Finance advice
Cash flow is key, securing finance, key with dollar sign

Securing finance after life-changing events: ‘Cash flow is key’

By Bianca Dabu

Every investor wants to establish themselves as a good borrower so banks and lenders let them access funds for the growth of their portfolio. It's an easy enough task as long as you maintain good cash flow and manage your debts well, but what happens when you're hit by life-changing events—loss of job, illness, divorce or death?

Rethink Investing’s Son Pham describes a good borrower simply as someone who never misses a repayment and generally avoids bad credit.

Working for a property investing company, Mr Pham noticed that investors are especially keen on maintaining good serviceability to achieve their wealth-creation goals, according to him.

According to the mortgage expert: “If you are an investor, you've got your goals. You know what you want to do and you want to make sure that you can continue that. You don't want to do anything to damage your ability to borrow.”

However, certain life-changing events may affect your long-term plans, including losing your job, divorce and separation, illness in the family or death in the family.

These events will definitely hit your personal finances and, similarly, your ability to access funds for your investments.

Having said that, even if the possibilities are one in a million, Mr Pham strongly encouraged investors and homeowners alike to incorporate these events when planning for their investment journey and discuss them with their mortgage broker in order to minimise the negative effects on themselves and other parties involved.

Borrowing after life-changing events

All of these life-changing events will ultimately affect your health and relationships so the first real step in dealing with them is to look after yourself and discuss the changes with your family and other people who might be able to help.

Within the next few months, sort out your finances. Determine the savings you have and the expenses you will have to shoulder in the immediate future such as mortgage payments, loans, health care, medicines, car and home maintenance and insurance premiums.

Assuming that you will have limited income for the next few weeks, do your best to limit your savings and access emergency help such as government benefits and entitlements through your superannuation funds and insurer.

It is also advisable to create a new budget based on your changed income and expenses and updating other official financial information.

As you get back up on your feet, discuss the budget shortfall with your lender and settle on repayment arrangements that you can handle despite financial difficulties. If worse comes to worst, consider hardship variations.

If possible, refrain from applying for a new home loan until you are completely recovered from the event.

The bottomline: It will be harder to access funds when your cash flow is limited.

Mr Pham said: “Cash flow is very important. As things happen down the track, this is how banks and lenders know that it’s worthwhile to take on the risk.”

Engaging property professional, particularly mortgage brokers, is strongly recommended to help you navigate your way through the changes in your finances.

Considering the tighter lending regulations, it will be harder to secure financing for property investments, but that does not mean that it would be downright impossible.

After all, banks and lenders make money by lending money so they will always move to attract more borrowers.

According to the mortgage expert: “They're not going to make it too difficult. It's just that the game's changed a little bit. I think what they're waiting to see is just a bit of a decline in the property prices."

"In the long term, I think, they want everyone to move from IO [interest only] to PI [principal and interest] so they can start paying down debt." he highlighted.

When loan application gets rejected

If, for some reason, you decided to apply for a home loan and got refused, among the possible reasons would be a default on your credit report, insufficient income in relation to your existing debts and low savings.

According to law, credit providers must always uphold responsible lending. Your application will be refused if they deem that the credit is not suitable for you.

Upon your next loan application, assess your financial situation and take the necessary steps to reduce your debts, build your savings and ultimately improve your cash flow.

Review your credit report, reduce and reorganise your debts, create and stick to a reasonable budget and seek help from professionals to be well-prepared for your application.

You may also consider finding a guarantor or applying for a no- or low-interest loan.

Experts advise investors to take their time in between loan applications because multiple applications within a short period of time will not look good on a credit report.

Moreover, check the interest rate, fees and charges to make sure that you are actually getting the best credit deal that will be suitable to your goals, capabilities and limitations as an investor.

Mr Pham said: “The best way to make sure you're in is to check is yourself. Don't cheat yourself, don't lie to the bank because, then, you get all this debt and you can't service it.”

“The next thing you know, they come off ensuring you can't refinance and you're stuck selling it,” the mortgage expert concluded.

 

Tune in to Son Pham’s episode on The Smart Property Investment Show to know more dealing with finances, mortgages and serviceability in today’s property market.

This information has been sourced from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission and the Smart Property Investment website.

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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] 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.

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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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