Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Debt Relief Options: What Are the Risks to be Considered

The post Debt Relief Options: What Are the Risks to be Considered appeared first on Oak Laurel.

Struggling with debt? Understand that you are not the only one going through this tough time. There are thousands of other people going through same situation. Just relax and get help! Countless options are available for you to get the needed relief.

Everyone’s financial situation is different so the first step is analyzing all options and deciding, which is the best suited option based on your financial crisis and circumstances. All of the five options discussed below will lead you to a debt free life. However, they will come with certain risks and effects on your credit report and finances so choose the right option with caution.

Monthly Minimum Payment:

The best of the debt relief solutions is the least complicated method and thus we are discussing it first. This involves an organized way of paying your debt on a monthly basis. This means by paying your minimum monthly amount against your debt will help you avoid any late payment penalties as well as other service charges and burdening interest on the overdue minimum amounts. By paying your minimum monthly amount, you will also work towards improving your credit rating. Paying only the minimum amount will however take very long before you are out of your debt but it will be the first step towards a debt free life, as long as you are not consuming the available limits after paying off once. If you can manage to pay more than the minimum payment on your debt, it will help you pay off the total debt sooner, resulting in less interest cost and better credit report.

Debt Consolidation:

The second recommended option is through the debt consolidation loans. By going with this option, you will pay off all your existing debts after getting a new loan at a lower interest rate. The debt consolidating loan can be in a form of loan with a lien on your property or your house. Using this option, you can focus on managing only one debt instead of multiple debt interests and payments at different rates with different payment dates. Moreover, you will be more focused on paying your monthly payments because your property ownership will be at risk, in case of non-payment or delays. Your credit report will be affected with this new loan, which will be repaired easily once you pay off all other existing debts.

Debt Settlement:

The third of the debt relief solutions is the debt settlement, which we can also call as the final settlement with the financial institutions after negotiation using a debt settlement agency. You should only opt for this if you are unable to pay your minimum monthly payment towards your debt. This is a tricky option and requires having a good debt settlement agent or debt relief company by your side. The debt settlement agent will carefully review your financial capabilities before taking up your case with any financial institution. The debt settlement process is a lengthy option where the financial institution takes you to the court after you are unable to make minimum monthly payments against your outstanding debt for at least a few months. Once in the court, your debt settlement agent will defend your situation with your lack of financial strength in paying in the full amount and a better negotiation by your agent will lead to a lower total payment against your debt.

Debt Management:

Debt management option is one of the very sought after debt relief solutions, in which you work with a debt management company that helps you not only to become debt free but also provides the counseling for managing your carefree spending habits. This option is very similar to the debt settlement option with the only difference of not getting any advice or counseling for managing your finances and spending with your debt settlement agent. The debt management company, just like the debt settlement agent, will negotiate better interest rates and total outstanding on your debts. The debt management company will consolidate your debt and pay on your behalf, which you will be paying to the debt management company. Working with a debt management company will have a negative impact on your credit report, which you should not be surprised about.


The last and least favorable option is filing for the bankruptcy. This option is rarely recommended by any financial advisor or any debt management company because it puts you in a danger of losing your assets. When you are filing for bankruptcy, a bankruptcy court evaluates the current situation of all liabilities and puts your assets for auction so that your liabilities and creditors can be paid off by using whatever liquid or fixed assets you have in your ownership. When you are filing for bankruptcy, it leaves your credit report in a very bad situation where getting any new credit line becomes difficult. During bankruptcy, the court may also decide to waive off any remaining liabilities if your assets are unable to pay for all your existing debts.

Author Bio:

Steven Rooyen is a husband, father, senior debt advisor and a financial consultant at Sort My Debt. With over a decade of experience in different financial fields, Steven has provided debt relief in Australia and helped people resolve their debt problems without applying for bankruptcy. While not doing that, you can find him reading books and hanging out with friends.g books and hanging out with friends.

Debt Consolidation Loans

You may be able to consolidate your high interest debts into your low interest home loan.

Bad Credit Home Loans

You may be able to get a home loan even if you have bad debt.

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Thursday, 11 January 2018

How to Transfer Money to Another Country’s Bank Account: transferring money internationally between banks

The post How to Transfer Money to Another Country’s Bank Account: transferring money internationally between banks appeared first on Oak Laurel.

There are more options than ever before to do business internationally and some of the most significant changes are happening in the world of transferring money around the globe. Sending money overseas still has its issues for many, including long wait times, costs and security. Keep reading for more info how we got to the way things are when transferring money internationally between banks and about how to transfer money to another country’s bank account.

Basically, experts say the financial economy has to catch up with the dramatically shifted business world. Technology is becoming increasingly important and the competition for a spot on the world stage is creating change.

The Way Things Were

There have always been ways to move money from country to country. It’s in humans’ nature to seek out new business and expand. One of the first known money transfer systems were the Knights Templer.

The Knights were the security providers for travelers to the Middle East, particularly Jerusalem, after the Crusades. This was necessary as native factions continued to seek revenge for being driven out of their lands.

The Templers developed a system where people would give them money to send to these areas, either to a relative or for business.

It was recommended for travelers to allow the Templers to hold their valuables during travel, sending them a different way and returning their items once the travelers reached their destination. The Knights also acted as a secure bank deposit box.

A New Industry is Born

In America, the financial world shifted as more people moved out West. There quickly grew a need for the new pioneers to not only communicate with families back East, but to send and receive merchandise as well as money and gold.

Stage coaches were the primary source of transport for money and items, but that was risky as thieves often would lay in wait along the trail.

Wells Fargo entered the financial transportation market in 1852 with its stagecoaches safely transporting gold. The gold, sometimes weighing between 100 and 150 pounds, was put into the famous “treasure boxes,” along with other important items such as legal papers, checks and drafts. The green boxes traveled under the stagecoach driver’s seat.

