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  • Ben Graham-Nellor

Do you have a big bad debt monster hiding in your closet?

Around the world we are beginning to see interest rates rise. So far, the RBA has kept our official interest rate here in Australia at record lows. How long can that last? It’s time to talk about debt. Grabbing a hold of your debt is an important part of your financial success. Hiding from your debt will not serve you in the long run, even if you have a lot of it.

How do you grab a hold of your debt? Let's have a look at three steps.

Firstly you need to know what it is that you owe.

Grab a pen and paper and write it all down. Draw a table with four columns. The first is headed ‘debt’, this is where you will put what kind of debt it is. The second can be named ‘who’ this is the bank or lender. The third ‘how much’ which is or how much you owe and the firth ‘interest’ this is for your interest rate. Start listing your debts. Start with your mortgage, then look at car loans, personal loans, credit cards, HECS or HELP student debt and don’t forget loans from family and friends.

Now you know how much you owe, don’t be scared. It's best to attack your debt with the full knowledge of where you stand.

The next step is to make sure that you are not paying too much. There are so many different lenders available to you. The loan that was appropriate for you a few years ago may not be appropriate anymore. How do you figure this out? It can be time consuming doing it yourself. You can get on the internet and look at different providers and how much they charge. If you choose to do this, be sure to look at the comparison rate. A comparison rate takes into account the interest rate as well as any fees applicable to the loan. This helps you compare apples with apples.

If you don’t want to do it yourself, one of our Smart Happy Money brokers will be happy to help. A mortgage broker is someone who has access to a range of lenders and can help you get the right deal.

A debt check-up is cost and obligation free, if you’re interested get in book a session with one of our brokers here

Our brokers can assess whether you are paying too much interest or if the loan you have is the appropriate for you.

Getting a lower interest rate on your loan products can make a big difference to your overall costs.

Once you are sure that you have the best loan products for you. Put a repayment strategy in place to get rid of your debt all together. For personal debts you can access our ‘Credit Cards are Killing you’ strategy paper HERE.

Paying down your mortgage and investment loans form part of your overall financial plan. Although on a very simple level getting rid of the credit cards first and redirecting those payments to your highest interest, non-deductible debt is a good place to start.

To summarise,

1: Find out what you owe and what you are paying

2: Find a better deal

3: Put a repayment strategy in place.

For more information on getting a hold of your debt, or to talk to our wonderful mortgage brokers please get in contact with our office or book via our website.

We hope you will enjoy the freedom that being in control of your debt allows you.

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Ben Graham-Nellor is an advisor, coach, blogger and speaker who has worked in the financial services industry for over 15 years. He believes that by educating and advising people today, they can improve their tomorrow.

Ben Graham-Nellor is a Sub Authorised Representative (291391) of BGN Financial Management PTY LTD (ABN 45 672 104 196) which is a corporate authorised representative (468796) of Professional Investment Services Pty Ltd (ABN 11 074 608 558) which is the holder of Australian Financial Services License No.234951. Website |

BGN Financial Management PTY LTD is corporate credit representative No 528966 of Centrepoint Alliance Lending ABN 40 100 947 804 (Australian Credit Licence Number 377711)​

Smart Happy Money is a trading name of BGN Financial Management PTY LTD

This information has been provided as general advice. We have not considered your financial circumstances, needs or objectives. You should consider the appropriateness of the advice. You should obtain and consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) and seek the assistance of an authorised financial adviser before making any decision regarding any products or strategies mentioned in this communication.

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