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3 simple steps for first home buyers to apply for home loan pre-approval.

Thursday, 24 January 2019

As a first home buyer the application process can sound daunting at first. We have broken down 3 simple steps involved in applying for home loan pre-approval, so you can start seriously looking for your dream home!

1. Talk to a lender

The first step in the application process is to start talking to a lender. There are a number of ways you can do this, for example over the phone or in person with a mobile lender.

Your lender will be able to calculate your borrowing capacity and take into consideration any government grants, exemptions or concessions you may be entitled to, such as first home buyer grants or first home buyer stamp duty exemptions.

2. Provide documentation

In order to complete your application a lender will need to ask a number of questions and will need supporting documents to validate your information. Check out our checklist for a comprehensive view, but the main categories of information you’ll need to support with documents are:

• Proof of ID

Buying a house is kind of a big deal, so your lender will need to be sure it’s actually you applying for the loan! Make sure you bring along Photo ID such as your Australian driver’s licence or your passport and secondary documentation such as your Medicare card.

 Residential and family status

If you are currently renting, your lender will need a letter from your real estate agency confirming the rental fees. Also your family status is important as partners and children are considered as dependants in your application.


A lender will ask for details about your income to ensure you are able to support your loan repayments, so you don’t end up suffering mortgage stress or being unable to meet repayments. Bring along proof of income such as your last 2 payslips, group certificate and a bank statement.

 Any assets

If you have additional savings at any other banks, shares or any other significant assets, your lender will ask for written proof of these assets as this can help boost your borrowing power.

 Deposit saved

The size of your deposit will affect the home loan products you’re eligible to access – generally you need a 5-20% deposit, and you could access lower interest rates if you have a bigger deposit, which is good for your overall loan costs. A lender will ask for proof of your deposit and proof of your savings habits (such as a bank statement), or if you have been loaned or gifted a deposit amount by family, your lender may ask for written proof of the repayment terms.


If you have any debt such as HECS, personal loans, credit cards or store cards, your lender will want to know the amount owed as well as any credit card limits.

Pro tip: to improve your borrowing capacity and protect yourself against mortgage stress, you could consolidate your debt into one personal loan or pay off debt as much as you can before applying for a home loan, as well as cancel any surplus credit cards.

A lending expert can provide insights into how best to do this. For an indicative checklist of documents to bring to your lender visit our home loan application checklist.

3. Prequalification

When you are ready to start looking seriously at buying your first home, you could get your home loan pre-approved. This allows you to know your approximate budget, helping you shop with confidence. Then when you are ready to make an offer on your dream home, you can move quickly (to prevent anyone else buying it before you!).

This article is intended to provide general information of an educational nature only. It does not have regard to your objectives, financial situation or needs and must not be relied upon as financial product advice. Before you act on this information, you should consider whether it is appropriate for your circumstances. Information in this article is current as at the date of publication. Applications subject to credit approval and fees and charges are payable. Terms and conditions apply and are available on request.

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