Security was provided by what was known as the “shotgun messengers” protecting the driver. These men had the sole job of watching the area and warding off any potential thieves. Banks then became synonymous with safely sending money.

Even with these protocols, 27 Wells Fargo stagecoaches were robbed over the years with most of the robbers being tracked and apprehended by bank detectives.

Transferring money overseas began to rise in the 20th century in America when businesses grew and the country fought in two World Wars. It meant more soldiers abroad and those fleeing war-torn countries were migrating overseas.

The need for foreign communications grew and the telegraph company known as Western Union was there to fill it. Western Union started in 1851, like many other companies, when people started moving out West.

By the time of the World Wars, it was perfectly situated to perform communication tasks for the government such as sending telegrams to relatives of deceased soldiers. It participated in many government projects, some of which led to the creation of the Internet.

However, growing technology was eventually too much for the company to keep pace with and it began selling off its assets in the 1980s. That’s when Western Union began creating an international market for sending and receiving money. It became known as “the fastest way to send money worldwide.”

Sending Money Internationally Today

The Internet gave rise to new companies, like PayPal, which used it to digitally send money anyway in the world. That worked well as you could do it from home without going to a bank or to a Western Union office. Rates were cheaper than the traditional methods as well.

The world changed again with Bitcoin entering the world markets in 2009. Bitcoin was different because a person could send money anonymously, without it being tracked, as it was in all other methods.

Cryptocurrency has since risen out of the depths of the dark web to merge into mainstream society because of its convenience and cost effectiveness.

However, the real power brokers behind international money transfer is the blockchain providers. These are the technical engines that make accepting cryptocurrency possible. As the market and use for cryptocurrency grows, so grows the competition in blockchains.

What to Consider When Choosing a Method?

There is more than one factor when considering how to send money internationally.

You must consider:

  • The fee of sending the money.
  • The exchange rate cost.
  • The time it takes for the transaction to be completed.
  • Safety and security.
  • Rules and regulations of individual companies.
  • How you will use the service.

While most transmitting services post their fees up front, the exchange rate can change daily. That will affect your final cost as most services have an exchange rate markup. The lowest is 1 percent, but some can be as high as 10 percent.

What Are My Choices?

There are many ways to send money internationally today including:

  • Traditional banks
  • Western Union
  • MoneyGram
  • PayPal
  • OFX
  • TorFX
  • Prepaid Card Services
  • Cryptocurrency

There are various degrees of efficiency and cost with each of these services, so all of that should weigh into your decision of which to use.

One of the things to consider when choosing a transfer service for international money transmission is to know how you are going to use it. Some will need it to regularly conduct international business, while others may want to send small amounts of money home or pay a bill.

Will it be used regularly or just one time? How quickly is the money needed? These are questions to consider when trying to choose a service provider.

The important thing to remember is you are not bound to a method. You can change the way you transfer money abroad as your needs change.

Traditional Banks

Traditional banks have several ways to send money internationally, including computer and phone apps that allow you to send money directly from your account to another account easily with just a phone number.

The downside is they can be frightfully expensive. Many of the national banks charge $45 per transaction, making it financially impossible for individuals to send small amounts of money back home.

Another downside of using banks is the wait time. Some take up to three days to process payments abroad.

Western Union

Western Union’s advantage is it allows the recipient to pick up the money where they are located, so they get cash. That fact has proven a great asset to college students requiring more money from parents’ back home over the years.

But, like the banks, it is expensive to use for sending money internationally. Fees can rise as high as $80 and Western Union has a high exchange markup rate. Sometimes, it can also take days to receive the money when doing international transfers.


MoneyGram faces some of the similar problems as Western Union with lag time and expense, although it uses a computer platform model to deliver. Fees can be between $9 and $25 with its service.

Online Exchange Platforms

PayPal expanded its platform to include Xoom, which allows for international money transfers to occur in minutes. There are some restrictions though, including the $2,999 limit. and there is a mark-up of between 1 and 3 percent in the exchange rate. There is generally a $5 fee also.

There are other platforms that offer zero fees for transfer.

OFX gives you the convenience of both a mobile and a computer app. It has a low exchange rate markup of less than 1 percent and it even sends you an alert notifying you when the exchange rates will save you money.

It offers services to 91 countries, which is convenient for many.

The downside of OFX is that the recipient can’t pick up their money directly. The platform only exchanges between bank accounts. You must send at least $150 and it could take several days to process.

TransferWise is a United Kingdom company that offers services in many countries. The key advantage in this service is it has incredibly low exchange rates as it uses the same rates bank use when they exchange money.

This service is relatively inexpensive also, charging 1 percent of the sending amount, making it affordable for sending small amounts of money.

Prepaid Card Services

Prepaid card services offer security because it doesn’t come from your bank account and they also use electronic transfer, making them convenience. Their downside is in expense. These services charge to put money on the card and then again to actually use it to send money, making it a somewhat impractical method if you send money routinely.


Then there are the cryptocurrency methods, which are rapidly growing in number. There are literally dozens of blockchain companies out there with more starting up every day. However, there are two who are gaining ground in the world of international currency.

Ripple offers a seamless strategy for sending money abroad as it connects banks, digital providers and corporations. The base of its operations is XRP, which was developed for enterprise use.

XRP is used to provide on-demand liquid payments across borders. The company states this allows for both connectivity across payment networks, real time transactions, traceable transfers and lower operational costs. The lower costs equate to savings for users.

The company remains small, but is growing as it is becoming more recognized.

While Ripple is aiming its market at expanding businesses, another company wants its service to be for individuals sending money back home. Steller.org has a platform for people immigrating from poor countries to send money back to families.

