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Mortgage Insider

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N her TE e N for TS Issue 1

Australia's only interactive mortgage magazine >> In this issue << • Take the 60 second home loan challenge • Wealth Warning ... Check your statements • Preparing to move • Adverse Credit Tips • How to protect your identity • 2 loans are better than 1 • Reverse Mortgage Explained • Decorating mistakes

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USEFUL LINKS Click on any of the links below to be taken to that web site. Take the 60 second home loan challenge - See if you'd qualify for a home loan. You can improve the value of your home using Equity+ software Mortgage and Finance Association of Australia Finance Brokers Association of Australia Australian Institute of Mortgage Brokers Oasis Home Loans - Australia's most awarded non-conforming mortgage brokers See if you'd qualify for a home loan all it will take is 60 seconds Credit Ombudsman Service Limited

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How to use Mortgage Insider The Mortgage Insider magazine is a true interactive magazine that allows you to get additional information when you need it. Whenever you see a story or a advert you'd like more information on, simply click on the blue information button that appears in it. You can read Mortgage Insider on line, print it or save it to your hard drive in .pdf form to read later. Even in .pdf form on your hard drive all the interactive buttons will still work. At the top of each page you'll see navigation buttons that will allow you to move quickly about the Mortgage Insider. The entire issue is searchable. You'll also find a full index of all editorial content on the Mortgage Insider's web site. The Mortgage Insider will be published monthly and contributions and feedback are more than welcome. As you can see, Mortgage Insider is a true interactive electronic magazine that aims to bring you information at the time you need it. Naturally you need to be on-line for the active information links to work. Be sure to check out the SUBSCRIBERS area on the Mortgage Insider website.

Contents

Mortgage Calculators

Editorial and advertising enquiries Tel: 02 4759-2799 Fax: 02 4759-2686 eMail: segrau@gmail.com Web: www.mortgageinsider.com.au Publisher SEGR Australia Pty Ltd abn: 25088879298

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NOTICE The information contained in this publication is for reference only and should not be relied upon in any why. The publishers of the Mortgage Insider and all contributors recommend that any person considering a mortgage in Australia should obtain independent legal advice.

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>> Click on a subject to be taken to that story << >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >>

60 Second Home Loan Challenge FBAA standards provides assurance Wealth Warning .. Check your banks statements 2 loans are better than 1 How to safely cut up your credit card Preparing to move Reverse mortgages explained How to protect your identity MFAA consumer advertising campaign Your can improve the value of your house What is a Finance - Mortgage Broker Are interest only loan a good idea Adverse credit tips Top 5 decorating mistakes and how to fix them

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60 second home loan challenge In a first for Australia, potential borrowers can now do 60 second assessment to see if they would qualify for a home loan. The web site offering this service calls it the "60 second home loan challenge". The My Home Loan Approval web site is not affiliated with any one lender or brokerage firm so users get a totally unbiased response. The challenge only takes 60 seconds and is provided FREE OF CHARGE and its use can be totally anonymous. On top of that, the assessment results are provided INSTANTLY.

may qualify for in a matter of seconds. The web site includes products like Reverse Mortgage, Lo Doc and No doc loans as well as fully featured mainstream bank loans. To take the 60 second home loan challenge click the blue information button to be taken to www.myhomeloanapproval.com.au Everyone who does the challenge is eligible to receive a complementary copy of the eBook. Mortgage Secrets Exposed.

There are products from over 170 lenders associated with the web site so borrowers get a pretty good idea about their chances of getting a home loan and how many products they

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Plan Before You Buy Purchasing a home is an emotional experience. Make sure to sit down with your mortgage broker and advisors and map out a strategy. Don't let just one aspect of the home drive your decision. Try to answer the following questions. •

Where would you like to live?

How far do I want to commute to work?

How far away are schools, shops and entertainment. In other words are you reliant on a car.

How much home can I afford? Get preapproved!

What type of home do you need to suit your family today and tomorrow?

Come out of this exercise comfortable with your area and your mortgage before you go ahead with the property purchase.

