Who should use this calculator?

The calculator is most suited to first home buyers or people looking to upgrade.

How accurate is it?

We built this tool by combining elements of the actual loan affordability calculators that ANZ, Westpac and ASB give mortgage brokers to use. So it’s a version of the real thing and when we tested it against those calculators the results were on par.

What’s the difference between green, amber and red results?

This calculator tells you whether you’ve got the horsepower to jump over the banks’ affordability hurdle.

A green light means you do.

An amber light means you’re damn close. About 50% of the people in this category end up getting a green result after we’ve dug a little deeper into your situation.

A red light means you don’t qualify probably because your income or deposit is too low.

If I get a green light does that mean I’ve got loan approval?

Not quite. Most people use this tool because they want a reality check. They want to know if they’re genuine contenders for a loan that’s big enough to get them into a house. And if it is then they want to take it further with someone who knows what they’re doing. That’s what you’re getting here.

Aren’t apartments a special case?

In terms of affordability (ie what this calculator gives you) – no.

In terms of the deposit percentage you need – yes, a 10% deposit won’t cut it. You’ll need at least 15% if not 20%. Shoebox and leasehold apartments need even more.

Can I include income from bonuses, commissions, WINZ benefits, rental properties or flatmates?

Yes you can but you need to write that as a comment to us when you use the calculator.

We decided not to let you input this data because the banks view each of those income types quite differently. Allowing for all that means you’d get a complicated calculator or we’d have to train you to be a mortgage broker, hence we left them out. We might address that in future.

If you have one or more of these income types then let us know especially if you’re otherwise getting an amber light.

I’ve got a green light. Now what?

Phone or email us. It’s time to work on getting formal finance approval so you can hit the open home circuit with confidence.

And the final disclaimer

This calculator will give you genuine information but it’s no substitute for qualified advice. No matter how tempting it might be, please don’t commit to a financial transaction on the strength of a brightly coloured light. Talk to someone knowledgeable first even if that’s not us.