Posts in Financial Management

The ATO says 90% of property investors have made mistakes in their tax returns and it is cracking down this coming year.

May 29th, 2023 Posted by Financial Management, Property, Time Management 0 thoughts on “The ATO says 90% of property investors have made mistakes in their tax returns and it is cracking down this coming year.”

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is on the move to crack down on landlords that incorrectly claim or omit items for investment properties on their tax return. The ATO found nearly 9 out 10 landlords making various mistakes such as submitting incorrect claimed expenses and rental income.

Assistant tax commissioner Tim Loh said the Tax Office was targeting areas where people often made mistakes on their returns such as leaving out rental income and overclaiming expenses. “We encourage rental property owners and their registered tax agents to take extra care this tax time and review their records before lodging their return,” Loh said.

Not having the eligible expenses digitally stored and correctly categorised in one place is a big hassle when it comes to tax time.

Senior Accountant Anthony Fernando from Xantias financial management says that he sees this all the time while he assists many clients with their tax returns. “Clients are time poor and need to collate all their expenses for claims. They also need to be aware of what expenses are claimable as per ATO’s standards. A good tax accountant can guide you through.” 

It takes a lot of time and effort to pay bills relating to investment properties and keep on top of records for expenses. Maintaining proper records is important to calculate and substantiate your deductions.

An Australian technology company called Gobbill has been helping property and business owners over the last 5 years. The system automatically does the data entry of bills, check for any fraud/scams, pays the bill before the due date and allocates the bill to correct property (or entity) after the initial setup. This helps property investors to avoid errors, save them a lot of time throughout the year and remove the hassle of finding eligible claims at tax time.

Gobbill is a solution used by many Australian property investors to organise and automate all their bill payments, then store in one place the relevant expense claims. It removes the hassle of finding all the expenses when it comes to tax time. Our clients just export a file for their accountant which also contains all the information required including the associated property/entity for the bill.

Contact Gobbill to find out more about paying and tracking investment property expenses https://gobbill.com/contact/  or email [email protected]

Contact Xantias to find out more about financial management https://www.xantias.com.au/contact/  or email afernando@xantias.com.au

#taxtime #eofy #accounting #propertyinvestment #tax

1) Sydney Morning Herald, April 2023 – Landlords asked to explain $1.3 billion tax shortfall in new ATO blitz: https://www.smh.com.au/money/planning-and-budgeting/landlords-asked-to-explain-1-3-billion-tax-shortfall-in-new-ato-blitz-20230414-p5d0fp.html  

2) Australian Financial Review, April 2023 – How ATO crackdown is targeting your investment property:   https://www.afr.com/wealth/personal-finance/how-ato-crackdown-is-targeting-your-investment-property-20230419-p5d1nt

3) The Australian Taxation Office: https://www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/Investments-and-assets/Residential-rental-properties/rental-expenses-to-claim/

4) The Australian Taxation Office: https://www.ato.gov.au/general/interest-and-penalties/penalties/statements-and-positions-that-are-not-reasonably-arguable/

5) The Guardian, April 2023 – Australian Taxation Office to force banks to hand over landlord data in investment property crackdown: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2023/apr/12/australian-tax-office-force-banks-hand-over-landlord-data-investment-property-crackdown

$430K stolen from Melbourne High School to feed a gambling addiction. Gobbill can prevent such fraud says CEO and former school’s old boy.

March 7th, 2023 Posted by Business Management, Featured, Financial Management, Fraud Prevention, Payments 0 thoughts on “$430K stolen from Melbourne High School to feed a gambling addiction. Gobbill can prevent such fraud says CEO and former school’s old boy.”

A former business manager of Melbourne High School has been jailed after stealing more than $430,000 from her employer to feed an out-of-control gambling addiction.

Frances Walshe’s first theft in early 2012 went unnoticed by the school because of a poor financial governance model that gave the 65-year-old unchecked access to its bank accounts.

Over the following decade, Walshe made a further 263 illegal transactions, stealing $432,546 from the school’s coffers to feed an out-of-control gambling addiction.

Schools, clubs, not-for-profits and other organisations can’t rely on trusting one person who has banking access. For less than $50 per month, a subscription to Gobbill automates accounts payable saving time and costs. It reduces the need to access Internet Banking for making payments, and eliminates or reduces the risk of internal and external fraud.

