As a property investor it’s highly likely that you have or will experience financial hardship at least once during your investment journey. These times of stress and hardship can be caused by many factors, including market fluctuations, periods of rental vacancy, increases to outgoings and maintenance, or even a substantial change to interest rates.
While such periods are never comfortable and can take the fun out of a once high performing portfolio, it’s important to know that you are not alone, that such challenges are commonplace in property investing circles around the country and there are options available.
In some circumstances it is often that the investor has a sound portfolio, however, they are just requiring temporary assistance to get them through the tough period and emerge out the other side.
In Australia, banks and financiers are required to consider offering you flexible payment arrangements during periods of financial hardship. Other service providers, like insurance and phone companies, can also provide their customers with financial hardship arrangements.
The key to accessing these flexible arrangements and payment plans is getting in early. Ideally, before you fall too far behind, it will place you in good stead to work proactively with them to set a suitable and manageable arrangement.
Here are some tips on dealing with financial hardship:
- Make a list of all the debt you owe. Find out what payments are necessary to bring your accounts up-to-date so that you have a clear position on what you need to negotiate.
- Get real and assess how long your position will last for. Do you require 3, 6 or 12 months of relief? Do you need to plan for longer?
- Formalise a Budget to gain a clear understanding about what income you have to work with, what commitments can be made and which need to be deferred.
- Financial arrangements with banks, financiers and creditors can include: postponed or deferred payments, loan restructuring, interest only repayments, temporary overdrafts, lines of credit or entering into refinancing or debt consolidation arrangements.