Many people don’t think twice about paying interest on everything they purchase. For a lot of people, it’s just the price they have to pay for convenience and getting the things they want in life. And when you’re borrowing money to make money, as with your home loan, your interest repayments may be considered a necessary evil if you want to get ahead.
But does paying interest always make sense? If you’re not very careful, the interest you pay can end up costing you more than you can afford. Here’s three simple ways to help you keep your interest liabilities under control.
DON’T USE A CREDIT CARD
Many people think they just couldn’t live without their credit card. But in terms of interest payments, this is the most expensive form of debt there is. If you really think about it, if your credit card interest is 20% per annum, you’re paying 20% more for everything you buy if you take a year to pay it off. Do you really want to be doing that?
We recommend that wherever possible, you make your everyday purchases using cash and only use your credit card in the event of an emergency. This may mean saving up for larger purchases rather than buying them immediately with your credit card. When you do have to make a purchase with your credit card, you should try to pay it off as soon as you can – within the interest free period if at all possible. Some credit cards offer 55 days interest free on purchases, so choose one of these if you can.
PAY LESS INTEREST ON YOUR HOME LOAN
There are several ways to reduce the amount of interest you pay on your home loan. You can make repayments more often – say weekly or fortnightly instead of monthly, you can use a mortgage offset account, or you can make extra repayments on your home loan to reduce the interest payable. All these measures together can accumulate to cut years off your home loan and save you tens of thousands of dollars on interest over the life of your loan.
Another way to reduce the interest you pay on your home loan is to keep it up to date – so you don’t pay the lender more interest than is strictly necessary. We recommend that you contact us for a free home loan health check every year, or at least every two years. That way you can always make sure your home loan has the lowest interest rate available to you.
CONSOLIDATE YOUR DEBT
You see advertisements for debt consolidation on TV all the time – they are usually aimed at people who are in trouble with debt. However, there’s no need to wait until you’re in trouble to consolidate your debts, you can do it now to reduce the amount of interest you have to pay.
Consolidating your debts means rolling all your debts into one, usually using a loan that has a lower interest rate. If you have a home loan, for example, you could refinance in order to use some of the equity in your home to pay off all your other debts and access the lowest interest rate available.
If you don’t have a home loan and have quite a few expensive debts like credit cards, car loans, or store credit, it may be possible to roll these into a personal loan that carries a lower interest rate overall. It also allows you to spread your repayments over time, making them more affordable. If you want to eventually end up debt free, consolidating your debts is a good place to start.
As your finance and mortgage broker, we’re not just here to help you find the right solution for your home loan. We can help you with all your financing needs including budgeting, debt management and debt consolidation. We consider it a vital part of our service to save you money on interest – so you can use your money to enjoy a better lifestyle or invest it to build wealth for your future.
For assistance or more information about reducing your interest obligations, please give us a call*. We’ll be happy to help.
*Your full financial situation will need to be reviewed prior to acceptance of any offer or product.
MORTGAGE FOCUS | MARCH 2016
The information provided in this page is general in nature and does not constitute personal financial advice. The information has been prepared without taking into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on any information you should consider the appropriateness of the information with regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. You should seek independent advice from your financial adviser before making any decisions.
AUSTRALIAN MORTGAGE AND FINANCIAL ADVISERS (AMAFA)
Phone: 07 3378 2056
Fax: 07 3378 2069