Posts Tagged :

interest rates

Using a credit card for everything? There are other ways to pay

Don’t believe you have to have a credit card. Paying interest sucks. It sucks the lifeblood out of your finances. That’s because unless you clear your entire bill within the interest free days, you pay interest. That interest means you’re paying as much as 22.95% more than your mates at the mainstream banks for the same things, which has a detrimental effect on your finances over time. Other (cheaper) ways to pay Thankfully there are way more credit-free ways to…

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Donkeys in a field
How your credit score affects the interest rates you pay (and welcome to the brave new world of risk-based pricing)

Watch out! Your credit score could soon affect the interest rate you pay. That’s good if you’re a “unicorn” with a credit score from 801 to 1,000, and not bad if you’re a “thoroughbred” with a score of 601 to 800. If, however, you’re a credit “donkey” at the very bottom of the credit score pile, a credit pony at 201 to 400, or a farm horse from 401 to 600 you could well pay more. Why donkeys pay more…

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Trick or trap: How much house can you really afford?

Do you like baked beans? Unless you want to be eating student grub for the next few years it’s a good idea to figure out how much house you can really afford. Don’t be fooled by what the banks tell you that you can borrow. It’s not the same question. Can you really afford the repayments? Really? The banks’ calculators don’t always take into account all the other things you have to pay for when you’re a home owner. What…

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Will the sun always shine on your mortgage?

Mortgages in Auckland are not small. The average one is $393,000 and a quarter of them are at least $500,000. When you owe that much money you want to know things are going to be okay: that your property values will stay up, that your interest rates will stay down. But the truth we come to know quickly in the credit rating business is that unhappy surprises have a habit of turning up. These post-GFC times have given us some…

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Rollercoaster
Mortgage rates: Are they taking us for a ride?

Do we have decent competition in the mortgage market here? Are the banks as ready to sharpen their pencil as they across the Tasman? Looking at the numbers, you might wonder if we’re being taken for a bit of ride. New Zealand’s banking base rate – the official cash rate – is 1.75% and until recently was 2%. Australia’s is 1.5%. So yes, you might expect the mortgage rates in Australia to be a little bit better than New Zealand.…

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Confident woman on couch in her home
How should you talk to your bank? Like a boss, says Damian Christie

When the time comes to re-fix your mortgage rate, it pays to shop around, says TV presenter, documentary producer and man with a Twitter account, Damian Christie. “I’ve always thought the banks are pretty hopeless at retaining their customers,” Damian says. “They offer a lot of enticements to new customers: free TVs, free money, low interest rates.” But that seems to be where the batteries run out. “It seems like they just assume people can’t be bothered moving once they’re…

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Auckland skyline
If house prices crashed by 40%, what would the country look like?

Imagine, in this uncertain world, that house prices – those house prices that keep rising and rising and rising – finally run out of rocket power. Imagine, even, that they actually drop. Maybe 10%, maybe 20, maybe 40. Would that be economic doom for us all? Are people so deep in mortgage debt that a big fall might bring the whole New Zealand economy down with them? Hive News publisher and business commentator Bernard Hickey has been following our housing…

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