Ordering too many Uber Eats, buying alcohol and gambling could hinder your chances of securing a home loan, financial experts have warned.
Mortgage lenders, under ever-increasing pressures from tighter credit rules, are cracking down on the conditions a potential borrower would have to adhere to in order to secure a loan.
Gambling is the latest vice banks are scrutinising, and even someone who indulges in the occasional wager could be at risk.
According to Australian Institute of Family Studies, more than half a million Aussies are happy to have a flutter on a sporting event.
But this could mean a larger proportion of prospective borrowers could be impacted by the stricter regulations.
Director of White Knight finance, Steve Vicary, said the responsibility lied with the borrower to prove they were eligible for the loan.
‘Any idea that someone has a gambling habit is a red flag to a lender,’ he told Domain.
‘We’ve had a couple of clients who’ve had a direct impact on their finance applications because of their gambling.’
He said even if someone attempted to hide their gambling habit by withdrawing large sums of money from ATMs they would still have to explain what the withdrawal was for – particularly if the withdrawal was made near to a premises with gambling facilities.
‘Banks only have a certain amount of money they can lend. If a credit officer saw a regular expense for a gym or a regular expense for gambling, I know which application would be more likely to be approved,’ Mr Vicary said.
Loanworx CEO Pauline Ryan told the publication anyone hoping to secure a home would have to stop gambling at least three months before they made an application.
Buying excessive alcohol could also prove detrimental to a person’s credit score which would therefore lower their chances of securing a home loan.
Financial products comparison website finder.com.au said spending a lot on Uber Eats could also potentially make it harder for a first-time home buyer to secure a mortgage.
‘We do definitely expect banks to be paying more attention to the detail of people’s everyday spending,’ Finder’s insights manager Graham Cooke told Daily Mail Australia.
‘It’s not so much that Uber Eats specifically is going to be a red flag but if you combine a lot of outgoing spending with stuff like gambling, all of them collectively, potentially, make banks slightly more cautious.
‘If you do have a habit of spending excessively, that could potentially affect your chances of getting a home loan.’
An Australian Prudential Regulation Authority crackdown on investor and interest-only loans has sparked a downturn in the Sydney and Melbourne housing markets in particular.
Sydney’s median house prices has plunged by 13.7 per cent since peaking in July 2017.
Adding to that is the banking royal commission’s findings, released in early February.
While former High Court judge Kenneth Hayne was particularly scathing of the National Australia Bank charging fees for no service, the scrutiny on the banking sector is expected to make lenders take their time when it comes to approving home loans.
‘That’s had an effect definitely on banks increasing the number of checks they’ll go through before they issue a loan,’ Mr Cooke said.
‘We expect it to take longer to get a loan. It’s probably more difficult to get a loan than it has been previously.’
While home loans were approved in just a fortnight back in 2017, lenders are now taking their time, pushing wait times for approval out to two months.
The federal government is also considering allowing banks to more easily access information on an individual’s spending habits, after a Treasury report explored giving banks a greater ability to judge a potential borrower’s credit risk.