Finance advice
Helen Collier-Kogtevs

7 things you didn’t know about your mortgage

By Helen Collier-Kogtevs

You may have done your due diligence before you signed on the dotted line, but there are some secrets that could have you laughing all the way to the bank.

Blogger: Helen Collier-Kogtevs, managing director, Real Wealth Australia

Mortgages are part and parcel of home ownership. These loans can stretch out for 30 years and could see you paying twice as much for your property in the end.

However, there are some little secrets that can help you beat your mortgage. Surprisingly, several of these tips come straight from your lender. So let’s shed some light on a few things you may not know about your mortgage:

1. In the beginning, you’re mostly paying the interest on your loan

Initially, if you have a principal and interest loan, the majority of your repayments are paying back the interest portion of your loan, with only a little going towards knocking down your principal. As your loan term goes on, more of your repayments go towards the principal portion.

That’s why extra repayments right from the beginning are so important: they pay down your principal earlier, which reduces the amount of interest you’ll pay overall.

Here’s an example to show you how effective these extra dollars are:

Let’s say your mortgage is $430,000 and the interest rate remains at 6 per cent over the term of the 30-year loan. By throwing an extra $50 a week at your mortgage, you would cut 5.5 years off the term and save a whopping $106,500 in interest.

2. Paying weekly instead of monthly will shorten your loan term

When you pay weekly, you’ll make more payments per year and continually reduce your principal, which equates to paying less interest over the life of your loan.

3. You can negotiate a discount

Did you know you can negotiate a better deal with your lender? Find out what other lenders are offering and don’t forget to check out credit unions and building societies too, who often throw extra features into the package.

Then it’s a matter of approaching lenders to see if there’s wiggle-room in the interest rate or payment terms. You might be surprised by your bartering power!

4. You can use bank accounts to offset your loan

An offset account is the simplest and most effective method lenders give you to pay down your mortgage faster. Your offset account acts as your regular transaction account with all your incoming and outgoing monies, but every dollar in that account acts as a ‘payment’ on your loan.

If you had a $300,000 mortgage and $50,000 in a 100 per cent offset account, interest would only be applied to $250,000 of your loan. That equates to some nifty savings, with no effort required on your part!

5. Loan packages with money-saving extras

Shop around a bit and you’ll see that some lenders package their loans with extras that you can use to your advantage. These might include fee waivers, credit cards with no annual fees, and discounts on home insurance.

If you can trust yourself with it, a credit card is a very effective tool when combined with your offset account, because you can use it to buy all your day-to-day expenses and pay it off before the end of the interest-free period each month.

That leaves the maximum amount of money in your offset account for the maximum amount of time, which lowers your principal.

See how easy it is to use what the lenders give you to your advantage? Of course, if you can’t be trusted with a credit card, then it’s best to leave it at the bank!

As I always say, if you can’t afford to pay off your credit card in full each month, then you can’t afford your credit card at all.

6. You can get a refund on your Lenders Mortgage Insurance

If you’ve had to pay LMI because your loan is more than 80 per cent of the value of the property, you can request a refund if the loan is paid out in the first two years (say, if you refinance or sell your property). The refund can be anywhere between 20 per cent and 40 per cent of the LMI amount. But you won’t get it if you don’t ask – and 99 per cent of people don’t know they can ask!

7. Lenders are counting on you to forget about your mortgage

If you pay your mortgage off the way banks want you to (monthly, minimum payments over three or so decades) you’ll likely pay double the value of your loan. Out-smart the banks by using these tips to pay down your loan smarter and faster.

Stay informed and keep an eye on your mortgage, interest rates, current marketplace trends and lender incentives. By being diligent, you can shave years – and thousands of dollars – off your loan amount.

Until next time, happy investing!

NEWSLETTER
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About the Blogger

Helen Collier-Kogtevs

Helen Collier-Kogtevs

Helen Collier-Kogtevs is the founder of Real Wealth Australia. She is a self-made millionaire who built wealth with her property investment expertise. Over the years she has pioneered Property Mentoring Programs dedicated to helping ordinary Australians to create property portfolios using her disciplined, low risk and systematic approach. She has written several bestselling books, has been interviewed on TV, radio and published in the largest publications in Australia.

FROM THE WEB

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In this episode of the Smart Property Investment Show, Dominique Grubisa joins host Phil Tarrant to share her personal story which saw her hit rock bottom with excessive debt during the GFC.

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Dominique unpacks how, by relying on her background in law, she was able to overcome that debt and in doing so develop a unique investment strategy which she believes many can utilise today.

Dominique discusses distressed properties, and how she goes about finding them in order to buy property well below market value. She shares the process of identifying distressed properties as well as the controversy surrounding this buying method.

If you like this episode, show your support by rating us or leaving a review on iTunes (The Smart Property Investment Show) and by following Smart Property Investment on social media: FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

If you have any questions about what you heard today, any topics of interest you have in mind, or if you’d like to lend your voice to the show, email [email protected] for more insights!

RELATED AREAS OF INTEREST:

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More than just bricks and mortar, experts often regard property investment as a ‘game of finance’. As such, a good finance strategy can lead any investor to success.

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Tune in to the latest episode of Property Showcase, the podcast with the inside track on the products and businesses that will help turbocharge your portfolio, maximise returns and make your overall investment experience seamless and stress-free!

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To hear more about these services, make sure to tune into this episode of Property Showcase!

 Make sure you never miss an episode by subscribing to us now on iTunes!

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    In this episode of Property Showcase, Michael Beresford joins editor of Wealth James Mitchell to unpack why recent political changes are not reason for concern for Australian investors.<\/p>\r\n

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Many investors who would have been successfully approved for finance last year are struggling now to either begin or continue their property investment journey because of the current financial climate.

In this episode of the Smart Property Investment Show, broker John Manciamelli and Momentum Media director Alex Whitlock joins host Tim Neary to discuss how APRA changes and the royal commission have resulted in a tighter lending economy and what that means for Australian investors.

They discuss what traps investors should avoid if they are trying to obtain finance, the four key growth drivers in a property market and unpacking trust structures while revealing one type of trust that you should miss.

If you like this episode, show your support by rating us or leaving a review on iTunes (The Smart Property Investment Show) and by following Smart Property Investment on social media: FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

If you have any questions about what you heard today, any topics of interest you have in mind, or if you’d like to lend your voice to the show, email [email protected] for more insights!

RELATED AREAS OF INTEREST:

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AREAS MENTIONED:

Hobart
Bondi
Deception Bay

 

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More than just bricks and mortar, experts often regard property investment as a ‘game of finance’. As such, a good finance strategy can lead any investor to success.

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Getting finance approved in this tightening lending environment

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