HomeStart Finance – the lending arm of the South Australian government – has announced graduate-specific loans that require as little as three per cent deposit.
The statutory authority that reports to the minister for housing and urban development has broadened the criteria on its Graduate Loan, meaning that anyone with a Certificate III qualification or higher is now eligible.
John Oliver, CEO of HomeStart Finance, said tertiary students are faced with a unique set of homebuying challenges to overcome once they have graduated.
"While they are studying, most tertiary students are completely focused on gaining their qualification and giving themselves the best chance of employment. Buying a home generally isn't a major priority, so it can be put to the side until they graduate," he said.
"Saving for a deposit while studying is extremely difficult. As a student, you are generally working less hours while managing rent, student fees and many other costs related to your studies."
Mr Oliver said the Graduate Loan is designed to help tertiary students overcome one of the main barriers to home ownership – the deposit.
"At the same time, they are able to avoid paying thousands in LMI and also have more certainty in their loan repayments," he said.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, almost half a million South Australians are enrolled in tertiary courses at a Certificate III level or higher, and nearly 25,000 Certificate III or Certificate IV students who graduated in 2012 are now eligible to benefit from the loan expansion.
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