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A Guide To Flood Insurance For Property

While navigating the options for flood insurance for property has no doubt been on the mind of many Australians, what exactly do these types of policies cover?

Although Queenslanders are no strangers to going about their business through extreme weather events, it’s safe to say that the current natural disaster affecting many parts of the state wasn’t exactly something that anyone had predicted this early into 2022, let alone desired. 

A Guide To Flood Insurance For Property

Eleven years on from the devastating flooding of 2011, this time an estimated 15, 000 homes have received water damage in Brisbane alone, with thousands more facing catastrophic emergency levels across South East Queensland and Northern New South Wales. 

Although flood insurance companies are still wading their way through the thousands of claims from Queensland homeowners, do these types of policies offer the level of protection many of us actually require? 

What Flood Insurance Does And Doesn’t Cover

Home and contents insurance provides cover for unexpected damage to your property or your belongings within it. Although they can be sold as two separate policies, more often than not they are combined to protect both structures and the items stored inside of them. Like all insurance policies, it’s crucial to read the fine print as each provider offers slightly different terms and variations, particularly when it comes to flooding. 

Unbeknownst to many, the term “flood” has a standard definition across the insurance board, so your cover will be the same no matter which insurer you’re with. However, each insurer calculates your risk differently, so be sure to shop around for a better premium. As an example, if you live in an apartment in the city and a long way above ground, the flood cover component makes up a miniscule portion of your premium. In comparison, if your house is a block or two away from a river, then expect to pay hundreds of dollars a year extra for flood insurance cover. 

Once upon a time, insurers used to calculate risk on a postcode basis, but are now shifting to a more customised approach where properties are evaluated based on their individual addresses. Each flood insurance provider generally uses different methods and data sources, which means that their assessment of your risk – and in turn the price of your premium – will generally vary from others. 

It’s also important to note that while most home insurance policies generally cover several other water-related events like storms, cyclones, rainwater runoff and “escape of liquid” such as events like burst pipes, insurers can define these events how they like. 

Thankfully, almost all home insurance policies generally include cover for temporary accommodation after an insured event. If your property or the fundamental contents of your home are too damaged for you to stay at the dwelling, this could mean a hotel for a couple of nights, longer term rental accommodation, or even portable accommodation that has the potential to fit in your backyard while repairs are completed. 

However, this type of cover is usually capped at 10-20% of the amount your home is insured for, or 12-24 months’ rent at a similar property. For renters with contents insurance, unfortunately only the cost of any additional rent over and above what you normally pay will usually be covered.

The sad thing is that the number of “once in a hundred year” weather events are increasing in Australia, and it’s not surprising that some homeowners have opted to make the move elsewhere out of the danger zones. If you’re one of those growing numbers of people, it can be difficult to know who to turn to when it comes to refinancing or obtaining the right type of home loan product for the next stage of your life. Thankfully, we know just the professionals who can help. 

Partnering With The Mortgage Professionals 

Navigating the complex world of home loans has long been regarded as stressful, frustrating and time consuming – but the good news is that it doesn’t have to be.

Since their inception in 2012, the team at Madd Loans have worked tirelessly in providing over 2,000 Queenslanders with finance options to help turn their dreams into reality. With the entire brand being built on referrals, owner George Samios takes great pride in making the loan process both fun, educational and stress free – and he has a swag of awards to prove it.

If thinking about your financial future strikes a chord with you, then it might be time to speak to a professional. Whether you’re chasing mortgage solutions or a financial fairy godmother, the team at Madd work together as a collective to turn your goals into reality.

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Does Afterpay Affect Your Credit Score

Considering the rising cost of living, it’s no surprise that many of us are reliant on “Buy Now Pay Later” services – but does Afterpay affect your credit score?

The market for Afterpay’s ‘reverse layby’ model cannot be overstated – especially in the midst of a global pandemic. Founded in a suburban Sydney garage in 2014, Afterpay as we know it is now regarded as one of the pioneers of the ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ (BNPL) payment platforms that have since taken the world by storm. In theory, it’s as simple as receiving your goods, and paying them off later in four fortnightly, interest free installments. 

