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Carol from Vista Financial

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About Carol from Vista Financial

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  1. Carol from Vista Financial

    Westpac rates increasing... will the others follow suit?

    Sadly, more often then not the little man does get trampled @scooterdan! Other lenders have actually also increased rates, but due to the sheer market share of the Big 4 they do certainly take the spotlight, particularly in conjunction with annual profit announcements, albeit lower than they were hoping for. Seems NAB are taking advantage of the situation here though... As you may have heard already there has been no move by NAB to increase their rates - their media statement saying they are holding them for now in an effort to 'rebuild customer loyalty'. Is this the case or are they just being opportunistic in an effort to capture market share? If they do eventually move rates to account for increased funding costs like the others, are they merely setting themselves up for a bigger fall from a moral high ground? I think their marketing team will have to prove their worth and really pull a rabbit out the hat if/when they do increase them.
  2. Carol from Vista Financial

    Westpac rates increasing... will the others follow suit?

    ANZ increases their rates first, CBA follows a few minutes later CBA increase by 0.15% ANZ increase by 0.16% You can read their media releases here: CBA announcement ANZ announcement (note here they have advised that those people living in postcodes they have deemed as drought affected will also have an equivalent increase in a discount - which means they don't escape the base rate rise, but are given a discount of the same 0.16% so they aren't impacted) No word on NAB just yet.
  3. Carol from Vista Financial

    Current mortgage rates and special offers

    Happy Thursday everyone! Apologies I didn't get a chance to post yesterday, got caught up in a few calculations from people wanting to vote with their feet and move banks. Have you thought of sacking your bank? I am a coffee addict, and if the barista gets it wrong, I sack them. I go somewhere else. I sadly throw my loyalty card in the bin and get mad that they didn't reward me as an existing loyal customer. Then I move on and start fresh somewhere else where they don't burn the milk and value the outrageous $4-something that I fork out for someone else to make my caffeine fix in the mornings. Why is it we don't think the same way with something that costs us hundreds per month? Why don't we shop around? Because it is too hard, and takes too much effort, and no one likes paperwork. So off it goes into the too hard basket to sit indefinitely next to cleaning-out-the-spare-room. But yet we will invest the time to shop around for clothes, food, shoes, coffee, you name it. Why is this relevant today? Because unless you choose to truly - thoroughly - investigate your options other than glance at the specials I put up weekly, you won't actually know the potential savings out there. Inaction is still a choice, so invest the time to do the sums yourself, or get someone else to. Despite Westpac, Suncorp and Adelaide Bank increasing their rates and other banks reducing their rates to try capture those annoyed clients serious about moving, all the above offers I have mentioned still remain the same, and have not actually changed. Why? Because lenders rely on your inaction. They rely on the fact that despite public uproar, Royal Commissions and disappointment, the majority still do nothing and stay where they are. So why would need to keep winning your business? They don't need to. Because if the vast majority of their existing clients don't actually jump up and leave, why would they have to reward loyalty and incite any true competition? I can't count the number of times that clients have tried and tried to get a better deal with their existing lender, get nowhere, go through the process of getting a refinance approved, only to finally have their bank call them when they receive a mortgage discharge request and offer them exactly what they have been asking for all along. "Hang on, you're actually going leave? Oh, don't do that, here, have this, we still love you". To top it off, many clients then end up staying! And I can understand this, they got what they wanted. But so did the bank. They leave it to the absolute last minute, call your bluff, and only then concede a tiny fraction of their overall profit at the eleventh hour to keep you after all. Does this sound like a lender that truly values your loyalty? Don't kid yourself. We are not special to them. But if we continue this cycle, there is no reason for them to change their behaviour. So do your homework, don't choose inaction. Do some sums here as a starting point. There's more to it than that, but it's a start. It could well be that you won't benefit at all, and that is fine! At least you checked! And at the end of the day if you can't be bothered, take it out of the too-hard-basket and ask me to do it, it's my job. Until next time.
  4. No change again, rate remains on hold: "Conditions in the Sydney and Melbourne housing markets have continued to ease and nationwide measures of rent inflation remain low. Housing credit growth has declined to an annual rate of 5½ per cent. This is largely due to reduced demand by investors as the dynamics of the housing market have changed. Lending standards are also tighter than they were a few years ago, partly reflecting APRA's earlier supervisory measures to help contain the build-up of risk in household balance sheets. There is competition for borrowers of high credit quality." - Statement by Philip Lowe, Governor: Monetary Policy Decision, 4th September 2018 But as we can see from this past week, this is only one factor used by lenders in determining whether or not to move on rates. Is it to cover cost of wholesale funding or to recoup upcoming fees for civil penalties? Watch this space. Full release by RBA available here.
  5. Westpac admits to breaching responsible lending obligations and now up for a $35 million civil penalty: "If approved by the Federal Court, this will represent the largest civil penalty awarded under the National Credit Act." - recent ASIC media release today 4th September 2018 Read the full ASIC media release here.
  6. Carol from Vista Financial

