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Considering a home loan

Frequently asked questions

Mortgage versus home loan - Do they mean the same thing?

Most people use the words ‘home loan’ and ‘mortgage’ interchangeably, but it might surprise you to learn that they actually refer to two entirely separate things.

What is a home loan?

A home loan is the sum of money a lender lends you to purchase your chosen property. You then pay this money back to the lender over a number of years, along with interest on the loan calculated at either a variable (fluctuates with the market) or fixed (1 to 10 years) interest rate.

What is a mortgage?

A mortgage is a security measure that’s put in place when you take out your home loan which protects the lender if you default on your loan repayments. If you don’t pay the money back to them, the mortgage gives the lender the legal right to sell your property to recoup their losses. The mortgage stays in force until you have paid off your home loan, after which the property becomes totally yours.

What's the actual difference?

A home loan is a means of buying a home when you don’t have the money yourself, while a mortgage is a means of guaranteeing a loan and protecting the lender from non-payment.

If you’re planning on buying a property, it’s always a good idea to know what terms like these mean. So be sure and talk to our expert team at Tiimely Home any time you aren’t clear on something you read.

How does a home loan repayment calculator work?

A home loan repayment calculator takes multiple variables into account before coming to a final estimated repayment dollar amount represented on a monthly basis.

The calculator will ask the user to enter information about their loan amount, their loan term, the intended property usage (live-in or investment), rate type (variable or fixed) and repayment type (principal and interest or interest only).

After calculating, the user will be able to see their estimated repayment amount as well as their total loan repayments and the total interest charged over the life of the loan.

What is Stamp Duty?

Stamp duty is a state government tax levied on home buyers and it varies depending on the state or territory you’re buying in.

It's generally 3-4% of the property’s value, but it’s best to use our Stamp Duty Calculator to get an estimate of what you could expect to pay. In the meantime, here’s a snapshot of stamp duty costs in each state and territory:


$80,001 to $300k = $1,290, plus $3.50 for every $100 over $80k

$300,001 to $1m = $8,990, plus $4.50 for every $100 over $300k.

If you're a first home buyer, you can choose between a lump sum stamp duty payment or an annual tax that is based on your property's land value. There are conditions and eligibility criteria, which you can find here.


$75k to $540k = $1,050, plus $3.50 for every $100 over $75k.

$540k to $1m = $17,325, plus $4.50 for every $100 over $540k.


$250k to $300k = $8,955, plus $4.75 for every $100 over $250k.

$300k to $500k = $11,330, plus $5 for every $100 over $300k.


$200k to $375k = $5,935, plus $4 for every $100 over $200k.

$375k to $725k = $12,935, plus $4.25 for every $100 over $375k.


$100,001 to $250k = $2,090, plus $3.80 for every $100 over $100k.

$250,001 to $500k = $7,790, plus $4.75 for every $100 over $250k.


$440,001 to $550k = $18,370, plus 6% of the dutiable value over $440k.

$550,001 to $960k = $28,070, plus 6% of the dutiable value over $550k.


Stamp duty is determined by a formula in these territories, so you’ll need to use the calculators on the NT Government and ACT Revenue Office websites to determine approximate stamp duty.

Principal and interest or interest only?

Principal & interest is the most common type of home loan. This involves making repayments which pay down some of the principal balance plus the interest accrued.

However, some people opt for an interest only loan period. This involves making repayments for a set time (usually 1-10 years) which are lower than principal and interest repayments. as they only cover the interest being accrued and none of the principal.

You might choose an interest only loan period if you know your budget is going to be tight for a few years, or in the case of property investors, for taxation or equity building purposes.

If you go down this road though, you’ll need to make sure you budget for the end of the interest only period, as your loan will then switch back to the higher principal and interest repayments.

What is borrowing power?

Your borrowing power is an approximate measurement of your ability to borrow funds. Basically, it’s an indication of how much you can afford to borrow while still being able to meet your other financial obligations. Each lender will calculate it differently, but generally speaking, a borrowing power calculator takes into account things like your income, current loans and liabilities, credit cards and their limits, and your living expenses. You can use our borrowing power calculator to get an idea of what your borrowing power is. Learn more about what goes into calculating your borrowing power

Looking for the best home loan interest rate?

Whether you’re after the best variable home loan rates or the best fixed rate home loans — chances are, you’ll find some of the lowest home loan rates here. Because we’re digital, our rates are low. Here’s why.

What's the difference between an owner occupied property and an investment property

As you’d expect from their names, the difference between an owner-occupied property and an investment property is whether or not you’re living in it. If you’re living in the property it’s considered an owner-occupied property, but if you’re intending to use your property as a source of income (through rental income or capital gains) and living in a different property it’s an investment property. The type of property you have will determine what type of home loan you need (either owner-occupied or investment). Owner-occupied home loan rates tend to be lower than investment home loan rates.

How do you calculate principal and interest repayments?

The same way we calculate the repayments for any type of home loan.

At a very basic level, we take your loan amount, add the total amount of interest we’ll charge over the life of the loan, and then divide that total up evenly into a weekly, fortnightly, or monthly amount (whichever suits you best) based on the length of your loan term.

How do I find the best home loan rates?

If you’re looking for the lowest home loan interest rate, we recommend viewing all of our home loans and weighing up which one might be best for you.

If a Tiimely Home loan really isn’t for you, that's ok. It’s still a good idea to know what else to look for beyond an interest rate.

What is a variable rate home loan?

A variable rate home loan is one where the interest rate goes up and down with market fluctuations, which are influenced in part by the official cash rate set by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA).

The two main types of variable rate home loans are:

  • Standard variable rate home loans – these often include features such as redraw facilities, a line of credit and an offset account, where you can use your savings to pay less interest on your loan.
  • Basic variable rate home loans – these offer lower interest rates, but fewer if any of the features of a standard variable rate home loan.

Variable rate home loans are the most popular type of home loan, as they provide more features and flexibility than fixed rate home loans and usually give you the option to pay your loan off earlier.

Are owner occupied home loans cheaper?

Owner-occupied home loans do generally have lower interest rates than investment home loans. This is because owner-occupied home loans are generally seen as less risky than investor home loans.

Legal things about our rates
Our home loans are subject to credit criteria and eligibility requirements. Home loan interest rates are for new customers only and can change. Our comparison rates are based on a $150,000 loan amount over a 25 year term. They factor in fees associated with applying for the loan; ongoing fees and fees associated with leaving the loan. Our fixed loans roll to a variable principal and interest rate at the end of the fixed term. If the interest only period is not specified, the comparison rate is calculated on a one year period.

WARNING: The comparison rates are true only for the examples given and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees or other loan amounts might result in a different comparison rate.

Tiimely Turnaround
^Our turnaround times are up to 2x faster than the industry, based on a comparison of our average platform submit to approval time compared to industry submit to approval time, published here  (June 2023). Customer turnaround times are dependent on individual circumstances and may require an assessor to obtain more information.

Our trade mark
Tiimely is a registered trade mark of TicToc Online Pty Ltd (trading as Tiimely).