Mortgage Matters | Issue 5 - August 2016
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Mortgage Matters | Issue 7 - March 2017

Welcome to the first issue of Mortgage Matters for 2017! Time sure flies when you're having fun. The 5 Star Finance office has been a hive of activity since the new year with appointments, new loan sign ups, refinancing and staff training!!

This month we thought it might be helpful to introduce you to some top financing apps and tools to help you keep track of your spending and budget planning. This might come in handy especially after the financial trauma of Christmas!

Have you been wondering how to help your kids get into the property market? An article below might have the information you need to get the ball rolling. We are also discussing alternatives to the traditional ways of house hunting. 

In the meantime if you think you might be ready for a Home Loan Health Check, get in touch with us to get the ball rolling.

If you have any feedback, feel free to leave your comments here. We’re always listening.

Top Financing Apps and Tools - And They're Free!

Whatever your reasons, understanding your budget is key to living a comfortable life. Whether you're saving for something in particular, getting out of debt or just trying to stop spending so much money on food, noting your daily spend can definitely help resolve any issues. Here are five apps that can help you you stay on top of your budget.

Money Health Check
Money Health Check assesses your finances and lets you know whether they're in need of some tender loving care or whether you’re on the right track. This free MoneySmart app asks some simple questions and then gives you a breakdown of what areas need attention and where you’re doing well by looking at:
  • financial goals
  • income and expenses
  • debts
  • saving and investing
  • insurance
  • superannuation and retirement
  • estate planning.

The great thing about the app is that it’s personalised, and at the end it gives you the top five actions you need to take to improve your finances.

Also created by MoneySmart, TrackMySPEND allows you to input all of your expenses so you can find out where you need to cut back and save. Examples of expenses you can put in include medical, grocery, work or travel, gifts and coffees, lunches or dinners. You can also nominate a spending limit per week, fortnight, month or year, and the app will track your progress against this limit. The key feature of this app is the ability to mark expenses as ‘need’ or ‘want’. That way, when you revisit your expenses you can see what you can cut back on and where there are opportunities to save.

Pocketbook categorises all of your spending so you can see where your money is going. Categories include groceries, travel, clothing and fuel, among others. You can also set your budget so you can stick to it. The great thing about this app is that you can link it to your bank account so you don’t have to manually input every expense – the smart technology does it for you. Another handy feature is the alerts. Notifications appear when money comes out of your account so you won’t miss any transactions or accidentally forget to input them. Finally, there are the encouraging words when you’re close to reaching a goal.

Ever had a friend or family member who constantly forgets to pay you back? There goes that money – and with it, the ability to save. Splitwise is a great way to remember who paid for what and how much people owe each other, whether it’s dinner, rent or a movie ticket.
This app lists what you’ve spent and what the other person has spent, then it does the maths for you. It also gives you the ability to send IOU emails.

We’ve all been there – tax time comes around and you simply can’t find all the receipts you need to claim tax back on. Expensify lets you scan your receipts when you get them and stores them in a nice bundle so you can access them at a swipe or tap of your finger. The great thing about the app as well is that it actually extracts the data, including the merchant, date, time and amount, and puts it all in a downloadable file for you.

Sticking to your budget so you can be more financially fit is not difficult – sometimes you just need a bit of technological help.

SOURCE: Your loan hub

Want to help your kids buy property? Here’s how.

The real estate market can be tough for young adults, but as a parent you may be able to lend a helping hand. We tell you how.

1. Parent-to-Child Loan
A parent-to-child loan is when a parent lends their child money. This is a formal, legally binding arrangement, administered by an independent third party. At the start of the loan period, both parties agree to terms including repayment amounts, a schedule and a process to manage defaults.

Benefits: You can set generous terms for your child, but your assets, savings and credit rating are somewhat protected as you are not the borrower.
Drawbacks: There are legal implications for your child if they have a spouse and the relationship breaks down, in that the spouse could try to claim some of the loan proceeds as an asset of the relationship to which they are entitled. There are also tax considerations for both parties.

2. Family Guarantee
If your child doesn’t have enough security for a mortgage, you could provide a family guarantee. This is where you use some of the equity in your own home as part of the security. For example, your equity might cover 20% of the security, and your child’s new property would be the other 80%. It’s also known as a guarantor loan. This can be a temporary arrangement until your child has paid down the loan to an acceptable level.

Benefits: You have the option of guaranteeing only a portion of the loan.
Drawbacks: If your child defaults, your assets are at risk.

3. Becoming a Co-Applicant
You can help your child secure a loan if you sign on as a co-applicant. This means you’re equally as responsible as your child for meeting repayments. The lender will consider your assets in its borrower's assessment.

