Defence Service Homes lending

Please note To be eligible for DSH, you need to have first enlisted in the ADF before 15 May 1985, or served in Namibia. If you joined after this date, and have served in the ADF within the last two years, you may be eligible for the Defence Home Ownership Assistance Scheme (DHOAS). DHOAS superseded the older Defence Home Owner Scheme (DHOS), which closed to new applications in 2010. In some very limited circumstances, a former member eligible for DHOS may apply for a similar benefit under DHOAS. For further information, visit Defence Home Ownership Assistance Scheme.

Defence Service Homes provides subsidised housing loans to recognise the contribution of men and women who have served in the Australian defence forces, either during war or peacetime.

Loans are provided by the Westpac Banking Corporation and are made under an agreement between the Commonwealth and the bank. Fees and charges apply, and full details of the terms and conditions for Defence Service Homes loans are available from Westpac. Generally, Westpac will secure the loan by way of a FIRST mortgage over the property. This is a requirement of the Defence Service Homes Act 1918.

Our loan customers receive a 50 per cent discount on loan establishment and monthly account keeping fees. The bank is subsidised each month for the difference between our interest rate for loans provided under the Defence Service Homes Act 1918 and the average owner occupied housing loan rate of the five major lenders of housing finance.

Loans are available to buy, build, enlarge, complete, modify or repair a house or unit, and to refinance a mortgage over a house or unit. Loans are also available in certain circumstances for retirement village accommodation and granny flats.

If you are not, or will not be, the registered proprietor of the property (for example, a retirement village unit or granny flat) please note information about also applying for a Certificate of Assignment in addition to a Certificate of Entitlement.

See: Assigned advances

Loan conditions at a glance
Loan condition Description
Maximum loan available: $25,000
Maximum repayment term: 25 years
Interest rate: Capped at 6.85 per cent a year but may vary below this rate while ever commercial rates are below 8.35 per cent a year

Loans outstanding at or taken out on or after 9 December 1987 are portable, and can be moved from one home to another any number of times until the full term of 25 years has been used.

Widow / Widower Advances, Essential Repair Advances and Assigned Advances are not portable and are excluded from the Portability arrangements.

Who can apply?

Please check Eligibility to see if you qualify for assistance.

If your first service in the defence forces began on or after 15 May 1985, you are not eligible for a Defence Service Homes loan unless you were allotted for service in Namibia. Housing loan assistance for those whose first service began on or after 15 May 1985 may be available through the Defence Home Ownership Assistance Scheme.


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