Does afterpay affect your credit score

However, a growing number of financial experts have expressed concerns linked to consumers relying too much on BNPL platforms like Afterpay to support everyday living expenses and overspending. While using Afterpay is quite safe when compared to the hefty interest rates and fees linked to credit cards, personal loans, and payday loans, if you miss a repayment, you’ll be slapped with a late fee. While it’s also worth noting that lending providers pay careful attention to payments made via BNPL platforms on your bank statements when applying for a loan, does Afterpay affect your credit score?

The Relationship Between Your Credit Score And BNPL 

While Afterpay reserves the right to check your credit score, it generally doesn’t unless your identity checks present any red flags. However, if you fail to meet your repayments, Afterpay reserves the right to report any negative financial activity such as late payments, missed payments, defaults or chargebacks, to credit reporting agencies. This information can be logged on your credit report for up to seven years, and can prove tricky to navigate further down the track if you want a mortgage or other sizable loan. 

As long as you’re using Afterpay in a responsible way and making your payments on time, then your credit score and history shouldn’t be affected directly, but it can encourage a debt spiral for consumers who have access to seemingly small amounts of spare cash. The more you shop and show that you can successfully pay back your purchases on time, the higher your approved spending limit goes, and can therefore provide a dangerous window of opportunity for those who are prone to overspending. 

If you’re considering applying for a loan in the not so distant future, buyer beware – “Buy Now, Pay Later” platforms can attract the wrong kind of attention from the banks. Many lenders still regard these types of payment services as a line of credit – essentially, you’re still able to borrow money that you don’t have. Alongside your other debts or expenses, lending providers will take your Afterpay purchasing behaviour into account to form an overall risk profile when deciding whether or not to issue you with a pre-approval. 

While there’s now a medley of other “Buy Now, Pay Later” platforms trying to ride the wave of Afterpay’s success, such as ZipPay, LatitutePay and Klarna, even the big banks are trying their best to keep up, with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia recently announcing its own digital product. The surprising announcement was designed to allow customers to make purchases between $100 and $1000, and repay the money in four interest-free fortnightly installments – just like Afterpay. 

For shoppers, the ease of using the platform is one of the most appealing platforms. To sign up, all you need is to be aged over eighteen, hold a valid Visa or Mastercard debit or credit card in your name, and to be deemed capable of entering into a legally binding contract. Users sign up via a verified email address, phone number and photo identification. Once this is approved – which is almost instant – users are free to get busy shopping either online or instore with selected retailers. 

If you are ready to “level up”, get financially fit and take a step back from BNPL platforms like Afterpay, then it’s never too early to seek professional financial advice. Whether your next goal is to retire early, take a gap year or purchase a home, George Samios and the team at Madd Loans are ready and waiting. 

Partnering With The Home Loan Professionals 

Navigating the complex world of home loans has long been regarded as stressful, frustrating and time consuming – but the good news is that it doesn’t have to be.

Since their inception in 2012, the team at Madd Loans have worked tirelessly in providing over 2,000 Queenslanders with finance options to help turn their dreams into reality. With the entire brand being built on referrals, owner George Samios takes great pride in making the loan process both fun, educational and stress free – and he has a swag of awards to prove it.

If thinking about your financial future strikes a chord with you, then it might be time to speak to a professional. Whether you’re chasing mortgage solutions or a financial fairy godmother, the team at Madd work together as a collective to turn your goals into reality.

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No Deposit, No Guarantor Home Loans Debunked

While “no deposit, no guarantor home loans” style products are often spruiked in the finance industry, it’s important to separate fact from fiction. 

Once upon a time, a single person or couple could live comfortably while saving for a home loan deposit, and faced little obstacles in purchasing their dream property. However, with the cost of living skyrocketing and Australia’s property pricing currently sitting at record highs, the “Great Australian Dream” is a concept becoming increasingly out of reach for many first home buyers. 

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As such, it’s easy to understand why many people are getting creative with their attempts at cracking the property market. Whether it’s moving home to save, taking advantage of government initiatives or even considering properties that don’t resemble anything like you envisioned, people are making compromises as a means to purchase their first home. However, with these authentic methods come a few myths as well, such as products that advertise “no deposit, no guarantor home loans”- but do they actually exist?

Unpacking The Myths Linked To No Deposit Home Loans 

While “no deposit, no guarantor home loans” often get confused, the reality is that buyers generally need to make a choice between one or the other – meaning that you either need to have a deposit, or access to a guarantor. 