Co-Founder and CTO Jeb McCaleb said sending money should be as easy as sending an email. McCaleb, once an officer at Ripple, believes the global economy is not reaching its potential because of lagging financial systems with limited money in certain countries.

His company focuses on services to areas like the Philippines, Africa and India. He has four partnerships with financial institutions to allow for cross border money exchanges across Europe as well as Africa, India and the Philippines.

How Do I Stay Safe?

The federal government has guidelines for how you can keep your transfers to other countries safe and secure.

You should:

  • Verify the money transmitter is properly licensed.
  • Get a receipt. This will show how the money can be tracked.
  • Contact the transmitter if the transaction takes longer than 10 days.

Security when using any of these services is paramount. Obviously, the most secure forms of transferring money internationally are going to be traditional methods like banks or Western Union.

All money is tracked with these methods and all have both origination and destination codes. Staff is also trained to spot scams and have alerted the consumer and police when scams are recognized.

However, online platforms and cryptocurrency methods are also implementing safety protocols to protect money in transfer and delivery. They must in order to stay competitive in a tight market. You will need to look at each company’s standards individually to get a picture of their policies and protocols.

The federal government has a way to go to catch up on regulations governing all of these new and creative methods of transferring money abroad. Some current regulations may not apply directly to all the given methods. Still, it doesn’t hurt to investigate on how each method has applied federal laws to ensure the proper standards are met.


Understanding how international money transfer systems work and your options is the best way to avoid scams or problems. Those who perform transfers regularly will back these services.

As technology grows, there will be faster and easier options for conducting business overseas and choices will likely expand as well. This is positive for you, the consumer, as competition tends to lower prices for services.

The biggest advantage could be for entrepreneurs who seek to expand business in places in Europe and Australia. It is likely many may need to integrate payment systems into their online business platform to gain more international customers. This could mean a more global economy in the future.

About the Author

David Warren is a lead researcher and senior writer at HardStacks. He has been a financial engineer for over 30 years and has been investing in alternative assets since 2008. He has a passion for learning about economic cycles and educating others on how to protect and grow their wealth by investing in precious metals, real estate and cryptocurrencies.


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Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Home loan employment requirements: How you can get a home loan with a casual, part time job, self employed

The post Home loan employment requirements: How you can get a home loan with a casual, part time job, self employed appeared first on Oak Laurel.

Getting a mortgage can be both confusing and time consuming.  Home loan lenders all have different policies surrounding who they will accept as a borrower, which can make the process even more difficult.  The easiest way to find a lender who is likely to accept your home loan application is to talk with a  Mortgage Broker such as Oak Laurel.  Nevertheless, many people like doing their own research before making enquiries, and this article will explain in depth at the different types of employment, time required in your job and other conditions acceptable to lenders

What employment is generally accepted by home loan lenders?

Generally, most home loan lenders will accept the following types of employment:

An in depth look at the different types of employment.

Full time and Part time permanent.

Full time permanent employment is generally considered the most reliable and stable income by lenders, which improves your chances of getting approved.

How long do I need to be employed full and part time?

Whilst there are exceptions to most rules, the majority of lenders require that you have been in your job for 6 months and are not on probation.  If you have not been in your job for 6 months, many lenders can still accept your application if you have been in the same industry for at least 2 years.  Commonwealth Bank of Australia is also a notable exception to this rule, accepting 100% of permanent income from day 1 – requiring a payslip or employment contract as evidence.

Other acceptable income whilst working full time or part time.

As well as your base salary, most lenders are happy to look at proven income from:

  • Overtime – usually needs to be evidenced and averaged over 12 – 24 months. Lenders will generally only accept 80% of this income when looking at your affordability.
  • Bonuses and commissions – should be evidenced over 2 years.  Lenders will generally only accept 80% of this income when looking at your affordability.
  • Company car – 100% of your car allowance is usually allowed so long as it is permanent and ongoing.  If you are provided a fully maintained company car as part of your contract, many lenders will add $5,000 onto your income when calculating your affordability.

Casual Employment

Casual employment is often considered riskier by most lenders, with their lending criteria being stricter.  Nevertheless, your income will be accepted by lenders if you can prove a regular income over a acceptable time period.  An exceptions to this rule is Bank of China, who generally will not lend to casually employed borrowers.

How long do I need to be employed as a casual?

Most lender will accept casual employment once you have been with the same employer for either 6 or 12 months.  There are options if you have only been employed for 3 months on a casual basis.


Self-employment is often a high-risk high-reward affair for many people, and the banks look at it in a similar light. Self-employed applicants can often be very appealing to lenders, however they will first want to see that your business is stable and provides you with a consistent income before they are willing to give you a home loan.

What is I don’t have 2 years of tax returns?

Low-doc loans are for applicants that either:

  • Have been self-employed for 12 – 24 months (not all lenders accept 12 month ABN).
  • Have been employed for over 2 years but don’t have the financials for a full two years.

Low doc loans are available from many lenders, and generally only require your last 4 BAS statements and an “affordability statement” from yourself and/or a Certified Accountant’s letter.

How long do I need to be self-employed for?

For the vast majority of lenders, 2 years of self-employment will be required, often with 2 years’ or financials to be provided before they will consider your application for a discounted rate.

What if I have been self-employed for less than 12 months?

If you have been self-employed for less than 12 months, there are still options available, however you will likely have to go to non-banks and alternate lenders.  Liberty financial will lend to borrowers who have only been employed for 6 months, whilst Bluestone will go as low as 3 months, although they will want a strong employment history in the same industry prior to you starting out under your own ABN.

