Finance advice

What the RBA wants you to know about changing from IO to P&I

By Sasha Karen
RBA

Despite the benefits of interest-only loans for investors, the regulatory measures imposed on investors and these loans mean that principal and interest loans are being considered more and more, according to the RBA. Here’s what it means for investors.

According to the RBA, about two-thirds of interest-only (IO) loans are set for expiration by 2020. During this time and over the next three years, $120 billion worth of interest-only loans will roll over to principal and interest (P&I) loans. What would this shift look like, and will it change the investing landscape?

Speaking at an industry briefing hosted by the Housing Industry Association (HIA), the RBA’s assistant governor, Christopher Kent, said that lenders are finding IO loans more and more of a risk to lend out, and as such are placing more scrutiny on those who apply for them.

In comparison, P&I loans have less scrutiny and can improve an investor’s chances of securing finance.

However, while borrowers would be paying less interest, the principal part would result in the changeover seeing an increase of approximately $7,000 per year on an average $400,000 loan.

“This is a non-trivial sum for the household concerned,” Mr Kent said.

The knock-on effect of this would be, according to Mr Kent, a relatively modest impact on cash flow according to this estimate, which assumes the cash rate will hold over a five-year period.

“Even so, there are a number of reasons why the actual cash flow effect is likely to be even less than this. More importantly, the actual effect on household consumption is likely to be lower still,” Mr Kent said.

How can investors moving from an IO loan prepare for P&I? According to Mr Kent, borrowers in such a position can:

Save additional money

By anticipating the move to pay off an overall higher loan, borrowers can save themselves some trouble by saving money to pay more off.

“Many borrowers make provisions ahead of time for the rise in required repayments. It is common for borrowers to build up savings in the form of offset accounts, redraw balances or other assets. They can draw upon these to cover the increase in scheduled payments or reduce their debt,” the RBA assistant governor said.

“Others may not even need to draw down on existing savings. Instead, they can simply redirect their current flow of savings to cover the additional payments. In either case, such households are well placed to accommodate the extra required payments without needing to adjust their consumption very much, if at all.”

He said that borrowers who have been on an IO loan for a while will have no or low accumulated offset or redraw balances, especially for investors, due to maximising tax-deductible interest.

“However, in comparison to households that only hold owner-occupier debt, there is evidence that investors tend to accumulate higher savings in the form of other assets (such as paying ahead of schedule on a loan for their own home, as well as accumulating equities, bank accounts and other financial instruments),” Mr Kent said.

Refinance their loan

Borrowers also have the option of refinancing their home loan for an investment property to an IO loan, or enter into a new, longer P&I loan, which can reduce the cost of required payments.

“Any such refinancing will reduce the demands on a borrowers cash flows for a time. However, it is worth noting that by further delaying regular principal repayments, eventually those repayments will be larger than otherwise,” Mr Kent said.

These options should be viable, as RBA data indicates those who cannot “are in the minority”.

“More importantly, most [borrowers] appear to be in a position to service the additional required payments. Indeed, the tightening of loan serviceability standards a few years ago was no doubt helpful in that regard,” Mr Kent said.

“Some fraction of interest-only borrowers may have used the reduced demands on their cash flows during the interest-only period to spend more than otherwise. However, the available data, and our liaison with the banks, suggest that there are only a small minority of borrowers who will need to reduce their expenditure to service their loans when their interest-only periods expire.”

Sell a property

In the worst-case scenario, if a loan is unmanageable, borrowers could also sell a property in order to repay it, but this situation is one that investors are not facing as much as owner-occupiers are, according to the assistant governor.

Mr Kent believes the move from IO to P&I loans is not grounds for thinking the tightening of IO loans by APRA were “unwarranted — far from it”.

“The tightening in standards starting in 2014 has helped to ensure that borrowers are generally well placed to service their loans,” Mr Kent said.

“The limit on new interest-only lending more recently has prompted a reduction in the use of those loans during a time of relatively robust growth of employment and still very low interest rates. In this way, it has helped to lessen the risk of a larger adjustment later on in what could be less favourable circumstances.”

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podcast

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Promoted by Blue Ink Finance.

Budgeting tips when your Personal Debt is High.

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Credit card debts and personal loans are the greatest obstacle between everyday people and their potential to live in financial freedom.

Of course, I understand that sometimes getting a small personal loan is absolutely necessary. Unexpected costs like medical expenses can make personal loans the only option.

However, the majority of us have debt simply because we spend more than we earn.

In either case, your number one priority is unlocking those chains of debt that are holding you back.

I’m going to give you some tips for budgeting with hefty personal debt, but first I want to talk about the impact those loans are having on your life.

How much is your debt really costing you?

Over the years that you’re paying off your loans at the minimum repayment, the interest on those items will end up costing you multiple times more than the original borrowed amount - and those endless due dates will haunt you. There’s no freedom in that!

Let me give you an example. You’ll be shocked, I guarantee it!

Let’s say you have around $4,000 of credit card debt, charged at 19.99% p.a. If you paid only the minimum monthly amount, it would take 37 years to pay off the total debt.

How much will that $4,000 debt cost you? $19,200. Depressing, isn’t it?

You might feel like you need a full-blown money explosion to get out of debt, but don’t despair just yet.

What you need to do is arm yourself with a strategic budget, and I’ve got some tips to help you.

