It all started when I went looking for a renovator’s special for my eldest son, Brady. I wanted to borrow about $500,000 to give him so he had a project to work on (he’s a carpenter) – and a place to live.
That’s eventually where we’re going to retire, down that way somewhere in Byron Bay. The plan was in three years’ time he would buy me out or we’d sell it and take the money. I’ve got two other boys and I wanted to offer the same to all three.
As well as a mortgage on our own place, we had a business loan, credit cards, household and car insurance policies with the one lender.
My wife Shelley and I went to see our bank. We’d been with them for 19 years and we’d never had any issues with them before. But after we came out of the interview I said to Shelley: ‘I’m just not happy. Something’s not right here.’
We stewed over our meeting with the bank manager and in the meantime came across uno home loans online. One of their advisers called me and asked me what I wanted to do. I said we were looking at buying. He took all my information down and said, ‘You’re not going to have a problem’. That’s not the feeling I got from my bank.
Around the same time, Shelley approached a mortgage broker to see what it could offer. This involved two face-to-face meetings, one of which forced me to take time off from work. I never had to do that with uno. There was a bit of emailing and texting, especially in the early stages when the adviser was asking questions. He would be doing this at 8.30pm or 9pm. Everything was done over the phone.
uno gave me a list of things I needed to supply: financial statements, credit card bills and tax returns. Then they set to work. In the end, they were able to wrap up our loans and insurance policies together with one provider, saving us thousands of dollars a year.
We estimated it’s likely to be around $7000 a year. If we put this money back into paying off our loans, we could actually chop about 11 years off the mortgage.