Special considerations for certain professions

Whilst this only applies to a select few people, some banks will often give special considerations for people working in the following field:

  • Medical sector – Doctors and other medical professionals can get a loan at 90% LVR without paying Lender’s Mortgage Insurance with some banks.
  • Fire Fighters and Teachers – minimum employment requirements are significantly reduced for Fire Fighters and Teachers of they apply for their home loan with Firefighters Mutual Bank and Teachers Mutual Bank respectively.
  • Police Officers and their families – QBANK, formerly Queensland Police Credit Union, is committed to helping Police Officers and their families financially.  QBANK often has great home loan offers available exclusively to eligible members.

Other acceptable income types

Most banks will also look at other forms of income including, but not limited to:

  • Centrelink income – including Family Tax Benefit A and B, aged pensions, disability pension and widow pensions.
  • Child maintenance – lenders will often look at the age of the children, with maintenance for children over 14 years (or younger, in some cases), generally not being acceptable.
  • Investment income – including rent, dividends and share trading.
  • Super on a case-by-case basis.


Lenders will look at a lot of variables when deciding to approve your home loan, with each having their own opinion on what is acceptable.  Whilst the above should give you a good idea on what is needed regarding employment, it is always recommended you speak with a professional Mortgage Broker.

Disclaimer:  Whilst we aim to ensure all information is up-to-date, lending policies are constantly changing.  We take no responsibility for the accuracy of this information after the date of publishing.  Always seek professional advice before making a credit application.

AUTHOR: Zak Avery

BIO:  After studying Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering at The University of QLD, Zak spent 6 months in Real Estate, before moving to Gladstone to begin a career as a Mortgage Broker.  In early 2017, Zak moved back to his hometown of Brisbane to start his own business: Blue Fox Finance.

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Monday, 1 January 2018

A Complete Guide to International Money Transfer from Australia

The post A Complete Guide to International Money Transfer from Australia appeared first on Oak Laurel.

It’s Easy If You Do It Smart!

In today’s fast-paced world, it is no surprise that people need to transfer cash internationally very frequently. The need is generally more intense for individuals who live or breathe the international life.

Businessmen, investors, stakeholders and individuals who deal globally will always need to move cash over political borders. Whether it is for storing cash in another bank account, for paying workers abroad, for purchasing real estate, or for any other reason, the need is always there.

Furthermore, the list of the reasons doesn’t stop there. Shouldn’t something be said about transferring pensions or paying for a home loan abroad? Need to give money to the relatives back home? Need to invest in something abroad? What about buying a vehicle abroad? The necessities are endless.

But, whatever the reason is, transferring money abroad can be challenging. As a result of increasing frauds, places like Western Union ask a million questions. Their no relation to the transaction is the greatest problem with such systems. In case you need to send your own cash this way, it’s truly a hassle.

Over that, there are charges. Banks and the Western Unions of the world have been known to charge high fees. Utilizing a bank is one of the simplest methods for sending cash abroad, but it is the most expensive one. So, which is an ideal approach to transfer money overseas? To figure out, let’s first discuss the ways in which you can make such type of transactions.

What Options Are Available For Sending Money Overseas?

There are a few different ways to send cash from Australia to another nation.

Bank Account Transfers

You can transfer money directly to an overseas bank account from your own bank account. It is also called as universal money transfer method, a telegraphic transfer, or a SWIFT or wire exchange. A few banks also offer online cash transfer services that enable you to send cash yourself to an abroad bank account. But, this can be a more costly alternative and it could take 2 to 5 days.

Online Money Transfer Companies

Online transfer organizations ask you to set up an account online and let you transmit your cash yourself over the web. The company then moves the cash to your recipient’s bank account.

This transfer technique can be fast and cheap, but you should be comfortable in making transactions on the web and know the account details of the person to whom you want to send the money. See more info about them here.

Cash Transfer – Using Money Transfer Company

Cash transfer organizations allow you to transfer your money using cash or EFTPOS. You can approach such organization at their storefront or utilize any outsider convenience store counter. The individual you send the cash to will collect the cash at the cash transfer office in their nation.

Some organizations will also allow transferring cash by using the internet or a bank card once you are done with the account set up with them. You just need to tell the recipient that you’ve sent the money and that they can collect it from their nearby office.

This sort of transfer is often quick – it could take only a couple of minutes – however, can be costly. Australia Post additionally offers money transfers which can be done at all Australia Post offices that have the Bank@Post sign showed. To learn more, you can see the information here.

Universal Money Order (IMO)

A more secure technique than sending a personal check abroad is to utilize an international bank draft. You give your cash to a bank and get an international ensured check in return. Then you post the check to your family or individual who then needs to deposit it into their account.

While they are secure, this strategy can cost more than others, and posting it will be slower than an electronic exchange.

A Few Easy Ways to Transfer Money Internationally

A Bank Transfer minus the Bank

A bank transfer enables you to send cash from your account in Australia to another bank account in abroad. There are numerous Australian and worldwide organizations that spend significant time in doing the very same thing, aside from with much lower charges and better exchange rates.

A few choices in Australia incorporate TorFX, XE, OFX, Western Union and World First.

In case you are sending more than $1000, ‘non-bank’ cash transfer organizations are less expensive because their charges are lower and their rates are more competitive. Transfer expenses differ between $10-$15 for less cash. Most organizations offer charge free transfers for sums over $10,000. Find out more here.


When you utilize Paypal to send cash abroad, the currency conversions rates are not incredible but the charges are nearly non-existent. It’s also super speedy when the individual you are paying has a Paypal account. .

In case you are paying somebody under $1000, for example to an abroad freelancer, Paypal is less expensive than utilizing a bank. This is because they don’t charge a bank exchange expense, which can vary in between $18 and $32.

