Frequently asked questions

Home Buyer

How much money can I borrow?

We’re all unique when it comes to our finances and borrowing needs. Get an estimate on how much you could borrow by contacting us today, we can help with calculations based on your circumstances.

How do I choose the loan that’s right for me?

Our guides to loan types and features will help you learn about the main options available. There are hundreds of different home loans available, so talk to us today.

How much do I need for a deposit?

Usually between 5% - 10% of the value of a property, which you pay when signing a Contract of Sale. Speak with us to discuss your options for a deposit. You may be able to borrow against the equity in your existing home or an investment property.

How much will regular repayments be?

Go to our Repayment Calculator for an estimate. Because there so many different loan products, some with lower introductory rates, talk to us today about the deals currently available, we’ll find the right loan set-up for you.

How often do I make home loan repayments — weekly, fortnightly or monthly?

Most lenders offer flexible repayment options to suit your pay cycle. Aim for weekly or fortnightly repayments, instead of monthly, as you will make more payments in a year, which will shave dollars and time off your loan.

What documents do I need to apply for a loan?

Most lenders require the same documents to approve a loan. Make sure you bring the documents below to your meeting with us to help fast-track your loan application. This is a general checklist so some of the documents may not apply to you. We will confirm which documents you need. Personal Identification 100 points of ID are required. A current Passport or Birth Certificate = 70 points. Drivers Licence = 40 points. (Please note if these documents are in your maiden name, you will also need to provide a copy of your Marriage Certificate.) Other documents that help build up 100 points include: a Medicare card, Credit card, ATM/Debit card, Council Rates Notice, Pensioner Concession card, Health Care card, Tertiary Student ID card. Income Details The two most recent payslips from your employer. (Ideally these will show the company name, number of the payslip and the year-to-date income figure). The most recent Group Certificate from your employer. If self employed: The last two year’s personal and business tax returns and ATO assessments. Other income details You may also need: Rental income statements or bank accounts showing rental income for any investment properties Proof of share dividends or interest earned Centrelink letter confirming family tax benefits Centrelink letter confirming permanent government pensions Private pension group certificate or statement Proof of any other regular, ongoing income. Additional documents for refinancing Documentation on your existing loan including the date the loan commenced, loan period and any financial penalty payable if you exit the loan early Statements for the last six months for any existing home loans and personal loans The most recent Council Rates Notice and building insurance policy on the property or properties being offered as security. Credit cards: If you have credit card debt, statements for the last six months. If you don’t owe anything on your credit card, the most recent statement. Additional documents if you already own a home Statements for the last six months for any existing home loans or personal loans Your most recent credit card statement Copy of the Contract of Sale for the property you’re buying Statements for the last six months to show your savings/investment history. (This could include share certificates, savings account statements, term deposit statements, etc.) If other funds are being used for the purchase, evidence showing where the funds are held. If other funds are being given to you, which are not already in your bank account, you will need a Statutory Declaration from the person giving you the money. Additional documents for First Home Buyers Statement for your First Home Saver Account, if you have one. Statements for the last six months to show your savings/investment history. This could include share certificates, term deposit statements, etc. If other funds are being used for the purchase, evidence showing where the funds are held. If other funds are being given to you, which are not already in your bank account, you will need a Statutory Declaration from the person giving you the money. Your most recent credit card statement. Copy of the Contract of Sale for the property being purchased. Additional documents for investors If you already have investment property/ies: Evidence of income such as rental statements. A copy of the tenancy lease. A Council Rates Notice. Copy of the Contract of Sale for the property being purchased. A letter from a property manager indicating likely rent for the new property. Additional documents for borrowers seeking a construction loan A copy of a valid builder’s fixed price tender, including all specifications. A copy of Council approved plans.

What fees/costs should I budget for?

There are a number of fees involved when buying a property. To avoid any surprises, the list below sets out all of the usual costs: Stamp Duty — This is the big one. All other costs are relatively small by comparison. Stamp duty rates vary between state and territory governments and also depend on the value of the property you buy. You may also have to pay stamp duty on the mortgage itself. To find out your total Stamp Duty charge, visit our Stamp Duty Calculator. Legal/conveyancing fees — Generally around $1,000 - $1500, these fees cover all the legal rigour around your property purchase, including title searches. Building inspection — This should be carried out by a qualified expert, such as a structural engineer, before you purchase the property. Your Contract of Sale should be subject to the building inspection, so if there are any structural problems you have the option to withdraw from the purchase without any significant financial penalties. A building inspection and report can cost up to $1,000, depending on the size of the property. Your conveyancer will usually arrange this inspection, and you will usually pay for it as part of their total invoice at settlement (in addition to the conveyancing fees). Pest inspection — Also to be carried out before purchase to ensure the property is free of problems, such as white ants. Your Contract of Sale should be subject to the pest inspection, so if any unwanted crawlies are found you may have the option to withdraw from the purchase without any significant financial penalties. Allow up to $500 depending on the size of the property. Your real estate agent or conveyancer may arrange this inspection, and you will usually pay for it as part of their total invoice at settlement (in addition to the conveyancing fees). Lender costs — Most lenders charge establishment fees to help cover the costs of their own valuation as well as administration fees. We will let you know what your lender charges but allow about $600 to $800. Moving costs — Don’t forget to factor in the cost of a removalist if you plan on using one. Mortgage Insurance costs - If you borrow more than 80% of the purchase price of the property, you’ll also need to pay Lender Mortgage Insurance. You may also choose to take out Mortgage Protection Insurance. If you buy a strata title, regular strata fees are payable. Ongoing costs — You will need to include council and water rates along with regular loan repayments. It is important to also take out building insurance and contents insurance. Your lender will probably require a minimum sum insured for the building to cover the loan, but make sure you actually take out enough building insurance to cover what it would cost if you had to rebuild. Likewise, make sure you have enough contents cover should you need to replace everything if the worst happens.

