You’ve graduated, now what?

What do you do once you have handed in your final assignment and sat your last exam? Graduating from university or tertiary study is a much-desired milestone for many, however the opportunities and decisions to be made once your study is over can be overwhelming.

If home ownership is set in your sights for the near future, HomeStart have put together the below tips to help you on your home buying journey once you’ve graduated.

Looking for full time work/ internship

While entering the workforce is the main aim of completing tertiary study, many graduates find it overwhelming to land the perfect job directly from University or TAFE. Applying for internships and entry level jobs are a great way to steer yourself onto the right path, with opportunities generally advertised by the university or institution to final year students or those that show interest. Platforms such as Seek and Indeed are also a great way to find career opportunities in your chosen field. Lastly, ensuring that your LinkedIn page is up to date with your experience, professional photograph and qualifications is essential as many recruiters use the platform to find potential candidates for jobs - some of which may not be advertised publicly.

Look at your debt

It’s easy to see why take-home now and Pay Later schemes have become so popular. From fashion to whitegoods, the Pay Later ideology is becoming an increasingly popular method to pay for items, particularly for students who have generally less income than those working full-time. While it may sound like a great idea to buy now and pay later, many often get stuck on a debt treadmill at this early stage and find it harder to pay off as the amount accumulates. As you enter your career, and hopefully a more stable income, disabling your AfterPay accounts and utilising your new salary to pay for items is a good way to break the cycle and get out of debt.

Best time to start a budget and look to the future

Now that you have reduced your debt, it is time to make a budget and set some future home ownership goals. Ensuring that you have a clear idea of how much you are earning and spending on living expenses and discretionary costs will allow you to define your budget and align your savings goals with achievable outcomes. For example, if you want to buy a home in five years and roughly need around $40,000 for a deposit, breaking it down into yearly, monthly and weekly savings goals assists in creating a more achievable figure and helps you stay motivated. In this case, you know that you would need to be saving $8,000 a year, which is equivalent to $667 a month or $154 a week. If you can save more, that is great, but you know that by saving at least $154 a week you will be on track to achieve your savings goal in the set five-year time frame.

Consult someone you trust

Whether it is your parents, best friend, neighbour or colleague, you are bound to know someone who has been in your current position before. If you are struggling to find balance between your newfound work life and home ownership goals, or you simply want to know how to maximise your saving, who better to approach for advice than those that have gone through this before? They may have some great tips and tricks to set aside some extra cash, recommend some great free online tools for budgeting, recommend a broker or bank, or simply share with you some experiences to avoid as you continue on your journey.

HomeStart Graduate Loan

HomeStart Finance is committed to helping South Australians get into home ownership – and this includes those fresh out of study and new to a working career. We offer a product called the Graduate Loan, which is available to those who have a Certificate III or higher to get into home ownership with as little as 3%* deposit plus upfront costs. This loan has flexible repayment options, no on-going account keeping fees and currently no Loan Provision Charge* (LPC), reducing the amount of upfront costs by up to several thousand dollars. It can also be used in conjunction with HomeStart’s Starter Loan to boost your borrowing power without increasing the repayments. Ideal for those who are just beginning their working life, it reduces a lot of financial pressure by offering greater flexibility with low deposit options so that you can get into your own home, sooner.

*Eligibility criteria, terms and conditions apply. Fees and charges are payable. LPC waived until 31 December 2020.

If you think that you are ready to start the home buying journey, contact HomeStart today and take the first step in getting into your own home, sooner.