Financial Hardship during COVID-19

In light of the current unprecedented global events as a result of COVID-19, we wanted to ensure you that we are here to support you for the long haul. It is becoming increasingly evident this is going to be a marathon, not a sprint and that we need to prepare for increasing unemployment, and reduced incomes. With this in mind, many of you may struggle to make your home loan repayments so we wanted to explore the options available to you.

Payment Deferrals
If you have recently lost your job or found your income substantially reduced you may be able to defer your home loan repayments for 3-6 months. All lenders have a hardship department that can assist with this process. A link of their contact details can be found here. We are aware that bank call centres are struggling to keep up with call volumes, and in many cases banks have now started to forward us forms for you to complete and lodge. Please call us first to see if we can assist.

If your income hasn’t been affected yet, and you are unable to access deferrals through hardship but you still want to minimise your cashflow expenditure by reducing your repayments there are other options available to you.

Redraw
If you have been paying over and above your minimum monthly home loan repayments you may have funds available in either redraw, or sitting in your offset account. If you reduce your loan repayments to the minimum amount you can then use these funds to make your future loan repayments.

Fixed Rates
With the recent RBA rate reductions many of the banks have dropped their interest rates, with some 1, 2 and 3 year rates in the low 2’s. For most people this is around 1% lower than they are currently paying. Locking in to one of these low rates, could reduce your monthly repayments by hundreds of dollars. Note: there are other factors to consider before fixing, such as break costs, so please ensure you call us first before proceeding with this option.

Superannuation
Legislation passed this week enables individuals to access up to $10,000 before 1 July 2020, and then $10,000 after July 2020 if their income has ceased or fallen by 20%. This is done via the ATO myGov website and will be available from mid-April 2020. More information regarding eligibility and the process can be found here.

PAYG withholding variation
If you have had your work hours reduced but you are not technically unemployed (so unable to access jobseeker payments) you can apply to the ATO to have the tax withheld from you pay for the rest of the year so you don’t have to wait to get a refund when you lodge your tax. More information regarding this can be found here.

Finally, know that you are not alone and you do have options. We are only a phone call or email away and happy to answer your queries. You need a broker now more than ever!

First meeting with a broker

If you’re looking for a home loan but have not dealt with a mortgage broker before, attending your first appointment with a broker can be a nervous experience. Getting a home loan, after all, can be quite complex for a first-timer and there is a lot to learn. But there are many steps you can take to be confident that your appointment will be a success.

A good starting point is to familiarise yourself with the expectations of the first appointment between one of our friendly brokers and yourself. Your broker is very likely to ask you about your medium and long-term financial goals, the amount you want to borrow, comparisons of your home loan options and your understanding of the fees, costs and conditions attached to home loans. Knowing the direction the appointment will likely take – lets you participate more actively in the conversation. This means you can better articulate your needs to your broker.

It’s also recommended that you give some consideration before the meeting to the types of questions you wish to ask your broker. Questions that can be of use include such things as loan types (such as term, repayment options and interest rate types), the types of ongoing fees attached to various loans (such as early exit, late payment, break and redraw fees) and the typical timeframe for a loan settlement.

These questions might pop into your head spontaneously during the meeting but preparing them in advance is a good way to refine them. By doing so, you are in a position to get more specific information from your broker.

It is common practice, too, for your broker to conduct a needs assessment prior to your face-to-face appointment – so you may be asked some pre-appointment questions. To assist in answering these, you’ll need to supply information about your employment history, assets and expenses.

At the appointment it will save you time and effort to prepare and then bring the required documentation with you. This can include ID, transaction histories, tax returns, rental income statements and borrowing documents such as “contract of sale” and proof that you have the deposit for a property. It’s mandatory for brokers to maintain the confidentiality of information that you provide to them and only pass on information necessary to enable them to lodge your loan application or where required by law.

All Venrock Finance brokers are accredited, therefore you can attend the meeting knowing your broker is appropriately educated, adheres to a strict and professional code of practice and is authorised to access a large range of products offered by a variety of lenders.

To book an obligation free appointment today please contact Venrock Finance on 08 9557 0500 or admin@venrockfinance.com.au.

Going Green

Venrock Finance is always looking for ways to improve our involvement within the community. Therefore, we are proud to announce our latest initiative where for every loan settled we will be donating trees through a partnership with the Carbon Neutral Charitable Fund. This is a local non-for profit organisation which works with the community to reduce and offset carbon emissions through various projects.

In addition to the above initiative, in 2016, Venrock took a major step forward in reducing the amount of paper we use in the office by changing from paper files to digital document management via our CRM system. Due to the current requirements of lenders, Venrock cannot be completely paperless; however, we are committed to continuing to evolve our internal systems.

If you are considering purchasing a new car or energy efficient equipment, please touch base with Venrock first as we have access to various loans for energy efficient products and services. Not only can we offer discounted loan rates for environmentally friendly vehicles, trucks, electric heavy machinery, agricultural equipment – we can also organise commercial finance for solar panels.