This technique is most appropriate for smaller sums i.e. under 500 where both parties have access to email and the individual getting the cash does NOT require it quickly. Keep in mind, if you transfer cash from paypal to another person’s Paypal, they will still need to get that cash through their bank account and this can take up to 5 – 7 business days.

Peer to Peer Transfer

Transferwise and CurrencyFair are the 2 greatest organizations that offer P2P transfers. Rather than going to a bank, they match individuals purchasing currency in one nation with individuals in different nations who are selling currency.

This matching enables them to offer better exchange rates. Sometimes, if they can’t discover a match, the charges and exchange rates could change. P2P transfers can be a significantly less expensive alternative for transfers amongst $1000 and $100,000.


You can utilize Bitcoin to send cash abroad but know that it can be a bit complicated, especially if you are not familiar with utilizing a digital currency. You’ll need to set up a wallet with a Bitcoin organization, as Coinjar, then add money to your online wallet in Australian dollars, convert it to Bitcoin and send it to the individual you are paying abroad. They additionally need to have a Bitcoin wallet and will then convert it to their currency.

Bitcoin transfer costs are much lower since you don’t have to experience any banks to send the funds. The exchange rates are better than a bank but you include some exchange rate hazard since you are converting currency twice rather than once.

Blockchain Technology

The upcoming generation of universal money transfer is blockchain. The Blockchain is the innovation behind Bitcoin that eliminates the need to visit a channel of banks for sending cash from one nation to another.

They have similar aspects to utilizing Bitcoin, including the advantage of super-quick payments and low transaction expenses. The principal difference will be the complexity. You won’t have to set up a wallet and the individual you are paying won’t require a digital wallet to get the cash.

Blockchain technology will enable international transfers to take place in seconds and at a small amount of the cost that bank transfers have. Shockingly, the innovation is still relatively new and needs more prominent acknowledgment from the regulators and banking fraternity. But, don’t be sad, you won’t need to wait for too long for this technology.

What is the Cost of Sending Money Overseas through Banks?

Numerous Australians believe that sending cash abroad through banks is a free service. But, the truth is a bit different. Research reveals how little Australians know about the costs involved with sending cash to another country. Considering one out of three Australians has sent cash abroad the level of understanding, or deficiency in that matter is stressing.

When sending cash to another country through your bank, you will be charged a universal cash transfer fee that could be up to $30, relying on the bank that you use. Your expense may even be based on the currency in which your cash is being sent, and you may likewise acquire an additional charge to speed up your transfer. And it doesn’t end there. When you send cash through your bank, you’ll most likely pay a margin of up to 5% on the everyday exchange rate.

Banks utilize something many refer to as the interbank rate to exchange cash with each other. This rate varies by the second, and you can check that rate simply by Googling something like ‘1 AUD to USD’. However, that is not the rate that the banks give you, they typically add up to 5% on the daily exchange rate, so on a $10,000 transfer, you could pay $500 over the expenses charged to send the cash.

When banks send cash from Australia abroad they charge a transaction fee and furthermore a margin on the genuine exchange rate. This is the reason you’ll be cited diverse trade rates when you get quotes from a few providers – they all charge their own margin. This margin is not usually transparent, so it can be hard to know exactly how much it’s costing you. As per a research, Australians are paying a tremendous $3.1 billion a year on poor exchange rates and abroad card charges.

Australians are being ripped off because of poor currency exchange rates and expense associated with the same. It’s not only individuals who are being ripped off. Small and medium-sized businesses are also loosing almost $150 million a year because of high fees for international money transfer.

It is also confirmed by the researchers that the most costly way to purchase foreign currency is through the banks. Most of the banks tell their clients that they just pay a little upfront fee for universal payments, however, in reality, the clients end up with paying much more. Enormous hidden charges are taken in the form of the exchange rates, generally without the client realizing.” And it is not just travelers who are paying this much price. Those sending money internationally to loved ones also end up paying a lot more.

World Bank figures demonstrate worldwide cash exchanges from Australians to their loved ones overseas is increased up to 26 percent in the five years to 2015, one of the greatest percentage increments in remittances of any nation in the world.

The banks have a lot of overheads than the online currency exchange services; however, it additionally could be that banks are exploiting their clients who don’t look around.

Factors to Keep in Mind While Sending Money Overseas

What service is the best to transfer cash abroad relies on the circumstance. For example, some services offer better terms for bigger measures of cash however the higher expenses make them less appropriate for exchanging smaller measures of cash.

Remember the following factors that play a major role in determining what is the best and the cheapest way to transfer cash abroad

  • The present exchange rate between currencies.
  • Are you sending one currency to another or keeping it same for example, transferring USD to a CAD account in Canada or transferring USD to a US Account in Canada.
  • How much cash you need to send (a little amount or large amounts).
  • Is it a one-time transfer or you may again need to send some money?
  • How rapidly you require the payment to arrive there.
  • The nation you are sending from and the nation you are sending to.
  • Where your funds start from (from a bank account, from a MasterCard, from a digital wallet, bitcoin or cash etc.).
  • Cost (how much money the process will cost you after all the fees and the exchange rate balanced out by all the advantageous and speed factors you get).
  • Safety – how ‘safe’ is the process you follow for money transfer.

Remember, a single offer never offers the least cost, the quickest speed, the best convenience, and the high security. You should balance these out to find a satisfactory deal. Some of the least expensive transfer cash abroad options are additionally the slowest and least convenient techniques, while the most costly alternatives are the quickest and frequently most convenient.


An easy homework is needed when it comes to transferring money abroad.

Once you get to know about the best alternatives that are available for you, sending cash internationally doesn’t need to be a headache. You should figure the expenses including exchange rates and fees related to the transaction. You should analyze different alternatives available before picking the one. Each strategy costs something, but you should ensure that more of your cash goes where it should – to your recipient, not to any third party.


