Loans

BORROWING

Plan ahead when buying first home

Mark Bouris When interest rates are low, house prices usually rise and first-home buyers can feel shut out of the market. But all is not lost when sticking to a few simple tips: 

CREDIT SCORES

Good records lead to better loans

House with dollar coin

John Collett Solid credit scores could help you get a cheaper mortgage if Australia follows the US.

Bank reveals rush to pay off loans

People are paying over their minimum monthly mortgage repayments.

Clancy Yeates Australians are rushing to pay off their home loans faster than many households overseas, with half of all borrowers ahead of their mortgage repayment schedule.

One in five new borrowers fix home loans

First home buyers are locking in more fixed rate home loans than they were four years ago as arrears rates continue to improve.

Lending

Margin loans rise but risk still off table

ASX

Clancy Yeates Margin lending is growing for the first time since the stimulus-induced sharemarket surge of 2009, as investors seek to capitalise on record low interest rates and rising stock prices.

Banks' could pull back on home loans

Gareth Hutchens Banks could pull back from lending to new home owners after making losses on mortgages.

Margin loans still on the nose

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Margin loans are still out of favour, more than three years after the global financial crisis (GFC) began, with fewer investors than ever inclined to use them - and those that do opting for much more...

More buyers turn to non-bank loans

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Clancy Yeates The number of people taking out home loans with non-bank lenders is creeping up.

Low-doc loans on borrowed time

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By Lesley Parker Responsible lending laws may bring an end to these potentially predatory financial products.

Reverse loans cast a shadow

dollar    Generic.  Elderly.  Pensioner, GST, Tax, Savings etc.   Old woman's hands holding a purse, taking out a one-dollar coin

By Barbara Drury Tapping into home equity may seem like an easy way to gain extra cash but mistakes can cost you dearly.

TIP OF THE WEEK

Time to cut back debt, not lock in more

Up and down: Interest rates can go up as well as down.

Catherine Robson Rates won't stay low forever - so pay off your debt while you can.

OFF THE PLAN

Developments for the early bird

Couple reviewing blueprints property

Emily Chantiri Early investment in a new property development can be a wise financial move.

ASK NOEL

Once bitten, should I shy away from buying?

Which way now?: Investors with a bit of cash to spend are best served by doing some thorough research on the areas where they are looking at property.

Noel Whittaker I am in no rush to buy back in, however feel that the longer I wait, the further the market is getting away from me.

THE THIRD WAY

Bold approach solves the rent or buy conundrum

Living the dream: For many of us, owning our home is a decision we make as much with our head as with our heart.

Melissa Browne There is also a third option which involves renting where you live and buying property as an investment only.

FIRST HOMES

Loan the best way to lend offspring a hand

Toy keys key plastic generic toys.
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Max Newnham Buying a first home is difficult for many young people. There are a number of ways parents can help.

BORROWING

Special rates aim to lure you in

Know the difference: It's important to know  the true, long-term costs of a loan before committing to it.

Mark Bouris There’s something of a home loan ‘'rate war'’ going on at the moment, which can be great for borrowers. But it also creates pitfalls for the unwary.

GETTING STARTED

Cheaper to rent than buy? The debate continues

Property costs: the costs of owning a house are estimated to be higher than those of renting.

David Potts A recent paper suggested renting a home is now cheaper than buying. But it's not that straightforward.

John Collett

On a fair dinkum comparison, these rates are low

John Collett dinkus

John Collett The Commonwealth Bank’s 5-year fixed home loan interest rate of 4.99 certainly hit the headlines when it was announced on Wednesday.

LOW RATES

Mix of fixed and variable rates the wisest course

David Potts dinkus.

David Potts If you're paying more than 5 per cent, whether fixed or variable, at a bank then you're being ripped off.

INSIGHT

How long will this cheap money last?

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Clancy Yeates It would be extremely unusual for rates to remain at these levels for five years.