MEASURE YOUR SPENDING – DON’T RELY ON BUY NOW PAY LATER OR CREDIT SERVICES THIS CHRISTMAS!
Many Australians spend big when it comes to Christmas, and in fact, many Australians don’t even have a plan or an allocated budget for the holiday period! Yet Christmas arrives each year, at the same time, and as creatures of habit we reach for our cards and let our current spending become a “future me problem.”
For people looking to purchase a new home or their first home in the new year, operating your Christmas budget like this can be severely detrimental to your borrowing capacity! In the past, Mortgage Brokers and lenders have needed to see a clear 3 months of bank statements, all with minimal spending, within their serviceability range to allow you to become a customer and obtain your loan. With the introduction of Comprehensive Credit Reporting from 1st of July 2019 everything has changed!
Lenders can now see as far back as 2 years (if not more…) and have access to view all of your bank accounts, credit cards, not only from the lender you are applying to borrow from, but from all financial institutions in which you have open accounts with. If you are looking to borrow in the first quarter of the year (January to March), then you could be in for a potential shock when a lender rejects your application based on excessive spending throughout the holiday period.
Whatsmore, lenders like Homestart who will ask you for 3 months of clear and positive bank account conduct with your loan application are likely to reject your loan if they determine you have been “spending excessively.” If during the holiday period you are in the “pre-approval phase,” where you have been pre-approved with a lender and you decide to take out a credit product (Harvey Norman Interest free, ZipPay etc), then you will likely be denied your application and asked to resubmit after 6 months of clean and clear account conduct! Instantly your 3 months doubles to 6 months!! If this sounds like a stretch then you will be in for a shock as the reality of lending to consumers is in constant change and if you don’t meet the criteria of a lender you will not be able to achieve your dream of home ownership.
What will a lender see on your bank statements in the first quarter of the year? Will you be able to demonstrate that you are a great client for their products?
WHAT IS CHRISTMAS REALLY COSTING YOU?
If you are an over spender during the holiday period you may find that your dreams of home ownership in the first quarter of the year could be crushed. The good news is that you can prevent this from happening by implementing a budget that allows for Christmas savings so that when Christmas does inevitably come around, you have cash to spend rather than credit. You can demonstrate to your lender via your savings account that you have been saving all year which demonstrates your ability to save and not rely on credit. You can demonstrate that you don’t use “buy now pay later” products by not having them appear on your statements (by not using them, hence not appearing on your bank statement as repayments). You can also demonstrate that you have true savings by having a separate savings account setup with a consistent amount being deposited into the account each pay cycle and by never withdrawing from this account all year, which shows long-term savings and a commitment to purchasing your home.
If you are consistent in your actions of not using credit, or “buy now pay later,” and can demonstrate that you are savvy when it comes to saving consistently, coupled together with reducing your overheads, you will find that you will be an ideal customer for a lender and your dreams of home ownership will be a reality. Don’t allow Christmas, which comes around every single year, to throw your dreams out of the window.
HOW TO GET AHEAD
At Your Budget Mates we recommend that people start saving for Christmas on the 1st of January each year (not 8 weeks before Christmas which we see, so often promoted on Facebook by others). After the New Years hangover has subsided, and we look at the new year brimming with thoughts and possibilities of what we can achieve in the year ahead, we must look at our cashflow and make the active decision that the year ahead of us will be one of success and not debt. The first step is sitting with our partner/s and/or supporters and trusted confidants during this time and setup a plan that will allow us to succeed to avoid the Christmas hangover in the coming year.
KICK JANUARY AND FEBRUARY DEBT IN THE BALLS – YOUR CHOICES SHOULD YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT THEM
The way we see it, you have two choices when we enter into the new year:
The year has just kicked off and already you feel guilty for the overspending during the holiday period. You didn’t monitor how much you have spent and cringe to think about the bills that are soon to hit your mail box (old-school) or email, inbox. Lo and behold, you start the year on the backfoot, paying down debt rather than planning to get ahead.
You have been consistently saving throughout the year, have been using cash and monitoring your spending over the holiday period and are now ready for a new year and can start planning and saving immediately, completely debt free! The reality of your dreams; home ownership; travel; getting married; whatever your dreams are ready to be planned and actioned, they are all in the palms of your hand!
TAKE ACTION TODAY, and speak with Adelaide Budgeting so you can start the new year off on the right foot. Don’t be a slave to debt and consumerism and truly enjoy the Christmas break with friends and family rather than looking over your shoulder and wondering how many hours you need to work to pay off your credit hangover in the following year. Have peace of mind and be proud of yourself knowing that you have prepared all year; financially; and your life has become some simple, structured and managed well, that Christmas time becomes a breeze.