    Westpac rates increasing... will the others follow suit?

    Well. That didn't take long. Not the other big four though....yet. Adelaide Bank and Suncorp have jumped on the bandwagon and announced further rate increases today: "Suncorp will increase all variable home loan rates by 0.17 percentage points from September 14. Suncorp's small business loans will rise by 0.1 percentage points. Adelaide Bank, a subsidiary of the Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, will raise rates on its owner-occupier and investor loans by between 0.12 and 0.4 percentage points." Challenging market and cost of funding still quoted: https://www.afr.com/business/banking-and-finance/adelaide-bank-blames-challenging-market-for-raising-variable-rates-by-12bp-20180830-h14rhc The day is not over yet....
  7. So late yesterday (after I finished my other post, naturally) Westpac announced it will be increasing rates by 0.14% p.a. quoting increased wholesale funding: In particular the bank bill swap rate, which is a key wholesale funding rate for mortgages, increased by about 25 basis points between February and March this year and has remained elevated. “We initially hoped that this increase would be temporary, and therefore we have incurred these costs over the last six months. The rate changes announced today will not recover these costs..." - Official Westpac Media Release, 29 August 2018 I.e we didn't increase them then, but we are now, and not by the full amount needed cover costs. Interpret that as you may. So the big question is when/if this will cause a domino effect with the other big banks? There have been rises in smaller banks but none of the big four, perhaps due to the target already firmly on their backs as a result of the Royal Commission. Will they follow suit hoping that Westpac will take the first wave of anger and disapproval? Or will they stand fast in an effort to claw back a little customer sentiment? (Along with some nicely crafted marketing giving themselves a cheeky gold star of course). No doubt we will find out shortly. Bottom line, the only real way to guarantee your rate and repayment is to be on a fixed rate, but they come with restrictions - so do you homework first to see if it is right for you. As I have already mentioned elsewhere rates are so low at the moment that when they eventually go up again it will be a shock to the system for many that have only ever known low rate environments. So prepare yourselves. Those of the era of double-digit interest rates know what I mean. The RBA knows it too and have flagged rising rates as something to prepare for. Some economists now argue this recent move by Westpac (and potentially by others) may now delay any increase decisions by the RBA. Time will tell.
  8. Carol from Vista Financial

    Current mortgage rates and special offers

    Good morning internet. Quiet on the front here in terms of rates and mortgage offers but the biggest thing that may actually determine who you prefer as a lender may be their credit criteria. Rate isn't everything! Lending criteria can be a critical factor in your decision, and it has tightened significantly across the board over the last couple of years. Just yesterday I came across an reminder of exactly how much has changed. Same applicant, same income, same circumstances, fast forward two years to today and using the exactly same details as their original application two years ago , they would be declined the loan they have today! This is for owner occupied property, so put aside the extra complexities associated with investment properties. This is purely and simply a demonstration of the banks pulling the purse strings tighter. If this means extra protection for those seeking credit, fair enough. But that doesn't make the pill easier to swallow. It's not you, it's me. Sincerely, Banks. The applicant has not done anything wrong here - it is an environmental and regulatory change. They have a healthy deposit and only one small credit card, and yet the same application put through today would simply not meet the banks lending criteria. This is the case for many people, the majority of which won't even realise until they try to apply for a new loan and receive a rude awakening. Nobody likes rejection, but just know this isn't personal. Now this doesn't automatically mean that the first original approval was 'wrong', it simply means times have changed and we must adjust our expectations. (On the flip side of course obviously in some instances perhaps the approvals were 'wrong' and have put people at risk of hardship, hence the tightening of lending criteria in the first place!) What now? So, what is the solution? Seek a lender that caters for your circumstance. But be honest, because the rules are there to protect you, as annoying as they may be. In this particular instance it was a case of choosing a lender that accepts the spouse's income, that would not necessarily be accepted by others. The bank accepts the extra income, affordability increases, and there you have it, a stronger application. No, it may not be the lowest of low rate lenders - because if they accept extra risk in their policies, they may mitigate that risk with a higher rate. But it makes for a stronger likelihood of approval, and you aren't in a position to wait (or ever) tick the boxes of the bees knees lender, this may be your trade off. Rate isn't everything. The bottom line At the end of the day, and most importantly, if it doesn't work, sometimes it just doesn't work. If you can't meet affordability criteria, this is a great big red flag to tell you that maybe today's not the day. Be frustrated and annoyed. Then accept it, dust yourself off and don't lose hope. Re-assess where you are now and where you need to be, and make a plan to get there. Before you know it you will be in better position to apply and frankly this may be the best thing for you anyway. Thanks for reading, until next time Carol
  9. Carol from Vista Financial

