Finance in your 50’s
Are banks turning their backs on older applicants?
Just a few years ago banks were firm on the fact that they couldn’t discriminate and rightly so. Australia’s anti-discrimination legislation prevents lenders from discriminating against mortgage applicants based on their age. But in recent months, a disappointing trend has emerged, preventing older applicants in an average financial position from securing home loans.
Entering the market
There are many reasons why older Australians borrow money: divorce, the loss of a partner, downsizing or upsizing, and investment properties. But if you’re pushing 50 or are in your 50’s, brace yourself for a raft of questions about your exit strategy and your ability to continue earning income for the duration of the loan term, which is likely to be much shorter than you might like.
A shorter term means you’re looking at higher loan repayments. For a newly single parent with dependent teenage children, your goal to keep repayments down to a minimum until the kids leave home and then accelerate your loan repayment just got a whole lot harder.
This shift in the banks’ considerations have likely been brought on by the crackdown on responsible lending, and rightly so. Borrowers should be protected from inappropriate loan terms that far exceed their ability to work and repay the debt. But it seems like some lenders have had a knee-jerk reaction, enforcing a blanket approach when it comes to older applicants. Instead of assessing each applicant and their circumstances individually.
Shopping for a better rate
For those who are already in the property market, like most people, you’re probably shopping around for a lender who will offer you better loan rates. But if you’re in a higher age bracket, you’ll be faced with similar challenges as those trying to enter or re-enter the market.
Let’s say you are five years into a 30-year loan term. The new lender may argue that your exit strategy for paying out the loan before retirement isn’t feasible. They don’t ‘buy’ it. They’ll offer you a better rate but only a 15-year loan term which dramatically increases your loan repayments. If you have a surplus in your monthly budget and were making additional repayments anyway, that may be alright. But it’s not necessarily a better deal.
Don’t face the banks alone
The odds may seem stacked against you if you’re looking for finance later in life but that’s why having a broker to support you is so important.
We understand that people request longer loan terms for various reasons. Maybe you want to keep repayments low for the next five years and then plan to sell. You may want the flexibility to make extra repayments if and when you’re able.
That’s why we take the time to ask all the questions – so that we can give the banks recommendations, based on much more than your age, to highlight your suitability as an applicant. We want to understand you so we can sell you to the bank.
We know which lenders will support your goals and exit strategy, and those that won’t. The loan market may be getting tougher, but we are here to support you every step of the way.
Give us a call on (08) 9343 5019 before you speak to the banks. You’ll be glad you did.
Over to you
If you liked this article, please share: