Tips to Take Charge of Your Mortgage

If you are among the homebuyers who have successfully snapped up a bargain with the assistance of the First Home Owners Boost, or perhaps a seasoned professional already in the market or contemplating re-entering, the New Year is an ideal time to re-evaluate your mortgage choices and budget for the year ahead.

Mortgage Choice Senior Corporate Affairs Manager, Kristy Sheppard commented, “In the New Year we tend to save for the things we want to buy and forget about the things we’ve already purchased.  Whilst paying off a home loan off sooner can seem challenging, there are simple ways to get ahead and enhance your ability to repay the loan sooner.  The challenge at any time of year is to stick to your plan.”

Mortgage Choice offers the following tips to give your mortgage a New Year’s boost:

1. Give your mortgage a health kick
When we think of the New Year, detoxing and getting healthy comes to mind.  Instead of paying expensive gym fees, why not curb your takeaway cravings, walk to work, cut back on alcohol and put the savings into your mortgage – a healthy solution all round!

2. Don’t just plan a diet, stick to it!
Make a realistic budget; the plan is not to remove your favourite things completely, instead make small sacrifices throughout the month. Every cent counts – spent or saved! 

3. Rein in your credit card spending
Try to avoid using your credit card in the New Year for as long as possible. If credit card debt is impinging on your New Year budget, consider visiting a Mortgage Choice loan consultant to determine ways to manage debt.

4. Keep an eye on the little extras
A common mistake by homebuyers is to not include a sundry amount in their budget for ongoing fees such as strata fees, council rates and maintenance fees. Your Mortgage Choice loan consultant can provide a clearer picture on what to expect month to month.

5. Don’t let advertising get the better of you
The summer sun is shining and you’re spending days at the beach, nights at neighbours’ BBQs, and yet you’re still paying the full amount for subscription television. Why not reduce your subscription and contribute the extra funds to your home loan?

6. Don’t just settle for a works burger. Check out the healthier options first! 
With a vast array of loans available in today’s market, and a huge difference between their rates and fees, now is a great time to get a home loan health check.  You could save more than you expect! Always consider whether the fees to switch loans outweigh the benefits.

Overall, be realistic about your finances and identify what aspects of your budget worked last year (if you had one) and learn from your mistakes so you can plan for a richer, more fulfilling 2009.

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of