UBank makes it easier to manage your money

UBank makes it easier to manage your money

Would you like to be better at money? In that case, UBank may have come to your rescue.

UBank said its customers can now get “an in-depth understanding of their finances and spending, in a simple click, through UBank’s in-app budget tool”.

This new feature comes after UBank became the first bank to form a partnership with Basiq, an Australian fintech whose investors include NAB Ventures and Westpac’s Reinventure. Basiq’s open banking platform helps customers understand their spending habits, and also suggests changes to their behaviour.

“Customers will be able to see their total spend and every transaction across 40 different categories as well as detailed spending by merchant,” according to UBank.

“Empowered by these insights, users can then easily create a budget by entering their expenses, and the app will provide them with a single, real-time number representing their daily spend allowance.”

The future is fintech

UBank isn’t the only lender to expand through fintech. Two years ago, Bankwest unveiled a range of wearable technology that let users pay for their groceries with rings. Last year Westpac created a line of designer wearables, including pins, bands and chains. They can be attached to objects like shirts or gym towels so users can pay with their clothing.

It’s not just wearables that are showing off how far financial technology can go. There are a range of educational apps that help to teach children about money by letting them check their balances, transaction history and set savings goals.

A range of fully licensed neobanks (digital banks controlled through apps) have also emerged in Australia.

It’s understandable when you consider that Roy Morgan research into digital payment solutions found that Gen Z and millennials are more likely to pay using fintech, whether through Android Pay, Apple Pay, Google Pay or another app.

There is a clear emerging market and banks, like UBank, are smart to step into this space.

UBank transaction and savings accounts

UBank has one transaction account, called Ultra:

  • 0% standard interest rate
  • 1.06% bonus interest rate available
  • $0 monthly fee
  • $0 overseas ATM fee
  • $0 fee for online purchases with overseas merchants

UBank also offers three different savings account options:

Account

Eligibility

Interest rate

Monthly fee

USaver

Aged 18 and above

1.04%

$0

USaver + Ultra

Link USaver savings account to Ultra transaction account

2.10% (base rate of 1.04% + bonus 1.06% if you deposit at least $200 per month)

$0

USaver Reach

Aged 18 to 29

1.55%

$0

Do your research

As with all financial products, it’s important to compare savings accounts before you sign up.

The UBank USaver + Ultra savings account has a very high interest rate by market standards. Here are some other savings accounts with some of the highest interest rates in Australia: 

Institution

Account

Base rate

Max. rate

How to earn max. rate

86 400

Save

0.40%

2.25%

Deposit $1,000 per month

Up

Saver

0.50%

2.25%

5 debit card transactions per month

Bank of Queensland

Fast Track

0.35%

2.15%

Deposit $1,000 per month

ME Bank

Online Savings Account

0.35%

2.05%

4 tap-and-go transactions per month

RAMS

Saver Account

1.15%

2.00%

Deposit $200 per month, no withdrawals

MOVE Bank

Bonus Saver

0.80%

2.00%

Deposit $200 per month, no withdrawals

Australian Unity

Active Saver

0.50%

2.00%

Deposit $250 per month, no withdrawals

MyState

Bonus Saver

0.30%

2.00%

Deposit $20 per month, 5 debit card transactions

CUA

eSaver Reward

0.05%

2.00%

Deposit $1,000 per month

Date accurate as of December 5. Youth accounts and accounts with short-term honeymoon rates have been excluded from the comparison table.

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Learn more about home loans

How is interest charged on a reverse mortgage from IMB Bank?

An IMB Bank reverse mortgage allows you to borrow against your home equity. You can draw down the loan amount as a lump sum, regular income stream, line of credit or a combination. The interest can either be fixed or variable. To understand the current rates, you can check the lender’s website.

No repayments are required as long as you live in the home. If you sell it or move to a senior living facility, the loan must be repaid in full. In some cases, this can also happen after you have died. Generally, the interest rates for reverse mortgages are higher than regular mortgage loans.

The interest is added to the loan amount and it is compounded. It means you’ll pay interest on the interest you accrue. Therefore, the longer you have the loan, the higher is the interest and the amount you’ll have to repay.

Cash or mortgage – which is more suitable to buy an investment property?

