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How to avoid a financial hangover this silly season

With the festive season now officially underway, it’s not too late to review your household finances and get ahead of the curve. Conducting a health check on personal finances can minimise the likelihood of waking up to a financial hangover in the New Year.

We've rounded up six tips to help you better manage your credit debt over this holiday period:

#1. Be a savvy shopper

Before you even step foot in a mall, draw up a list of gifts that need to be bought and an approximate budget for each person you’re shopping for. Start looking for gifts early, take advantage of sales events and avoid leaving all the shopping until the last minute. Time pressures can lead to impulse purchases which can quickly blow out the budget.

#2. Prevention is better than cure

An effective way to avoid overspending is to keep track of purchases. There are lots of budgeting tools available to help manage spending. Many banks offer spend tracking as a standard in their online banking apps. Find what your bank already has and what will work best for you.

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#3. Pay your bills on time

This reduces late payment fees and helps keep credit records clean. Getting into this habit now could save you a headache in the future. With the Comprehensive Credit Reporting coming into place, Australians are faced with tightened lending criteria. For more information read our article 6 ways to improve your credit score quickly.

#4. Be smart with your savings accounts and credit cards

Savings accounts and credit cards are often forgotten about once setup. Look for a savings account that has a high interest rate, low account fees along with accessible ATMs and service. Consider cancelling any credit cards that aren’t used regularly. Many come with annual fees and high interest rates which often kick in once the initial ‘offer’ period is over, all of which can quickly accumulate.

#5. Consolidate debts where you can

Car, credit cards and personal loans generally come with interest rates that sit in the double digits. Think about combining high interest debts into your home loan. This can create a positive impact on your overall outgoings and a saving in interest paid over the life of the loan.

#6. Regularly review your home loan

This is your biggest household expense so you shouldn’t just ‘set and forget’. Buying a home can be the most expensive purchases you’ll make and as banks don’t often reward borrowers for loyalty, it pays to get into the habit of reassessing your home loan periodically to ensure it continues working hard for you.

The potential savings

Switching to a better interest rate on your home loan can save Australians more than $2,300 by next Christmas. This offers a significant opportunity to homeowners and can cover major costs such as renovations.

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Our Lendi Home Loan Index Q3 showed that of owner occupier borrowers who were initially looking for an interest only home loan, 84.9 per cent ended up choosing a principal and interest product**. This suggests that borrowers are inclined to make financially responsible decisions when presented with greater choice, education and have access to support.

Don’t settle for second best

You have thousands of home loan options to choose from at your fingertips. Do your due diligence and consider the full scope of products available to find what’s right for your individual circumstances.

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*Calculations based on refinanced principal and interest loans by owner occupiers who have refinanced with Lendi from 1 January-31 October 2018. The difference in savings is based on customers’ previous and new interest rates.

**Based on owner occupiers who settled their home loan using Lendi between 1 January-31 October 2018.

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Tags: refinance, saving, low interest, interest rate

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Important legal stuff

COMPARISON RATE WARNING: This comparison rate is true only for the example given and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees or other loan amounts might result in a different comparison rate. The comparison rates are based on a loan amount of $150,000 over a loan term of 25 years.
Lendi is the trading name of Lendi Pty Ltd, a related body corporate of your licensed credit assistance provider, Auscred Services Pty Ltd (ACN 164 638 171, Australian Credit Licence Number 442372). We will never sell your email address to any third party or send you nasty spam, promise.
EXAMPLE: This example is current as at 20th October 2016. A Click Loans Online Principal and Interest Loan of $150,000 over 25 years has monthly repayments of $767. This is calculated based on the interest rate of 3.69%, comparison rate of 3.69%, upfront fees of $0 and annual fees of $0.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Loan terms of between 1 Year and 40 Years are available subject to lender and credit criteria. Maximum comparison rate will not exceed 14.99% (see comparison rate warning above). Any calculations or estimated savings do not constitute an offer of credit or a credit quote and are only an estimate of what you may be able to achieve based on the accuracy of the information provided. It doesn't take into account any product features or any applicable fees. Our lending criteria and the basis upon which we assess what you can afford may change at any time without notice. Savings shown are based on user inputted data and a loan term of 30 years. All applications for credit are subject to lender credit approval criteria.
Lendi is a privately owned and operated Aussie business. Our mission is to provide Aussies with the right experience when choosing a home loan from our panel of major and non-bank lenders including Click Loans which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Auscred Pty Ltd and a related body corporate of Auscred Services, your credit assistance provider. Although Lendi compares over 1600 products from over 30 lenders, we don't cover the whole market or compare all features and there may be other features or options available to you. While Lendi is 40% owned by founders and employees, we have also been supported by some great minority shareholders including Bailador, Macquarie Bank Ltd and a number of Australian sophisticated investors. We have an independent and founder led board.
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