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Things to know about the First Home Super Saver Scheme

Posted on May 4, 2020 by admin

Individuals looking to buy their first home may claim up to $30,000 of their super contributions through the First Home Super Saver (FHSS) Scheme, which aims to reduce pressure on housing affordability.

The scheme allows first home buyers to save money within their superannuation fund and accumulate faster savings with the concessional tax treatment of super. Eligible individuals who are able to use up to $15,000 of voluntary contributions per year, and a total of $30,000 contributions across all years. The FHHS amounts received will affect your tax for the year it is released to you; both the assessable and tax-withheld amounts from your FHSS payment will need to be included in your tax return.

The types of contributions eligible to go towards the FHHS scheme are voluntary concessional contributions and voluntary non-concessional contributions. Contributions can be made up to your existing contributions cap.

To be eligible for the scheme, individuals must:

Individuals experiencing financial hardship may also apply for the scheme even if they have already purchased property in the past if their financial hardship has resulted in a loss of property interest. This may be applicable to individuals who have experienced events such as:

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Avoiding mortgage default

Posted on August 26, 2020 by admin

As individuals struggle with cash flow through the coronavirus, the Australian Bankers Association records that repayments on almost 500,000 mortgages have been deferred for six months. While repayments can be delayed, they cannot be avoided altogether.

Lenders can send you a default notice the day your repayment is overdue. However, they could also wait until your repayment is overdue by 90 or more days. When you receive a default notice, you are given 30 days to repay the amounts you have missed in addition to the regular repayment on your loan. Individuals who are struggling with their home loan repayments can avoid mortgage default by considering the following.

Contact your lender
Lenders are generally willing to work with you through financial hardship. Don’t be afraid to contact your lender to discuss your situation and find out what options are available for you. Lenders are often willing to negotiate short-term variations to repayment schedules that both parties can agree to. However, make sure that you do not agree to unrealistic repayment conditions that cannot be met.

Many Australian banks are offering a six-month deferral on mortgage repayments (including interest) for customers who are experiencing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19. If this is you, contact your bank to see if this is an option.

Apply for a hardship variation
Mortgage holders may be able to change the terms of their loan or temporarily pause or reduce their repayments under a hardship variation. A hardship variation can still be requested after you receive a mortgage default. To apply for one, contact your lender’s “hardship officer” and tell them that you wish to change your loan repayments due to financial hardship. This will usually require you to explain why you are struggling to make payments and to estimate how long your financial problems will continue to determine how much you can afford to repay.

After submitting a hardship variation request, your lender must contact you within 21 days with the outcome of your request. They may ask you for more details regarding your request; in this case, they must contact you again within 21 days from when you provide the additional information.

Consider selling your home
Selling your home is a tough decision, but in some cases this may be the better option if your circumstances are unlikely to improve. If you get to the point where your lender takes possession of your home and sells it, it’s likely that you won’t make as much as if you sold it yourself. When you sell your house on your own terms, chances are you will get a better price and avoid having to pay the legal fees passed on by your lender. Inform your lender if you decide to sell your home; they may ask for proof, such as a copy of the contract with your real estate agent or property advertisements.

Renting out your home until you can afford to make repayments again may also be an option if you are able to live somewhere else during this period.

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