bad credit

6 Things Every Credit Card Owner Should Know

6 Credit Card Rules to Always Follow

Credit cards make purchases and paying your bills easier. Using a credit card is also a good way to boost your credit score. However, failing to properly manage your credit cards can lead to a lot of unnecessary expenses.

If you’re tempted to buy things you can’t really afford just because you can charge them on your cards, it will benefit you to leave them at home when you go shopping. When you have an emergency, rely on an emergency fund to avoid charging unplanned expenses on your cards.

Selecting a credit card that’s right for you is also important. This can be difficult, since the cards you qualify for are limited by your credit score. Compare credit card limits, rates, and other fees to figure out which card will work the best for your circumstances.

Follow these tips to avoid spending a lot on fees and interest while boosting your credit score:


  1. Pay your bill on time, and pay more than the minimum. Not only will you avoid late fees with this strategy, but you’ll also pay off your balance quicker, thus saving money on interest, too. 
  • For example, if you have a $500 balance on a card with a 15% Interest Rate, you would end up paying $595 over two years if you make the minimum payments of $20/month.
  • However, if you make payments of $50/month instead of the $20 minimum payment, you would end up spending a total of $528 to pay off your balance in a little less than a year.
  • Be consistent with your payments. Missing a payment or paying less than the minimum may negatively impact your credit score resulting in bad credit.
  1. Keep your balance as low as possible. Ideally, your balance should be less than 30% of your available credit limit.
  • Avoid maxing out your credit card or making large purchases unless you plan on making a significantly larger payment to cover these expenses.
  • Consider applying for a credit limit increase if you cannot pay off enough on your card to stay around the 30% mark.
  1. Read the fine print on rewards cards. Credit card providers typically charge higher rates and fees to compensate for the cash back and other rewards. 
  • The best strategy for using a credit card with rewards is to make enough purchases to qualify for the rewards, but then pay off your balance in full every month to avoid paying interest.
  1. Keep it simple. Owning too many credit cards can make managing your accounts difficult. You’ll be more likely to miss a payment.
  1. Be careful with balance transfers. This can sound like a good option if you qualify for a credit card with lower fees and rate. However, some credit card companies will charge you a transfer fee, which is usually a percentage of the debt you are transferring. Paying 3% of the amount you’re transferring to get a slightly lower rate might not save you money.
  1. Avoid cash advances on your credit cards. A cash advance can be a tempting option because this cash is very easy to get, but you’ll have to pay a fee and will have to make larger monthly payments to compensate for this charge. Cash advances often have a higher rate of interest as well.

These tips will help you stay on the right track with your credit cards. Keep in mind that you can easily avoid fees and spend less on interest by being responsible and planning your expenses and payments in advance.

Shop around for a better credit card every two years or so. You will qualify for better products as your credit score improves from following these strategies.

If you are looking to consolidate debt, or discuss any of your finance options, one of our expert lending specialists is here to help you.  Call or email us today!

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What Is Bad Credit?

When it comes to impaired credit, there are many kinds; the main ones include:

  • Bad Credit History – Negative marks like bankruptcy, defaults, court writs, judgments and an excessive amount of credit enquiries could lead to mistrust in your loan application…

Bad Credit Home Loans

Who can secure a Bad Credit Loan?

Who Can Secure A Bad Credit Loan?

People with a black mark on the credit report, due to job loss, divorce, business failure, injury, or a multitude of other reasons  – can still secure finance and attain a bad credit home loan. Traditional Lenders, like the major banks, are generally extremely wary of borrowers who have defaults or who constantly have credit issues. This is where non-conforming lenders step in with a more flexible set of loan qualifying criteria. Some of this criteria includes:

Small Paid Default

  • If your default is under $500 and was paid over six months ago, a bad credit loan lender can assist you in borrowing up to 90 percent with a bad credit loan; sometimes 95 percent LVR for a home’s property value.

2 or More Small Paid Defaults

  • If your paid defaults are under $1000 from financial institutions (banks) and you have less than $500 from the non-financial institutions (phone company), you could receive 85 to 90 percent of the home’s property value.

Moderate Paid Defaults

  • If you have $3,000 in paid defaults, you can attain up to 80 percent of a home’s property value using a prime lender, 90 percent using a specialist lender who provides a bad credit loan or the complete property value amount so long as your parents provide a security guarantee.

Large Paid Defaults

The largest paid defaults, ranging from $3,000 to $50,000, are usually looked at on a case-by-case basis and using a good explanation that can be backed by evidence. Loans of up to 90 percent of the property value can be given with a specialist lender’s help.

Unpaid Defaults

If there are any unpaid default a loans, a non-conforming lender will only permit up to 90 percent of the property value. Most lenders demand that defaults are paid before loan approval.

Court Writs/Judgements

Should you have any court writs or judgments against you, you can potentially get a non-conforming lender to provide you a bad credit loan with up to 90 percent of the home’s property value.

Part IX Agreement

  • The Part IX Debt Agreement is an alternative to filing for bankruptcy. This kind of agreement is generally more flexible and has an array of options like:
  1. Agreement with creditors to pay less than the debt’s full amount
  2. Agreed upon system of payments set an affordable level
  3. Transference of some property you own to a creditor  to meet some or all debt payment
  4. Organizing of temporary suspension on debt payments

It is possible to attain a home loan after you’ve completed the Part IX agreement. Here’s what you can expect:

  • The borrowing of up to 90 percent of the home’s property value
  • Requirement of at least 16 percent of the home’s purchase price for the deposit
  • Larger deposits can qualify you for the standard bank interest rates

Special Note: If still paying on the Part IX Agreement, you cannot attain a home loan.

