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Self-managed super fund (SMSF) home loans, also referred to as SMSF property loans, are financial instruments designed to empower individuals to utilize their SMSF as a means to acquire funds for purchasing residential investment properties.

This strategy can significantly augment your superannuation portfolio and potentially provide an additional revenue stream in your retirement years.

Moreover, SMSFs have the flexibility to utilize borrowed funds for procuring commercial properties as well. However, this discussion predominantly centers on the utilization of SMSF loans for acquiring residential investment properties.

How SMSF Home Loans Work

Home loans for SMSFs, or Self-managed Super Funds, are typically established as Limited Recourse Borrowing Arrangements (LRBAs). Under this structure, if you struggle to keep up with your loan repayments, the lender’s rights are limited to the specific property acquired with the loan, ensuring protection for the other assets within your super fund.

This setup is designed to safeguard the remainder of your SMSF investments.

Advantages of self-managed super fund (SMSF) home loans

Utilizing an SMSF home loan to purchase a property offers several advantages:

Tax Efficiency Opportunities

Leveraging the preferential tax treatment on rental income and capital gains, acquiring a property through your SMSF can lead to significant tax efficiencies.

Diversification of Investments

Property investment via your SMSF allows for diversification of your superannuation asset mix, contributing to a well-rounded portfolio.


Increased Autonomy

As an SMSF trustee, you have a higher degree of autonomy over investment choices, enabling you to select properties that align seamlessly with your fund’s investment strategy.

Adaptability to Individual Scenarios

An SMSF home loan is an attractive option for the self-employed, individuals with multiple income streams, or those who have reached their personal borrowing capacity.

Potential for Capital Gains

With property values appreciating over time, the SMSF has the potential to accrue capital gains, serving as a significant source of income during retirement.

Lending Rules for SMSF Home Loans

The requirements for purchasing a residential property with an SMSF loan aim to ensure that SMSFs are used for their intended purpose of providing retirement benefits to members, while also safeguarding members from risky investments. Key requirements include:

SMSF Compliance

The SMSF must be set up and structured as a complying superannuation fund, adhering to all relevant Australian superannuation laws and regulations.

Sole Purpose Test

The property purchased with the loan must satisfy the sole purpose test, meaning it is bought solely for investment purposes and not for personal use. It cannot be lived in or rented by an SMSF member or any related party.

Sufficient Funds

The SMSF must have enough funds to cover the deposit, fees, and ongoing repayments, typically comprising at least 10% to 20% of the property’s purchase price.

Cash Flow

The SMSF must generate sufficient income from its investments to cover loan repayments and property-related expenses.

Property Location & Rental Income

The property must meet standard lender requirements for residential properties, including being in a desirable location, having good rental potential, and being in good condition.

Key Features of SMSF Home Loan Products

Below are some key features of SMSF home loans:

SMSF home loans can be used for either purchasing or refinancing a property. The maximum borrowing amount is $4 million, and the loan-to-value ratio (LVR) is up to 80%.

In a handful of cases, lenders may offer up to 90% LVR. The loan term can be up to 30 years, and there are both fixed and variable rate options available.

Borrowers can choose to make principal and interest repayments, interest only repayments, or additional repayments. Repayments can be made weekly, fortnightly, or monthly. Some lenders offer offset facilities, but redraw facilities are not available.

SMSF loans are available for properties located in inner city, metro, and regional areas. Borrowers must have a liquidity requirement of 5% to 10% of the original SMSF balance after completing the purchase transaction.

Lending policies and interest rates differ from lender to lender and subject to change without notice.

Maximum Borrowing Capacity for an SMSF

The maximum borrowing capacity for an SMSF loan is generally up to 80% of the property value, with some lenders offering up to 90%. However, this may vary depending on the lender’s policies and the SMSF’s cash flow and liquidity.

Lenders assess the SMSF’s ability to make loan repayments based on rental income, super guarantee contributions, voluntary contributions from members, and other income sources.

Seeking Independent Advice

Seeking professional and independent advice for an SMSF loan is essential to make informed decisions and navigate complexities effectively.

Professional advisors, such as financial planners, accountants, and SMSF specialist mortgage brokers, possess in-depth knowledge and can guide you through SMSF borrowing intricacies.


SMSF home loans provide an opportunity to leverage superannuation savings for property investment, potentially enhancing retirement savings and providing income in retirement.

Before opting for an SMSF home loan, carefully consider risks and seek professional advice to ensure informed decisions.

Apply for an SMSF Home Loan with DotCapital

Applying for an SMSF loan can be complex, so having the right team is crucial.

Our experienced mortgage brokers can guide you through the process, from understanding borrowing capacity to selecting the best lender for your SMSF.

Call DotCapital Mortgage Broker Melbourne on 03 8707 2892 or click the button below to send us an email.


Here are some frequently asked questions regarding SMSF home loans:

FAQs about SMSF Home Loans


A Self-Managed Super Fund (SMSF) continues to be a private superannuation fund controlled and managed by its members. In contrast to industry and retail super funds, which are overseen by professional trustees, SMSFs empower members to independently manage their retirement savings.

The primary objective of an SMSF remains to provide retirement benefits to its members. Each SMSF can have up to six members, offering flexibility and control over investment decisions within the fund.

This structure allows members to customize their investment strategies to meet their retirement objectives and preferences, while still adhering to regulatory requirements governing SMSFs.


A bare trust, also known as a custodian trust, simple trust, or nominee trust, remains the most fundamental form of trust structure. In this setup, the trustee holds legal ownership of the trust assets, while the beneficiary retains equitable title.

The trustee’s role is strictly limited to transferring the property to the beneficiary upon their instruction, without any discretionary powers or active management responsibilities.

This uncomplicated trust arrangement provides a straightforward framework for asset management and transfer, ensuring clarity in the delineation of legal and equitable interests between the trustee and beneficiary.


Partnering with a mortgage broker specializing in SMSF loans is highly recommended when seeking financing for an investment property through your SMSF.

Their expertise will assist you in navigating the complex application process and identifying the most appropriate loan options tailored to your individual circumstances. They can guide you through the process of purchasing residential or commercial property within the constraints of SMSF regulations, ensuring compliance and optimizing your investment strategy.


In an SMSF loan arrangement, equity from one property within the fund cannot be utilized directly to purchase another property. This constraint exists due to the structure of SMSF loans as limited recourse borrowing arrangements (LRBAs).


The process of obtaining approval for an SMSF loan typically involves gathering the required documents for about one week. Following this, lenders generally take approximately one week to assess and pre-approve the loan application.

Upon pre-approval, the subsequent stages of obtaining unconditional approval and settling the loan usually take an additional 3-4 weeks. This timeframe encompasses tasks such as property valuation, legal checks, and finalizing loan documentation.


Self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) loans provide investors with the flexibility to acquire various types of residential properties, including houses, apartments, units, and townhouses.

It’s important to note that these properties must be purchased for investment purposes. Additionally, they cannot be acquired from a related party, and they must not be utilized for personal purposes by the members of the SMSF.

SMSF loans enable investors to leverage their superannuation funds to build a diversified property portfolio, potentially enhancing long-term investment returns within the confines of the SMSF regulations.

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