Inner East Review

Farmers' Finance Australia is your partner in growth

The team of Australia's top financial brokers at Farmers' Finance Australia are here to help. Picture supplied
The team of Australia's top financial brokers at Farmers' Finance Australia are here to help. Picture supplied

This is branded content for Farmers' Finance Australia

Farmers once relied on their local bank manager to set them on the right financial path for life.

Now, with bank branch closures or limited opening hours becoming commonplace, this is where Farmers' Finance Australia (FFA) can step in. Its team of the leading 40 brokers and 60 support staff in the country are on hand to help with advice that often remains a secret in the banking world.

Australian Community Media (ACM) has partnered with FFA to fill the gap in the market and share their expert financial knowledge with farmers while adding value. In this, the first in a series of monthly newsletters to farmers, FFA offers insights that may otherwise remain unknown.

FFA director Luca Catalano said the brokerage wanted to share this valuable information for free.

"We want to give people a taste of what knowledge they can get from a broker," he said.

"The truth is that in the regions people don't have access to all the information available, just what their local banks are doing. If you go to your local bank, they will tell you what they can do for you, however, that's less than 15 per cent of what the market can offer.

"There are so many other products that might be better for you. People might drive over an hour to their nearest bank but they have no choice over which bank that is or who they are dealing with.

"Farmers and residents of regional areas don't have the same resources as those in metro areas.

"Many people don't understand that Residential Mortgage Brokers are free to them. We are contactable over phone, online or however clients want to meet.

"Farmers can get the best finance which is in their best interest. We are in their corner. We ensure the best outcome for the client.

"We like bringing transparency to our audience. There are a bunch of tips and tricks that people don't know about. Our brokers are the experts in all things finance.

"We want to teach people how they can maximise their financial potential, and help them get the best rate and the best deal.

"What people get from brokers is this kind of information. This series is just a taste of the knowledge they can get from our brokers."

Mr Catalano said they aimed to provide consistent financial updates on the FFA website and in print. "We are here to help; that's what we were established for."

The monthly advice, from FFA chief executive Christian Stevens, begins with the top five tips to get finance ready. Other columns will include product updates and the latest knowledge based on the average RBA rate.

Mr Stevens said the service was a "value-add for farmers' growth" and that farmers should take advantage of FFA's expertise.

"Farmers should have access to the best brokers in the country," he said. "We have only the best brokers in Australia onboard to allow regional communities and rural households access to the best deals in market."

Did you know?

  • The average mortgage is around $645,000
  • 37 per cent of Australian households have a mortgage, 31pc rent and 32pc are debt-free
  • Agribusiness debt is worth more than $110 billion
  • Total residential mortgage debt is $2.3 trillion
  • 74.1 per cent of Australians use a mortgage broker

TOP FIVE TIPS TO GET FINANCE READY

Eliminate high-interest debts

  • Start your home loan journey on the right foot by clearing out any high-interest debts. This includes credit card balances, personal loans, payday loans, and any other debt that might be eating into your monthly budget.
  • Not only does this improve your credit score, but it also frees up more of your income to allocate towards a mortgage, making you a more attractive candidate to lenders.
  • FACT: Every $10,000 credit card limit you have (not your outstanding balance) reduces your borrowing capacity by $50,000.

Settle your HECS debt

  • Pay off your Higher Education Contribution Scheme debt if possible.
  • Although HECS is not a "bad debt" and doesn't inherently lower your credit score, having it paid off can significantly increase the amount you can borrow.
  • Lenders consider HECS debt when calculating your yearly obligations, so it reduces your borrowing power.

Establish a savings pattern

  • Demonstrating this with consistency is gold in the eyes of lenders.
  • Start by regularly setting aside a portion of your income in a savings account, ideally using the government's First Home Super Savers Scheme (FHSSS).
  • This shows financial discipline and builds the necessary deposit you'll need when applying for a home loan. The bigger the deposit, the less you must borrow; therefore, your loan terms can be more favourable.

Monitor your credit score

  • Regularly check your credit score and review your credit report for any discrepancies or areas of improvement.
  • A higher credit score can enhance your attractiveness as a loan applicant, potentially leading to better interest rates and more favourable loan terms.
  • FACT: Generally, credit scores from 580-669 are considered fair; 670-739 are considered good; 740-799 are considered very good; and 800+ are considered excellent. You want to have a good credit score as a minimum.

Consult an experienced mortgage broker

  • A seasoned mortgage broker will be your greatest ally.
  • They have an in-depth understanding of the market and can offer bespoke solutions on the best loan products that suit your needs and objectives.
  • They will navigate the complex landscape of loan applications on your behalf, making the process smoother and increasing your chances of approval.

Visit farmersfinance.com.au for more great advice and your daily update.

This is branded content for Farmers' Finance Australia