• Ask questions, find the right answers and access the best expertise
  • Q&A - expert advice

About Me

Paul Ryan

Current Rating: 4.75 / 5
Financial Services Executive
simplyaskit
www.simplyaskit.com.au
North Sydney, New South Wales
Founder of simplyaskit.

Open Q&A exchange where you can ask questions, find the right advice and access the best expertise in the marketplace.

Convenient, transparent and independent solution to educate the community and empower genuine, reliable and trustworthy industry experts

Career in the mortgage and finance industry began in 1989.

Co-Founder of Wizard Home Loans and the Director of Sales and Distribution from 1996 to 2005.

In 2007, founded intouch Home loans, a non bank and finance broking business made up of an experienced network of finance professionals.

My Activity

blog post
Looking for a business adviser to help you achieve your business goals?
Chris Dionne has been a business adviser/mentor to me for many years and I would highly recommend Chris to any business owner or management team striving for business success.
Chris is highly strateg ...
video
Looking for home loan advice

answered
Q: I’m a first home buyer and would like to know how to plan ahead for rate increases. Is there a way to calculate or budget to make sure I can still make the repayments?
A:

blog post
It’s time for the banks to provide a guarantee on their interest rates
The repricing of home loans and investment loans by the banks is getting out of control and hurting Australian borrowers.
In fact, I think it’s time for the Federal Government and Australia ...
question
Q: Today the RBA decided to leave the cash rate at 1.5%.

The cash rate has not moved since August 2016 yet the banks have repriced a number of their loans in Dec 16, March 17 and again in June 17. The three rate increases (most recent by 0.30% on interest only loans) will conservatively generate in excess of $150M in additional revenue annually for each bank.

We all, along with the federal government need to be asking why? It'd be good to generate some discussion.
answered
Q: Wanting to know if I am required to work away from my main residence as in 5on/5off roster and I receive $160 a week travel allowance if I am able to claim the expenses on my tax return?
So logbook for car, costs for car travelling the distance every trip, food, accommodation and phone. All of this if receipted correcty would add up to over the $160 a week.
A: Hi Peta

Great question and one that would be best answered by a qualified accountant or bookkeeper, however a couple of thoughts might be of assistance.

In terms of the travel allowance it is important to clarify with your employer what the travel allowance is made up of. Is it just the expenses of travelling to and from work or does it include a meal allowance, accommodation and phone expenses. It might be worthwhile asking a couple of more questions in relation to food, accommodation and phone

For the car, my understanding is that you’ll need to start a log book and record of how much of its use (km and time) is work related as opposed to personal use. It is very important to keep the receipts for all car expenses including fuel, maintenance and any finance repayment you may have.

Once you are able to determine the business/personal mix for the car your accountant will be able to determine how much you can claim on your tax return.

I hope this helps, don’t forget to seek professional advice.

Cheers

Paul
answered
Q: Hi,

I have been on workcover for the entire duration of the 2016-2017 fiinancial year. I am trying to complete my tax return, but cant seem to find anything that will tell me what or if there is anything I can claim for deductions. Can anyone help please?
A: Hi Anthony

Thank you for your question.

I'm not an Accountant, however, in a quick search I came across this website that might be quite helpful.

http://www.stptax.com/tax-tips/deductions-against-workers-compensation-payments/

Best wishes

Paul
answered
Q: Last Friday I went past a parked car that had 2 speeding cameras on the vehicle(l was going opposite direction where the car was parked). 1 of them was on the bumber and the other one was inside of the car but on the dashboard and it looked like a camera. I was going 50 in a 60 zone and felt like it flashed at me twice for some reason. Does the camera on the dashboard take photos of people in the car or is it used to detect speed?
A: Hi, AnneMarie.

Very interesting question and one by the sound of it, the general public should be aware of.

Given the nature of the question it might be difficult for the experts on simplyaskit to provide an answer so can I share this link with you as it might be best to contact them directly.

http://www.police.vic.gov.au/content.asp?Document_ID=10366

We’d love to get your feedback on their answer as well.

All the best

Paul
answered
Q: Hi, I'm 26 and looking at investing in the property market.
I recently just received a substantial inheritance which I was not expecting. As great as this is, I'm a carpenter and have zero financial literacy about me and I don't want to just piss it up the wall.

I'm looking at getting some solid advice about purchasing real estate, what I should be looking for, how the whole system works, etc

Honestly. Any advice would be great?
A: Hi Essh

Well done on asking the question. This is the perfect platform for you to not only ask questions but also review other topics, questions, and answers that will help you in your journey.

Firstly I’d suggest grabbing a pen and paper and jotting down what you’d like to achieve with the money you’ve inherited. Not knowing your current living arrangements, financial position or appetite for the type of investments you’d be comfortable with, it would be good for you to gather your thoughts before you meet with a financial adviser.

It is crucial you find a financial adviser who has your best interests at heart. At 26 and from what you’ve mentioned, it would be your first step into the investment world so I’d suggest keeping things simple in terms of minimising the risks associated with any investment.

You could meet with a couple of financial advisers just to get an idea of the type of work they do, they options they suggested and then bounce the ideas off trusted family and friends. They key is to ask questions and establish the options your most comfortable with.

If buying your own home or investment property is the preferred option then I’d suggest meeting with a mortgage or finance broker to understand how much you might be able to borrow. The broker will work through your income, if you’re an employee or contractor, your tax returns and then be able to present some finance options which will include the loan amount, interest rates, the type of product and monthly repayments.

Based on your deposit and how much you can borrow you’ll be in a better position to understand the type of property you can buy and the purchase price.

The key Essh, is to find the right support group to help you understand and be comfortable with the steps you take. If for any reason you’re not comfortable then continue to ask questions.

To help you find the right adviser and mortgage broker you can also use the simplyaskit platform to search and make contact with the expert you feel has the profile and service levels to assist you.

I hope this helps and all the very best

Cheers

Paul
video
How to get a better interest rate on your home loan

answered
Q: i run a small business and i had missed place an invoice to pay another business'
i never received a reminder notice. i did received a letter of demand from a debt collecting company if i pay them can i still use the original invoice and claim as expense on tax even though it was not paid to them directly.? and what about these fee is that claimable
A: Hi Tony

This is very much a question for your accountant or bookkeeper.

I would imagine you would still be able to claim the amount of the original invoice, however, I’m not sure about the fees payable for the late payment.

I hope this helps but as suggested it would be advisable to speak to a qualified accountant.

All the best

Paul
blog post
Podcast with Jason Spencer CEO and Founder of Homely.com.au
In this podcast, I chat to the CEO and Founder of Homely.com.au Jason Spencer.
Homely is set to challenge realestate.com.au and Domain as the number one real estate platform in Australia. I found it ...
answered
Q: I recently hired a holiday house in melbourne and paid 600 bond.i have just recived email saying tv is brocken and have lost my bond. We had no issue with the tv while there and it was an old plasma tv (not worth much) after few emails they happy to refund 300 dollars back to me. I dont think its right as it worked fine. How do i go about getting my whole bond back please need help urgently as have young family and realy need my money back?
A: Hi Chris

Sorry to hear about your predicament.

I’d suggest you ask them to provide the evidence the TV wasn’t working after you vacated the property. It does seem strange they were prepared to refund half of the bond as there was either something wrong with the TV or not.

