Mortgages

Reporter: Damien Hansen

Paying off your mortgage as fast as possible is a goal for millions of Australians. The banks give us up to 30, the longer it takes, the happier they are but when your first starting our in the world of home ownership it can be a daunting proposition.

Damien Hansen reports you can pay your house off quicker than you think and it starts with choosing the right home loan.Graham Couper-Smith is the former bank manager turned mortgage buster. "I've spent thirty years in the bank and I've seen it all."

He's seen his clients halve and even quarter there mortgage terms and by employing their tactics he and his wife have done the same. "Its not rocket science, there's a system, just follow it."

And they say their system works. They've paid their north Queensland home off in under five years and they've written a guide how to do it. "But its not just about the money. Its about the choices you have once its gone we'd be living here anyway but we'd be paying off a home loan. Now we live here and we've got access to the money that would be usually going to the bank."

Among his tips - pay extra at every opportunity. "If you're not paying an extra months repayment a year on your mortgage then you're missing out on a really big savings. And that's really the same argument people used to talk about paying weekly, there's big savings weekly."

Tip 2: top up.

"Increase your payment every year. Just a small incremental increase is going to make a difference."

Tip 3: Is attack home loan in chunks.

"Aim at 5%. 350k home loan is what 15, 17k or so dollars. Pick that number and say well can I pay 17k extra on my loan.""The first thing all our tax returns went straight into the mortgage" says Karryn.So where can you find the extra money to boost your repayments? Harness your passions says Karryn.

"As a teacher I took in some students after school for tutoring, I also started a sewing school where I taught children how to sew."With the earnings going straight onto the mortgage. "Everybody has a skill whether it be fixing up cars and reselling them or fixing up homes everyone has a skill you just have to find what that is" says Karryn."Yes it will be a stretch for most people but there are strategies that will help you do it" says Steve Mickenbecker.

Starting with choosing a bank best equipped to getting you into the market says Steve Mickenbecker from Canstar Cannex."What makes first home buyers different is they haven't done this before so it's all new territory for them which means they have special needs relative to other buyers."

He and his team have surveyed 400 loans over 60 lenders with ANZ emerging with the five star first home buyers award."ANZ have a terrific product its' prices, well its got all the flexibility a first home buyer needs."Steve says the banks online savings plans, loan calculators and a high level of access to real people, set the bank ahead of the rest.

"Its not just this piece that tells you about there latest whiz bang product its a website that actually takes you through the process and tells you how to go about it and tells you some of the tricks and some of the traps" says Steve.Steve says ANZ also goes further than other banks in providing avenues for guarantors."They give all the right sort of advice to customer provide the website the tools the education ANZ have done a great job and deserve this award at the national level."

But if you are potential first home buyer and you don't like the big banks, there are other building societies and credit unions targeting the first home owner market."Rightly or wrongly there are people who would prefer not to deal with a bank but to go with a smaller more local player."

In NSW and the ACT, IMB banking and financial services lead the way.In the NT and SA, the Australian Central Credit Union took out the five star gong.In Queensland, the Toowoomba based Heritage Building Society came out on top while in Tasmania it was My State Financial. And the Police and Nurses Credit Union was judged the best non bank lender Western Australia had to offer.

"Building societies and credit unions have offered that option and they're mutual's that work for the interests of their consumer and they provide a very good option" says Steve.And if it's your first house or your fifth and you want to pay it off fast - the advice is the same."You've just got to start."

And you can find plenty more of Graham's tips and information about his mortgage busting guide on his website:

Http://www.payoffyourmortgagefast.com/epages/papa7647.sf