Bankruptcy and Loans

A lender will look at bankruptcy issues based on your particular situation and the size of the deposit you’re willing to put up.

Discharged Bankruptcy – If your bankruptcy was discharged, you can borrow up to 90 percent of home’s purchase price. However, you must have between 14 and 16 percent of the purchase price yourself to ensure the deposit, stamp duty and Lenders Risk Fee will be covered. You can be discharged for as little as one day to qualify.

Undischarged Bankruptcy – If you’re currently in bankruptcy, you are not allowed to attain a home loan, as this is illegal.

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“Thank you so much for helping me get my refinances done. I can finally move ahead now that I no longer am burdened by defaults. I also admire the efficiency and professionalism with which you got the job done. Rest assured that I will recommend your services to all my family, friends and colleagues.”

– Bill Jackson, VIC

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“Adam and I would like to thank you for assisting us in securing a new home. Even though our circumstances were very complex, you were able to guide us to the best possible product for our situation. Nothing was too hard for you to respond to and we are grateful that you never kept us waiting for an update.”

– Sarah Walker, ACT

bad credit loan

“Dear Melanie, Thank you so very much for all of your help in securing my mortgage and your expert advice. I sincerely appreciate all you have done for me – when I thought I had exhausted all my options you proved me wrong and for that I am grateful”.

– Jodie Oconnell, VIC

Seven Steps to Eliminate Credit Card Debt

Here are Seven common sense guidelines to eliminate credit card debt:

1) DO make a budget listing all your fixed expenses. Rent or mortgage, car insurance, car payments, mobile phones, utilities, day care, fixed loans, etc. Then try to estimate a reasonable budget for discretionary items like food, entertainment, clothes, etc.

2) DO make a second list of all your outstanding balances and sort by balance, minimum payment, and interest charges if you have multiple credit card debts.

You may think the wisest thing to do is paying off the credit card with the highest interest rate. However, there are 2 preferred methods to follow.

First, you should reduce the number of credit cards. Pay off the smallest balance first with larger payments until the number of credit cards you have in debt is down to one. Your ultimate goal is zero, or when you can pay your monthly balance in full every month.

The other strategy is to pay the balance on any card exceeding 50 percent of your credit limit because balances above this level may affect your credit score.

3) DO use cash or a debit card linked to your bank account. You can’t spend what you don’t have.

4) DO look for extra income. Most likely your rent or mortgage is your biggest expense, so consider a roommate if possible. If you like your occasional privacy, consider an International student for shorter periods of time.

5) DO look for the little things that add up in your expenses. Maybe change your phone plan if you are constantly going over the monthly minutes? How about that $3.50 latte or cappuccino every work day? That’s almost $1,000 a year!

6) DON’T sign up with a new credit card with a 0% Interest Rate for the first 6 months.

You probably receive a lot of junk mail enticing you to sign up with a new credit card with a 0% Interest Rate for the first 6 months before it jumps to 18% or even higher. Then 6 months later you would transfer your huge balance to another piece of plastic. Unfortunately, the biggest risk is they are simply giving you more credit to spend, and the number of cards and liability increases.

Unless you are extremely disciplined, this doesn’t really work as you end up bigger and deeper in the hole! Reducing the number of credit cards is the goal.

7) DO consider refinancing your home (if you have one) and consolidating all your debts into one

Logically, a 4.50-5.50% home loan is a lot less than 18% on a credit card. You can’t spend what you don’t have. You will be asked to have all your cards cut up (except maybe one with a small credit limit) and you have reduced the number of credit cards. You are now paying back that debt at far lower interest rates – often we find that the overall new monthly mortgage payment incorporating the consolidated debts is lower or at least equal to what you were previously paying out across several loans (credit cards included). Plus – the temptation has now been removed as you no longer have the credit cards!

Melanie Burns

Here are Seven common sense guidelines to eliminate credit card debt: 1) DO make a budget listing all your fixed expenses. Rent or mortgage, car insurance, car payments, mobile phones, utilities, day care, fixed loans, etc. Then try to estimate a reasonable budget for discretionary items like food, entertainment, clothes, etc. 2) DO make a…

Buying A Home With Bad Credit – A few key tips to keep in mind

You can buy a home with a bad credit history; you just need to find the right mortgage financing package. Before you sign up with the first company that offers you a loan, remember to research offers to be assured you are getting a fair deal.
Know Your Credit Rating
Your credit report/history is one of the biggest factors in determining the interest rate you will pay for your loan and the features (or lack thereof) of the loan that will be available to you.  Lenders will require a deposit of generally between 10-20% if their are impairments on your credit file.  The more severe the impairments – the greater the deposit. It is always a good idea to obtain a copy of your credit file prior to applying for finance. This is a good time to make sure all the information is correct. Any discrepancies should be checked out and corrected before applying for a loan.


Know The Fees

Arm yourself with information so you will know what are reasonable fees for your type of loan. Mortgage brokers are paid for their work through points paid up front or through the lifetime of the loan by the lender. Lenders also make money through points.It is reasonable to expect to pay up to 2-4% above normal variable interest rates for credit impaired mortgage, but any higher and you should be wary. There are always exceptions to this, so use your best judgment and compare.

Read The Fine Print

Once you get an offer from a broker, make sure you read the fine print. Interest rates are easy to compare, but you should also look over the fees that are involved which can add up to thousands of dollars. Also, be sure to understand any fees for late or missed payments.To discuss your mortgage options please feel free to contact us and we can review your options and provide you with a free comprehensive loan assessment.