If they aren’t able to provide the evidence or refund the remaining $300 the best course of action would be to make a formal complaint with Consumer Affairs Victoria – here is a link to their website

https://www.consumer.vic.gov.au/businesses/fair-trading

I hope it all works out for you and the family

Best wishes

Paul
answered
Q: Under the Restaurant Industry Award, if I don't get an unpaid 30 minute meal break, am I entitled to a penalty rate from the 6th hour until my shift finishes?
And if yes, is it still applicable if after working over my ordinary hours (38) halfway through my 4th shift (5 working days p/week) when overtime penalties come into affect?
Regards,
Trav
A: Hi Travis

Thank you for your question and it’s important you get the right advice.

We are working towards engaging with HR experts to join the simplyaskit community as they have the knowledge expertise to provide the specific advice you are seeking.

At this stage, the best advice I could personally offer is to refer you to the Fair Work Australia website. This link refers to pay guides - https://www.fairwork.gov.au/pay/minimum-wages/pay-guides.

If the information isn’t helping I’d suggest giving them a call.

I hope this helps, best wishes

Paul
answered
Q: ANZ are removing th American Express card from their Frequen Flyer credit card which I'm not happy about. What's the best card out there with Visa and American Express cards in one package. I spent about $50,000 a year on the card and need an additional card holder. Any suggestions?
A: Hi Rob

I read this article today and thought it might be of interest.

http://www.smh.com.au/money/ask-an-expert/nicole-helps--see-the-value-of-rewards-cards-20170511-gw2eam.html

Cheers

Paul


answered
Q: ANZ are removing th American Express card from their Frequen Flyer credit card which I'm not happy about. What's the best card out there with Visa and American Express cards in one package. I spent about $50,000 a year on the card and need an additional card holder. Any suggestions?
A: Hi Rob

Thank you for the question.

Nothing more frustrating when you enjoy using a product and it gets taken away. As credit and charge cards are a personal choice I’d suggest having a look at a few comparison sites such as www.ratecity.com.au and www.finder.com.au.

Both sites offer credit card comparisons and will allow you to nominate the type fo card and features and benefits you are looking for.

I hope this helps. Best wishes

Paul
answered
Q: I am 64 years old, I was a carer for my wife but as she passed away , I have been put on New Start loosing my pension and over $300 a fortnight. Is their any assistance I can receive?
A: Hi Geoffrey

I am very sorry to hear you wife has passed away.

It is difficult to provide a specific answer to your question as there are so many variables to benefits provided by the government.

This link might provide a greater understanding of your entitlements

https://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/subjects/payments-older-australians

I hope this helps and all the very best

Paul
answered
Q: I'm a owner occupier I've been in financial difficulty I'm with a major bank on interest only payments ATM will this stop me getting a better rate I'm on 4.6 because it was a no doc loan it was for 105.000 I'm down to 94,000 I'm on a pension?
A: Hi Nicole

Thank you for your question.

If as you’ve outlined your existing loan is an interest only lo doc loan I’d suggest 4.6% is a pretty good interest rate in today’s environment. As a guide, a number of lenders have recently increased the interest rates on their full doc interest only loans and as you be aware lo doc loans generally attract higher rates.

Another issue you might find in the search to refinance is the financial difficulty you mentioned. It is very difficult to refinance a loan where a customer is experiencing issues in meeting their current commitments.

I’d like to you encourage you to communicate regularly with your existing lender and perhaps request a discussion with them to work out a plan to help you get back on track. All lenders will or should respect such circumstances and willingness to communicate.

I hope this helps. Best wishes

Paul
answered
Q: As I have no income, being retired (health reasons) and too young for the pension, what options for overseas travel are there that are cost effective but not too basic?
A: Hi Barbara

Thank you for your question.

It is a difficult one to provide guidance on other than suggesting you speak to a local travel agent. Check out this link for travel agents in Bendigo as there might be a business who can provide some affordable options for you.

https://www.yellowpages.com.au/find/travel-agents/bendigo-region-vic

All the best

Paul
answered
Q: Hi.when you have a spouse who has a low income & on dependent. What can we claim ?
A: Hi Rene

Thank you for your question.

It is difficult to provide a specific answer as there are a number of variables to the question. The most considered advice I could offer would be to direct to the following link from Centrelink.

https://www.centrelink.gov.au/RateEstimatorsWeb/publicUserCombinedStart.do

The link will provide you with a rate estimator and seems to cover Family Assistance, Child Support, or Child Care payment rates

I hope this helps

Best wishes

Paul
blog post
What do you think of the budget?
Hi All 
I’d love to start a discussion and get your thoughts on the budget handed down last night. 
·        -  Wh ...
answered
Q: Hi, My agent called Monday to arrange a showing of my home on Thursday/Friday to buyers. Never showed. The following Wednesday, unannounced he turns up. I was still in dressing gown and the place needed a little tidying up. Showing was embarrassing and didn't go well. Buyers didn't come back. Is this normal practice for agents, or is there something wrong with mine? Thank you.
A:

blog post
Podcast with Ashley Hoey the founder of Renterscard on how they make it easier for renters to find a new place to call home
In this podcast, Ashley Hoey explains how they are revolutionising the rental property market and making it easier for renters to find a place to rent. 
  ...
blog post
Why are traditional real estate agents getting agitated
It seems the launch of Real Estate Group Purplebricks into Australia is already agitating a few of the local real estate agents.
I read with interest an article in Australian Financial review on 17 ...
video
Welcome to simplyaskit

answered
Q: Hi, I’d like to ask the industry experts on simplyaskit about their opinion on the discussion about first home buyers being able to tap into their superannuation as a means to come up with the deposit to buy their first home. Is it a good idea and should there be any conditions or restrictions to accessing their super?
A: Great question Sophie

Conceptually I'm in favour of first home buyers having the ability to access their superannuation to buy their first home ... with a few conditions though.

From the day we start working a percentage of our income is paid into a superannuation fund that is controlled by a third party. We, therefore, rely on a third party to invest our funds wisely in the hope we have the funds to be financially secure in our later years. The Federal Government would prefer we are all financially secure as opposed to relying on government funding and pensions.

So unless you’ve developed your own superfund and can control your investment, your superannuation contributions will be in the hands of your employer's nominated superfund or the superfund nominated by a financial planner and the associated fees. In most cases it is financially rewarding however as many have seen, there are risks.

I don’t subscribe to the theory first home buyers having access to their super will inflate property prices even further. I’d suggest the government plays a bigger role in housing affordability by creating infrastructure projects outside the capital cities and a foreign buyer policy that is controlled and adhered to.

Will the government remove or reduce stamp duty for first home buyers – it’s revenue, so I'm not so sure.

Back to the question, allowing first home buyers access to their super may:

• Provide the hope many are craving
• Give them the comfort of owning their own home instead of paying rent and being controlled by landlords and property managers
• Encourage people to take more of interest in superannuation at a younger age – that can only be a good thing as they may look to contribute more or seek to ask more questions on how their funds are invested.
• Allow them to start building a property portfolio and perhaps create the equity and assets to limit their reliance on future governments in later years
• Give them some control of how their superannuation’s funds are invested.

There does, however, need a number of conditions to the process of buying their first home and the home loan policy. I’d suggest

• The property has to be valued by an independent property valuer. Lenders lend on the lower of the purchase price or independent property valuation so this condition mitigates paying overs.
• The loan must be principal and interest
• Lenders to apply a higher serviceability calculation to ensure the first home buyer can comfortably meet the loan repayments now and in the foreseeable future
• I agree with Damien’s comments above in terms of a purchase price cap and for it to be a one-time only offering.

