If you had to ask married couples what causes the most friction in their relationship, finances would be at the top of the list. Some people may have been financially abused in previous relationships, while others have been taught by their parents to keep things separate. Despite this, there are some concepts around handling your money in a relationship that you should know so that you can effectively run your household.
Despite interest rates being low, debt stress is at record highs. Banking data shows that on average Principal and Interest repayments currently take up 42% of household income. As a result, banks are becoming concerned about what will happen when rates start to rise?
Increasing pressure from APRA and the Royal Commission, have made the ability to refinance loans considerably harder. Clients that have never had an issue obtaining a loan in the past are being heavily scrutinised and even having their applications declined.
Banks appetite for Interest Only loans have also decreased significantly. Many clients are finding that when they try to extend their Interest Only (I/O) term, that the banks are not accepting their request. If you have an investment property, paying principal and Interest (P&I) payments can have a significant impact on your cashflow and wealth strategies.
To make things worse, most banks have also changed the way they assess applicants ability to afford the loan (Serviceability). Instead of relying on an average living expense formula for couples and families, they are now wanting to see your personal bank statement transactions and a accurate budget.
If you’re like most people, you spend pretty much what comes in and your budget is set based on your bank balance. If interest rates went up you would just adjust your spending. Unfortunately, this type of budgeting is going to make it very tough when you apply for that next loan.
What can you do to prepare?
To ensure a smooth transition to Principal & Interest Repayments or rollover to another Interest Only period the following tips might help;
- Make a budget that proves you can afford P&I repayments with a 2% interest rate rise. Make sure its comprehensive, and don’t forget to include things like your drivers licence renewals and an amount for when your fridge blows or when you need to replace furniture. You might not need it this year, but next year you might.
- Stick to the budget. The banks review 6 months of transactions and if you broke the budget, they will know. An easy way to do this is by opening separate bank accounts for your discretionary spending. For example, Groceries, Gifts, leisure / entertainment, children, etc.
- Don’t leave it to the last minute to renew your Interest Only term. Speak to your broker or your bank, at least 3-6 months before the Interest Only term finishes. This will ensure that you have time to review your options and adjust your budget before you need to apply. It will also give you time to sell if affordability is an issue.
- If you do have to change to P&I, review the viability of your investment strategy. It may no longer be the best option, especially if you still have debt on your principal residence.
Puddle 2 Pond Financial is a Financial planner Nowra and has been in operation since 2012. We see clients at our office in Nowra and provide a mobile service in the Illawarra and Wollongong region. We specialise in helping clients with budgeting and implementing strategies so they stick to it. If you’re a little overwhelmed and would love some help, give us a call on 02 4424 0479 …. We’d love to help.
18 Jan 2018
Are you earning a respectable income and want more to show for it?
Do you want to feel more confident about what the future has in store for you?
Is 2018 the year that you’re prepared to do something about it?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then getting a seat at our next Financial Bootcamp workshop is a must.
We will show you
- The importance of understanding what you personally want to achieve in life and how shifting your mindset towards achieving it will impact on your success.
- How different influences in your past can impact on your relationship with money today
- Key principles that will allow you to manage your budget, pay off your debt and build solid financial foundations to set you on the path to achieving your dreams.
Date: Thursday 15th February 2018
Location: Nowra Golf Club
Cost: Completely free. No sales pitch, and there is nothing at all to purchase. We run this workshop because at Puddle 2 Pond Financial we have a passion to help as many people as possible avoid the mistakes and educate them for the best chance of financial success.
Includes drinks and nibbles
This is no ordinary finance workshop. So don’t miss out.