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Frequently asked questions

Browse our frequently asked questions to learn more.

Questions about Keystart app

  • Q What is the Keystart app for?
    A

    The Keystart app is designed to help you take control of your home loan by showing you the estimated value of your property and your loan balance, so you'll know when it's time to refinance and move on to another lender. 

    The app also allows you to:

    • check your transactions,
    • make additional payments easily and securely,
    • edit direct debits,
    • get reminders of upcoming payments and statements, and
    • access financial resources and tips.

    This app is for Keystart customers only.

  • Q I can't access the app - what should I do?
    A

    You may find it helpful to delete the app from your device and then reinstall it from your app store. If the problem persists, get in touch with us. Please keep in mind that the app may not work if you have an older model device. You may also want to check if there’s a new system update available for your device. 

    If you can’t register for the app, this may be due to your loan type, or we may need some more information from you. Please get in touch with us to see if we can help you get started.

  • Q Why is there no estimated property value showing up for me?
    A

    If you don’t see an estimated property value in the app, this is due to a lack of comparable home sales in your area. This may change over time. 

  • Q Why is there a high and a low value for my home's estimated value?
    A

    Equity estimator insights derived by Keystart are based on CoreLogic® Data. The equity estimator is an automated estimate calculated monthly and is based on home values of a similar size in a similar area. The estimates include a value range from a low value to a high value with a confidence rating. The estimated home value may not match the value that a professional valuer or property appraiser would give to your home. Find out more in our terms and conditions

  • Q I'm having problems registering for the app.
    A

    To be able to register for the app, we’ll need to have your email address and mobile number on our system. If you applied as a couple, we’ll need to have an email address and mobile number for each of you. It's a great idea for each of you to have the app.

    If you're having problems registering it may be that you have a loan product that isn't available on the app - or it may be that we need some more information from you.

    You can give us a call on 1300 578 278 and we’ll help you get started. 

  • Q What devices can I use the Keystart app on?
    A

    For Apple users, the Keystart app is available on devices running iOS 13 or above. 

    For Android users, the Keystart app is available on Android 10 or above. 

    We recommend updating your device operating system, as well as the Keystart app regularly. You can turn on automatic updates so you’re always up to date. If your device does not support an upgrade to at least iOS 13 or Android 10, you won’t be able to access the app. 

  • Q Who can access and manage my account?
    A

    Only the people named on the account have account access. If there are multiple applicants stated under one loan account and if both applicants like to have access to the app, you’ll need to register separately using your own mobile number on separate devices. 

  • Q How do I change my Keystart app login details?
    A

    To change your login details, tap on the More icon and Login settings when you’re in the app. You can choose to change your existing password, PIN code and you can enable or disable biometric login. Please note that if you decide to remove PIN login, biometric login will be automatically disabled. 

  • Q How can I check my home loan details in the Keystart app?
    A

    You can check all your home loan details, including your loan balance, transactions, and upcoming payments in the My loan section of the app. 

  • Q Will I be notified if the additional direct debit payment or once-off payment I created in the Keystart app has been successful?
    A

    Your new payment will appear in the Upcoming payments section on the My loan page. If you have notifications enabled, you’ll also receive a payment reminder notification 24 hours prior to your scheduled direct debit payment. We highly recommend enabling the notifications so that you don’t miss out on important announcements and payment reminders.

About Keystart

  • Q Do I need to go through a mortgage broker to get a Keystart loan?
    A

    The choice is yours. Keystart loans are available through our accredited broker network but we are also happy to deal with you directly. We have a dedicated home loan specialists to support you all the way through our loan application process. 

  • Q What is a building inspection and why is it required?
    A

    A building inspection is a report on the current condition of a property.

    Before you buy a house, it’s important to have your new home checked out professionally to ensure there are no nasty surprises that potentially could cost a lot of money to rectify.

    Once a report has been compiled on the condition of the property, you can then make an informed decision based on the findings. Often items can be fixed by the seller and you could include in the contract that your purchase be subject to a favourable inspection.

    With Keystart, if the property is over 25 years old, a building inspection report from a practicing certified structural engineer, building certifier, architect or builder is required.

