Skip to Content

Blog Archives

Top Six Reasons why your home loan might be declined

Top Six Reasons why your home loan might be declined

You’re ready to buy a home, but you can’t find a lender who will approve your home loan.  While this might seem discouraging and frustrating, it is not necessarily the end of your dream to become a home owner. Once you know the reason that you are considered a bad risk, you can improve your eligibility. Usually, it just takes a little more time and to improve your eligibility.

Here are the top six reasons lenders might decline your loan application:

Low deposit

If you can only place a small down payment on the property of your dreams, the lender might conclude that you are not financially prepared to take on the long term responsibility of a home loan. The lower the deposit, the more you need to borrow, creating a higher risk for the lender. A larger deposit not only lowers your repayments, it also demonstrates your long-term financial commitment.

Bad credit

Again, if you have a poor history of paying bills or repaying credit card loans for frivolous items, a lender is not going to trust you to pay off a home loan. Clean up your act by settling your debts and paying off credit card bills promptly, so you come across as a more realistic prospect for lenders.

Employment history

Lenders will be looking closely at your employment history to confirm whether you have steady employment and a regular income. If you have only been employed in your current role for short time or if you have been self-employed for less than two years, you will be perceived as a higher risk and your loan application may be declined on these grounds. If you are currently unemployed, your chances of being approved are extremely low, as you cannot repay a home loan if you do not have a viable income – and do you want that additional financial stress while you are out of work?  Once you have a steadier employment history, lenders will look at you more favourably

Your age

It might seem unfair, but your age can count against you when you are applying for a home loan. If you are extremely young, lenders might be concerned that you won’t commit to the long term responsibility of paying off a home loan. If you are older and close to retirement age, they might assume you won’t have the income to manage home loan repayments. You can counteract this impression by demonstrating to the lender that you have a solid plan in place and that you are committed to repaying the loan.

You want a unique property

When you want to purchase a unique or unusual property, your potential lender will be looking ahead to when you want to sell it. When a property falls outside the mainstream, there is a limited market of potential buyers, so your lender will be wary of investing in a property that may not sell easily.

Already applied to a lot of lenders

If a lender can see you have already sent out a lot of applications and been knocked back every time, they might save themselves the effort of further research and decide that you are a bad risk. When you are knocked back by a lender, ask them why they turned down your application, then fix the issue before trying again.

For more information about how you can secure a home loan, contact us today, so we can help you follow the right path towards owning your home.

0 3 Continue Reading →

How to calculate your borrowing power

How to calculate your borrowing power

One of the most important factors in your home ownership journey is the amount of money you can – or should borrow. You want to borrow enough that you can purchase the right property for your needs, yet you don’t want to end up out of your depth in debt.

Most lenders rely on their own variation of a basic formula to calculate your borrowing power. They look at six elements of your financial situation – gross income, tax, existing commitments, new commitments, living expenses and buffer – to calculate your monthly surplus. This formula gives a good overview of your level of financial security, and tells lenders how much you are able to pay back each month. If you assess yourself based on a similar formula, you can have a realistic idea of how much you can borrow and whether you need to save and prepare a little more first.

So how do all these elements combine to assess your borrowing power?

Gross income

The lender will look at all your sources of income to calculate your gross income. Sources include your base income, overtime, a two-year history of any bonuses, commission (if you have been receiving a regular ongoing amount for at least one or two years), any regular payments from a family trust and any rent derived from investment properties. If you have children under the age of 11, the lender will also include any Family Tax Benefits A & B.

Tax and Medicare

Your tax and Medicare expenses will be calculated to assess how these costs reduce the amount of your gross income.

Negative gearing benefits

If you already have investment properties and incur benefits through negative gearing, the lender tend to increase the amount of the potential loan.

Your new mortgage

When calculating how much your new loan repayments will cost, the lender will slightly increase the interest rate by about 1% to 3% to create a buffer against future interest rate rises. If you are purchasing an investment property, they will sometimes calculate an even higher interest rate, depending on the current market.

Your current financial commitments

Your ability to pay off your loan will be affected by your other financial commitments, such as ongoing debts and living expenses. Lenders will look at your existing mortgages, credit cards and personal loans to determine your financial status. Credit cards will be assessed as if you owe the maximum limit, not on how much you currently owe. And the lender will also calculate on a slightly higher interest rate. If you are living rent-free with a family member, the lender will calculate in a hypothetical rental payment to allow for a change in your circumstances.

You can present your lender with your own estimate of your living expenses; your lender will compare this amount to their own calculation of the minimum expenses for a family of your size. They will use the higher figure to make their estimation.

The buffer

The lender will add a hypothetical expense as a buffer against any unexpected expenses that could affect your ability to repay the loan. The purpose of the buffer is to ensure that you are borrowing slightly less than you can currently comfortably afford.

Surplus or shortfall? 