There are many more reasons why we should help as past generations have had access to assistance by either government or lending policies of the time.

Certainly some varying views and opinions

Cheers

Paul
answered
Q: My partner and I are wanting to open a joint bank account. Both of us are long term customers with different banks, I'm with Westpac, and he's with the Commonwealth Bank. What is the best way to approach this process and what benefits should we be seeking when comparing and contrasting offers from both banks?
A: Hi Camille

It is a very good question and there are a few things to consider.

Whilst it may feel like a difficult discussion, you both need to have a chat about the possible implications of having a joint bank account and then come to an agreement or understanding on how the account is to operate.

For example

• What is the reason for the joint account – is it to save the deposit to purchase a property together.?
• Do you think the account should have joint signatories before any funds can be withdrawn?
• If you are looking to save long term then you might look at a longer term deposit that may attract higher interest?
• If you decide on a term deposit, will you need access to the funds during the term?
• Are you both responsible for deposit the same amount of funds into the account each week or month?

There are a number of other questions that should form part of the discussion and I am sure you can work through them together.

Once you’ve gone through the process you can then decide on the features you’d like to have within the account and research the options available through your own banks and online financial comparison sites such as Finder, Mozo and Rate City.

I hope this helps and happy saving

Cheers

Paul
answered
Q: What do you think of Brickx? Some similarities to property trusts except you can choose the property and they're all residential at the moment.
A: Hi Michael

Good question and it is great to see the CEO of BRICKX take the time to answer your question.

This link to finder.com.au money podcast with Anthony might also be of interest

https://www.finder.com.au/podcast-episode-13

Cheers

Paul
blog post
Podcast with Finance Planner Ronald Pratap from RP Wealth Management
In this podcast, Financial Planner Ronald Pratap from RP Wealth Management shares his views on how business owners should be protecting their business and family’s future w ...
blog post
Why simplyaskit
We all want industry experts to be genuine, reliable and trustworthy. It’s why I started simplyaskit.
A simple Q&A exchange where anyone can ask questions, get the right advice and ...
answered
Q: My son has a car loan through a finance company that he has fallen behind in repaying and due to sporadic employment doesn't look like he will be able to repay. What are his options?
A:

answered
Q: So I'm looking at starting up a web hosting company,. I already have a full time job and it's something I'd be looking to work on after work and on weekends. What's the best way to go about setting the company up as I want to make sure it's done the right way. I don't want a massive tax bill at end of year want everything to be done right. Could anybody offer me any advice?
A: Hi Kevin

It's Paul Ryan from simplyaskit

It's great that you'd like Suresh to make contact as his answers are very thorough and informative.

All you need to do is click on Suresh profile and click contact me and request how you'd like Suresh to contact you.

Your contact details will then be forwarded to Suresh in confidence.

All the best in the new venture - thank you for using simplyaskit and we hope you continue to enjoy the experience

Cheers

Paul
answered
Q: Wife and I separated. I am moving out today. Jointly owned home. I will be renting. Do I still have to pay half of the mortgage payments and if so does my wife have any right to demand my belongings removed and return of my house keys?
A: Hi Trish

Despite the emotions, it is important to be rational in terms of your property and home loan.

As the property is in joint names you are both responsible for ensuring the monthly home loan repayments are paid on time. If the full repayment is not paid on time you will fall into arrears on the home loan and cause financial complications for you both. It could impact your credit ratings and future borrowings as well the equity you have generated in the property.

It is very important to meet your financial obligations as you work through the personal aspects of the relationship.

I hope things work out for you both

Best wishes

Paul
answered
Q: When my fixed rate loan period ends - do I just automatically switch back to variable with the same lender without having to bother with paperwork etc?
A:

answered
Q: I have a total of $50k saved up and I'm a first home buyer looking to get into the property market. Is now a good time to buy in Sydney? And if not, where can you recommend I consider looking instead? Or should I just wait?
A:

answered
Q: Hi have been leasing a shop for the last 7 months I had fallen behind in my rent and when I went to go there yesterday the owner of the business had put a restrain order on the front door what can I do .?
A:

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simplyaskit launches new consumer promotional video
simplyaskit has launched a new video explainer to showcase the simple Q&A exchange to help people find the right advice and access the best expertise.
If you are looking for answers, an alte ...
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Podcast with the Lachlan McKnight CEO of award winning legal disruptor LegalVision
In this podcast, I chat with Lachlan McKnight CEO of LegalVision on how they are using technology to disrupt the way legal firms traditionally operate.
If you'd like to make a comment pleas ...
answered
Q: I own 50% of a house, the other partner wants to sell. I am looking at buying her share. The mortgage amount is $500,000 she is willing to sell the house at $350,000 because house prices have decreased. Can she sell the house at under the mortgage amount? Will the banks lend her the amount needed to cover her share of the decrease with no asset to show?
A: Hi Jane

Sorry to hear of your current situation.

If the property is in joint names than neither party is unable to sell the property without both parties agreeing to the sale and a contract of sale would have to be signed. If, as you asked, the property was sold for $350,000 and the mortgage on the property was $500,000 then the borrowers would still be liable for the outstanding balance. It is worth noting that if you engaged a real estate agent to sell then you will be incurring costs that will ultimately reduce the net position of the sale.

It is also doubtful a lender would offer such a loan with no asset as security.

I would strongly suggest meeting with an experienced financial adviser or finance broker to go through your financial situation, discuss some options and develop short and long term strategies to help you buy the property.

Your options could include::

• Using the property as an investment property.
• Agree on a sale price with your partner and take over the mortgage repayments until such time you have enough equity to pay them out

There may be other options that may come from a discussion with a finance expert.

I hope things turn out ok, best wishes

Paul
question
Q: Not so much a question but a comment

A good friend has been with the one lender for 10 years and after 4 weeks of hesitation they finally called the bank about the interest rate on their home loan.

One call and 5 minutes later the bank had dropped the rate from 4.75% to 4.09% - the 0.66% rate cut will save them thousands

I’d love to get some feedback if anyone has had or knows of a similar experience - please share

#simplyaskit?
answered
Q: A real estate agent just unlocked my door and upon entering was confronted by my partner they should of been at the address next door they made a mistake but I'm not happy about it . What should I do ?
A:

answered
Q: I'm trying to get a home loan. The problem is, we're both on Disability pensions and both been bankrupt before. Finding a lender is proving to be an astronomical task. Can you suggest anyone that would help? We do have a good deposit.
A:

answered
Q: My partner and I are renters in Sydney and applying for new units in Pyrmont. We are excellent tenants and have been in the same unit happily for almost 4 years, but have had at least 3 unsuccessful applications recently. Are homeowners/property managers looking for a certain percentage higher on the asking prices in competitive areas? How can we increase the competitiveness of our application?
A:

answered
Q: Ok guys I have a girlfriend in the USA that is in need of some funds urgently but I don't posses a current passport nor do I have a drivers licence so I have some trouble proving my id is there any service that is out there that can help me out or is it as simple as me providing my card details to her so that she can use my Visa card to make a cash withdrawal over there?
A:

answered
Q: Ok guys I have a girlfriend in the USA that is in need of some funds urgently but I don't posses a current passport nor do I have a drivers licence so I have some trouble proving my id is there any service that is out there that can help me out or is it as simple as me providing my card details to her so that she can use my Visa card to make a cash withdrawal over there?
A:

answered
Q: Have you used a buyer's agent or buyer's advocate to purchase a home? What has the experience been like? Do they offer good value for money?
A:

answered
Q: My financial institution has been in touch to notify me that the fixed half of my home loan will soon expire (the other half is variable) and that I have the choice of reverting to their variable rate of 5.26% (comparison rate) or extend for a further 36 [redacted] 4.29% (comparison). They also offer 1 year fixed - 4.34%; 2 yrs - 4.31%; and 5 years - 4.54%. What do you advise?
A: Hi Anthony

It's an important and timely question as a number of lenders have been making some subtle changes (increases) to their interest rates and there is continued speculation of further rate rises outside decisions made by the RBA.

