australia

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What to ask your mortgage broker in Australia?

Using a good mortgage broker in Australia can be an efficient way to analyze many home loans and get the right deal quickly.

There’s a lot of mind-numbing paperwork, and you’ll want the best deals negotiated on your behalf.  It sounds easy, but it isn’t.

Presently, the mortgage market has become more cutthroat. So you don’t need to deal directly with financial firms. Yes, you don’t, especially when taking a home loan. There’s another alternative – the broker.

But getting the best broker isn’t easy. Who can you trust? Will a broker give us the perfect home loan deal? Are brokers simply in it for the fee?

To get the answers you need, you must ask the broker some questions during your initial consultation.

Cue…

Are you a licensed mortgage broker in Australia?

You need a licensed mortgage broker to give you advice on lending. So always ensure your broker operates lawfully. If you doubt his or her eligibility, check the ASIC register.

What type of mortgage is best for me?

You want a mortgage right? Well, first you need to know which mortgage is perfect for you and which isn’t. It’s not rocket science, but it’s not ‘ABC’ too. There are fixed-rate mortgages, tracker mortgages or even a discount mortgage. A professional will undoubtedly have a great time explaining your options to you. Also, you’ll know which one suits you to a tee.

A mortgage involves a lot of intricacies, and some mortgage options will take more than some mouthing off. A broker will help you understand those and pick the right deals, so you don’t get marooned. Further, the loans you qualify for and how your finances will be affected, make for an interesting discussion.

Just how much can I afford to borrow?

This question hit many points at once. Most times what you’re allowed to borrow is roughly five times what your annual income will allow. There are catches though; it’s dependent on who your brokers are and the circumstances that surround your finances. Your broker will explain the amount you’ll need, including the rates or additional costs.

A detailed view and opinion of a mortgage broker in Australia help you decide the specific lenders to borrow from and key information involved in buying a home.

How much would I need to put down for a home?

Mortgages are always geared towards owning a home. To that end, you’ll need to make a down payment. A good broker should aim to get the best terms, rates, and conditions for you. You’ll be advised to put up a large amount of down payment to smooth things over.

That’s not to say it can’t below, but at least 20 percent of the buying price should count for something. The conditions previously listed are also affected by the down payment you make. You’ll be well advised by a mortgage broker in Australia to avoid extra sums. More information won’t hurt, especially if you need to save costs.

What is the interest rate?

Interest rates make for contentious issues, and you should look to get it out of the way immediately. It’s one of the first questions you should ask alongside the Annual Percentage Rate (APR) for the loan. The interest rate quote helps you compare with what’s available elsewhere in the industry.

Also, the calculation may seem a bit difficult, and you’ll want to understand what you’re paying and why. The mortgage fees often come with related fees that are in line with the terms of the loan. Part of the interest rate is determining whether they’re adjustable or not.

How many points will the interest rate include?

A point is usually 1 percent of the total mortgage amount. You’ll be paying a low-interest rate should you be able to spend more points. Also, your points are tax-deductible and not centered on the number of points you make. This question is crucial because it helps you learn what benefits accrue when you buy more or fewer points. The quotes you receive will help you make a decision.

What are the required costs or fees?

Some fees and costs stretch as far as third-party vendors. Being aware of them means you won’t be caught off guard. Information is also vital here because the fact is you’ll have to cover some fees. They include but not limited to a Credit report, Appraisal, a Recording fee, Taxes, and Inspection fees. A mortgage broker will give you a detailed estimate of the costs linked with your loan.

Our loan rate locks on offer?

Interest rates have a penchant for swinging like a pendulum so you’ll be within your rights to ask this question. In the long term, locking in an interest rate, especially a low one, is an advantage. Once you sense that the interest rates are going higher, it’s time to lock that loan. What better way to know what to ask? Some mortgage brokers and lenders won’t state their rates until you commit.

Further, they’ll try to offer the minimum interest rates that’ll last for a short term. By now, you can guess they’ll charge you higher interest rates for the long term. Also, ask how long it will be in the lock and whether it attracts any fee.

What fees do your services attract and when?

You should ask your mortgage broker in Australia what his fee or commission is. Or if he receives both for work done. You shouldn’t be charged for what you don’t understand, so it’s best you layout things first. The payment structure helps you understand the charges. Also, you get to learn when you have to make such payments to the broker.

Can you put it in writing?

Ultimately, it’s vital that you document everything. So ask your broker to give you written details of the arranged loan type. Also, it should include the interest rate terms and any fees.

There you go! These questions will come in handy any time you need a mortgage, and you have to negotiate with a broker or lender.

SGIO Car Insurance: 2019 Review

If you live in Western Australia and have a car, then SGIO car insurance is going to be your best friend.

The company was founded in 1926 and has been helping clients for several decades now. So right off the bat, you already know that SGIO is an insurance firm with experience!

But let’s face it: when you’re looking for insurance, the experience isn’t usually the first thing you think about. Most people are looking to save money by choosing the cheapest car insurance. However, looking at the price tag first is a dangerous game. Instead, you want to pay attention to how much cover that price tag offers you.

The good news is that SGIO car insurance gives you the best of both. You can enjoy comprehensive cover without having to spend an arm and a leg!

SGIO Car Insurance Options

It’s always great to have options, right?

SGIO understands that value and offers clients 2 great options for car insurance:

  1. SGIO Comprehensive; and
  2. SGIO Comprehensive Plus

The first option is the most popular in Perth according to SGIO’s website, and we can see why! SGIO Comprehensive earns its name. By comparison, SGIO Comprehensive Plus has just 2 added benefits: if you’re in an accident, you can enjoy hired help valued at up to $95/day. And you also get excess-free glass, sunroof, and windshield cover.

But every other benefit offered by Comprehensive Plus is also included in SGIO Comprehensive. So for the rest of this review, we’ll be focusing on the first option.

What Do I Get With SGIO Comprehensive?

Before we move on, it’s going to be worth your while to know exactly what type of cover SGIO Comprehensive Car Insurance is offering.

First on the list of benefits is new for a new replacement. What this means is that if your car gets written off in the first 2 years after you buy it, you’ll get a new one.

And if your car gets stolen, SGIO will pay up to $65/day for you to hire a car for a maximum of 21 days. This can really help you to not let the theft of your car affect your life too much.

SGIO car insurance also covers you for accidental damage, collisions and crashes, vandalism, fire, severe weather, and theft. That’s quite a lot of cover all in one!

But that’s not all. If you decide to do any modifications or accessories on your car, then SGIO will cover them for you as well. There is the caveat that there needs to be an agreed-upon value, which will be the limit of your cover. But it’s definitely a great deal.

And finally, you’ll enjoy a lifetime guarantee on all workmanship. All you need to do to get this benefit is to make sure SGIO authorizes all repairs beforehand.

Pros

SGIO car insurance has quite a few pros that make it the best option for residents of Western Australia.

Of course, the sheer number of features included in the policy is a major pro. And because clients can choose their own excess, it doesn’t have to be expensive at all. In fact, SGIO allows you to lower your premium by setting an excess anywhere from $0 up to $2,000.

Because of the agreed value that every policy also includes, you’ll always know exactly what payout to expect if your car is stolen or written off. And as long as SGIO authorizes the repair, you’ll also be free to use any repair service you prefer.

But what really sets SGIO car insurance ahead of most competitors is the way they help you save. There are a lot of discounts available with the Comprehensive plan.

For example, you’ll immediately save $100 if you apply online. And as an added benefit, it’s very easy to do so!

There are also other types of insurance policies that SGIO offers. So if you don’t only need to get car insurance, SGIO is a great option. That’s because you’ll get an extra 10% discount for opening multiple policies with them.

And if you have a clean driving record with minimal claims, then SGIO will qualify you for a no-claims bonus. This can amount to as much as 65% in savings! And if you choose to pay your premiums as an annual lump sum, then you’ll get even more discounts.

Last, but not least, SGIO car insurance is also well-known for its quick and easy handling of claims and payouts. Customer satisfaction is very high, with a score of 7.8 out of 10 stars in customer reviews on Mozo.

Cons

Of course, nothing is perfect, and SGIO car insurance is no exception.

Some of SGIO’s customers aren’t so happy with the 10% price increase from a few years ago. But considering all the benefits included, as well as market inflations, most feel that the increase was very fair.

One thing that does get some negative attention though is the way repairs are sometimes handled. Some customers complain that they get their cars back with lumps of paint on the body. And others say that not all of the damaged parts are replaced.

However, this is largely offset by the fact that you can choose where to have your repairs done.

Finally, you should know that there is one catch to the great price tag. If you have a family member under the age of 25, then it’s better to list them as a driver. This does push your premiums up to a little, which is normal. But if you don’t list them, there is a $1,250 excess charge.

SGIO Car Insurance Conclusion

There’s no doubt that SGIO offers a great car insurance policy for those who live in Western Australia. So much so that it’s actually a pity they aren’t available everywhere in the country!

It’s no wonder that the company has such a positive public opinion. The vast majority of their clients clearly appreciate the fantastic service SGIO provides.

As always, it’s a good idea to carefully read their Product Disclosure Statement. After all, the best policy for one person isn’t necessarily the best policy for someone else.