Case study: the risks of cross-collateralisation


When it comes to growing their property investment portfolio, the majority of investors will look to leverage the equity from their current properties to fund the next step in their investment journey. What many investors don’t realise, however, is that the structure of their existing loans can have critical implications on their ability to do this.

Unfortunately, lenders will often look to structure loans in a way that is favourable to them as opposed to the borrower. In many cases, this often leads to a problem known as cross-collateralisation, whereby one or more existing properties are used as security for a loan. Whilst favourable for banks looking to minimise their own risk, this structure can lead to a number of issues for investors and their long-term goals.

In our latest case study, we highlight some of the key risks and restrictions associated with cross-collateralisation.

The problem

Prior to enlisting Momentum Wealth, the client had approached his bank directly to arrange loans for three properties – his home and two investment properties. When structuring the client’s portfolio, the bank had used the investor’s home as security for both investment properties under an overarching loan amount of $600,000. Unbeknownst to the client, this was about to pose a significant issue for his future plans.

Despite the fact the investor was able to pay off the mortgage on his own residence, this structure meant his home title remain tied up with his other investments. With his home used as security for his investment properties, the investor was running the unnecessary risk of forced sale or repossession of his main residence should he fall into debt and be unable to make his loan repayments.

Further to this, when the investor attempted to withdraw equity to purchase another property, he discovered he was unable to do so. Although he had the required capital to fund a further purchase, his equity was trapped in the complex loan structure, leaving him unable to borrow from the bank for his next investment.

The solution

Faced with this dilemma, the investor approach Momentum Wealth in search for a solution that would offer the security and flexibility he needed to progress in his investment journey.

By refinancing the loan, we were able to uncross and re-structure the client’s portfolio. Instead of using the investor’s home as collateral, our finance brokers set up two separate $300,000 loans against each specific investment property. This freed up the client’s home title and enabled the investor to access the equity he needed for his next investment property. Through doing this, we were also able to identify a more competitive interest rate for the client, saving him over 1% in interest.

The importance of loan structure

As an investor, it’s important to be aware of how the structure of your loan can impact your long-term investment plans and risk exposure. Having the right structure in place can be critical in giving you the flexibility and security you need to achieve your long-term investment goals, but it also holds fundamental implications for the protection of your existing assets. In today’s complex lending environment, especially, this is why it’s more important than ever to find a finance specialist with an understanding of your property investment goals and the structures that support this.

If you’re experiencing problems with your current lending solution or would like advice on financing your next property, our finance specialists would be happy to discuss your needs in an obligation-free consultation.


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