Check you are eligible for First Home Loan
As well as having a 5% deposit, you need to meet certain criteria including an income cap and regional house price cap. You will also need to meet the speciﬁc lending criteria of the participating lender you choose.
The criteria are listed below along with an easy guide to check at a glance if you are eligible to apply.
- Income cap - You can have a maximum yearly income of up to $95,000 (before tax) for 1 person. Or a combined maximum yearly income of $150,000 (before tax) for 2 or more people.
- Minimum deposit - You will need a minimum 5% of the purchase price of the house you are wishing to buy.
- House price cap - The price of the house you are buying with a First Home Loan must be less than the regional house price cap.
- First home buyer - Or a previous home owner, in a similar financial position to a typical first home buyer.
To be eligible for a First Home Loan your household income for the last 12 months must have been $95,000 or less (before tax) if you are the sole borrower. If you are teaming up with one or more borrowers to buy a house, then you can have a combined household income up to $150,000 (before tax) in the last 12 months.
Key bank lending criteria
In addition to meeting the governments criteria for a First Home loan, you will also need to meet the lending criteria of your bank or credit union before your loan can be made.
Participating lenders may have slightly different lending criteria but they will include your financial ability to repay the loan, your level of debt, your credit history and the way you’ve conducted your bank accounts in the past.
- You must live in the home you are buying. A First Home Loan cannot be used to buy an investment or rental property.
- You cannot own any other property, this does not include ownership of Māori land.
- You will need to pay a Lender’s Mortgage Insurance (LMI) premium of 1% of the loan account. The lender may also apply a loan application fee. In most cases these fees can be built into the home loan. Talk to your participating lender to see what applies.
- You are a New Zealand citizen or permanent New Zealand resident or a resident visa holder who is ordinarily resident in New Zealand.
- While an age restricition is not part of the standard eligibility criteria for a First Home Loan, in general participating lenders will require applicants to be a minimum of 18 years of age.
House price caps
|Kāpiti Coast District, Porirua City, Upper Hutt City, Hutt City, Wellington City||$550,000||$650,000|
|Hamilton City, Tauranga City, Western Bay of Plenty District, Waipa District, Hastings District, Tasman District, Napier City, Nelson City||$525,000||$600,000|
|Waimakariri District, Christchurch City, Selwyn District||$500,000||$550,000|
|Waikato District, Dunedin City||$425,000||$550,000|
|Rest of New Zealand||$400,000||$500,000|
Regions are defined by city and district council boundaries. Refer to the Stats NZ map for Territorial Authority boundaries(external link) Ensure the layer selected is 'Territorial Authority'.
What about if I want to build a house?
Some participating lenders allow you to build a new house with a First Home Loan. Please ask your preferred lender if they do and what their criteria is.
Maximum amount you can borrow
The maximum amount you can borrow with a First Home Loan depends on the region you are buying in. Each region has a house price cap. The maximum loan for that region is the house price cap less your 5% deposit.
Page updated: 20 July 2021