Brighter Buying

Breaking the bank

by Kate Watt, Marketing Manager 18 October 2018

Think you’ve passed the test for home loan approval? Think again.

A new survey has revealed one in four homeowners given home loans last year would fail new bank tests if they applied today.

The latest HashChing broker survey reveals everything is now under the microscope, including Netflix habits, online shopping and even how much you spend on road tolls.

Up to 41 per cent of brokers believed a quarter of those who secured mortgages last year would not pass tougher rules around living expenses.

“The reality is, it has become a lot harder to secure a new home loan or refinance an existing one,” HashChing’s chief operating officer, Siobhan Hayden, told

“Banks are scrutinising everything, whether it’s how much borrowers are spending on tolls, Netflix, or ASOS.

“This is because lenders are tightening their credit policies and shining an unprecedentedly harsh spotlight on applicants’ living expenses.

“Reviewing a loan applicant’s living expenses is a rational metric to assess suitability for the loan, and doing so should provide more protections for both banks and borrowers.”

However, combing through living expenses is having an adverse effect on existing homeowners who would not qualify for their current mortgage today. This leaves them unable to refinance and stuck with their existing rate.

Ms Hayden suggested borrowers and househunters seek financial advice now to understand the recent changes to lending.

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