The changes to the Home Guarantee Scheme will make it easier for more people to purchase a home, so it is a very useful tool for first-home buyers who are struggling to save a deposit.

New Home Guarantee Scheme Updates

The Australian Federal Government has made a significant expansion to the New Home Guarantee Scheme that took effect on 1 July 2023. In years past, there were tighter regulations regarding eligibility for the programme that aims to assist first-time homebuyers throughout Australia.

According to National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC), the Home Guarantee Scheme changes mean that more Australians who need help buying their home can look to these programmes for assistance.

Traditionally, homebuyers must come up with a guarantor or a 20% deposit to avoid paying either Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI) or a Low Deposit Premium (LDP). The assistance programme relies upon the Federal Government’s Home Guarantee Scheme (HGS) to guarantee the loans and allows qualified buyers to purchase with deposits as low as five per cent.


What is the Home Guarantee Scheme?

The Home Guarantee Scheme is a programme initiated by the federal government to assist potential home buyers. Across the country, the price of homes makes coming up with a 20 per cent downpayment extremely challenging. The HGS makes it possible to buy a home with a smaller deposit and avoid the added costs of LMI. There are three Home Guarantee Scheme arrangements, each designed to help eligible homebuyers overcome the hurdle of a 20 per cent deposit.

  1. First Home Guarantee Scheme
  2. Family Home Guarantee Scheme
  3. Regional First Home Guarantee

Each of these schemes has fewer restrictions than when they initially began in 2019.


First Home Guarantee Scheme Changes

The recent changes to this scheme include:

  • An expanded definition of a couple now permits access to any two eligible individuals. Application for the scheme is no longer limited to married or de facto couples. This means any two qualified family members or friends living together can access the scheme.
  • Applicants who have not owned a home in ten years or more can access the plan, as opposed to the former standard of never having owned a home.
  • The definition of a single parent is expanded to include any eligible single legal guardian of children.
  • The scheme now includes permanent residents in Australia. Previously, only Australian citizens were considered for the Home Guarantee Scheme.


Family Home Guarantee Scheme Changes

The recent changes to this scheme include:

  • All applicable changes to the First Home Guarantee Scheme apply to the Family Home Guarantee Scheme. Additionally, all current eligibility requirements apply.


Regional First Home Guarantee Scheme Changes

The recent changes to this scheme include:

  • All applicable changes to the First Home Guarantee Scheme will carry over to the Regional Scheme. Additionally, the stipulation that borrowers must have lived in or adjacent to the regional area they are purchasing during the 12 months before the home loan agreement is in effect.

The changes to the Home Guarantee Scheme are a positive step for first-home buyers, as it will make it easier for more people to purchase a home and get on the property ladder.




  • How Does the New Home Guarantee Scheme Work?

The Australian federal government launched the scheme in 2019 as a way to assist those who meet eligibility requirements in purchasing their first home. Over the years, the plan has been expanded several times, most recently for the 2023-2024 year. The plan works by reducing the home loan deposit amount needed to avoid Lender’s Mortgage Insurance, which is 20 per cent.

Under the New Home Guarantee Scheme, the minimum deposit amount is five per cent for those applying to the First Home Guarantee Scheme and Regional First Home Guarantee Scheme. For legal guardians of at least one child (naturally born or adopted), the minimum deposit amount through the Family Home Guarantee Scheme is just two per cent.

Other restrictions may apply.


  • How Many Places Are Available?

A total of 40,000 places are available and are divided according to which scheme you want.

    • The First Home Guarantee Scheme offers 35,000 places a year
    • The Family Home Guarantee Scheme offers 5,000 places a year
    • The Regional First Home Guarantee Scheme offers 10,000 places a year


  • Am I Eligible?

The expanded scheme relaxes some eligibility requirements, but several conditions must be met.

    • At least 18 years old
    • An Australian citizen or permanent resident
    • Have not owned property in Australia in ten years or more
    • Will move into the property within six months and continue to live there as long as your home loan has a guarantee under the scheme
    • Single applicants earn less than $125,000, and joint applicants earn less than $200,000
    • Any legal guardian of a child may apply
    • Ant two eligible people may apply


  • How Do I Apply?

Applications must be made with one of the participating lenders or their representatives.

The Home Guarantee Scheme makes homeownership possible for many Australians. If you would like to buy a house but are not able to come up with a 20 per cent down payment, you are not alone. The government implemented these schemes to assist people with down payments. To learn more about available assistance for homebuyers or get help applying in WA, contact a mortgage broker for expert insights. Our financial experts can answer your questions and guide you through the process.

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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