Avoiding Mortgage Stress
If you are planning to buy, upgrade or refinance in 2019, here are some tips to help avoid getting yourself in a situation where you can’t afford your mortgage repayments.
1.Borrow within your means. It sounds simple, but before you agree to the highest amount you can borrow, consider resetting your expectations and borrowing less. That way you’ll have some wiggle room if rates rise or your circumstances change.
2.Get ahead while you can. Make extra repayments whenever you can to give yourself a buffer for the future. Also, if rates drop try to keep your repayments at the higher amount.
3.Protect yourself with insurances. Consider Life or Income Protection Insurance. Adequate protection if you’re injured, ill or lose your job can give you peace of mind.
4.Be a reliable customer. If you pay on time and never miss a payment, lenders may be more flexible if you run into trouble later on.
5.Stick to your budget. Creating, reviewing and sticking to a budget will ensure you know where your money is going. It may also give you an early heads up if things are getting tight, and help you make sound decisions on whether you can really afford that new tv or holiday to Bali, on top of your mortgage repayments.
6.Start an emergency fund. You never know what will happen to you in life so it’s important to be prepared for life’s challenges. One way to do this is to have an emergency fund in place. Ideally, this should cover three to six months of living expenses. This way, if something unexpected comes up (i.e. job loss, medical emergency) then you’ll have a little cushion to help you along the way.
7.Consider a fixed rate. A fixed interest rate is a great way to provide certainty of repayments, particularly with interest rates currently at record lows. Be careful though, as there is often a limit on additional repayments and offset accounts, meaning there is less flexibility as well.
8.Be careful with other forms of debt. Be especially cautious with credit cards. It’s too easy to spend unnecessarily with them and the interest rate on the debt is incredibly high.
IF YOU ARE ALREADY EXPERIENCING MORTGAGE STRESS
If you are already experiencing mortgage stress, the best thing you can do is contact us as soon as possible. Our qualified Mortgage Brokers and Financial Advisers can assess your complete financial situation and help find a solution that works for you and your family.