• Home loan terms and mortgage definitions

  • The language and jargon used in purchasing a property can be very confusing. Here's an A-Z glossary of commonly used words and phrases, with easy-to-understand definitions for each one.
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  • L


    • Land tax

      A State Government tax charged to the owners of any property based on a stipulated value of the land, other than a principal place of residence. Land Tax is not applicable in the Northern Territory.

    • Lease

      An agreement between two parties under which one is granted the right to use the property of another for a specified period under specific terms and conditions.

    • Liabilities

      A person's debts or obligations.

    • Lien

      The right to hold property as security against a debt or loan.

    • Life assurance

      A form of insurance by which someone's life is insured. Life assurance policies can run parallel with a principal and interest home loan, so the loan will be repaid if you die before the end of the term.

    • Lifestyle option

      The option to defer up to half of the regular repayments, in the event of loss of income due to certain stipulated events.

    • Line of credit

      A flexible loan arrangement with a specified ceiling (the credit limit) to be used at a customer's discretion.

    • Loan pre-approval

      The loan is approved before the borrower bids on or offers for the property and is dependant on the borrowers satisfying the Lender’s lending criteria in principle.

    • Loan security duty

      Stamp duty on loan security documentation.

    • Loan term

      Period over which a loan agreement is in force, and before or at the end of which the loan should either be repaid or renegotiated for another term. See also loan terms.

    • Loan to valuation ratio (LVR)

      The ratio of the amount lent to the valuation of the security (usually the house).

      The ratio of the amount lent to the valuation of the home being purchased The loan to valuation ratio (LVR) measures the amount of the loan compared to the value of the property being used as security for the loan, expressed as a percentage figure. From a lender’s perspective, the higher the LVR, the higher the risk to the lender.

      Calculating the LVR

        The LVR is calculated by dividing the loan amount by the value of the property, then multiplying it by 100. The value of the property is determined by the lender’s valuer, and it may be different to the price actually paid for the property. As an example, if your property is valued at $250,000 and you borrow $200,000, the LVR would be 80% (200000 / 250000 x 100 = 80).

      LVR and borrowing

      The maximum LVR that you can borrow up to depends on several factors including the type of loan, the loan amount that you’re applying for and your capacity to make repayments. Generally, full doc loan applicants may be able to borrow up to 90% or 95% of the property’s value (ie. 90% or 95% LVR). Low doc loan applicants, typically self employed people can usually only borrow up to 80% of the property’s value. Lenders consider loans with an LVR over 80% to be of higher risk and borrowers will generally need to pay for Lender’s Mortgage Insurance. This protects the lender against any loss incurred if you default on the loan and the proceeds of an enforced sale are insufficient to clear the debt. For low doc home loans, Lender’s Mortgage Insurance is usually required at a lower LVR (typically 60%).

      Borrowing with higher LVR

      Some people are keen to buy a home but do not have a 20% deposit. If you do not have a 20% deposit, you will generally have to pay Lender’s Mortgage Insurance. It may be possible to avoid paying lender’s mortgage insurance, providing you can find an eligible guarantor who is prepared to provide a secured limited guarantee on the mortgage. A guarantor is typically a family member or friend who offers their own property as security for the new loan. Eventually, if the LVR reduces due to rising property values or extra repayments, and the borrower meets credit guidelines, the guarantor may apply to be released. For more information on this home loan option, check out RAMS Fast Track. Fees, conditions, limitations and lending criteria apply. This information is of a general nature only and is not to be relied upon as being appropriate or suitable for your particular circumstances.