Shendon Ewans – Gobbill CEO and a Melbourne High School ‘Old Boy’ says that this type of crime could have been prevented. For such a school where funds are so important and fundraising can be very difficult at times, it is disappointing for the school’s management to not have the proper check and balances.

Find out how Gobbill can protect your organisation – school, club or private business.

Contact Gobbill https://gobbill.com/contact/

Image Source: ABC News. Frances Walshe (right) has been sentenced to two years’ jail after stealing thousands of dollars from Melbourne High.(ABC News: Kristian Silva)

Read more from ABC News: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-03-06/melbourne-high-school-frances-walshe-business-manager-jailed/102057716

Plenty to smile about when you’re on top of your bills and cash flow.

January 12th, 2023 Posted by Business Management, Financial Management, Fraud Prevention, Time Management 0 thoughts on “Plenty to smile about when you’re on top of your bills and cash flow.”

Photo of Dr. Paul O’Keefe, Practice Owner of Premier Health Partners

Paul is a small business owner who has overseen the growth of his clinic from humble beginnings to what is now a fully multi-disciplinary medical clinic, combining osteopathy with general practice, physiotherapy, myotherapy, clinical psychology, dietetics and remedial/sports massage.

As his practice grew, Paul was spending more time and energy on managing his accounts payable. Instead of closing up for the day and spending time with his family, he would be sorting out admin. Paul heard about Gobbill from one of his patients. Since signing up and using it for a while, here’s what he has to say:

“Gobbill takes the stress out of bill payments for my business. Once the account is setup everything is totally automated. I just email bills to my Gobbill account and I know they’ll be digitised and paid on time and that Gobbill will check for any duplicate or fraudulent bills. Every few weeks I log in and sync bills to Xero, and that’s my whole accounts payable process done as simple as that.

Gobbill has saved me heaps of time and makes bill payment so easy. It’s a part of my business I don’t even think about anymore, you just set and forget it and know everything is being done right. I would recommend Gobbill to other business owners out there looking for a solution to their accounts payable process.”

By automating the accounts payable aspect of his business using Gobbill, Paul has been able to save time and effort on admin which he has estimated to be around $30,000 per annum. It helps him to manage his cashflow with maximum control and minimal effort.

Many business owners using Gobbill have saved up to 70% of their time spent and around $30,000 per annum on managing their accounts. These include medical health clinics, osteo/physio clinics, dental clinics and more.

Find out more about how Gobbill can help your business, contact Tonisha at [email protected] or visit gobbill.com

Bill shock. Exploitative gas pricing is causing debt and distress for many Australian households.

December 6th, 2022 Posted by bills, Financial Management 0 thoughts on “Bill shock. Exploitative gas pricing is causing debt and distress for many Australian households.”

In the last three months, the Consumer Action Law Centre has received more than 150 calls from people who are struggling with their energy bills. The average debt accrued among these people is more than $2,000. A recent market report found “large differences between the cheapest and most expensive gas market offers”. Regulatory intervention needs to benefit all in the community, including the most vulnerable already indebted on their power bills. Equity measures need to be central to intervention and fairer pricing.

Source: Guardian 5 Dec 2022, Exploitative gas pricing is causing debt and distress for many Australian households. Gerard Brody

However, waiting for change will continue to cost households and businesses.

It is important to shop around and switch using an independent comparison website.

Victorians: https://compare.energy.vic.gov.au/

(The $250 Power Saving Bonus for Victorian households is now open)

Everyone else: https://www.energymadeeasy.gov.au/

How your business can survive further rising costs this new financial year.

June 22nd, 2022 Posted by bills, Financial Management, Payments 0 thoughts on “How your business can survive further rising costs this new financial year.”

Business owners deserve a break after struggling through the pandemic and supply chain disruptions. For many, now is the time to recover and get their businesses back on track.

However, costs have increased since pre-pandemic and is expected to rise sharply as new pricing is passed through in the coming financial year.

Bill payment automation specialist Gobbill compared costs from pre-covid to today and found that costs for small businesses have significantly increased. The average:

  • electricity bill has increased by 22%,
  • phone and internet have increased by 29%, and
  • general insurance has spiked by over 113%.

