Tip 1: Pay lots, borrow little.

  • Deposits are worked out by calculating the percentage of a house's value.
  • You'll need to put down at least a 5% deposit (so, if the house is worth $300,000, that's $15,000).
  • At that rate, you'll be paying higher than average fees until you can make a 20% deposit.
  • The more you can put down upfront, the less interest you'll pay.
  • Consider other ways to cough up the money if you find it tricky. Maybe your family or friends could help?

Tip 2: Use a KiwiSaver.

  • KiwiSaver allows you to set aside money for just this type of occasion.
  • You can contribute 3, 4, 6, 8 or 10%.
  • Consider contributing more if you're eyeing up a house right now.
  • Take advantage of things like the First Home Grant or subsidies ($1,000 for every year you contribute to KiwiSaver).
  • Don't rely on subsidies, though — many schemes have caps on things like income, house prices and current debt.
  • Still, it's free money if you qualify! But find out if you're eligible first before you add it into your final budget.


Tip 3: Make a budget.

  • Consider all your options — KiwiSaver, savings, weekly income, possible grants, subsidies, etc.
  • Shop around for homes and pay close attention to interest rates.
  • Use an online mortgage calculator if you're unsure what your deposit could get you.

Tip 4: Talk to banks.

  • It's free, so why not?
  • When you do, they'll want to know things like:
    • Proof of regular income (like payslips).
    • Any extra income you receive (like child support).
    • Your monthly expenses (like rent and groceries).
    • Any debts (like store cards, loans and credit cards).
    • Assets (like your car or novelty hat collection).

Tip 5: Don't stick to a lender because it's convenient.

  • Lenders are all different and will advertise different rates.
  • These rates change after the first year, so be aware of tempting first offers.
  • Your bank has all your info, so it's easier for them to check up on you. That doesn't mean they have the best offer for rates, though.
  • On the other hand, banks might see you as a safe bet if you've been with them a long time.

Tip 6: Get a credit score check.

  • Lenders will look at a thing called a ‘credit score’ to assess your risk.
  • The higher the credit score number, the better lenders rate you for paying back bills on time and in full.
  • Get your credit score checked before you begin applying for homes. If it's a low number, maybe consider raising it first to get a better loan offer.
  • To raise your credit score, you can:
    • Pay bills back on time.
    • Close open credit accounts.
    • Clear up bad debt.
    • Limit credit enquires.

Need help managing your money? Yonda's here for you.

Yonda’s all about making your dreams of homeownership come true. That's why we've built a new app that will let you check out your credit score anytime, anywhere, so you can secure a better foundation for your financial future.

Sound good? Head to our homepage to download the app and find out more.


Info and tools on the Yonda website are used as a guide only and do not constitute financial advice. Use Yonda as a starting point and then seek professional advice.


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