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Can the Family Home Guarantee help you buy a home?

Last month the federal government announced the federal budget for the 2021-2022 financial year, which contained a whole host of measures designed to boost Australia’s recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

One of these measures was the Family Home Guarantee (FHG), a government program to help eligible single parents with dependent children buy a home.

In this article we break down the details of the FHG, including the eligibility criteria and property price thresholds across the country.

How does the Family Home Guarantee work?

Under the FHG, eligible single parents with dependent children can apply for a home loan with a deposit as little as 2%, without paying Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI). The government then guarantees up to 18% of the home’s purchase price to the participating lender. This means that deposits of 20% or higher are not covered by the program.

Even though the government guarantees a portion of the purchase price of the property, eligible applicants are still required to show that they can service the loan. This means that participating lenders will still assess the borrower’s capacity to pay back the mortgage over the loan term.

Ultimately, the government has recognised that it can be more difficult for single parent families to get into the property market, because it can be harder to save for a deposit with only one income. So, the FHG is designed to overcome this hurdle that often stops these families from buying a home.

There are 10,000 places available in the program - 2,500 per year for the next four years, starting 1 July 2021.

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Who is eligible to apply for the Family Home Guarantee?

  • Single parents with a dependent child or children
  • Applicants must be legally responsible for a dependent child, whether by themselves or jointly with another person - this means that two people who were previously in a couple and have shared custody of a dependent child could apply for the FHG separately.
  • Must be over the age of 18
  • Must be an Australian citizen
  • Applicants’ annual taxable income can be no greater than $125,000 (child support payments do not count as income for the purposes of the FHG)
  • Applicants can be first home buyers OR they can have previously owned a property

What types of properties are eligible under the guarantee?

Properties covered by the FHG can only be owner-occupier and residential. This includes:

  • An existing house, townhouse or apartment
  • A house and land package
  • Land and separate contract to build a home
  • An off-the-plan apartment or townhouse

As for the conditions of the loan taken out to pay for the property, the FHG requires loans to consist of principal and interest repayments, and a loan term of no more than 30 years. Also, the single parent must be the only name listed on the loan and the certificate of title.

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Property price thresholds for the Family Home Guarantee

The FHG sets out the maximum prices of properties that can be purchased under the program. See the table below for the price thresholds for different locations in Australia:

StateCapital cities and regional centresRest of state
NSW$800,000$600,000
VIC$700,000$500,000
QLD$600,000$450,000
WA$500,000$400,000
SA$500,000$350,000
TAS$500,000$400,000
Territory-All areas
ACT-$500,000
NT-$500,000

The program conditions stipulate that regional centres are those with populations over 250,000: Newcastle and Lake Macquarie and Illawarra (Wollongong) in NSW; Geelong in Victoria; and the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast in Queensland.

How do I apply for the Family Home Guarantee?

Applications can be made directly through the lenders participating in the scheme. The National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation, the government body that oversees the scheme, does not take applications directly.

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Which lenders are taking part in the Family Home Guarantee?

Single parents who want to apply will have to do so through the participating lenders, which are the same as the lending panel for the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme (FHLDS).

Major bank lenders

  • Commonwealth Bank
  • NAB

Non-major lenders

  • Australian Military Bank
  • Auswide Bank
  • Bank Australia
  • Bank First
  • Bank of Heritage Isle
  • Bank of us
  • Bendigo Bank
  • Beyond Bank
  • Border Bank
  • Community First Credit Union
  • Great Southern Bank (formerly CUA)
  • Defence Bank
  • Endeavour Mutual Bank
  • Firefighters Mutual Bank
  • Gateway Bank
  • G&C Mutual Bank
  • Health Professionals Bank
  • Indigenous Business Australia
  • Mortgageport
  • MyState Bank
  • People’s Choice Credit Union
  • Police Bank
  • P&N Bank
  • QBANK
  • Queensland Country Bank
  • Regional Australia Bank
  • Sydney Mutual Bank
  • Teachers Mutual Bank
  • The Mutual Bank
  • UniBank
  • WAW

If you have questions about applying for a home loan with the Family Home Guarantee, speak to one of our friendly Home Loan Specialists at a time that suits you.

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The information in this post is general in nature and should not be considered personal or financial advice. You should always seek professional advice or assistance before making any financial decisions.

Tags: new purchase, home loan, lender, lmi (lenders mortgage insurance), first home, first home buyer, deposit, low deposit, family home, owner occupier

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