Once the lender has calculated each expense, they will deduct these expenses from your gross income. If the expenses are greater than your gross income, the result will be a shortfall. If you are living within your income, the result will be a surplus – extra money that can be used to pay off a loan. A surplus is a good first step to securing a loan, although the lender will also take into account factors such as your employment history, your credit score, and your savings before making a decision.

You can use this method yourself to calculate your own surplus so you have a good idea how you can manage loan repayments once you purchase a property. This is an excellent exercise in getting a strong grasp on your budget and working out ways you can make your money work for you more effectively.

For assistance in calculating your borrowing power, contact us today.

0 5 Continue Reading →

How to choose the right property for you

Your home is perhaps the biggest investment of your life – particularly as it is not just a financial investment, you are also investing in your future lifestyle. Yet many people have a tendency to “fall in love” with a particular property, and they forget to remain logical in their thinking. As a result, they find themselves owning a property that does not suit their current lifestyle or their future financial plans.

So how do you choose the right property for you?

Find a property that fits your real-life needs, not your dream lifestyle

You might have fantasies of living by the beach or in a small inner-city unit within walking distance of all the pubs and cafes, but how will this choice fit your budget and your long-term lifestyle? Your first home should fall within your budget and it should be compatible with your work and family life. There is no point purchasing a dream property that requires a two-hour commute to work or takes up all your spare money reducing your quality of life.

Is it a good investment for you?

Investigate the economic possibilities of the location and the property itself to see how it will appreciate over time.  Also consider how the property will grow alongside your lifestyle choices – perhaps you want to “flip” the investment property by doing a few renovations and selling for a profit, or perhaps you want to live for a few years in a small house before extending the property to make room for a family. Whatever your plans, your property is an investment tool that you can use to provide for your future.

Is the property value accurate?

If you fall in love with a particular property, you may trick yourself into wanting to spend more than necessary just to “win” it. However, it is important to check that you are paying what the property is actually worth. Look at the purchase history of the property and neighbouring properties to see how their value has appreciated, and how much they are all perceived to be worth now. Consider what needs to be done to the property in terms of renovations or repairs in order to make it right for your purposes.

Will you need a home loan?

Before you commit to a property, look carefully into the financial aspect of the deal. Find out how much you will need to borrow in order to secure the property, and whether you can still maintain your quality of life while paying off the loan.

If you need assistance working out how to find the right property for your lifestyle and budget talk to us today

0 1 Continue Reading →

Which is the Right Home Loan For You

Which is the right home loan for you?

There are a bewildering variety of home loans available, and it can be confusing to figure out which type of home loan is the best for your circumstances. However, when you know the pros and cons of each type of loan, you can make a decision that will fit best with your financial situation.

Fixed rate home loan

A fixed home loan offers an interest rate that is fixed for a set period of time – usually 1, 3 or 5 or 10 years. The key benefit is the ability to budget, knowing exactly how much your repayments will cost each time. However, a fixed loan doesn’t have the same flexibility as other loans – you will encounter restrictions if you want to make additional repayments, such as fees or capping to a low amount. You might also be disappointed if interest rates drop dramatically and you are still paying the same fixed rate.

This is a good option if you want to make steady regular payments and you intend to stay in your current home throughout the term of the loan. It is not such a good option for someone who wants to move to another property in the foreseeable future, or who wants to cut down on the term of their loan.

Variable rate home loan

A variable home loan is far more versatile, with the option of making extra payments at no extra cost, enabling you to pay the loan off sooner. Your loan might also offer unlimited redraws, so you can access money in an emergency. Another positive feature is the offset account, a transaction account linked to your mortgage account which reduces your interest payable.

This is a good option if you want to invest the maximum into your mortgage, with the freedom to redraw in an emergency. However, as the interest rates will vary from payment to payment, it is not such a good option if you struggle to budget for unpredictable changes in the loan repayments.

Split loan

The split loan offers the advantages of both fixed and variable loans. You can split your loan into any proportion you wish – 50/50 or 80/20. One of the benefits of the split loan is that payments will gradually decrease, as the steady fixed rate payments lower the amount of the loan, so that the variable payment is proportionally lower at times when interest rates rise.

Interest only loan

With an interest-only loan, you pay only the interest on the loan for the initial term, usually from one to five years. Your monthly repayments are considerably lower, although this is because you are not reducing the principal of the loan. At the end of the interest-only term, your repayments will rise as you must start paying both interest and principal.

This can end up being an extremely expensive option if you are not sure what you are doing. However, investors tend to choose interest-free loans, as they can take advantage of low repayments over a set period before they resell the investment property.

Low Doc

The low doc loan has lower requirements for proof of income and credit rating, yet they also require a higher deposit and charge higher interest rates.  For someone with an unstable credit history or employment background, the low doc loan will be difficult to pay off. While this option can be popular with self-employed people, who don’t have the same level of documentation to prove their income, the excessively high-interest rate generally makes it a bad long term choice. If this is your only option for a loan, your best alternative might be to wait until you can be approved for a different type of loan.

If you need help figuring out the best home loan option for your circumstances, contact us today.


0 1 Continue Reading →