Investing in property isn’t just for high-income earners. Even with a modest income, you can build a property portfolio with some creative thinking. In this guide, we’ll explore practical tips tailored to low-income earners to help them embark on a successful property investment journey.
Find an Investor-Friendly Loan
The biggest challenge for low-income earners can be the time taken to save for a sufficient deposit. Some lenders require a higher deposit for an investment property than an owner-occupied property, so it’s important to seek out a lender and loan that is investor-friendly. Alternatively, you could consider living in the property for a period after the purchase before converting it into an investment property as your portfolio grows.
If you are eager to enter the property market, having at least 10 per cent of the property’s purchase price as a deposit will increase the likelihood of loan approval and increase your borrowing capacity. However, we recommend having a larger deposit of 20 per cent, as most individuals would be required to pay lenders’ mortgage insurance (LMI).
Prove Your Financial Responsibility
Lenders assess the risk an individual is likely to default on a loan and low-income earners may have a harder time with a loan approval. However, there are ways to increase your chances of pre-approval success:
- Offset your lower income by proving you are a low-risk borrower. Lenders favour individuals who consistently meet their financial payments and show they have good money habits. Showing lenders you have genuine savings increases the likelihood of a loan approval.
- Pay off existing debts and keep credit card limits as low as possible. Lenders calculate servicing based on your credit limit, not the balance.
- Do your best to pay off any personal or car loans before applying for an investment loan. Because of the short-term nature of these commitments, repayments can have a significant impact on an applicant’s borrowing power and should be paid out where possible.
Choose the Right Property
When it comes to choosing the right property, it is best that low-income earners avoids negatively gearing their property as you are not offsetting high income with losses. However, depending on you financial goals, this could still be an option for you.
Purchasing property in regional areas is a great entry point to the market. Although there may be less capital growth, there are higher rental yields on offer which can assist you holding the asset, providing stability during the first few years.
Seek Out Different Investment Strategies
Investing with a close friend or relative is another way to enter the market for those who earn a low income. As long as agreements are in place, including who is responsible for the mortgage and what happens if one owner defaults, property use, potential sale, and maintenance.
Co-ownership is viable and ensured property ownership is within reach even on a low income.
Find the Right Loan
Recent research suggests that as many as 60 per cent of applicants who are rejected by the major banks may be eligible for a loan through a specialist lender. Specialist or non-conforming loans have higher interest rates to account for the higher perceived risk the lender is taking. However, this option provides a stepping-stone to entering the property market. There is always the option of refinancing with a major lender after two years.
Finding the right loan can be time-consuming. That’s why we recommend getting in touch with a mortgage broker if you are considering property investment. They assist with the paperwork and do all the research about interest rates and best practice for you.
Property investment is accessible to low-income earners with the right approach. By seeking out suitable properties and finance products, you can embark on a rewarding investment journey.