FAQs - Buying a property

How much can I borrow?

You could borrow up to 80% of your property’s value.

Calculate how much you can borrow here. No credit checks yet and it only takes 3 minutes. You’ll also be able to check your eligibility and see how much your repayments could be.

How do you work out how much I can borrow?

The maximum amount you could borrow is determined by your financial situation which we assess against our affordability requirements. We look at things like your income, your expenses, savings and credit history.

We’ll also look at any existing commitments such as credit cards, personal loans and car loans. As part of our responsible lending criteria, we also apply a few rainy-day scenarios such as interest rates rising, RBA cash rates going up or contingent income, like bonuses, not being paid.

Why can I borrow less/more with Athena compared to other lenders?

Every lender has different lending policy and criteria. This means you may be able to borrow less or more with Athena compared to other lenders. This would be based off LVR requirements, every lender will stress test your scenario differently.

How much deposit do I need to take out a home loan?

You generally need a 20% deposit to take out an Athena home loan. In certain cases we require a 30% deposit depending on where your property is, what type it is, or if it is valued at over $2.5 million.

Calculate the deposit required for the area you’re looking to buy in here. It only takes 3 minutes, no credit checks yet!

What's the home loan process like if I want to buy a property?

If you’re thinking of buying a property or have found your dream home, great! We’ve made our process super easy so you can get settled fast.

To get started, calculate your borrowing power and check your eligibility here. It takes 3 mins with no credit checks. You can then complete our online application which will take 15 mins. If you need pre-approval, we’ll work to your timings. If we have all the required information and documents we can provide pre-approval in as little as a few days. If you’re in a hurry, let us know and we’ll speed things up!

When you’ve found your dream home, upload your signed contract of sale straight away. We work fast so you don’t miss any deadlines in your contract such as a finance clause or settlement date.

What is a pre-approval and unconditional approval? What are the differences?

There is so much lingo when it comes to approvals and every lender seems to have a different meaning for it. Let’s clear the air. Here’s what it means for Athena.

Pre-approval -  This is also known as conditional approval or approval in principal. This is not final approval, but it gives you an estimate of how much you could borrow for a home loan. Unlike other lenders, a pre-approval with Athena is fully credit assessed. It means it is more accurate so you can shop around for your dream property with confidence. It lasts for 90 days and after this period, we’ll need you to re-submit a few documents to ensure we have the latest information for the pre-approval to remain valid. 

Unconditional approval – This is the final approval that confirms we can offer you a home loan for your property, no strings attached! It lasts for 90 days and all you need to do is sign the required documents. Once the documents are signed, you’ll have 90 days to settle. If it’s been more than 180 days since you received unconditional approval from us, you’ll need to submit a new application as we are required to run a complete assessment again.

How long does it take to receive pre-approval?

Whatever stage you’re at with buying a property, we’ll work to your timings. If we have all the required information and documents we can provide pre-approval in as little as a few days. If you’re in a hurry, let us know and we’ll speed things up!

How long does it take to receive unconditional approval?

Once you've signed your contract of sale, upload it straight away. We work fast so you don’t miss any deadlines in your contract such as a finance clause or settlement date.

On average, if you’ve purchased a property, it takes about 2 weeks from when an application is submitted to unconditional approval. It helps if you have all the required information and documentation ready. Everyone’s situation is different but we will always keep you in the loop.

How long will settlement take?

The settlement period will start from the day the contract of sale for the property is signed by both you and the seller. It ends on the settlement day stated in the contract and this is typically 30 to 90 days from the beginning of settlement period.


Generally the period is 6 weeks but can vary depending on which State the property is located or if you negotiated on the settlement day with the seller. On settlement day, the last few legal bits are finalised and you become the legal owner of your property!

What are the costs involved with buying property?

It’s true, we really don’t – no application or valuation fees, no annual or monthly fees, no discharge fees on our Straight Up or Power Up home loans. Seriously WTF, Where’s The Fees? There are no Athena home loan fees, although there will be Government charges involved, regardless if you’re buying or refinancing.

If you’re buying, there are upfront costs charged by the Government and third-parties that you will need to consider. These can include stamp duty, transfer fees, mortgage registration fees, legal fees, pest and building inspections fees, and home, building and contents insurance. Upfront costs will vary depending on your situation.

Calculate your borrowing power and indicative upfront costs here. It only takes 3 minutes, no credit checks yet!

I want to release equity from my current home loan to buy a property, how do I do that?

If you want to access the equity from your current property to buy another property, we can help. In the online application form, we’ll ask if you’re using any equity from a property you own as part of your deposit.


Check yes and one of our Loan Experts will discuss this with you after you submit an application.

How do you work out the value of my property? Do you have to run a valuation if I already have a valuation report for my property?

We will run a valuation on your property after you submit an application and we won’t charge you for it (we don’t charge fees!). Valuations are conducted by an independent, approved Valuer.


As part of our responsible lending criteria and due diligence, we must conduct our own valuation even if you have recently had a valuation report completed for your property. The valuation can take from 1 hour up to a few days depending on location and value confidence on your property.


If we can’t do a desktop valuation from a central database, we will arrange for someone to come out.

What is Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI)? Do I need to pay for LMI with Athena?

Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI) protects the lender in the event the borrower cannot afford to meet their home loan repayments and typically applies when you borrow more than 80% of the property’s value. It is a one-off payment paid by the borrower to the lender.

When you have a smaller deposit, the lender takes on more risk because they have less safety buffer against your loan. LMI does not apply to any Athena home loan as we require you to have a minimum deposit of 20%, and in certain cases 30% deposit, for your home loan.

Do you lend to First Home Buyers?

We're absolutely open for business for confident first home buyers making their first exciting purchase.

Quick heads up, although we’ll help you get a kick ass home loan, we currently don’t do the paperwork for First Home Owner Grants. Your solicitor or conveyancer will be able to help with these. As we build out our offering we'll have more guidance and tools over time, but for now you can rest assured you'll be setting yourself up with a red-hot home loan!

Find out if you’re eligible for a First Home Owner Grant.

Do you lend to Off the Plan properties?

We don’t lend to Off the Plan properties directly but we can help you find a loan that’s right for you, even if it’s with another lender. Why? Because we actually care. Get in touch and we’ll see how we can help.

Meet our loan experts.

Our friendly local home loan experts are here to answer all your questions, 5 days a week.

Want to chat before you apply online?

Investor concierge team desktop
Investor-concierge-Mobile
Investor-concierge-Mobile

Weekdays 9am-5pm AET

wCall   13 35 35

Join thousands of Aussies taking control
of their mortgage

You’ve got nothing to lose but your home loan!
Take 3 mins to see your loan options including rate and repayments.

Athena acknowledges the traditional owners of the land on which we gather the Gadigal people of the Eora nation. We acknowledge that sovereignty was never ceded and respect their continued and continuing connection to this place.