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Learn how you can improve the value of your home. Put $1,000s back in your pocket. Get a better sale price, a faster sale or a better valuation. wFor ww .im p r o v click e mthis y hsymbol o u s e v awhenever l u e . cyou o msee. ait.u information, more Mortgage Insider - Issue 1 - Page 4 of 20


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FBAA standards provide consumers with protection and assurance With approximately 40% of all mortgages today written through the broking channel, the responsibility of the accredited broker has never been greater. Peter White outlines the role of the FBAA and explains why, in a largely unregulated market, consumers should always seek to deal with an accredited broker. Having supported the development of the mortgage and finance broking industry for the past 15 years, a key role of the Finance Broking Association of Australia (FBAA) is to promote consumer confidence by ensuring its members are accredited, trained, and ethical and have the resources to conduct business in the most efficient way. The role of the FBAA in establishing member standards has been significant given the mortgage and finance broking industry is still largely unregulated. In an environment with little regulatory control, the industry has at times been brought into disrepute by the actions of rogue brokers. While 99% of brokers are legitimate, there's still a minority who aren't. It has been this small group who has impacted upon the Industryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s reputation and have, to an extent, hindered consumer confidence in trusting brokers to write mortgages and loans for them. As a result the FBAA is working with state and federal governments to formulate industry regulation. The FBAA also review regulatory models from around the world and advocates the inclusion of the best elements. This is a means of ensuring the industry is operating in line with international best practice but is also tailored to the Australian broking environment. A consumer who uses an FBAA member broker can be confident that they have the knowledge, resources and training to offer a superior service and are held to a National Proficiency standard by the Association.

The FBAA provides its members with an accreditation path through the Finance and Mortgage Industry Certification Agency (FAMICA). Members of FBAA can attain Certified Professional Finance Broker (CPFB) status which is identifiable for its high quality, knowledge, skills and ethical integrity. The certification process involves meeting certain criteria and ensures that the broker develops their knowledge and understanding, applied skills and personal attributes. The consumer can be confident that a CPFB upholds the highest professional standards and operates in a best practice and ethical manner. To become an FBAA member a broker must meet certain criteria and standards aside from certification. The FBAA provides the resources for its members to undertake continuing professional development and training so that brokers are abreast of industry developments and best practice procedure. An FBAA member will have to acquiesce to the disciplinary procedures put in place to reprimand any broker operating outside the association rules. For the consumer this means that an FBAA member broker will provide services in alignment with the FBAA procedures and therefore will be a credible operator. The FBAA offer its members the resources to be able to undertake their day-to-day commercial activities - from dispute resolution mechanisms, compliance information, police checks and identification verification, antimoney laundering safeguards and ongoing learning and development. The consumer can be confident that these resources will enable a broker to offer the highest quality services and provide protection against the impact of adverse issues. The FBAA promotes the use of its brokers to borrowers as a way to uphold industry standards and provide regulatory guidelines that otherwise would not be in place.

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In a widely unregulated industry, the FBAA provides operating guidelines and resources to support the progression and credibility of the industry. For the consumer this means better service and comfort in the fact that you are dealing with a broker that has met a certain standard and the consumer is ensured that an FBAA member broker will add value to the process. Peter White is the National Senior Vice President of the Finance Brokers Association of Australia.

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WEALTH WARNING: Bank Errors Could Be Costing You A Fortune. We Show You How To Find Them And Get Your Money Back. A study published in the Sydney Morning Herald discovered that chances are you are being overcharged on your home loan you don't even know about. This is not only unfair but insulting. This study found that .... • 54% of monthly bank statements contain errors. • 80% of errors favour the banks (that percentage has to make you suspicious). • The average monthly error is $242. As you can see the odds are NOT stacked in your favour so chances are your lender actually owes you some money.

"Find Errors In Your Statements Or They'll Give You ... $250 For Wasting Your Time." That is how confident the people at MortgageWatchdog.com.au are that you are sitting on errors in your statements. You get their software, check your statements and if there are no errors they will give you your money back PLUS another $250. MortgageWatchdog have over 11,000 and guess how many times people have found zero errors in their statements? Would you believe 6 times ... 6 times in over 11,000 people who have used their software to check their statements .. so you can see the chances of you not having errors in your statements is nearly impossible.

Why Would Anyone Think They Don't Have Errors In Their Statements? Have at look at some of their latest success stories.... "I have now been reimbursed the exact amount of discrepancy I had found using your program of $7,563.04 plus reimbursement of the cost of the package against my loan." - Ann-Maree Enders - Kingsley, WA. “Your software has uncovered overcharging by my bank to the tune of almost $1,300 just for the last two years. Like so many others, I had assumed the Bank would get the figures correct.” Mike V Bungendore, NSW "We found a discrepancy of $8,643.00 on our fixed loan and this has now saved us $33,000 over the life of our loan." - Mrs. Mackenzie - Logan QLD.