Author Bio: Alex Smith is an editor and works at GCC Home Loans. He enjoys creating, uncovering and disseminating new and interesting perspectives on Finance, Investments and Mortgages.  GCC Home Loan provides Commercial Loans and Property Finance services throughout Australia.

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Tuesday, 17 October 2017

TorFX Australia review

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TorFX review

What is TorFX Australia?

Established in the UK in 2004, with more than one decade of successful history behind and 100,000 content customers online, TorFX is a well-recognized solution for anyone looking for an international money transfer with good rates and even better reputation. It is a leading service when it comes to foreign exchange and money transferring, with around 240 professionals employed and offices in Australia, USA, France, South Africa, the UK, India, Spain and Portugal. It is a trusted and awarded service, which provides foreign exchange, and international payments, both to individuals and businesses, with transactions over £3 billion made so far. TorFX is also regulated by ASIC, Investments Commission in Australia, making it a safe and reliable place for all foreign exchanges and international payments.

What are the benefits and why choose TorFX?

The history of successful transfers speaks for itself, but here are some more reasons to choose this international service:
1. The registration is free and straightforward. Unlike many other, this service does not obligate the customer. Making an account does not take much time and is done just by completing an application form.
2. Competitive exchange rates and the possibility of timing exchanges can ensure the best rate available. This is really great as customers can save money on foreign exchange transfers. There is a best rate guarantee, which ensures every customer gets to transfer the money at best possible rate available.
3. A low minimum transfer makes it easier for individuals to move smaller amounts of money, which is especially great for those who are transferring money to their families, staff or employees overseas.
4. Currency variations are not something to be concerned about because TorFX allows its customers to fix the current exchange rate in case of such currency movements.
5. The customer service is excellent and always open for questions, consultations, and advising.
6. Every customer can stay updated and receive the newest information about currency market, changes, essential data and related news, which helps keep track of personal finances more effectively.
7. This online money transfer service is unique for not charging any fees when transferring money, which makes it a real deal.


Is TorFX legitimate? Is TorFX safe?

TorFX is privately owned, but regulated by Investments commission and has a decade-long history of successful transfers, making it a safe way to transfer money overseas. Besides that, if you have any safety concerns or questions to ask, the customer service is available via phone or e-mail any time of the day. TorFX is under Anti-Money Laundering, as well as Counter-Terrorism Financing act, which all puts your transfers under protection and keeps your funds safe.

Who can benefit the most from TorFX?

As it offers fee-free transfers, TorFX is much more cost-effective than banks, and both individual and business can benefit from such transactions. This exchange and transfer service is an excellent platform for individuals who regularly transfer money abroad. Since TorFX takes zero commission, everyone who is looking for a money-saving way to move money can benefit from it. This means every customer will be fee-free, which is especially crucial for those who transfer large amounts of money. European expats, as well small businesses can also benefit, because of great exchange rates, good service, and extensive banking network. This transfer service is a specialist broker and makes all transactions much more straightforward and even more economical.

TorFX fees and exchange rates

The best money-saving element to take into consideration when considering using TorFX is its exchange rate that beats all the competitors. This is a way to save money when making transactions overseas. It is essential to take into consideration that transactions must be identical transaction and bear in mind it is crucial to have a provided rate via e-mail within 5 minutes of inquiry. Both online and transfers are fee-free, and the minimum transfer amount is 200 AUD, while there is no upper limit for transactions, which makes this international money transferring service particularly suitable for larger transactions. However, amounts above $25,000 need to be approved by a personal account manager. With TorFX there are no unpleasant surprises nor hidden charges and fees. Although deposits are usually free when it comes to online banking, it is essential to be aware that there may be some fees on the side of the financial institution which holds the recipient’s account.

Torfx best exchange rates

TorFX offers a best exchange rate guarantee, which means the customer will always get the best possible rate for the chosen transfer.

How does the TorFX money transfer process work?

Customers can transfer money online or by phone and to make a transaction, the customer has to make sure that the funds are sent in advance. The only way to send money to TorFX account would be a bank transfer since this service does not accept cash. The bank account, therefore, must be in your name. Payments from savings accounts usually take three days. If you want to transfer money from your credit card, you must withdraw funds from your card into another account. It usually takes up to one day to transfer the chosen amount to recipients account, but this depends largely on where the money is sent. Note that it might take a bit longer than 48 hours if the currency of your transfer is among those less used.
The first step is making an account and becoming a member of TorFX international money transfer community. Once you are registered as TorFX client online, you will get a call from your account manager in order to confirm your identity and verify your personal details. You will be asked what are your funds transfer needs, so the account manager can make sure you get exactly what you are looking for and your funds transfer is arranged. You will pay in sale currency and then the money will be transferred to your chosen recipient in the purchased currency. After you receive order confirmation, you must choose the recipient and leave relevant details. The rest is just between the service and the recipient’s bank.
To conclude, when transferring money overseas, there are three simple steps to follow. You need to book a trade and confirm your transfer. You will get a Contract note where you can read the terms of your chosen trade, and then asked to pay. The last step is the transfer, and this usually takes one to two business days.

What services doe TorFX offer to its customers?

