Are you prepared for the looming pension changes?

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On 1 January 2017 up to 326,000 pensioners may have their entitlements reduced. So who is affected and what can they do about it?

A recurring theme in recent years from our federal legislators has been the question of sustainability of the age pension. Changes to retirement ages have been seen as necessary by both sides of politics and other changes to reduce budget costs are no doubt on the cards.

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How much is your mortgage costing you?

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Q: Real quick – have you got a mortgage?

A: Yes?

Well, how much interest are you paying on it?

Are you using all the loan features to your advantage?

Don’t feel bad if your answer is “I don’t know”. We see a lot of people who’ve had their mortgage for a few years and forgotten how much they’re paying and how it works. They set it up to come out of one of their accounts when they started, and everything’s happened in the background since.

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Why choose Northern Inland

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Why us instead of a traditional bank?

We’re like a bank…but we’re not a bank

On a day-to-day financial level, we offer the exact same sorts of services and products as the banks you’re used to dealing with. Savings accounts, term deposits, foreign currency, insurance, business banking, credit cards, personal loans…and, of course, home loans. You’re not missing out on anything by joining Northern Inland.

We’re local

Tamworth, Gunnedah, and Narrabri – that’s where our branches are, and that’s where we operate, so we’ve got a laser-like focus on the region. Our Members aren’t stuck with practices and policies that were made for Sydney and Melbourne; nor are we insulated by distance from our decisions. Northern Inland offers an almost bespoke financial service for the people of northwest NSW.

We’re fast

Our entire head office is just behind the branch in Peel Street, Tamworth. Unlike other financial institutions, whose support staff may be spread around the country or even overseas, we can approve things like loans quickly on-site. Being small means we can move and react quickly to Member requests and enquiries, and offer up replies from our key management staff.

We’re experienced

We have over 40 years’ experience handling the financial needs of people of the northwest, firstly as three separate credit unions: Namoi Credit Union, Oxley Mutual Credit Union, and Tamworth Community Credit Union. Northern Inland was then born in 1988, following the merger of these three credit unions.

We’re all about you…

Private individuals are our bread-and-butter, not just a garnish. Our service and existence is due to Members like you. We’re not investing in giant construction projects in Dubai, or factories in China, or mines in Argentina. We invest in our local people and local investments in our community.

…because we are you

As we’re fond of saying: our customers are our owners, and our owners are our customers. Like any business we have to appeal to both. It’s just so much neater and easier to do that if owners and customers are one and the same: Members. And that’s the secret behind our great service and low rates. We never have to rob Peter to pay Paul. Every Northern Inland Member gets a vote at our Annual General Meeting; every Northern Inland Member has a say in how we’re run. And this ownership comes with a host of rewards in the form of our Member Loyalty Program.

Join us. Switch over to Northern Inland, and don’t just be a customer – be a Member of a credit union that’s all about you.

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Any advice or information on this site does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs and you should consider whether it is appropriate for you. Please review our Disclosure Documents, Financial Services Guide and Credit Guide before acquiring the product.

Buy then sell? Sell then buy?

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Ideally, you’d sell your house one day, and move straight into your new home the next, and this would all happen on a long weekend.

But, unfortunately, the complexities of the market, buyers, sellers, agents, removalists, conveyancers, government, and a thousand little other things all interacting with each other means that stars in the new home universe rarely align.

There’s either going to be some gap or overlap, depending on if you have to (or want to) to buy before selling your current house, or sell before finding a new home.

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Maintain your credit card security overseas

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One of the biggest fears for Members is to be stranded without money. It’s bad enough when your cash or traveller’s cheques are stolen outright – it’s even worse when you find out a credit card has been cancelled without your knowledge, and you suddenly find you can’t pay.

At Northern Inland, we do everything we can on our end to keep your funds safe – but the best possible security for your money is a partnership between us and our Members.

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When is the right time to buy investment property?

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Don’t just consider your own needs, but also what’s happening in the market. What are interest rates like? What’s the demand like in the area? What sort of rental accommodation is sought after by locals? Are there any industries that you could target? Keep an eye out for any developments in the area that could draw tenants, like new shopping centres, industries, or schools.

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How’s your house?

Does your house meet your needs?

We all like to think of our house as permanent things – they’re bases, places of a security and stability, and that we never really think about changing them.

But there are plenty of positive reasons to move on.

Reasons to move.

The most common reasons for selling a current house is having kids, having the kids leave home, or moving for work.

Small starter houses work out well for young couples, and are a great way to get on the property ladder. Young couples who bought starter homes while they were free of the obligations of children (and so didn’t have to worry about things like bedrooms, yard sizes, or proximity to schools) often find these houses don’t cut it when their first baby comes along.

Empty-nesters – those whose kids have moved out – have the opposite problem. A large house, with four bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a backyard the size of a football field is becomes a bit too much. Suddenly, they don’t need to be close to schools, and maybe they’re looking for a change in lifestyle and scenery, to the city, ocean, or bush. They’ll swap practicality for personal preference.

Changes in career are also one of the biggest reasons to change. This isn’t just for massive, big moves, like moving from state to state, but also just for the convenience and saving on commuting costs, which can be alarmingly high, even in rural areas.

So…how is your house?

A house is a point of stability in our lives. We tend to become attached to them, but they can also hold us back.

Step back from this for a moment, and besides offering a place to sleep at night, is your house working out for you? Could you be closer to work, to schools? Could you do with living somewhere quieter, or smaller, or bigger?

You might’ve had a dream house in mind when you settled for your current one – but how long ago was that? You might’ve forgotten about it as you became used to your current house, but that doesn’t mean you should give it up.

Take a look at the real estate pages, and see what’s out there – it doesn’t hurt to look.

But when you do decide to take that next step, come in and see us, call us on 1300 65 65 81, or make a loan enquiry online at www.nicu.com.au.

Home Loan rewards

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As a Credit Union, we’re all about giving back to our Members – and the rewards we offer with our home loans are just one of the ways we give back.

Depending on your loan type, you’ll be eligible for some of these great rewards.

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Needs versus Wants

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Choosing a home to buy is different to choosing one to rent, and if you’ve been renting all your life up until now, it’s easy to get stuck in a tenancy mindset.

You might need to break the rental mentality (rentality?) and start looking at property from the perspective of a homeowner, not a tenant.

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