Special Discount for Mortgage Insider Readers As a special gift for our readers we have contacted MortgageWatchdog.com.au and asked if you could have a special discount on the software ... and the end result is that you have a 20% discount waiting there for you. This is not available through the front of their website, to receive the discount CLICK HERE. The best thing is that you still get their famous SuccessGuarantee - find errors in your statements or they refund you and give you an additional $250 for wasting your time. You can't get fairer than that can you?

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How to Correctly Cut up and Throw Away a Credit It may be a trivial topic, but with identity theft rampant, one can never be too cautious. Look at the credit card and be certain that this is the credit card that you want to cut up. Don't laugh; many have absentmindedly cut up their new credit cards! Identify the embossed card number on the front. Turn it over. Recognize that number is reproduced on the back with the addition of a three digit security code. Referencing the front of the card, cut three times. Once between the four groups of numbers. Snip, snip, and snip. Find the security code on the reverse side. Cut so that the embossed number and code are separated. Snip. Discard each of the five parts in a different receptacle. Preferably in different cities. But, distinctly different locations and at distinctly different times.

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ONLY! Be sure to check out the Mortgage Insider subscriber only area on the web site. Each month more information, features and special offers will be included.

TIPS Most people don't realize the importance of the three digit security code. It's used to prove that the card has been "seen". As most shredders are capable of cutting cards, it may be useful to purchase one. They can also be used to shred any other personal documents. You can also cut randomly, such as alternating cuts diagonally. Another good idea would be to take a sharp object (eg. knife, scissors, or even a paper clip end) and score the magnetic strip on the back. This will make your card difficult to read. Useful links in subscribers area.

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Preparing To Move Home Moving home can be a particularly time with so much to organise and remember, especially on the day of the move itself. The more planning you do in advance, then the smoother your move should go. Please read the following tips on preparing for your move so that come the big day you are ready. Draw Up A Plan Of Your Home Draw up a plan of your new home and clearly label each room. This will help your movers get to know the layout of your new home and to ensure they put each item or box in the correct room. Packing & Unpacking

Keep all important documents, especially ones relating to your new house, separate from your packing. Keep them with you at all times and never load them on the removal van or lorry.

Otherwise take care to wrap breakable items in newspaper and pack carefully using polystyrene chips or paper shreddings to help protect the items. Be careful not to overpack books as these are often heavy when in bulk.

Kitchen Appliances

Foodstuffs

These should all be disconnected/ cleaned/drained/dried/defrosted where required in advance of your move. To avoid damage, the drums of automatic washing machines must be secured with the proper brackets supplied by the manufacturer.

Ensure that all foodstuffs is packed and stored so that no spillages will occur. Be aware that foodstuffs are not allowed into storage.

Clothing Sometimes items of clothing can be moved on their hangers as removal

Decide well in advance whether you are going to do the packing and unpacking. If you want your removal company to arrange this for you then check that they offer they service and be prepared to pay extra for it. If you are going to do your own packing then get together as many strong containers and boxes as possible. Do not overfill them and clearly mark what is in each box and to which room in your new house it should go to. Dismantle Furniture Dismantle self-assembly furniture, take down any curtains and any other fittings you are taking with you long before the removal company arrives. You want to be ready for when they arrive to start packing the lorry or van immediately. Any kind of delay could lead to extra charges for exceeding the agreed hours. Attics & Lofts Ensure that all items from your attic and loft are packed and moved down into an accessible room. Removal teams will not always go into attics and lofts and having to do it on the day may result again in extra delays. Important Documents

By: Chris Marshall

Garages & Sheds Items from your garden and shed should be cleaned and prepared ready to move. Tools should be safely fastened so that they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t come loose. Flammable products are not permitted to be carried for insurance reasons. Moving Plants Wrap up your plants in newspaper to protect them during the move. Once in your new house place them in a warm place and do not unwrap until the moving process is completed. Personal Items

companies can often provide special wardrobe cartons for packing and moving. Also chests of drawers containing clothes can sometimes be moved without unpacking but check with your removal company first. Electrical Items

Make up a box of things that you will need for when you arrive at your new house (kettle, tea bags, mugs etc) and ensure that you transport this rather than the van or lorry. This means that once you arrive at your new house you will be able to get your hands on what you need without having to search for and through boxes.

