The RBA has decided to once again leave the official cash rate unchanged at 1.5%

The Reserve Bank of Australia decided to once again leave the official cash rate unchanged at 1.5% with the last rate move back in August 2016. I’d like to share today’s rate announcement and the thoughts on why the Reserve Bank of Australia has made this decision.

With a combination of retail deflation (ie the price of retail goods falling) and continued weak wages growth still impacting economic growth, the Reserve Bank have signaled that we can expect to see rates where they are for the time being. They have indicated however that they expect the next rate move to be an increase and are concerned about the potential shock that this may cause the economy.

Rates remain constant now but it is important that you are prepared if they increase. There may be different rates available from our lenders, so your broker is always on hand to ensure you have the right financial solution for your current circumstances.

If you’d like to have a chat about what today’s news means for you and your finances, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with an AFG broker.

The RBA decided to once again leave the official cash rate unchanged at 1.5%

The Reserve Bank of Australia decided to once again leave the official cash rate unchanged at 1.5% with the last rate move back in August 2016. I’d like to share today’s rate announcement and the thoughts on why the Reserve Bank of Australia has made this decision.

With weak wages growth, continued low inflation and a lack of significant economic growth we can expect interest rates to remain where they are for the time being.

Even when rates are unchanged, the role of your broker remains the same. There may be different rates available from our lenders, so your broker is always on hand to ensure you have the right financial solution for your current circumstances.

If you’d like to have a chat about what today’s news means for you and your finances, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with an AFG broker.

Reserve Bank of Australia has again opted to leave the official cash rate on hold at 1.5%

The Reserve Bank of Australia decided to once again leave the official cash rate unchanged at 1.5% with the last rate move back in August 2016. I’d like to share today’s rate announcement and the thoughts on why the Reserve Bank of Australia has made this decision.

With wages growth remaining modest and concerns emerging around the impact retail deflation is having on the overall economy, interest rates are predicted to be steady for the majority of 2018.

Even when rates are unchanged, the role of your broker remains the same. There may be different rates available from our lenders, so your broker is always on hand to ensure you have the right financial solution for your current circumstances.

If you’d like to have a chat about what today’s news means for you and your finances, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with an AFG broker.

For 2018’s first announcement RBA has opted to leave the official cash rate on hold at 1.5%

With the new year underway, we’ve come to the first rate news for 2018. I’d like to share today’s rate announcement and the thoughts on why the Reserve Bank of Australia has made this decision.

In its first meeting of the year, the Reserve Bank of Australia decided to once again leave the official cash rate unchanged at 1.5%. The last rate move was in August 2016.

With inflation remaining well constrained, rates appear to be firmly on hold until at least late in the year.

Even when rates are unchanged, the role of your broker remains the same. There may be different rates available from our lenders, so your broker is always on hand to ensure you have the right financial solution for your current circumstances.

If you’d like to have a chat about what today’s news means for you and your finances, please don’t hesitate to?get in touch with an AFG broker.

For 2017’s final announcement RBA has opted to leave the official cash rate on hold at 1.5%

We’ve come to the final rate news for 2017, in what has certainly been a jam packed year. We like to share today’s rate announcement and the thoughts on why the Reserve Bank of Australia has made this decision.

The Reserve Bank of Australia decided to once again leave the official cash rate unchanged at 1.5% for the 16th consecutive month.

This was an outcome that was again widely anticipated by financial markets. With inflation well constrained the status quo could well continue deep into the next year.

Regardless of whether rates move up, down or stay the same, your mortgage broker’s role remains unchanged. Your broker is always on hand to ensure you still have the right financial solution for your current circumstances.

If you’d like to have a chat about what today’s news means for you and your finances, please don’t hesitate to?get in touch with an AFG broker.

10 reasons why borrowers need a mortgage broker

In an age when technology helps us research, shop and even – at times – think, we might wonder what other help we could possibly need when it’s time to buy our next home.

But, unless you have weeks of spare time and a brain that can store hundreds of home loans, plus their fees and conditions, and then match them to your situation, log off and set up a time to see a mortgage broker.

