More young people turning to the “bank of mum and dad”

With rental prices continuing to skyrocket, an increasing number of young people have set their sights on homeownership, but as rates too are on the rise, most are struggling to crack the market.  

As a result, many young singles and couples are turning to the ‘bank of mum and dad’, leaning on their parents’ financial security to lock in their own bank loan.  

But while there can be some benefits, experts warn there are risks, so it’s important for everyone to enter an agreement with their eyes wide open.  

“According to recent research, about 40 per cent of 25- to 34-year-olds expect to call on the ‘bank of mum and dad’ to achieve home ownership, with many likely to utilise a parental or family guarantee,” Louisa Sanghera said. 

 “However, guarantees come with potential positives and negatives for both parties, which means everyone needs to understand the commitment they are undertaking.”  

Ms Sanghera said parental or family guarantees had been increasing in popularity over the years given the high price of property, as well as the rising equity many long-term property owner “mums and dads” had in their homes. 

“In essence, a parental or family guarantee is when a parent or family member uses the equity in their home as security against a loan taken out by their child or family member. For example, if a mum or dad has $500,000 equity in their home, this equity can be used as security against their child’s mortgage,” she said. 

“Of course, there are pros and cons with using this mortgage facility, which I always recommend everyone understands thoroughly before proceeding with this option.”  

Here are the pros and cons to consider, according to Ms Sanghera. 

Pros  

  1. The borrower doesn’t need as big a deposit as they are using their parents or family member’s property as security. 
  2. A parental or family guarantee can potentially mean avoiding or reducing the cost of Lenders Mortgage Insurance. 
  3. There is no cost to the guarantor – as long as the mortgagor always makes their mortgage repayments. 
  4. Once the mortgagor has built up enough equity in their home or has paid off enough of the mortgage to get to an 80 per cent Loan to Value Ratio (LVR), the guarantor can be released from the agreement. 

Cons  

  1. If the mortgagor defaults on their mortgage, the guarantor – parents or family member – is liable for the entire sum that they’ve promised to cover which is the amount over the 80 per cent LVR. 
  2. The guarantor’s ability to take on further loans for themselves or for guaranteeing others is diminished during the guarantee period. 
  3. The guarantor may be putting their own home at risk if the mortgagor defaults on their home loan and they are unable to repay the initial sum guaranteed.
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