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Kainga Ora First Home Loan - am I eligible?

The First Home Loan scheme has been around for a while, but until mid-2022, plenty of people didn't know about it because it had some tricky price caps which were difficult for first home buyers to meet in a market where prices continued to increase.

But fortunately that's all changed, so it's time we heard more about this nifty little support scheme which is now helping more first home buyers than ever into their first homes.

What about the criteria?

Kāinga Ora have now re-jigged their criteria to make the First Home Loan more fit for purpose, which is great news for anyone with a lower deposit.

To be eligible, you'll need to tick a few boxes;

Lender Criteria: Different banks might have their own lending criteria, but the great thing is that there are a good range of options so talk to us about which will fit best for you

Debt Serviceability: This is a fancy way of saying that banks want to make sure you can handle your mortgage payments, especially as interest rates fluctuate. They might even test you at a rate higher than the current one, which can be a challenge on a limited income.

Citizenship: To be eligible, you'll need to be a New Zealand citizen or resident.

Income Caps:

  • $95,000 or less (before tax) for a single purchaser

  • $150,000 or less (before tax) for a single purchaser with dependents.

  • $150,000 or less (before tax) for multiple buyers, regardless of dependents.

A reminder that these caps are based on your earnings from the previous 12 months, not your current situation.

So if things have changed recently, you're still in the game!

A few other things to consider

Less well advertised are a couple of other tricks we've learnt over years of helping hundreds of first home buyers into their first homes!

  • Plan to live in your new home for at least six months - this is generally not a biggie as most first home buyers stick around for a few years, but the requirement for using Kiwisaver does mean you need to live in the new house!

  • You'll need to have been in your current job for at least 12 months or have a solid 24-month track record in the same industry - we can help with pitching this to Kāinga Ora to put your best foot forward

  • Because they're supporting you with lower deposit lending, Kāinga Ora require you to use your own deposit funds first - that means you can't hold any more than $5K back for things like renovations

  • You need to purchase a home in an area where there are other comparable properties - for most people this isn't a problem as they're in a small town or larger city

We love helping First Home Buyers

If you're looking to purchase your first home in the next six months, get in touch with us to help guide you through the process.

We're out there doing it every day and making the process fun and exciting so you don't have to worry about finance!

Book in a call with one of us today and we can have a chat about how to get you into your first home faster.


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