Firstly I will say the rates you’ve been offered are high in today’s environment. As a guide, the variable component of your home loan should start with a 3 or at least be in the low 4s. It may well pay to test the market by:

1. Having a look at the financial comparison websites like www.ratecity.com.au and www.mozo.com.au to see what other lenders are offering in terms of variable rates and fixed rate options
2. You can then contact your current lender and let them know you have been researching the market and have found some very competitive options. Given them an opportunity to review your rates and see what they are prepared to offer in order to keep your business. I’d be quite surprised if they didn’t sharpen their pencil.
3. You can also contact a reputable mortgage broker and let them come back to you with a minimum of three options of other lenders rates and products. If you did decide to refinance it is important to note there is no guarantee the new lender would not look to increase their own rates so you need to be very comfortable the new lenders is offering you considerable savings over what your existing lender would hopefully offer when they sharpen their pencil.

If you are looking at a fixed rate option the 2-3 year option will at least give you some clarity and comfort within your own financial position in the short term. I would, however, recommend a part variable and part fixed option as it will help you pay off the home loan as quickly as possible.

Best of luck, I hope this helps

Paul
blog post
Why we all should, simply ask it
There was a very proud moment in the Ryan household late last year when our 11-year-old son, Harry, was awarded the young communicator’s award at his school.

The speech, delivered to studen ...
answered
Q: I am thinking of moving out of home, how much money should I allow to cover things like rental bond, Internet connection, furniture removal and anything else I might need to consider?
A: Hi Emma

Moving out of home is a big step and it is an important part of the thought process to ask the questions you have, well done.

In terms of the costs involved it really depends on where you are moving to, how far away from home you are moving and the type of lifestyle you are seeking.

From a pure basics point of view you would need to consider:

• Rent – how much rent you can comfortably afford to pay weekly and the rental bond usually equates to 4 weeks rent
• Internet – this depends on how you want to use the internet and if you’d like other services like a home phone to be connected – using a service like http://www.iselect.com.au/broadband/ may help you with understanding the potential costs
• Furniture removal – really depends on where you are moving to, how much furniture you have and how far the removalist has to travel.

Other considerations:

• Do you have a budget and savings plan – that is understanding your income and how much you can afford to spend on the bare essentials such as food, clothing and lifestyle choices
• Utilities such as gas, water, electricity
• When you move out it is important to consider how you will be getting around town so to speak – public transport costs, your own car costs including registration, maintenance and petrol etc
• The type of accommodation you are seeking, if you are moving out on your own or in shared accommodation with friends and who’s name is the lease in. This is a very important consideration as you need to understand the ramifications should you be living with others are they are not fulfilling their share of the rent and household obligations
• Insurances - important to understand the costs of the insurance of your furniture and personal goods
• How long the lease is on the property you are thinking about and what are the ramifications should you wish to break the lease.

You can see there is quite a bit to consider and I hope this information helps in your thought process

All the best

Paul
answered
Q: I’m thinking of selling in the new year and instead of giving it to a local agent I reckon I could sell it privately and save some money. I have spoken to buymyplace but I saw the question about purplebricks the other day and want to find out what the difference is between the two?
A:

blog post
Make Cash the King in your Business
The most challenging aspect of owning a business is being able to generate the cashflow to keep the doors open. The phrase “Cash is King” is a simple reminder for business owners to be mak ...
answered
Q: I'm thinking of using Purplebricks to sell my house when they start in Sydney next month. They appear to do everything a traditional agent does and I've estimated it would save us about $65,000 in fees. Are there any catches, seems too good to be true?
A:

answered
Q: There's so many brokers. Do they all have access to the same bank deals? And when I get my loan, will my broker proactively identify when I should refinance - or do I need to do this investigation myself every year?
A:

blog post
The 5 questions to ask a real estate agent or service to deliver a more positive experience
So you've made the decision to sell, the next question is "How and Who will you choose to help sell your property"

It’s a tough question and you owe it to yourself and family to ...
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What would I know about buying a new car?
The process of buying a new car can be polarizing, you either love it or hate it.

Many consumers enjoy reading and researching the latest makes and models, visiting car dealerships and negotiatin ...
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The best questions to ask a broker or bank manager when you look to apply for a home loan
With the recent RBA rate reduction, stalling inflation, the longest federal election in our history, debate over negative gearing and question marks over the strength of Australia’s housing mark ...
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Q: When we got our home loan early this year the rate was 4.22% and since then the RBA has cut rates twice but when I looked at our rate online it is showing 4.02%. Should we have received more than 0.2% rate drop?
A: Hi Tom

I’m with you and I’d be suggesting you contact your lender as soon as possible as a few things need to be clarified.

The RBA cut the cash rate in May and August 2016 by a total of 0.5% and I’m not aware of any bank or lender who didn’t pass on the full 0.25% from May’s rate cut.

If as you say, you got your home loan early in the year then I would have thought your rate should have been reduced, at the time, from 4.22% to at least 3.97%.

A number of lenders didn’t pass on the full 0.25% from the August rate cut however most did cut their rates somewhere between 0.10 to 0.15%.

If for example your lender cut rates by 0 .10% in August then there is a possible 0.35% reduction from the time you took out the loan at 4.22%. By my calculations your rate should be in the vicinity of 3.87%.

The important action is to call your lender and ask some questions. You should ask them how much of the May and August rate cuts they passed on to their customers and then calculate what your rate should be.

If there has been a miscalculation on your rate, it is important to request your lender not only change your rate but also back date the interest you have paid due to the rate being incorrect.

Well done on keeping tabs on your interest rate. I hope this helps

Cheers

Paul
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Q: I need a financial advice on my business, can you help??
A: Hi Pushpinder

Thank you for the question. If you could provide a few more specific details, I'm sure the experts on the platform can share some valuable advice

Best wishes

Paul
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Q: I'm wanting to invest in shares, where and when should I invest? Is right now the best time to invest or is there a smarter time?
A: Hi Hamish


It is a difficult question to provide specific advice especially as I am not qualified to do so. I will, however provide some insights from a personal perspective

I am not sure whether there is a right or wrong time to enter the market as it depends on your objectives and appetitive for risk in terms of your investment. Some may say the market is down while others might create a picture of the market being full of opportunities.

The key is to find a trusted adviser by asking a lot of questions. You want someone who doesn’t just see you as a short term opportunity and wants to build a long-term relationship – asking questions will help you identify the traits of someone you want to work with.

