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Cross Collateralized Loan: What is it, how it works?

And how can it hold you back?

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This guide will show exactly how a cross-collateral mortgage works and how cross-collateralisation can hold back your property loans. 

We will also cover the benefits, risks and issues you may face when refinancing with a cross-collateral mortgage.

So if you want to go from property rookie to property pro regarding cross-collateralisation, this guide is for you.

Let’s get started.

Table of Contents

What is Cross Collateralization?

Cross collateralisation is a finance term used when a loan is secured by two or more properties.

If you have a home and want to borrow additional money for an investment property from the same bank, they often cross-collateralise or cross-secure the properties to lend you additional money.

cross collateralization explained
This is a typical cross collateralised structure.

The typical buyer usually wants to hold onto their properties for 10 to 15 years and is not looking to purchase any other properties. But for those who want to build their portfolio, cross-collateralisation is usually very appealing. It also appeals to banks who get more security against your properties.

When can Cross Collateralisation be used?

Cross collateralisation can be used in the following scenarios:

  • When two properties are involved in securing a loan
  • When the equity from one property (e.g. an owner-occupied property) is used to purchase a second investment property.

Benefits of Cross Collateralization

Benefit 1: Get a lower interest rate

When you’re cross-collateralising, you can sometimes get a better interest rate.


Because your properties are considered combined instead of an individual investment loan, some banks see this as lower risk. The savings can depend on the bank, the total lending amount, and the equity you have in your properties.

Benefit 2: Tax benefits

If your initial loan was for an owner-occupied property, and your next loan is for an investment, you might be able to make a tax claim. Also, if you’re using equity from it, then this is 100% tax-deductible. 

Chat with your accountant about how your loan is structured and the tax benefits around it.

Benefit 3: Downsizing

If you plan on downsizing, then cross-securitising is for you. Combining your mortgage with one lender makes your portfolio more simple to manage as there are fewer individual account splits. 

Steps to qualify:

  • You will need to stay within the mortgage limits
  • If you use a guarantor, they will be required to guarantor all loans within the cross-collateralised structure
  • Borrowers under this structure must be either a debtor or a guarantor

Read More: How to use equity to buy a second property.

What are the drawbacks of Cross Collateralisation?

If you’re serious about cross collateralising your loan, you must also understand its disadvantages and downfalls. The better you understand these, the more success you’ll have in working it in your favour.

do not do this Cross Collateralized
Make sure you know the risks involved before getting a cross-collateralised loan.

Cross-collateralising has drawbacks and risks; it can reduce flexibility and complicate your banking. In other words, you must have all properties with the one bank.

So make sure you really think about it before going ahead with cross-collateralisation. 

Your lender will highly recommend it, but make sure you speak with a mortgage broker to know all the risks and limitations in line with setting up this structure.

Risk 1: Market downturns

The most significant risk is that all of your properties are connected. So, if 1 of your properties drops in value, this will affect your total portfolio.

Why? Because all your properties are linked, it is like a chain reaction.

Even if the equity in 1 property goes up and the other experience a significant drop, this will limit your overall equity from increasing.

Risk 2: Losing power over your loan

Since your properties are all linked, issues can arise with the bank if you struggle to repay your home loan. If you fall behind on either of your other loans, you may risk losing your other property.

In this situation, the bank will tell you what you pay and when to keep the loan-to-value ratio in place, so you don’t lose your home.

Cross Collateralized loans

Risk 3: With refinancing a loan, comes revaluing

The problem with cross-collateralisation is that when you want to refinance, EVERY property needs to be revalued—not just one. 

Due to this, the costs can be much more extensive, and banks will have to get a Variation of Security.

This process can be time-consuming and also puts you at risk of the bank returning with a lower valuation and stopping you from refinancing.

Risk 4: LMI costs WAYYYYY More

LMI is calculated on a sliding scale and generally costs more the higher your loan amounts are. If you have cross-collateralised loans, you could be paying thousands of dollars more.

Let’s look at a real-life example.

cross collateralization with lmi (1)

If you were buying a second property for $550,000 and were using equity from your original property of $300,000, you’d need to pay $20,096 in LMI costs.

Yep, that is a fair chunk of change.

However, if you went for a stand-alone structure, you could save thousands!

stand alone no cross collateralization (1)

What’s the difference with stand-alone security?

The concept of stand-alone security is that a loan is secured by just one property. You can also use this method to build your property portfolio. For example, you could use your family home as stand-alone security.


Stand-alone or Cross Collateralisation?

Generally speaking, stand-alone is recommended over cross-collateralisation.

This is because, with cross-collateralisation, it can become very difficult to ‘untangle’ the different properties. Stand-alone removes this unnecessary risk.

With cross-collateralisation, if you had three properties ‘tied together’ but wanted to sell one of them, you would have to do the following:

  • Value the other two properties
  • Reassess your financial position (which could come at a bad time financially)
  • Require new mortgage documents to be issued.

Instead, if the properties are structured as stand-alone, you could sell any property and pay it out with the loan secured by it. The lender will not get involved in the current debt or other properties with things like valuations and reassessments. 

What are some other things I need to keep in mind?

Alongside the risks, you also need to consider other factors, like lenders mortgage insurance or selling your property in the future.

Lenders Mortgage Insurance

Unfortunately, the total lending is secured against all the properties. The lender’s mortgage insurance premium is calculated on the total lending and could cost thousands of dollars.

So if you want to borrow more than 80% of the value of one investment property, then lenders mortgage insurance will become applicable.

This is applied if there isn’t enough overall equity in the properties.

Read More: LMI Calculator

Selling or future plans

When your loans are cross collateralised, and you decide to sell one, the bank will revalue the properties that will be held once the sale is completed. They’ll decide and control the sale funds and can demand that the sales funds be used to pay down the debt. This can be frustrating, especially if you require the sales proceeds for other purposes.

Ease to move

It may be costly to move your portfolio if your lender is no longer right for you.

For example, if you require additional funds and your lender declines, or if they can no longer offer you competitive rates.  

The restricting scenario of cross-collateralisation can significantly affect your loan structure.

How to minimise risk

A great way to reduce risk around your loans with multiple properties is by working with at least two primary lenders. Buyers often separate their home and investment loans by splitting them between different lenders.

While it is easier just to have 1 lender take care of everything, spreading your loans around will work to your advantage if you get into financial trouble. 

But keep the future in mind and always give yourself extra security to ensure you minimise risk.

How to buy a second property with no deposit

How to know if a Cross Collateralised loan is right for you

Are you wondering if cross-collateralisation is for you? Talk to Hunter Galloway by booking a free assessment, and our expert mortgage brokers will help you determine what’s best for your personal situation.

We make it simple to get through the home loan process by walking you through the process to complete your first homebuyers grant application. If you are buying or refinancing your home, we can also help walk you through the process.

Our service does not cost you anything, as we are paid by the lender when your home loan settles.

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The Hunter Galloway Mortgage Broker Brisbane team is here to help. We have a team of home loan experts.

To chat about your deposit, lending and investment lending options, book a time to sit down with us or feel free to call on 1300 088 065.

The information on this page is general in nature and should not be considered advice. Before you act on this information, you must seek independent legal and financial advice.

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