In simple terms, guarantor home loans are mostly quite similar to a standard home loan. The major point of difference is co-signing a mortgage with a selected guarantor – commonly a parent or guardian – even though they have no rights over the property itself. While guarantor home loans increase your equity and chances of approval because you have someone to “back” you financially, it does come with some risks. In the event that you should default on the mortgage, the guarantor is responsible for paying it back – making it quite the responsibility and a decision not to be taken lightly.

Should the buyer in question not have enough funds saved to meet the full 20% deposit, going down the path of a guarantor loan is a popular option to avoid the extra cost of Lenders Mortgage Insurance, otherwise known as LMI. Depending on the lending institution you apply with, it may be possible to borrow over 100% of the purchase price of the property to cover added fees as well. The guarantor doesn’t have to commit to the full term of the loan – most only secure part of the loan (called a Limited Guarantee). Many guarantors have the option to only “cover” the buyer until they have paid back the 20% deposit minimum, or until their property value grows so that the loan balance is under 80% of the property value, after which time their responsibility ceases.

In a nutshell, this method is how a growing number of first home buyers are purchasing property with little or no deposit. However, without a guarantor at your disposal, it’s simply not going to happen. A bank needs to see that you’re disciplined enough to save for a deposit, or that you have someone with the ability to financially back you in the event that you default. While it may not necessarily be considered fair for those without access to family members in the position to be a guarantor for them, it does present a way to get your foot in the door of the property market and stay ahead of the increasing cost of living in Australia. 

Partnering With The Home Loan Professionals 

Navigating the complex world of home loans as a first home buyer has long been regarded as stressful, frustrating and time consuming – but if you can find the right advice on how guarantor home loans work, then the good news is that it doesn’t have to be.

Since their inception in 2012, the team at Madd Loans have worked tirelessly in providing over 2,000 Queenslanders with finance options to help turn their dreams into reality. With the entire brand being built on referrals, owner George Samios takes great pride in making the loan process both fun, educational and stress free – and he has a swag of awards to prove it.

If thinking about your financial future strikes a chord with you, then it might be time to speak to a professional. Whether you’re chasing mortgage solutions or a financial fairy godmother, the team at Madd work together as a collective to turn your goals into reality.

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The Home Loan Refinance Process

While home loan refinance options might feel overwhelming at first, the reality is that ripping the Band Aid off has the potential to save you thousands. 

As such, this is where home loan refinance options come in. A lot can change in a year, which is why conducting a home loan review is always a good idea to ensure that your mortgage is performing at its best. Depending on your individual set of circumstances, your mortgage broker may suggest swapping to a more favourable home loan product, which is otherwise known as refinancing – but what does the process involve?

The Home Loan Refinance Process

The Concept Of Refinancing Explained

Whether we like it or not, banks aren’t generally in the habit of checking in with their customers and offering a discounted interest rate, which is why consumers need to be proactive when the market conditions change. While the mortgage you originally signed up for may have been a great fit at the time, there’s a wide variety of circumstances to consider when evaluating if it’s still the best loan product for you or not. 

Refinancing refers to the process of paying out your current home loan by taking out a new loan. While this can be with the same lender, it is also common to change to an entirely different lending provider for a better interest rate, lower fees or generally more favourable loan terms overall.

Those looking to refinance their existing mortgage are increasingly carrying out much of their research online by comparing home loans to review what the market has to offer, as the benefits of doing so can include – 

  • Securing a more favourable interest rate
  • Changing your terms to fixed or variable interest rates
  • Gain access to home equity 
  • Consolidate existing debt 
  • Unlocking certain home loan features 
  • Some lenders even give you a cash rebate of to refinance through them of around $2,000 to $4,000

However, before you make the swap, it’s important to remember that refinancing isn’t free. Depending on the value of your existing home loan, expect to be hit with extra charges linked to application fees, valuation fees, discharge fees and more. If your current mortgage is on a fixed interest rate, there are also additional exit fees to contend with, and can easily amount to a few thousand dollars. 

Needless to say, there’s a wide variety of factors to consider before you dive into a new home loan. Your current credit score, property value, the outlook on interest rates and new loan terms all have a role to play when it comes to determining if refinancing will leave you in a better position or not, so it’s always worth speaking to the professionals before you make the commitment.

