Get independent advice

Consult your accountant or financial adviser as to what tax implications there may be before committing to lease finance. Don't rely on the lease provider [...]

POSTED ON February 12, 2001
Lease or loan?

Leasing is really just another form of borrowing which may or may not be suitable for your needs. Refer to our Tips & Tricks for [...]

POSTED ON February 12, 2001
Avoid cash advances

Interest-free periods offered on credit card accounts do NOT apply to cash advances. In most cases, you will pay interest on that cash right from [...]

POSTED ON February 12, 2001
Understand how interest is earned

Banks and other institutions offering deposit accounts pay savers higher interest the more you deposit with themthe longer you leave your savings deposited [...]

POSTED ON February 12, 2001
Use two cards to beat the banks

Disciplined users can use two cards to maximise the benefits of both interest-free periods and lower interest rates. Typically cards offer one and not the [...]

POSTED ON February 12, 2001
Review your accounts and banking habits

Take a good look at your account statements and understand your banking habits. Establish how much you are being charged in fees. Changing accounts to [...]

POSTED ON February 12, 2001
Consolidate your cash savings

To make sure you are getting the maximum interest return on your savings, consolidate your accounts into one to make the most of tiered interest [...]

POSTED ON February 12, 2001
Loyalty can cost you

Store cards such as David Jones and Myer may offer benefits of convenience, discounts, added warranties and extended credit, but aren't cheap. Although these cards [...]

POSTED ON February 12, 2001
Make use of direct debits

Where possible pay regular bills with an automatic debit from your account. In most cases this service is free, and also reduces the amount of [...]

POSTED ON February 12, 2001
Don’t lock in all your savings

In searching for higher interest returns, be careful to retain some flexibility by not locking all your savings away. Make sure you keep some savings [...]

POSTED ON February 12, 2001
Consolidate your banks

Some banks will offer a rebate of fees if you give them other valuable business, eg. Home loans, personal loans, term deposits. [...]

POSTED ON February 12, 2001
Consider the interest rate cycle

Interest rates rise and fall according to regular cycles. This is especially important for longer-term savers to recognise. Those willing to commit to a fixed [...]

POSTED ON February 12, 2001
Think hard about future needs

Be sure of the timeframe over which you wish to invest your money. Early withdrawal and associated 'break costs' will eat into your gains. [...]

POSTED ON February 12, 2001
Bank within your free-transactions limit

Know how many free transactions you get each month and what type of transactions they apply to (ie. electronic, over-the-counter) then bank accordingly. [...]

POSTED ON February 12, 2001
Don’t just look at term deposits

When looking for higher interest returns than on a normal passbook account, consider online savings accounts, cash management account (CMAs) and cash management trusts (CMTs), [...]

POSTED ON February 12, 2001
Avoid using ‘foreign’ ATMs

Not just overseas banks, but also the ATMs of local banks other than your own. The fee for an ATM withdrawal is usually steep and [...]

POSTED ON February 12, 2001
Consider a formal savings plan

If you are planning to invest regular amounts it may be worth seeking financial advice so you can set up a proper savings plan that [...]

POSTED ON February 12, 2001
Use EFTPOS when shopping

EFTPOS transactions are still fee free with many accounts. Even when a fee does apply, you can still save. When paying for the weekly shopping [...]

POSTED ON February 12, 2001
Build your case

The more information you can supply the better. Lenders want to understand not only you but also your business. Most lenders will want to see [...]

POSTED ON February 12, 2001
Use your credit card to save bank fees

Instead of withdrawing cash to make purchases, use a credit card with interest-free days to make as many purchases as possible. At the end of [...]

POSTED ON February 12, 2001
Consider fees

Commercial loans attract a wide range of fees. This is because of the more complex structure of the loan compared to personal or home loans. [...]

POSTED ON February 12, 2001
Avoid account-keeping fees

By taking care to keep your balance above the minimum monthly balance level applicable to many accounts, you can avoid monthly account-keeping fees. [...]

POSTED ON February 12, 2001
Be realistic in your forecasts

Be realistic about your predictions for revenue and expenses. Ensure that you can make a good case to substantiate your forecasts. If you are unsure [...]

POSTED ON February 12, 2001
Proof of assets

How your business is structured? The lender may want to satisfy itself that the proper authority has been given to office bearers to apply for [...]

POSTED ON February 12, 2001
Know what interest rate is being charged

Make sure that you determine the actual interest rate being charged in any leasing deal you consider. Those offering you lease finance will invariably avoid [...]

POSTED ON February 12, 2001
Proof of Identity

If you are not an existing customer you may need to supply proof of identity as per requirements laid out within the Financial Transactions Reports [...]

POSTED ON February 12, 2001
Don’t go up with the balloon

If leasing, know what 'residual' or 'balloon' payment will be required from you at the end of the lease term. This may well have a [...]

POSTED ON February 12, 2001
Prepare for the interview

Do you have all the information the lender wants to properly assess the application? Find out exactly what information is required and what forms need [...]

POSTED ON February 12, 2001
Consider a portable loan

A portable home loan allows you to sell one property and move to a new one without having to refinance, ie. pay out the old [...]

POSTED ON February 9, 2001
Do you need a redraw facility?

A redraw facility allows you to make additional repayments on your mortgage, and then have access to the additional repayments if you need to. However, [...]

POSTED ON February 9, 2001
Save interest with offset accounts

Offset accounts not only save you home loan interest, they help beat the taxman as well. Savings in offset accounts are subtracted from the outstanding [...]