Benefits: Your child can obtain a loan with a low income.
Drawbacks: If your child stops making repayments, you’re responsible for making them. If you can’t make the repayments, it will affect your credit rating.

4. Gift
When you give your child money but don’t expect it to be repaid, it’s considered a gift. You may need to sign a statement to say it’s a gift, not a loan.

Benefits: You can provide financial help, possibly without the legal, tax or financial implications of a formal arrangement.
Drawbacks: If your child has a spouse and their relationship breaks down, the former partner could make a claim for the property.

5. Assistance in Kind
If you're risk averse, consider providing assistance in kind; that is, covering some of the expenses that come along with buying a property. You could pay for services such as a property survey or conveyancing fees, or help with stamp duty.

Benefits: You can give practical financial assistance.
Drawbacks: The amount of money you provide may be more than what your child ends up spending. For example, you might want to contribute $20,000 but the services cost $15,000. In this case, the rest of the amount is subject to the terms of a gift or loan.

Make sure you're well informed about your options when giving or lending money so you can remain in the best position to help your child become a home owner. You can contact 5 Star Finance to discuss the right financial arrangement for your family

SOURCE: Your loan hub

Househunting Your Way: Alternative Ways to Find a Property

Finding the perfect property isn’t always easy. Despite the number of homes for sale, the unpredictable nature of the market can make househunting exhausting. If you’ve tried property websites, newspapers and real estate agents’ windows without success, here are five more unconventional strategies to try.

1. Do a Letterbox Drop
This is a strategy most real estate agents use to win listings, but there’s nothing stopping you from taking the same approach. If there are particular streets you like, or you’re looking for a specific type of property, try writing a personalised letter to individual property owners saying you’re interested in buying their home. If you’re lucky, you’ll spark the interest of someone who’s been thinking of selling. They may be attracted by the prospect of a quick, straightforward sale. Make sure your letter includes your contact details and emphasises that your interest is genuine.

2. Knock On Doors
If you’re feeling confident, try knocking on the doors of homes you’d love to own. Timing is everything with this strategy – if luck is on your side, you could meet a home owner who’s keen to sell without the effort of an agency campaign. However, not everyone appreciates a face-to-face situation, so keep it nice and walk away if someone isn’t interested.

3. Look For Quiet or Off-Market Sales
Many properties are sold without any kind of sales campaign, because not every vendor wants people to know their home is on the market. If a property is being sold due to a relationship breakdown, financial difficulties or some other family complication, vendors may want to keep the sale ‘hush hush’. The best way to access off-market sales is to keep in constant contact with local agents. Vendors often want an off-market sale to be quick, so being top of mind with agents is important. You’ll want agents to think of you when they receive an off-market listing that needs to be sold immediately.

4. Search Through Expired Listings
Websites such as allow you to search through old ‘for sale’ and ‘for rent’ listings. Using this information, you may be able to target properties that were passed in whose owners might still be interested in selling. Similarly, you may be able to find rental properties in the expired listings, then contact the owners with a genuine offer to purchase.

5. Watch For Garage Sales
Garage sales can sometimes be a sign that a home is about to come onto the market. The home owners might be trying to sell their clutter before they list the property for sale. If you see a garage sale advertised at a property you’d like to buy, make sure you attend. Asking the home owner if they plan to sell could give you a head start on other home buyers – you could even make an offer before the property hits the market.

If you have success with any of these strategies, you’ll need to be ready to make an offer. Before you start letterbox dropping or knocking on doors, speak to 5 Star Finance to arrange finance and/or a pre-approval.

SOURCE: Your loan hub

5 Star Finance

08 9418 3703
08 9418 3890





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Our Community

Our priority at 5 Star Finance is to deliver the best customer service when it comes to assisting you borrow for your property. We are also committed to contributing to the community we live in and have meaningful sponsorship arrangements.

WA Roller Derby: Wards of the Skate Travelling Team

5 Star Finance is very proud of our sponsorship relationship with WA Roller Derby!

​WA Roller Derby is a volunteer run, grassroots, non-profit organisation. With leagues for both men and women, our sponsorship is specifically of the female travelling team Wards Of The Skate. WOTS team members not only embody powerful and confident woman holding their own in a full contact sport but also celebrate comraderie, team work, community engagement and love for their sport.

​We are very excited to partner with WOTS for the 2016 Season and look forward to attending bouts and being part of the WA Roller Derby Family!

​For more information about WA Roller Derby visit these links...


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Cockburn Mortgage Solutions trading as 5 Star Finance.
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ABN 44 116 238 629. ACN 116 238 629.

Our mailing address is:
17 Castellon Crescent, Coogee, W. Australia 6166

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