Best wishes

Paul
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Q: I'm a university student trying to decide where I should keep my money for maximum savings potential.

I currently have a savings account getting 2.75% interest. Is this a good rate or should I shop around? Or maybe consider other options?
A: Hi Max

In browsing through financial comparison sites such as Mozo, Finder and Rate City the 2.75% interest on your savings account seems quite competitive at the moment. There are a few providers with rates a tad higher but they do come with restrictions on the minimum amount on deposit.

There are options available that may help drive a greater return on your funds however it will depend on your appetite for risk and how accessible you need the savings to be. You could look at a term deposit or create a share and investment portfolio depending on the funds you have available.

If you are looking at these types of options then it is important to get the right advice from a financial adviser who wants to work with you in the short and long term. If you need access to your funds on a regular basis then the 2.75% does seem to be competitive.

I hope this helps

Best wishes

Paul
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Q: With so many business incubators available does anyone have a recommendation or had a good experience with one?
A: Hi Glen

I've had a little experience with some of incubators and the one I found most impressive from a structure and support perspective was Investible in Sydney.

Investible.com

Hope this helps

Paul
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Q: Who has the most competitive home loan rate in Australia currently??
A: Hi Ben, with the cash rate being at a historical low at 1.5%, there are some great opportunities available for borrowers to take advantage of the low rate cycle and start paying off their loans.

There are a number of home loan providers offering rates as low as 3.50% - 3.70%, however, it is as equally important to understand the comparison rate on each of the loans.

The comparison rate is the real rate when all the fees (including annual fees) and charges over the life of the loan are calculated and advertised. You might see a rate at 3.49% with a comparison rate of 3.94% whereas other lenders might have a rate at 3.64% and the comparison rate is 3.65%.

Always check the comparison rate and make sure the features and flexibility of the loan are suited to your needs.

I hope this helps

Paul
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Q: Can I swap out of a fixed rate mortgage at Bank X and move to Bank Y at the same old fixed rate and therefore have the new bank effectively pay the old bank for the mark-to-market on the fix-rate break costs?
A: Great and interesting question Jason

In terms of moving from one lender to another and the new lender covering the break cost I would suggest that might an interesting negotiating position you could use by dealing directly with the new lender.

If you don't have the time to deal directly I'd suggest contacting a few mortgage brokers to see what fixed can rate options they could negotiate for you. If you were able to borrow the fixed rate costs and obtain a lower fixed rate you may well be able to save money in the long term.

If you do deal directly with a lender, try and get a better rate and if they accept your proposition of covering the break costs i'd love to get your feedback.

Hope this helps

Best wishes

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Q: I am keen to use the equity in my home to invest - maybe real estate. Maybe another option. Does anyone have any firm advice on the available options at the moment?
A: Great question Jimmy

There are quite a few options available to invest using the equity in your existing home. You could as you say, look to purchase an investment property and you could also work closely with a financial adviser to understand such options as a share portfolio, managed funds or a combination.

It is really important to understand what options work best for you based on your current financial situation and your appetite for risk for all investment options.

One thing you need to be aware of with your current home loan provider is their cash out restrictions. If you are looking to increase your current home loan for investment purposes many lenders have certain restrictions on how much cash out (how much in $ value of the equity) you’d like to use for investment. This is very much the case when you are not using the equity to purchase an investment property.

Many lenders will request you provide some sort of evidential proof of how the additional funds are going to be used and cash out restrictions tend to vary from $50,000 to around $100,000.

It is a very important question to ask your current home loan provider and be sure to pass the information through to the adviser you are seeking advice from.

All the best

Paul
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Q: I am a sole trader who's credit rating doesn't clear until the 2/11/17. I have a proven track record of payments of up to $451.61p/w and I need a work vehicle as soon as possible. Any potential lender available that may consider my case? Thank you.
A: Hi Cameron

Great question – I’d suggest you make a request for one the independent finance brokers on the Eccho platform to make contact with you. A finance broker has access to a variety of different lenders who may look at your situation favourably and as the finance broker can do the shopping around for you it will save you a lot of time and frustration.

A word of warning though, make sure the finance broker does their research and provides you with a couple of options, recommended products and lenders before you sign a credit check consent form. Given your question the last thing you need is to have unnecessary credit checks on your credit file by 3 or 4 different lenders.

If you are unable to find an appropriate finance broker you can always contact a business like Moody Kiddell who specialise in equipment and leasing finance.

I hope this helps, best of luck

Paul
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Q: I am a franchisor. New franchisees need to pay between $20k and $35k to join the group. What's the best way to arrange to finance this fee as a new franchisee?
A: Hi Jonathan

Congratulations on setting up your business for growth, sounds exciting.

Whilst you need to be careful in the commitments you make to potential franchisees there is nothing wrong with providing some options or guidance on how they might be able to finance the purchase of the franchise. Ultimately it is their choice as their individual financial position will dictate how they go about the purchase.

I would suggest you make contact with your own bank and see if they have business finance solutions. If they see your business model growing and get to know more about the business they may see some value in developing a finance option for your franchisees. You could also speak to some non bank business finance options such as Prospa or OnDeck and see if they’d be prepared to listen to what you are looking to set up.

Best of luck in the business

Paul
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Q: Hi has anyone had any dealings with U- Bank? Good or bad? Im thinking about refinancing my home loan with them for their online rate of 3.74%.
A: Hi Di

UBank are an online bank and an 100% owned subsidiary of National Australia Bank.

They do offer excellent rates as their model is online however I would assume they would have a call centre that could help you through the loan process, 3.74% is a good rate.

It does mean that you have to ask the right questions so that you understand all the features of the loan, their fees and make sure the loan suits your short and long term needs. For example, you need to ask is the rate a honeymoon rate for 3 – 6 months and if so what will be the rate after the honeymoon period finishes. Also it would pay to check if it is it a principal and interest loan option only, are there any monthly fees, does the loan have redraw and offset facilities and can you revert to a fixed or part fixed loan without additional charges – there are other questions you could ask and it is always advisable to seek a 2nd opinion to compare loans and suitability.

I can’t comment on what they are like to deal with but as they are owned by NAB, one would hope they will offer a service that reflects industry standards.

I hope this helps, best wishes
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Q: What types of facilities are available to borrow money to use for share trading/investing? Do I need to give property equity, or will the shares be sufficient as collateral? What is the cheapest option to ensure the greatest overall result back to me?
A: Hi John

From a borrowing perspective there are a number of ways in which you can access funds to invest in a share portfolio.

· If you have available equity in a property or funds available in the redraw of your home loan then you can use the funds to invest. Whilst the interest rate may be lower than other funding options you need to be aware that any additional borrowing against a property will limit your ability to access funds for other purposes you may be thinking about in the future.
· You could do some research on margin loans where you are able to borrow money to invest and the shares or managed funds are taken as security. The interest rate on the margin loan may well be higher than a home loan however it might provide you with other benefits depending on your investment goals.

Here is a link that explains margin loans in more detail - https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/investing/borrowing-to-invest/margin-loans

· Another option maybe obtaining a personal loan.

I would highly recommended making contact with a qualified financial adviser who can sit down with you, understand your goals and aspirations and then develop and tailor some options for you to consider. It is also advisable to seek a seek a 2nd opinion.

