Loans

CREDIT SCORES

Good records lead to better loans

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

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.

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.

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

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

LOW RATES

Mix of fixed and variable rates the wisest course

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

BORROWING

Lenders' mortgage fees rise

BALANCING ACT: Borrowers should do a review every so often to make sure their mortgage is still competitive with other lenders.

John Collett Home buyers are urged to shop around to ensure they're getting the best possible deal.

Fixed mortgage rates tumble but watch for fees

Fixed mortgage rates.

John Collett CBA, NAB and Westpac cut interest rates on some of their fixed-rate home loans this week, including slashing their five-year fixed rates to 4.99 per cent.

John Collett

On a fair dinkum comparison, these rates are low

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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.

BORROWING

Offset accounts can save you thousands

Mark Bouris dinkus.

Mark Bouris When they're used properly they can accelerate the paying-down of the mortgage.

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.

GETTING STARTED

No need to be negative - it's high time to fix

David Potts Economists have changed their tune about interest rates and you may not want to hear it if you're trying to save.

GETTING STARTED

Why we all need to give a damn about the less well off

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Penny Pryor Helping break the poverty trap for people with small interest-free loans, will benefit the whole country in the long run.

BORROWING

How to cut your mortgage in eight steps

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Mark Bouris Could you save money on your mortgage? Ask yourself some simple questions to find out.

Interest rates at the right setting

Mark Bouris We owe far more than we earn, but is there any need to restrict the housing market?

GET AHEAD

Take a ride on the low-interest train

Mark Bouris Take advantage of the cheap cash-rate environment while it lasts.