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We all know being on our monetary best behaviour can help to land a home loan. But did you know there are common spending habits you may have that are red flags to lenders?

Smart money management and cutting back on expenses can help your home loan application. That’s no secret.

But a bit of measured discretionary spending can add a little spice to life. We’re human after all. And lenders will see this as normal.

However, there are certain spending habits and types of transactions that can be a red flag to lenders. And these may hinder your chances of home loan approval.

Check out our list of potentially problematic spending habits below; avoiding them just might make all the difference when you apply for your next home loan.

PayPal transactions

There’s nothing inherently wrong with using PayPal. It’s often a convenient and safe way to make online purchases.

But many expenses that lenders may scrutinise, such as online gambling, and other unmentionable vices, use PayPal with vague descriptors.

This makes it easier to hide spending habits some may not want the world to know about.

And even if your PayPal spending is mundane, if the descriptions are vague, lenders may still raise an eyebrow.

Purchases through bank accounts on the other hand make it easier for lenders to see your spending habits when assessing your application.

Buy now, pay later

It can be tempting to use a buy now, pay later (BNPL) service to splurge on a new outfit and leave future you to stump up the cash.

However, even though BNPL services aren’t traditional credit products, they can still affect your credit score.

That’s because when you apply for a BNPL service, there’s a chance it may be recorded as an enquiry on your credit report – and these enquiries may impact your credit score.

Worse still, a few missed payments later and that purchase may not seem like such a hot idea – BNPL services can notify credit reporting agencies that you’ve defaulted on a payment, leaving you with a blemish on your credit report.

Last but not least, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) recently amended its framework to include BNPL debts in the reporting of debt-to-income (DTI) ratios.

And a high DTI can lessen your home loan borrowing capacity, or even lead to rejection.

Dipping into savings too often

Having regular savings locked away, untouched, and accruing interest … well, that can make lenders smile when assessing your mortgage application.

But as we all know, life happens. Unexpected expenses may crop up that require you to dip into your savings.

This isn’t the end of the world when applying for a mortgage, but pinching too much from your piggy bank might get lenders thinking that you’re unable to put money aside and budget.

This could lead lenders to believe that you will struggle to make regular repayments.

Store credit cards

Many stores will entice you with swanky perks in return for signing up for their credit card. But often, when you look past the interest-free period sparkle, the interest rates are rubbish.

One or two forgotten payments can really end up costing you.

Also, lenders may view having a multitude of store cards as “fishing for credit” – sourcing credit from different places may make it look like you’re scrambling for money.

And every time you apply for a store credit card, your credit report is pinged, which as mentioned previously, can harm your overall score.

Frequent large ATM withdrawals

Some people still prefer to use cash, which is fine. But keep in mind that in the eyes of lenders it may make your spending habits hard to track.

Lenders may question your withdrawals. If you have a fair explanation, and possibly some supporting documentation, then cash withdrawals likely won’t have a negative effect on your application.

However, keep in mind that withdrawing a few hundred dollars every Friday night at the local service station or bottleo ATM isn’t a great look.

Get your ducks in a row

Nobody likes the sting of rejection.

But fear not because we’re experts in helping people shape up their finances for a schmick mortgage application.

So if you’re thinking about buying but are worried about how some of your recent transactions or money habits might look to a lender, get in touch today and we can help you start to smooth things out.

Disclaimer: The content of this article is general in nature and is presented for informative purposes. It is not intended to constitute tax or financial advice, whether general or personal nor is it intended to imply any recommendation or opinion about a financial product. It does not take into consideration your personal situation and may not be relevant to circumstances. Before taking any action, consider your own particular circumstances and seek professional advice. This content is protected by copyright laws and various other intellectual property laws. It is not to be modified, reproduced or republished without prior written consent.

Rate rises can affect the property market, as we’ve all seen of late. But there are other factors that appear to hold longer-term sway over national house prices.

In a bid to bust inflation, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has been on a rate rise run that’s seen the official cash rate go from a record-low of 0.10% to 3.60% in just 10 short months.

Along the way, we’ve seen property prices across Australia decline.

As rates rose, Australia saw the largest and swiftest property price drop on record, with a 9.1% fall from April 2022 through to February 2023.

But a recent study by Domain, which examined 30 years of data, suggests that population and migration growth have greater and more long-lasting effects on property prices.

The study shows that a 1% mortgage rate increase may result in Australian house prices falling by 1.34%, on average.

But in comparison, national house prices could jump by 8.18% with a population increase of only 1%.

So let’s examine the effects of mortgage rate rises and population growth so you can navigate the market.

Mortgage rate rise effects

When interest rates rise, your borrowing power can dip. And the rise in the cost of living can hit the hip pocket.

So, under these conditions, fewer people may be willing to buy property.

With less demand, vendors may need to lower prices in order to sell homes. And if you’re ready to buy you may be able to negotiate a great price.

But the RBA can’t keep raising the cash rate forever (surely!).

In fact, economists at each of the big 4 banks have forecast that the RBA will announce just one or two more rate rises by 2 May 2023, with a peak cash rate of 4.10% predicted.

Corelogic stated in their recent three-year post-pandemic market report that once we get a rate hike reprieve, property sale and price volatility may lessen.

Population and migration effects

While mortgage rate rises do affect property prices, other factors appear to have more long-term effects.

Doman’s findings outlined that property prices are reactive to rate rises within the same quarter, whereas movement in population and migration numbers is cumulative and the effects are longer lasting.

So as migration numbers continue to rebound following COVID-19 lockdowns (and lockouts), it’s likely we’ll see an increase in property demand, which could cause prices to rise.

For example, Domain says Melbourne has “made a quick population recovery” since the COVID-19 lockdowns and is slated to nab the title of Australia’s most populated city by 2031-2032.

Melbourne had an 8.1% property price drop in 2022, while Sydney experienced a heftier reduction of 12.1%.

Domain’s study suggests that Melbourne’s population boom, and the resulting increase in housing demand, are behind the more moderate price drop.

And so, while it’s worth considering mortgage rates when surveying the property market, other factors like population and migration – which feed directly into supply and demand – are certainly worth considering too.

If you’d like to dig into the modelling further, the Australian government’s Centre for Population website has a great interactive tool that you can use to check out migration forecasts for each state and territory.

Get in touch with us today

Keeping an eagle eye on property prices is a great idea if you’ve got home ownership in your sights.

And while you’re busy researching the market, we can get cracking on helping to find the right loan for you.

We can also help you get financially savvy with tips to boost your borrowing power. That way you’ll be ready to pounce when the time is right.

Disclaimer: The content of this article is general in nature and is presented for informative purposes. It is not intended to constitute tax or financial advice, whether general or personal nor is it intended to imply any recommendation or opinion about a financial product. It does not take into consideration your personal situation and may not be relevant to circumstances. Before taking any action, consider your own particular circumstances and seek professional advice. This content is protected by copyright laws and various other intellectual property laws. It is not to be modified, reproduced or republished without prior written consent.

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