WITH a lot of chatter about interest rates, I called my great mate Paul Hixon, from Loan Market, to get up to speed with the word on the street.
He told me about the federal government incentive for first-home buyers (FHB) to help them get into the market. It allows them to avoid Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI) which can be tens of thousands of dollars. Also this incentive allows FHB to buy using only a five per cent deposit, giving them the option to buy sooner or spend any extra money on improvements. Paul said as long as the buyers earnt less than $125,000 as individuals or $200,000 as a couple and the property was under $700,000, they would qualify. He did note that this does not apply to all banks so it’s crucial buyers talk to a broker.
While we were chewing the fat, I mentioned to him about a friend who had just received a note from their bank that their 2 per cent locked interest rate was at an end. She’s a single mum and every dollar counts.
Her bank manager had called her and said for her peace of mind she should lock in at 5.65 per cent for two years, nearly three times her current repayments! I mentioned this to Paul. Horrified he picked up the phone.
Within the next few hours he had managed to get her a fixed rate at 4.99 per cent (still an increase, but she wanted to fix) and a cash bonus from the new bank of $4000 for just changing lenders. That $4000 to my friend has allowed her to pay off a medical debt, and the saving in interest has reduced her annual cost of about $3000 per year.
This article is from the October 9th issue of The Courier Mail Digital Edition. To subscribe, visit https://couriermail.com.au/ .