Last Updated: 6th May, 2024

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What Is The First Home Guarantee?

If you’re struggling to save a deposit to buy your first property, the First Home Guarentee may be for you. Previously known as the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme (FHLDS), the First Home Guarantee (FHBG) is a government initiative to help first-home buyers enter the property market sooner. It allows eligible buyers to qualify for a home loan with a deposit as low as 5%, and still avoid paying Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI). This scheme can offer you eligibility based on income and residency, diverse property options including existing homes and land packages, and price caps that vary by location.

It is one of the three schemes under the Home Guarantee Scheme. The other two are the Family Home Guarantee and Regional First Home Buyer Guarantee.

The number of places in the FHBG is capped each year. For 2023-24, the FHBG has a cap of 35,000 places.

How Does This 5% Deposit Scheme Work?

The government acts as your mortgage insurer for the gap between your deposit and the standard 20% deposit lenders require.

For instance, with a 5% deposit, the government guarantees the lender the remaining 15% of the property value, reducing their risk to the same level as a buyer with a 20% deposit.

Do I Only Need A 5% Deposit Under The Scheme?

Separate to the minimum required deposit of 5% under the Scheme, first home buyers must have funds to cover stamp duty, bank fees, legal fees and government transfer fees, where the loan-to-value ratio (LVR) is greater than 95%.

For example, a first home buyer in NSW will need a $25,000 (5%) deposit for a $500,000 purchase plus extra funds to complete the purchase.

Generally, for the example above, the extra funds required will be:

  • Stamp duty – $0 (stamp duty is waived for first home buyers up to a certain threshold depending on the state)

  • Titles Office – Mortgage: $165.40

  • Titles Office – Transfer of Land: $165.40

  • Loan fees (establishment fees, application fees or valuation fees) – $900 (These fees vary from $0 to $900)

  • Legal/conveyancing costs – $1,500 – $2,000

  • Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI) fees – $0 (waived under the first home buyer scheme).

So, your total funds to complete will be $25,000 plus $2,687 (approx.) as extra funds.

It would be best if you also accounted for sundry costs for inspections/reports, such as building inspection costs, pest inspection etc.

What Are The Eligibility Criteria For The FHBG?

There are several eligibility criteria first home buyers must meet to qualify for the First Home Guarantee:

  • A minimum deposit of at least 5% is needed (most lenders require the deposit to have been accumulated through genuine savings).

  • Applicants must be Australian citizens or permenant residents, aged 18 years of age or above and hold a Medicare card are eligible.

  • Single first-home buyers earning up to $125,000 a year or couples earning up to $200,000 a year are eligible. Income from the financial year preceding the year in which the loan is entered into will be assessed.

  • Couples, siblings, other family members, and friends can jointly apply for the guarantee.

  • Applicants must be first-home buyers or buyers who have not owned a property in Australia in the past 10 years.

  • Applicants must intend to live in the purchased property as their primary residence (owner-occupiers).

  • Loans under this scheme require scheduled repayments of the principal of the loan for the full period of the agreement. Interest-only repayments for a specific period are acceptable only for loans related to purchasing vacant land and constructing a house.

Apart from the 5% deposit required, first-home buyers must also provide evidence of funds to cover stamp duty, legal fees, bank fees etc.

How To Apply For The First Home Guarantee

You can apply directly with a participating lender or take the help of a Home Loan Experts’ mortgage broker to help you.

Note: Housing Australia will not accept direct applications.

Here’s how you can move forward:

  • Choose Your Path: Apply directly with a participating lender or get help from a mortgage broker.

  • Get Assessed: The lender or broker will assess your eligibility for the scheme, along with considerations such as serviceability and credit checks.

  • Reserve Your Spot: A lender or mortgage broker reserves a slot for you in the First Home Guarantee for 14 days, and this cannot be extended.

  • Submit Application: Submit the application within 14 days and await conditional eligibility assessment to proceed to a certified guarantee.

  • Conditional Approval: Upon pre-approval of the loan, you’ll have 90 days to return a signed and dated contract (extensions may be considered for property search).

As accredited mortgage brokers, Home Loan Experts can help you reserve your place, subject to availability. To apply and reserve a slot in the First Home Guarantee, please give us a call at 1300 889 743 or fill in our free online assessment form today.

What If The First-Home Buyers Scheme Places Are Exhausted?

If scheme places have been exhausted, but you’re eligible, you can still submit a reservation request, and you’ll be added to the waitlist.

When and if a Scheme place becomes available, you will be advised.

First Home Guarantee Eligibility Calculator 2022-2023

Disclaimer: This calculator can help you determine whether or not you could be eligible for the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme. However, it only acts as general guidance as to the various eligibility criteria but does not constitute a determination of eligibility.

What Types Of Properties Can I Buy Under The First Home Guarantee?

Eligible first-home buyers can buy the following types of properties:

Once you’ve been pre-approved for a home loan by one of the participating lenders, you’ll have 90 days to find and sign a contract of sale for an eligible property that you want to buy.

