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Melbourne Broker, Michael Flinos Managing Director of BALCOMBE FINANCIAL – discusses how a broker can help alleviate much stress and anxiety during this catastrophic time.

Managing Director of mortgage broking business Balcombe Financial, Michael Flinos, discusses how a mortgage broker can help you during the current Coronavirus pandemic, that’s created both emotional and economic panic amongst many.

Many Victorian’s are finding themselves in financial hardship and uncertainty with redundancies and business closures. Michael believes contacting the right people and organisation is key and engaging with Balcombe Financial can help alleviate much stress and anxiety during this catastrophic time.

Interview – Michael Flinos Managing Director of Balcombe Financial

Please tell us a little about Balcombe Financial and what you offer.

“Balcombe Financial is a residential and commercial mortgage broking and advisory business. We specialize in helping people find loans to buy their homes, investment properties, and to build, whether it be their own home or a project involving townhouses, apartments, or factories. 

In addition to that, a large side of our business is devoted to helping people refinance existing loans to achieve a better interest rate, structure, or to use the equity in their homes to get cash out. Times are really tough right now for a lot of people, so we try and help them where we can.

We can also arrange finance for the purchase of cars, trucks, and equipment.

Prior to setting up Balcombe Financial in early 2018, I spent over ten years working for the Commonwealth Bank and Bendigo Bank in business and corporate banking. During that time, I worked with high net worth clients, businesses of all sizes, and property developers. Working closely with people and ultimately helping them is what I love to do.”

What does this experience mean for our customers?

“It means that in most instances, we not only know what to do, but how to do it in the most effective and efficient manner. By taking the time to understand our clients, we use our access to an entire range of lenders and products to prepare applications that have the best chance of being approved. Our years of experience and expertise working with some of the leading banks means we know what works and what doesn’t. We do not submit applications for approval until we believe they will succeed. We cover all bases for our clients.”

What are the advantages of refinancing right now?

“Right now, interest rates are at record lows. If you haven’t reviewed your loan in the last 12 months, dare I say even earlier, then you are probably missing out. The array of lenders and options available will surprise many people. No longer is the home loan market controlled by the Big 4 banks, plus a few others. This is a great thing because increased competition means you win.

We already shop around without hesitation when it comes to buying appliances, groceries, gyms, holidays, you name it. But when it comes to our finances, we seem reluctant and put it to the side for another day, or year! This is where a broker such as Balcombe can help do the ‘shopping’ for you.

“Our question right now is – why would you not look to save money if you can by refinancing?”

How can Balcombe Financial help with Debt Consolidation?

“We often meet new clients who have home loans, as well as various credit cards, personal loans, and sometimes even car loans. If we establish that these clients have enough equity in their homes, as well as servicing capacity, we will try and set them up with a limit on their home loan, which will enable them to pay out any excess credit cards, personal loans, and car loans. By consolidating or bringing together debt, it just makes your finances easier to manage, as well as saving money in interest costs and fees along the way.”

How is Balcombe Financial able to get us the lowest interest rate on the market and is it a good time to lock in a fixed rate?

“At Balcombe, we are accredited with over 50 banks, non-banks, and private lenders. We are at the forefront of all changes in the mortgage market and we can help find you a new home loan to ensure that you are getting the most competitive offer. This is just part of what we do.

When it comes to fixing your loans, it really is a personal preference and decision. Suffice to say, there are currently some amazing offers out there for fixed rates of one, two, or three years, so the option is there if you want to look at it. We are here to help guide you through this process.”

Should some of us investigate switching to interest only repayments if currently struggling?

“Again, this is a personal preference and a decision that every borrower will need to make for themselves. However, if you are struggling to meet your regular principal and interest repayments, for whatever reason, then we would suggest that your first port of call would be to contact your bank to discuss your options. A call will never hurt.

However, if you are struggling to get the answers or the results you are pushing for, the team at Balcombe is happy to assist you. In most cases, there are options available if you suddenly hit a dead-end with your current bank.”

How can Balcombe Financial relieve the stress from us having to do this ourselves and what costs are involved?

“When it comes to home lending, we do not charge our clients for doing the leg-work. After all, this is our domain, and this is what we are set up to do; to make life easier for our clients.

We all know that dealing with banks is often cumbersome and painful. Why not let us do it for you? You don’t have to pay us a cent for our work, and in return, you will get a competitive interest rate, product, and a structure to suit your specific needs. Just as important, you will have a broker that answers their phone and will assist you quickly without delay. We work for you – it’s that simple.”

What is to gain acting sooner rather than later in the long term?

“This is the million-dollar question. Suffice to say, interest rates are at record lows right now and there’s not too much room for them to go any lower! On the other hand, the sky’s the limit when they start to go up again. Decision time.”

How is the best way to contact you?

“I am happy to receive a call or email from anyone who may be interested in discussing their financial needs. We are equally happy to meet you via Zoom, which often works better for all parties as it’s more personable and can be arranged at a mutually convenient time.”  

How long will the home loan application / refinance process take place?

“This is a difficult question to answer as each client has a different story with different challenges. However, as a rule of thumb, allow for 4-6 weeks for the whole process to take place.”

In addition to our residential lending, we offer the following services:

  • Commercial finance (for example, purchase of a commercial building; refinancing of an existing loan)
  • Construction finance (ranging from single dwellings and townhouses, right up to large-scale apartment developments, factories, and land sub-divisions)
  • Equipment Finance (vehicles, trucks, yellow goods, manufacturing equipment).

For further details, please refer to our website:

We are here to help! – Michael Flinos

Interview by Melinda Sullivan Editor in Chief

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