If you are unsure of how to find a qualified financial adviser here are some links that might help

· https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/investing/financial-advice/financial-advisers-register
· http://www.adviserratings.com.au/

I hope this helps, best wishes

Paul
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Q: My friend is starting his mortgage broker business. He is planning to buy a car. Should he buy the car on ABN or personal and claim deduction for business use?
A: Hi Rakesh

I would suggest your friend speaks to their accountant or a qualified bookkeeper in the first instance so that the structure of the business and any purchases are set up correctly from day 1.

Best wishes to your friend in their new career

Cheers

Paul
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Q: I have two ABNs - a sole trader and a company. Same business, one followed the other. Do invoices issued under the first ABN have to be accounted for in the BAS for that entity, or can they be shifted to the company BAS if paid after it was set up?
A: Hi Todd

Please note, I am not a qualified accountant or registered bookkeeper however I did speak to a registered Government BAS Agent about your question and their guidance was, as far as the Australian Tax office would be concerned, there are two separate entities and the invoices issued under the sole trader ABN should be dealt with through that entity and that entities bank account.

They also suggested you could cancel the sole trader ABN after you complete your final BAS and then possible reissue outstanding invoices to the clients through the new entity advising them the details have changed as you are now operating as a company.

Please accept this as third party feedback via a registered BAS agent.

It is advisable you speak to your own accountant or bookkeeper as they may have a more in depth understanding of your business, how it has been set up and advise accordingly.

I hope the business is going well for you

Paul
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Q: Can anyone offer some advice on the best way to start a savings plan for my children? I have two kids aged 13 and 10. What do I need to be doing now to ensure by the time they're 18, they'll have a solid baseline of savings to get them started?
A: Hi Justin

Great question – the best way I believe we can help our kids is to develop plans where savings becomes a habit.

One way to do that is to encourage the kids to do chores around the house so they can earn some pocket money. If the plan was that they could only spend 50% of what they earn and the other 50% had to go into a savings account it may:

· encourage them to help out more around the house.
· (of the 50% of the money they can spend) – encourage them to save more money until they find something they really wanted to buy
· (of the 50% of the money they can spend) – see them become a little excited about the money growing in their savings and want to transfer more money into their savings account
· teach them the value of money by only being able to buy things when they have the cash.
· encourage them to make saving a habit

I hope this helps. I’d love to hear if this or any other plan you put in place, starts to help them save

Best wishes

Paul

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Q: What is the smartest way for an unmarried couple to go about buying a property together?
A: Hi Jamie

This is a great and relevant question for anyone who is looking to buy a property with another person, irrespective of whether they are a married, a life partner, friend or family.

No one knows your personal or partners financial position better than you.

It is always wise to ask questions and seek opinions so that you can understand all options and opportunities on how to buy a property that suits your own personal circumstances.

From a finance perspective there are options in having one account or you can split the loan accounts so you know what each individual is responsible for in terms of the loan amount for each account. Please remember that if either party falls short on their individual commitment then the other party will still be responsible for the full loan amount and repayments.

From the perspective of buying the property and how you set it up legally, I would suggest sitting down with a lawyer or conveyancer and go through the pros and cons of all options. Be sure to ask about options such as buying the property as joint tenants or tenants in common.

All the best

Paul
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Q: There are some great questions here.
Problem is I can't seem to be able to read some of the responses. I also have some queries about smsf as I have just established mine.
Any feedback?
A: Hi Paul, if you click on the body of the question the screen will open up with the answers.

We look forward to your queries and hopefully providing the assistance you are looking for.

Best wishes

Paul
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Q: URGENT! It seems Section 32's (legal paperwork for sale of property) don't include a copy of Title anymore? The only similar document which is included is a Planning Subdivision ducument. Is this usual now? Can anyone enlighten us please.
A: The best advice I could offer is to make contact with your conveyancer or solicitor especially in regards to the legal requirements for the sale of a property.

In speaking to a real estate agent this morning they reinforced the importance of having a copy of the contract, the title search and section 149 certificate reviewed by a qualified legal representative.

Best wishes
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Q: We have two young kids under four years of age, looking to set them up in later on in life. We have about $5k per child with annual inputs from family about $100p year. What's the best set for them shares, gov bonds, or other?
A: Great question Anthony and well done on planning ahead for your kids future

Eccho me is a community Q&A platform for finance professionals to provide guidance, support and answers to our members questions about finance, loans and credit.

As your question is in relation to investment, a finance professional would need to have the appropriate qualifications to answer. There may well be finance brokers who have the necessary qualifications, however it may take a sometime.

We can keep an eye out for you.

Cheers
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Q: Are there any free workshops available in Sydney that provide information on how to set up and run a small business?
A: Hi Lauren

I am not aware of any free workshops however I’d recommend you make contact with a couple of organisations listed below as they could provide you with a little more guidance


· NSW Business Chamber - http://www.nswbusinesschamber.com.au/
· BNI Networking Group - http://www.bni.com.au/
· Australian Businesswomens Network - http://www.abn.org.au/

Another way you could seek advice is to find a mentor within your centre of influence – a family member or friend who has had experience running their own business. They could offer some tips and guidance on how to get started

Best wishes and I hope it goes well
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Q: How are the proposed negative gearing legislation changes likely to impact on existing and new investment properties?
A: Hi Stewart

It's a good question but until the Government releases or declares their position on negative gearing it makes it difficult to offer an informed opinion

So far we have only heard the oppositions policy changes.

One thing for certain though is that if changes are to be proposed there will be plenty to discuss and think about

Best wishes
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Q: We have recently had some bad luck and have ended up falling behind in our mortgage. I've tried talking to our bank, but they don't seem very interested in coming to the party on some type of plan. Will I be able to re finance and consolidate other debts?
A: Hi Michelle

Very sorry to hear you are going through some tough times and I hope things start to get better soon.

Whilst your existing bank may not seem too interested it is very important to stay close to them and keep the lines of communication open. It is always better to be in regular contact and be seen to be trying to get your loan back on track. Given the circumstances this may be quiet frustrating however it will be much better for you in the short and long term if you continue to keep them informed of what’s happening.

You could also make contact with one the finance professionals registered with Eccho and let them know of your current situation. As qualified professionals they may be able to help you develop a plan and provide some options on how you might be able to consolidate your debts.

It is always better to be proactive in these circumstances.

Best wishes
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Q: Can anyone recommend any really good home budgeting tools? I used to bank with CBA who offered some really good tools that integrated with my accounts but my new provider doesn't have anything like this.
A: Hi Micah

It is a shame your new provider doesn’t have the same tools that you were previously enjoying. It is one of the downfalls of changing lenders and bank accounts as each provider has different tools and resources and sometimes don’t live up to your expectations.

If the changes came about because you refinanced your home loan then I hope you have been able to obtain a much lower interest rate and in a better financial position.

There are quite a few options available to help you with the budgeting.

You could use a number of the online tools such as:

· Moneysmart Budget Planner developed by ASIC – https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/tools-and-resources/calculators-and-apps/budget-planner
· Budget Planner developed by Consumer Advocacy Group Choice - https://www.choice.com.au/money/financial-planning-and-investing/creating-a-budget/buying-guides/budgeting-software

With all the online tools available you could sit down with a financial planner or someone with bookkeeping skills to develop and tailor a budget to suit your individual needs.

