Applying for initial and further loans

Please note that the Defence Service Homes Lending scheme has been superseded by the Defence Home Ownership Assistance Scheme. Unless you served in the defence forces prior to 15 May 1985 (or in Namibia) this information may not be relevant to you. More information is available on the Defence Home Ownership Assistance Scheme website.

Your guide

This plain English guide to completing the Application for a Certificate of Entitlement for a Defence Service Homes Subsided Loan will help make the application process as easy as possible. Don't forget – if you need any advice or assistance, we're only a phone call away. Contact us anytime.

Defence Service Homes loans are provided by Westpac Banking Corporation. Defence Service Homes will issue you with a certificate of entitlement once your application has been approved. Westpac needs this certificate to consider a subsidised loan. Please note that if you intend buying land with your subsidised loan, the house must be completed within five years of the loan being settled or the subsidy will be cancelled.

The loan

The maximum initial loan is $25,000 over a term of 25 years. The interest rate on the loan is capped at 3.75% per year. However, the actual interest rate on the loan is based on an average monthly interest rate of all market lenders, calculated monthly, less 1.5%, or 3.75% whichever is the lower rate.

A further loan is restricted to the “limit” of the previous loan(s) (excluding Widow/Widower Advances and Essential Repairs Advances) at the date of discharge of the loan(s) over the balance of the term(s). The “limit” is the loan balance adjusted by any excess payments or arrears. A further loan is available only if the previous loan:

  • Was current on or after 9 December 1987 and, if discharged before 9 May 1995, it ran for less than 25 years, or
  • Was current on or after 9 May 1995, with unused limit and term available.

The interest rate(s) will be the same as the previous loan(s).

How to complete your form

All relevant questions on the application form should be answered and the form must be signed. Incomplete answers will delay the processing of your application.

Section 3

Qualifying service details

You must complete this section.

Section 10

Ownership details (other properties)

You are not entitled to a loan if you or your spouse own another home solely or as a joint tenant, and the loan cannot be used for bridging finance. Your application can be processed if you intend selling the home or converting ownership to a tenants-in-common share holding. We will issue the certificate of entitlement when the contract for the sale of that home becomes unconditional, or the change in ownership becomes effective.

Section 12


Copies of relevant documents should be attached to the form, unless you have already sent them with an earlier application.

If you are currently serving in the defence forces, please submit a copy of your ADO Service Record (long version) to speed up the processing of your application. You can obtain a copy of your ADO Service Record by calling the Defence Service Centre on 1800 DEFENCE (1800 333 362)

A certificate of entitlement cannot be issued until all requirements have been met.

Once your eligibility and entitlement have been established, and all our requirements have been met, we will send you a certificate of entitlement. You then need to apply to Westpac for the loan.

Westpac will determine the actual amount you can borrow. You will have to meet lending criteria, which include your ability to repay the loan, and either provide a reasonable deposit or hold sufficient equity if you are already the registered owner. If you need additional home finance, you may be able to obtain a Supplement Loan from Westpac at their first mortgage rates. Terms and conditions for DSH and Supplement Loans are available on application to Westpac. You can borrow any additional funds required from another lender but this may involve additional fees.

IMPORTANT: If your DSH loan application is approved by Westpac, the Bank will secure the loan by way of a FIRST mortgage over the property. This is a requirement of the Defence Service Homes Act. If you are seeking assistance in respect of your current home, and have a current mortgage, you will need to ensure that your existing mortgagee will allow Westpac to hold first mortgage security.

Westpac may only consider securing the DSH loan by way of a second mortgage if you are obtaining, or have, additional finance from another Government housing scheme, either Federal or State, and that scheme also requires first mortgage security.

Westpac will advise of the fees and charges, including Establishment Fee(s), that apply to DSH or Westpac Supplement loans. You should also confirm with the Bank the amount of Government charges, such as stamp duty, mortgage registration fees etc that will be payable in your case.

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