Budgeting while you have hefty personal debt is tough, but possible – and it’s essential for eliminating that debt forever. Let’s have a quick look at how you can start to tackle that mountain of borrowed money.

It’s time to take charge and break some chains!

There’s a method for reducing debt that has an excellent success rate, if you’re committed:

  1. Make a realistic budget (and stick to it)
  2. Reduce your expenses and/or increase your income until you are in the black
  3. Save an emergency fund first
  4. Pay off your personal loans and credit cards, starting with the either the smallest debt first or the debt with the highest interest rate
  5. Revise your budget as you go along.

Why an emergency fund is paramount to success

You’ll see I’ve put saving an emergency fund before paying off your loans. Even a small amount initially, like $500, is enough to stop the cycle of borrowing to pay bills, then paying out even more in interest each month, which leaves less in the bank to pay the next bill.

Once you have a buffer saved, then you can start aiming some serious firepower on your debt, and that’s when it gets exciting!

Think back to my credit card example. If you upped the payments each month from $84 per month to $212, you would have the card paid off in two years and save $14,285 in interest. That’s worth a little bit of effort, wouldn’t you agree?

Tips for a budget that works

You may need to cut back drastically on your expenses to clear your debt, but here’s some other ways to make the most of your budget:

  • Find micro-ways to reduce your expenses every day. Make work lunches at home, cancel a pay TV subscription, find a better phone deal, or pass on your afternoon chocolate bar from the vending machine. Instead of spending $40 on a takeaway dinner, have a bowl of cereal!

  • Find a friend who will keep you accountable. Having someone else who shuns a pricey outing to the day spa for a walk along the beach instead will make you feel better about saying ‘no’ to expensive events that will blow the budget.

  • Refinance your home loan to release some funds. If you have a mortgage, talk to us at Blue Ink Finance about the possibility of refinancing your home loan to allow you to release some equity to help clear your high interest, personal debt. It’s not always the best strategy, but it’s worth investigating, especially if you can consolidate it into a home loan that has a significantly lower interest rate.

  • If your income increases, leverage it! The only place that extra money should go is into paying off more debt. Enough said!

  • Refine and polish your budget as your circumstances change. Your budget shouldn’t stay the same. As you find more ways to decrease your expenditure and become adept at sticking to your financial plan, fine-tune your budget to reflect your savvy saving. Any spare change goes directly onto your debt.

  • Automate payments of bills, so you don’t spend the money first. This saves you from late fees if you forget, too.

The reality is that you won’t have a profitable budget until you get rid of that high-interest debt. The beauty of a budget is that it can get you there! Knock the debt, stay away from borrowing except for assets like property, and you’ll have a well-oiled financial plan that kicks goals instead of paying lenders!

At Blue Ink Finance, we have a team of expert brokers as well as a panel of industry experts that understand all the nuances of positioning your personal finances to kick real goals with Property Assets and can support you in achieving your goals.

Give the team at Blue Ink Finance a call on 1300 888 796 or click here to request your Complimentary Finance Review with one of our experienced Finance Coaches now.

And see how having a panel of industry experts on your side, can fast track your property goals.

About The Author

David Wegener
Chief Executive Officer
Blue Ink Finance

Who I am, and why I want to help you succeed.

As an award-winning Mortgage Broker with nearly 20 years’ experience in the finance industry, I’ve seen it all.

I’ve gone through constant industry changes and yet I still successfully help my customers borrow the money they need to get ahead.

As a Finance Coach, my goal is to help you understand your financial potential so that you can borrow with confidence.

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Leveraging your Blue Ink Finance Broker for more than just a loan.
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With the softening market impacting property values in many parts of Australia, Sally Dale, Opteon state director for NSW, ACT and Qld joins us to discuss the importance of valuations in the current property market

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Joining host Phil Tarrant, Sally will draw on her 25 years of experience in valuation and discuss the processes involved in arriving at a value for a particular property. She will also share how that process differs between commercial and residential properties and the difficulties which regional property valuations can present.

Sally will unpack the importance and cost of regular valuations on your properties, discuss whether presentation and owner input can sway a valuation and share what you should look for when seeking a reputable property valuer.

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]nt.com.au for more insights!

RELATED AREAS OF INTEREST:

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AREAS MENTIONED: 

Sydney
Brisbane
Adelaide

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Can property presentation result in a higher valuation?
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A softening market can be a difficult time for a property investor with finance approval tightening and property capital growth slowing, and while many real estate agents are also feeling the squeeze McGrath Brighton Le Sands' Bill Tsounias claims it is simply the market returning to normal.

" ["fulltext"]=> string(2834) "

In this episode of the Smart Property Investment Show, Bill joins host Phil Tarrant to share his thoughts on the current Sydney property market, and to share the shifts that he has seen in house and unit sale prices following their worst quarter in the past decade.

Bill will unpack why properties are spending longer on market, share what he believes property investors are doing wrong when trying to sell their properties and share the secrets to getting the best out of a real estate agent and an auction in the current softening market.

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:

Why I still buy in Sydney
Property market update: Sydney, July 2018
Sydney rental market slowing, latest research finds

AREAS MENTIONED:

Revesby
South Hurstville
Sans Souci
Strathfield

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Top 100 ranked agent Bill Tsounias shares the secrets to getting the best deal in a softening market

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