The bills analysed are only starting to include the recent months of higher inflation. More is expected to come when increases are passed on throughout the year.

“We are expecting another jump on top of the covid period increases by possibly another 30% or more this coming financial year.” said Shendon Ewans, CEO of bill payments company Gobbill. “Add to that, businesses are struggling to hire staff from frontline to back-office administration. Business owners have had to step in to do more for their businesses.”

There are two things business owners can do to prepare for the new year.

1. Aim to increase productivity: Work smarter using automation instead of labour where possible. There are solutions which enables businesses to grow sustainably by leveraging innovation to drive productivity. For example, Gobbill is helping businesses to replace labor with automated processes in accounts payable saving businesses an average of $30,000 each year. Another tool is the use of e-signature software such as DocuSign to cut wasted time and postage costs. These are just a few great productivity initiatives that not everyone has adopted.

2. Cost reduction and control: Scan all bills to see what is really needed and whether you can get a better deal. You’d be surprised as to what you are paying for and that you can find better deals by comparing. Try to benchmark and compare what you should be paying.

After 5 years of bill payment processing, Gobbill has accumulated valuable benchmark data and know-how in lowering costs.

Gobbill is assisting business owners to undertake a cost reduction analysis across their bills. We are offering a FREE analysis to a limited number of business clients.

If you’re interested, reach out to us https://gobbill.com/contact/ or email [email protected]

Trouble hiring?  Workforce hit by Covid?

January 16th, 2022 Posted by Business Management, Financial Management, Global, Jobs 0 thoughts on “Trouble hiring?  Workforce hit by Covid?”

Having trouble hiring staff?  Covid impacting your workforce?

Gobbill Australia was able to save one of its clients 80 hours (one half-time employee) of administration monthly for a $100 per month online subscription. The client is currently saving $35,000 each year.

Imagine what we could do for you.

“Organizations must act to retain their current employees and to attract people
” McKinsey & Co Dec 2021

Many business owners are struggling to find staff from customer service to administration roles. If this is you, examine activities that you can automate using Gobbill. Attracting and retaining talent is important but who wants to do the work an automation robot is able to.

Gobbill is a secure online system which removes manual steps and automates checking, bookkeeping and payment activities. 

You can save up to 70% of your time in admin and paying bills with a subscription starting at $48 per month.
For one of our clients, they removed 80 hours per month of administration work using Gobbill. This saved the business $35,000 annually in wages not including overhead costs.

Thousands of Australians trust Gobbill to automate their admin and manage millions in payments each year. Established in 2015, Gobbill is owned, built and operated in Australia for small business owners. There are no offshore development or processing services involved.

Visit gobbill.com to sign up today or learn more.

Contact [email protected] if you need a consultant to review where you can save time.


The Dangers of Direct Debit

January 4th, 2022 Posted by Business Management, Financial Management, Time Management 0 thoughts on “The Dangers of Direct Debit”

Direct debit can be a great way to organise your finances, but what are the risks? Make sure that you understand the pros and cons of direct debit before making a commitment to payments that may have hidden strings attached. 

Don’set and forget 

Keep yourself informed of the direct debits associated with your bank account. Signing up for a trial can seem like a great way to access a free product, but if a biller only accepts direct debit ensure to cancel your subscription before the trial period has ended. Alternatively, if you are a customer who prefers the convenience of a ‘rolling’ policy (a policy that is automatically extended each year), review these payments regularly to confirm that you still require the services. Customers are often hit with charges for products they no longer use without notification from their provider. 

Giving control to a third party can be risky 

As direct debit payments allocate billing control to the biller and give your bank account details to a third party, it is vital that your service provider is a trustworthy organisation. Customers are not required to provide approval for payment, even if a bill is out of line with prior spending.   

Monitor your bill payments 

Using direct debits as a method of bill payment does not mean that customers can avoid monitoring bill amounts. To remove the potential of being overcharged, it is important to be vigilant about what is taken from your account. Monitor withdrawals from your biller and ensure that bill amounts are in line with your spending habits.  

