The Smart Advice blog

Life Insurance—it’s not a scam!

This week I’d like to share with you one of the most difficult conversations I have had in over 20 years in the finance industry. I don’t share this to... Read more

Employment Type—Self Employed

When it comes to taking out a home loan, self-employed income and employment is a little more complicated than for traditionally employed people.

The trick is to be clear on... Read more

Full Time? Part Time? Or Casual—What’s the difference?

Any lender will look at what type of employment you have, not just what income you get, when you apply for a loan. Your employment history gives them an indication... Read more

The best way to benefit from the First Home Owners Grant

First home buyers will be aware of the Queensland Government’s First Home Owner’s Grant. Builders are advertising it, and lots of lenders are promoting it too.

It certainly sounds like... Read more

Home Loan Pre-Approvals

Pre-Approvals, are they as helpful as they sound? Firstly, let’s just see what Pre-Approval actually means.

Lenders will tell you to apply to them for a pre-approval which sounds like... Read more

Buying Apartments & Units

Apartment living, especially in cities, is a modern, and often more affordable way of getting onto the property ladder. But I can’t stress enough how important it is to do... Read more

Open Home Etiquette—the do’s and don’ts

We would all like to think we have good manners, but when you haven’t done something before it can be confusing to know just what’s expected of you. Take looking... Read more

Family Guarantee

You could be mistaken for thinking that a family guarantee is some sort of Mafia loyalty pledge – but it’s actually a really smart way for first home buyers to... Read more

Renting to Buying — an easy step?

If you’ve made the decision to change from renting to buying your own home then congratulations! There are lots of benefits to owning your own home. Before you search for... Read more

Settlement Date!

There’s lots of jargon when you’re buying a home, and do you know what? You’ll only ever need to know what they mean when you’re going through the process. It... Read more

Computer says NO!

It’s just a line from the Little Britain comedy show, right? Wrong! Unfortunately it’s a part of everyday life these days. I think using technology to help make decisions is... Read more

Am I credit worthy? What you need to know

We hear lenders talk about ‘credit score’ or ‘credit rating’ and most of us know that it’s something to do with whether we’re likely to be able to get a... Read more

Redefining Good Vs Bad Debt

For decades, finance experts have described good debt as a debt to buy an appreciating asset such as a house or shares and bad debt is debt that doesn’t such... Read more

Donate to charity? You might have a gambling problem!

A client of mine, who regularly donated to charity for over 20 years, got a rude shock last week when a bank’s statement scanning software identified the client as a... Read more

Important Contract Clauses (Qld)—Finance Date

In Queensland, the Finance Date Contract Clauses refer to the period of time a buyer has to obtain formal finance approval for the purchase after entering a contract to buy... Read more

Can online dating improve your loan application?

First Home Buyer but still single? Hit the online dating scene to improve your chances of getting a loan. It’s simple mathematics, 1 person applying for a loan, 1 income... Read more

Lender Review—Liberty Financial

Founded in 1997, Liberty Financial provides a wide range of loans for your home, your car and business, as well as investments and products from other financial institutions. Liberty Financial... Read more

Understanding Your Credit File

Your Credit File is a report held with a credit reporting body (Equifax, Dun & Bradstreet or Experian) that contains information relating to your credit history. If you have ever... Read more

How many Avocado Smashes would $20,000 buy?

For those that missed the punchline, an Australian millionaire recently suggested millennials stop buying an Avocado Smash to save for a house deposit and his comments went viral around the... Read more

Important Contract Clauses—Cooling Off Period

The Cooling Off Period is the period after a buyer enters a contract to buy home or land in which the buyer can terminate the contract without having to provide... Read more

Family BBQs are the First Home Buyer's worst enemy

What would happen if we re-plumbed the house on advice from a doctor or if we committed to surgery on the advice of a driving instructor and what would happen... Read more

Comparison rates

A comparison rate is a tool to help consumers identify the true cost of a loan by reducing the costs of a loan—including interest & fees—into a single percentage rate... Read more

Top 5 useless tips to save a deposit

According to a recent newspaper article if you earn $150,000 p/a you can save $100,000 deposit in just 2 years. This is fantastic if you earn that sort of dough.
... Read more

Genuine Savings Vs Non Genuine Savings

Whether savings is genuine or non-genuine can sometimes make a difference between an approval or a decline but most of the time the biggest difference is more to do with... Read more

Lender Review—Virgin Money

Virgin Money Australia is an Australian financial services company owned by Bank of Queensland, and has 150,000 customers. In 2003, Virgin Money was launched in Australia with the launch of... Read more

Lenders Mortgage Insurance—FAQ

Lenders Mortgage Insurance is an insurance policy that pays the difference between the sale price of a property and the outstanding loan owed to a bank in the event of... Read more

Explaining the RBA cash rate with donut theory

So the cost of donuts has gone up $0.50 but before you write to your local member of parliament demanding a royal commission let’s have a think about the costs... Read more

100% Offset Account

A 100% Offset Account is a normal everyday transaction account that is linked to your home loan which can reduce the interest charged. A full offset means that 100% of... Read more

Focus on the fine print

Being a keen angler, I’m always on the lookout for new fishing gear. Spotting a facebook ad for a fishing shop ‘Closing Down – 50% off everything’ sale got my... Read more

How do Banks calculate interest?

Home loan rates are shown as an annual rate but are divided by 365 to get a daily rate (use 366 for a leap year). The daily rate is then... Read more

Introducing Lendfirst Home Loans, the low deposit experts

Lendfirst Home Loans (previously Australian Property Finance, Cairns) purpose is to assist undervalued low deposit and first home buyers find real solutions to buy their homes. First home buyers and... Read more

An unsuccessful debt reduction strategy

A client of mine, who we shall call Bob, earned an obscenely high amount of income, he drove a brand new BMW, always wore nice Italian suits and travelled overseas... Read more

5 reasons why pre-approvals are bad

A pre-approval of finance before shopping for a house is common for many buyers and recommended by many lending experts but applying for a pre-approval could ruin your chances when... Read more

Fixed or Variable—which is best for me?

In the great debate between fixed and variable rate loans there are those that are firmly planted in the always go variable and those that believe fixed rates are the... Read more

Are you a DIY borrower?

Everyone knows one, the obsessive ‘DIY’er. That one person who is so confident in their own ability that no-one, not even the experts can do a better job and do... Read more

Who really controls your interest rates?

Does the Reserve Bank really have control over home loan interest rates? Most believe the Reserve Bank has ultimate control over interest rates. Every month, mortgage holders anxiously await the... Read more

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