Please remember that Venrock is here to provide obligation free mortgage health checks, organise the finance for your new car, caravan or boat so you can get out and enjoy what our beautiful country has to offer.

Let’s work together to help build a better and sustainable future for the generations to come.

Financial Focus: Understanding Living Expenses

Applying for a new mortgage or looking to purchase a new car is an exciting time, however with the need for comprehensive credit reporting and tightening lending practices, it is imperative that consumers understand how their spending habits can impact on their capacity to access finance.

With more and more expenses being paid electronically, the banks have greater transparency on what exactly people are spending their money on and how much they are spending. Banks use this information to determine what surplus you have left to pay for the proposed finance. Additionally, the expenses that may be a luxury or a one off can also paint a picture on the desirability of you gaining an approval.

With all of this you need to be very mindful on what you are spending and ensure repayments are met on time. So when seeking a mortgage or car finance, work with a Venrock Finance broker who will gain an understanding of your discretionary spending and living expenses. As each bank has different policies our role is to navigate through the policies and find the bank that will say yes to your particular scenario, as while one bank may say no, the other lender may have a policy that includes a realistic understanding of your living expenses.

To discuss your requirements further please contact one of our friendly brokers today.

The Third Industrial Revolution

I have just read a fascinating article which theorises that the world is just entering it’s third “Industrial Revolution”.

The article was a series of extracts from an interview conducted with a well-known political and economic theorist, Jeremy Rivkin, who has a pedigree and sphere of experience which is imposing to say the least.

Amongst other things his CV contains years of experience as an adviser and consultant to Angela Merkel’s German Government, the European Union, the Chinese Government and various other European business leadership Groups.

In the interim, he continues his primary career, as an International lecturer in Executive Education.

In summary he has analysed the prevailing conditions which lead to the world’s previous well documented Industrial Revolutions, which were the British lead Industrial Revolution of the 18th and 19th Centuries, and the USA lead Industrial Revolution of the early part of the 20th Century.

He summarises that there needed to be three consistent situations, all of which were in sync, for each Industrial Revolution to commence.

These were chronological massive changes in communication systems, energy systems, and changes in respective information/human mobility.

In England these co incided with the development of steam energy, which helped power and develop the printing and manufacturing industry, and the telegram for communication, and then the evolution of the train industry for human and product mobility.

In the USA last century, the key changes were the evolution of oil and petroleum for energy, the development of the telephone, and then radio and TV, for communication, and as a consequence of the new energy source from oil, mobility changed rapidly with the development of cars, trucks, and buses.

He theorised that we have similar changes to the world as we have known it, in these three categories, happening right now.

As he sees it, traditional energy sources as we have known them, such as coal, are dead and buried, and are being replaced by sustainable energy sources such as solar, wind and water.

He then theorises that communication systems are going through their biggest generational change in the world’s history due to the internet, including, email, iPhone technology, and social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter.

And then, the final link in the chain is information mobility, which has been revolutionised by outlets such as Wikipedia and Google.

I don’t think there could be any arguments that the entire world has never been more connected with immediate information access for the vast majority of us on this planet.

So, if his thoughts are correct, what does it mean for all of us?

The facts are overwhelming that the last two Industrial Revolutions completely changed the world as it then was.

What changes in our day to day lives, and business lives, can we expect FROM THIS Industrial Revolution, which he theorises, has just commenced in terms of its’ evolution?

Firstly, it is undoubted, that across the world, we have seen a slowing in productivity over the past 15-20 years. As the world has changed, issues like climate change have seen an increase in unemployment. If you don’t believe this, consider the case of the US car industry.

He argues that the key to international growth is the building of infrastructure, which is a long term strategy, but this creates a political conflict, as politicians are interested in short term policy, which will get them re-elected in 4 years’ time.

For companies and businesses, he argues that the change has already started, and will continue to gather pace in its implementation.

The old business world was as he sees it, sellers selling something to a buyer.

The old world was all about analysing a business market.

The old world was based on consumerism.

The new world will be service providers providing their service to users.

Think about revelations like Uber, and Air B + B.

The new world will be about networks, not markets..

And the new world will be about sustainability of service.

So…what to do?

I don’t think there can be any doubt, that we are living in an era of the fastest ‘Business’ environmental changes in the history of the world.

So, business people need to consider the fate of dinosaurs, which couldn’t adapt to a changing environment and became extinct, in the process. The time to have flexibility of thought, an ability to embrace and implement new technology, is now. Everybody needs to work out what parts of the new world of communications, of energy and mobility can be implemented into your own businesses.

Who knows…In the process some exciting new opportunities may arise.

It is a whole new world. A world which is being revolutionised – by energy, by mobility and communications.

Survive now, evolve, and thrive later or would you rather be a Dinosaur?

That’s my thoughts

Muzza from Warnbro….