Moving mortgages, bank staff perks and mortgages at Christmas

After last week’s news about banning horrendous exit fees on mortgages taken out from July 1 next year, I’ve been wondering about whether I need to look into my current mortgage arrangements – even though I won’t be eligible for the no-exit-fee deal, the talk is that even for existing mortgages it could well be worth changing. The Herald Sun had a useful article this week on moving your mortgage and its step by step approach is pretty logical – do the research (online), then get information from someone like a mortgage broker, do some number crunching to figure out the short and long term effects of switching loans, and then, before you move, give your existing lender a chance to match the deal – if they don’t, move on! But that’ll have to go on my 2011 things to do list, I think!

But one extra reason to consider shifting my loan away from a big four bank is another article I read this week about the mortgage perks their staff receive. They get to save thousands of dollars in insurance payments on their mortgages and can get good deals with much smaller deposits – the one saving grace is they no longer get discounts on the interest rate on their mortgage, thanks to fringe benefits tax implications. Not enough to make me go work for a bank but it’s still annoying!

And finally, I also read a warning to not forget your mortgage this Christmas. If you’re thinking of doing some last minute Christmas shopping on your credit card, make sure you take it easy and leave yourself enough income to both repay your credit card and your home loan. It’s a time of year when it’s easy to get trapped in an overspending cycle so try to make sure your 2011 doesn’t start off in worse debt than you can handle.