Deciding whether to buy an investment property with cash or a mortgage is a matter or personal choice and will often depend on your financial situation. Using cash may seem logical if you have the money in reserve and it can allow you to later use the equity in your home. However, there may be other factors to think about, such as whether there are other debts to pay down and whether it will tie up all of your spare cash. Again, it’s a personal choice and may be worth seeking personal advice.

A mortgage is a popular option for people who don’t have enough cash in the bank to pay for an investment property. Sometimes when you take out a mortgage you can offset your loan interest against the rental income you may earn. The rental income can also help to pay down the loan.

Why does Westpac charge an early termination fee for home loans?

The Westpac home loan early termination fee or break cost is applicable if you have a fixed rate home loan and repay part of or the whole outstanding amount before the fixed period ends. If you’re switching between products before the fixed period ends, you’ll pay a switching break cost and an administrative fee. 

The Westpac home loan early termination fee may not apply if you repay an amount below the prepayment threshold. The prepayment threshold is the amount Westpac allows you to repay during the fixed period outside your regular repayments.

Westpac charges this fee because when you take out a home loan, the bank borrows the funds with wholesale rates available to banks and lenders. Westpac will then work out your interest rate based on you making regular repayments for a fixed period. If you repay before this period ends, the lender may incur a loss if there is any change in the wholesale rate of interest.

Remaining loan term

The length of time it will take to pay off your current home loan, based on the currently-entered mortgage balance, monthly repayment and interest rate.

What do people do with a Macquarie Bank reverse?

There are a number of ways people use a Macquarie Bank reverse mortgage. Below are some reasons borrowers tend to release their home’s equity via a reverse mortgage:

  • To top up superannuation or pension income to pay for monthly bills;
  • To consolidate and repay high-interest debt like credit cards or personal loans;
  • To fund renovations, repairs or upgrades to their home
  • To help your children or grandkids through financial difficulties. 

While there are no limitations on how you can use a Macquarie reverse mortgage loan, a reverse mortgage is not right for all borrowers. Reverse mortgages compound the interest, which means you end up paying interest on your interest. They can also affect your entitlement to things like the pension It’s important to think carefully, read up and speak with your family before you apply for a reverse mortgage.

When do mortgage payments start after settlement?

Generally speaking, your first mortgage payment falls due one month after the settlement date. However, this may vary based on your mortgage terms. You can check the exact date by contacting your lender.

Usually your settlement agent will meet the seller’s representatives to exchange documents at an agreed place and time. The balance purchase price is paid to the seller. The lender will register a mortgage against your title and give you the funds to purchase the new home.

Once the settlement process is complete, the lender allows you to draw down the loan. The loan amount is debited from your loan account. As soon as the settlement paperwork is sorted, you can collect the keys to your new home and work your way through the moving-in checklist.

How to use the ME Bank reverse mortgage calculator?

You can access the equity in your home to help you fund your needs during your senior years. A ME Bank reverse mortgage allows you to tap into the equity you’ve built up in your home while you continue living in your house. You can also use the funds to pay for your move to a retirement home and repay the loan when you sell the property.

Generally, if you’re 60 years old, you can borrow up to 15 per cent of the property value. If you are older than 75 years, the amount you can access increases to up to 30 per cent. You can use a reverse mortgage calculator to know how much you can borrow.

To take out a ME Bank reverse mortgage, you’ll need to provide information like your age, type of property – house or an apartment, postcode, and the estimated market value of the property. The loan to value ratio (LVR) is calculated based on your age and the property’s value.

When does Commonwealth Bank charge an early exit fee?

When you take out a fixed interest home loan with the Commonwealth Bank, you’re able to lock the interest for a particular period. If the rates change during this period, your repayments remain unchanged. If you break the loan during the fixed interest period, you’ll have to pay the Commonwealth Bank home loan early exit fee and an administrative fee.

The Early Repayment Adjustment (ERA) and Administrative fees are applicable in the following instances:

  • If you switch your loan from fixed interest to variable rate
  • When you apply for a top-up home loan
  • If you repay over and above the annual threshold limit, which is $10,000 per year during the fixed interest period
  • When you prepay the entire outstanding loan balance before the end of the fixed interest duration.

The fee calculation depends on the interest rates, the amount you’ve repaid and the loan size. You can contact the lender to understand more about what you may have to pay. 