Cancelling can be a process 

Depending on the biller and direct debit system, cancelling a direct debit can be a difficult process. When your direct debit is set up, ensure that you retain authority to end the debit unilaterally. Many banks are unwilling to stop direct debit at a customers request, meaning that a business may take several or more months of payments before the process is stopped. To cancel, customers will often be required to write a letter to the bank and merchant to stop the debits. Before setting up a direct debit read the Terms and Conditions and educate yourself on how to cancel in case you no longer require the service or product. Or alternatively, set up an alternative way to pay. 

Paying bills with a credit card has benefits 

Direct debit payments do not give users the opportunity to access rewards. For those looking to maximise their bill payment benefits, pay bills on a credit card where possible to gain cash and travel rewards. If your biller charges an inconvenience fee for credit card payments, this is the circumstance to look into a debit card or direct debit option. For billers that do not charge extra for the use of a credit card, do the research on what card will be most useful for which bill – do you want to use a card to increase points? Money flow? Choose what credit card gives you the best benefits for your preferences and go.  

Careful of the extra fees 

Utilising direct debit as a payment service can reduce the possibility of being charged late fees and get you pay-on-time discounts. However, if your bank account does not contain enough funds to cover the bill total, you may get charged a fee by both the financial institution and the biller. To manage this issue, it is important for users to either link direct debits to their primary bank account or set reminders to transfer funds before bill due dates.  

An alternative bill payment service like Gobbill can assist in avoiding the potential shortfalls associated with direct debit payments. The new online service issues payment reminders before a bill due date, gives users increased flexibility to pay bills using a credit or debit card, allows users to maintain control over bill payments and automates the bill payment process.

Contact Gobbill to find out more or Sign UP today for FREE

Why Australians generally had a prosperous year. What does 2022 look like?

December 24th, 2021 Posted by Australia, Financial Management, Property, Startup 0 thoughts on “Why Australians generally had a prosperous year. What does 2022 look like?”

The Age 24 Dec 2021 reports that Australians have experienced a number of remarkable economic achievements in 2021.

We were much better off generally as a result of the following factors despite the impact of Covid-19 lockdowns, travel restrictions and protests.

Those factors include:

  1. Australian household wealth rose by 20% over the past 12 months due to rising stock markets, superannuation portfolios and property boom.
  2. Australians are more likely to be in a job today than at any other time in our history. Unemployment fell to 4.3% in November, which is the lowest rate since the mining boom in 2008.
  3. Australian farmers had their best year in decades.
  4. Entrepreneurship is at record highs. New business registrations increased by 30% above pre-pandemic levels.
  5. Wages growth is starting to trend up with RBA forecasting 3% over the next two years.

So what does the new year 2022 look like for us?

The RBA and most major economic indicators are pointing towards strong economic growth which is expected to hit its fastest rate in 25 years with an average growth for the calendar year of 5 per cent.

Whether you are buying more shares, a property and perhaps starting a business.

Have a great prosperous New Year 2022 from all of us at Gobbill!

Money Series: All you need to know about budgeting.

February 22nd, 2021 Posted by Financial Management 0 thoughts on “Money Series: All you need to know about budgeting.”

A budget is the best tool you have to help you work out where your money is going, to create a plan to help you think about your finances in the longer-term, and to feel more in control of your money. Don’t be nervous! You don’t need any special tools or expertise to set up your own budget. You just need the will to start looking at where you are right now and where you want to be.


Set your money goals

First, work out why you want to do a budget. This can help you to decide where you want your money to go. Ask yourself: What is my goal? It could be to stay on top of bills, free yourself from debt, save for emergencies, pay for your children’s education, or save for a holiday or a house deposit. Set a savings goal and work out how much you can save each payday. The Australian Government website, MoneySmart, offers a free savings goal calculator to help you work out how long it will take you to reach this goal. You can then put aside money for big bills when they arrive, and plan savings to achieve your money goal.


Tracking your spending is a way to take control of your money. If you ‘don’t see it, you don’t know’. Knowing exactly how much is coming in and going out can help you spend less and save more. Having a clear picture of your regular expenses and spending habits will help you set up your budget.