  • Q Does Keystart charge lender's mortgage insurance (LMI)?
    A

    No. As Keystart’s vision is to make the dream of home ownership a reality for more people, we don’t charge LMI despite our low deposit requirements. This can save you thousands. 

  • Q What if I have a poor credit history?
    A

    If you have outstanding defaults, court judgement or are currently bankrupt or discharged from bankruptcy for less than two years, you won't qualify for Keystart finance. However, if you have paid off any outstanding defaults and have maintained a clear credit history over the past 12 months we may be able to help. Please get in touch so we can discuss your individual situation.

  • Q Why does Keystart need to know my living expenses when applying for a home loan?
    A

    All lenders, including Keystart, require you to provide details of your income and your basic expenses and discretionary spending to ensure that you have the capacity to repay a loan. It is therefore important that you understand not only your current expenses, but what other expenses you may have once you have purchased your home. This is an important step as it can help you take a moment to consider whether you can afford a home loan. 

  • Q Why do Keystart require more documentation than other lenders?
    A

    As Keystart offers loans with deposits as low as 2% with no charge for lender's mortgage insurance, we need to ensure that we lend in a responsible and sustainable way. This means we need sufficient documentation to be sure who we are lending to (proof of identity), as well as confirming that employment, income and liabilities details match what is stated in a loan application form. 

    We check every applicant's situation carefully to ensure that our customers will be able to afford home loan repayments without getting into financial difficulty.

    Get a head start and prepare your paperwork before you apply.

  • Q Is Keystart a government department?
    A

    No. Keystart is not a government department. We are proudly an initiative of the Western Australian Government. We are a company with one beneficial owner, being the Housing Authority, and we are governed by an independent board of directors regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.

  • Q Is Keystart a bank?
    A

    No, Keystart is not a bank. We don't have any savings accounts like a bank and don't offer any other products other than home loans.

  • Q What is Keystart about?
    A

    Keystart was established 32 years ago to help Western Australians who might not qualify for a home loan from one of the traditional lenders into a home of their own. Our vision is to make the dream of affordable home ownership a reality for more people. Our low deposit home loans have provided an attainable pathway into home ownership for more than 118,000 Western Australians. 

  • Q Who can Keystart assist?
    A

    Keystart aims to make the dream of affordable home ownership a reality for more people. Our low deposit home loans have provided an attainable pathway into home ownership for more than 100,000 Western Australians. Keystart can assist first home owners and subsequent home owners. Find out more about our loan requirements.

About our Low Deposit Home Loan

  • Q What impact is coronavirus (COVID-19) having at Keystart?
  • Q What happens to my first home owner grant?
    A

    The first home owner grant (FHOG) WA is a one-off payment funded by the Government of Western Australia and administered by the Department of Finance, Office of State Revenue. The grant is to assist first home buyers get started with their first home.

    If you are eligible, Keystart allows you to use the FHOG funds towards your home loan deposit, so you can get started on your home ownership dream sooner.

    The FHOG in WA only applies to first home buyers who are building or purchasing a newly built home.  It is no longer available if you choose to buy an established home however, you may be eligible for other benefits, like concessional stamp (transfer) duty.

  • Q Can I get a loan if my sole source of income is Centrelink payments?
    A

    You may qualify for a loan based solely on Centrelink income however the loan amount will be based on your income level and may not be enough to buy a property. 

  • Q Do you do interest only loans?
    A

    No. As we are focused on helping more people start their home ownership journey, we do not offer interest only loans or loans for an investment property. All of our loans are principal and interest home loans. 

  • Q Can I buy an investment property?
    A

    No. As we are focused on helping more people start their home ownership journey, we do not offer interest only loans or loans for an investment property. All of our loans are principal and interest home loans and are for owner-occupiers. You are required to occupy the property as your principal place of residence. 

  • Q Other than the deposit, what other costs are there?
    A

    Some of the other upfront costs you may incur when buying a home include application fees, legal/conveyancing fees, transfer fees, government stamp duty, inspection fees (building/termite), settlement agent fees, building insurance and water/shire rates. 

    You may also need to consider your moving costs if you need to hire a truck or removalists. Maybe friends and family can help?

