Never have more of us been this uncertain about the state of our finances. The Coronavirus pandemic has taken the wind out of our collective sails and put us all on unsteady footing – but there are things we can do and steps we can take to get back on the front foot financially.
Got a mortgage? You could:
- Switch. To a fixed rate loan. Many banks are offering a fixed-rate interest rate as low as 2.09% for the next two to three years, which could see your repayments fall by a decent amount each month. Importantly, you’ll also be paying more principal off your loan, helping you achieve home ownership sooner.
- Negotiate. With your current bank. Ask for the best possible interest rate they can offer you, and request being transferred to their retention team and threaten to go elsewhere if they can’t offer you much of a deal. If your mortgage has a 3 in front of it, you’re paying too much.
- Refinance. If your current lender can’t come to the party. Look into refinancing. We can give you access to some incredible deals at the moment, and many banks and lenders are also offering cashback of between $2,000 and $4,000. These funds could come in very handy while you juggle bills over the uncertain months ahead.
- Weigh your options. Before you go down the path of applying for financial hardship, consider all of the options. For instance, you may be able to refinance your loan over a longer term, to reduce your repayments in the short term to keep your cash flow going (you can always make extra repayments when your situation picks up). Or, you may be able to move your loan to an interest-only deal for 12 months – or perhaps redraw some equity? Speak to your mortgage broker to discuss your situation and all the possible solutions.
- Request a pause. If you’ve lost your job or income and you’re genuinely struggling to make ends meet, you can request a repayment pause with your lender for up to six months.
Are you renting? There are solutions for you too! Consider:
- Speaking to your landlord. We’re all in this together, and while your landlord likely has their own mortgage to pay right now, they may be able to offer a short-term rental reduction to help ease your financial stress. You don’t know if you don’t ask, so what’s the harm in asking the question?
- Contact your tenancy tribunal or authority. If you’ve lost your job or experienced a loss of income, contact the tenancy authority in your state or advice for guidance. Some states have already introduced support measures, such as Queensland, which is aiming to provide $500 per week in rental support for 4 weeks, to tenants affected financially by COVID-19.
Whether you are renting or paying off your mortgage, there are options and support measures to help you through this very challenging period. If you want to discuss your options or even if you’d like some help trimming the fat in your budget (we have a helpful budget planner you can use!), contact our friendly team today.
This article contains information that is general in nature. It does not take into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person. You need to consider your financial situation or needs before making any decisions based on this information.