  1. Understand where your money goes. Taking the time to make a note of every dollar you spend can give you a clear view of where your money is going. You may be surprised by how much all those small things add up. You might also discover hidden costs, like account fees, subscriptions you don’t use, or mistaken transactions (If you discover these, consult the MoneySmart website advice on how to resolve this). Just knowing where your money goes may be all you need to start spending less. You may even start saving more.
  1. Track your spending and expenses
  • How to track your spending. Start small by recording your spending every day for at least a week. This way you can see all the money going out. If you have some weeks or months with more expenses, then track over two weeks or two months. This will give you a more accurate picture. Don’t worry about changing your spending habits straight away. Just track day by day. It might be easier to track with your partner, parent or a friend: You can encourage each other and stay on track.
  • Use a phone app. A phone app is an easy way to track your spending at the time you spend.
  • Some apps offer more options, such as setting spending limits and reminders, and seeing your expenses at a glance.
  • Look at your statements and receipts. When you use a debit or credit card, every transaction is recorded for you.
  • You can view or download these transactions using online banking, or look at your hard-copy statements or receipts.
  • Write it down. Write down every dollar you spend. Include the amount, item or store name, and date. You should do this for both cash and card purchases. Do this as you spend, or set a reminder to do it once a day, using your receipts.
  1. See how you’re tracking. At the end of your tracking period, look at your recorded transactions to see where your money is going. You might find that just by being aware of your spending you start to spend less. Take a moment to ask yourself: Do I need this? Would it be cheaper somewhere else? This can help you think twice about buying something.
  • See where you can save. A good first step is to look at any small items that add up over time. Try cutting back on small, frequent expenses, such as takeaway coffee or lunch. This is a great way to start a savings habit. MoneySmart has some great ideas on simple ways to save money. You could also see whether you could redirect this money, maybe to a savings account, an emergency fund, or to your mortgage.
  • Separate needs from wants. Look at all your transactions and highlight what are ‘needs’ — essential items you need to live. This will give you a clear picture of what are ‘wants’. These are the things you could cut back on or live without to save money.
  • Set limits and reminders. Seeing how much you spend on certain things can help you set a realistic limit for the next week or month. This can help you avoid overspending. Knowing when regular expenses are going to pop up means that you can set reminders and put aside money to cover these payments.
  1. Do a budget. Knowing where your money is going day to day is great first step to creating a budget. The next step is to see where it’s going over a month, then a year. Having a budget can help you feel in control of your money, prepare for big expenses, and save.


Easy steps to manage and categorise how you spend your money. Use how often you get paid as the timeframe for your budget. For example, if you get paid weekly, you can set up a weekly budget. Then follow these steps to set up each section.

  1. Record your income. Record how much money is coming in and when. If you don’t have a regular amount of income, work out an average amount. Make a list of all money coming in, including:
  • how much
  • where from
  • how often (weekly, fortnightly, monthly or yearly)

This money could be from your wages, pension, government benefit or payment, or income from investments.

  1. Add up your expenses. Record your regular expenses, including:
  • what for
  • how much
  • when

Regular expenses are your ‘needs’ — the essential items you need to pay for to live. These include:

Fixed expenses, for example:rent or mortgage paymentselectricity, gas and phone billscouncil rateshousehold expenses, like food and groceriesmedical costs and insurancetransport costs, like car registration and public transportfamily costs, like baby products, child care, school fees and sporting activities 
Debt expenses, for example:personal loan repaymentscredit card paymentsmortgage repayments 
Unexpected expenses, for example:car repairs and servicesmedical billsextra school costspet costs 

To make sure you’ve recorded all your expenses, look at your bills or bank statements. If you tracked your spending using the MoneySmart tool, use your list of transactions.

