Debt Management


Home buyers use bigger deposits to get better mortgage deals

Clancy Yeates Banks are becoming more picky about who they offer their lowest interest rates to.


Credit cards find new ways to fleece you

Credit card providers have new traps to squeeze customers.

Nicole Pedersen-McKinnon We know about unconscionable credit card interest rates and unreasonable surcharges, but this is what you don't know.


Pressure mounts for parents to go guarantor

Families are helping adult children into property.

Dianne Charman Parents need to consider all the options before becoming property guarantors for their children. 


Why now is the perfect time to refinance your mortgage

Janine Louden and her husband are returning to their original lender, so they won't have to set up new accounts.

John Collett The big banks may be increasing their mortgage interest rates, but that's no reason for their mortgage customers to meekly accept higher repayments.


How to get a discount on your home loan rate

To get the best rate discounts, you need to pick up the phone to the banks and negotiate.

Nicole Pedersen-McKinnon The Big 4 are secretly lopping a full 1 per cent on average off advertised rates for home loans.


Home buyers shun fixed interest rates

Clancy Yeates When interest rates are this low, it can make sense to fix part of your mortgage.


The illusion of higher housing wealth

Clancy Yeates.

Clancy Yeates Higher house prices may make us feel richer, but it's not that simple.


From armchair activist to conscious consumer

Are you a conscious consumer or a sleepwalker? Illustration: Andrew Dyson

Melissa Browne Clicking to support a cause is not enough; you need to consider your investing, spending and borrowing as well.

Meet the home owners going back to renting

Growing numbers of Australians are jumping out of home ownership and giving renting another whirl. Illustration: Michael Mucci

Christine Long Growing numbers of Australians are leaving home ownership to return to renting.


The magic of the mortgage offset account

Daryl Dixon It's an excellent development for consumers that mortgage offset accounts are becoming more commonplace.


Plan on interest rates staying low for longer

The dollar is competitive and there are signs of life for non-mining business investment, even if housing is finally slowing.

David Potts Interest rates will hang around where they are for a long time yet even though the  market has booked a cut for March next year.

What the Westpac loan hike could cost you

Westpac variable loan customers could pay $63 more a month.

Kate Cowling Home owners with a Westpac variable loan have been encouraged to shop around after a surprise rate rise that could add more than $20,000 to a 30-year loan.


Five things you should never put on credit

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Nicole Pedersen-McKinnon Some debt is good and other debt is very, very bad – especially when it is sitting on a piece of plastic with a high interest rate.


Basic Training: How to pay your mortgage off at speed

Paying off a mortgage takes planning and focus.

Larissa Ham Just moved in? It's time to think about paying off your mortgage – as fast as you can.


Basic Training: How to have a second bite at your mortgage cherry

Cherries, like a better mortgage rate, are always good for the picking.

Larissa Ham Getting a home loan is hard enough, so why waste time revisiting it? Simple - you could save yourself heaps each month.


Give the mortgage a spring spruce-up

Clean up your mortgage ready for any interest-rate changes.

Mark Bouris With interest rates stalled it's a good time to run the rule over your mortgage and make sure you can cope with any increase.


Lenders are taking too long to pass on rate cuts

While the cash rate has dropped, consumers are still paying a high price for credit card and personal debt.

John Collett Despite two official reductions this year, lenders have hardly moved what they charge on credit cards and personal loans.


Hidden credit card fees paid by everyone

John Collett It is the credit card fee lurking in the background that just about all consumers, not just those paying by credit card, pay for.


They're not sponging, they're saving

Ed Wall, 25, bought his first home when he was 18.

Sylvia Pennington Can under-25s still manage to get under their own roof without tapping the Bank of Mum and Dad?


Basic Training: Moving out for the first time? Here's how to budget

Sharing your home with others can reduce expenses.

Larissa Ham Here are some tips on staying in the black once you start to live by yourself.