  • Q Can I buy an established house?
    A

    Absolutely. Once you have conditional approval you can start house-hunting for your home. There are some advantages in buying an established house. Read more in our Build or buy guide. 

  • Q Can I build a new home?
    A

    Absolutely. Once you have pre-approval you will know how much you will be able to borrow, and therefore how much you can spend. You might like to to weigh up your options of building vs buying a new home - read our guide for some helpful tips. 

  • Q Can I buy anywhere?
    A

    Yes, anywhere within Western Australia. Once you have conditional approval you will be able to start looking for your new home. You can use the finance to buy an established home or to build. Remember to take into consideration the distance to your work and other facilities you want nearby. 

  • Q Am I eligible?
    A

    Keystart has some set eligibility criteria. You can find out more about your loan requirements or you can find out if you would be eligible by completing pre-qualification. This takes about five minutes. 

  • Q Do I have to be employed to get a loan?
    A

    Yes, you do need to have a stable income or regular employment for at least six months. 

    Keystart accepts some Centrelink benefits as income, but your total income affects the amount you will be able to borrow.

  • Q Do I have to build a home or can I buy an existing home?
    A

    Once you have conditional approval you are able to go home-hunting for whatever you like. An apartment, an existing home in an established area or a new house and land package. The choice is yours.

    We support you all the way through the loan application process too with a dedicated home loan specialist working with you from your first enquiry through to settlement. 

  • Q Do I need to show savings history?
    A

    No. We do not require savings history but will request statements for any bank accounts you have as well as statements for any existing loans, credit/store cards and rental history. This is so we can establish your ability to manage your finances.

  • Q What type of home can I buy?
    A

    With Keystart's Low Deposit Home Loan you either can purchase an established property, build a new home through a registered builder or buy a newly constructed property. You can build an apartment, a townhouse, a stand-alone home or a unit - the choice is yours! 

  • Q I already own a home but want to apply for a Keystart loan as well. Is that possible?
    A

    Unfortunately you cannot be considered for any Keystart products if you already own a property. Keystart assists people to get started on their home ownership journey. We require you to owner occupy the home for the life of the Keystart loan. 

    If you are in a situation where you will not own a home at the time of settlement, for example if you are in the process of selling your existing home, you may still be eligible. Get in touch to find out more.

  • Q Why have the income limits been set at specific caps for each region?
    A

    Keystart has undertaken a great deal of research to determine the income levels that assist the greatest number of Western Australians into a reasonable standard of housing. These limits are continually reviewed and will be amended if necessary.

  • Q I have owned a property before. Can I apply?
    A

    Yes you can. Subsequent home buyers are eligible to apply as long as you don't currently own or part own any other home or land. 

  • Q Can I rent out my property?
    A

    We aim to help more people on the journey to home ownership. In line with this vision, we do not offer loans for investment properties and you're required to occupy the property as your principal place of residence.

    However, we understand things change and you may find yourself in a situation where you are unable to stay in your home. If you have explored all options to either sell or refinance, you can contact us to discuss your circumstances. We look at each situation on a case by case basis.

About our Shared Ownership Home Loan

  • Q What impact is coronavirus (COVID-19) having at Keystart?
  • Q How does shared ownership work?
    A

    Shared ownership loans allow you to purchase a share in your property until you are in a position to buy the property outright. This helps to reduce your ongoing monthly repayments.  A co-owners agreement will exist between you and the Housing Authority that sets out your rights and responsibilities under this loan type. 

    Whenever you wish to increase your ownership share, the property will be independently valued and the value of the Housing Authority's share will be based on the market value of the property at that time.  

  • Q Can I sell my home at any time?
    A

    Yes.

    If you wish to sell your home, a valuation will be conducted to determine the current market value and minimum sale price. The Housing Authority has the first option to purchase the property from you. If the Housing Authority does not take up this option, you can sell the property on the open market. Any capital improvements you have made to the property since the initial purchase will be credited to you and taken into consideration when calculating the value of the Housing Authority's share of the sale price. You can get a list of the possible capital improvements so you can see what may be included. 