    Current mortgage rates and special offers

    Good afternoon everyone! Sun is shining today in Adelaide who'd have thought!? All above offers are current for now. There are whispers of rate rises (clearly independent of any RBA cash rate moves) but no one can ever be sure if this will actually happen or not. Crystal ball question. So if you are considering fixing you loan, base the decision around whether you want the certainty of your repayments or not, and seek professional advice. This is only one aspect and there are other factors you need to consider before making this decision to make sure you are not shooting yourself in the foot now, or in the future. Make your decisions around your own circumstances and the things you can control. Otherwise you are setting yourself up for disappointment. If you have done you due diligence and made your decision, then ask your current bank for some options. Here are some offers out there - see if they will match them. If they don't come to the party, maybe it is time to see if moving would benefit you. - First home buyers only 2 year fixed 3.69% principal and interest - 4 year fixed owner occupied 3.92% principal and interest Important: as always these are separate offers not in conjunction with each other and are subject to meeting lender terms and conditions. Ask away if you have any questions
  10. Carol from Vista Financial

    Current mortgage rates and special offers

    Happy hump day... is anyone else finding this week dragging on!? Here is the round up today - all above offers remain current for now: - 3.97% investment principal and interest (construction available) - Owner occupied home loan linked to the RBA cash rate. How does this last one work? With this product the interest rate is the sum of the cash rate at the time plus a fixed margin set by the lender. Thus if the cash rate set by the RBA moves so does your rate, but the set margin of the bank remains the same. Quite a unique product. (NB: only available for owner occupied variable under 80%). Important: these are separate offers not in conjunction with each other and are subject to meeting lender terms and conditions. Have a great day all
  11. Carol from Vista Financial

    Current mortgage rates and special offers

    Good morning! Short and sweet today. - 3.95% 2 year fixed principal and interest investment (slightly lower than another offer mentioned above) Important: this is a separate offer not in conjunction with any others stated previously and are subject to meeting lender terms and conditions. All the above offers remain current for now. If anything exciting pops up I will let you know. Countdown is on for the weekend!
  12. Carol from Vista Financial

