Nau mai, haere mai. On 1 October, Housing New Zealand joined HLC and KiwiBuild to form Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities.

Information on this site is still current. For more information about Kāinga Ora visit the Kāinga Ora website.

Apply for a First Home Loan

Published: 1 October 2019

To apply for a First Home Loan, you need to choose a participating lender and complete their loan application form.

A list of lenders can be found on the lenders page. Each lender has their own credit criteria you will need to meet along with the First Home Loan eligibility criteria. Follow the steps below which will guide you through the process.

  • Meet the criteria - Ensure you meet all the eligibility criteria set out on the "Am I eligible?" page.
  • Choose a lender - From our list of participating lenders on our lenders page
  • Get a 5% deposit - If you need help getting together a deposit there are options available
  • Complete lenders loan application - Although the government sets the First Home Loan eligibility criteria, each lender has their own credit criteria that must be met.

Approvals

You can either apply for a First Home Loan pre-approval or a final approval.

Pre-Approval - Applying for a pre-approval will allow you to confirm that you fit the eligibility criteria and the lender’s lending criteria. The lender will be able to advise you the amount that they are prepared to lend you. You can then look for a suitable property in that house price range. Once you have found a property, you return to the lender to gain a final loan approval.

Final Approval - if you have already found a property that you wish to purchase with a First Home Loan, you could apply for a final approval. In this circumstance, the lender will assess that both your circumstances, and the property fit the loan requirements.

Help with your deposit

There is help available if you are having trouble saving your deposit:

  • Your deposit can be gifted by a relative
  • You can also use two features provided by KiwiSaver:
    • If you are a member of KiwiSaver and have been contributing regularly for at least three years, you may be eligible for a First Home Grant and a KiwiSaver first-home withdrawal.
    • First Home Grant: The First Home Grant was introduced on 1 October 2019, replacing the KiwiSaver HomeStart Grant and before that, the KiwiSaver first-home deposit subsidy. Like those two products, the First Home Grant provides eligible first-home buyers with a grant of up to $5,000 for individuals and up to $10,000 for couples to put towards the purchase of an existing home.
    • In addition, the First Home Grant also provides eligible first-home buyers with up to $10,000 for individuals and up to $20,000 for couples to help with the costs of purchasing a brand new home.
    • First-home withdrawal: Changes to the KiwiSaver first-home withdrawal were also introduced on 1 April 2015 that means eligible members can withdraw their KiwiSaver contributions (including tax credits). However at least $1,000 must remain in their KiwiSaver account.

To find out more about the First Home Grant and the KiwiSaver first-home withdrawal

Not yet a member of KiwiSaver? Go to www.kiwisaver.govt.nz(external link) to find out about joining.

Resources

Here are some useful information booklets and links that may be of help to you

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