We recently bought a house without much equity and want to put all debts into one loan.

I’m looking to consolidate my debt — about $75,000 — into one monthly or weekly repayment. The problem is we recently bought a house and don’t have much equity in it. I’d like to put all debts into one loan with a decent interest rate so the credit cards also get paid off, as we are only making minimum payments on them. Do you have any suggestions?

The simplest way might be to focus your energies on paying off the card with the smallest balance. Once that is done, attack the next smallest debt.

I’m 53, married with three children and work part-time. We have little super but own our home. I’ve been saving for the children in a high-interest bank account, $8000 each and $4000 each in managed funds. I include the interest on my tax return. My intention is to save a house deposit for each of them. Are there better ways to do this?

Another solution may be share-based insurance bonds. These should give better returns than bank interest and you may receive additional Government benefits because the income is not be counted by Centrelink.

Noel Whittaker is a director of Whittaker Macnaught. His advice is general in nature and readers should seek their own professional advice. Contact noel.whittaker@whittakermacnaught.com.au.