Who can get it

You must meet certain requirements to be eligible for a Home Equity Access Scheme loan.

You must meet all of the following:

  • you or your partner are Age Pension age or older
  • you get or are eligible to get a qualifying pension
  • you or your partner own real estate in Australia you can use as security for the loan
  • you or your partner, or any co-owner of the property, aren't bankrupt or subject to a personal insolvency agreement
  • you have adequate and appropriate insurance that covers the real estate offered as security.

We consider adequate insurance coverage to be equivalent to at least 90% of the value of the buildings on the property you’re offering as security.

The property may not be adequately or appropriately insured if any of the following apply:

  • the level of insurance has changed
  • your insurance has lapsed
  • there has been a reduction in insurance level or coverage
  • your insurance provider has changed.

If there are any significant changes to the insurance policy covering the property that’s security for the Home Equity Access Scheme, you must tell us within 14 days.

You can get the loan if either of the following apply:

  • you currently get a qualifying pension
  • you meet the rules for a qualifying pension but don’t get a payment, for example, your rate is zero because your income or assets are over the threshold.

If you are currently receiving or qualified for Farm Household Allowance, you may be eligible for the Home Equity Access Scheme if you would not qualify for Age Pension because of your income and assets.

To get a loan, you’ll also need to agree to the terms and conditions of the Home Equity Access Scheme. If you have a partner, they’ll need to agree to you applying for a loan. They can agree by signing your application, or they’ll be sent an online task to complete on the landing page in their Centrelink online account.

You can use our Home Equity Access Scheme eligibility calculator to see if you might want to apply.

One of our Financial Information Service officers can give you information to help you work out what’s best for you.

If you’re getting an asset hardship payment

If you get a payment under the asset hardship provisions, you can still apply for the Home Equity Access Scheme. But you can’t get payments under both provisions at the same time. If your application is successful, you must choose which payment is best for you.

If you’re thinking of applying for the loan, you should get independent legal or financial advice.

Page last updated: 16 November 2022.
QC 43561