Where possible store electrical items in the boxes that they came in. The record deck and the pick up arm of your record player should be secured for transit in accordance with the manufacturers instructions before the moving team arrive. Breakable Items Items such as China, glass,ornaments and books can be left in cupboards or shelves if you have the items being packed by the removal company.

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OASIS: The place to go when the bank says NO!

Sole parent? Deep in debt? OASIS can help you start again. When banks won’t!

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ife can deal some unpredictable cards—and you can suddenly face the loss of your home through illness, high consumer debt or unemployment. It’s hard not to panic when you think of your repayments on your home AND other debts. You may even have incurred defaults on your credit file, or bankruptcy. (So forget about help from the banks!) But why not talk to us, and we can show you how your increased equity in your home can help you survive. Here’s your way out: We find another mortgage that lets you consolidate ALL your debts: home, car and credit card repayments. We deal with so many lenders that we get you the LOWEST possible rate. Next, we help you clear your highinterest consumer debts. Result? You and your family get a fresh start with MANAGEABLE repayments.

Oasis Home Loans helped this single mother pay off her debts and make a fresh start. She says ... “At 45, I found myself alone, divorced and responsible for two teenage kids. I became very depressed ... I just went mad with spending. “Before I knew it, I had monthly repayments of over $4,000 on my house, car, credit cards and store cards. I did manage to get a new job that paid $1000 a week, but it didn’t leave us anything to live on. The banks wouldn’t help. “But Oasis did! They refinanced my mortgage to cover ALL my debts! They helped me pay off all the highinterest items (car, store and credit cards). Now my monthly repayments are less than half what they were before. Our future’s looking much brighter!”

www.oasishomeloans.com.au

Contact us NOW to find out how ...

Terms and conditions apply to approved persons only.

1800 - 4 OASIS

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Reverse Mortgages Explained By: Ken Charnly

Can't remember how many times I've been asked "What is a reverse mortgage"? Reverse mortgages are a great way to get a loan using your primary asset. As in all cases of financial lending, the flexibility comes at a price. A reverse mortgage is a loan using your house and is referred to as a "rising debt, falling equity" kind of deal. To compare reverse mortgage to a more traditional one, the type of mortgage commonly used when buying a house can be classed as a "forward mortgage". To qualify for forward mortgage, you must have a steady source of income. Because the mortgage is secured by the asset, if you default on the payments, your house can be taken from you. As you pay off the house, your equity is the difference between the mortgage amount and how much you've paid. When the last mortgage payment is made, the house belongs to you. On the other hand a reverse mortgage process doesn't require that the applicant have great credit, or even that they have a steady source of income. The major stipulation is that the house is owned by the applicant. Generally, there is also a minimum age required as well, the older the applicant, the higher the loan amount can be. As well, reverse mortgages must be the only debt against your house. Differing from a conventional "forward mortgage", your debt increases along with your equity. Instead of making any monthly payments, the amount

loaned has interest added to it - which eats away at your equity. If the loan is over a long period of time, when the mortgage comes due, there may be a large amount owed. Furthermore, if the price of your home decreased, there may not be any equity left over. On the flip side, if it was to increase, this could allow for an equity gain, but

this isn't typical of the marketplace. When deciding how to draw money from the reverse mortgage, there are a few options; a single lump sum, regular monthly advances, or a credit account. There are conditions in this kind of mortgage that would warrant the immediate repayment of the loan; the mortgage will be due when the borrower dies, sells the house, or moves out. Make sure you read the loan documents carefully to make sure you understand all the conditions that can cause your loan to become due. Anyone considering a reverse mortgage should obtain independent financial advice.

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Protect yourself from identity theft The Australian National Crime Prevention Program (NCP) has launched an information kit to help people prevent and respond to identity theft. The project forms part of NCP's priority work on public safety, using a wholeof-government approach. The kit contains information on the estimated costs of identity fraud, ways to identify how you might be vulnerable, and describes how to avoid becoming an identity theft victim. Identity theft is part of identity fraud, and specifically refers to the theft and use of personal identifying information of a person, as opposed to the use of a fictitious identity. This includes the theft and use of personal information of persons either living or dead. IDENTITY FRAUD Fraud is gaining a benefit by deception. Usually, but not always, such gains are financial. The cost of fraud is increasing both in Australia and internationally, and can be devastating to both business and individuals. Normal transactions involve only 2 parties â&#x20AC;&#x201D;you and the supplier. Identity fraud normally occurs when a third party uses deception to get a benefit. Identity thieves can appear like a legitimate customer and pass the procedures and tests that businesses and organisations use to verify clients' identities. This breach of procedure usually occurs in one of these ways: the creation and use of an entirely new fictitious identity for fraudulent purposes the unauthorised use of a identity stolen from a real person to gain a benefit.