There are many possibilities when it comes to transferring money online, and this international money transfer service has a lot to offer, starting from immediate money transfers and regular payments, to more specific transfers such as family payments, emigration or buying properties abroad.
1. Immediate money transfers. Immediate money transfers are available, no matter the reason of urgency. The customer can transfer money quickly overseas and all that in the best possible currency rate of the day.
2. Regular transfers. This service also offers a possibility to make regular monthly transfers, but, unlike with a regular transaction which can be made with $200 as a minimal transferring amount, this includes sums from $1000 to $20,000.
3. Family payments. Family payments are also regulated, without any fees on TorFX’s side.
4. Transfers for Immigration/emigration. Emigration is one of the major reasons individual make online transactions since it is in customers best interest to save money and make a safe transfer, which is exactly what this money transfer service offers.
5. Funds for international property purchases. Buying property overseas has also never been this easy and money-saving; You can fix the rate for a period of two years, so there are no drastic oscillations in the currency rate, at least as far you as a customer are concerned. This means that currency changes on the market won’t affect your purchase and in the end, you will know exactly the price of your property.


What types of foreign exchange are available?

TorFX offers two types of foreign exchange, for personal needs and for business. The first one includes services such as buying a property abroad, and the second one helps individuals grow their profits.

What currencies are available when transferring money?



Are you looking for the best way to transfer money overseas from Australia?


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Monday, 16 October 2017

OFX money transfer review

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OFX money transfer review

Are you thinking of transferring money and want to know if OFX is legit? Check out our OFX money transfer review below.


OFX Australia was Ozforex

Oxforex has become OFX Australia. Being one of the leading services and a top-rated specialist international payment service provider, OFX is the number one solution for Australians who are looking for a safe and efficient way to transfer their money overseas. Founded in 1998 as OzForex, with $100 billion successfully transferred to different countries and in different currencies, OFX has around two million customers visiting the website each month. One of the motos of this well-trusted payment service provider is “Save money when you send money”, and for a good reason. OFX has grown to be a trusted service for online transactions, listed on the ASX in 2013, with worldwide reputation and offices around the world, in Sydney, London, San Francisco, Hong Kong and Auckland. With excellent online payment system, low fees and constant innovation, great customer service and 24-hour support available to the customers, it gained its good reputation over the years and continues to develop as a top-rated service in its category.

Is OFX legitimate? Is OXF safe to use?

Yes, OFX is legitimate! Yes, OFX is safe to use!

Always available to customers, with flexible transferring methods, including online transfer option, transfer via phone or agent, OFX, as a publicly owned company, offers a simple way to save and transfer money fast. It is listed on the Australian Stock exchange, is known for exceptional reliability and safety and is regulated by Investment Commission (ASIC). It offers customer support any time of the day, giving customers a possibility to call a member of OFX team any time of the day, in case you have some trouble with your account or transfers. This payment service provider uses Macquarie Bank’s global risk management policies, which all makes OFX a safe and trusted service a customer can rely on.

Transfer options and why choose OFX

It offers few transfer options to its customers, such as regular payments, one-off payments, spot deals, OFX options, limit orders, market orders or forward contracts. OFX is a great service to support any financial dealings when abroad and is a reliable way to manage finances effectively. From buying properties abroad and international investments, emigration, managing savings abroad, luxury imports, paying different taxes to get married or studying abroad; the reasons to choose a reliable international payment service such as this one are limitless. Here are some options customers find useful:
1. Spot deals – OFX offers a great solution for those who are looking for a quick way to transfer money. Based on given information such as how much, when and to whom the customer wants the funds to be transferred to, the customer will be offered a certain rate, which I based on the rate of the day the spot deal is made. When confirmed, the customer has 24 hours to transfer the funds to the recipient.
2. Forward contracts – Great option for customers who find it suitable, for one reason, or another, to lock in the current rate and keep it same from the moment the contract is signed, till it’s expiration. The one thing to pay attention when it comes to these contracts is that they have a maturity date, which means that the forward contract has an expiration date, which should be taken into consideration. This is a great option for those who would like to buy a property abroad, as locked rate helps customers have more control over finances, ensuring a more stable transaction. Also, the customer has to make an advanced payment, which varies from 5 to 10 % of the total sum. The rate, however, can be exchanged over time.
3. FX options – This is particularly useful in case the customer needs more flexibility when locking in a rate, and this is especially good when the currency changes and gets better than the one the customer previously locked at. Understandably, the expected downside of this option, comparing to the previous one, is that there is a 3 to 10% of the total sum to be paid for this kind of flexibility, as this is a considered a premium version of a forward contract.
There is also a possibility of choosing around fifty available currencies when making a transfer, although OFX does not make it possible for a customer to make a foreign currency account, meaning you can make an AUD account only. For those who are not so familiar with current currencies and market rates, there is an online currency converter available. What customer needs to do is simply visit the OFX website, type the chosen currency and the amount of money. The only trick here is to manually divide the currency amount by AUD amount to get the exact rate because otherwise, the displayed market rate is not the rate customer will receive.

OFX fees and exchange rate

The best part of choosing OFX as international payment service provider is a good exchange rate and reasonable fees. It buys currencies at a market rate and sells in smaller amounts. The exchange rate varies depending on chosen currency and the amount of money the client wants to transfer – the bigger the amount, the better the rate. Generally, OFX fees and exchange rates are than the banks. Fees are charged in the same currency the customer is selling. Moreover, there is a fee-free threshold for each currency, so if a customer transfers over $10.000 the transfer will be fee free.

How does OFX work?

Wondering how does OFX work? With OFX you can send your money via e-mail, with the app, phone or simply by visiting the website. The phone service is great, as well as customer service availability. OFX accepts bank transfers from your account and doesn’t accept cash or credit card, which can be a downside of this payment service provider. The only way to transfer money to your OFX account is by transferring funds using EFT or BPAY trough the bank. The only possibility to transfer money from your credit card is to withdraw available funds from your card to another account, and then send it across, which is a process that can include some hidden fees.

