June jargon: Your monthly financial news glossary

Olivia Gee

30 Jun 2020

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Do you regularly resort to sneaky Google searches to translate financial terms popping up in the news? Then let this monthly alphabetised glossary of money jargon guide you through the financial section of any morning news bulletin or weekend trivia night.

We’re going to lay out some of the most commonly quoted financial terms and ideas that have come to the fore in June 2020. We’ll try not to bore you with “The Oxford Dictionary defines X as...”, and instead explain things like a human, rather than some all-knowing financial wizard.

So, without further ado, your June financial news glossary.  

Business confidence
This might feel like a self-explanatory one, and in part it is: it refers to how confident business owners are for financial success into the future. But knowing how this confidence measurement is calculated provides further insight. Generally, it’s based on opinion surveys and interviews which consider levels of production, orders and stock. So if you see business confidence levels jumping around, just remember it’s based on everyday assessments of productivity.

Climate Measurement Standards Initiative (CMSI)
The CMSI is a new way to assess and disclose the risks of the changing climate on infrastructure (homes and other buildings). It aims to provide a common understanding between insurers, banks, property owners and agents about how climate change scenarios impact insurance policies and financial stability.

Early super access scheme
This government initiative was rolled out in March, allowing people facing financial hardship because of the pandemic to dip into their super funds for support. Normally, early withdrawals are very restricted as it can significantly impact superannuation income in the long-term. So read-up on the reasons behind this and consider your circumstance before jumping into it. So far, more than two million Aussies have accessed over $17 billion through the scheme.

Energy rebates 
You could be saving a bundle on your gas and electricity bills if you’re eligible for an energy rebate. This is essentially a discount accessible under certain circumstances, like if you’re a pensioner, have dependent children, or have someone in the house using life support or other medical equipment. These offers differ between states and territories, so scroll to the bottom of this NSW guide to find info for your region.

EOFY 
It’s not just a funny sound, it’s the end of financial year! June 30 is when everything wraps up in economic terms, and soon after this date you’ll need to start preparing your tax return. Since many companies are trying to meet budgets and sales targets in the lead-up to EOFY, it’s also a time when savvy shoppers can jump on things like fab car deals.

First Home Loan Deposit Scheme (FHLDS)
Prospective first home buyers with a deposit under 20% of a property’s value will generally have to pay Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI) as a safeguard for the lender. But if they’re accepted under the FHLDS, this is waived by the government guaranteeing the loan. The EOFY brings with it 10,000 new places in the FHLDS.

HomeBuilder Scheme
In an attempt to boost the construction industry during COVID-19, the government is offering $25,000 cash-back grants to Aussies building new homes or doing significant renovations. The scheme has been criticised for primarily funding existing builds rather than stimulating new work and for being inaccessible to many, with applicants needing to spend a whopping $150,000 to be eligible.

No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS)
Yes, loans which don’t charge interest do exist. The NILS is a program offered by GoodShepherd Microfinance in partnership with the Australian Government and NAB offering no-interest, fee-free loans to low-income households. Up to $1,500 can be borrowed for essential items like car repairs, medical and dental procedures and whitegoods. To qualify for the loan you must meet certain income and lifestyle criteria.

Recession
Put simply, a recession is a downward economic spiral seen across consecutive economic quarters (in this case January-March and April-June). The most recent data says Australia is now officially in recession. What it means for you depends on your employment and other financial circumstances. For more info, read these tips on how to save during a recession.

Robodebt
No, it’s not a dystopian AI debt collector. The term ‘robodebt’ was coined to describe wrongly issued Centrelink debts based on inaccurate income assessments of welfare recipients. The debts were calculated and issued automatically, thus the robo-reference, and are now in the process of being refunded

Once you’ve wrapped your noggin around this glossary, delve deeper into money management with Mozo’s budget guide. Then see if you pass these money tests to get your first mortgage.

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