IDENTITY THEFT - HOW CAN IT HAPPEN? Identity theft happens in a multitude of ways. It can range from somebody using your credit card details illegally to make purchases over the internet or telephone, through to having your entire identity assumed by another person. This could be to open bank accounts, take out loans, make tax returns and conduct other business illegally in your name. Identity theft can happen easily. Most often you will not even know you are a victim until well after the event has transpired, along with this the perpetrator may be known to you personally. WHAT ARE THE COSTS? With the rise and spread of globalisation, identity fraud has become one of the fastest growing crimes in the world. The rapid development of new technologies, telecommunications and internet access, and the growth in trade and the deregulation of financial markets have extended the reach of international fraudsters. Globally, false and stolen identities are being used in an expanding range of criminal and terrorist activities. The cost of identity fraud in Australia has been estimated at $1.1 billion for

2001-02. Although, this figure does not account the non-financial costs to organisations or victims, or undetected identity fraud. The figure therefore may be much higher.

HOW DOES A THIEF GAIN INFORMATION? Despite your best efforts, a determined thief may still be able to access your personal information. Here are some ways this can happen: Your wallet or purse contains personal information such as your licence, credit and ATM cards, Medicare card and other personal documents, that may be stolen. Your home is burgled and your personal information and documents, or those of close family members, may be taken. Many important documents are posted to you and can be stolen from your letterbox. For example, bank and credit card statements, new cheque books, ATM and credit cards, taxation returns or cheques, or pre-approved credit card offers. You may be unaware that these were sent to you if they do not arrive. Continued page 13

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Protect your identity continued from page 12 Your mail may be diverted to another address. It is simple for a thief to use a false identity and fill in a change of address form. Your rubbish (or that of businesses you have dealt with) may be searched. Information found in the garbage could provide a thief with a head start in stealing your identity. You may be the victim of a scam and be conned into providing personal information over the telephone or by email. Your personal computer may be hacked into, or hackers may get into the computers of businesses that hold your personal information. Your ATM or Electronic funds transfer point of sale (EFTPOS) transactions may be monitored by hidden devices or seen by the person next in the queue. Your password or PIN may be noted for subsequent unauthorised use. Your personal information may be stolen and used or sold by employees of legitimate businesses: for example, credit card skimming at retail outlets or restaurants (Credit card skimming occurs when your credit or EFTPOS cards are secretly 'skimmed 'with a small device that copies the information on the card 's magnetic strip. Your information can then be transferred to a blank credit card to be used without your knowledge). PREVENTING IDENTITY THEFT While it may never be possible to stop identity theft entirely, there are a number of very simple safeguards you can take to protect yourself from becoming a victim of this type of crime: Order a copy of your credit report regularly

Place passwords on important accounts Secure your personal information Don't carry personal information unless you have to Destroy personal information before disposal Avoid giving personal information out over the phone, by mail, or on the Internet Secure your mail Check your billing and account records regularly Limit the amount of credit you have in accounts Write cheques and fill out forms carefully List all account details Remove your name from mailing lists

PC when online Beware of unsolicited emails Do not follow up unsolicited emails Only conduct transactions with secure websites Wipe your hard drive Don't use public computers to access personal information ACTION AFTER THE THEFT Unlike other crimes, victims of identity theft may not know they are victims until weeks or months after the theft has occurred. Through what you do when you realise you are a victim of identity theft can minimise the damage and prevent further crimes being committed. This could be through: reporting to the police contacting the credit reporting agency reviewing your credit file carefully closing all accounts and correct your credit file keeping all documentation clearing criminal records Check the subscribers area for a great download.

SECURE COMPUTERS More and more people use computers and the Internet to communicate, store information, and conduct business. Your computer could be your weakest link in preventing theft of your identity. If you follow a few simple steps you can make identity theft via your PC more difficult:

Click here to put $1,000's back in your pocket. Learn how to improve the value of your home by using Equity+ software.

