This week in banking news - More first home loans, DMO prices to increase, home insurance for wild weather and the day of love.

  • More first home buyers are taking out mortgages 
  • Small businesses pushed to pay tax debts due to ATO crackdown 
  • DMO prices are set to jump in New South Wales 
  • RBA say home loan loyalty can be doing more harm than good 
  • Wild weather has Aussies checking their home insurance policies 
  • Valentines Day: is it a good time to check your financial compatibility? 

All in this week’s banking recap.

First home buyers are racing to get into the property market, here’s why. 

This week, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released data that showed that the number of first home loans has hit a decade record, jumping to the highest point since 2009. 

The data revealed that the amount of loans for first home buyers for December 2019 was 9,606 loans , a 6.2% increase from the previous month. 

Across Australia, first home loans accounted for 30.2% of the owner occupier market in large thanks to historically low interest rates, property prices and the new governmental First Home Loan Deposit Scheme. 

Read full article: Why first home buyers are racing into the property market now, to find out what Master Builders’ Chief Economist, Shane Garrett said about the new stats. 

ATO cracks the credit reporting whip on small businesses thanks to new laws 

Small businesses are being pushed to pay their taxes on time to the Australian Tax Office (ATO) due to new credit reporting laws. 

The laws were passed last year and outlined that the ATO now has the power to report any tax debt to credit reporting bureaus. 

Does this affect you and your business? Here are the reasons you could be reported: 

  • Your business has more than $100,000 in tax debt 
  • Your business has an ABN 
  • Your business is more than 90 days in arrears 
  • Your business hasn’t set up a payment arranged or negotiated one  

Read full article: ATO’s new credit rating crackdown pushes small businesses to pay tax debts and see what impact Scottish Pacific’s Senior Executive , Wayne Smith thinks the new laws will have. 

New South Wales energy customers get ready, DMO prices are set to rise 

At the beginning of the week, the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) announced its draft determination for default market offer (DMO) prices for the upcoming 20/21 financial year. 

For New South Wales customers, the news isn’t great. Depending on the distribution zone, DMO prices will increase by $9-$16 from 1 July 2020. 

But for customers in the north and south of the country, prices will drop: by $86 in South-East Queensland and $85 in South Australia. 

Read full article: DMO prices will increase in New South Wales, what it’ll mean for energy customers to find out what to do if this change affects you. 

If you’ve been with mortgage provider for years, the RBA says that may leave you off worse than you think 

There’s no denying that loyalty can be an admirable trait, but when it comes to your home loan this may not be the same story. 

According to new research conducted by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), Aussie home loan customers with older variable rate home loans have higher interest rates than those with new loans. 

The calculations showed that the average rate on older loans was 40 basis points higher than new ones - so for a loan with a balance of $250,000, customers with older rates would pay around $1,000 extra per year in interest.  

Read full article: Home loan loyalty doesn’t pay, says the RBA to help you crunch the numbers on finding a better deal on your mortgage. 

Last weekend’s heavy rains, is your home covered for the damage? 

While the sun might be shining today, it definitely wasn’t last weekend and some Aussies are still suffering the consequence of the wild weather. 

While some home insurance providers automatically cover customers for storms and rainwater damage, flooding is sometimes treated differently and may not be covered or is an optional added extra. 

The Bureau of Meteorology is predicting that New South Wales is still going to see significant rainfall, the heaviest since 1998 - so even if you weren’t affected by the recent weather, you could be soon so it’s important to check your home insurance policy

Read full article: Will home insurance cover flash flooding and wild weather in NSW? to find out the cases where your insurer can refuse to cover you. 

Be mine Valentine: why you should check if you are financially compatible with your partner

Happy Valentines Day lovers! 

While today is the day of flowers, chocolate and romance, it may be worth taking your rose coloured glasses off for a moment and checking whether you and your beloved are financially compatible. 

According to credit repair lawyers, MyCRA, if you and your partner don’t see eye to eye when it comes to money, you could be setting yourself up for failure later down the track. 

That’s not to say this has to be a dampener on your day or your relationship, it’s just all about being honest with each other about your money goals. Talk about your credit ratings, spending and saving habits and financial priorities - who knows, you may find you are with your perfect financial match after all! 

Read full article: Why financial compatibility should be on your Valentine’s wish list this year for more money questions you should be asking your Valentine.