Debt Management

MONEY MENTOR

Monthly mortgage payments fall $254 in five months

Nicole Pedersen McKinnon It's not going to be much consolation to frustrated would-be first-home buyers, but monthly repayments on the average new mortgage are $254 less than they were at Australia's borrowing peak in...

TIP OF THE WEEK

5 ways to growth hack your way to mortgage freedom

Owning a home can be incredibly rewarding, but it also comes with a fair amount of financial responsibility.

Heidi Armstrong Stories about people who pay off sizeable home loans in record time are always talked about – but what are some of the tricks to making this happen?

CREDIT CARDS

Rewards cards poor value: cardholder survey

The federal government has thrown its support behind most of the recommendations of a Senate inquiry into credit cards.

John Collett Most rewards credit card holders believe that their rewards program delivers poor value.

TIP OF THE WEEK

Trying to time the bottom of the interest rate cycle harder than it seems

Even if the RBA reduces the cash rate again this year, that is no guarantee mortgage rates will fall.

John Flavell One of the most common questions mortgage holders ask their broker is: "when is the right time to fix my loan?"

WELL HEELED

Why we need a money Nippers to stop drowning in debt

Melissa Browne The number of Australians wallowing in credit-card debt, mortgage debt, car loans and other forms of debt is a real issue, so perhaps it's time we paid the same level of attention to financial safety...

HOME LOANS

How 'ideal' borrowers can get great mortgage deals from lenders

Chris Reid and his wife Kathryn found a better home loan deal for their Brisbane home.

John Collett Are you the "ideal" mortgage borrower? If, so, lenders want your business.

Millennials snapping up cards to get a credit history

Beware the credit rating credit card.

Nicole Pedersen-McKinnon Millennials snapping up credit cards in order to get a credit history should be aware that credit ratings are now warts 'n' all.

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UNIVERSITY COSTS

Paying uni fees upfront v taking a HECS loan

John Collett There is not much point in repaying student debt early, especially after the removal of discounts at the end of this year.

CREDIT CARDS

Credit card 'reforms' trap Aussies in debt longer

Nicole Pedersen-McKinnon

Nicole Pedersen-McKinnon The average bad marriage lasts 12 years, but the average bad debt on credit cards lasts 27 years.

TIP OF THE WEEK

The best way to pay off debt

More Australians are worried about their finances than two years ago.

John Flavell Australians are increasingly worried about their finances, but there is a simple technique that everyone can use to become debt free faster.

MIND OVER MONEY

What The Big Short movie can teach ordinary people

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Caitlin Fitzsimmons It's exciting watching the traders short the US mortgage market before the global financial crisis, but it's not something the rest of us can emulate.

INSIGHT

Debit cards more popular than ever but Australians still hooked on credit

The abstract nature of credit means consumers feel less emotionally connected to the money and are more prone to the risk of blowing their budget.

Sally Rose The use of a debit card to limit reliance on credit is being undermined by consumers keeping a credit card for 'emergencies'.

Rise in payday lending before Christmas

Michelle Hutchison At this time of year many Australians are taking out small loans in the lead-up to Christmas.

BASIC TRAINING

How to get a credit card without breaking the bank

Larissa Ham If you're disciplined, a credit card can be handy. But if you're not – and many millions of us aren't – it can be a fast track to an endless cycle of interest payments.

INTEREST RATES

How to win the interest rate game: time to fix your mortgage

The best deals on fixed interest rates are before the rate cycle hits the bottom.

Nicole Pedersen-McKinnon It's time to fix your mortgage. Well, half of it. For three years only.

EXCLUSIVE

Credit card providers set traps for zero-interest customers

December is a time when consumers are tempted to pile purchases on credit.

John Collett Credit card providers are aggressively pushing balance-transfer deals by offering dramatically longer zero-interest periods, but creaming profits from higher fees.

INSIGHT

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 TRAPS

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.

HOME LOANS

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.

TIP OF THE WEEK

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.