Last Updated: 8th November, 2022

Are you in the Australian Defence Force (ADF)? Did you know that you may be eligible for home loan subsidies under the Defence Home Ownership Assistance Scheme (DHOAS)?

An ADF member may be eligible for home loan subsidies under DHOAS.

We are accredited with lender(s) who are DHOAS home loan providers, please contact us and we can assist with applying for a DHOAS home loan.

Requests for information or further advice on DHOAS eligibility should be referred to the DVA.

Incredible Discounts

Subject to your length of service with the ADF, you may be eligible to:

  • Borrow up to 95% of the purchase price: We know lenders that will accept lump-sum payments, overseas combat bonuses, defence force subsidies and other benefits that you receive as a member of the ADF when they assess your income. This increases your borrowing power. Lenders mortgage insurance (LMI) will apply.
  • Discounted interest rates: Discounted interest rates might be available on a case by case basis.
  • ADF interest rate subsidies: The monthly subsidy you may be eligible for is equivalent to 37.5% of the median interest expense on the portion of the loan that is being subsidised, calculated over 25 years, regardless of the term of the mortgage. The proportion of your home loan that is subsidised varies depending on your level of service and other factors.
  • Government home buyer benefits: You may be eligible for further assistance under the Home Purchase Assistance Scheme (HPAS) or the Home Purchase or Sale Expenses Allowance (HPSEA).
  • Investment loans: Borrow up to 80% and get interest-only (I/O) for up to 5 years with select lenders.
  • Loan term: Up to 20 years without warlike service and up to 25 years if warlike service is completed.
  • Construction: Government subsidies can be combined with a construction loan, improving your borrowing power. Variable interest rates are available and interest only repayments on offer from one of our lenders.
  • Guarantor: Government subsidies can also be combined with a guarantor loan, improving your borrowing power.

Call us on 1300 889 743 or complete our free assessment form to discover if you qualify for these home loan discounts exclusive to members of the ADF.

Do you qualify for a Defence Force Home Loan?

To be eligible:

  • You don’t have to be in the defence force right now. As long as you’ve served in the ADF in the past five years, you qualify.
  • You must have completed a minimum qualifying period, or in some circumstances, foreign service.
  • You need to have what is known as ‘service credit,’ which you start accruing after effectively completing the qualifying period, i.e. four-year permanent service or eight years of reserve service. You can then exchange the service credit for subsidy payments.
  • There may be an expectation that you will continue to serve in the ADF for at least the next 12 months.

You’re required to live in the premises for at least 12 months in order for your loan to be approved. However, you’re entitled to keep your loan if you receive a posting and are required to move before the minimum 12-month occupancy requirement.

For information on eligibility for DHOAS and the application process, please visit or call 1300 434 627.

What kind of subsidy can I get?

One of the factors that determines the monthly DHOAS subsidy amount you receive is the length of your service in the military, which is broken up into three tiers.

The progression from one tier to the next varies depending on whether you are a Permanent or Reserve Member of the ADF.

For more information regarding how much subsidy you’ll receive and how it is calculated, please visit

We’re experts in defence force home loans and can provide essential tips on applying for the DHOAS scheme so please fill in our free assessment form or call one of our brokers on 1300 889 743.

DSH Subsidised Home Loan Scheme

The Defence Service Home (DSH) scheme is available for former ADF members who completed their qualifying period of service before 15 May 1985 OR served in Namibia between 18 February 1989 and 10 April 1990.

The DSH Subsidised Home Loan is a monthly subsidy paid in reduced interest rates on your home loan.

The subsidy is available for a maximum loan of $25,000 over 25 years. The interest rate on the loan is based on the average monthly interest rate than less 1.5%.

For more information on DSH Subsidised Home Loan, please visit the DVA website.

How do I accrue service credit?

Permanent Members

If you’re a permanent member, after the minimum four year qualifying period, you start accruing a minimum service credit after a month of service.

Every month, you will accrue one month of entitlement to the scheme, or a year for every calendar year you serve. The maximum would be 20 years in regular circumstances or 25 years if you served during wartime.

A maximum of 48 months service credits may be exchanged for a lump sum at the tier 1 level.

Reserve Members

If you’re a Reserve member, each year of service represents 20 days of paid service during one financial year.

At the end of the minimum eight year qualifying period, you will accrue one year of subsidy entitlement for every financial year during which you complete 20 days of service.

Reservists have the option of shortening the qualifying period by serving full-time for more than a continuous six month period during one financial year. This is equivalent to two years out of your eight year qualifying period. The continuous full-time service allowance isn’t applicable once the qualifying period has been completed.

Which banks offer this subsidy?

There are currently three lenders who provide DHOAS-approved loans and subsidy.

Our senior mortgage brokers will throughly assess your situation and ask you what you want to achieve with your home loan so they can find you an option that best suits your needs. Call us on 1300 889 743 today.

Why won’t the bank accept my allowances?

Most banks are conservative when it comes to the monthly rental allowance you receive from the Defence Housing Australia (DHA).

The reason is that banks find it confusing that you receive this monthly allowance yet receive your paycheck on a fortnightly basis. Rather than trying to understand how it works, most won’t include it when assessing your income.

This can significantly affect your borrowing power. Luckily, we know lenders that will accept these accommodation allowances as well as other ADF subsidies:

  • Defence Service Accommodation subsidies: If you are living on an army base, you might be receiving a subsidy to live in Defence Housing Authority lodgings.
  • Private rental allowance: If you are living in the accommodation you rented privately, you might be receiving a rental allowance to cover the cost of your lodgings, in part or in full. Some banks will accept this.
  • Uniform allowance: Permanent allowances such as Service and Uniform allowances.
  • Pension: Superannuation pensions from the Defence Force Retirement and Death Benefits Scheme (DFRDB), Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation (CSC) or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) may be considered.

Some lenders may also add back the following deductions to your assessable income, further improving your borrowing power:

  • Military Superannuation Benefit (your 5% contributions can be added back).
  • Married quarter Rent.
  • Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) payments.
  • Living in Accommodation Charges (defence personnel who live on base in barracks pay this charge).

What about lump-sum payments?

Not all lenders are willing to consider any lump sum payments you may receive from combat overseas when determining the maximum loan amount you are eligible for.

Bonuses will be accepted depending on whether or not it’s a regular payment.

By choosing the right lenders, you may be able to borrow between 90% to 95% of the property value. Discover if you qualify by checking out our Military Home Loan page.

What is the HPAS scheme?

The Home Purchase Assistance Scheme (HPAS) is a little different to the DHOAS in that it helps ADF members pay the costs of taking out a home loan, including the application process, stamp duty and conveyancing costs. It’s a one-off lump sum payment that’s taxable.

Similar to this scheme is the Home Purchase or Sale Expenses Allowance (HPSEA).

Please check the ADF website to find out if you’re eligible for both schemes.

Apply for a defence force home loan today

Get rewarded for your service by saving thousands over the life of your mortgage!

Home Loan Experts is accredited with Australian Military Bank, a DHOAS home loan provider.

Call 1300 889 743 or complete our free assessment form, today and one of our senior mortgage brokers can tell you if you qualify for these exclusive ADF home loan subsidies.