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How to Get a Keystart Loan: Low Deposit Loan for Your First Home

Even diligent savers who budget carefully struggle to get enough money for the downpayment on a house. For many Australians, this can be a massive undertaking. And even though it is often advised, borrowing downpayment money from a family member is not always possible. This is where Keystart’s low deposit home loans for those in Perth and broader WA may come in handy.


What is Keystart?

The Western Australia Government created Keystart in 1989. The goal of the initiative is to offer low-deposit home loans to Western Australians who cannot meet the deposit requirements of mainstream lenders. Since its establishment, Keystart has helped close to 120,000 Western Australians purchase their first homes.

Keystart helps eligible Australians by offering an affordable pathway to home ownership. The entry costs are lower, buyers need smaller down payments, and thousands of dollars are saved throughout the life of the loan by eliminating the need for lender’s mortgage insurance (LMI).


How Does Keystart Work?

The process for a Keystart loan begins before you apply for a loan. You must ensure that you meet the criteria, which include:

  • Be an Australian Citizen or an Australian Permanent Resident
  • Live in Western Australia and want to buy or build in WA
  • You are at least 18 years old
  • Your income meets the income limits
  • You will live in your home for the length of your Keystart loan
  • You do not own land or another house at the time of settlement of your Keystart loan
  • You can afford the costs that go along with a home purchase. For example, your deposit, fees and moving expenses


How Much of a Deposit Do I Need?

Generally, the deposit you will need when working with Keystart is 2% of the price of the home. However, for homes in the Kimberley and the Pilbara priced above $560,001, the deposit amount is 7%


What Are the Other Benefits of Keystart Loans?

Aside from the low deposit amount, Keystart home loans offer you the following advantages:

  • First home buyers may use 1% of their First Home Buyers Grant
  • Funds can come from any source
  • No requirement for three months of genuine savings
  • Significantly less than the minimum bank requirement of 5%
  • No ongoing monthly account-keeping fees
  • Reduced payments during the construction period
  • No LMI, which will save you thousands of dollars

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What Are the Keystart Income Limits?

The Keystart income limits vary based on where you will purchase or build your home.

Perth Metro Area

  • One Person- $105,000
  • Two People- $155,000
  • A Family-$155,000


  • One Person-$125,000
  • Two People- $155,000
  • A Family- $155,000


  • One Person- $135,000
  • Two People- $165,000
  • A Family- $170,000


  • One Person- $165,000
  • Two People- $195,000
  • A Family- $200,000


What is the New Property Price Cap?

Keystart increased the property price caps for homes in the Perth Metro and Regional areas. The move is an attempt for Keystart loans caps to keep pace with the new median home prices.

Perth Metro

  • Was $480,000
  • New $560,000


  • Was $500,000
  • New $560,000

Price caps for Kimberley and Pilbara are unchanged at $650,000 and $750,000, respectively.


What is Keystart’s Current Interest Rate?

Keystart has an interest rate policy that uses the average of the standard variable home loan rate of the four major banks. The loan products used as a benchmark are:

  • ANZ: Standard Variable Home Loan (7.64% effective 17 February 2023)
  • CBA: Standard Variable Home Loan (without the Wealth Package) (7.80% effective 17 February 2023)
  • NAB: Tailored Home Loan Variable Rate (7.77% effective 17 February 2023)
  • Westpac: Rocket Repay Home Loan (7.83% effective 21 February 2023)

Based on these loan rates, Keystart has now increased its interest rate to 7.76% effective from 1 March 2023.


Can Only First Home Buyers Qualify for Keystart?

Yes, the Keystart loan programme is for first-home buyers. One of the requirements for Keystart eligibility is that at the time of settlement, you do not own a home or property.


How Much Can I Borrow?

There is no single set amount that an individual can borrow. Keystart’s minimum loan amount is $10,000. Beyond the minimum, the amount you can borrow is determined by your circumstances. Our borrowing power calculator is an excellent tool to help you get an idea of how much you can borrow. As a point of reference, your borrowing power is calculated by subtracting your net income from your expenses.

Each individual’s expenses are based on data such as the number of dependents in your family, any current personal loan repayments, your credit card debt, child support payments and other ongoing financial commitments such as private health insurance.


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Are There Other Low Deposit Home Loan Options?

If you’re looking to get into your first home, there are other low-deposit loan options may work for you. Quantum Finance can create a list of personalised options for you and help sort out the solution that is right for you.

All of the necessary steps to purchase a home can seem overwhelming, especially once financing is part of the process. Our mortgage brokers in Perth can guide you through the process and answer your questions. Rest assured that you do not need to manage on your own. At We are here to help turn your dream of homeownership into reality.

Gavin Harrigan

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With over 18 years in the finance industry, Gavin's wealth of knowledge relating to home loans is matched by few in Australia. This knowledge is reflected in his dozens of awards, including being inducted into the Plan Australia Hall of Fame. His qualifications include a Bachelor of Commerce from Curtin University for Applied Finance and Commercial Law and a Diploma of Finance and Mortgage Broking Management from AAMC Training Group.

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