As the founder of Brisbane based Madd Loans, George Samios has seen his fair share of unfavourable home loans. Instead of jumping on a home loan refinance option that looks good on face value, he helps customers conduct and make informed financial decisions and see if their home loan product is still right for them.

“Competing on variable-rate mortgages generally makes sense for lending providers, as they can always increase their rates later on – something they cannot do for fixed-rate customers. A home loan review is important to ensure that borrowers minimise their exposure to rate hikes and potential risk, particularly given the current uncertainty surrounding the cash rate. If you have the right finance partner, a home loan health check should be a positive and empowering experience, and not something to shy away from.”

Although many homeowners put off refinancing out of concern that the process is time consuming  or requires a lot of work, it’s not a hard process and the benefits could be substantial. In fact, it can be as simple as meeting with a reputable mortgage broker, providing some documentation and making a decision – but where do you find such a partner in finance?

Partnering With The Home Loan Refinance Professionals 

Navigating the complex world of home loans has long been regarded as stressful, frustrating and time consuming – but the good news is that it doesn’t have to be.

Since their inception in 2012, the team at Madd Loans have worked tirelessly in providing over 2,000 Queenslanders with finance options to help turn their dreams into reality. With the entire brand being built on referrals, owner George Samios takes great pride in making the loan process both fun, educational and stress free – and he has a swag of awards to prove it.

If thinking about your financial future strikes a chord with you, then it might be time to speak to a professional. Whether you’re chasing mortgage solutions or a financial fairy godmother, the team at Madd work together as a collective to turn your goals into reality.

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Guarantor Home Loans Explained

For first home buyers being increasingly priced out of the property market, guarantor home loans are a tool that can be used to fast track the process. 

Imagine this: you’ve spent one, two, or even five years saving up a hefty deposit as a means to purchase your first home, only for a once in a generation pandemic to arrive to Australian shores. The property market skyrockets as a result, and suddenly the 20% deposit you’ve worked so hard for barely amounts to 10%, or even 5%. Deflating, right?

On a national scale, home values are currently up over 20% when compared to the same period just twelve short months ago. As many recent first home buyers know, it’s not repaying the mortgage that’s the hard part. Instead, many identify saving for the deposit as the most difficult component of purchasing property for the first time, and the process certainly isn’t getting any easier. However, if you have access to such a resource, guarantor home loans could provide a unique opportunity to speed up the process of getting into your first home. 

How Guarantor Home Loans Work 

What if we told you that there was a way to break into the property market faster, with a smaller deposit, avoiding the extra cost of Lenders Mortgage Insurance, and unlocking home loan products with more favourable interest rates? Yes, such a financial product does exist, but there are a few terms and conditions attached. 

In simple terms, guarantor home loans are mostly quite similar to a standard home loan. The major point of difference is co-signing a mortgage with a selected guarantor – commonly a parent or guardian – even though they have no rights over the property itself. While guarantor home loans increase your equity and chances of approval because you have someone to “back” you financially, it does come with some risks. In the event that you should default on the mortgage, the guarantor is responsible for paying it back – making it quite the responsibility and a decision not to be taken lightly.

Depending on the lending institute you apply with, it may be possible to borrow over 100% of the purchase price of the property to cover added fees as well. The guarantor doesn’t have to commit to the full term of the loan – most only secure part of the loan (called a Limited Guarantee). Many guarantors have the option to only “cover” the buyer until they have paid back the 20% deposit minimum, or until their property value grows so that the loan balance is under 80% of the property value, after which time their responsibility ceases.

Apart from significantly cutting down on the time it takes to save for a home loan deposit, the major attraction of guarantor home loans is their ability to help an applicant avoid paying Lenders Mortgage Insurance. For the unfamiliar, LMI operates on a sliding scale, and varies depending on how big – or how little – your deposit is. For a home valued at $400, 000, a buyer who has a 10% deposit of $40, 000 can expect to pay almost $7, 000 for LMI. As a general rule, just about all home buyers do everything in their power to avoid this hefty bill, and guarantor home loans offer a way to do so. 

