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We Speak your Language – Industry Terms Explained

A young couple meeting with a real estate agent.

If you’ve ever applied for a home loan, or any finance for that matter, you might have come away from the experience with more questions than expected. Often professionals are so used to bouncing around industry terms, they forget us regular folk are still learning the lingo.

We’ve rounded up and explained some of the more common finance terms to help you buy, sell or manage your next property with confidence.

Property terms explained


Advance
The agreed amount of money the lender will provide after documents are signed.

Advance
The agreed amount of money the lender will provide after documents are signed.

AML-CTF (Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act)
The AML-CTF Act helps deter, detect and disrupt money laundering and terrorism financing in Australia.

Arrears
Money that should have been paid earlier for a debt owed.

ASIC (Australian Securities and Investments Commission)
ASIC is an independent Australian government body that regulates banks and other financial service companies.

Asset
Assets can be anything of value, but in finance, it’s what’s offered to secure the repayment of a loan.

Balance
The amount of money available to you.

Borrower
The person receiving money from a lender.

Bridging Loan
Just like the name suggests, a bridging loan helps you ‘bridge’ the gap from one property transaction to the next. Secured against your existing property, these short-term loans are commonly used to help you buy a new home while selling your existing one, although they can be used for all kinds of cash flow needs.

Cash flow
Generally speaking, the movement of money in and out of a bank account. When we talk about assisting with cash flow needs, we mean streamlining your payments so that bills and finances can be settled seamlessly without having to wait on payments or wages.

Caveat
Broadly speaking, to lodge a caveat over a property means to prevent it being sold or dealt with and gives notice of a security interest against the property.

Commission
In property, commission is the percentage of the final sale price of your property that you agree to pay to your real estate agent when the property sells.

Comparison Rate
The interest rate on a loan that includes interest and most (but not all) fees and charges for the loan.

Compound Interest
Interest is the amount a lender charges a borrower for the use of their money. Compound interest is the savings calculated on both the original amount invested (the principal) and the accumulated interest from previous periods.

Consumer
Generally, you are the consumer (a person who buys or uses goods and services).

Credit
Put simply, if you are credited an amount it means an amount of money has been added to your account.

Credit Facility Agreement
An agreement between a lender and a borrower that allows for greater flexibility than traditional loans.

Credit Limit
The maximum amount available to you.

Debit/ Direct Debit
An automatic transaction that transfers money from your account to another.

Default
Failure to repay a loan amount.

Deposit
Your initial contribution to the purchase price of a property. The deposit amount will vary depending on the loan.

Disclosure Date
The date your loan offer is for (you will find this your Disclosure Statement).

Disclosure Documents 
Any documents required to be given to you under the National Credit Laws. A disclosure document is a financial document explaining key information in plain language.

Drawdown
The transfer of money from a lender to the borrower. You may have multiple ‘drawdowns’ on a loan or just the one off.

Establishment Fee 
Also known as an ‘application’ fee, an establishment fee is a fee charged by lenders when you apply for a loan.

Equity  
Home equity is the current market value of your home less the amount owing on your mortgage. Simply put, it’s the portion of your home you actually own. So if your home is worth say $800,000 and you have $300,000 owing on your mortgage, the equity would be $500,000.

Facility Agreement
A credit arrangement through which a person or organisation can loan money up to an agreed sum.

Fixed interest
An interest rate that does not change for a specified fixed period.

Fixed term loan 
A loan that you must repay within a certain time (term).

GST
GST means any goods and services tax levied under the GST Law.

Guarantor

A person or company providing the guarantee for a loan.

Interest
The amount a lender charges a borrower for the use of their money. 

Lender
That’s us!

LVR (Loan to Value Ratio)
The amount you’re borrowing, represented as a percentage of the value of the property you’re buying.

Mortgage Broker
Brokers connect borrowers with lenders and help seek out the best fit in terms of the borrower’s financial situation and interest-rate requirements.

Mortgagee
The bank or lending institution providing the funds to purchase a home or refinance.

Mortgagor
The borrower.

Offset account 
A bank account that’s linked to your home loan where you can deposit savings into the account and the balance is then offset against the amount owing on your home loan.

Per annum
Per year.

Principal
The money you originally agreed to pay back.

Quarter
Refers to a quarter of the year, so three months.

Rebate
An amount that is given back, returned or refunded.

Redraw facility
Allows you to take money back out of a facility, if you choose to.

Refinance

To pay out your current loan with a new one, typically to access a lower interest rate.

Security
In property, security refers to an asset or assets offered to the lender by the borrower as security for the repayment of the loan.

Statement

A record summarising all the transactions that have occurred.

Term
A period of time.

Term agreement
An agreement between two or more parties that outlines their rights and obligations under specific terms.

Term deposit
Term deposits let you invest for a set amount of time at a fixed interest rate. 

Variable interest
Variable rate loans carry an interest rate that fluctuates in line with market conditions.

Vendor
The seller (not the sales agent).

Withdrawal
To take money out of a bank account.


When reading your Property Credit contract, you’ll notice terms are capitalised and often italicised throughout the document. We offer a definition of each term, which can be found under the Definitions section of the contract.

Visit property.credit for more information on our services or you can contact us on 1300 829 536 (au) or 03 668 2144 (nz).

This article is for general information purposes only and is not intended as financial product advice. Consider seeking independent financial advice that relates to your individual circumstances.

Buy and sell property on your terms

There's so much to consider when buying or selling. Below are just some of the opportunities equity release can offer over the course of a property sale. 

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Furniture & Home Staging

Cover the costs of furniture and home decor staging for your property for sale.
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Bridging Loans

Selling your property? Access up to 80% of its value with a Bridging loan.
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Buyer Deposit Facility

Fund your auction deposit using equity from the property you’re selling.
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Equity Release

Selling your property? Access up to 80% of its value.
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Property Advertising

Fund up-front advertising costs when selling your property.
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Pre-sale Improvements

Increase saleability with pre-sale improvements and staging.
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Investment Property Expenses

Cover costs related to your investment property and repay with rental income.
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GST Loan

Need to fund the GST on your commercial property purchase? We've got you covered.

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