I hope this helps, best wishes
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Q: Has anyone used a P2P lender to obtain a personal loan? If so, would love to get your feedback on the process and how the loan compares to other providers
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Q: 4 months ago we purchased an existing home, which we want to do some work to. When is the earliest we can request a refinance with our Bank?
A: Hi Nathan

You raise an interesting and common question as a lot of home buyers are pretty keen to get some work done around their new home.

My advice would be to contact your existing lender first and open the discussion with what you would like to do with the property. If you have borrowed 80% or less than you may have some options in being able to increase the loan amount depending on the nature of the work and the cost involved

If there is a lot of work you would like to do then you have the option of speaking to a licenced builder and getting some plans in place.

By speaking to your existing lender you could ask them if they would be prepared to value the property based on the council approved plans and the estimated market value at the time of completion of the work. You might find, if the lender is ok with this process, you might be able to borrow the funds you require.

Obviously any increase in the loan amount would need to be approved by the lender in terms of your income and ability to service the loan.

See how you go with your existing lender first and then perhaps speak to a couple of finance brokers for other options – if you have fixed any part of your existing loan you need to check on the penalty and exit fees should you look at another lender.

Hope this helps
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Q: Hi there. Trying to work what makes more financial sense over a longer period ...paying out a higher interest personal loan with withdrawing cash currently sitting on my house mortgage OR leaving the $$ on the mortgage? The interest rate is 12% v 4.95%
A: Hi Renita

It is a great question – wherever you can save on the interest rate is makes reasonable sense to do so.

I agree with Deborah in terms of the considerations you need to go through in using up the equity in your home loan. If for example you do choose to use the available funds in your redraw to payout the personal loan and you haven’t had any difficulties in meeting the personal loan repayments I would suggest you try and stick to those payments.

For example if you had a personal loan of $10,000 over 5 years at 12% the monthly repayment is something like $222pm. If by withdrawing the $10,000 from the redraw and continued making the same payment of $222pm you would effectively pay off the personal loan portion within the home loan in just over 4 years and provide savings of around $2000. The savings would also contribute to reducing your home loan balance.

Just on another note it might be worthwhile contacting your existing lender to see what they are prepared to do to help you obtain a better home loan rate. 4.95% on an owner occupied home loan would be considered a little high in today’s environment.

I hope this helps
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Q: I'm currently exposed on the stock market, of which 60% is equity and 40% is a margin loan. Is 5.2% a reasonable rate or are there better rates out there?
A: Hi Jerry

I am not necessarily up to speed on the interest rates for margin loans – however here are a couple of links that might be able to assist you

http://www.ratecity.com.au/margin-loans

https://mozo.com.au/margin-loans

Cheers
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Q: I have just finished university and have come up with some business ideas in which I would like to pursue. The issue is that I have minimal finances in order to get the project off the ground. What are some of my options?
A: Hi Jack – congrats on finishing University

If you’re requiring funding to help get your projects off the ground then I’d suggest you have 2 options

1. Look for some angel investors, such and family and friend, who are prepared to back you and your business idea
2. Apply for a small personal loan or credit card

Many businesses have used credit cards to kick start their business however you will need to be able to satisfy the lenders credit criteria which will include employment, income and the ability to meet the repayments.

Dream big Jack
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Q: We have strong equity in our home and a smallish mortgage. We want to renovate and remortgage but without increasing the repayment amounts or duration of the loan. Can this be done?
A: Hi MJ Z

You raise an interesting question and whether it can be done or not will be based on your current home loan balance, how much you need to renovate and your current interest rate.

When you borrow additional funds, it means your monthly repayment will increase. You could indeed limit the increase by shopping around to obtain a lower interest rate and as an indication there are some lenders in the market offering rates as low as 3.99 – 4.19% on owner occupied loans.

In regards to the term of the loan if you wanted to keep the repayments as low as possible you might need to extend the term of the loan. This might not be desirable so you need to weigh up the pros and cons of renovating v keeping the repayments and loan as is. To help you with your decision making process play around with a few home loan calculators and use the interest rates previously mentioned as a guide to what the repayments might be or contact a finance broker.

The pleasing thing is you do have options – best of luck
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Q: What are the new changes in the credit rating system? And if I have been late with my electricity bills will this affect my rating?
A: Great question Angus – one of the most important assets we need to protect is our own credit rating.

Up until 2014 our credit files were protected by the Privacy Act. When we applied for a loan, a credit provider completed a credit check to make sure there were no negative information on our credit files. Through the Privacy Act the only negative information a credit provider could access was if there were noted defaults and bankruptcies.

The new credit rating system now allows credit providers to share information amongst themselves on such things like our bill payment history, credit cards and any other loans that come up on our reports.

The ability to share such information allows credit providers to understand more about how we meet our payments and obligations. If, as you ask about your electricity bill being late, if it is more than say 5-6 days then it will appear on your file. It won’t appear as a default though, as long as you do make the payment within 60 days.

The good news is though if you happen to miss a bill or payment but then continue meet the next bill and then all other payments from then on, you can still build yourself a good and clear credit rating.

One thing to always remember if you are having problems making a payment, make contact with the provider, they will appreciate the communication.

I hope this helps
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Q: Hi there, I have just finished school and about to commence Uni. Is it worth me getting a credit card to help with moving out or should I get a small loan?
A: Hi William, exciting time for you.

I would suggest looking at a credit card but only applying for a small limit. Being able to access funds through the credit card will be helpful however I would recommend developing some key disciplines around how to use it.

1. Do your research on sites such as Mozo and Rate City and make sure you understand the terms of the cards, interest rates and interest free periods.
2. As best as you can, pay off the balance each month or within the interest free period and try not to get caught up with paying interest.
3. Set yourself the challenge of not applying for an increase in the card limit. Even if you start working and making some money save up and pay for the things you would like when you have the money. This type of discipline will serve you well as time goes by.

Most importantly, make sure you to make the repayments on time. It is very difficult to recover from a bad credit rating at a young age.

Go well
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Q: we have a loan approved but I am a little nervous about the repayments - is there a way in which I can get reassurance that we can afford the loan?
A: Great question Nathan, I think we all get a little bit apprehensive when we get a new loan.

It is very important for you to be comfortable in knowing you can afford the repayments and therefore difficult for anyone to completely reassure you. It is however worth noting from a finance perspective that all lenders are required to act in your best interest about the suitability of the loan and your ability to repay the loan.

As part of the approval process lenders are required to compete a serviceability assessment which takes into consideration the loan amount, the term of the loan, the loan to value ratio, your income, living expenses, number of dependents, other loans and any other commitments you may have and importantly the interest rate that calculates your monthly repayments.

Lenders will then look to assess your loan by applying a 3% increase to the interest rate relevant to the loan you are applying for. For example if the interest rate is 4.09% then the lender may assess your loan using an interest rate of 7.09%. By applying this buffer the lender is acting in your best interest to ensure the loan remains suitable should there be an increase in interest rates.

It is very important for you to make sure the loan you have been approved for has gone through the appropriate serviceability assessment. Don’t be afraid to ask your finance broker or lender for a copy to help you gain comfort.

Best wishes
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Q: I am self employed and while my income has been good in the last few months, things were a bit tight before. I am keen to grow the business but have no security available. What options do I have to obtain a loan?
A: Hi Jonathan

It is good to hear your business is picking up, well done.

There are a couple of business finance options to help grow your business but it will depend on the type of business. If for example your business has regular invoices going out to your clients you might be able to apply for a debtor or invoice financing facility. This type of finance is where a lender will pay a certain percentage, say 80%, of the outstanding invoices to help you with your immediate cashflow.

