What does wellness look like to you? Is it yoga? Maybe it’s daily meditation, eating well, exercising and cleansing your crystals in the monthly full moon.
You’d probably be hard-pressed to extend the concept of wellness to your finances. And even more so to think about your home loan, personal loan or other debt too.
The truth is, financial wellness is really important.
With many Australians reporting experiencing financial stress (as many as 1 in 3 are struggling financially) there is a very real and human impact that money problems cause ranging from relationship breakdowns through to bankruptcy, depression, and anxiety too.
This presents a compelling reason to take some time to ensure your financial wellness gets as much a look as your eating, meditation, and exercise does.
Today we’re going to take a look at home loan well specifically and consider some options to ensure your home loan is healthy and not taking you someplace negative.
Home Loan Health Check
- Are you making your minimum repayments?
You need to be doing this in the first instance. If you’re behind on your repayments then you’ll want to quickly get this up to date. If you’re experiencing financial hardship due to a lost job or poor health then you need to let the bank know as soon as you can, as they have policy and procedure in place to help you through this time.
- Have you reviewed your interest rate recently?
We’d suggest reviewing your interest rate every 18-24 months. At the very least give you bank a call and see if they can offer you a better interest rate if you don’t want to go to the effort of refinancing. A mortgage broker offers a great (and free) service here comparing various loans for you to find the best option suited to your needs.
- Are you paying any unreasonable fees?
All banks charge fees, it’s an unfortunate fact of life. The question is, are you paying unreasonable fees? If you get charged monthly fees and don’t have a discounted rate or additional features then it’s worth contacting the bank and finding out what the fees are for and how they can be minimised (this might mean transferring your loan to a new lender).
- Have your circumstances changed recently?
Maybe you’ve had a change to circumstance like starting a new job, finishing a degree or paid off a lot of the loan (meaning you may qualify for a better interest rate). These are just some situations that might trigger you to review your loan and check that it’s still doing it’s thing for you.
- Does your home loan have all the features you need?
Things like offset accounts, linked credit cards generated points for you, a redraw or facility, a split rate option, a repayment holiday. These are all features that may or may not add benefit to you.
- Are you paying for features you’re not using?
Conversely, you need to ask yourself if you’re paying for features you aren’t using – if you just want a basic loan with a low interest rate and those other features aren’t being used then it’s a good idea to hunt around and see what else is out there.
These are just a few simple steps you can take to ensure your home loan is healthy, that your money is working for you and that you’re working towards those financial goals you set last month.
Got a money question? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can put together some information to help get it sorted.