Hi everyone, Leeanne here, North Sydney Broker’s Principal Broker. I wanted to out this blog together to share my advice on the steps you can take now to protect your finances during this uncertain and worrying time. At NSB, we have all the very latest information on financial assistance packages available from the banks. If you have questions about your mortgage or finances, you’ve lost your job or income because of the Covid-19 situation, get in touch with us. Don't spend hours on hold to the bank’s call centre. Give us a call on 02 8920 3455 or send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org to organise a chat over video conferencing, for advice across the board.
Consolidate your finances
We often have lots of bank accounts each with small amounts of money in them. If you have repayments for loans and are concerned that you may be short of funds, round up those small accounts and put them all into the account that repayments are debited from.
Redraw on surplus payments
If you have redraw in your loans, withdraw these funds and put them back into your repayment account to create a buffer that can be drawn on again to keep your repayments up to date.
Use credit cards
This is the time credit cards are useful! Use your cards for small purchases, bills etc to ensure you keep as much ‘cash’ available as possible for your larger loan repayments. Yes, you’ll have interest charges on the credit card, but it may just get you through a tough spot and you can just pay the minimum on the credit card account until things improve.
Look at any unnecessary spending
Ok so Foxtel, Netflix and Stan just became more necessary than ever but are there any memberships you’re not using, can you suspend a club membership for three months? Is there a subscription you can cancel or suspend?
Interest rate reductions
With the reductions to interest rates that have come through, call your lender and make sure your repayments are the minimum they need to be. Many lenders don’t automatically reduce your repayments when rates fall.
- Refinancing may not be possible, if you are on unpaid leave or have lost your job, but you can ask for the lowest rate possible with your lender – this might be a fixed rate, and may reduce your repayments. Don’t hesitate to talk to me, I can give you this information and help out.
If you are paying your loan weekly or fortnightly, ask your lender to revert you to monthly payments. It can actually be the cheapest form of repayment if your lender divides the monthly repayment by two, to get a fortnightly repayment. We’re just trying to survive the next period, not get ahead.
Save on super
If you’re salary sacrificing to super, and are in danger of having lower salary over the next few months (especially if you rely on sales commissions or bonuses), cancel the salary sacrifice until everything returns to normal.
Step away from the online shops
Don’t go internet shopping. I’m sure you won’t, but I tend to find that because it’s not ‘real’ and you can’t see it immediately, it’s easy for it to run away from you – until you see your credit card statement!