Debtor and Invoicing Finance Lenders will then follow up your client to ensure they receive full payment and they will then pay you the original invoice amount, less the 80% they already paid you and their own fees and charges.

This is a great way to grow your business as you can generate cashflow and not have to wait the normal 30, 60 or 90 days for clients to pay you. These type of lenders do have a set criteria in the type of business they will lend to so it is best to contact them directly or a finance broker who has the experience to act on your behalf.

An experienced finance broker might also be able to identify some assets within your business (depending on the business) where a sale of leaseback could help you obtain funds to grow your business.

If your business falls outside the debtor or invoice finance criteria it is very difficult to obtain finance without security. What you could do is contact the bank where you have your business accounts and see if they would be prepared to help in the form of a loan or small overdraft.

Best of luck
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Q: If i sold an investment property at profit will taking on a new investment property loan in the same financial year help minimise my cgt?
A: Hi Linda

Congratulations on selling your investment property.

In relation to purchasing a new investment property and how it might impact your capital gain tax then I would suggest you speak to your accountant and or financial adviser, as they will be in a better position to provide a more detailed and appropriate answer.

Best wishes
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Q: I'm looking at buying a new car, but I'm not sure if I should finance it or save to buy a cheaper second hand one. Is it worth getting a personal loan for?
A: Hi Saxon, I guess it comes back to the purpose of buying the car and how quickly you need it.

If you are using the car for your business then you could finance the new car with either a hire purchase or leasing facility. It is important to get the structure of the hire purchase or lease facility correct as they allow for a balloon or residual payment to help keep the monthly repayments within your budget during the term of the loan.

The added benefit of buying a new car are the new car warranties.

If the car is not for business, you can still have the option of being able to finance a new and used car. My advice would be to work out what type of car you would like to buy, what your price range is and then visit a couple of car dealerships and ask them for their best deal.

A car dealer may also look to offer some finance options so you could get their quotes and then seek advice from a couple of finance brokers to compare the price, interest rates, loan structure and monthly repayments. If you do finance the car you need to make sure the monthly repayments fit within your budget plans.

Best of luck
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Q: My friend told me you can fix some of your home loan and leave some variable so that you can pay off the principal. Is this true?
A: That is correct – whenever a loan is 100% or part variable, you can make additional payments at any time.

By making the additional repayments you will be reducing the loan balance on the variable part of the loan more quickly.

So that you can get an idea of how much of a difference making additional repayments can have on your home loan play around with this calculator http://www.bizztools.net/2012/intouchfinance/bizztools2012_er.php - best of luck
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Q: My sister wants to buy a car. Is she better off financing that through her mortgage than getting finance for the car separately?
A: Interesting question

If your sister’s home loan has enough funds in her redraw then using the mortgage to buy the car could be an option. It really depends on what the car is for – if it is for business then a hire purchase or leasing finance might be a better option as there are tax advantages in doing so.

If the car isn’t for business then it comes back to how much money is available in the redraw, what the interest rate is on the home loan and what interest rates are available for the car finance. She could apply for an increase on the home loan if there are no funds in the redraw but that may mean refinancing her loan which could take up to 3- 4week to gain access to the funds.

Car loan generally only takes a couple of days but it is important to check the interest rate on the car loan and weighing up what the best option is.
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Q: What is the difference in requirements for an investment home load opposed to an owner occupier?
A: The requirements for an investment loan are very similar to what is required for an owner occupied loan as you go through the same lending assessment process before a loan is approved.

All lenders require applicants to disclose what the investment loan is for, say an investment property, shares portfolio or business investment for example. Most lenders will ask for some sort of evidence especially if the funds are used for shares or a business investment.

If the loan is to buy an investment property the lender will, in most cases, be taking security over the property being purchased.

If you are looking to buy an investment property it is wise to check the lenders loan to value ratio (LVR) requirements as there has been some recent changes in how much a lender is prepared to lend against an investment property. Most lenders are around the 90% LVR – if you are looking at an off the plan purchase it might be as low as 70 -80%.

A lender will also be looking for evidence of how much rental income you will be receiving from the property. If it is a purchase then a letter from the real estate agent should suffice, if it is a refinance then an existing rental statement is all you need.

I hope this helps
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Q: I want to borrow $500,000. What additional fees should I expect to be charged?
A: Each lender will have their own fees and many either waive or discount the fees to win your business. The fees tend to include valuation fees, (approx $250.00) legal fees(approx. 350.00), settlement fees (approx. 250.00) and then the standard government stamp duties. Depending on the type of loan you are obtaining there may also be an annual fee (approx. $300.00). Annual fees normally apply to a professional loan package and where the rate is discounted to the lenders standard loan. The fees you can tend to negotiate are the valuation and legal fees and perhaps the annual fee at least for the first year of the loan. All lenders are required to provide you with a detailed list of all there fees that may occur through the loan. The key is to get your broker or bank manger to go through all the fees before you apply for the loan, you don’t want any nasty surprises after your loan has already been approved.

Having fees connected to your redraw or obtaining loan statements are always annoying fees to find out about after your loan is already in place – don’t be afraid to see what fees can either be waived or negotiated.

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Q: I run my own business and a mate of mine suggested I speak to someone about debtor finance - can you give me an idea of how it works?
A: Debtor Finance is simply a cashflow solution for a business. If, for example, your business has outstanding invoices a debtor finance solution will advance you up to 85% of the value of the outstanding invoices and the funds tend to paid into your bank account within 48 hours.

The business who advances the funds will then receive the payments from your clients in accordance with your normal payment terms. When all the payments are made the funder will deduct their fees from the remaining 15% and pay you the difference.

The significant benefit to you is that you receive 85% of your outstanding invoices upfront instead of having to wait 30,60 or 90 days for your clients to pay you. This provides you with cashflow to continue to grow your business. I hope this helps
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Q: I have a couple of investment loan and understand the bank has increased the interest rate - can you tell me why?
A: Excellent question – it is a combination of a few factors. The continued commentary around the property market has seen lenders tighten their credit policies on investment lending and the regulatory body APRA has increased the capital requirements on the banks for residential mortgage lending.

With APRA increasing the capital requirements the banks have to raise more money. They can either do this by delving into their existing profits and upsetting shareholders or they can increase their interest rates and upset their customers. We all know the answer, however, did they seize the opportunity by increasing rates by the margins they have.

It is a great opportunity to have a look at what else is available in terms of rates. Have a look at a couple of the lenders who aren’t deposit taking institutions, such as the non-banks and see what rate they are prepared to offer.
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Q: I am paying 4.60% on my home loan - is that too high and what should I be paying?
A: Great question. In today's market 4.60% on an owner occupied home loan does seem too high. With the market being so competitive you may well be able to obtain a rate as low as 3.99 - 4.19%. A good idea is to contact your existing lender and see if they are prepared to offer you a better rate. You might be pleasantly surprised, if not, contact a mortgage broker and see if they can help you obtain a better rate and loan that suits you.
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Q: Can I purchase a car through my business and claim the repayments?
A: Absolutely you can and you can borrow the funds through various asset and leasing finance options. We can also tailor the finance package to ensure the monthly repayments fits within your budgets

The repayments can be tax deductible depending on the ratio of business use of the car v personal use

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