Your income is a key decider in whether or not you’re eligible for a home loan, but take heart, if you’re facing an income squeeze, there are ways to boost your pay.
When it comes to how much you need to earn to be eligible for a home loan, there’s no one-size-fits all answer. Each lender sets its own benchmark for home buyers’ income.
That being the case, it pays to speak with an Aussie Broker at an early stage. He or she can explain what each lender looks for in terms of income thresholds, as well as giving you a clear idea of your borrowing power across a variety of lenders. It could save you the time and hassle of applying for loans you may not be eligible for.
So – how can you earn more money to buy a home?
Remember ‘income’ includes more than wages
If your wage is a little on the lean side, bear in mind that lenders may consider other types of income. Regular payments such as child support, returns on investments and income support payments from Centrelink could get your application over the line so be sure to mention these to your Aussie Broker.
Ask for a pay rise
If it’s been a while since you’ve received a pay rise, it can be worth speaking to your boss about an increase in pay.
Wage growth has been very low in Australia in recent years, and research unsurprisingly shows 90% of working Australians would like to be earning more, yet only 12% of people actually ask their employer for a raise. The thing is, while it can be daunting to go to the boss requesting a pay rise, almost 75% of workers say it’s a successful strategy that’s helped them walk away with a fatter pay cheque. Goes to show, you don’t ask, you don’t get.
Check if you’re being underpaid
According to Career Management Group’s Marjolein Bervoets, one reason Australian workers aren’t asking for pay rises is a lack of negotiating power.
That’s why a good starting point is to understand current market salaries for your role to check if you’re being underpaid.
Take a look at salary information produced by recruitment agencies – like the Robert Half Salary Guide. Review the latest pay rates and allowances from the Fair Work Ombudsman, or head to sites that cover a broad range of industries like Payscale and Glassdoor. Alternatively, speak with a recruitment firm to know if you’re being paid fair market value.
Another strategy is to speak with a career advisor – either a specialist firm, the HR team at your work or find a career mentor. It’s something only 6% of workers do, yet it has a 50% success rate in improving your likelihood of a pay rise.
Grow your skills
If a lack of skills is holding back your pay packet, think about investing in yourself.
One in two Australian workers continue to upskill throughout their career, and there is a wide choice of free online courses with certificates that let you study in your spare time without the need to take leave from work. It could be your ticket to a higher income.
A number of universities offer free online courses through the Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) program. Take a look at the University of Wollongong in NSW, Swinburne University in Melbourne or check out the Good Universities Guide and get educated for free.
Is it time for a career change?
If your present role offers limited prospects for a higher income, maybe this is the year for a career change.
Making the big switch calls for careful planning, but you certainly won’t be alone – according to recruitment firm SEEK, almost half the Australian workforce is considering a career change in the future.
The government’s ‘what’s next’ employment portal offers plenty of advice and resources to help you map out a fresh career path plus handy tips for your job search. There are many companies who are always on the lookout for motivated, fresh talent – Aussie included!
Turn spare time into spare cash
Another option to grow your income is by taking on a second job, and it doesn’t have to mean grinding yourself into the ground.
According to recruitment firm CareerOne, the average Aussie worker has approximately 29 hours of spare time a week. If you could turn just 10% of that spare time into paid work, you could potentially pocket an extra $57 each week (based on award wage data). Sites like Airtasker could be worth a look to put your spare time to work earning extra cash.
Speak with your Aussie Broker today to understand how your income is shaping up in terms of applying for a home loan.