Can my girl friend still get First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) if I am the co-borrower who is not eligigle for FHOG?

So I previously owned a house but sold it already. So I am no longer eligible for FHOG.

But my girl friend still is.

This year we want to buy a house. But we are wondering if my girl friend can get FHOG if I am the co-borrower because her income is not enough to afford it.

We don't have any financial connections like joint bank account. We just live together. So technically, for me it is like a friend as a co-borrower? if that works?

Also I don't mind only putting her as the title of the house. Just wondering if later I can also add my name on it after we married?

Does anyone have any experience with this? Dose it work that way?


  • +6

    Doesn't work. Get her to apply in her name only.

    • +14

      Yes, putting the application (Thus the house) 100% in her name…..what could possibly go wrong???

    • +5

      Also most states require the person and their 'domestic partner' to have never owned a home before.

      • +5

        'domestic partner'

        Time to go International then..

  • +6

    I was in the same situation. We/i couldn't get it, unfortunately.

  • +3

    Save the relationship. Stay away.

    • +6

      Yeah, I wouldn’t be purchasing a house with anyone other than wife

      • Because you cant be in a committed relationship unless youre married. I completely get what youre trying to say. But its not the reality anymore

        • +4

          I think it is the clearly defined relationship and legal implications.

          • @tshow: Yeah I get that. But these days it seems to be the way that couples are going longer and longer before marriage and often get to the point of wanting to put money into a house before putting money into a wedding.

            I personally have a very close (couple) friend that did that about 2 months ago

            EDIT: and just cause you get married doesnt define that you wont break up - it just makes it significantly harder. Less paperwork if you only bought the house ;)

            • +4

              @k-rokfm: People can do without marriage. Some will have no problems.

              For every feel good story, there are those that end with years of litigation. Sure, divorces are also messy but they pale in comparison to dividing assets without any record of when a union was formed, financial standings before the union and potentially money from family.

              Just as I wouldn't build a house without all the approvals from council, a contract and written costs from the builder, insurance, etc. I wouldn't advise anyone to build a life around a "boyfriend girlfriend" relationship.

      • +2

        After 24 months living together, you're in a de facto relationship, which means you are 'married'.

        • +1

          This is not true. The length of the relationship is only one factor, but there is no determined time period. There are many other factors that determine the relationship to be defacto.

          (scroll down to "4AA De facto relationships")

          This does not mean you are "married", but a lot of the legislation for defacto relationships is the same as being married.

  • +1

    This can only end well!

  • +1

    Not sure if you can be a co borrower if you are not on the title.

    A guarantor maybe but don't do it.

    Also, are you de facto partners? If so, she might not be eligible.

    • Just for clarification, you can certainly be a co-borrowers and not be on the title.

      Whether it's a good idea or not is an entirely different matter.

      But lets face it, she'll be keeping the house whether he stays or not, whether they get married or not.
      So long as he realises that going in.

  • +1

    Don't think you'll be eligible for any government grants, but check out St.George's first home buyer offer:

    For joint applications, only one applicant needs to be a first home buyer

    Good luck

  • Run far away!

    The bank usually takes into account both people being on the title and both being able to make repayments over a long period.

    If you are much older it isn't going to work out.

    • +1

      If you are much older it isn't going to work out.

      Live with a younger woman who owns a house. Sounds like a well cared for / kept man / woman. Sounds like a win!

  • No

  • +1

    It's a trap!

  • +4

    in a few months: my ex-gf stole my house how do i get it back?

    • +1

      The ozbargain circle of life. Likely to be followed by 'I smashed my car because I couldn;t afford insurance because my ex-gf stole my house…what should I do'?

  • +2

    It does not work that way. I recently was in a situation where I had someone willing to be a co-borrower but not be on the title. I was told that a bank will only consider a co-borrower if they are also on the title, to the extent of the borrowing. E.g., if someone is only co-borrower for 20%, they also need to be 20% owner.

    Another way is to become what is known as a guarator. But you will again run into a problem because a guarantor needs to be a immediate family member (sibling/parent) or a spouse.

    So the short answer, no you can't do it in a way where your girlfriend benefits from the FHOG if you are somehow involved in the deal.

