The headlines panic through the millions families paying of mortgage loans. This panic affects everyone, even though the consequences of rising interest rates vary greatly.
While higher interest rates mean many borrowers more than they did when they initially took out their loan, hundreds of thousands of home buyers are not affected at all.
The hardest hits are the people whose current repayments no longer cover their interest bill. This is called short fall,which is added to the overall amount they owe, so instead of paying off their debt, their are sinking further into it.
If you were wondering how this happen, you need to look at the changes that happen in the system.
Home loans haven't always been this easy to obtain, but when the banks were deregulated the availability of funds of home loans grew greater. With this came an increase in buyer demand. As home buyers battled soaring prices, along came a hike in interest rates caused by the scarcity of money in the economy. It's a vicious cycle.
Leaders have to offer higher rates is past on to the borrowers.
Building societies have always operated in this free market, but they have the disadvantage of being more limited in their operations than the banks.
Recently banks and building societies had to fight further competition for depositors money, because of an increasing number of attractive investment options from institutions such as offices and trust management companies.
Also the amount of money available to banks and building societies is dictated by the state of the economy and the Federal Government's tight money policy which restricts the amount of available money.
The governments don't achieve this by lowering production at the Mint, it does so through the buying and selling of the government securities.
They also said that the 20 per cent of the home loan mortgages are behind in their repayments. People who took out their home loan when the banks deregulated and able to set their own interest rates, are the most affected.
There is one way to take advantage of the present situation: The current taxation system makes paying off a home loan as quickly as possible one of the best investment the average person can make.
It's like investing that extra money at the home loan interest rate and getting the profit tax free. Some banks also let you pay off your loan each week, which can save thousand of dollars interest. If you cant afford to increase your regular repayments, you can make a single additional payment and you don't have to win the lottery to take advantage of this opportunity.
Banks generally set a limit of between 30 to 40 per cent of gross income at which people can repay their housing loans.
Anything above that limit is considered to place too great a strain on the family's economy.
The situation does vary of course. Many people will make almost super human sacrifices in pursuit of the great dream of owning their own home.
Some couples in areas where the price of home ownership are greatest, have postponed plans for a family indefinitely. They hope that interest rates will fall and their financial burden will ease sufficiently to begin having children.
Predicting just when this levelling process will begin is obviously difficult, But most experts do not see it occurring within the next 12 months.
Different banks and building societies have different repayment schemes, some of which cater to the current situation better than others.
The Commonwelth Bank reapraises its home loans every three years. But it has taken the step of sending out letters to its approximately 300,000 home loan customers, advising them that interest rates mybe causing them to lose grounds in their battle to pay off their loan.
Wespac advises customers who fall in this category authomatically. Computers
identify who is at risk and they are contacted by their bank manager.
The ANZ's product is structured so that borrowers agree to annual increases of two and a half percent. This was designed to bring some equality to the burden repayments make on a family budget. The increase take into account the borrowers increase earning capacity.
At present howeverthey also provide a safeguard against repayment falling behind the higher interest rates.
In some cases it may suit the borrower to let this situation continue for a short term, in the hope that interest rates will halt their spiral.Those who took out their loan diring the past 12 months or so may not be in a position to do this, because they may not been able to establish an equity. What a little equity has built up may be quickly eroded.
Some lenders, have system of variables repayments which take into account changes in capacity to repay.
What can i do to ease the pain?If you find yourself being swallowed by your home loan repayment, Or your position is becoming precarious,the chances are that your lender already will have contacted you.While they may not be ananimous over precisely what can be done to get interest rates down, they do agree that it is in their best interest to keep your situation manageable.
This might mean extending the period over which home loan is repaid.
In acute cases, Circumstances may have altered drastically since the loan
has taken out. Illness may have struck, Cutting the household income,
or they may be a break up
of a marriage or live in relationship.
In the case of incapacity, most lenders encouragebarrower to take out insurance. In some cases, it becomes a requirement before the loan is made..
Some State goverments offer Mortgage Relief Schemes, which take the form of short-term, interest-free loans that are paid directly into the home loan account. But these are really short term solutions.
The Queensland Housing Commision also helps custodial parents to retain the family home when a marriage has broken down It offers a loan at 13.5 per cent to enable a custodial parent to buy out the former partner.
It also has a policy which limits repayments to 25 percent of gross in come. This can reduce the limit to eight per cent.
The difference in nonrecouped subsidy from the commission.
But quality home buyers need to have made their commitment after this year and be paying a higher rate of interest than when they initially took out the loan.
As well as its short-term mortgage relief scheme, the West Australin Goverment has a home Buyers Guarantee Scheme,in conjuction in lending institutions. Those who qualify have their repayment level frozen for a three year period.
If the situation is really appalling, you may have
to sell your home and get something which is less of a burden. If this
is case, the important thing is sell your home quickly, before the rising
interest rates eat into the value of your home,
which is your greatest single asset.DIFFERENT MORTGAGE TYPES