As well as having a 5% deposit, you need to meet our eligibility criteria for a First Home Loan. You will also need to meet the lending criteria of the participating bank or lender you choose.

To be eligible for a First Home Loan, you must:

  • Be a New Zealand citizen, permanent resident, or a resident visa holder who is "ordinarily resident in New Zealand"
  • Be a first home buyer, or a previous home owner in a similar financial position to a first home buyer
  • Have a before tax income from the last 12 months of:
    • $95,000 or less for an individual buyer without dependants; or
    • $150,000 or less for an individual buyer with one or more dependants; or
    • $150,000 or less (combined) for two or more buyers, regardless of the number of dependants

Other criteria

In addition, you must:

  • Have a minimum deposit that is at least 5% of the purchase price of the home you are interested in buying (inclusive of all savings, grants, first-home withdrawals, and gifts)
  • Be purchasing a home for you to live in as your primary place of residence
  • Not own any other property or land, this does not include ownership of Māori land
  • be purchasing a property of less than 1 hectare
  • Pay a 1% Lender’s Mortgage Insurance premium and loan application fee
    (if applied by the lender)

Bank lending criteria

You will also need to meet the lending requirements of a participating bank or lender to service a home loan.

Banks and lenders will have their own lending criteria they will assess you on as part of the lending process, and can include your financial ability to repay the loan, your current level of debt, and your credit history.

Some participating banks and lenders may allow you to build a new home with a First Home Loan. Ask your preferred lender if they do and what their criteria is.

Page updated: 30 September 2022