Financial Advice

What does a Financial Adviser do?

A professional financial adviser can help you to manage your financial affairs more efficiently and help you to reach your financial goals sooner. Following a comprehensive analysis of your current situation, your financial adviser will prepare a financial plan outlining certain strategies which could be put in place to manage your income, assets and investments more effectively. In ensuring your financial plan is tailored to suit your needs, your financial adviser takes into account your personal circumstances including your understanding and acceptance of risk, and your desired timeframes for reaching your financial goals. Your adviser also considers important factors such as taxation, superannuation and government legislation and how these may impact your income and investment structure. With a structured financial plan and clear goals in mind, the benefits of sound financial advice can be life changing.

When should I see a financial adviser?

There are a number of situations where a financial adviser may be able to help. Some of the most important times include: If you are within 12 months from leaving work If you are facing a significant change in your circumstances (eg redundancy, career change, transition to retirement) If you receive a lump sum of money (eg an inheritance, a property sale, a windfall)

What does my financial planner need to know about me?

Expect to tell your financial planner a range of personal information to help them get an accurate picture of exactly where you are now and what you want from financial planning. They have to understand your situation completely - so do not leave out any vital information. To help put together your financial plan, a financial planner will use information such as: Your age. Income - now and what you expect to be earning in the future. How many dependants you have. Everyday expenses - how much it costs you to live now. Possible future expenses - having a family, education, travel, house renovations. How much tax you pay now (and/or owe). How much you have in assets (house, car, shares, valuables). How much you owe in loans (mortgage, personal loans, credit card debt). Amount you have invested in superannuation or other investments. Insurance - what are you covered for already, and how much would you receive in case of a claim?

How much does financial planning advice cost?

There is no set amount that a financial planner will charge. It depends on how complex your situation is and the level of service that the financial planner provides. We do not charge you at all for the first meeting and we will agree a fee for the Statement of Advice with you prior to comencing the work. Your Statement of Advice will also detail all fees and charges payable to the financial planner. As a general rule fees can include: Flat dollar amount. An hourly rate. You may be charged an initial fee for advice received and an ongoing fee for additional advice.

What should I ask a financial planner?

The Financial Planning Association of Australia recommends that you ask these questions: Could I have a copy of your Financial Services Guide (FSG)?
All financial planners must have an FSG. It is a simple document that gives you details on a planner. You should check whether the planner holds an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL) or is an authorised representative of an AFSL holder. If they don’t meet this criteria, then look for another planner who does. What is your approach to financial planning?
Ask the planner about the types of clients and financial situations they typically work with. This will help you establish What do I need to know about risk?
Any investment involves ‘risk’, that is, the chance that you will not achieve your financial goals. Generally, the higher the expected return, the higher the risk. Can I have a written statement of advice (SoA)?
Your planner should provide you with a written financial plan or ‘statement of advice’ (SoA) whenever giving personal financial advice. This written plan should set out the basis for the advice and the reasons for the particular recommendations.

Will my financial plan change as my circumstances and needs change?

Your goals will change over time, and so your financial plan should be reviewed and changed too.

Risk Insurance

What is life insurance?

Life insurance is paid out to the deceased estate or anyone else they want to pay out to.

What does life insurance cover?

Covers everything to ensure your family or loved ones will not have to sell the home to survive.

What does life insurance not cover?

Life insurance will not cover suicide in the first 13 months or non-declared medical conditions.

If I have life insurance, why would I consider trauma cover?

Trauma Insurance will provide a pay out for specified illnesses and injuries to help you recover and to assist you while you cannot work. It provides protection against the cost associated of the expensive medical care & etc.

Can I apply for life insurance?

Most providers will require applicants to be; Between 18 and 59 with some insurers even offering older. Australian or NZ citizen or holder of an Australian Permanent Residency Visa. Living in Australia at the time of application.

How much life insurance do I need?

A number of factors will determine how you are assessed by your life insurance provider and how much you will have to pay. These include: Age Gender Smoking Status Medical History Weight Occupation

What is income protection?

Income protection is monthly benefit paid to a person who has suffered from an injury or illness and is unable to work. It can be up to 75% of their annual income. Applicants can usually choose a waiting period from fourteen days to age 65 years. A shorter waiting period will result in higher premiums.

If I have income protection insurance, why would I consider total and permanent disability insurance?

Income Protection will only provide you with 75% of your wage until you are fit to work. Total and permanent disability insurance will provide a lump sum payment if you are disabled and unable to return to work ever again.

What is the difference between income protection and Work Cover?

Income protection provides coverage for illness, disability and accidents that have occurred outside of the workplace. Work Cover will only cover certain accidents that occur in the workplace.

If my superannuation provides me with life insurance, why would I need to purchase additional cover?

Your superannuation is more than likely inappropriate and inadequate to give full financial protection.

What is loss of independent existence?

Loss of independent existence is a total inability to perform, by oneself, at least 2 of the following day to day living activities without assistance; Bathing Dressing Toileting Transferring (ability to move in and out of bed, chair or wheelchair without the use of equipment or assistance) Feeding (Ability to consume food without adaptive utensils)