OFX currencies and countries

You can transfer your money to almost all countries in the world, make a personal or business transaction, which really gives a wide range of possibilities to any individual. While OFX transfers money almost to every corner of the world, more precisely to 190 countries, there are countries where the funds can’t be transferred and these are Afghanistan, Belarus, Burma, DR Congo, Republic of Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Cuba, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Zimbabwe.

OFX transfer process

Offering the customers great service and trusted online transactions, OFX is simple to use and works in 3 simple steps.
1. The first step is to make an online account. When it comes to online access, you can set up your account online in just a few clicks, making OFX website easy to use, although identity validation does take some time. The registration itself is free, and so are the first two transfers. All the customer needs to do is enter personal details, such as your address, occupation and contact details, fill in the details of money transfer and confirm account details trough verification. You, as a customer, will get an e-mail and a phone call, which is necessary in order to confirm your identity and protect your account.
2. Login and order a transfer. After you, as a customer register and log in to your account in order to transfer money, you can choose how much money do you want to transfer and chose a currency, and then add the receiving account details, which is the second step. After selecting a rate, the customer must send the agreed sum of money to a recipient in 24 hours.
3. Receive funds. The final, third step includes delivery of funds to the recipient. To make sure you are well informed about the transaction from the very beginning after the transaction is done you will be notified that the funds have been received, and you also have the possibility to continually track your transaction via an app. Usually, transfers take 1 to 2 business days, but they largely depend on the country the customer is sending money to. While money sent to the UK and USA is usually available the same day the money is sent, for the most other countries there is 1 to 2 business days rule for the transfer to be available to the recipient. There is, however, a minimum transfer amount of $250.



What else does OFX offer to its customers?

Besides excellent customer service, years of experience and many successful transactions, the OFX has developed and continues to evolve and innovate. Its customers are not only those looking for a purchase or investment abroad or emigrants; this international payment service provider offers great deals for travelers or simply for business.

Can OFX be used online?

Yes, OFX has online tools available, where customers can easily access, compare and convert currencies, get important data information about the history of their transactions, as well as stay up to date with the latest changes on the currency market.

Does OFX have options for travelers?

Yes, for travelers, there is a travel card available, and its main purpose is to make traveling abroad much easier, at least when it comes to currencies in different countries customers travel to. This card allows you, as a customer, to select currencies without having to pay fees, which otherwise, with any other payment option, can’t be avoided when traveling abroad. This is a great way to spend without having to worry about transaction as much, and keeps all the money from customers bank account untouched.

Can OFC be used for business transfers?

OFX is also great for any kind of business transactions, considering how many people interact with business partners, suppliers, customers or employees worldwide. It offers business ways to reach recipients quickly, giving them a way to pay and receive money safely. It helps small and large businesses of all types to develop and grow, as well as online sellers.

For small business and medium business, this means saving money. How? OFX lets their customers and take advantage of the global network of financial institutions and has low margins, which is important since banks usually charge up to 5% above currency rate and low fees. This is a great way to grow business overseas. Thanks to well-developed online service and 24-hour access to a list of currencies, the business owners will be always updated and informed about the amount they locked in. This means when paying suppliers or customers overseas, business owners won’t be affected by high margins and transaction fees such as those they would come across in banks.

OFX Pros & Cons

Pros of OFX

1. Exchange rates, as well as margin rates, are much lower than those customers come across when dealing with banks. With this payment service, customers can save up to 75% on fees.
2. Great transfer speed allows OFX customers to transfer money quickly, in just 1-2 business- days and transfers to 190 countries. This is especially important, as the exchange rates won’t change drastically, and recipient won’t wait for too long.
3. OFX is safe way to transfer money overseas. It is regulated by Investment Commission and listed on the Australian stock exchange.
4. 24-hour support allows all the customers to contact OFX customer service any time of the day.
5. This is an easy way to transfer money, and it takes only 3 simple steps for money to go from the customer to the recipient.

Cons of OFX

1. There is no possibility of making foreign currency account, as OFX is exclusively focused on AUD as it’s number one currency when making an account.
2. The smallest amount of money that can be transferred is $250.
3. The only way to send money to OFX account is by EFT or BPAY.


We hope that you liked our OFX review. Do you want to know the best way to transfer large sums of money from overseas?

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Thursday, 20 April 2017

Mortgage brokers salary | mortgage brokers earn $142k on average per year

The post Mortgage brokers salary | mortgage brokers earn $142k on average per year appeared first on Oak Laurel.

Ever wondered about a mortgage brokers salary? According to the Mortgage & Finance Association of Australia (MFAA) data, mortgage brokers earn an average of $142,000 per year prior to costs.

Mortgage brokers salary | mortgage brokers earn $142k on average per year

Data on mortgage broker earning comes form  the MFAA’s Industry Intelligence Service Report 3 (10 April 2017) and uses mortgage aggregator data collated by Comparator to produce business benchmarking and industry information for brokers.

The report compiled figures from 1 April 2016 to 30 September 2016 and found that brokers earn a national average of $83,000 in gross upfront commission and $60,000 in gross trail commission per year.

On a national level, brokers settled an average of $6.02m worth of loans each during the six month period. This equalled an average number of 21 new loan applications and an average loan book of $37.5m per broker.

Average broker market share from July to September 2016 remained stable at 53.6%, a drop of 0.1% from the prior three-month period.

Nationally, the broker population was approaching 16,000 with 925 more brokers entering the industry in the six months between April and September 2016.

Another surprising finding from the report was that 18% of mortgage brokers did not settle a loan in the six month period studied – an increase of 3% from the six months prior.

Are you thinking of becoming a mortgage broker or are you a mortgage broker that is struggling to find clients needing a mortgage? Join Oak Laurel as a mortgage broker. Oak Laurel has jobs available now! Oak Laurel can provide you with client leads.


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