However, opting to become a guarantor for someone you love isn’t a responsibility that should be taken lightly. Lending institutes will generally scrutinize the finances of a guarantor, with common criteria linked to being approved including having equity in their existing property and a stable income to satisfy lenders, as well as having a good personal credit rating. A guarantor needs to remember that if their family member defaults on the loan, the guarantor is arguably the one that stands to lose the most financially. 

While the paperwork involved in any standard home loan application can be complex, those that involve a guarantor are even more mind boggling. Thankfully, this is when the help of an industry professional can be invaluable in reducing stress and saving time – but where do you find one?

Partnering With The Home Loan Professionals 

Navigating the complex world of home loans as a first home buyer has long been regarded as stressful, frustrating and time consuming – but if you can find the right advice on how guarantor home loans work, then the good news is that it doesn’t have to be.

Since their inception in 2012, the team at Madd Loans have worked tirelessly in providing over 2,000 Queenslanders with finance options to help turn their dreams into reality. With the entire brand being built on referrals, owner George Samios takes great pride in making the loan process both fun, educational and stress free – and he has a swag of awards to prove it.

If thinking about your financial future strikes a chord with you, then it might be time to speak to a professional. Whether you’re chasing mortgage solutions or a financial fairy godmother, the team at Madd work together as a collective to turn your goals into reality.

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FHLDS And The 2022 Budget Predictions

With the 2022 Budget set to be released on March 29, speculation linked to the FHLDS is rife amongst consumers and financial industry experts alike. 

The First Home Loan Deposit Scheme (FHLDS) was first released on January 1, 2020, and is an Australian Government initiative to support eligible first home buyers to build or purchase a first home sooner. While buyers are usually required to save a 20% deposit or otherwise pay Lenders Mortgage Insurance, under the FHLDS, eligible first home buyers can purchase or build a new home with a deposit of as little as 5%, with the government actually guaranteeing the remaining amount.

FHLDS And The 2022 Budget Predictions

In essence, the FHLDS functions in a similar fashion to a traditional family guarantor loan, except it’s the government that fronts up to vouch for you, and in turn shoulder the risk. While the scheme doesn’t offer a cash payment, the good news is that you can use it in conjunction with any other government grants, schemes, concessions and waivers you qualify for, with the aim being to get Australians into their first home faster. 

While the FHLDS has received numerous amendments since it’s initial launch, with the upcoming Federal Budget for the year set to be announced on Tuesday 29 March, industry experts and first home buyers alike are anxious to see whether the FHLDS will be sticking around for another twelve months, and what further changes we can expect to see. 

The Future Of The First Home Loan Deposit Scheme 

While there are plenty of places available in the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme that allows first-time buyers to put down a deposit of just 5%, the catch is that the scheme is due to expire on June 30. With just over 4000 approvals still available as of January 2022, financial industry experts are speculating that the FHLDS could be extended once again in the upcoming 2022 Federal Budget.

Under the current terms, first home buyers can purchase an existing house, townhouse or apartment, a house and land package, land and a separate contract to build a home, or an off-the-plan apartment or townhouse. So far, the FHLDS and similar initiatives introduced by the Federal Government have helped more than 58, 000 people purchase homes. Oddly enough, more than half of the guarantees offered by the low-deposit schemes have been taken-up by women.

It’s also worth noting that from July 1 2022, the amount that can be held inside super for a home purchase under the First Home Super Saver Scheme (FHSS) will rise to $50, 000, up from $30, 000 – however, the maximum annual super contributions that can be put toward a home deposit is capped at $15, 000. While contributions must be voluntary, rather than compulsory, employer-paid super, the scheme has been designed to encourage younger Aussies to save, and in turn be taxed less accordingly. 

So far, figures from the Federal Government show that around 26, 800 first home buyers have released $371 million to purchase their first home under the FHSS scheme, indicating that more Australians than ever are using every single tool at their disposal to get a foot on the property ladder. 

Considering that Australia is rapidly approaching an election, figures such as these are policy makers and marketing tools for the Liberals, who will no doubt be going hard after an “economy first” pitch to spruik to voters. When coupled with the financial pressure that many Australians are facing thanks to the rising cost of living and extremely hot property market, it’s unlikely that the FHLDS will face the axe in the upcoming 2022 Budget. 

