Changes in the ACT mean it's now easier for renters to get a loan for their bond, helping people to secure a tenancy in the private rental sector.
Finding money to pay a bond can be a major challenge for people who rent, especially when on low incomes. Moving is costly: you’ve got to pay two weeks of rent in advance, you’re probably paying rent on your old place, and on top of that you need to get the equivalent of four weeks of rent to cover the bond.
One possible solution was "commercial guarantees" which the ACT Government flirted with earlier this year. However, the ACT deserves much better. A friendly intervention from Better Renting and other organisations saw "commercial guarantees" left awkwardly at the bar, wondering where their date had gone. Recent changes to the bond loans scheme are a much better option.
If you're looking for a rental property and bond money might be a challenge, you should think about applying for a bond loan. It is interest free, and you have up to 24 months to repay the loan. You can get approval for a loan before you've been approved for a tenancy, and then use the loan to cover your bond when you do sign a lease.
And here are the great new changes:
- You can now apply for a bond loan online. Hard to believe it took so long, but we’re grateful that it’s happened at last. You wouldn't believe it, until now you literally had to print a form and take it to a physical office.
- More people are eligible. The rules have changed so that more people will be able to receive a bond loan. People in sharehouses can each apply individually for their share of the bond.
- The whole process is easier. The approval process has been streamlined and you have more control over the repayment time frame.