Here are 10 reasons why a mortgage broker is as valuable as ever:

  1. It makes financial sense. For the vast majority of home loans, your mortgage broker’s service is free. Lenders pay mortgage brokers a fee when they connect them to borrowers.
  2. Mortgage brokers work for you, not the lender. As keen as banks and credit unions might be to open their coffers, they have an equal interest (pardon the pun) in making as much money as possible from you over the life of your loan. A mortgage broker, on the other hand, will put your financial needs first and look for the loan that best suits your circumstances.
  3. Spoiled for choice. A mortgage broker has access to hundreds of loans from a long list of lenders – far more than you will encounter if you choose to go it alone. Mortgage brokers also have access to more boutique and wholesale lenders who don’t traditionally advertise to mum-and-dad property buyers, have some fantastic products and are eager for a slice of the mortgage market.
  4. Save your legs. Mortgage brokers will do the loan application leg work for you, not only making life easier but giving you a better chance of swift approval because your mortgage broker knows what’s required from the lender.
  5. After-hours service. Most mortgage brokers will come to you at a time that suits, an appealing selling point for busy professionals and families.
  6. Perfect match. Contrary to popular belief, banks generally like to deal with mortgage brokers because they put forward home buyers who meet all the lending criteria. It can often save higher-risk borrowers from being rejected and earning a red flag on their credit history.
  7. Avoid the pitfalls. Honeymoon offers, exit fees and fixed rates are just some of the terms that can confuse and confound. Your mortgage broker will take a long-term view and navigate through all the lenders’ fees, terms and conditions to make sure you’re not paying more than you should over the full life of your loan.
  8. Borrow within your means. You’re less likely to over-stretch and get yourself into financial difficulty down the track when you take out your loan through a mortgage broker. Where some lenders may allow you to borrow to capacity or offer a loan that’s not quite right for your situation, a mortgage broker will always recommend the loan that makes the most financial sense for you.
  9. Switching is simple. If switching lenders, either because you’re refinancing mid-loan or have bought and sold, your mortgage broker will manage the inquiries and all the paperwork. If buying a property, they will also often deal with your conveyancer or solicitor to keep things moving along.
  10. Get a health check on your existing home loan. At any time you request, a mortgage broker can scan the lending environment to make sure you’re still getting the best deal. And if your circumstances change, your mortgage broker can deal with your existing lender or find a new loan to meet your needs.

 

Reserve Bank of Australia has again opted to leave the official cash rate on hold at 1.5%

With celebrations for the race that stops a nation in full swing, the Reserve Bank of Australia has made this decision.

The Reserve Bank of Australia decided to once again leave the official cash rate unchanged at 1.5%. The rate has not changed since September 2016.

This outcome was widely predicted by financial commentators. With inflation seemingly well under control and the Sydney property market now showing signs of cooling, many are predicting that the next rate change may not come until well into 2018.

Regardless of whether rates move up, down or stay the same, your mortgage broker’s role remains unchanged. Your broker is always on hand to ensure you still have the right financial solution for your current circumstances.

If you’d like to have a chat about what today’s news means for you and your finances, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with your broker.

Our top brokers in Victoria for 2017

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: we are incredibly proud of all the hard work our brokers put into providing fantastic customer service and support. At AFG we champion our brokers’ ability to find a loan that matches your particular needs, at a time and a place that suits you. Our Victorian brokers provide mortgage and commercial broking services in Melbourne and throughout regional Victoria, and?we can put you in touch with a broker in your area.

Each year we reward our brokers for all their efforts, and at the AFG Victoria 2017 Awards Night held in July we congratulated the following award winners and finalists:

 

Broker Group of the Year

Loan Gallery Finance Pty Ltd

Broker Group of the Year: Finalists

Broker of the Year

Alexander Sobolevsky, Link Mortgage Services

Broker of the Year: Finalists

AFG Home Loans Award

Chris Akyildiz (Orange Home Loans)

Insurance Writer Award

Nancy Gupta (Money Providers)

Equipment Finance Award

Daniel Zadnik (Hawthorn Finance)

Commercial Writer Award

Larry Zhou (Link Capital Finance)

Rising Star Award

Jasmeet Singh (Australian Loan Xperts)

Rising Star Award: Second Place

Sadish Visvalingam (Premier Financial Advisors)

Best Diversified Business Award

ARG Finance

Best Broker Group – Sole Operator

Eugene Sholomov (Minfin Australia)

Best Broker Group 1-3 Loan Writers

Link Mortgage Services

How to make a smart switch

Switching home loans could help pay down your mortgage sooner, providing you are refinancing for the right reasons and understand what’s involved. Here’s our guide to refinancing to help you make the right move when the time comes.

Know the costs

Paying 0.5 per cent less per annum on a $250,000 principal-and-interest mortgage will save you around $23,000 over the life of a 25-year loan1. That’s a sizeable chunk of change back in your pocket over the long term, but there are usually up-front costs associated with switching loans, especially if moving to a new lender.