Your Secret Weapon As A First Home Buyer 

Buying your very first home – and obtaining the finance to do so – can be a time consuming and stressful exercise. Thankfully, the good news is that it doesn’t have to be. 

Since their inception in 2012, Madd Loans have worked tirelessly in providing Queenslanders with the finance tools to help turn their dreams into reality. With the entire brand being built on referrals, George takes great pride in making the mortgage process both fun and educational – and he has a swag of awards to prove it. 

When it comes to navigating the property world, knowledge is power – so why not book yourself into one of Madd Loans’ free First Homebuyer Workshops? Conducted completely online in a webinar format, George and the team at Madd Loans run participants through the world of finance when it comes to your first home loan. This digital model provides flexibility if you’re trying to work around your employment, and is also conducted in a #CovidFriendly manner. 

If you would like to know more about the FHLDS the many other factors involved with buying your first property, please contact the team at Madd Loans today to book in your place at the next free First HomeBuyer Workshop. 

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Madd Celebrates Ten Years In Business

Although it might only feel like yesterday to owner George Samios, this month sees Madd Loans celebrating a massive ten years in business as one of the nation’s leading and most innovative mortgage brokers. While the Madd brand has certainly come a long way since it’s early days as a one man band in East Brisbane, the aim of the game has remained the same: to help ordinary Queenslanders bring their financial dreams to life. 

In fact, George has a swag of awards to prove it, along with features on “Ready, Set, Reno!” and numerous television broadcasts. By providing a memorable and fun experience for consumers navigating the realms of finance, George has stuck to this simple formula in order to maintain and elevate his brand to the best that it can be. 

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First established in 2012, Madd Loans have managed to kick some serious business goals – all via exceptional customer service and strong industry relationships. In a nutshell, the Madd mission has always been to turn a client into a raving fan. According to George, his diverse crew are the very foundations that have built Madd into an industry powerhouse, and he takes great pride in Madd’s staff retention ratings, education opportunities and career progression. In his own words, the Madd brand came to life after he realised that there was only so much he could do to service clients whilst working in a bank. 

“At 23, I was bright eyed, bushy tailed and working in one of the big banks. Even then, I just loved the fact that I could wake up every day and help people, and within two years I’d already become one of the bank’s top lenders. My friends noticed this passion, but my success suddenly didn’t taste so sweet after one of them told me that in order to be the very best at my job, I needed to become a mortgage broker. 

At the time, I had no idea what a mortgage broker was. The way it was explained to me was that at the bank, I had the power to write one loan – but as a broker, I could choose from hundreds. It dawned on me that I’d been telling my customers that I’d found them the best deal in Australia, but this was a lie. I also realised that pursuing a career as a mortgage broker offered me a way to help all of those people that had previously been declined for a loan with one particular bank, and that there were several other lending providers who could potentially offer an alternative.”

Although saddled with his own half a million dollar mortgage, George left his position with the bank and embarked on the journey to become a mortgage broker. George met with a wide variety of industry aggregators, and soon signed up for a partnership with Connective – a business relationship that is still going strong today. When brainstorming a name for George’s new enterprise, it was his mother who originally coined MADD loans, or “make a difference daily”. 

His newly rented office didn’t exactly have the makings of a state of the art financial institution, so George actively avoided bringing his first customers there and took them out for coffee around Brisbane instead. However, George soon got to work to change this, and painted his workspace green. While this particular hue had long symbolised money and happiness, it also formed the foundations of the Madd Loans branding. 

It’s important to note that a wide variety of George’s earliest partnerships are still rock solid today. Madd has the same IT and marketing consultants that they’ve had since the company’s inception, and the very first clients are still loyal to George and the team all these years later. While all of these unique characters have become integral threads in the Madd Loans tapestry, they’ve also embraced change as George has continued to develop the business model to include full scale financial planning as a means to truly assist Australians to reach their own version of financial freedom. 

By learning, living, watching and experiencing, George knows people. He’s dealt with the extremes in personalities, and consciously practices what he preaches through leading by example. As a result, Madd Loans is now a multi national award winning mortgage broking firm, and George has assembled a team of some of the best in the business. With Madd Loans set to have half a billion dollars in settlements to their name in 2022 alone, it’s safe to say that both George and the entire team at Madd Loans have big things on the horizon, and a bright future ahead through changing the finance game.