Use passwords Update your password Use the latest protection software Use a personal firewall to secure your

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MFAA CONSUMER ADVERTISING CAMPAIGN PROVIDES BORROWING ESSENTIALS The Mortgage & Finance Industry Association (MFAA) is providing 40 essential borrowing tips for homebuyers and business borrowers when it launches a national consumer awareness and advertising campaign today. Central to the campaign is an educational consumer website www.essentialsofborrowing.com.au which provides useful information on home and business loans including loan basics, first home buyers, refinancing and managing a mortgage plus business finance. An online and print advertising campaign aims to drives borrowers to the site. MFAA chief executive officer, Phil Naylor, said “the number one essential when borrowing, is to always borrow through an MFAA member. This is the core message of the campaign as our members must satisfy rigorous criteria on education, experience and ethics.” “Online was the most targeted option for the MFAA. Our latest consumer research showed 62 per cent of borrowers use the internet to research home loans. Print is the next most relevant media, with 39 per cent using newspapers and 25 per cent using magazines. “Consumers are increasingly relying on the Internet for financial information, and as such we have finetuned our communication efforts to address online audiences.” Mr Naylor said “with millions of dollars spent on advertising each week by financial institutions and disparate target audiences, our consumer awareness activities had to be tactical and tightly focused. Our audiences are united only by the fact that they are looking to borrow.

“Most online advertising activity will be on the top two property sites. Effectively cheaper costs of online advertising will allow for extended periods of highly targeted activity, supported by bursts of print advertising. “Budget constraints also mean we cannot afford to focus on the entire borrowing decision process – we have to reach the customer at the closest point to their decision to borrow.” The first phase of the strategy, also includes a consumer website, search engine optimisation and marketing, public relations, eMarketing, affiliate marketing and viral marketing. “Another approach of the campaign is to harness the power of word of mouth through closer communication between MFAA broker members and a referral network that includes real estate agents and financial planners,” Mr Naylor said “This is an important focus as research shows almost 60 per cent of people find a loan provider through a word of mouth recommendation.” Mr Naylor said the campaign’s key messages will resonate more with the least financially confident, who are also more open to abuse by unethical providers. “It is important that we improve consumers knowledge of borrowing and educate them on the benefits of using MFAA members,” he said.

as what mortgage options are available, fees and other additional costs and things you should ask your broker.” The website has five different case studies on it where real borrowers talk about their different borrowing experiences when using an MFAA member. The case studies feature first time buyers, next time buyers, reverse mortgage and construction loans.

“Increasing consumer financial literacy is an objective of the financial services sector. The educational element to the campaign aims to raise awareness of the many aspects of borrowing such

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You can improve your house value and regain your equity! Are you thinking of re-financing or selling your house? If you are, then you are in the hands of a property valuer either through your bank or through the purchaser’s bank. Either way it’s essential that you understand that it is possible to get a better valuation and Equity + can show you how. Equity+ software is more than a multi platform software program that allows shows any homeowner how to improve the value of their home either for re-finance or property sale. Equity+ comes with a number of integrated resources to assist in your re-finance or selling process. On 6th October 2005 the Sydney Morning Herald when talking about the Valuer General reported “One in 10 valuations was out by more than 40 per cent, a pretty handy margin of error”. The developers of the Equity+ package understand how valuers and real estate agents work and have adapted the Equity+ to maximise your house’s valuation potential. When Equity+ is used in conjunction with supporting resources that are supplied, every user will have greater control over regaining their lost Equity. In fact, Equity+ guarantees a better valuation or sale price every time and that could mean many thousands of dollars in your pocket. Think of it. An increase in the sale or valuation price of your house of just 2 or 3% could mean more than $10,000 in you pocket.

of your home for re-sale or refinance. Equity+ could allow you to borrow more and in some cases pay no Lenders Mortgage Insurance - LMI which will save you $1,000's.

Equity+ could mean the difference between getting a loan or missing out.

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Equity+ could give you reason to celebrate when you improve the value

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WHAT IS A MORTGAGE FINANCE BROKER? Brokers are now the number one choice for consumers who are seeking a home loan or to refinance their existing loan. Businesses too use finance brokers to help them with their finance needs from car and equipment leasing to loans to help their businesses expand.

