A Fin24 reader hoping to use some of his home loan money for renovations was surprised to find the bank has rejected his application while his wife is under debt review. He writes:
My wife and I have taken out a home loan together. I am the one who pays it, and I also pay extra towards it every month. This bond doesn't have a flexi facility, as I would like to use some of the money to do renovations, but the bank has rejected my application due to the fact that my wife is under debt review. I only find out a year ago that she took out a loan at another bank and couldn't repay some of her debts.
What can I do to get some of that money back? I have a small bond which I'm considering paying off in the next 18 months.
Benay Sager, Chief Operating Officer at DebtBusters, responds:
It is not exactly clear, but we believe the consumer’s questions are twofold.
1. How can he get back extra money paid back towards his non-access bond and
2. Can he open an access (or flexi) bond account while his wife is under debt review? Though it is not confirmed, we assume that the consumer is likely married in community of property in answering this question.
For the first part: If a consumer pays extra to reduce their debt (which is an excellent idea!), this reduces the debt amount the consumer is liable for. Unfortunately, in the case of a bond that is not an access (or flexi) bond, extra amounts paid are not refundable.
For the second part: Consumers who are married in community of property are jointly liable for debt, and therefore both need to come under debt review when one applies. While under debt review, consumers are unable to access new credit, so unfortunately the consumer would not be able to access new credit as his wife is under debt review.
Questions may be edited for brevity and clarity.
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