  • Q Can I get a loan if my sole source of income is Centrelink payments?
    A

    You may qualify for a loan based solely on Centrelink income however the loan amount will be based on your income level and may not be enough to buy a property. 

  • Q Does the Housing Authority share the costs of owning a home?
    A

    No. As the Housing Authority do not charge any interest or rent on their share in the property they do not contribute towards the costs of owning the home. You are responsible for general maintenance costs, payments for your rates, insurance, any strata levies and property valuations. 

  • Q Can I choose the percentage I own?
    A

    No. The percentage you own in a shared ownership home loan will be determined by your borrowing capacity and the property value. As the Housing Authority want to assist as many people as they can into shared home ownership, it needs to ensure it does not contribute more than is required.

  • Q Am I free to sell my home?
    A

    You can sell your home at any time but you need to first contact Keystart to arrange a valuation. This will determine the current market value and minimum sale price and will also take into consideration any capital improvements you have made since the initial purchase.

    The Housing Authority have the first option to buy the property but if they choose not to buy it, the property can be sold on the open market. Note, this is for flexible shared ownership home loans properties only, fixed shared ownership loans can only be sold back to the Housing Authority.

  • Q Can I increase my ownership in my shared ownership property?
    A

    Generally yes, and we encourage you to do so. But the answer will be dependent on the type of shared ownership property you are looking at.

    If it is a ‘Flexible’ property you can increase your ownership whenever you can afford to.  Stamp duty concessions and incentives may apply.

    If it is a ‘Fixed’ property the Housing Authority will always retain their portion of the property. If however, you decide to sell your share back to the Housing Authority based on the current market valuation, you can use this equity to buy another property.

  • Q Can I make improvements to my property?
    A

    All homes need maintenance and you may find you have some great ideas on improvements to your property too. You can make improvements to your home at any time, providing these have been approved by Keystart on behalf of the Housing Authority. If approval for the improvements is required from the relevant local authority, you must provide Keystart with a copy of the approved plans. All work must be carried out by a registered builder.

    Your hard work may be taken into account too when you look at selling or refinancing your home, as certain home improvements are considered to add value to your property. Read more in our guide to shared ownership.

  • Q Will I have to have property inspections?
    A

    No. No more rent inspections!  The Housing Authority don't conduct inspections on their shared ownership properties. As long as you maintain the property and comply with your obligations under the mortgage and Co-owners Deed you will be left to occupy the property peacefully and without disturbance. Enjoy!

  • Q Do the Housing Authority charge rent on their share in the property?
    A

    No, the Housing Authority do not charge rent or interest on their share.

    The only repayments you will be required to make are those stipulated under your loan contract with Keystart, that is your loan repayments for your share of the loan.

    You do need to pay all rates, insurance and maintenance on the property, as the Housing Authority does not contribute towards these costs. 

  • Q What is shared home ownership?
    A

    Shared home ownership is an initiative that helps reduce both the upfront costs and ongoing loan repayments associated with home ownership.

    With shared home ownership, the Housing Authority co-own a property with you, meaning your deposit doesn’t need to be as big and your loan repayments will be lower as they are based on your share in the property. The Housing Authority percentage of ownership will be dependent on the loan product you choose, the property value and the loan amount you qualify for.

  • Q Do you do interest only loans?
    A

    No. As we are focused on helping more people start their home ownership journey, we do not offer interest only loans or loans for an investment property. All of our loans are principal and interest home loans. 

  • Q Other than the deposit, what other costs are there?
    A

    Some of the other upfront costs you may incur when buying a home include application fees, legal/conveyancing fees, transfer fees, government stamp duty, inspection fees (building/termite), settlement agent fees, building insurance and water/shire rates. 

    You may also need to consider your moving costs if you need to hire a truck or removalists. Maybe friends and family can help?

  • Q Am I eligible?
    A

    Keystart has some set eligibility criteria. You can find out more about your loan requirements or you can find out if you would be eligible by completing pre-qualification. This takes about five minutes. 

  • Q Do I have to be employed to get a loan?
    A

    Yes, you do need to have a stable income or regular employment for at least six months. 

    Keystart accepts some Centrelink benefits as income, but your total income affects the amount you will be able to borrow.

