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Belinda Punshon

Belinda Punshon is Finder's corporate communications executive, and previously worked as a writer on home loans and property. She has a Masters in Advertising, Public Relations and Journalism from the University of New South Wales and a Bachelors in Business from the University of Technology Sydney.

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Hi Jenny, Thanks for getting in touch. We have a page about home loans for discharged bankrupts which you might find useful. On this page, you can enquire with one of the lenders in the table to see whether you’d be eligible for one of their home loans. Keep in mind that you may want to opt for a basic or low-doc home loan that has minimal fees and documentation requirements. Unfortunately, however, you may be charged with a higher rate of interest due to your bankruptcy. It’s advised that you speak to a mortgage broker as they can leverage their panel of lenders, including specialist or non-bank lenders, that may have more lenient lending criteria. A broker may be able to help you understand your borrowing power. All the best, Belinda

Commented on Suncorp Home Package Plus Fixed Home Loan

Hi Greg, Thanks for getting in touch. You can learn more about home loan fees on this page. Essentially, two separate loans may attract double the fees however you may be able to minimise your loan fees if you take out both loans with the same financial institution. In this case, the lender may provide you with a discount particularly for fees such as an annual service fee or ongoing fees. However, the fee structure will depend on the type of second loan that you take out. If you need personal advice about whether or not to take out a second loan, I would suggest speaking with a mortgage broker, accountant or financial planner. All the best, Belinda

Commented on Macquarie Bank SMSF Property Loan Fixed

Hi Ivana, Thanks for reaching out. If you’d like to understand your borrowing capacity, you can use our calculator which takes into account your income, liabilities and the number of dependents that you have. Keep in mind that lenders have different eligibility criteria for different loans and this criteria can be more stringent for line of credit (LOC) and investment loans (particularly after APRA’s intervention). I recommend getting in touch with a licensed mortgage broker so that you can review your borrowing capacity and your propensity to repay a loan. A broker can help you understand your financial position and they can leverage their panel of networks to find a lender that’s more inclined to review your application. All the best, Belinda

Commented on Compare line of credit home loans

Hi Smittyb, Thanks for reaching out. I’m really sorry to hear about how you’ve been treated. The Australian Investments and Securities Commission (ASIC) Money Smart program offers free online financial and legal counselling which you might find useful. You can jump online and get personal advice about the best way to manage your existing debts. They also offer a financial counselling hotline and crisis support. You can take some steps to show your bank that you’re trying to improve your financial situation. For instance, you can demonstrate that you’re actively seeking work and you can also show your financial discipline even by depositing small amounts of money into a high-interest savings account. We have some useful tips about debt reduction and management strategies on this page. If you have several loans or debts, you may want to consider consolidating them. Also, you may want to apply for a Centrelink benefit during the interim. Before taking any action, I strongly suggest that you seek advice from a licensed financial and/or legal professional to help you take back control. All the best, Belinda

Commented on What to do when you miss a mortgage repayment

Hi Julie, I've sent you an email to follow up with this enquiry. Thanks, Belinda

Commented on Commonwealth Bank Viridian Line of Credit

Hi Reza, Thanks for reaching out. If you'd like to apply for a home loan for a studio apartment, you might be interested to read our guide on this page. However, keep in mind that many banks impose size limits for studio apartments. Generally, the apartment needs to be at least 45 or 50 square metres. I recommend getting in touch with a mortgage broker to discuss your borrowing options for this type of property. A broker will be able to draw upon a panel of lenders to find one that will allow you to borrow for a studio apartment. All the best, Belinda

Commented on Pensioner Loans

Hi Rene, Thanks for reaching out. finder.com.au is an online comparison service so we are not in a position to comment on whether or not your son will qualify for a loan. However, if your son is looking to fund renovations for the property, then you can compare several line of credit loans here. You might be interested to read our article about loans for Centrelink recipients where your son can enquire with a mortgage broker to discuss his borrowing options. As you’ll see on the table in the above page, most government benefits are only accepted as a secondary source of income so it’s likely that your son will need to show that he has another income source to repay the loan. All the best, Belinda

Commented on Loans options if you receive Centrelink payments

Hi Raghu, Thanks for reaching out. You can still claim expenses for your investment property, such as the interest on loans, as long as the property is genuinely available for rent. According to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), if a property is genuinely available for rent, it must be advertised to potential tenants and tenants must be reasonably likely to rent the property. For more details, please speak with a tax accountant or visit the ATO website. All the best, Belinda