Know the costs of exiting your current mortgage loan before switching. Depending on the type of variable rate loan you have, the lender may apply fees if you choose to bow out. If you are on a fixed rate loan, a cost will usually apply when paid ahead of the agreed timeframe.

You should also factor in any set-up costs for your new loan, which can be several hundred dollars, and any ongoing account fees.

Only once you have factored in all of the associated costs will you be able to assess whether you gain financially by refinancing, and that’s where a broker can help you make the right decision.

Compare products and service

A lower interest rate is a great reason to switch but it shouldn’t be the only deciding factor. Make sure the new loan is flexible enough to meet your needs and help you get ahead as quickly as possible. Some benefits to consider:

  • Can you make fortnightly repayments? You could pay off your loan quicker making payments every two weeks instead of monthly.
  • Can you make lump sum payments? Any extra repayments above and beyond your regular schedule will shave dollars and time off your loan.
  • Does the new loan offer a redraw facility? It’s great to stash extra cash in your mortgage to pay it down quicker but if you think you may need it back at some point, make sure your new loan lets you access those excess funds.
  • To fix or not to fix? We’re still enjoying low-interest rates on the back of the historic lows the Reserve Bank of Australia cash rate is at, but make sure with any change you consider you have some wriggle room for if rates do rise. Make sure you’re future–proofing at every turn.
  • What features are important to you and think about the ones you could do without. Why pay for the bells and whistles attached to a loan if you don’t use them? Different features when it comes to technology, service and availability rank differently for everyone, so figure out what’s important to you and a broker can help you match it with the right product and the right lender.
  • Working with a broker to sharpen the pencil. Just one of the benefits of having a broker on your?side when it comes to your finance is their ability to work with the right lenders on the right price when it comes to things like your rate and your ongoing fees.

Switch to save

Many borrowers refinance to consolidate debts, bundling credit card balances, personal loans or car payments into their mortgage, which usually carries a much lower interest rate. The benefit is lower minimum payments on your debts overall, which can be a benefit for cash flow. But that doesn’t mean you are saving on your home loan. Try to make the most of the lower rate to knock down the total debt quicker so you are not simply adding to the duration of your mortgage. And make sure you cancel any credit cards once you have transferred the balances into your mortgage so you are not tempted to rack up more debt.

Direct your debits

If you switch to a new loan, make sure you also switch any direct payments and debits. It’s easy to lose track of what’s being paid, and how and when. Run through the most recent three months of statements for your original loan to identify any direct payments, and notify the biller as soon as possible so you don’t jeopardise your credit rating. You should also give your employer your new account details if your wages are paid directly into your mortgage.

Check your borrowing power

One of the biggest oversights borrowers can make when shopping for the right home loan deal is their current financial situation. Has it changed since you took out your original loan? If the answer is yes, and it’s not for the better, you may find your borrowing power has shrunk, which could limit your refinancing options.

You may have: started a family and no longer have two full-time incomes; switched careers and now earn less; started your own business, creating a less regular income stream; accumulated other debt, such as credit cards or car finance; or eroded your credit rating through late payments. Any of these factors can impact your borrowing credentials and may give you fewer bargaining chips than when you took out your original loan.

Do a thorough assessment of your total income, expenses, outstanding debts and credit rating so you understand your true financial position before shopping around.

Talk to your broker

Take the time and stress out of shopping for a new loan by letting your mortgage broker handle it for you, at no cost to you. A broker has access to multiple lenders with multiple products, allowing them to cast a wider net than you probably can on your own to find a home loan deal that suits your needs and circumstances. Brokers can also often gain access to lenders who are happy to take on self-employed borrowers, or those who don’t advertise heavily to consumers but still offer competitive home loans. The benefits of having a broker on your side are numerous; and the reason that now more than 52 per cent of Australian borrowers use a mortgage broker to arrange their finance.

1 https://www.westpac.com.au/personal-banking/home-loans/calculator/mortgage-repayment/

The RBA has opted to leave the official cash rate on hold at 1.5%

With spring traditionally a busy time for the real estate market and for rate moves, all eyes were on today’s Reserve Bank of Australia board meeting, where once again it was decided to leave the official cash rate unchanged for the 13th consecutive month.

The RBA avoided the temptation to follow other developed economies and increase rates due to continued concerns around low wages growth and the impact of rising power prices on households.

Regardless of whether rates move up, down or stay the same, your mortgage broker’s role remains unchanged. Your broker is always on hand to ensure you still have the right financial solution for your current circumstances.

If you’d like to have a chat about what today’s news means for you and your finances, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with your broker.