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Goodbye stamp duty?

The dreaded and controversial stamp duty tax could soon be a thing of the past, with calls for it to be abolished gaining momentum. The Property Council of Australia is the latest body to add their voice to the chorus this month after both the NSW and Victorian state governments ramped up calls for stamp duty reform. Axing the controversial tax is a key measure being proposed in the Property Council’s Seven Point Plan for Economic Recovery, released this week, to…...
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What is the Coronavirus SME Loan Guarantee Scheme?

SME businesses in need of working capital due to the coronavirus outbreak can now access unsecured loans “more cheaply and more freely” than ordinary business loans. The initiative is part of the government’s $40 billion Coronavirus SME Loan Guarantee Scheme, which kicked off just before the Easter weekend. Because the government will guarantee 50% of the new loans, lenders can offer the loans “more cheaply and more freely” compared to ordinary business loans, says the Australian Banking Association. The loans…...
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New code to protect Aussies buying solar panels

Ever thought about investing in solar panels for your home? If so, you’ll know it’s a big decision and there’s a lot to wrap your head around. Fortunately, the consumer watchdog is proposing a new retailer code to make solar purchases safer and easier. Australia is the sunniest continent on Earth. Yep, even more so than Africa. Which is why it makes sense that more than two million homes have already decked out their rooftops with solar panels. Sure, the…...
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Caviar and wine, anyone? What a court ruling means for you

Indulgences such as caviar, wagyu beef and the finest bottles of wine shouldn’t count against you when lenders assess your application for finance, a Federal Court judge has said. Ok, so maybe Federal Court Justice Nye Perram has a slightly different grocery list to the rest of us. But his recent judgement should be welcome news to potential borrowers who have splashed out on the odd luxury over the past six months and are worried that it would completely derail…...
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On the hunt for a new loan provider?

One in 10 consumers have switched credit products in the past year, according to new research, with Millennials and women in particular pouncing on offers from small banks, credit unions and building societies. The financial landscape is shifting. Over the past 12 months, 10% of consumers have switched credit providers, according to the Australian Consumer Credit Pulse 2019 report from Equifax, as once-loyal customers increasingly check out what lenders outside the Big Four banks have to offer. Is now a…...
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Time’s ticking: ATO to report overdue tax debts to credit agencies

Businesses that put off paying large tax bills for too long may soon find that the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has notified credit reporting bureaus. The proposal is part of The Treasury Laws Amendment (2019 Tax Integrity and Other Measures No.1) Bill, which was recently introduced into parliament. The Bill will provide the ATO with the discretion to disclose to credit reporting bureaus when a business has a debt of $100,000 for 90 days or more. “This will reduce the unfair…...
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Planning ahead: RBA says expect long-term low interest rates

Good news for mortgage holders this week, with the RBA saying "it’s reasonable to expect an extended period of low interest rates". Figures released on Wednesday show that core inflation, the RBA's preferred measure, is currently at 1.4%. However, Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) Governor Philip Lowe says it is highly unlikely the RBA will contemplate higher interest rates until it’s confident that inflation has returned to 2-3%. “Whether or not further monetary easing (aka further rate cuts) is needed,…...
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How criminals steal your identity to steal your money

Scams involving identity theft have cost Australians at least $16 million this year, and that figure is likely to be just the “tip of the iceberg”, says the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). Worryingly, four in every 10 Scamwatch reports so far in 2019 have involved an attempt to gain information or the actual loss of a victim’s information. "If you think scammers might have gained access to your personal information, even in a scam completely unrelated to your…...
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