Commented on Negative Gearing

Hi David, Thanks for getting in touch. I've emailed you to follow up with this enquiry. Thanks, Belinda

Commented on A step-by-step guide to changing property ownership

Hi Rich, Thanks for reaching out. finder.com.au is an online comparison service, so while we can provide you with general information we are not licensed to give you personal financial advice. You can compare several self-managed super fund (SMSF) home loans on this page and you can also complete the form if you’d like to speak to a SMSF specialist regarding your borrowing options. If the property is less than 40 square metres, it may be difficult to access finance which is where a mortgage broker may come in handy. A broker can help you filter through different home loan products to find one that’s suitable for your financial situation. All the best, Belinda

Commented on St.George Super Fund Home Loan

Hi Mary, Thanks for reaching out. To transfer property ownership, your husband's parents will generally need to pay stamp duty, legal fees and valuation charges. However, keep in mind that some transfers may be exempt from stamp duty depending on the state in which the property is located. We have an article about how to minimise fees when transferring property within the family which you may find helpful. To add your names to the property title, you’ll need to complete and submit a transfer of title form which you can access from your local Office of State Revenue (OSR) website. You can learn more about the process here. If you need personal advice about the costs of this strategy, then I suggest speaking with a licensed conveyancer. I would also take caution with applying for a mortgage increase as this can significantly increase your interest repayments. I recommend speaking to a mortgage broker or accountant before taking action to ensure that you can afford the new repayments (and that your rental income will be sufficient to service the repayments). All the best, Belinda

Commented on What is stamp duty? Free calculator and exemptions guide

Hi Rachael, Thanks for getting in touch. Your ability to qualify for a home loan will depend on several factors; your combined income, assets, liabilities, credit history, and the lender’s eligibility criteria for a particular product. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to qualify for a home loan if you’re receiving Centrelink benefits and if only one applicant is working as the lender may view you as a high-risk borrower. However, there are mortgage brokers who can help you find lenders, such as specialist or non-bank lenders, that are more likely to review your application. You can read more about no deposit home loans on this page, and you can also compare 95% loan-to-value (LVR) home loans. We also have an article about home loans for Centrelink recipients which may help you. When you apply for a no deposit or guarantor home loan, the application process can be more lengthy compared to a traditional home loan as the lender will need to assess the security and financial position of your guarantor. However, you can take measures to improve your chance of being approved. This may involve reducing your existing debts (e.g. credit cards) and making regular deposits into a high-interest savings account to show the lender that you have financial discipline. All the best, Belinda

Commented on Guarantor Home Loans

Hi Heather, Thanks for getting in touch. The rules surrounding stamp duty vary from state to state so any stamp duty concession that you may be entitled to will depend on the laws of your state government. Generally, pensioners, health card holders, and those receiving government benefits may be eligible for a duty concession or exemption but you’ll need to check with your local Office of State Revenue. Once you have this information, it should help you decide whether it would be beneficial for you to purchase the home now. You can learn more about the costs of changing property ownership here. Keep in mind that you may want to speak to a solicitor or conveyancer so that you fully understand the costs and process involved. All the best, Belinda

Commented on Can you avoid fees and charges when transferring property within the family?

Hi Mark, Thanks for reaching out. You can read about the process and costs involved when removing someone’s name from the property title on this page. We also have a guide about how to minimise costs when transferring property within the family which you might find useful. Generally, you will need to pay stamp duty when transferring property ownership which is normally between 3-5.5%. However, you’ll need to check with your state government because in some states and territories, such as VIC, stamp duty is waived for some transfers. Check out our stamp duty calculator. As the property is an investment, you’ll need to pay capital gains tax (CGT) which will be around 25% of the capital gain. Keep in mind that you may also need to pay valuation and legal charges to assist with the transaction. I hope this helps you! Thanks, Belinda

Commented on A step-by-step guide to changing property ownership

Hi Zeia, Thanks for reaching out. I can confirm that there is no early exit fee for any Westpac variable rate home loan. However, to discharge a mortgage there is a fee of $350. Kind regards, Belinda

Commented on How discharge fees for home loans work

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