility Tool. You can also contact your Participating Lender for more information and to discuss your personal circumstances. 

    For the First Home Guarantee (FHBG) or Regional First Home Buyer Guarantee (RFHBG), you can apply as an individual, or with another person as part of a joint application . The person you’re applying with may be (but is not limited to): a spouse, de facto partner, friend, sibling or other family member.

    The Family Home Guarantee (FHG) is only open to eligible single parents and eligible single legal guardians of at least one dependent and you can only apply as a single applicant. 

    The Guarantees are only open to current Australian citizens and permanent residents. They are not open to New Zealand citizens who are not Australian citizens or permanent residents. If you are applying as joint applicants, you will both need to be either an Australian citizen or permanent resident. 

    The Department of Home Affairs classifies New Zealand Citizens as Permanent Residents for the purposes of citizenship applications only. This does not extend outside of this process. To verify your eligibility for the Home Guarantee Scheme, please perform a VEVO check with a participating lender, whom will be able to validate whether this states if you are considered a Permanent Resident. If the VEVO check does not state this under Visa Type, you would not be considered eligible.

    No, to be eligible as joint applicants, each applicant must either be an Australian citizen or permanent resident.  If each applicant is not an Australian citizen or permanent resident, then the joint application is not eligible under any of the Guarantees.

    While Australian permanent residents are eligible as defined under the Australian Citizenship Act 2007 (Cth), Participating Lenders may have their own lending policies which restrict lending to certain permanent resident visa classes. In such cases, you may wish to check with another Participating Lender to see if you are eligible for the Scheme.

    No, to be eligible for the Family Home Guarantee as a single legal guardian you require a court issued guardianship order.

    Yes. If you apply as an individual (single applicant), then only you, individually will need to satisfy the eligibility criteria. Please note, this means only you are named on the Guarantee place reservation and loan application (and your partner would not be included in the servicing of the loan).

    The Family Home Guarantee is only open to eligible single parents and eligible single legal guardians, and you can only apply as a single applicant (and cannot have a spouse or de facto partner). 

    No. The Family Home Guarantee requires applicants to be single and not have a spouse. If a borrower is separated but still legally married, they are not eligible. 

    It is expected that the eligible single parent or eligible single legal guardian demonstrates that they are the natural or adoptive parent or legal guardian of a dependent within the meaning of s.5 of the Social Security Act 1991 (Cth). In a general sense, the person must show that they are legally responsible for the day-to-day care, welfare and development of the dependent child and the dependent child is in their care. This is not solely determined on the percentage of custody.

    To be eligible for the Regional First Home Buyer Guarantee (RFHBG), you (or at least one applicant when applying as joint applicants) must have lived in the regional area or adjacent regional area you are purchasing in for the preceding 12-month period to the date you execute a home loan agreement.

    Where the applicant has been required by their current employer to relocate and, as a result, it has been impracticable to satisfy the 12-month requirement, applicants may be eligible and should check with their Participating Lender if this applies. Other eligibility and lenders criteria apply to all applicants.

    A regional area is defined as: 

    • the Statistical Area Level 4 (ASGS SA4 2016) areas in a State or the Northern Territory that are not a capital city of that State or Territory; and 
    • Norfolk Island; or the Territories of Jervis Bay, Christmas Island or Cocos (Keeling) Islands; as defined in the version published by The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) in July 2016. 

    The greater capital city areas of each state and the Northern Territory; and the entire Australian Capital Territory are excluded from the RFHBG. If you live in these areas, you may be eligible for the First Home Guarantee or Family Home Guarantee. 

    No, the Home Guarantee Scheme requires applicants to be an Australian citizen by the date they enter into their home loan agreement with a Participating Lender. Applicants need to finalise the citizenship process, including the ceremony and receipt of the certificate.

    This will depend on your personal circumstances, the nature of the payment you receive and whether your income exceeds the limits for the Scheme. 

    If you have a question about your application or would like to apply, contact a Participating Lender.

    Eligibility - Property ownership FAQs

    There are different property ownership tests for the different Guarantees.

