As banks continue to push up interest rates and the tight credit market hangs like a dark cloud over the property sector, taking a cautious and steady approach to property is wise.

First, it‘s important to know how to keep afloat when faced with higher repayments on your mortgage. In this issue, we profiled three survivors of mortgage stress and revealed how prudent strategies helped them turn their cash flow around.

Is bigger better? A larger loan may enable you to secure a more valuable property and bigger potential capital gains. However your circumstances may dictate that bigger is not necessarily better. We show you how to determine whether you can afford to borrow to the max and tips on how you can increase your borrowing power.

Many banks tout ‘interest–saving features’ that enable you to pay off your loan faster… but these can be costly when used incorrectly. Find out how best to use them, so you can reduce the interest without paying additional fees.

Of course, with recent rate hikes that even the federal treasurer has questioned, you may be thinking of switching lenders. Just remember that moving your loan between banks may have costly pitfalls. Before you make the jump, read out article ‘Keep or Break’.

While the non–bank lenders have taken a beating due to the global credit crush, ‘mutual’ organisations have been quietly expanding their offering.

And this contributes to the good news. We’re currently seeing more rivalry among lenders. We’re also seeing a softening of the market, which may help more people to enter the property market. Combined, these two aspects may be just what we need right now.

Whether you are looking to buy your first home, move home, refinance, or invest in property, a mortgage broker can help. Access loans from all the major lenders, get help with paperwork – plus there is no charge for this service. Get help from a local mortgage broker