    • I think the bank was just doing you a favour to avoid the possibility of legal disputes later. For example, I'm long-term married and have no problems being co-borrower on properties in my wife's name.

      I don't know the rules about being a guarantor. I'd have thought you could be guarantor for anybody, though they should ask for psych evaluation. I wouldn't go guarantor for anyone - not my daughter, not my brother, not my parents.

      But your last point is correct. the FHOG is specific about excluding SHOs :)

      • Not sure about your case, but I was told that I could not do co-borrowing without being part of the title. In my case, my co-borrower was not my family (as the OP will have to present in order to claim for FHOG exemption).

        While theoretically anyone can be the guarantor, most banks will decline accepting someone who is not a close family member from bring a guarator. I shopped around when I was in a bit of soup few months ago and could not find any institution who would agree to allow a non-family member guarator. This is especially true in COVID-19 world, where banks have become stringent.

    • I don't know anything about the FHOG so won't comment on that.
      But I am in Qld and am married with both our names on the mortgage. But my name ONLY is on the title deed and I have a co-habitation agreement with my husband and he has no claim on the property. We approached several banks and no problem with only one name on the title. I had the home before we met. We refinanced, to consolidate credit cards etc and to fund a business, and both names went on the mortgage. It is a standard mortgage, my property, husband is not guarantor just a contributor to payments as we needed his income to increase borrowing capacity.
      Our personal agreement is that if we separate, his payments were to be considered as board and lodging! I have children's interests I have to protect, but if our marriage lasts, the pre-nup is just a piece of paper that never has to be acted on.

  • Don't do it - what if you break up and she doesn't want to pay into the mortgage anymore? You're left paying it if you're a co borrower and if it gets sold she gets all the money and might be able to keep it and not pay off the mortgage? Don't enter into something like this unless you're married or as good as married. If one partner could take off easily and start a life in a new city without much consequences then you really don't want to get into a loan with them. Especially if you're not even on the title (maybe this is why a bank wouldn't let you do this).

    • come on - what conveyancer is going to give her a suitcase full of cash rather than pay out the mortgage first?

      • Yeah I don't know if it would really happen, but if I was paying into something I would want to be one of the official owners, just in case something like that is possible

  • +1

    No, you are not eligible for the FHG if either you, or your spouse/partner, has owned a house previously (that you lived in - you may be eligible if you owned a house (e.g. as an investment property) and never lived in it).

    It doesn't matter whether or not you are on the title or a co-borrower. You can try lying about it, but doing so would be fraud.

    There shouldn't be a problem adding your name to the title- it's considered a transfer for "Natural Love and Affection" (NB: this may vary by state) so no $$ has to change hands, although there is generally a fee. BUt once again, if you your girlfriend applies for FHG intending to transfer you an interest, this is fraud.

    Finally, if you put your girlfriend's name only on the title and split, the family court can recognise your contribution to the property as part of any property settlement, but then you'll have to explain to the court that the reason your name isn't on the title was so you can defraud the government, so good luck with that.

    • what state has "Natural Love and Affection" transfer considerations, and what kind of fee are you saying? As far as I'm aware, changing the title requires stamp duty and is a CGT event.

      There are plenty of reasons for note having your name on the title, primarily because adding/ removing names to titles is a very expensive process.

      • +1

        NSW allows transfer between partners, where you do not have to pay any stamp duty for transfering part/full title to the partner. You need to fill in a form and obtain expemtion from stamp duty, before the transfer.

      • Victoria- but qld, wa & nsw also have similar exemptions/ waivers of duties that i know off. Other states/territories might as well, so all really depends on Location!

        There are always fees when dealing with land titles, no idea what they are off the top of my head though- and of course, they vary by location as well.

        Primary places of residence are also not subject to capital gains so transfer of title to partner shouldn’t give rise to a CGT event.

        • I'm pretty sure QLD & SA have no deal - I could have saved heaps if I was able to switch ownership around to suit circumstances, but the obstacle has always been $1000s in stamp duty and CGT (except PPOR).

          NSW have it good. grr. I wonder if they'd allow tfr to a family trust??
          I've been planning on waiting till I'm dead and tfring through will - I haven't looked into whether even that would be free.