    First Home Guarantee (FHBG) or Regional First Home Buyer Guarantee (RFHBG): In the 10 years prior to your Home Loan Date you have not held 

    • a freehold interest in real property in Australia (this includes owning land only)
    • an interest in a lease of land in Australia with a term of 50 years (or more), or
    • a company title interest in land in Australia.

    These tests apply for property interests in all States and Territories of Australia, regardless of whether the property was residential or commercial property, for investment or owner-occupied purposes and whether or not it was ever lived in. 

    They also apply to you whether or not any of the interests listed above have been held by you on your own or together with someone else – for example, where you held an interest in property with a former spouse or de facto partner. 

    Family Home Guarantee (FHG): At the time of Home Loan Date you do not currently hold, or at settlement of the property you are purchasing you do not intend to separately hold:

    • a freehold interest in real property in Australia (this includes owning land only),
    • an interest in a lease of land in Australia with a term of 50 years (or more), or
    • a company title interest in land in Australia.

    These tests apply for property interests in all States and Territories of Australia, regardless of whether the property was residential or commercial property, for investment or owner-occupied purposes and whether or not it was ever lived in.

    Yes, unlike the First Home Guarantee and the Regional First Home Buyer Guarantee, you may be eligible for the Family Home Guarantee if you own property at the time of your Home Loan Agreement. An eligible scenario would include where you’re selling the home you currently own (jointly or individually), and using the funds from the settlement, you purchase a different home in your name solely.

    Yes, unlike the First Home Guarantee and the Regional First Home Buyer Guarantee, you may be eligible for the Family Home Guarantee if you own property at the time of your Home Loan Agreement. An eligible scenario would include where you’re purchasing the home you currently own jointly, which on settlement date, will be transferred to your name solely.

    If you currently own residential property within Australia (e.g., land), then you are not eligible for any of the Guarantees.

    If you have previously owned but do not currently own property within Australia (i.e., freehold land, lease or company title), or if you currently own but at settlement of the property you are purchasing you do not intend to hold a separate interest in property, then you may be eligible for the Family Home Guarantee if you are an eligible single parent or an eligible single guardian.

    Eligibility - Income FAQs

    If you’re applying as joint applicants and one of you earns less than the tax-free threshold and is therefore not required to lodge a tax return, then you will need to provide your Participating Lender with evidence of your income.

    Your Participating Lender needs to be satisfied that your combined income as joint applicants is equal to or less than the taxable income threshold of $200,000. You will also need to declare via the Home Buyer Declaration (provided to you by your Participating Lender) that all information provided by you to the lender in relation to your taxable income is true.

    In any other circumstances, where you cannot produce a Notice of Assessment (for example, you have been working overseas), please contact your Participating Lender for advice on other documentation it may accept as evidence of your income. 

    Eligibility - Price caps FAQs

    No. The property price caps for the Home Guarantee Scheme are set by the Australian Government. 

    These caps have been set to ensure the Guarantees support people to buy a modest home anywhere across Australia. 

    Yes, the same property price caps apply across all three Guarantees in the Scheme.

    The price caps are determined according to the financial year in which you make a reservation for the Scheme.  

    View the relevant property price caps for your location.

    Contact a Participating Lender if you have any questions about your home loan application. 

    The property price threshold refers to the combined total of the purchase of land and the contract to build. 

    If the overall house and land price is over the applicable price cap, you will be ineligible for the relevant Guarantee. 

    Home Guarantee Scheme application FAQs

    When you apply for a Home Guarantee Scheme-backed loan with a Participating Lender, your lender will assess your eligibility and then reserve a Scheme place on your behalf.

    This Scheme place will be reserved for you for 14 days, during which time you will need to organise a finance pre-approval with your Participating Lender.

    If a Participating Lender reserves a Scheme place on your behalf and you then decide to apply for a Scheme-backed loan with another Participating Lender, you may be able to link that reservation to your existing Scheme place if: 

    • your original reservation remains active 
    • your preferred Participating Lender has availability to make a reservation on your behalf 

    If you decide to apply to more than one Participating Lender, it is important that you: 

    • understand the time periods within which you must meet certain requirements – these will commence from the date of your first Scheme place reservation 
    • use the same reservation details when speaking with each Participating Lender. If you do not use the same details, there may be issues in making a linked reservation on your behalf, which may impact your ability to obtain a Scheme-backed Loan from that Participating Lender. 

