What you need to apply for a home loan

When you’re ready to formally apply, we’ll ask you questions — as well as a number of supporting documents — before you get the go-ahead.

  • proof of identity (e.g., passport, driver's licence, birth certificate, utility bill or rates notice)
  • evidence of income (e.g., most recent payslips) and assets (e.g., bank statements)
  • details of outstanding debts, like credit card or loans, including how much you owe and your repayment amounts
  • proof that you can pay the deposit and you have a savings history (e.g., bank statements)
  • your monthly expenses, including school fees, rent, dining out and regular bills like utilities
  • proof of employment (e.g., address and contact details of employer)
  • residential status (in case you’re renting, details of the property owners or estate agent)

Proof of income sources

You’ll need to share details about your income so your lender can see if you’ll be able to meet your loan repayments (and a mortgage won’t put you under undue stress).

  • If you’re a wage or salary earner, share either a bank statement (which shows your last two salary payments), or two of your last three payslips, or a letter from your employer that outlines your employment details.
  • If you’re self-employed, share your accountant’s details, and your last two years of financial statements.
  • If you’re receiving superannuation, provide either a super fund statement, or bank statement showing your income.
  • If you’re receiving government income, provide either a current Centrelink statement, or a current bank statement that shows your government payments.
  • If you receive income from rental properties, you’ll need to share either a current bank statement that shows this, or a current lease arrangement, or a letter from your real estate agent or property manager.
  • Lastly, if you receive investment income, provide either your shareholding certificate(s), or a current dividend statement notice.

Additional documents (if applicable)

  • Do you have a First Home Owner Grant (FHOG)? You’ll need to provide your completed FHOG application.
  • If you're building a property or already negotiated a contract, the lender will need cost estimates and timelines, or a copy of the builder’s contract.
  • Receiving a gift (money) to help you buy your home? Provide a letter from your benefactor detailing their contribution and the repayment conditions (if any).

The home loan process

After receiving your home loan application, lenders will usually follow these steps:

  • Contact you to talk through your application and help you to find a lending arrangement that suits you.
  • Review your application and documents to ensure they are in order.
  • Do a credit check (using a credit reporting body).
  • Get a valuation on the property you want to secure.

Conditional approvals

Your lender may grant a conditional approval, subject to various checks (e.g. verification of the information you have told your lender about your financial position, and valuation of the property). Think of it as the first step in getting your home loan organised. A conditional approval offers a clearer picture of your borrowing limit, giving you a realistic idea of the type of property you can buy. Ensure you understand the conditions of this approval prior to making an offer or bidding at an auction. It could take a few weeks to finalise the loan application and assessment process.

Adding offer conditions

A conditional approval will help you feel more confident to make an offer in a private sale. But always ensure your offer is:

A ‘subject to finance’ clause, for instance, says that the sale (transaction) won’t proceed until the bank approves the home loan (finance). Also, whatever conditions you set, ask your conveyancer or solicitor to write them into the contract for you.

Approvals and home loan contracts

Once you have formal approval for your home loan, you’ll receive a loan contract to accept.

Your contract will usually include:

  • details of the security (e.g., the property details if you’re using the property as security against the loan)
  • the loan amount
  • details of your repayments, including repayment type (e.g., interest only or principal and interest), the repayment amount, frequency and the fees and charges for the loan
  • interest rate and interest rate type
  • the loan terms and conditions.

Like any legal document, get independent legal advice and make sure to check for errors and understand the details before you accept and sign. 

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Terms and Conditions

The information contained in this article is intended to be of a general nature only. It has been prepared without taking into account any person’s objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this information, NAB recommends that you consider whether it is appropriate for your circumstances. NAB recommends that you seek independent legal, financial and taxation advice before acting on any information in this article.