WHAT BROKERS DO Brokers work with clients to determine their borrowing needs and ability, select a loan suited to their circumstances and manage the process through to settlement. Some benefits of using a broker: • They do all the legwork • Wider range of loans • More flexible • Greater expertise as they focus on loans only TYPES OF BROKING Brokers can specialise in areas such as: • Residential Loans/Mortgages • Reverse Mortgages/Equity Release • Equipment Leasing • Chattel Finance • Car and personal loans • Business Loans • Debtor Finance ª Commercial Property Finance PANEL OF LENDERS Brokers can only offer loans from the lenders they are

accredited with. They call this their panel of lenders. Lenders will normally range from the large banks through to specialist non-bank lenders and mortgage managers. The size of a panel of lenders will vary from broker to broker. You can ask to view your broker’s panel. HOW BROKERS ARE PAID In most cases residential brokers are remunerated by Ongoing education to maintain the lender and receive an accreditation upfront commission and a trailing commission on the loans Probity checks they settle. Professional indemnity The normal practice for insurance commercial, equipment and Membership of an external general finance brokers is that dispute resolution service they enter into a mandate or agreement with the commercial LEGAL REQUIREMENTS FOR BROKERS or business borrower which provides for a fee to be paid by There is currently no national the borrower to the broker for regulation for brokers. However, sourcing their required finance. some state laws and regulations WHY USE AN MFAA MEMBER

exist, such as:

MFAA members must adhere to the industry Code of Practice which required high professional standards, fair business practices, ethical behaviour and compliance with both the letter and the spirit of the relevant laws and regulations – all in the interest of you, the borrower.

Brokers are required to hold a licence in Western Australia

MFAA sets the highest standards in the industry for its members: Industry experience

Brokers are required to be registered in the ACT A finance broking contract (FBC) has to be signed in NSW and Victoria between the broker and the borrower before the broker can approach the lender on your behalf. The FBC ensures brokers fully disclose all details of the loan transaction, including any monetary or nonmonetary benefits they receive.

Education standards

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Are Interest Only Mortgages A Good Idea? By: Peter K

If you are looking for a home but you know that paying a mortgage will be a severe drain on your finances, then perhaps you should look at getting an interest only mortgage. If you are unsure about what an interest only mortgage is and how it can help you, then this article can provide you with some useful tips on getting an interest only mortgage.

that if you are hoping to pay off the capital by switching to a repayment mortgage later on, you will be paying

If you are going to take out an interest only mortgage, make sure that the funding method you use is safe, and that you have contingency plans if the fund is insufficient to pay back the capital. If you do this, then getting an interest only mortgage can be a great way of keeping your payments low whilst you improve your income.

What is an interest only mortgage? An interest only mortgage is a mortgage where you only pay back the interest on the loan, and none of the capital debt is repaid directly. Once you get to the end of the mortgage term, you will pay back the capital payment in full. Traditionally in Australia Interest Only loans have applied to loan that fall outside the Consumer Credit code and tended to be for period of 12 or 24 months. In more recent times main stream lenders now offer interest only as a option for more conventional long term loans. How do you pay back the capital? If your loan is a for a fixed period the the capital is repaid as part of the refinance on your property or upon the sale of the property. What is the advantage of this? Your interest only payments will normally be be lower each month and so if you cannot afford to pay a lot each month at the moment, an interest only mortgage might be a good idea. Are there risks? Of course, there are a number of potential risks of getting an interest only mortgage. The first problem is

back a lot more money than if you started on a repayment mortgage. Although you may find it hard right now, getting a repayment mortgage to start with might be a better option.

Adverse Credit Home Loan Tips No longer does having bad credit mean you can't get a home loan. Today, there are a number of lenders who are happy to consider applicants who have a bad credit history. If you do have a poor credit history, the best thing you can do is be open and honest with your broker. By disclosing everything it means a lender considering your application can make an informed decision about your circumstance and capacity to repay the loan. Lenders who provide what are called "non conforming" loans set their interest rates at a "rate for risk". In other words, the greater the risk they believe you are, the higher the interest rate is likely to be. So before you decide you'll never qualify for a home loan have a talk to your mortgage broker and explain your circumstance. You might also want to visit www.myhomeloanapproval.com.au and see if there is a loan for you.

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OASIS: the place to go when the bank says NO!

Struggling to keep your business afloat? Banks won’t help, but Oasis Home Loans will! t’s not much fun when you’re juggling your business expenses AND trying to pay off your mortgage—and the phones are constantly ringing with creditors chasing you for money.

I

Mortgages are usually the largest payment you make each month. Refinancing with the right loan product, you could end up paying less per month ... even reduce the term of your loan!

Money worries like this certainly don’t help your relationships with family or friends! In fact, it’s tempting to just walk away from everything!

Consolidating your debts will also ...