  • Q Do I need to show savings history?
    A

    No. We do not require savings history but will request statements for any bank accounts you have as well as statements for any existing loans, credit/store cards and rental history. This is so we can establish your ability to manage your finances.

  • Q I already own a home but want to apply for a Keystart loan as well. Is that possible?
    A

    Unfortunately you cannot be considered for any Keystart products if you already own a property. Keystart assists people to get started on their home ownership journey. We require you to owner occupy the home for the life of the Keystart loan. 

    If you are in a situation where you will not own a home at the time of settlement, for example if you are in the process of selling your existing home, you may still be eligible. Get in touch to find out more.

  • Q Why have the income limits been set at specific caps for each region?
    A

    Keystart has undertaken a great deal of research to determine the income levels that assist the greatest number of Western Australians into a reasonable standard of housing. These limits are continually reviewed and will be amended if necessary.

  • Q I have owned a property before. Can I apply?
    A

    Yes you can. Subsequent home buyers are eligible to apply as long as you don't currently own or part own any other home or land. 

  • Q Can I rent out my property?
    A

    We aim to help more people on the journey to home ownership. In line with this vision, we do not offer loans for investment properties and you're required to occupy the property as your principal place of residence.

    However, we understand things change and you may find yourself in a situation where you are unable to stay in your home. If you have explored all options to either sell or refinance, you can contact us to discuss your circumstances. We look at each situation on a case by case basis.

About our Aboriginal Home Loan

  • Q Do I need to provide verification of my Aboriginality and/or Torres Strait Islander heritage?
    A

    No, you are not required to provide proof of your Aboriginality and/or Torres Strait Islander heritage.

    • Q What impact is coronavirus (COVID-19) having at Keystart?
    • Q How does shared ownership work?
      A

      Shared ownership loans allow you to purchase a share in your property until you are in a position to buy the property outright. This helps to reduce your ongoing monthly repayments.  A co-owners agreement will exist between you and the Housing Authority that sets out your rights and responsibilities under this loan type. 

      Whenever you wish to increase your ownership share, the property will be independently valued and the value of the Housing Authority's share will be based on the market value of the property at that time.  

    • Q Can I sell my home at any time?
      A

      Yes.

      If you wish to sell your home, a valuation will be conducted to determine the current market value and minimum sale price. The Housing Authority has the first option to purchase the property from you. If the Housing Authority does not take up this option, you can sell the property on the open market. Any capital improvements you have made to the property since the initial purchase will be credited to you and taken into consideration when calculating the value of the Housing Authority's share of the sale price. You can get a list of the possible capital improvements so you can see what may be included. 

    • Q Can I get a loan if my sole source of income is Centrelink payments?
      A

      You may qualify for a loan based solely on Centrelink income however the loan amount will be based on your income level and may not be enough to buy a property. 

    • Q Does the Housing Authority share the costs of owning a home?
      A

      No. As the Housing Authority do not charge any interest or rent on their share in the property they do not contribute towards the costs of owning the home. You are responsible for general maintenance costs, payments for your rates, insurance, any strata levies and property valuations. 

    • Q Can I choose the percentage I own?
      A

      No. The percentage you own in a shared ownership home loan will be determined by your borrowing capacity and the property value. As the Housing Authority want to assist as many people as they can into shared home ownership, it needs to ensure it does not contribute more than is required.

    • Q Am I free to sell my home?
      A

      You can sell your home at any time but you need to first contact Keystart to arrange a valuation. This will determine the current market value and minimum sale price and will also take into consideration any capital improvements you have made since the initial purchase.

      The Housing Authority have the first option to buy the property but if they choose not to buy it, the property can be sold on the open market. Note, this is for flexible shared ownership home loans properties only, fixed shared ownership loans can only be sold back to the Housing Authority.

    • Q Can I increase my ownership in my shared ownership property?
      A

      Generally yes, and we encourage you to do so. But the answer will be dependent on the type of shared ownership property you are looking at.

      If it is a ‘Flexible’ property you can increase your ownership whenever you can afford to.  Stamp duty concessions and incentives may apply.