  1. Check if you can save. Having some savings can help create a safety net for unexpected expenses. Set a savings goal and work out how much you can save each payday. You can use the MoneySmart savings goal calculator to work out how long it will take you to reach your savings goal.
  1. Set your spending limit. The money you have left after expenses and savings is your spending money. This money is for ‘wants’, such as entertainment, eating out and hobbies. Make a plan for what you want to do with your spending money. This will help you to keep within your limit. Be sure to keep track of your spending so you always know how much you’ve got left.
  1. Bank Accounts. You can set up three bank accounts: A high interest savings account for savings, and two transaction accounts, one each for spending and bills. It’s good to schedule automatic transfers for as soon as you receive your wages to your savings, and explore using a tool such as Gobbill to automate your finances.
  1. Bill smoothing. To help you manage future bills, you can talk to your suppliers to arrange for ‘bill smoothing’. This is where you spread the cost of your bill over regular weekly, fortnightly or monthly payments. For example, you might pay a set amount of $100 a fortnight towards your electricity bill. This will help you budget and provide some helpful additional structure to help manage your larger bills.
  1. Tools and emergencies. You can use the MoneySmart budget planner to create your own budget with custom items. You can set up your budget and save it online or download and use the Excel budget spread sheet. Use any surplus you have each week to add to your emergency fund. This can give you a buffer to cover for any unexpected expenses.
  1. Review your budget regularly. It’s important to adjust your budget as things change. For example, if you find you can’t cover all your expenses, savings and spending, you may have to reduce your spending limit, or change your savings goal. As always, it is important to seek independent advice regarding your specific situation. This content should be regarded as general information.

For more ideas to help reduce spending, take a look at MoneySmarts advice on simple ways to save money.

Up to date as of 31 Jan 2021.

Money Series: How to best manage credit.

February 22nd, 2021 Posted by Financial Management 0 thoughts on “Money Series: How to best manage credit.”

Credit is a contractual agreement in which a borrower (such as yourself) receives something of value now (stuff) and agrees to repay the lender at a later date with interest.

What is a credit card? 

Credit cards are a piece of plastic, like a debit card, issued by banks that give the cardholder access to a line of credit for purchases. They are also now issued online to borrowers without any physical form. The amount of credit you have access to is called your credit limit, and you may be charged interest on any outstanding purchases made.

Credit cards can be a helpful financial tool that allows you to make purchases when you don’t immediately have the funds. But they can also be risky if used incorrectly, and could lead to a ‘credit card debt trap’. ASIC’s review of credit cards reveals more than one in six consumers struggling with credit card debt. For this reason we recommend an abundance of caution when thinking of applying for a credit card. 

Can I get a credit card? Not everyone will be approved for every credit card. It is easier to be approved for a credit card than some other forms of finance, like a home loan, as you don’t need to offer up a deposit to be approved. But you will need to meet credit card eligibility criteria.

Do I need a credit card? Whether you need a credit card or not is determined by how you plan on using the card and your personal financial situation. There are a variety of credit card types with different benefits, such as travel cards with complimentary insurances, which can make life easier for the cardholder.

However, ASIC investigations reveal some consumers are being provided with credit cards that don’t meet their needs. For instance, many consumers carry balances over time on high interest rate products, when lower-rate products would save them money. If you cannot afford to pay your balance off in full each statement period you may begin to accrue interest on your card. This means that if you are not in a financially stable place, or are prone to paying your bills late, a credit card may not suit you.

Shop around for the best deal. Always do your research before you sign up for a financial product like a credit card or loan. Make sure the product is right for you and that you’re getting the best deal. For example, choosing a credit card with a lower interest rate and fewer fees can save you a lot.

Thinking about how you will use your credit card will help you compare the options and get the best card for you.

Choosing a credit card. To choose the best credit card for you, consider your spending habits and how you will pay it off.

Work out how much you can pay off each month. Knowing this will help you choose the best-value credit card.

If you’re struggling to pay your bills, a new credit card may not be the best move. The Australian Government website, MoneySmart, has some great advice on managing debt that may provide other options for you.

If you can pay the full balance each month. Consider a credit card with more interest-free days. This means you won’t pay interest as long as you pay the balance within a set number of days (for example, 55 days). These cards may have a higher interest rate and an annual fee, but that could be worth it.

If you can’t pay the full balance each month. Look for a no-frills card with a low or no-interest rate and a low annual or flat monthly fee. You can use the MoneySmart credit card calculator to work out how much you would need to pay each month.

Set a credit limit you can afford. When you apply for a credit card, your bank or credit provider will offer you a credit limit. This is the maximum amount they’ll lend you, and it is based on your ability to pay it back within three years. If you’re worried about overspending, you don’t have to take the full amount offered. Think about your spending habits and how much you can comfortably afford to pay back.

