Please note that the Defence Service Homes Lending scheme has been superseded by the Defence Home Ownership Assistance Scheme.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.
Eligible people with a current Defence Service Homes loan can apply for assistance when suffering financial hardship. Advances can be considered for work that is necessary to keep your home in good order and repair. Widows or widowers of eligible people can also apply for a loan to pay for certain outgoings on the home.
Loan amounts are usually sufficient to cover the cost of necessary work or outgoings and the interest rate is capped at 3.75 per cent a year. The loan is usually repaid over 25 years or the remaining term of the original loan.
If the property is still in the sole name of your deceased spouse, it must be transferred into your name before any new loan can be advanced. Speak to us before you complete the transfer so we can advise you on advantages and disadvantages for future entitlements. If the home is in joint names, Westpac will normally expect you to be registered on title as the surviving proprietor before a new loan can be made.
NOTE: 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.
Depending on circumstance, you should chose one of the following:
- Obtain an Application for Widow/Widower Advance.
- Obtain an Application for Certificate of Assignment for a Defence Service Homes Subsidised Loan.
For further information concerning Certificates of Assignment, click here to go to the Assignment Information page.
All relevant questions on the Application for Widow/widower Advance; Essential Repair Advance; Instalment Relief should be answered and the form must be signed. Incomplete answers may delay processing of your application.
If you have legally remarried since your spouse's death, you may not be eligible for any further assistance as a widow or widower of an eligible person.
Weekly income, Section 4 - Assets and Section 5 - Financial commitments
These sections help Defence Service Homes to assess whether your application meets the relevant hardship provisions.
Assistance for works that are necessary to keep your home in good order and repair is considered. Modifications or renovations, such as a new kitchen or bathroom, cannot be financed unless you can provide evidence that the existing facilities need replacement.
If you have not already borrowed the maximum initial loan of $25 000, an additional advance maybe available to meet the cost of other modifications or renovations. There is a different application form for an Additional Advance, and it is not subject to the hardship provisions.
When lodging the application, please ensure any relevant items are included.
If your application is approved we will send you a certificate of entitlement. You will then need to apply to Westpac Banking Corporation for the loan. The bank will determine whether you meet lending criteria before making the loan, and will advise you of its security requirements. It may require further security documents (such as a new mortgage) which may incur fees. There is no establishment fee for a widow/widower advance.
Additional fees and charges may apply to Defence Service Homes loans or Westpac loans. Terms and conditions for all types of loans are available on application to the bank.