      If it is a ‘Fixed’ property the Housing Authority will always retain their portion of the property. If however, you decide to sell your share back to the Housing Authority based on the current market valuation, you can use this equity to buy another property.

    • Q Can I make improvements to my property?
      A

      All homes need maintenance and you may find you have some great ideas on improvements to your property too. You can make improvements to your home at any time, providing these have been approved by Keystart on behalf of the Housing Authority. If approval for the improvements is required from the relevant local authority, you must provide Keystart with a copy of the approved plans. All work must be carried out by a registered builder.

      Your hard work may be taken into account too when you look at selling or refinancing your home, as certain home improvements are considered to add value to your property. Read more in our guide to shared ownership.

    • Q Will I have to have property inspections?
      A

      No. No more rent inspections!  The Housing Authority don't conduct inspections on their shared ownership properties. As long as you maintain the property and comply with your obligations under the mortgage and Co-owners Deed you will be left to occupy the property peacefully and without disturbance. Enjoy!

    • Q Do the Housing Authority charge rent on their share in the property?
      A

      No, the Housing Authority do not charge rent or interest on their share.

      The only repayments you will be required to make are those stipulated under your loan contract with Keystart, that is your loan repayments for your share of the loan.

      You do need to pay all rates, insurance and maintenance on the property, as the Housing Authority does not contribute towards these costs. 

    • Q What is shared home ownership?
      A

      Shared home ownership is an initiative that helps reduce both the upfront costs and ongoing loan repayments associated with home ownership.

      With shared home ownership, the Housing Authority co-own a property with you, meaning your deposit doesn’t need to be as big and your loan repayments will be lower as they are based on your share in the property. The Housing Authority percentage of ownership will be dependent on the loan product you choose, the property value and the loan amount you qualify for.

    • Q Do you do interest only loans?
      A

      No. As we are focused on helping more people start their home ownership journey, we do not offer interest only loans or loans for an investment property. All of our loans are principal and interest home loans. 

    • Q Other than the deposit, what other costs are there?
      A

      Some of the other upfront costs you may incur when buying a home include application fees, legal/conveyancing fees, transfer fees, government stamp duty, inspection fees (building/termite), settlement agent fees, building insurance and water/shire rates. 

      You may also need to consider your moving costs if you need to hire a truck or removalists. Maybe friends and family can help?

    • Q Am I eligible?
      A

      Keystart has some set eligibility criteria. You can find out more about your loan requirements or you can find out if you would be eligible by completing pre-qualification. This takes about five minutes. 

    • Q Do I have to be employed to get a loan?
      A

      Yes, you do need to have a stable income or regular employment for at least six months. 

      Keystart accepts some Centrelink benefits as income, but your total income affects the amount you will be able to borrow.

    • Q Do I need to show savings history?
      A

      No. We do not require savings history but will request statements for any bank accounts you have as well as statements for any existing loans, credit/store cards and rental history. This is so we can establish your ability to manage your finances.

    • Q I already own a home but want to apply for a Keystart loan as well. Is that possible?
      A

      Unfortunately you cannot be considered for any Keystart products if you already own a property. Keystart assists people to get started on their home ownership journey. We require you to owner occupy the home for the life of the Keystart loan. 

      If you are in a situation where you will not own a home at the time of settlement, for example if you are in the process of selling your existing home, you may still be eligible. Get in touch to find out more.

    • Q Why have the income limits been set at specific caps for each region?
      A

      Keystart has undertaken a great deal of research to determine the income levels that assist the greatest number of Western Australians into a reasonable standard of housing. These limits are continually reviewed and will be amended if necessary.

    • Q I have owned a property before. Can I apply?
      A

      Yes you can. Subsequent home buyers are eligible to apply as long as you don't currently own or part own any other home or land. 

    • Q Can I rent out my property?
      A

      We aim to help more people on the journey to home ownership. In line with this vision, we do not offer loans for investment properties and you're required to occupy the property as your principal place of residence.

      However, we understand things change and you may find yourself in a situation where you are unable to stay in your home. If you have explored all options to either sell or refinance, you can contact us to discuss your circumstances. We look at each situation on a case by case basis.