Written by Alan Loke of Your Finance Group
Should you refinance? What interest rate should you be paying? Can I borrow and what are the banks looking for? We know that the banking and finance sector has drastically changed in the last few years and that the changes have heavily impacted the property market.
We have asked Alan Loke one of our most experienced and trusted brokers his thoughts and to give you a 5-minute finance update.
FEEDBACK ON BROKERS
A recent independent survey by Deloitte Access Economics showed more than 90% of surveyed new borrowers clients were satisfied with the service and attention they received from their broker. This explains why close to 60% of all home loans in Australia now are written by mortgage brokers as borrowers realise going directly to just one lender may not be in their bests interests if they are looking for a competitive product with low rates and fees.
Why are mortgage brokers becoming even more popular? Because we seek the best options for the clients, not the lenders and we provide more alternative than just a single bank option.
The major advantage of dealing with Your Finance Group is our large team of committed and dedicated brokers, all with many accreditations with a wide range of lenders and the team happily work together to provide excellent service to our clients.
LENDING IS TIGHTENING
In the last 18 months lending policies have significantly tightened and generally, borrowers can now borrow less than they could previously.
Part of this lending tightening is much closer scrutiny of a borrowers living expenses. Lenders now require borrowers to prepare a living expenses budget which they then cross-reference to their account statement transactions looking for missed ongoing payments and expenses not listed in the budget. Examples of expenses the lenders are looking for include childcare, Foxtel, mobile phones, gym and sporting memberships and for payments to other loans and credit/store cards. Some lenders are now going back over 12 months statements (yes 1 year) looking for these expenses!
With the ongoing Royal Commission, we do expect banks will continue to tighten up their credit policies which will further restrict the maximum amount people can borrow.
It is always best to consult a finance broker in the early planning stages to avoid disappointment at a later stage as the credit policies change frequently at the moment.
REFINANCING TO SAVE MONEY
It is important that borrowers review their financial situation every 2 years to ensure their loans are competitive in the market. Failure to do this could result in paying more interest and fees than is necessary and who can afford to waste money nowadays?
Before considering refinancing though, we at YFG will look at a client’s present loans, the interest rates and the terms of loans and then calculate the savings of any potential refinance before the client makes their decision.
Recently an applicant who was considering a refinance to another lender contacted us and it was realised one of the loans was a fixed rate loan. If this loan was refinanced ahead of the end date of the fixed term, it would result in substantial fee penalties to the clients. The clients were advised it was financially best to wait till the fixed rate ended and to assist the client. We then contacted the existing bank and requested a lower interest rate for the non-fixed rate loans. Happily, the bank agreed. This work was done free of charge to the client.
BANKING ROYAL COMMISSION
Sadly, Australia’s banks have suffered one scandal after another over the past decade. The Banking Royal Commission brought this all to the forefront and the revelations have been breath-taking. Issues identified include flawed internal compliance structures, incorrectly charging fees for service not provided, bank investment staff offering questionable advice to their clients and many more issues that were not in the best interests of their clients.
We at Your Finance Group (YFG), are proud to say as early as 2017 were in favour of a full Royal Commission into the banking system which will now force the big players in the market to clean up their act and stop putting profit before everything else.
And for final advice on this month, you must ask yourself this question
Does your home loan rate start with a “3.”?
If not, then best to consult us … till then see you next month!
About the Author
Alan is from Your Finance Group has 10 years plus experience in Mortgage broking, servicing a diverse range of clients, including; First Home Buyers, Owner Occupiers, Investors, High End Clients, Debt Consolidators and credit impaired and also experience in Asset and Business finance.
Alan is very client focused, friendly, outgoing and with an empathetic personality. A person who thinks outside the box to satisfy clients and is extremely honest and ethical. He is efficient, prompt and reliable with an enthusiastic attitude and is able to speak English, Malay, Indonesian, Cantonese, Mandarin.
You can contact Alan on 0433 126 709 or email firstname.lastname@example.org should you wish to find out more or get an assessment of your loans.