Last Updated: 22nd November, 2023

How to borrow money with a packaged salary

Are you having trouble getting approved for your home loan because your salary is packaged?

Paying for expenses such as rent, superannuation, or novated leases out of your pre-tax income is a legitimate tax minimisation strategy and shouldn’t affect your ability to borrow money.

Read on to find out how the banks view salary packaging, how to get your loan approved or how to get a better interest rate!

Can I sacrifice my salary?

Depending on the company you work for and the sector you’re in, salary sacrifice may be possible.

Most non-government organisations and charities offer this as an incentive to work in these industries despite a low salary.

We suggest that you discuss this with your employer and the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to make sure you’re eligible to do so.

We can then arrange a loan for you that accepts repayments directly from your employer rather than using a direct debit from your bank account.

How much can I borrow?

You can borrow up to 95% of the value of a property using a home loan assuming you meet all other criteria such as being able to comfortably afford the debt, having a satisfactory credit history and stable employment.

You can also boost your borrowing power using your super contributions.

How much income will the bank accept?

Most banks assess the gross income only without taking any salary sacrifice tax benefits into consideration.

Our best lender for salary packaging can assess part of your income as tax-free, which means they can lend you significantly more than other lenders.

They’ll accept 100% of your packaged income as long as it’s consistent and can be verified with an employment letter.

Please contact us on 1300 889 743 or fill in our free assessment form to discuss your situation.

We can help ensure that your packaged income counts!

Why don’t some banks accept income that is packaged?

Did you know that many banks decline applications for people who have salary packaging because the banks believe they can’t afford the repayments?

The reality is that many banks and their staff don’t actually understand how it all works!

Bank employees rarely receive such benefits themselves, so they find your payslips confusing as the breakdown of package expenses often isn’t labelled clearly.

Some lenders believe that your income should be assessed using normal tax rates for the gross income you receive.

This is hardly fair, especially for non-government organisation (NGO) employees who often receive a far higher after-tax income than people on a similar gross income.

Our mortgage brokers know which banks will assess your full income and which documents to provide to make your mortgage approval a simple process.

Can I salary sacrifice my mortgage repayments?

It’s quite simple to set up your mortgage so that it’s salary packaged.

Follow these simple steps, and you can sort this out in no time:

  • Talk to your HR department: Ask your employer if they can allow you to salary package your mortgage and find out if there are any implications for other expenses that you’ve packaged.
  • Talk to a mortgage broker: Give us a call on 1300 889 743 or fill in our free assessment form, and one of our mortgage brokers can switch your mortgage to a type that has the required features for salary packaging. We may even find you a better interest rate too!
  • Change your repayments: You’ll need your repayments to come directly from your pay, so we’ll normally set up the repayment dates to match your salary payment dates to avoid arrears.

Disclaimer: We suggest you seek financial advice if you have a more complex situation with additional expenses that have been salary sacrificed or investment properties that may affect your tax position.

Want a better interest rate?

If you’re looking to salary package your mortgage and want to get the best interest rate possible on your existing loan, please call us on 1300 889 743 or fill in our free assessment form, and our mortgage brokers will help you find the right lender!

What are the types of salary packaging?

The main types of salary packaging that we encounter are:

  • Superannuation packaging: This is where you’ve chosen to have part of your salary paid into super. We have a lender that considers this a voluntary contribution and adds this money back to your income when assessing your loan.
  • Novated lease: Some employers will allow you to pay for the costs of leasing and running a motor vehicle from your pre-tax salary.
  • Rent: Packaged rent causes an issue for some lenders as they note that when you buy a home, this rent will cease and so will your benefits. We’ve been able to get around this by switching to loan packaging after the loan is advanced.
  • Home loan: Packaging your home loan is one of the best ways to reduce your tax bill. Your loan must be paid directly by your employer so often we set up a line of credit style accounts to accommodate this requirement.
  • Laptop / phone: Minor electrical goods such as a notebook are often allowed to be salary packaged.

As a general rule, as long as you can explain how your salary is paid, we can break down your taxable and untaxed salary and find you a suitable lender.

We most commonly deal with specialist companies like RemServ, government employees, NGOs and not-for-profit company employees that receive exceptional (and often complex) taxation benefits from packaging / salary sacrificing their expenses.

Fill in our free assessment form or contact us on 1300 889 743 to talk to a mortgage broker that specialises in lending to people who have pre-tax deductions in their pay and can help you to salary sacrifice your home loan repayments.

What are "Technical Arrears" and how do I avoid them?

If your mortgage isn’t set up correctly, you may find yourself getting an angry phone call from your lender, even though you haven’t missed any repayments.

The reason is that the bank expects to receive a particular interest on a particular date.

It can be hard to match this up with your employer as your pay dates may fluctuate by a few days, causing you to be in technical arrears.

In addition to this, your repayment size may change as interest rates go up and down over time.

As a result, you may need to change the amount that your employer pays into your mortgage as interest rates change.

Sounds complicated? It doesn’t have to be!

Some banks have home loans specifically designed to suit the needs of people who salary sacrifice.

They offer more flexibility with the date of repayments, and they allow any shortfall in repayments to be automatically directly debited from your cheque account.

This saves you the hassle of managing your money: it all happens automatically and your repayment history remains perfect.

If you set up your mortgage the right way, this will not be a problem!

Apply for a salary sacrifice home loan today!

At Home Loan Experts, our mortgage brokers have extensive knowledge of the guidelines used by Australian lenders.

Please call us on 1300 889 743 or fill in our free assessment form and explain how you earn an income.