The inconceivable becomes achievable

Dream a little dream

For many working single parents, buying their own home is an unachievable dream. Some parents are working multiple jobs to make ends meet, leaving them little to nothing to save for a deposit. 

Getting a home loan as a single parent is hard since you have only one income and the lender may assume you’ll have a harder time meeting monthly loan repayments. 

On top of that, the majority of support in the housing market is currently being directed towards people who are not in poverty and who may already own their own homes. 

However, the recent federal budget has got some good news to cheer things up. 

If you’re a single parent dreaming of a home of your own, where you keep your stuff and curl up to sleep every night with your children, the new government scheme will be a big step forward to make this dream a reality. 

What is Family Home Guarantee and who does it help?

Under the 2021-2022 Budget, the Australian Government has announced the extension of the FHLDS (First Home Loan Deposit Scheme) and the establishment of a new program called the Family Home Guarantee. 

This new program provides eligible single parents with dependants the opportunity to build a new home or purchase an existing home with a deposit of as low as 2 per cent, without the added LMI cost, subject to the individual’s ability to service a home loan. 

10,000 Family Home Guarantees will be made available from 1 July this year and run over four financial years. This is in addition to the 10,000 spots under the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme (FHLDS). The guarantee is designed to give lenders the confidence to offer 98% loan-to-value mortgages.

Who is eligible for the scheme?

  • Single parents with dependents 
  • Applicants must be Australian citizens aged 18 and over
  • Applicants have an annual taxable income of no more than $125,000
  • Both first home buyers and previous owner-occupiers can apply
  • The scheme can be used for new builds or to buy existing homes

Which lenders are participating? 

The government hasn’t disclosed further details about exactly which lenders will be involved. Some presume they would be the same 27 lenders as the existing FHLDS. 

So far, CommBank has welcomed the new initiative describing the Family Home Guarantee as another way they can help customers own their own home. 

“We know how challenging it can be for single parents to support their family and save for a deposit for a home. This announcement will come as a welcome relief for hard working single parents, particularly those working in essential services such as education, health care and public safety, looking to buy their first home or re-enter the property market.” – Commonwealth Bank Chief Executive Officer Matt Comyn. 

Are there any risks? 

  • Interest rates:

While it makes it a lot easier for people to save up for a home, with only a 2% deposit, it also means you’re borrowing more from the bank and paying a whole lot more interest over the life of the loan. 

  • Negative equity: 

You have very little equity in the property (2%) so if the value of this property went down, your debt could end up being more than the property’s value. 

  • Repayment:

In the case when you can’t repay the loan, the government won’t help you. You’ll have to sell the property so the lender can recover the debt. 

Brokers need to be careful when you sell this product. FBAA managing director Peter White has warned that "with deposits of only 2 per cent, it won’t take much of a drop in property values to create situations of negative equity, and this will affect those who can afford it least.”  

Brokers are encouraged to tell their clients about the potential danger to adhere to the best interests duty (BID) and responsible lending guidelines. This is your opportunity to promote your expertise and let the public know that you're here to give dedicated and well-informed guidance on this new initiative.  

To read more about this scheme, get the details here

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