Most people turn to their accountant at tax time and hope to save money by paying less tax. There are many ways for people to save money and accountants can assist in a few other simple ways.
When it comes to home loans, there are two questions that every borrower should be able to answer:
1. What day will I be debt-free?
2. How much do I have left to repay?
Don’t worry – like you, hardly anyone can answer these questions. To know the answers, borrowers need to do some analysis and adopt a plan to follow, bringing the “debt free” date forward to ensure that the debt won’t be carried into retirement.
There are a growing number of Australians using retirement funds to repay home loan debts that completely derails the financial plan that those funds were saved for.
Doug Mathlin has launched Smarter Borrower – an online tool designed for accountants and advisers to offer their clients to help them save.
“We provide bespoke plans to help borrowers understand how to save throughout the loan repayment journey and we help to keep them on track,” Mr Mathlin said.
“Getting a low interest rate is only the first step in saving on home loans. While most home loan marketing focuses on interest rates, time is often a more critical factor in helping borrowers save money. The quicker they can repay a loan, the less interest they will pay. Very few lenders (if any) provide comprehensive advice on how to pay off a loan quicker.”
Smarter Borrower is a subscription service designed for accountants to offer to clients with home loans.
“For accountants, this is a convenient cost-effective way to help their clients who have home loans develop a plan to be debt free and save significantly in the process. It takes less than five minutes for a borrower to see if there are opportunities to save money and both the accountant and borrower receive a detailed repayment plan to follow,” Mr Mathlin said, noting that it’s a simple process that accountants can offer to their clients by email or face to face, and one which can save borrowers thousands of dollars and years off their loan.
Mr Mathlin said accountants can embed this service within the annual review process or in their regular correspondence with clients. If they have an in-house finance service, this is a very effective way to help clients to save and meet their financial goals. i.e. be debt-free before they retire.
Borrowers will realise they can pay off their loan sooner and save thousands in interest.
The service has been designed so that the analysis and advice are provided by Smarter Borrower and only takes the accountant a minute to introduce.
The ACCC’s Home Loan Price Inquiry (2020) and several other studies have confirmed that borrowers with loans written more than three years ago have significantly higher interest rates than new borrowers unless they have renegotiated with their lender.
Many borrowers, “set and forget” their loan after it settles that often leads to a much higher total interest bill than necessary over the life of the loan. Very little advice is provided to borrowers about how to be debt-free sooner and save significantly in the process.
Accountants can offer Smarter Borrower analysis and advice as a complimentary service to their clients.
Emma Ryan is the deputy head of content at Momentum Media and editor of the company's legal publication, Lawyers Weekly.
Emma has worked for Momentum Media since 2015 and has been responsible for breaking some of the biggest stories in corporate Australia. In addition, she has produced exclusive multimedia and event content related to the company's respective brands and audiences.
A journalist by training, Emma has spent her career connecting with key industry stakeholders across a variety of platforms, including online, podcast and radio. She graduated from Charles Sturt University with a Bachelor of Communications (Journalism).