Why choose this loan
Whether you are buying your first home, your next home, or switching to save, the First Rate Home Loan can help. Enjoy flexible repayments, no ongoing fees and our lowest variable rate, all delivered via our award-winning customer service.
Our lowest variable rate
Maximum loan term of 30 years
One-off establishment fee
No ongoing fees
Key features and benefits
No ongoing fees
No annual or redraw fees
Repayments, your way
Rates & Eligibility
Rates & Fees
First Rate Home Loan # Interest Rates LVR 80% or less LVR between 80% - 90% LVR greater than 90% Owner Occupied Variable Interest Rate 3.19% p.a. 3.39% p.a. 3.49% p.a. Comparison Rate 1 3.24% p.a. 3.44% p.a. 3.54% p.a. Comparison Rate for First Home Buyers 1 3.20% p.a. 3.40% p.a. 3.50% p.a. Fees Establishment Fees ^ $600 $600 $600 Redraw Fees $0 $0 $0 Administration Fees $0 $0 $0
Does the First Rate Home Loan charge any fees?
The First Rate Home Loan charges a one-off $600 establishment fee*. If you are a first home buyer, this fee is waived.
The First Rate Home Loan does not charge any on-going annual fees or fees to redraw money from your home loan (which is available if you’ve made extra payments), provided you redraw at least $500.
Is there a minimum or maximum loan amount?
You will have to borrow a minimum of $150,000 and up to a maximum of $1,000,000.
Am I eligible if I’m buying an investment property?
The First Rate Home Loan is only for owner occupied loans i.e. you live in the property.
If you would like a home loan for an investment property, see our other loans.
What can I expect during the application process?
The home loan application process can differ slightly depending on your circumstances and where you choose to apply for your loan. Below is a general overview of the process.
If you are applying for a new loan:
- Apply to obtain pre-approval. This generally takes 48 hours if you submit all the required documentation.
- Find, secure a property and pay your deposit.
- We’ll organise a valuation on the property to ensure the loan-to-value ratio is sufficient which can take up to 1 week. If the valuation meets criteria, your loan will be formally approved.
- Review, sign and complete documentation (related to title of the property and the home loan contract relating to finance)
- Settlement: We’ll work closely with you to ensure that everything is signed and ready prior to settlement date.
Click here for more details on the home loan application process
If you are refinancing an existing loan:
Refinancing is similar to applying for a new home loan. The first step is to choose a home loan and submit an application.
Once approved, you’ll need to contact your current bank to obtain a discharge authority form so that we can move your home loan over. You’ll also receive your mortgage contract, which you’ll need to have witnessed by someone on the list of Persons Authorised to witness Statutory Declarations.
What help is available if I’m looking to buy a new home?
First Start is an ideal way for parents to help their child enter the property market while protecting the interests of all parties.
How do I know if switching my loan is right for me?
You can see if switching your loan with another (i.e. refinancing) is the right option by weighing up if the savings are worth doing so. Visit our Refinance: Switch & Save tool and enter your current loan details to find out how much you could save on your home loan with Bank First.
Home loan key facts sheet
A Home Loan Key Facts Sheet is an easy way to help you understand and compare home loans.
Generate a Home Loan Key Facts Sheet
A Key Facts Sheet provides you with loan information in a standardised format which allows you to compare different home loans.
Use our Home Loan Calculator to figure out how much you can borrow and what your repayments may be.
Home loans explained & how your loan is affected
What are variable and fixed interest rates?
A variable rate is a fluctuating rate that can go up or down. The benefit of a variable rate is that you can usually make extra repayments, which reduces the interest you’ll need to pay, and usually the term of your loan. If interest rates go down, you’ll benefit immediately from reduced repayments, however, if interest rates go up your repayments will also increase.
Fixed Interest Rate:
This is locking in one rate for a fixed period of time. The major advantage for most people on a fixed interest rate is that it’s predictable - you’ll know exactly how much your repayments will be. If interest rates go up, you won’t be affected and will keep paying the fixed rate for the duration of your fixed rate term (usually this is between 1 and 5 years). This will protect you from any interest rate rises and will give you control over your home loan repayments as you will know exactly how much you will be paying for that selected term.
At Bank First, you’re able to fix a portion of your home loan, and keep some of it on a variable rate. This might be an option for you to take advantage of the best of both worlds – you can safeguard against future rate rises but also have the ability to make extra payments.
Please note: The First Rate Home Loan does not offer a fixed interest rate or a split loan option.
What is the comparison rate?
The comparison rate for home loans is based on a standard scenario ($150K loan over 25 years) that all lenders use, which includes all interest rates, fees and charges which are known will occur during the term of the loan, so that buyers can compare a more accurate, like-for-like cost of the loan.
What is the Loan to Value Ratio (LVR)?
The Loan to Value Ratio, or LVR, is the percentage of money you borrow for a home loan compared to the value of the property. It is calculated by dividing the loan amount by the value of the property.
For example, if you wish to purchase a $500,000 property and have saved $100,000 as a deposit, you will need to borrow $400,000. As $400,000 is 80% of the property’s price ($500,000), this would mean an LVR of 80%.
What is LMI and will I have to pay it?
Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI) is a one-off payment that is generally required when the loan is in excess of 80% of the property value that you are purchasing. It protects the lender in the event that the borrower defaults on the loan and there is still money owing after the property is sold.
Depending on the value of the property and the loan to value ratio, Lenders Mortgage Insurance may be several thousand dollars. However, depending on your circumstances, this may enable you to get into the property market sooner.
If you work in the education or healthcare sectors, it’s possible you could take out a home loan up to 85% LVR and avoid paying Lenders Mortgage Insurance.
How do interest only and principal & interest loans differ?
In some cases, you can choose to only pay the interest charged on your loan, instead of the principal and interest. This type of loan will reduce the amount of your repayments during the interest only term, but the principal balance (what you borrowed) remains the same and is still owing when the interest only term is over. It’s important to note that interest only loans are not available to all borrowers.
Both principal & interest loans and interest only loans are available on the First Rate Home Loan.
What is redraw?
Redraw allows you to withdraw from any additional ‘top-up’ repayments (over and above the minimum required) you make. This means you can make extra repayments to reduce the interest payable on the loan, whilst allowing future access to these funds if the need arises.
With the First Rate Home Loan, Bank First does not charge a redraw fee.