    If your Home Guarantee Scheme place reservation expires you will be required to reapply for another Scheme place with a Participating Lender.

    You will only be able to reapply if there is a Scheme place available at the time your Participating Lender submits an application on your behalf.

    Your Participating Lender will tell you if you have been successful in reserving a Home Guarantee Scheme place for a guaranteed loan under the relevant Guarantee. 

    Processing times vary between different Participating Lenders - generally the time it takes to assess your eligibility for a Guarantee aligns with the Participating Lender’s timeframe for assessing your loan application. 

    Your home loan cannot be guaranteed under the Scheme unless you are also approved by your Participating Lender for an eligible loan on an eligible property or build. 

    NHFIC is unable to provide advice about the status of your application for a Scheme place or associated loan application.

    After gaining a Home Guarantee Scheme place, you will be required to enter into a contract of sale (and an eligible building contract if constructing) within 90 days of being advised you have been pre-approved under the Scheme. No extensions from the required timeframe can be given. 

    There may be other timelines related to your Scheme place that differ between the guarantees, depending on the type of property you intend to purchase. 

    Contact your Participating Lender for more information on your Scheme reservation and the relevant timelines. 

    When you sign a contract of sale, it is important that you contact your Participating Lender immediately to finalise your financial details for your loan application. Your Participating Lender will notify NHFIC and process your home loan application.

    Construction FAQs

    No, owner-builder contracts are not eligible under any of the Guarantees. 

    Contact your Participating Lender for more information on eligible building contracts.

    Participating Lenders require your land to be titled prior to any issuance of a NHFIC Guarantee - therefore the land will need to be titled before the end of your 90-day pre-approval period. 

    Settlement FAQs

    Participating Lenders require your land to be titled prior to any issuance of a NHFIC Guarantee - therefore the land will need to be titled before the end of your 90-day pre-approval period.

    Ongoing eligibility FAQs

    The Guarantee stays in place until the loan is refinanced, is no longer owner-occupied, you increase your loan balance, you sell your home or until your loan principal balance reduces to below 80% of the value of your property at the time of purchase.

    You must move into the property within six months of the date your home loan settles or, if you are building, once an occupancy certificate is issued. 

    Having an existing tenancy arrangement in the property you are purchasing will not necessarily exclude you from accessing the Scheme providing you meet the 6-month requirement outlined above. There are no extensions to this 6-month timeline. 

    Please contact your Participating Lender to discuss your particular situation.

    If you move away for an extended period and your home becomes an investment property (i.e. you rent it out to tenants), then your home loan may no longer be guaranteed under the relevant Guarantee. If your move is a temporary one and you do not rent out your house (i.e. it remains your home) then your home loan may continue to be guaranteed under the relevant Guarantee. 

    Before moving out (or if you believe you may need to move out), you should discuss this with your Participating Lender so that you are fully aware of your responsibilities under the relevant Guarantee and the policies of your lender. If your home loan is no longer guaranteed under the relevant Guarantee, your Participating Lender may require you to take certain actions (including paying fees and/or charges or taking out lenders mortgage insurance). 

    Note that members of the Australian Defence Force are still required to be owner-occupiers under the Guarantees. However, from 6 October 2020, if you are unable to meet the owner-occupier requirement because of your ADF duties, you may still be eligible if, at the time of entering into the relevant loan agreement, you intended to live in the property.

    You can sell your home at any time even if your loan is guaranteed under the Home Guarantee Scheme. The Guarantee will end when the home is sold.

    Members of the Australian Defence Force are still required to be owner-occupiers under the Guarantees. However, if they are unable to meet the owner-occupier requirement because of their duties, they can still be eligible, if they intended to live in the property at the time of entering into their loan agreement with a Participating Lender.