Weigh up the pros and cons of card options.

  • Store cards. Store cards can be an expensive way to shop. You can only use them in that store, and they may have higher interest rates. Check if the benefits are worth the higher rate. If a store offers an interest-free deal, check when the deal ends. Also check the interest rate on new purchases (called the ‘purchase rate’), as it may be higher than for other credit cards.
  • Rewards programs. Credit card reward programs sound good — you get something back simply by spending on your card. For example, you could earn points you can use to buy movie tickets or flights. But cards with rewards programs often have higher interest rates and extra fees. They could cost you more than you get back. Check if the benefits you get are worth the higher cost.
  • Extras like travel insurance. Some credit cards come with ‘complimentary’ extras like travel insurance for overseas trips. Be aware that extras are usually not free. The cost may be covered by higher interest or fees. Other cards offer ‘cash back’ (credit on your account) or discounts on goods or services. Weigh up if what you will get back is worth you paying more in interest or fees. Consider the pros and cons of transferring your credit card balance to make sure it’s the right move for you.

Compare credit cards

Compare credit cards from different companies to find the one that suits your needs. Comparison websites can be useful, but they are businesses and may make money through promoted links. They may not cover all your options. MoneySmart offer some helpful advice on what to keep in mind when using comparison websites.

Compare credit card rates and fees

Honeymoon (or introductory) interest ratethe interest rate offered for a limited period of time at the start of a new credit card
Purchase (interest) ratethe interest rate on things you buy (purchases) after the honeymoon period ends
Interest-free daysthe number of days you won’t get charged interest on purchases
Annual or monthly feefee you will pay every year or every month
Rewards program feefee for using the rewards program
Other feeslate repayment feescash advance fees (for cash taken out)fees if you go over your credit limitfees for using your credit card to shop or travel overseas


A payday loan is not the cheapest credit option. We don’t advise using them if you can avoid it.

A payday loan, also called a small amount loan, lets you borrow up to $2,000. You have between 16 days and one year to pay it back. While it might look like a quick fix, a payday loan may have a lot of fees. For example, to pay back a $2,000 payday loan over one year, your total repayments will be about $3,360. That’s $1,360 more than you borrowed. There are plenty of cheaper ways to borrow money when you need it. Before you get a payday loan to pay off another loan, we advise you first talk to a financial counsellor – It’s free and confidential.

Cheaper ways to get money fast. If you need money fast, these options are cheaper than a payday loan:

No interest loan

  • Borrow up to $1,500 for essential items like car repairs or a fridge.
  • You must have a Health Care Card or a Pensioner Concession Card or an after-tax income below $45,000.
  • You only repay what you borrow. There is no interest, fees or charges.

Take a look at MoneySmart no interest loans for how to get one.

Low interest loan

  • Borrow from $800 to $3,000 for bigger essentials like a second-hand car or computer.
  • You must have a Health Care Card or Pensioner Concession Card or receive Family Tax Benefit A.
  • There’s a low interest rate of 5.99%. There are no fees or charges.

Take a look at MoneySmart StepUP low interest loans for how to get one.

Centrelink advance payment

  • You can get an advance payment of your Centrelink benefit.
  • Most people who receive a Centrelink payment can apply.
  • There is no interest and no fees or charges.

You can apply for an advance payment through the Service Australia’s website.

Help paying your bills and fines

If you’re struggling to pay your bills, we recommend you don’t get a payday loan. Instead talk to your service provider straight away. They can help you work out a plan to pay bills or fines in instalments. The government and some community organisations offer rebates and vouchers that can help you pay utility or phone bills. Take a look at MoneySmart problems paying your bills and fines to find out more. If you’re struggling to make ends meet, take a look at MoneySmart urgent money help. There are free services that can help you.

The cost of payday loans

Lenders can’t charge interest on payday loans, but they can charge a lot in fees. You will have to pay back a lot more than you borrowed. Most payday lenders charge an establishment fee of 20% of the amount borrowed and a monthly service fee of 4% of the amount borrowed. For a $2,000 loan, that’s a $400 establishment fee and $80 per month for the service fee. ASIC has issued an order to stop lenders like Cigno from charging two lots of fees. Under the model used, Cigno customers were signed up to a payday loan and its associate charged extra fees under a separate contract. Before you sign up for a payday loan, we advise you should first check how much it will really cost you using the MoneySmart payday loan calculator.

