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saluting Stephen Elkins, delegate from New Mexico and Senator from West Virginia

He founded the Santa Fe National Bank and made successful investments in mining, railroads and real estate. Elkins moved to West Virginia to pursue similar business ventures. His company built railroads that boosted coal and timber production. President ...

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An independent mortgage broker is recommending homeowners give their mortgage a "health check" ahead of any interest rate rise.Financial markets are predicting an official rate rise as early as November while there's a risk retail banks might lift lending rates independent of a move by the Reserve Bank of Australia.Consumers had the ability to take their interest rate destiny into their own hands and seek a lower rate now on an existing home loan, Loan Market Group executive director John Kolenda said."Most mortgage holders are on standard variable home loans with the major banks and more than 50 per cent of those consumers are paying an unnecessarily higher interest rate," he said."You still can negotiate a mortgage rate that is anything from 0.70 per cent lower or more for large size loans."Mortgage holders could also examine some of the variable rates on offer, including the smaller lenders, and help make substantial annual savings.AdvertisementAt the very least, homeowners should be budgeting for rates to rise again quickly when the economy turns around."While it is tempting to use the reduced home loan commitments now to boost your spending power, people repaying home loans are better off paying as much as they possibly can, not just minimum repayments," Mr Kolenda said."That will prepare them for when the minimum repayment rises and also create a buffer."Financial markets are fully pricing in the risk of a 25 basis point increase in the 3.0 per cent cash rate in November, and see further increases to 5.0 per cent by October next year.A 200 basis point increase would add about $450 to monthly mortgage repayments, or some $5,500 a year on an average home loan of $340,000."A mortgage is no different to your home, your car or even yourself," Mr Kolenda said, adding routine maintenance and a regular health check were essential.Comments disabledMorning & Afternoon NewsletterDelivered Mon–Fri.Email addressBy signing up you accept our privacy policy and conditions of useThe AgeTwitterFacebookInstagramRSSOur SitesThe AgeThe Sydney Morning HeraldBrisbane TimesThe Canberra TimesWAtodayThe Australian Financial ReviewDomainTravellerGood FoodExecutive StyleThe Store by FairfaxDriveAdzunaRSVPEssential BabyEssential KidsWeatherzoneClassifiedsTributesCelebrationsPlace your adCommercial Real EstateOneflareNaboThe AgeContact & supportAdvertise with usNewslettersAccessibility guideSitemapProducts & ServicesSubscription packagesSubscriber benefitsMy accountSubscriptions FAQsToday's PaperFairfax MediaPhoto salesPurchase front pagesFairfax syndicationFairfax eventsFairfax careersConditions of usePrivacy policyPress Council

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