The best banking news of the week

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  • Energy Poverty: How Covid-19 Drove Older Australians to Tackle Their Energy Bills
  • Frollo renews its application and integrates open banking functions
  • 5 questions to ask when looking for a mortgage
  • How to get your finances in order when you get back to work

All in this week’s best recap of banking news: Editor’s Choice.

Older Australians struggling with energy bills due to Covid-19 pandemic

New research from The Conversation has found that older Australians who rely on old age pensions have the most difficulty with energy invoices.

Statistics have shown that this age group has been plunged into what they call “energy poverty” as many face 50% higher energy bills today than in 2019.

As a result, many older people have cut back on essential and non-essential purchases. In addition, they also try to save energy by reducing the number of showers or turning off heaters or air conditioners.

It’s not just exclusive to the older segment of Australians. In fact, recent figures from the Australian Energy Regulator showed that long-term electricity debt for residential customers increased to $ 124.5 million from March 31, 2020 to November 2, 2020.

Read full article: Covid-19 continues to create ‘energy poverty’ for older Australians to find discounts and help with energy bill payments available.

Frollo introduces new app features and open banking integration

Last week, fintech The Frollo budgeting app has had a makeover.

Currently, Frollo allows its 120,000 users to view their bank account, savings account, credit cards, loans, investments and pensions in the same app. It is a way to provide users with an overview of their financial situation.

The updates to the platform are as follows:

  • Customizable budgets in the app
  • Better search and filtering
  • Track financial goals

In addition, fintech continues to integrate Consumer Data Right (CDR), an open banking service that makes it easier for consumers to share their financial data, making it available to Android users. Previously, this feature was only available to those who used iOS.

Read the full article: The Frollo app gets a facelift with new features and even more open banking integration to find out more about what’s new in Frollo.

5 questions to ask when shopping for a home loan

With mortgage loan With approvals on the rise and more first-time home buyers entering the market, knowing what you want for your mortgage is more crucial than ever.

So what should you be looking for? Here are 5 essential questions to ask during your research:

1. Fixed or variable rate? This will determine what your refunds are and if they are subject to change as the market moves. The average 2-year fixed rate based on the Mozo database currently stands at 2.34%, while the average variable rate is 3.30%.

2. What about the features? Look for things like clearing accounts, additional repayments, repayment facilities, repayment holidays, home loan top-ups, and more. Find the features that are right for you and how you want to pay off your debt.

3. What is a comparison rate? Be sure to consider the comparison rate when evaluating your home loan options. This rate includes the overall rate as well as any additional fees or charges that you may be faced with.

4. Are there any fees? Check the additional fees you will need to pay on top of your regular refunds. While a loan may have a low interest rate when it comes to fees, they can outweigh what you save on the lower rate. So calculate the numbers!

5. How do I get a mortgage approved? Along with having all of your paperwork and proof of income / expenses in order, you need to make sure you have a good credit score. This is a reflection of any borrowing you have taken before and how you paid off what you owed. The higher your score, the more likely you are to be approved.

Read the full article: Buying a mortgage in 2021: 5 questions to ask yourself to compare home loan options now.

Back to work blues? Take it up a notch and be financially motivated for the year ahead

Have you finally hit the nail on the head that the holiday season is over and it’s time to get back to work? You’re not alone.

But before you get drowned in the blues of your back at work, put your energy into making 2021 a murderous year for your finances! Here are some tips for doing so:

  • Start your journey to reaching your financial goals in February: Let yourself go if you’ve used January to enjoy the sun and the coolness – we don’t blame you. But be sure to use the start of the month to reset yourself and figure out what your financial goals are, and stick to them!
  • Prepare for the road ahead: Financial health is a marathon, not a sprint. So take the time to prepare by creating a budget, figure out what you can afford, improve your credit score, and learn about financial products that could help you.
  • Switch to the right financial products: Whether it’s high interest savings account To boost your savings or a debt consolidation loan to help you get out of debt, make sure you have the right tools in your financial toolbox. Switching to a more competitive option might keep more of your hard-earned money in your pocket rather than in a bank.
  • Review your plan regularly: Preparing for financial success is all about trial and error. If something doesn’t work, change it. Make sure you allow yourself to be flexible so that you have the best chance to improve your money skills throughout the year.

Read the full article: Back to work? Get your finances in order for the coming year for a deep dive into these practical tips!

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