Fees on payday loans

Under the law, there’s a cap on most payday loan fees. If you’re charged more than the maximum fee, you can get free legal advice on how to get your money back. Payday lenders can only charge you these fees:

Establishment feemaximum fee is 20% of the amount borrowed
Monthly service feemaximum fee per month is 4% of the amount borrowed
Government feecovers any government duties — most lenders don’t charge this
Dishonour or missed payment feecharged if you don’t have enough money in your bank account to make a scheduled repayment
Default feescharged if you don’t make a repayment by the due date — the maximum you can be charged for default fees is double the amount you borrowed
Enforcement expensecharged if you default — to cover the cost of recovering the money you owe

Paying back your payday loan

If you can’t keep up with repayments, visit the National Debt Helpline website for help on how to repay your payday loans. By law, payday lenders must lend responsibly. This means they can’t give you a loan if they think you won’t be able to repay it or it could cause you substantial hardship. If you think the lender didn’t lend responsibly, you can get free legal advice.


Buy now pay later means you pay by instalments over time, instead of paying the full amount upfront. When you use a buy now pay later service, you can buy a product and then delay payment. You usually pay off your purchase over a few weeks. For bigger purchases, it may be longer. You don’t pay interest on the purchase. Instead you may be charged fees, and they can add up quickly.

Many shops offer different buy now pay later options. Here are some of the buy now pay later providers:

  • Afterpay
  • Zip Pay
  • BrightePay
  • PayRight
  • Openpay
  • Humm (previously known as Certegy Ezi-Pay and Oxipay)
  • Make It Mine

Some buy now pay later arrangements are also offered through credit card networks such as Mastercard and Visa.

What to look out for before you sign up

While buy now pay later can be convenient, it can be difficult to juggle repayments with other financial commitments. In 2020, ASIC research into the buy now pay later industry found that in order to meet repayments on time, one in five consumers:

  • missed or were late paying other bills or loans
  • cut back on or went without essentials such as meals

Before you sign up, keep in mind:

  • It’s easier to over spend – you can over-commit to spending you can’t afford
  • Costs can add up – you are charged fees and costs to use the service
  • It can be hard to manage – if you sign up for more than one service, it can be hard to keep track of payments
  • It might affect a loan application – lenders consider buy now pay later spending when you apply for a car loan or mortgage
  • Late repayments can appear on your credit report – this affects your ability to borrow money in the future
  • Lay-by can be cheaper – lay-by has no account keeping or late fees

Compare the fees and charges

Buy now pay later services are often advertised as ‘interest free’ or ‘0% interest’. But they can charge fees that can add up quickly. They may charge:

  • late fees — if you miss a payment or pay late, up to $15
  • monthly account-keeping fees — a fixed monthly fee, up to $8 a month
  • payment processing fees — an extra fee of around $2.95 each time you make a payment, on top of your set repayment
  • establishment fees — a fee to set up the account. For some there are no establishment fees, but for others these fees can be up to $90.

You may also have to pay bank fees:

  • overdrawn fees — if you don’t have enough money in your account to cover the repayment
  • interest — if you are paying by credit card

Tips for managing buy now pay later

To make the most of buy now pay later services:

  • Stick to a limit and aim to have only one buy now pay later account at a time.
  • Budget for bills, loan payments and buy now pay later payments.
  • Consider linking your buy now pay later account to your debit card instead of your credit card. That way you’re using your own money and avoid credit card interest.

If you sign up for a buy now pay later option, add the repayments to your budget — and your calendar. You can use the MoneySmart budget planner to help with this.

What to do if you get into trouble

Most buy now pay later providers have dedicated complaints and hardship services. Contact your provider if you have a complaint or if you’re having trouble making repayments. As always, it is important to seek independent advice regarding your specific situation. This content should be regarded as general information.  If you’re struggling to make repayments, you can also talk to a financial counsellor. They offer a free and confidential service to help you get your finances back on track.

Credit can be a tricky business so be careful, reach out for help of you need it.

Up to date as of 31 Jan 2021.