How to improve your chances of getting a home loan


Credit Union SA

Member Experience Team

13 Aug 2022

| Home Loan

It’s not only high property prices that are making it difficult for lots of people to get home loans. Changes to lending requirements have also made the process more complex.

That said, here are some things you can do to put yourself ahead of the pack.

Be prepared

Your lender will want to know all about your employment, income, what you own (assets), what you owe (liabilities), credit history and more

Steady income

It’s important to show that you have a steady income, preferably from stable employment. If you run your own business or are self-employed, the lender will want to look into your business finances too.

Generally speaking, most lenders will want to see that you’ve been with the same employer for at least six months on top of your probation period. So, if you’ve just ditched your day job to work on your internet start-up, now may not be the time to apply for a home loan.

Clean credit history

Your history can go back as far as seven years for serious credit infringements. On the plus side, it can contain positive information such as your record of paying bills in full and on time.

Get a copy of your credit history to ensure it is correct and work on creating a good history well before you plan to borrow.

The following websites offer free credit checks:

Track record of saving

Show the lender that you have the discipline to regularly save money. This will also help you build a bigger deposit – another plus that will make it easier for you to get a home loan.

In most cases, you will need a minimum of 5% genuine savings (your own savings) to qualify for a home loan.

Responsible spending

Most lenders will look at three months’ worth of statements to see what costs and expenses you have, to decide whether giving you a loan is responsible or not.

It’s a good idea to cut any excessive spending six months before applying for a home loan to help increase your chances of getting approved. Sadly, this may mean cutting down on things like coffees, Uber Eats deliveries and Afterpay purchases.

Low debts

If you have borrowed to buy a luxury car it might be worth trading in the Ferrari for a second-hand Toyota.

Try to pay off any other loans as quickly as possible. The less debt, the better, when it comes to applying for a home loan.

Credit card limits

Lenders don’t take into account the actual amount owing on your credit cards but your total limit – i.e. the amount you would owe if you went crazy with your plastic. So, you might want to cancel any unnecessary cards or buy now, pay later services like Afterpay, Humm and ZipPay and reduce the credit limits on others to the level that you genuinely need.


Following a budget demonstrates financial responsibility. Keep it realistic so you can stick to it but flexible enough to cope with the odd unexpected event.

Time to repay

Lenders might be reluctant to grant a 25-year mortgage to someone with 10 years to go before they retire without a clear loan exit strategy.


It’s important that you provide full and accurate information to your lender. Remember, they have access to a range of information sources, from your credit history to your pay slips and transaction statements.

How to prepare your finances for a home loan

Bitesize tips with Emma from The Broke Generation.

Inside knowledge

Our lending experts are available to help talk through your options. Make an appointment with one of our friendly Mobile Lending Managers, who can contact you by phone, email, video call or home visit at a time that suits you. Call us on (08) 8202 7777 or visit us at 400 King William Street, Adelaide between 8am – 5.30pm weekdays or 8am – 2pm Saturdays.

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This article is intended as general information only and has been prepared without taking into account the personal financial situation, objectives or needs of the reader. Before acting on this information, you should consider its appropriateness, having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs.

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