Debt Management

We're becoming smarter – and tighter – with credit cards

Michael Pascoe There are signs that we're collectively smarter users of credit than we tend to give ourselves credit for.

Strategies for home owners in the low-interest era

If the best set of monthly employment gains in more than six years is enough to push the Australian dollar hurtling towards US80ยข, what will next week's inflation data do if it comes in on the high side?

Mark Bouris The Reserve Bank suggested this week interest rates could more than double in the next few years.

Do the sums before you sign up to a reverse mortgage

Sylvia Pennington The property boom of the past few decades means that many Australians retire asset rich, but cash poor.

Know the score: what the new credit reporting system means for you

Public servant Bernard Stahr is looking forward to the new credit reporting system as he thinks it will help him secure a loan.

Nina Hendy A warts and all approach to credit history is being phased in, and it could have major ramifications for Australian borrowers.

COMMENT

Property investors tipped to start paying down debt

The gap between interest rates on interest-only home loans and others has widened significantly.

Clancy Yeates The tax benefit from an interest-only loan is now outweighed by the savings on offer with principal & interest loans.

Interest-only loans retain appeal despite growing expense

Daryl Dixon APRA wants to reduce the growth of interest-only loans, which are highly popular with investors and even owner-occupiers in special situations.

Why the banks should absorb the cost of the levy

MON00-Bouris
Mark Bouris.

Mark Bouris I know of no other industry where the taxpayer underwrites borrowings – it's a unique arrangement and one that the banks can't characterise as "just another cost", writes Mark Bouris.

Borrowers warned to brace for across-the-board mortgage rate increases

Ruchik Modi and his wife, who live in Truganina in Melbourne, moved to a smaller lender for a better rate on their home loan.

John Collett Despite official interest rates being on hold at an historic low of 1.5 per cent since August 2016, mortgage rates have been rising over that time.

Why can't switching banks be like changing mobile providers?

The Greens are pushing for full bank account portability, saying it will boost competition.

Clancy Yeates You could be forgiven for getting a sense of deja vu when watching the stoush between the government and the banks.

Comments 13

Credi lets family and friends document loans to protect cash and relationships

Phil Hopper has borrowed money from his parents for his business, Liberty Signs in Frenchs Forest.

John Collett Your money kindness towards loved ones might be well meaning, but it is fraught with risk.

Comments 2

NAB-owned UBank launches robot to sell home loans

UBank's goal is to deliver simpler, better, smarter banking to customers.

John Collett In a first for an Australian bank, NAB-owned UBank has launched an artificial intelligence "chatbot" for home loans.

ANALYSIS

Customers unlikely to escape the bank tax

Treasurer Scott Morrison says the competition watchdog will keep a close eye on banks' prices.

Clancy Yeates Whenever businesses are hit with a nasty new levy, there is a predictable response: we'll pass it on to customers.

FIRST PERSON

I developed a fear of debt at the age of 10

Megan Blandford and husband Steve and children Abbey, 8, and Iris, 4 live in Beechworth, Victoria.

Megan Blandford A fear of debt can either serve you or hold you back – here's how to know whether you need to overcome it.

The fake offset accounts that could make your savings vanish

Make sure your offset account isn't really a redraw facility in disguise. Illustration: Michael Mucci

Nicole Pedersen-McKinnon Money in an offset account may not be protected by the deposit guarantee.

Margin loans are bad for your financial health

Leverage magnifies both losses and gains.

Scott Phillips Borrowing to invest. The idea is almost as old as investing itself.

Banks use existing customers as shortcut to decrease interest-only loan book

The regulator wants to take the heat out of the housing market, especially in Sydney and Melbourne.

Noel Whittaker The regulator wants fewer interest-only loans to take the heat out of the housing market. So banks are trying to meet their target by pressuring existing customers.

Personal loan applications surge as credit cards wane

John Collett Australians are shunning high-interest credit cards and turning to personal loans for large purchases.

How to avoid the squeeze of rising mortgage rates

Mortgage rates are on the rise and borrowers don't want to get in above their heads

John Collett Despite the Reserve Bank cutting the cash rate twice during 2016, lenders have been edging-up their mortgage rates over that time.

Banks are still lending too much to property buyers

It's better to trim your sails than suffer mortgage stress or worse, a distressed sale.

Noel Whittaker Real estate continues to dominate the headlines in tandem with speculation on the future of the housing market as APRA's crack down on interest-only loans begins to bite.

Comments 157

My blueprint for buying your first property – safely

Nicole Pedersen-McKinnon.

Nicole Pedersen-McKinnon My answers to the 'Hey Nicole' questions.