But before you walk ... We know that life can be tough. You can get into tight financial situations through no fault of your own.

• Take some of the pressure off higher interest rates from your personal loans and credit cards; • Give you more flexible finance options, such as using your existing property equity for other purposes.

Hey, we’ve been there too, at times! It’s one reason why we’re so good at what we do. We know how you must feel. At Oasis Home Loans, we’ve helped many people who are in your exact situation! We know how demeaning and embarrassing it can be to ask the big lenders for help—and be knocked back. But you deserve to have your situation untangled. And usually it CAN be, especially with the will to succeed that we bring to tough cases.

Refinancing may be your answer! By refinancing—which means packaging your current repayments from all your debts into one convenient payment—has helped many people.

Ask us NOW!

1800 4 OASIS www.oasishomeloans.com.au

When things look hopeless, a little discussion will often reveal an answer that may be right in front of you! At Oasis Home Loans, we revel in challenges!

*Fees and conditions apply—to approved persons only

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The top 5 Home Decorating DON'TS and how to fix them By: Stacey Wiktorek

It’s happened to anyone who has spent time decorating a room. You put in tons of blood, sweat, and tears (not to mention money) designing a room with the perfect color scheme, the perfect furniture, the perfect window treatments -- only to find it’s lacking that certain something. A common design mistake could be the culprit. But don’t lose hope. For every design mistake, there is a lesson to be learned, and an even better home design to be achieved. So, we’ve collected some of the most common design mistakes and some creative ways to fix them.

Design Mistake #1: Bad Lighting Let’s face it, no matter how trendy your color scheme, no matter how fashion forward your furniture, if you can’t see it (or if the lighting is so poor it alters the look), you can’t appreciate it. How to Fix It: First of all, make sure your free lighting accessory (the sun) is getting through. Effective window treatments that combine fashion and function are key in this solution. Any shade or blind that allows you to control incoming light is going to help you out here: sheer shades with horizontal or vertical vanes that can be adjusted are one solution. Plantation shutters also offer a classic look, with the ability to control the light that comes through. Also, try not to ever limit any room to a single light source. Add floor and table lamps, even when there is an overhead light fixture. This will not only give you more resources for brightening the room, it will also give

you more options for changing the ambience, as you can play with the number of lights you have on at once.

Design Mistake #2: Looking Up to Your Art For some reason, many people try to balance out a room by placing their wall artwork high above their furniture. However, instead of balancing the room, it makes the pieces appear as though they are “floating”, achieving a disorganized effect instead of a “put together” one. How to Fix It: Wall decor should relate to the furniture below it. Some designers suggest that there should be about 2m from your floor to the top of any hanging wall artwork or pictures. Of course, there are exceptions with larger pieces, but this is a good rule of thumb that will help you keep your wall decor from floating away.

Design Mistake #3: Everything Matches! While we’re not suggesting clashing colors and furniture is in, too much matching can actually be a design nightmare. When everything matches exactly, a viewer’s eye is not drawn to any one thing in particular, which can make the room appear dull. How to Fix It: Coordinate, don’t duplicate. When choosing accessories, furniture, and colors, pick items that will blend well together but do not repeat themselves. Use the same color family, but not the same exact color. And don’t be afraid to mix patterns with solids for a more subtle effect.

Design Mistake #4: Choosing Quantity over Quality

design mistakes, and often results in over furnishing, over accessorizing, and way too many knick-knacks. It works against a unified look for a room, as every space becomes crowded with tiny accessories and picture frames. In moderation, these accessories accent a room – but their overuse can make a room feel crowded, cramped, and disjointed. How to Fix It: But what you love, and only buy it because you love it, not because it’s on sale. (Admit it, we’ve all done it) And if you can’t afford that gorgeous large wall hanging yet, don’t purchase small candle holders and picture frames instead. Wait and save up! Your room decor will thank you for it.

Design Mistake #5: I Just Want to Get it Done! Home decorating takes time, exploration and research, but too often people make decisions too quickly, without testing the possibilities or researching various options. This can lead to paint colors that don’t look right (they can often look different in the natural lighting of your home), or even worse, an ignoring of your own personal style in an effort to get it done. How to Fix It: Test, explore, and research! And when you’ve done all that, listen to your gut! Home decor magazines are a great place to start your research. There are also a variety of online tools that can help. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule, and perhaps even in this, some home design rules are made to be broken. So use these as guidelines as you embark on your home design projects! •

This is one of the most common

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