What are the features of home loans for expats from Westpac?

If you’re an Australian citizen living and working abroad, you can borrow to buy a property in Australia. With a Westpac non-resident home loan, you can borrow up to 80 per cent of the property value to purchase a property whilst living overseas. The minimum loan amount for these loans is $25,000, with a maximum loan term of 30 years.

The interest rates and other fees for Westpac non-resident home loans are the same as regular home loans offered to borrowers living in Australia. You’ll have to submit proof of income, six-month bank statements, an employment letter, and your last two payslips. You may also be required to submit a copy of your passport and visa that shows you’re allowed to live and work abroad.

How to apply for a pre-approval home loan from HSBC Bank?

If you’re planning on applying for a home loan, the best way to start is by having a clear picture of your requirements. By getting a pre-approval on your home loan, you can go house shopping with a definite budget, which can help you narrow down your search considerably. So, once you have identified the type of property you would like to purchase, you can seek pre-approval on a home loan from HSBC Bank. 

You can apply for this form of conditional approval by contacting HSBC’s loan experts on 1300 694 722 or visiting the HSBC branch nearest to you. The process is fairly simple and fast: the representative will verify some key facts like your income and property valuation. You’ll usually be told within a couple of weeks whether you’ve been successful.

How to apply for a pre-approval home loan from Bendigo Bank?

Applying for pre-approval on your home loan gives you confidence in your ability to secure finance while looking at potential new homes. You can get a free and personalised pre-approval home loan from Bendigo Bank in just a few minutes, without any credit checks or paperwork. 

Bendigo Bank offers pre-approval for home loans that allow you to understand the home loan size you may be able to get before looking for a new home. 

With the pre-approval, Bendigo Bank provides an estimate of your borrowing power. This figure incorporates stamp duty, lenders mortgage insurance (LMI) and any first home buyer incentives you may be eligible for. You may also qualify for the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme initiative, depending on your circumstances. 

To apply for a pre-approval on your home loan from Bendigo Bank, all you need to do is fill in a smart form. You could also contact the bank directly on 1300 236 344.

How to apply for a pre-approval home loan from Westpac?

To ensure that you find the right type of property, it’s a good idea to get pre-approval on your home loan. This helps you to know the maximum amount you’ll be able to borrow from the lender. Westpac offers “Approval in Principle”, which allows you to look for properties and narrow your search based on the amount you can borrow. 

You can apply for a Westpac pre-approval home loan by requesting a callback, applying online or visiting your local branch. Westpac will take some basic details about your income and debt to help them with their decision. Based on this information, Approval in Principle will be given and is valid for 90 days from when it is approved. You can request an extension or renewal of the Approval in Principle if you don’t find a property within 90 days. Provided that there is no change in your financial situation, your approval will be extended for another 90 days.

How do I apply for a home loan pre-approval from Commonwealth Bank?

To apply for a Commbank home loan pre-approval, you can either call the bank at 13 2224 or meet one of the bank’s lending specialists. You can set up a meeting online if you wish. You’ll need to do some homework before contacting the bank, such as gathering information on the kind of properties you’d like to buy and their prices.

Preparing a financial summary, which lists all your income sources as well as significant expenses, can also help determine how much you can afford to borrow. You may also want to check your credit score before applying for pre-approval.

It’s worth remembering that a CBA home loan pre-approval doesn’t guarantee that you’ll get the loan. Once you get the pre-approval, you’ll have about three to six months to decide on a property and apply for the home loan. The bank will then confirm that the property is suitable for the loan before fully approving it.

How can I get ANZ home loan pre-approval?

Shopping for a new home is an exciting experience and getting a pre-approval on the loan may give you the peace of mind that you are looking at properties within your budget. 

At the time of applying for the ANZ Bank home loan pre-approval, you will be required to provide proof of employment and income, along with records of your savings and debts.

An ANZ home loan pre-approval time frame is usually up to three months. However, being pre-approved doesn’t necessarily mean you will get your home loan. Other factors could lead to your home loan application being rejected, even with a prior pre-approval. Some factors include the property evaluation not meeting the bank’s criteria or a change in your financial circumstances.

You can make an application for ANZ home loan pre-approval online or call on 1800100641 Mon-Fri 8.00 am to 8.00 pm (AEST).