Finally, once you’ve signed a Contract of Sale, you’ll have an additional 30 days from the signing date to finalise the paperwork for your home loan.

What Are The Price Caps For The First Home Guarantee?

The caps vary depending on the state or territory and whether you’re looking to buy in a city, large regional centre or other regional area.

Region FY 2023-24
NSW – Sydney & regional centres
(Newcastle, Lake Macquarie & Illawarra)
NSW – rest of state $750,000
VIC – Melbourne & regional centre
VIC – rest of state $650,000
QLD – Brisbane & regional centres
(Gold Coast & Sunshine Coast)
QLD – rest of state $550,000
WA – Perth $600,000
WA – rest of state $450,000
SA – Adelaide $600,000
SA – rest of state $450,000
TAS – Hobart $600,000
TAS – rest of state $450,000
ACT $750,000
Northern Territory $600,000
Jervis Bay Territory & NorfolkIsland $550,000
Christmas Island & Cocos (Keeling) Islands $400,000

Source: NHFIC

What Are Areas That Are Considered Regional Centres?

Recognising that dwellings in large regional centres tend to be more expensive than other regional areas, the capital city price caps will apply to large regional centres with a population over 250,000, namely:

  • The Gold Coast

  • Newcastle and Lake Macquarie

  • The Sunshine Coast

  • Illawarra (Wollongong)

  • Geelong

What Are The Benefits Of The FHBG?

The First Home Guarantee offers a helping hand for first-time buyers by providing several advantages:

  • The government guarantee saves first-home buyers with low deposits tens of thousands in LMI.

  • First-home buyers can buy their first-home sooner and enter the property market due to the required deposit of only 5%.

  • Your mortgage repayments will go towards paying off your home loan instead of on rent.

  • long with other first-home benefits such as the first home owners grant (FHOG) and the stamp duty exemption/concessions, the deposit scheme may incentivise first home buyers at the fringes to finally buy their own home.

  • This allows first-time buyers to search for a wide range of properties by allowing them to purchase existing homes, vacant land or house-and-land packages.

Who Are The First Home Guarantee Lenders?

There are 33 participating lenders who offer the First Home Guarantee. The lenders consist of major and non-major lenders. You can visit Housing Australia’s website to get the full list of lenders.

What Documents Are Required For The First Home Guarantee Application?

Initially, under the FHBG, you’ll need to submit the following information to your mortgage broker or to a participating lender.

  • Your full name and date of birth

  • Your Medicare number (including your position on the card)

  • Your Notice of Assessment (NOA) for your taxable income. For reservations made from 1 July 2023 to 30 June 2024, the relevant NOA is for the 2022-2023 financial year.

  • Other standard home loan documents.

Let Home Loan Experts Simplify Your First Home Guarantee Process

Don’t let saving for a 20% deposit delay your dream of home ownership. The First Home Guarantee offers a path forward. Call us at 1300 889 743 to speak to our mortgage experts and see if you can qualify to buy sooner with a smaller deposit. You can also complete our free online assessment form, and we’ll contact you shortly. We truly care about your success and want to use our expertise to help you achieve your dream of owning a home. Let’s start your home ownership journey today!

Besides the First Home Guarantee, there are other grants and schemes available.


Regional First Home Buyer Guarantee

Buy a house in a regional area with a 5% deposit.


Family Home Guarantee Scheme

Buy a home with a 2% deposit.


First Home Grant Calculator

Are you eligible for home buyer grants?


Stamp-Duty Exemption

Exemption for property up to $800K in NSW.


Help To Buy Scheme 2024

Get a home with just a 2% deposit and a 60% LVR.

FAQs Related To The FHBG

We’ve listed some of the frequently asked questions (FAQs) here. However, if there’s something you’d like answered that is not listed on the page, please put your question in the comment section at the bottom of the page.

First-Home Buyer Success Story


A married couple was looking to purchase their first home under the federal government’s First Home Guarantee, now called the First Home Guarantee


We got the couple pre-approved for a $700,000 purchase.


However, they found a place that they loved, but the price was $710,000 (over the price threshold of the Scheme), so they were happy to go over the limit and pay LMI.

They signed a contract at $710,000, and we ordered the valuation for formal approval.

The valuation came back low at $690,000. Since the couple had enough funds to contribute towards the shortfall, they asked us to just proceed as they were willing to cover the difference.


Our mortgage broker spoke to the selling agent and sent him a copy of the report and asked to speak to the vendor.

Our broker argued that since the couple would have to contribute the last of their savings and would really struggle if they proceeded and requested that the price be brought down to $700,000 (within the limit of the FHLDS).

Soon after, we received a call from the real estate agent saying that the vendors have agreed to $700,000.

The couple were absolutely thrilled as they are now saving $25,000 approximately on LMI fees because they were back within the limit of the FHLDS, as well as saving $10,000 on the purchase price.

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