Home Loans for Nurses

As a nurse, you have many options available if you’re looking for a home loan. Find out more and compare with Savvy here.

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, updated on August 8th, 2023       

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If you’re a nurse looking at getting a home loan, there’s good news for you: specialist mortgages exist which are designed to cater for people in health occupations.  Find out all about home loans for nurses and allied health professionals here with Savvy to help you save on your mortgage.

What are home loans for nurses in Australia?

Doctors and lawyers have been given special deals by the big banks for years – but now lenders are expanding these special deals to include mortgage loans for nurses, too.

Some lenders are now offering waivers and discounts on Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI) to a growing list of nurses and healthcare professionals, recognising these occupations are low risk borrowers with high income potential.  This means that mortgages for nurses are becoming cheaper as competition in the home loan market increases.

What is Lenders Mortgage Insurance and will I have to pay it?

LMI is an insurance premium which borrowers pay if they’re unable to provide at least 20% of the value of the property they wish to purchase.  It is protection for the lenders against the increased risk they take by loaning money to a borrower with a lower-than-normal deposit.  The amount of LMI charged varies from lender to lender and depends on the size of your deposit, but it can amount to thousands of dollars.

The good news is that if you are a nurse or a related health care professional, you probably won’t have to pay LMI if you choose one of the many lenders who offer waivers for your profession and are able to meet their deposit requirements.  Many lenders realise that nurses, midwives and related health care professionals (as well as doctors), offer a low risk profile, and so they are more willing to offer very low-cost mortgages for nurses.

What special deals on home loans for nurses are available in Australia?

To qualify for waivers or reductions in LMI, you need to be one of the following:

  • Registered nurse
  • Enrolled nurse
  • Midwife
  • Nursing Manager
  • Nurse educator or researcher
  • Nursing support worker

If you are a nurse employed in one of these occupations, you may be eligible to borrow up to 85% of the value of your property without having to pay Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI).

In addition, if you meet other loan criteria, you may be able to borrow up to 95% of the value of your property and get a 25% reduction on LMI as a nurse or healthcare professional.

Savvy can help you compare lenders so you can find which are offering the lowest rate home loans for nurses in Australia at present.

What loan criteria are there for nurses to avoid paying LMI, or reduce the cost of LMI?

Mortgages for nurses are approved based on how much risk they pose of not being able to pay back the loan. You can reduce the risk you pose in your lender’s eyes by meeting the following points:

  • Have steady employment, which you’ve been in for more than two years (or at least in the same occupation and in a similar position for this time)
  • Have a good credit rating with no defaults, or if you have a default, it should be for under $500 for a utility provider or telco and marked as resolved
  • Not rely on overtime payments for the majority of your wage
  • Loan size less than $1,500,000
  • Be able to provide at least 15% of the cost of the property you wish to purchase as a deposit

Top tips for nurses looking for the best home loan deal

Take advantage of the special deals available for nurses

Don’t be shy about letting your lender know that you are a nurse, midwife or related health care worker and ask what special deals they have available.  This could save you thousands of dollars in LMI and ultimately get you a significantly cheaper loan deal.

Investigate all possible assistance options

In addition to LMI discounts for nurses, investigate all the other options available if you are buying a home for the first time.  First home owners’ grants and concessions and exemptions from stamp duty are available from both state and Federal governments, so find out all the schemes available which may assist you if you’re a first-time buyer.

Get loan pre-approval

Loan pre-approval will let real estate agents and vendors know that you’re a serious buyer and could help to get your purchase offer over the line in front of another buyer who doesn’t have pre-approval.  Pre-approval is not the same as full home loan approval, which you’ll still have to apply for, but it will give you an indication of how much you may be approved to borrow.

Compare loans with Savvy before applying

As all loan approvals are recorded on your credit report, it isn’t a good idea to make multiple mortgage applications and risk having rejections on your credit file, so you should always compare loans and lenders with Savvy before deciding which is the best loan deal for you.

More frequently asked questions by nurses about home loans

Is there a loan limit for nurses to receive discounted LMI?

Yes – the loan limit is 95% of your property value to enable you to potentially get a 25% discount on LMI if you are a nurse or related health care professional.  Naturally, though, discounts vary between lenders.  Savvy can help you find the loan that’s best for you and help you compare lenders so you get the best deal available in Australia.

As a nurse, can I get a First Home Owners Grant (FHOG) in addition to other benefits?

Yes – you can apply for FHOG in addition to lender discounts for nurses and people working in health care industries.  There’s no limitation to the number of grants and loans you can apply for and combine together (as long as you meet their individual application criteria).

Do I qualify for nurse’s discounts if I’m still in my probationary year?

That will depend on which lender you apply to.  Some will accept nurses who are still studying or in their probationary year, while others require a completed qualification before allowing the benefits they offer with mortgages for nurses.

What home loan features are available for nurses to help save money?

Additional features you can use to save money include: 

  • Offset account: a separate transaction account you open which is linked to your home loan account. Any money paid into your offset account reduces the amount of interest you’re charged on your principal on a dollar-for-dollar basis. 
  • Flexible repayments: available with variable rate home loans, means you can choose whether you make your mortgage payments weekly, fortnightly or monthly. In addition, flexible repayments allow you to make additional lump sum repayments off your loan with no penalties, meaning you can pay off your loan sooner and so reduce the interest you’ll pay overall.  Use Savvy’s lump sum repayment calculator to see how much you can save by making regular additional repayments off your loan.
Does all my nursing overtime count towards my gross income when applying for a home loan?

Not necessarily – some lenders will only allow 50% to 80% of your overtime income, whilst others understand that most nurses work shift work, so overtime is a regular part of your income.  You may need to provide a letter from your employer confirming that you’ve been receiving the stated overtime regularly for at least three months prior to your loan application.  This is a very common request, so your HR department should be familiar with the requirements of lenders for approving mortgage loans for nurses.

Can I use a guarantor to get a 100% loan?

Yes – if you have a parent, grandparent or close relative who has plenty of equity in their home and is prepared to act as a guarantor for you, there’s a good chance that you may be able to borrow up to 100% of the cost of your new home.  The guarantors will have to:

  • live in Australia
  • be Australian residents
  • own property in Australia
  • be prepared to provide financial information about their own situation to your lenders
  • be prepared to take over and pay your mortgage if you are unable to make the repayments

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