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Tax windfall can benefit homeowners

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"Homebuyers have the potential to save tens of thousands on their mortgages and put in place a buffer zone against possible future interest rate rises by making good use of tax cuts and any tax refunds they receive. "Even someone receiving a small tax cut of $10 a week could save more than $20,000 over the life of their home loan by putting this money into their mortgage," Montgomery said. "In the process they are building increased equity in their home, as well as extra funds to draw on if interest rates rise again and their finances get tight." Montgomery noted that some people would need to use the tax cuts to pay for increased fuel costs and to ease the burden of any possible rate hikes. "However, many people will have already absorbed these costs or, in the case of those receiving the benefit of higher tax cuts, will find there is still enough money left over to make an impact on their mortgages. Putting a lump sum of $5,000 into your loan in its early years can save you more than four times that amount over the life of the loan, depending on the loan size," she said. Montgomery added that the end of the financial year is also a good time for homeowners to do a 'stock take' of their loans to ensure they aren't paying more than they need to.

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