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Lift your home loan game

With home loan interest rates as low as 2.99 per cent, borrowers have plenty of scope to negotiate a better rate or refinance. A lot of borrowers don’t know they can haggle with their lender. The consumer watchdog, the Australian…

Credit card lending rules to have wider impact

The impact of reforms to responsible lending assessments for credit cards, which took effect in January, will be extended next month when they are incorporated into the assessment of applications for other credit products. Since the beginning of the year,…

Surviving the deposit rate crash

Banks and other deposit takers made their call on a Reserve Bank cut well before the central bank got around to last week’s 25 basis point cut, with a large number of them cutting their term deposit rates. The rate…

ATO to iron out clothing expense claims

The Australian Taxation Office is sceptical about the validity of many of the claims made for clothing and laundry expenses. Clothes bought to meet a dress code don’t qualify as uniforms. Last year, six million people claimed work-related clothing and…

2020 foresight: house prices to ‘rise 5 per cent’ next year

Lots of residential property analysts are calling the end of the market decline. Now one has made a bold prediction: prices will rise by at least 5 per cent next year. Macquarie Securities has taken the measure of the market…

ATO chases the small business, sole trader tax gap

In the 2017/18 financial year the Australian Taxation Office audited 120,000 small businesses. It focused on small business owners who report minimal profit but seem to be maintaining a lifestyle that exceeds personal income. The ATO compares data across businesses…

Time to review equity income options

There will be no change to the way franking credits are taxed, at least for the next three years, and investors who were considering changing their investment strategies to accommodate the change can relax. Stocks paying high dividend yield and…

Government has plenty on its plate

The government was criticised for going into the election without much of a policy agenda. However, there were a large number of measures with impact for the financial services industry that were planned or in train when the election was…

Shopper’s guide to ‘buy now pay later’

Competition is heating up in the ‘buy now pay later’ market with the arrival of Flexigroup’s new brand humm. The interest-free buy now pay later platforms such as Afterpay, Zip Co, Openpay and Brighte allow consumers to spread the cost…

Prospa IPO a high-risk proposition

The most notable item in the Prospa Group prospectus, which was released on Friday, is that the online small business lender’s impairment charge last financial year was the equivalent of 12.5 per cent of average gross loans. Another eye-catching number…