Looking after your mortgage

Here are three timely pieces of mortgage advice that could help you make the most of your new home loan, according to Allison Tait of Ninemsn Finance.

Firstly, for new home loans after July 1st 2011, home loan exit fees will be banned.

The ban was announced by the federal government in March and applies to fees charged when you pay our or switch from a home loan within a few years of signing the loan contract.

Secondly, make sure you include a buffer of two per cent in your budget when considering taking out a new home loan. This is primarily to hedge against rising interest rates.

“The average first home buyer is paying around $164 more per month in mortgage repayments compared to 12 months ago – which has a big impact on the family budget,” notes RateCity chief executive Damian Smith.

Ms Tait’s last piece of advice is to talk about the options if you are finding it difficult to meet your mortgage payments.

It may be possible to invoke a hardship variation – such as permanently reduced payments, varied or postponed repayments – if you can agree this with your lender.

To be eligible for such an arrangement your home loan must be under a certain amount and your inability to make repayments must be because of a valid reason, such as unemployment or illness.

But make sure to check whether any extra fees will be incurred.


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