Monday 19 February 2018

'Failure to get a tracker is costing us €200 per month'

Nicola Anderson

Nicola Anderson

IF Conor McNally had managed to get his hands on a tracker mortgage when he bought his home three years ago, he would now be better off by €200 a month.

As it is, the carpenter from Blanchardstown in Dublin and his partner Tania are just about struggling to break even.

"You just hope that nothing breaks or happens to throw the whole balancing act off," he said.

The couple, who have four children ranging in ages from 17 to one and a half, are Permanent TSB customers who bought their house in 2009.

Shortly after that, work dried up for Conor, while Tania's work in a local chemist was cut to just one day a week.

They fell behind in their mortgage payments when rates shot up last autumn.

"If we had bought at the peak we would have had to hand the keys back ages ago," explained Conor.

The rates have now come back down to 4.69pc, allowing the couple to catch up with their payments, although they still owe arrears.

Their monthly mortgage payments are now €850. However, Conor has calculated that those in a similar position to himself with the benefit of a tracker mortgage will have seen their repayments down by a further €200.

"It's a lot of money -- it's a good chunk of your bills for the month," he said.

Family holidays are a distant memory while annual occasions, like the new school year and Christmas, throw up serious challenges for the family.

"We have no reserves left and we are just living from month to month. It's a cash-flow juggling act."

The European Central Bank's cut in interest rates should mean good news for the McNallys -- but they are not counting their chickens.

As a member of the Permanent TSB action group, Conor said they are keeping in constant contact with the lender to hammer home the point that they need to pass on interest- rate cuts.

Irish Independent

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