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.

GEARING

Investors taking advantage of negative gearing tax breaks drive property prices higher

Wheel of fortune: Many property investors rely on the tax breaks they can achieve through negative gearing.

John Collett Property investors taking advantage of Australia's tax system are helping to drive up property prices and shutting out first-time home buyers.

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GET FINANCE FIT

How to survive the first year of the mortgage

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Christine Long It can be tough, but some planning can help you survive the first 12 months in your own home .

Get a step up with your mortgage

Up the rungs: Do your homework to climb the housing ladder.

Mark Bouris With a bit of homework and a willingness to bargain, people can save money on their mortgage and get ahead.

BORROWING

First-time property buyers in Sydney and Melbourne need to be careful

The property market is running hot with a large number of auctions in Sydney and Melbourne.

John Collett Sydney and Melbourne property prices still show no signs of peaking.

DEBT'S THE WAY

Debt that's good, debt that's bad

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Christine Long There are different types of debt. Some drag you down, while others can give you lift-off.

INSIGHT

Debt policy? Better wait than never

Clancy Yeates No one likes missing out, but getting caught on the wrong side of a downturn would be worse.

Mortgages

Don't fall for the mortgage traps

A helping hand: Glenn and Danielle Waterson were delighed wit the deal their mortgage broker secured for them.

David Potts Lender's insurance can cost thousands and actually protects the bank, not the borrower writes David Potts.

DEBT-FREE?

Kiwi expats face arrest on student debt defaults

Leaving is easy, coming home is hard, especially if you've not repaid your student loan

John Collett Kiwis living in Australia who are overdue with repayments could be arrested on returning to New Zealand.

INSIGHT

RBA keeps the brakes on - or does it?

Clancy Yeates Rates are getting better if you are in debt, but less favourable for people with savings in the bank.

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.

BORROWING

Plan ahead when buying first home

Mark Bouris dinkus.

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: