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The New Year is almost upon us. As most of us get busy planning for the holiday season, it is also the time to review the months gone by and set new resolutions for the coming year. Along with losing weight to getting more organised to eating healthy, financial goals such as saving more and paying off debts rank right on top for many savvy Australians.

A recently published survey by Student Loan Hero revealed that 30% of the respondents chose “pay off debt” as their top New Year resolution for 2017. The biggest regret reported by most respondents for 2016 was not being able to save enough.

Whether you are an owner-occupier or an investor, here are top 5 new year resolutions that will surely have you surging ahead on the property ladder.

New-Year-Resolution-For-Home-Loans1. Do a health check up for your home loan – The New Year provides the perfect occasion to review your existing home loan. Are you using all the features you are paying for in your home loan? If not, ask your lender for a better rate on a basic loan.

With rate cuts by the RBA earlier this year and increasing competition in the house finance market, current home loan rates are at an all time low. Are you still stuck with the home loan rate you fixed few years ago?

It is possible to negotiate better interest rates with lenders and ask for these essential features in your home loan for greater savings this year.

Refinancing to a lower rate can save you precious bucks. Potentially, a $300,000 loan with a term of 30 years and an interest rate of 5.65% p.a. refinanced at a rate of 4.6% p.a. can lead to savings of $229.43 per month and up to $82,592.87 over the duration of the term! Use our home loan switching calculator to see how much you can save.

However, refinancing is not free. It is fruitful only when the costs of refinancing are far outweighed by the savings on your home loan.

Compare mortgage rates online for lowest home loan deals in the market.

2. Make extra repayments – Buying a home is simpler than owning one. Considering your home loan is secured against your precious home, the property is not really yours unless you have paid back the last penny you borrowed from the lenders as your home loan.

25-30 years being the usual loan term, do you really want to wait that long to own your property? This new year, resolve to pay your debt faster by making extra repayments into your home loan. Small changes such as paying fortnightly instead of monthly or simply increasing your monthly repayment amount by 1/12th or paying lump sum amounts such as your yearly bonus into your home loan can save tons of money and wipe off years from your home loan.

Use our handy home loan calculators to work out the savings.

3. Reduce your credit card debt – If you are planning to apply for a home loan in 2017, reduce your debt stress by resolving to clear off your high-interest rate credit card debts first.

Your debt-to-income ratio or the percentage of your monthly income applied towards recurring debts such as credit card payments is an important figure lenders take into consideration while assessing your home loan application. High debt-to-income ratio means your home loan application may not be approved.

 Credit cards can affect your borrowing capacity in several ways.

4. Save for a deposit – As property prices soar, saving a 20% deposit is turning into an impossible dream. In fact, it is the home loan deposit that keeps many potential buyers from buying their first home. Break that cycle and start saving for your property purchase now.

Input your savings target in this savings calculator to estimate how much you need to save monthly to achieve it. Setting effective financial goals and preparing a practical budget or roadmap to achieve them in 2017 will help you stay on target to fulfill your New Year resolution of buying a home.

Do not fret if you are stuck with low deposit. If you are sure you can service the home loan, there are plenty of low deposit home loan options in the market. Contact a mortgage broker for more information.

5. Learn how to invest – If you are planning to embark on a journey of wealth creation or expand your property portfolio in 2017, acquainting yourself with the mechanics of property investment should be your topmost goal.

Do you have enough equity in your own home to finance your investment property? What is your borrowing capacity? Have you checked out the next booming suburbs for max returns on your investment?

Whether you are a first time investor or an experienced one, read more online, research the market and make use of free property reports to ascertain figures such as rental growth, rental yield and vacancy rates for a well planned property investment.

 “Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right”. Indeed, Oprah Winfrey couldn’t have been more correct. As 2016 comes to naught, here’s another chance to set new financial goals and stay on track to achieve them. Best of luck!

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HashChing is helping Australians by providing access to the pre-negotiated home loan deals. Obligation free consultation with one of our partner brokers might save you time, hassle and money.