POSTED ON February 8, 2001
Make the most of rate falls

If monthly repayments drop because interest rates have fallen, try to maintain the old repayment levels. This means you will pay off more of the [...]

POSTED ON February 8, 2001
Use your home equity to borrow

The more you pay off your home loan, the more of the property you own or the more 'equity' in the property you build up. [...]

POSTED ON February 8, 2001
Check if there are ongoing fees

Many banks now charge monthly or annual administration fees on home loans. When comparing the cost of different loans, don't just look at the interest [...]

POSTED ON February 8, 2001
Additional repayments

Making additional repayments beyond what's required in your minimum monthly repayment is one of the best ways to reduce the total interest paid and term [...]

POSTED ON February 7, 2001
Complaints, disputes and enquiries

If you are in dispute with a health fund there is an independent complaints resolution process at hand - the Private Health Insurance Ombudsman. You [...]

POSTED ON October 10, 2000
Check overseas coverage

Many health insurers will not pay for any overseas medical treatment. Other health funds will only make payments at Australian fee levels - which are [...]

POSTED ON October 9, 2000
Regularly review your health insurance

You and/or your family's circumstances may change from time-to-time. Review your health insurance to make sure it still meets your health needs and circumstances. Funds [...]

POSTED ON October 9, 2000
Keep up to date with your payments

Your health insurance policy will usually be cancelled if you fail to make payments for two consecutive months. People rejoining after such a cancellation may [...]

POSTED ON October 9, 2000
Lodge claims promptly

Most private health funds won't pay benefits if you make a claim two years after the treatment was provided. If legal action or other unforeseen [...]

POSTED ON October 8, 2000
Beware of waiting periods

Usually only treatment for accidents is covered when you first join a health fund. Waiting periods usually apply to all other types of treatment. Below [...]

POSTED ON October 6, 2000
Beware of benefit limitation periods

Some funds impose benefit limitation periods (sometimes known as restricted services) on new members, people transferring from other funds and existing members upgrading their policies. [...]

POSTED ON October 6, 2000
Look beyond the banks

Get a feel for what's on offer across the wide range of financial providers around these days. Credit unions, building societies, mortgage originators, community banks [...]

POSTED ON September 20, 2000
Beware fixed rates

Attractive when interest rates are rising, fixed-rate loans also lock you in for a fixed term and as such are less flexible than variable-rate loans. [...]

POSTED ON September 20, 2000
10 Guidelines to selling your property

1. Choose your agent Telephone the Real Estate Institute of your state’s Membership section for a list of REI Members in your area. Ask REI [...]

POSTED ON September 19, 2000
Make your surplus cash work harder

Use cash savings to help pay off your loan quicker. Remember the old saying 'a dollar saved is a dollar earned'? If you have a [...]

POSTED ON September 19, 2000
Choosing a real estate agent

Deciding which agent will handle the sale of your home is likely to be one of the most important decisions you will make in the [...]

POSTED ON September 18, 2000
Which home loan will suit you?

While lenders are actively competing for the hearts, minds and purse strings of home buyers, the question you as a buyer should ask is: "Which [...]

POSTED ON September 15, 2000
Taking advantage of interest rates

Record low interest rates are offering those with a stable income the chance to make a great investment in the housing market and in their [...]

POSTED ON September 15, 2000
Sole agency agreements a two-way street

Sole agency agreements sometimes cause confusion among sellers about the requirements of the salesperson. This confusion often leads to a question being asked about how [...]

POSTED ON September 15, 2000
Sellers and the improving property market

Recent leading property reports confirm improving buyer demand and sales generally throughout the property market, which should lead to better prices. For a seller to [...]

POSTED ON September 15, 2000
Renovation gives new opportunities

Buying and renovating an older home can be a great opportunity to own the house of your dreams and add great value to your investment. [...]

POSTED ON September 15, 2000
How to present your home to best advantage

Having decided on the preliminaries of selling your home - such as which agent and the method of sale - the next most important step [...]

POSTED ON September 15, 2000
Planning when buying pays dividends

Using a systematic approach to buying a home can save you hours of work and considerable heartache. If you approach buying systematically, you can also [...]

POSTED ON September 15, 2000
Housing as an investment: build or buy?

With Australians having one of the highest per capita love affairs with property of any industrial country, it is no surprise that many want to [...]

POSTED ON September 15, 2000
Consider the size of your trades

When comparing fees among brokers, consider the likely size (dollar value) of your trades. Fee scales can vary considerably so that a broker who is [...]

POSTED ON September 12, 2000
Frequent flyer points

Don’t forget to factor in the value of any frequent flyer points you might earn on a particular fare. It is also important that you [...]

POSTED ON September 1, 2000
Don’t just look at price

Do your research on airfare offers and aim not just to save money but get better value for money. Take into account imortant issues like [...]

POSTED ON August 29, 2000
Consider float offers carefully

If allocated shares in a float by your broker, consider first whether they suit your investment strategy before accepting. Don’t just buy in because you [...]

POSTED ON August 22, 2000
Beware monthly fees

Look out for monthly subscription fees which will apply wheter you trade or not during the period. Check what you get for your money. Such [...]

POSTED ON August 18, 2000
Stay vigilant

The ability to monitor news and ASX announcements for changes in price-sensitive information is an important part of an online broking service. Check that the [...]

POSTED ON August 18, 2000
How deep is your research?

Check what the broker offers in company profile and recommendation report information - just how detailed is it? [...]

POSTED ON August 18, 2000
Are you a frequent trader?

If so, check what frequent trader discounts are on offer - they can cut transactions costs significantly for active traders. [...]

POSTED ON August 16, 2000