    RBA cash rate decision 7 August 2018

    Low and behold, at its meeting today, the Board decided to leave the cash rate unchanged again at 1.50 per cent. Some interesting parts of the media release, or you can read the full version here: "In Australia, money-market interest rates are higher than they were at the start of the year, although they have declined somewhat since the end of June. These higher money-market rates have not fed through into higher interest rates on retail deposits. Some lenders have increased mortgage rates by small amounts, although the average mortgage rate paid is lower than a year ago." Indeed, some lenders have started to creep up mortgage rates slightly quoting higher costs - the true reasons for doing so is anyone's guess, as they are unfortunately able to alter rates independently of any RBA decision. An old abandoned interest earning account is still at 0.01%, however. "Conditions in the Sydney and Melbourne housing markets have continued to ease and nationwide measures of rent inflation remain low. Housing credit growth has declined to an annual rate of 5½ per cent. This is largely due to reduced demand by investors as the dynamics of the housing market have changed. Lending standards are also tighter than they were a few years ago, partly reflecting APRA's earlier supervisory measures to help contain the build-up of risk in household balance sheets. There is competition for borrowers of high credit quality." Tightening in lending criteria is certainly evident as the industry rushes to ensure compliance as auditors and regulators get the fine tooth comb out. Quite heavy in the investment lending side of things yes, but for owner occupiers or those moving into investment properties, be prepared to show the bank proof that you actually live there. A few lenders have started to enforce this for any product switches; what suffices for evidence varies between lenders. Speaking of big brother, keep an eye out for random acts of 'kindness' from your super company as Round 5 hearings of the Royal Commission looks at the super industry. What a pleasant surprise that my super company refunded me some administration fees they 'accidentally' charged... "Sorry we robbed you - here, have it back". And last but not least from the RBA media release: "One continuing source of uncertainty is the outlook for household consumption. Household income has been growing slowly and debt levels are high. The drought has led to difficult conditions in parts of the farm sector." The impact of drought or any other financial hardship can be massive on those families affected by it. When you are scraping for pennies everything else is also just that little bit harder. If you are affected by drought or struggling with money call your bank and ask to speak to the Hardships Team. Every lender has one - ask how they can help. Or, call the National Debt Hotline 1800 007 007 or research your options - Money Smart has some great information here. And of course, please look after your health, mental and physical. If you or someone you know is struggling financially it is ok to ask for help. https://www.lifeline.org.au/get-help/topics/financial-problems
  13. Carol from Vista Financial

    Current mortgage rates and special offers

    Good morning world. Thank goodness for emails, forums and typing. I have had laryngitis and unable to talk since Friday night! Please yell and shout so I can live vicariously through you. So, update: - $1,250 bonus for new home loans from one lender - Apply between 23 July 2018 and 2 December 2018, be approved and draw down by 1 March 2019. Important: this is a separate offer not in conjunction with any others stated previously and are subject to meeting lender terms and conditions. That is about it. Things have begun to slow down in the specials department at the moment, all of the above offers aforementioned remain current. I expect to see another surge come spring as marketing teams have more fun with flowers Banks are also recovering after EOFY. Until next week....
  14. Carol from Vista Financial

    Current mortgage rates and special offers

    Hello hello I am back! Thanks @The Pom Queen Darwin was nice and toasty and Kakadu was lovely (except for all the mozzies!!). Back in little old Adelaide now, home sweet home. We had a noisy Christmas in July with my nephews and nieces so some quiet down time is on the cards for this weekend! Here are some updates while I have been away: - 3.99% 3 year fixed investment interest only - 3.99% variable investment principal and interest (introductory rate for first 2 years) - 3.59% variable owner occupied (introductory rate for first 2 years) Important: these are separate offers not in conjunction with each other and are subject to meeting lender terms and conditions. Keep in mind these last two offers are intro rates only. I don't normally like them for a reason but for some they may be attractive. In a nutshell they are honeymoon rates and the revert rate is normally higher (by a fair bit) and overall they may not be cheaper over the full life of the loan. Some people only consider them if they like refinancing often or are easing into home loan repayments and want a bit of breathing space to begin with.... but always review it before you sign the contract and think ahead - two years is not long in the life of a mortgage. Read the fine print for any exit fees or clauses. MoneySmart is a great resource run by ASIC and one of my go-to websites, read more about different rate types here. You can also check out our handy honeymoon rate calculator to see the true cost and savings associated with honeymoon rate here. Research before you sign anything. On another note, some lenders have started to increase rates, review yours today while they are still low - if you can secure a set discount off the normal variable rate your discount usually applies for the life of the loan, so now is a good time to ask.... they will not offer! Have a great day
  15. Carol from Vista Financial

    Current mortgage rates and special offers

    Good morning, we're halfway there! Happy Friday Eve Eve. Here are some offers from our panel of lenders: - 3.98% 5 year fixed owner occupied principal and interest - First time buyers - up to 40% off selected Samsung products (from Samsung store) and $500 cashback if you spend $500 or more - 500,000 Velocity Frequent Flyer Points for home loans $1m and over - that's a return trip for two back to The Motherland (plus taxes - can't escape those!) All the above offers are still valid. Important: these are separate offers not in conjunction with each other and are subject to meeting lender terms and conditions. Thanks all, please note I am jet-setting to Darwin to have Christmas in July with my family this weekend My next update will not be until I am back on the 25th July. If you have any questions I will get back to you as soon as I can otherwise @Andrew from Vista Financial may be able to help too. Don't miss me too much!
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